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Lamar Waldron: Ultimate Sacrifice

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In response to Larry's Post #11, I am anxiously waiting a copy of "Ultimate Sacrifice" to read it cover-to-cover.

Regarding Policarpo Lopez, however, he certainly appeared to be in Texas on the day of the assassination and his flight back to Cuba from Mexico City seemed suspicious. (See Peter Whitney's article re his flight from Mexico City to Havana.)

I assume you agree that Trafficante was probably involved in the assassination.

We have Policarpo Lopez moving from Key West to Tampa (Trafficante's home town) about the same time frame that the assassination plans started. That in itself is a bit curious.

Two days after the assassination attempt in Tampa was aborted by the planners, Policarpo Lopez gets his paper to enter Mexico.

Let us just take a small "leap of logic" here and assume he was in Dallas on November 22nd.

How many other people can you identify who were both in Tampa and in Dallas? And left the country the day after the assassination?

If I was an investigating detective, I would want to interview anyone who was in Tampa on november 18th and then in Dallas on November 22nd--particularly a Cuban (whether pro or anti Castro).

Another way to address the question would be: how many other Cubans who were in Tampa the day an assassination attempt was to take place moved to Cuba shortly after the assassination?

The HSCA found Policarpo Lopez's travels around the time of the assassination "troublesome" and that was (per "The Ultimate Sacrifice") without any knowledge by the HSCA of the aborted assassination attempt in Dallas.

Perhaps I am a bit more suspicious than you but I would be troubled by any person, regardless of his background, who left the country--for Cuba--within a day of the assassination and was in Tampa when JFK visited there and was probably in Dallas the day of the assassination.

He just happened to get his travel papers two days before the assassination after trying to get them for a year? A rather unusual happenstance, I would think.

Moreover, I find it most suspicious that anyone would leave Key West for Tampa!

I mean there would seem to be a clear inference or possibility at least that Policarpo Lopez was going to be used in the assassination in Tampa but when that attempt was aborted Trafficante sent him to Dallas.


Lamar, Thom, Tim:

My Question IS: Having received my copy of this well researched Tome -- and while trying to avoid a hernia during "footnote" browsing and pagination (with "Post-Its"); will I eventually be shocked to discover, somewhere therein, a reference to the strong evidence that Trafficante was a Castro agent, and who was "recruited" while still "confined?" at the Triscornia quarantine facility ??

Will I also find that: Because those Dagos/Wops always talked too much on the telephone, and in FBI "bugged" social clubs -- there is no big mystery that Siragusa knew early on, that Santo was an active Cuban asset, first for D.I.E.R. [G-2] and ultimately for DGI/DSE ??

Will I find that he was "Tripled" by JJA's guys, and that when RFK was warned of "Barba Roja"s" penetration

[and/or assassination] scheme -- that the counter-plan was to create a "provocation" readily traceable directly back to Habana; and via the exposure of the "Cosa Nostra" having facilitated said scheme ??

[bobby & Co. get 2 birds with one "stone" (out of his shoe) and ignites a "burning bush" !!]

And will there be a mention that when Habana ultimately informs Trafficante of what actually went down, and he is later in a position to expose ALL (including LBJ's criminal foibles) -- he is rewarded with the "Golden Triangle" Heroin source [removing Union Corse control] and which helps to seal his big mouth ??!!

Great looking book so far !!




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The mafia, the coup and the murder

The authors respond to David Talbot's review of "Ultimate Sacrifice."

By Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann

Dec. 07, 2005 | We appreciate the serious coverage of "Ultimate Sacrifice" in Salon.com, but there are several assertions and omissions in the review written by David Talbot that we'd like to address.

"Ultimate Sacrifice" presents evidence from thousands of pages of declassified documents that John and Robert Kennedy planned to stage a coup against Castro on Dec. 1, 1963, and that the plan was infiltrated by three Mafia bosses (from the mob families that controlled Chicago, Tampa and Dallas). The Mafia chiefs then used parts of the coup plan, including some U.S. intelligence assets, in their plot to kill JFK -- first trying in Chicago, then Tampa, and finally Dallas -- in a way that forced a coverup to protect national security, and the coup plan. The documentary evidence is backed up by accounts from almost two dozen Kennedy associates involved in aspects of those events, and their aftermath.

