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Robert Maheu is still alive. If you got the chance of meeting him, what questions would you ask?

John,

I guess I would like to ask him if he believed that one of the reasons for the Watergate break-in was to retrive information concerning illegal loans made by Howard Hughes to Nixon via Bebe Rebozo? If so, was he the original leak for the information?

Second, if no to the above, did he leak information where plumbers like Sturgis and Hunt believed that a secret memorandum from the Castro government existed and was in the hands of the Democratic National Committee - a memorandum containing a list of Agency abuses including the assassination attempts on Castro that Maheu was behind or promoted - and also information that suggested the assassination of JFK was indeed 'blowback'?

James

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Probably not the most relevant but the question that immediately comes to my mind:

"In your book you said you liked Giancana because he was a good cook. When you made that remark did you know he was a brutal murderer? If so, is it your opinion that culinary skills can atone for the blood on Giancana's hands?"

By the way, I read today (I think it was from Moldea's "Hoffa Wars") that Maheu told Hughes that he was working on a plot to get rid of Castro in conjunction with a planned invasion of Cuba. I do not recall reading before that Maheu was made privy to the invasion plans so an interesting question for Maheu would be if the CIA told him the scheme to the assassinate Castro was linked to the invasion.

Another interesting question might be why of the four apparent principals in the assassination plots only he and Trafficante did not die violently. The presumed answer may be that Giancana and Rosselli knew things that he did not.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Probably not the most relevant but the question that immediately comes to my mind:

"In your book you said you liked Giancana because he was a good cook.  When you made that remark did you know he was a brutal murderer?  If so, is it your opinion that culinary skills can atone for the blood on Giancana's hands?"

By the way, I read today (I think it was from Moldea's "Hoffa Wars") that Maheu told Hughes that he was working on a plot to get rid of Castro in conjunction with a planned invasion of Cuba.  I do not recall reading before that Maheu was made privy to the invasion plans so an interesting question for Maheu would be if the CIA told him the scheme to the assassinate Castro was linked to the invasion.

Another interesting question might be why of the four apparent principals in the assassination plots only he and Trafficante did not die violently.  The presumed answer may be that Giancana and Rosselli knew things that he did not.

He certainly knew of the plot. The goal was to have Varona arrange a last second hit, but unbeknownst to the one hand (Trafficante, Giancana, Rosselli, Maheu, and O'Connell) the other hand (Bissell, Barnes and Hunt) had made sure that Varona along with all the other prospective leaders of the coalition were kidnapped and held captive for a few days before the invasion. This was because Hunt didn't trust Manola Ray, who he thought might warn Castro.

In Maheu's book, he discusses his outrage over the called-off second air strike. He called Kennedy a murderer before the Church Committee, which is one of the many reasons I've always suspected his involvement in the asassination.

And James, Maheu did a 60 minutes interview last year on the anniversary of Watergate in which he said he believed that Nixon was trying to figure out what O'Brien knew. Maheu said the whole thing was a tragedy because he never told O'Brien anything about the pay-offs to Rebozo, and would have told Nixon if only he'd asked.

Also, James, I'm pretty sure Martinez' Watergate article explains that Hunt made up the crap about Castro and the Dems to con the Cubans into working for free.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Pat, in his book, Maheuu discusses his testimony to the Church Committee where he makes the point about the cancellation of the second air strike being tantamount to murder.

Yes, he deflected their inquiry into the circumstances of his cronies' trying to murder Castro, and whether or not that played a part in the murder of Kennedy, by insisting that the only murders committed were by Kennedy himself. I think this action was in remarkably bad taste, and was not remotely fair or accurate. It smelled to me like someone justifying his own actions. What action? Hmmm. Since Maheu is a patriotic American, I shouldn't say...

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Pat wrote:

He certainly knew of the plot. The goal was to have Varona arrange a last second hit, but unbeknownst to the one hand (Trafficante, Giancana, Rosselli, and Maheu) the other hand (Bissell, Barnes and Hunt) had made sure that Varona along with all the other prospective leaders of the coalition were kidnapped and held captive for a few days before the invasion. This was because Hunt didn't trust Manola Ray, who he thought might warn Castro.

Joseph Trento says the CIA could not have organized the JFK assassination because it lacked the competence to do so. Pat's point about the one hand of the CIA not knowing what the other hand was doing proves Trento's point, I submit. It was only one of the stupid mistakes the CIA made in organizing the BOP.