The most glaring omission in Talbot's review was not addressing or even mentioning AMWORLD, the CIA's code name for their supporting role in the Kennedy coup plan in 1963. AMWORLD is a major focus of the book. "Ultimate Sacrifice" not only reveals this recently declassified operation for the first time, but documents that it was withheld from the Warren Commission and later congressional investigating committees.

AMWORLD, which began on June 28, 1963, was an integral part of the Kennedys' plan for a coup in Cuba and it's impossible to consider one without the other. Coup planning began in January 1963 as a slow-moving, bureaucratic exercise, and the plan was only in its fourth draft by June 1963. But that month, planning began in earnest after the real opportunity for a high-level coup arose. After the CIA created AMWORLD, millions of dollars began to be devoted to the coup plan. From that point forward, coup planning proceeded rapidly, demonstrating that it had become a live operation. By September 1963 the "Plan for a Coup in Cuba" was in its 13th draft, and the rapid pace accelerated further, continuing through November of 1963. (After JFK's death, the CIA kept the AMWORLD code name, but without the involvement of Robert Kennedy and other key figures, the plan changed radically.)

The most important of our five sources who actively worked on the coup plan was the Kennedys' top Cuban exile aide, Enrique "Harry" Ruiz-Williams (who asked us to always call him "Harry"). Talbot acknowledged in his review that Harry was close to RFK, but says that Harry's "belief that a Kennedy-backed assault on the Castro regime was imminent might be a case of wishful thinking." That's not what the evidence demonstrates. Harry's account -- and that of the others -- is backed up by many declassified coup plan and AMWORLD documents that talk about them and the operation. High-level AMWORLD documents from November 1963 say that "all US plans (were) being coordinated through" Harry and he had been "so named by Robert Kennedy."

By Nov. 22, 1963, millions of dollars had been spent on the coup plan, hundreds of Cuban-American troops had been trained, U.S. assets were going into Cuba, and everything was ready. As noted in the book, a long-overlooked Washington Post article confirms that Harry's work "had reached an important point" by November 22, when Harry "participated in the most crucial of a series of secret meetings with top-level CIA and government people about Cuba." Harry and other Kennedy associates told us he was going into Cuba the following day, to await the Dec. 1, 1963, coup -- a date consistent with what we were told by others who worked with RFK on the coup plan and which is contained in an AMWORLD memo from JFK's CIA director.

Talbot seems skeptical of the coup plan because JFK's Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara told him he didn't know about a "major Cuban intervention" in late 1963. Talbot also questions the credibility of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who first told us about the coup plan in 1990. However, Talbot didn't mention that Rusk gave an on-the-record confirmation of the coup plan to Anthony Summers for Vanity Fair in 1994, three years before the first "Plan for a Coup in Cuba" documents were declassified. Rusk even explained to Summers why the Kennedys pursued the coup plan and secret peace negotiations with Castro at the same time, saying, "It was just an either/or situation. That went on frequently," though Rusk told Summers that in doing so, "the Kennedys 'were playing with fire.'"

As the book explains, we have only identified a dozen people so far who were fully informed about the coup plan prior to JFK's death, and McNamara wasn't one of them. Evidence indicates the only military figures who were fully informed include Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Defense Intelligence Agency chief Gen. Joseph Carroll, and Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance. Rusk told us he only learned about the coup plan after JFK's death. Still, Rusk and his subordinates -- and other officials -- had helped to shape the coup plan while JFK was alive, having been told it was being developed in case the CIA found a powerful Cuban official willing to stage a coup against Castro. That's why Talbot was in error when he wrote we must "have confused what were contingency plans for a coup in Cuba for the real deal."

The coup plan was so serious that in the days and weeks before Dallas, Robert Kennedy had a secret committee making plans for dealing with the possible "assassination of American officials" if Castro found out and tried to retaliate. The same people working on those plans were also working on the coup plan and AMWORLD. While Talbot didn't mention those plans in his review, we did include a Nov. 12, 1963, document from that committee in our excerpt, which Salon was kind enough to run.

Our book cites documents totaling thousands of pages from the National Archives, which we encourage people to view for themselves. A reader of Talbot's review might get the impression that we pieced together our story of AMWORLD and the "Plan for a Coup in Cuba" from the documents released in the mid- to late 1990s, but that is not correct. Starting in 1990, we were told about the coup plan and the CIA by Dean Rusk and other Kennedy associates, long before any of the documents were released. We made public presentations about the coup plan and the CIA's role in it beginning in 1993, at historical conferences, on the History Channel, and in Vanity Fair, to draw attention to the documents that remained unreleased. When the coup plan documents finally started being declassified in 1997, they included the same people and phrases ("Plan for a Coup in Cuba") we'd been using for years.

Talbot says we "take pains to (repeatedly) exonerate the CIA in the killing of Kennedy," but we present evidence against several CIA personnel that implicates them to some degree in JFK's assassination. "Ultimate Sacrifice" details how AMWORLD was one way three Mafia bosses -- Carlos Marcello of Louisiana (who controlled the rackets in Dallas), Tampa's Santo Trafficante, and Johnny Rosselli of the Chicago mob -- infiltrated the Kennedy coup plan. For example, we quote CIA documents showing that Rosselli's mob paid $200,000 in August 1963 to one of the Cuban exile leaders for the coup plan and AMWORLD, Tony Varona.

Using the CIA's own declassified documents, our book exposes Mafia-compromised CIA assets, extensive CIA intelligence failures, unauthorized operations, and the stonewalling of Robert Kennedy and government committees by certain CIA officials -- all under the veil of secrecy covering AMWORLD.

The CIA personnel and CIA exile assets whom Talbot himself fingers at the end of his review -- Morales, Phillips, Harvey, Varona, Artime -- were all the subjects of incriminating new evidence presented in "Ultimate Sacrifice," and most had major roles in AMWORLD in 1963. Though we also present exculpatory facts where they exist, we present serious evidence against people like David Morales -- operations chief of Miami's huge CIA station in 1963 and close to Rosselli -- as well as exile leaders such as Varona and Manuel Artime.

Our focus on Marcello and his allies being behind JFK's death didn't originate with us -- it came from Robert Kennedy and his associates. It's well documented that after Robert F. Kennedy learned all he could from several private investigations, RFK told close associates such as Richard Goodwin and Hoffa prosecutor Walter Sheridan that New Orleans godfather Marcello was behind his brother's death. In 1979, the House Select Committee on assassinations -- whose director was a former Mafia prosecutor for RFK -- concluded that both Marcello and Trafficante had the motive, means and opportunity to kill JFK. However, since so much was withheld from the committee (including AMWORLD, the "Plan for a Coup in Cuba," the Tampa assassination attempt four days before Dallas, etc.), they weren't able to find conclusive proof.

After spending several years reviewing all the theories about the assassination, we were pointed toward a conspiracy led by Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli by a knowledgeable Kennedy associate in 1992, and quickly found a huge amount of supporting evidence. In addition to all the documentary evidence, we talked with five attorneys who worked under RFK at the Justice Department, as well as Pierre Salinger, who worked for the Kennedys in the 1950s as a Senate Mafia investigator targeting Marcello. Typical is Ronald Goldfarb, who concluded in his own book about those years "the likelihood [was] that our organized crime program" caused "Marcello and Trafficante to plot an audacious assassination."

Our book documents the godfathers' infiltration of the coup plan, and how they linked it to JFK's assassination in over a dozen ways, from the bullet found in Oswald's rifle to exile leaders like Varona. Talbot says RFK could have simply explained "the national security concerns in the judge's chambers" and proceeded with his prosecutions, but it would have been impossible to prosecute -- or even extensively investigate -- the godfathers' role without completely exposing the coup and invasion plan. In those tense Cold War times, just a year after the nuclear standoff during the Cuban Missile Crisis, that could have triggered a nuclear confrontation with the Soviets.

RFK tried to prosecute Marcello for other offenses even after JFK's death, to no avail. The attorney general kept the pressure on Jimmy Hoffa, a close ally of Marcello and Trafficante, and on Rosselli's Chicago Mafia. But if it had been publicly reported that the attorney general of the United States even suspected the Mafia of his brother's death, defense attorneys in those cases and many more would have had a field day. Talbot also failed to mention that Marcello, Trafficante and Rosselli all eventually confessed their involvement in JFK's assassination to associates. Two men who worked with Trafficante and Rosselli -- and who documents confirm knew about AMWORLD -- also confessed to friends, later in life.