Fundamentally of course was the CIA's belief that the 2,000 or so members of the Brigade would be able to defeat Fidel's 200,000 armed forces (I think the number is correct).

Plus witness the CIA trying to prove Cuban pilots were defecting and using a plane with a different nose cone than the nose cone in actual Cuban air force.

Or the problem created by the CIA's failure to recognize the different time zones.

Or the CIA using Trafficante to assist in the Castro plots when there were existing government reports linking Trafficante to Castro.

Or the CIA thinking it could use Maheu as a "cut-out" who could convince the Mafia it was dealing with private American businessmen and not the US government. The CIA people who thought that ruse would fool the mafia must have believed the mafia consisted of idiots.

Well I could go on and on but I am sure you all understand my point.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Pat, re your post 6, your point is interesting indeed (and the thought had crossed my mind). I do not believe, though, that constitutes sufficient evidence to imply Maheu's participation (and remember he is still alive so can sue for libel!).

But a difference between Maheu and Dillon is Maheu hated Kennedy while Dillon was his close friend. That is why the accusations against Dillon so upset me; that and the fact that they were obviously made by persons who had not bothered to read biographies of JFK.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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I'd like to ask Maheu if it's true that Richard Helms was used as a double for Howard Hughes (while Hughes himself was either dead or holed up watching "Ice Station Zebra" nonstop and peeing in jars).

Ron

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Joseph Trento says the CIA could not have organized the JFK assassination because it lacked the competence to do so.  Pat's point about the one hand of the CIA not knowing what the other hand was doing proves Trento's point, I submit. 

Were you really trained as a lawyer?

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Pat wrote:

He certainly knew of the plot. The goal was to have Varona arrange a last second hit, but unbeknownst to the one hand (Trafficante, Giancana, Rosselli, and Maheu) the other hand (Bissell, Barnes and Hunt) had made sure that Varona along with all the other prospective leaders of the coalition were kidnapped and held captive for a few days before the invasion. This was because Hunt didn't trust Manola Ray, who he thought might warn Castro.

Joseph Trento says the CIA could not have organized the JFK assassination because it lacked the competence to do so. 

In order to reach this conclusion, of course, Trento must ignore the fates of Lumumba and Trujillo, two of the three foreign leaders marked for CIA assassination who did - surprise, surprise - die.  Yes, Tim, we know that CIA denied involvement in each case, despite the Agency's deployment of personnel, recruitment of assassins and provision of weapons.  I suspect these denied "successes" are precisely what is referred to when Agency personnel bemoan that their failures are public, but their successes must remain secret, even denied.

Pat's point about the one hand of the CIA not knowing what the other hand was doing proves Trento's point, I submit.  It was only one of the stupid mistakes the CIA made in organizing the BOP.

Not all the "mistakes" were, in fact, mistakes. 

If we view this issue from a slightly different perspective, CIA's reckless decision to proceed with the invasion can be seen as brinksmanship, in which the Agency was certain that when placed in an untenable position - support the invasion force with US military intervention or accept blame for its failure - Kennedy would be craven enough to cave in, despite having clearly warned CIA in advance that he would not authorize US military to participate.  Imagine the surprise, and chagrin, within Langley when Kennedy stood firm and was as good as his word.  Imagine the animosity inside Langley when Kennedy demonstrated that he was not about to be manipulated, or allow his foreign policy to be dictated, by CIA.

Fundamentally of course was the CIA's belief that the 2,000 or so members of the Brigade would be able to defeat Fidel's 200,000 armed forces (I think the number is correct).

Had the concurrent assassination of Castro transpired as planned [and in direct violation of Kennedy's prohibition of same], it surely would have bolstered the invasion's chances for success.  Moreover, had Kennedy relented and authorized the use of US military to salvage the invasion, the size of Castro's military became all but irrelevant.

Plus witness the CIA trying to prove Cuban pilots were defecting and using a plane with a different nose cone than the nose cone in actual Cuban air force.

And the horrible paint job that failed to cover old markings.  Again, one can view this as CIA's slipshod lack of attention to detail.  Or, one can postulate that CIA was so certain of manipulating Kennedy into relenting that all else became secondary.  The point was simply to get the Brigade members onto a Cuban beachhead, then demand that Kennedy either support the invasion with US military might, or accept the blame for the invasion's [pre-planned] failure.

Or the problem created by the CIA's failure to recognize the different time zones.

Given the foregoing, one accepts this excuse at the peril of being naive.