Talbot says we "assert that Bobby blamed only the Mafia (and New Orleans godfather Carlos Marcello in particular) for the death of his brother," but we also detail RFK's initial suspicions directed at the CIA. This includes not only RFK asking CIA director John McCone if the CIA killed his brother, but RFK's statement to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Haynes Johnson that "one of your guys did it," just hours after JFK's murder. As the book explains, Johnson was working at the time on a book with Manuel Artime, and CIA files now show Artime was not only involved in AMWORLD but working on the CIA-Mafia plots against Castro (which involved Rosselli, Trafficante and Marcello) and that the CIA had considered using the Mafia as a cover to provide weapons to Artime as part of AMWORLD.

Talbot says he can't understand "why in the world would organized crime bosses knock off Kennedy just days before he was about to knock off Castro?" As the book explains, the Kennedys tried to exclude the Mafia from any involvement in the coup plan, and any involvement in Cuba after the coup. As our sources told us and documents confirm, the Kennedys' goal for Cuba was a democracy with "free elections." Helping to ensure that would be the presence of U.S. troops, so even if the Kennedy coup plan were successful, it would do the Mafia no good.

The Mafia bosses had to kill JFK before the Dec. 1, 1963, coup, because only the top-secret coup plan/AMWORLD could provide the secrecy the Mafia needed to prevent a thorough, public investigation of JFK's assassination. Plus, Marcello was already on trial by RFK's men and Rosselli's Chicago mafia was under attack from RFK and the attorney general had just announced a massive crackdown on Las Vegas, where Rosselli represented the Chicago mob. Rosselli and Marcello weren't even U.S. citizens, and feared deportation even if they were only convicted of a relatively minor offense. Trafficante's criminal empire, and his close ally Hoffa, were under constant assault by RFK, so eliminating JFK to end RFK's war against them had to be the first order of business for the mob bosses. If the Mafia chiefs later wanted to eliminate Castro (which some experts feel Trafficante didn't want to do), they always had the CIA-Mafia plots to use against Castro, plots they played a major role in, unlike the Kennedys' coup plan.

By the end of Talbot's review we don't seem that far apart in our conclusions, of a conspiracy involving mob godfathers, some CIA personnel, and a few Cuban exiles. Our hope is that all authors, historians and researchers can work to get the remaining million-plus files that we talk about in our book released, and follow the evidence wherever it leads.

-- By Lamar Waldron with Thom Hartmann

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Evidence indicates the only military figures who were fully informed include Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Defense Intelligence Agency chief Gen. Joseph Carroll, and Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance.

Oh, my gosh!!! The last name of the chief of the Defense Inteelligence Agency (the agency which was running Oswald) was Carroll?

Say it isn't so, Tim!

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Evidence indicates the only military figures who were fully informed include Joint Chiefs chairman Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Defense Intelligence Agency chief Gen. Joseph Carroll, and Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance.

Oh, my gosh!!! The last name of the chief of the Defense Inteelligence Agency (the agency which was running Oswald) was Carroll?

Say it isn't so, Tim!


Amongst what remains to be declassified are: The May 1963 DIA intelligence reports. The DIA had focused on the Soviet Mechanized Infantry Brigade, which was tasked to defend the nuclear tipped "Luna" Anti-Maritime ["Cruise"] missiles based at Banes, Oriente Province, Cuba. The greatest alarm raised during April 1963, was: Whether this Soviet Brigade could be counted upon to successfully repel an attempted takeover of the missile sites by Cuban army and militia forces ?!.

[i had briefed both General Krulak [s.A.C.S.A.] at the Pentagon, and VIPs at State, with reference to these matters during February, 1963.]

The Cuban troops were mainly hardened combat veterans, who had recently eliminated two CIA/DIA supported anti-Castro guerrilla columns. One of said columns was operating in the Escambray, and the other had its AOR centered on Raul Castro's old "stomping grounds", the Sierra Cristal -- near Banes.

The Castro forces, which had suddenly made a dramatic increase in size, were LCB/DSE troops of "Division 50"; and were led by one of the same Cuban Generals who later commanded the Cuban Expeditionary Brigade in Angola, Raul menendez Tommasevich. The intelligence boss [and Director of the Cent/Comm "Americas Desk"] for this Banes missile site takeover plan was Manuel "Barba Roja" Piniero.

The CIA/DIA anti-Castro guerrilla/commando column near Banes was the very same one that had been lead by Captains Roberto "Tico" Herrera, and Argemiro Fonseca. These are the two same guerrilla leaders, whom, while working for the CIA at GITMO, commanded the "reception committee" and awaiting the landing of the Santa Ana, as it approached Baracoa, some four days before the Bay of Pigs invasion.

They made the decision to warn Nino Diaz's commandos away from the landing site, because they suspected that they, and their commandos, dressed as Castro Militia, might be involved in a "provocation Op" against the GITMO naval base.

One of the "Secret CIA Kommisars" aboard the Santa Ana -- had to be physically restrained from taking over command of the ship !! His name was Jorge Mas Canosa, who as the later founder & leader of the Cuban American Foundation, financed Luis "Bambi" Posada Carriles in his years of unsuccessful & multiple attempts at assassinating Fidel Castro.

The greatest urgency came after the debriefing of the Soviet missile officers whom had been delivered to the CIA commando team aboard the m/v "Rex" near Baracoa, Oriente Province, Cuba. These Soviet officers were accorded POW status as they had NOT defected, but had been captured by elements of Eduardo "Bayo" Perez's guerrilla column, which was in support of the Herrera/Fonseca guerrilla column.

The POW Soviet officers revealed that "Rogue" Soviet Intelligence Officers [G.R.U. & K.G.B.] were plotting to assist the Tommasevich/Piniero forces in forcibly taking control of the "Luna" missile base.

[During recent conversations with the son of the late Captain of the CIA mother-ship "m/v REX"; he has absolutely refused to involve himself with any "conspiracy whackos" who might be tempted to involve his father's family name in the ongoing "psychotic" rantings against "everything" CIA !!]

Howard K. "Davy" Davis and I, had initially orchestrated the "Bayo" operation. However, our plan involved our first capturing Haitian territory [Cap d'Haitien]; and from there we planned to stage repeated attacks against the LCB/DSE forces in northern Oriente Province. However, we were overruled, and the operation passed into the hands of Bill Pawley and the Miami CIA base [JM/WAVE].

We weren't the only folks who were vocally upset about this pre-emption of our longe-range plans. Money for the "Bayo" operation, almost $200, 000 -- had come from multiple contributors; including a wealthy lady from Baltimore, and members of the "Merrill's Marauders Association". [They insisted that we carry their "Colors" into combat inside Cuba !!]

Davis and I had insisted that: The safest plan would be, to have a firm foreign base of operations near eastern Cuba, and that we couldn't afford to wait upon Artime's , et al. setting up the bases in nicaragua and Costa Rica. Especially not, when considering that we already had active combatives engaged inside of Cuba at the time !!

[ironically, one of the more famous of the WWII "Merrill's Marauders", later retired as Director of the D.I.A. -- moreover, he is alive and well, and currently runs a small college.]

Later [and with Chairs],



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I have not read it yet but I certainly plan to.

FYI- The FDLE Ken Sanz, quoted in the St. Pete Times article, has investigated the Trafficante crime family for over 25 years- he's the guru.

Couple questions:

In 1963, Trafficante was under heavy surveillance by Sheriff Ed Blackburn and was spending a lot of his time in Miami. Don't you think it would have been foolish for him to even consider hitting JFK in Tampa, without it coming quickly back to him?

Did Johnny "Scarface" Rivera figure into the plot?

I do think Trafficante was involved in some aspect of the assasination, and look forward to reading your work.

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In addition to the answers below, I’d encourage people to read the other material on the web about the book. We’ve added several key documents to the "Documentation" part of our web site (more to come):


The book’s entire Introduction (really an overview of the whole book) is available on buzzflash, complete with extensive endnotes.


Salon.com has our response to their review, as well as the chapter on the Tampa assassination attempt (with endnotes).

Our website also has a chapter on Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli. We’re so confident in our sources and documentation that we want to make as much available as possible. Some points raised in the Forum will influence what we put on the website in the future.

As for the Provisional Government after the coup, keep in mind several things:

Many of the people involved had worked together during the Revolution, despite their disparate backgrounds and political beliefs. Some had worked together during the early days of the Revolutionary government.