Or the CIA using Trafficante to assist in the Castro plots when there were existing government reports linking Trafficante to Castro.

Apparently CIA felt more certain about the Mob boss' allegiance than you do.  Perhaps they knew things you do not.

Or the CIA thinking it could use Maheu as a "cut-out" who could convince the Mafia it was dealing with private American businessmen and not the US government.  The CIA people who thought that ruse would fool the mafia must have believed the mafia consisted of idiots. 

What makes you so certain that CIA wished to keep their proxies ignorant of who was really sponsoring this mission?  Seems to me that working for the US government was a far better inducement to the mobsters than working for corporate interests, and that this is precisely what they felt.  Corporate interests cannot give mobsters a "get out of jail free" card, which is how they interpreted this opportunity.  Hence, Robert Kennedy's vitriolic reaction when informed of the arrangement.  Had CIA really wished their mob proxies to be kept in the dark, they could have found an entree into the criminal underworld who didn't have an FBI background, or connections to CIA via the Hughes empire.  Maheu was a perfect selection from CIA's point of view, for despite being an arm's-length intermediary, he reeked of government connections, a fact which clearly appealed to those whom he was assigned to recruit.

Well I could go on and on but I am sure you all understand my point.

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Maheu was a perfect selection from CIA's point of view, for despite being an arm's-length intermediary, he reeked of government connections, a fact which clearly appealed to those whom he was assigned to recruit.[/color]

Well I could go on and on but I am sure you all understand my point.

Which brings me to my question for Maheu (one of many actually), "Uhhh Bob, I know you were friends with Rosselli, but don't you think it was a bit unwise to tell him outright that O'Connell and Edwards were CIA? I mean I know you testified that he figured it out on his own, but in your book you admit you told him beforehand, which makes you a perjurer. So uhh Bob, seeing as you went on to run Las Vegas with the help and cooperation of men like Rosselli and Giancana, and seeing as your telling Rosselli and Giancana they were working for the CIA helped them avoid prosecution--oh wait a second, YOU'RE the one who successfully used your connection to the Castro hits to avoid prosecution--uhhh anyhow, seeing as you were such buddies with these guys--uhhh I'd kinda like to know JUST WHO THE HELL YOU WERE REALLY WORKING FOR. I mean, Bob, you were au undercover agent in WW2, Hoover didn't trust you, in the end Hughes didn't trust you, and you were playing tiddly winks with the likes of Richard Nixon, Edward Bennett Williams, Johnny Rosselli , LBJ and Lawrence O'Brien. So, I think it's a fair question. So I ask again--WHO THE HELL WERE YOU WORKING FOR?" I clutch his throat. We collapse on floor. We roll around. Somehow the octogenarian kicks my ass and comes out on top. As always.

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Joseph Trento says the CIA could not have organized the JFK assassination because it lacked the competence to do so.  Pat's point about the one hand of the CIA not knowing what the other hand was doing proves Trento's point, I submit. 

Were you really trained as a lawyer?

No. But he did stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

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Robert Charles-Dunne wrote:

Had the concurrent assassination of Castro transpired as planned [and in direct violation of Kennedy's prohibition of same], it surely would have bolstered the invasion's chances for success.

Now it's my turn, Robert. What is the basis for the assertion that Kennedy had directly prohibited assassination?

And of course your theory that the CIA anticipated a failure but counted on forcing Kennedy's hand is speculation. We do not know for a fact whether the CIA was clever (as you suggest) or dumb.

Re the Maheur issue, as I am sure you and Pat know, Maheu told Rosselli at their initial meeting that his real sponsor was the CIA but he also told Rosselli he would deny it and call Rosselli a xxxx if Rosselli ever tried to quote him to that effect. And when Rosselli started to talk, that is exactly what Maheu did.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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John wrote:

Were you really trained as a lawyer?

John, I respectfully submit I could use all the mistakes at the BOP and the crazy schemes the CIA was considering to do in Castro (remember the exploding sea shell and "elimination by illumination") to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the incompetence of the CIA.

Reading about many of these schemes it is difficult to believe that the men considering them were well-educated.

And then look at Watergate. McCord was a CIA man. Unless his placement of the tape was deliberate, that was a rather stupid mistake as well.

As someone once commented about the CIA in this period, it resembled the Keystone Cops.

I know you do not like this because it supports Trento's theory, but, in my opinion, the facts do support his theory. Had there been CIA operatives in Dealey Plaza they probably would have shot themselves.

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