In the same way, the Kennedys hoped these same men would once again be able to work together for the good of Cuba after the coup, in the new Provisional government. Their common enemy would be both Castro and the Russians in Cuba. The presence of US troops in Cuba whether a few hundred Cuban-American troops or up to the "full-scale invasion" the documents discuss - would help to ensure the Cuban faction didn’t completely dominate, after the coup.

However, the book also makes it clear that even the exile leaders, there were already sginificant strains, with leaders like Ray and Menoyo being reluctant to sign on to the plan because of various concerns, and Artime wanting to take a leading role.

Several people whose judgement I respect have argued privately to me that you have made a mistake in your identification of what you call the “C-Day Plan”. That you are tangling up AMLASH, AMTRUNK and Artime’s Second Naval Guerrilla operation. Or that C-Day was a mutation of the Cubela operation.

They’re confusing the plans against Castro after JFK’s death, with the plans against Castro before JFK’s death. As we say in the book, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba changed drastically after JFK died. Before JFK’s death, the CIA’s supporting role in the Coup Plan was called AMWORLD and started in June 1963.

AMTRUNK had been going since January 1963 (looking for someone powerful enough to stage a coup against Castro without much success). AMLASH had been going in fits and starts since late 1960, but would start ramping up significantly in September 1963. RFK was basically calling the shots on the Coup Plan/AMWORLD and AMTRUNK, and with the US military (Vance, Carroll, Taylor). There’s no credible evidence RFK knew about the assassination component of AMLASH, though as we say, some Administration officials outside the CIA did know abut Cubela, and saw him as someone trying to find someone powerful enough to stage a coup against Castro (the same goal as AMTRUNK). AMLASH Case Officer testimony also shows that Cubela was being used to provide intelligence about those who would stage the coup. (While Cubela was not very close to Castro, or considered part of his inner circle by most experts, the Case Officer did admit Cubela was very close to one very high Cuba official, saying - if I recall correctly - Cubela "was intimate with Che


So, before JFK’s death, AMWORLD, AMTRUNK, and AMLASH were separate operations. After JFK’s death, RFK was out of the picture, as were other key individuals, like Harry Williams. So, the CIA combined the remnants of AMWORLD - including Artime - with AMTRUNK and AMLASH, and kept things going through 1964 and part of 1965. (Tad Szulc - who helped to create AMTRUNK, and met with Che Guevara in New York City in December 1965 - named the Artime side of this operation "Second Naval Guerilla," in later articles.) That’s what causes confusion for some researchers, since the CIA kept using the AMWORLD code name on documents into 1964 and 1965, even though things were radically different after JFK died.

John, I guess my question would be why the authors believe Policarpo Lopez was a patsy and what they think of his trip to Texas later in the week. as the HSCA report indicates, he obtained a fourteen day visa to enter Mexico on Wednesday, November 20th. My question is since he traveled from Tampa to Dallas is it possible (even probable) he was a conspirator rather than a patsy?

Obviously we are intrigued by the Policarpo Lopez story in part because of his Key West connections.

We believe it is most likely Lopez was an unknowing patsy based on reading all the declassified documents

about him and his associates (including the Tampa FBI files, with wire tap transcripts of people who knew Lopez), and talking to both his ex-wife and a high Florida law enforcement official who was aware of Lopez - and knew other officials and informants who were aware of Lopez. Also, Lopez was extensively investigated by the FBI and CIA after the assassination, but the more they investigated, the more information turned up that made him seem like an easily-manipulated patsy.

Remember that the Tampa attempt was kept completely out of the press at the time, so Lopez (as a patsy)

may have been completely unaware of what had almost gone down. And, would have attached no special significance in being asked to accompany someone to Texas, in preparation for going to Mexico City and then on to Cuba, where he wanted to return (for a variety of reasons). If Lopez had knowingly been part of the Tampa conspiracy, he would have known going to Texas (or Dallas) would draw suspicion to him, and - since he didn’t drive or own a car - he would have been in a difficult position, with few options if problems developed.

Lopez appears to be someone who - like Oswald - on the surface looks suspicious. But the more you dig into their background, they don’t seem like someone who would either kill JFK for unknown reasons or whom the Mafia would use for anything but a patsy (since the Mafia would want to use a trusted professional to fire the actual shots, someone with a proven track record who was not only a good shot, but who wouldn’t hesitate to fire). And the many parallels between Oswald and Lopez outlined in the book (moving to a new city, leaving their wives, contact with FPCC, etc.) indicates they were being manipulated by the same person or persons, for the same reason.

As for whether Lopez would have had some asset or informant role for some US agency, that’s a possibility that’s explored in the book.

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I am very impressed by Ultimate Sacrifice, and unlike with Professor Mellen's book, can see that there is a wealth of new information contained therein. The main exception I take to the book thus far is that it misleadingly packages many of its revelations as new. As can be seen by John's statement above about the no-invasion pledge, even very old information is represented as new.

This is especially the case with regard to the plans for an invasion in late 1963. What has long been termed Second Naval Guerrilla is repackaged here and represented as new, with the authors even giving it a new name of their own: "C-Day." It is far from new information that Desmond FitzGerald said, just four months after the assassination: "If Jack Kennedy had lived, I can assure you we would have gotten rid of Castro by last Christmas."

Bill Turner and Warren Hinckle reported a quarter century ago that Manuel Artime's "MRR was receiving $250,000 a month" to set up the Second Naval Guerrilla operation in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. When Nicaragua's General Luis Somoza viewed the exiles' fleet at Monkey Point in 1963, he announced that "in November strong blows will begin against Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro by groups we are training."

We go out of our way repeatedly in the book to give credit to earlier researchers, whether in regard to the myth of the no-invasion pledge or to the plan for a coup in Cuba.

With the no-invasion pledge, our point is that it’s still commonly believed and repeated in almost every documentary and book. In fact, I believed it until Dean Rusk told me it wasn’t true. I then looked for other support for what Rusk had said, and found some in Beschloss (which I quote in the book) and a massively documented case in Chang and Kornbluh’s book, "The Cuban Missile Crisis." (For my presentation at JFK/Lancer in 2004, I even lugged their huge book to Dallas to show during my talk.)

Likewise, we quote and cite them extensively by name in the book. We’re telling people not to take our word for the pledge being myth - here is what others (and the documentation) have been saying since the early 1990s.

The same goes for the coup plan, with one key difference. Our book uses more quotes than probably any other book ever in the field, and we go out of our way to show that people like Al Burt and Tad Szulc and William Turner had written about aspects of the coup plan in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. We want people to look at what they wrote years ago, long before any of the documents had been released, since they all had key inside sources.

However, both Burt and Szulc put most of the action in 1964 (and 1965), after the real coup plan had been cancelled, and when the CIA had combined the remnants of AMWORLD with AMTRUNK and AMLASH. As such, they were somewhat vague about what exactly was supposed to happen, and how it would be different from a Bay of Pigs-style invasion after an assassination attempt.

William Turner’s 1973 interview with Harry Williams was not published - even in part - until "The Fish is Red"

in 1981. And even then, Harry had not fully revealed to Turner what was supposed to happen or everyone who was involved. (Though I was so impressed with what Turner had uncovered that when I finally read a copy of "Fish" in the late 1980s , I was determined to see that it became available again, and brought it to the attention of the publisher who eventually reissued the updated edition as "Deadly Secrets.")

As I say in "Ultimate Sacrifice," Turner provided us with the complete notes of his Harry Williams interview, so we were able to hit the ground running and soon got Harry to reveal the entire plan for a coup in Cuba. This included all the key exile leaders involved, the Cuban-American troops, the "palace coup," and the Provisional government. All of which we talked about in public (1993 ASK, 1994 ASK, History Channel, Vanity Fair) before the documentation was released.

So, we didn’t piece our story together from accounts from Burt, Szulc, etc., as helpful as their accounts

were, after the fact. We got the full story from key people who worked with Robert Kennedy, then we showed in the book that parts of it had been written about for years, and can now be documented from declassified files.

Ultimate Sacrifice unhesitatingly asserts that the Kennedys were not aware of the Cubela plans. The authors do a good job of characterizing the Kennedys' thinking about their planning as "the US aiding 'Cubans helping other Cubans,' not as an assassination plan." One might wonder what effect the Vietnam coup just three weeks before Dallas would have had on the Kennedys' thinking in this regard. We know that years later, E. Howard Hunt worked in Nixon's White House fabricating a cable to implicate President Kennedy in Diem's assassination. In the case of C-Day we have it presented that the Kennedys initiated a coup on Vietnam on November 1 and had one planned for Cuba on December 1. But at least the authors are not asserting that they had two assassinations planned in the span of one month.

I do appreciate the point that there was an operation apart from Dallas that was piggybacked by the assassination conspirators. I have long maintained the same and have posted the memo to H.L. Hunt demonstrating that the administration's operation had been compromised. The hijacked operation framework helps explain both Oswald's and Bobby Kennedy's behaviors.

There’s no compelling evidence that RFK (and JFK) knew about the assassination aspect of Cubela, but that doesn’t mean they were unaware of him entirely. As we note, we talked to an official (outside the CIA) who served on one of Bobby’s secretive subcommittees who did know about Cubela in the Fall of 1963, prior to the assassination. He knew Cubela as someone the CIA was in contact with, who was looking for someone powerful enough to stage a coup. That’s something the CIA was trying to do with AMTRUNK, and there was also a joint CIA-DIA task force looking for the same thing.

So, people outside the CIA working with RFK knew about those efforts to find someone powerful enough to stage a coup. So, it’s possible - even likely - that RFK knew about Cubela (generally, if not by name) as part of those efforts. But that’s very different from knowing the CIA is trying to get Cubela to assassinate Castro.

The authors do a good job of characterizing the Kennedys' thinking about their planning as "the US aiding 'Cubans helping other Cubans,' not as an assassination plan." One might wonder what effect the Vietnam coup just three weeks before Dallas would have had on the Kennedys' thinking in this regard.

I wish I’d had room in the book for a lot of things, and I would have liked to speculate on JFK’s feelings about the Cuba coup plan after the assassination of Diem. (But I didn’t include that, in favor of including more factual material.) Most historians agree that the Kennedys backed the coup, but didn’t think Diem would be assassinated (only forced into exile). I think Diem’s death (on the same day of the Chicago plot against JFK) would have driven the point home to JFK just how deadly the whole business of coups was, and how the unexpected could happen. Hence, the efforts at a peaceful solution with Attwood continued (and JFK had already asked Jean Daniel to help). Yet, the plans for a coup in Cuba continued, and by November 18 (with JFK’s speech) and November 22, 1963, it was clear it was pretty much a "go." Once Harry was inside Castro’s Cuba (by 11/24) to await the coup, it would have been difficult to call things off, though I have no doubt that if Jean Daniel had reached some sort of breakthrough with Castro on 11/22, the Kennedys would given a peaceful solution one last shot. However, as Dean Rusk told Vanity Fair when he confirmed the coup to them in 1994, the Kennedys were "playing with fire" in pursuing both peace and a coup at the same time.

Since it took me so long to answers this first batch of questions, here are some answers to questions others have mentioned (not necessarily from the Forum, but also places like Amazon):

1. Thom Hartmann is not, and never has been a CIA agent or asset. He’s been a volunteer for decades with Salem International, a relief organization, and his work for them takes him all over the world (at his own expense). Anyone who listens to Thom’s radio show, syndicated by Air America - or read Thom’s many books - knows he’s taken the CIA to task many times. I’m not a CIA agent either. The only government agency I’ve ever worked for was as Director of an outpatient counseling center for juvenile delinquents and their families, for the State of Georgia, in the 1970s and early 1980s.

2. As I say in the book, I’m not related to a New York Times reporter named Martin Waldron, whose November 1966 letter to the New Orleans Police Department about Ferrie and Marcello may have sparked the Garrison investigation (and the December 1966 questioning of David Ferrie). I’ve never even met or talked to Martin Waldron, and I found the copy of the letter at Jim Lesar’s AARC, in a Garrison file (apparently, the New Orleans Police gave a copy of the letter to Garrison or one of his men.)

I look forward to answering more questions, and I’d like to thank John Simkin for the opportunity. And, I’d like to encourage everyone to pull together to get the over one million CIA files released, and help get justice for ex-Secret Service Agent Abraham Bolden.

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Mr. Waldron, thanks for all of the information!

You wrote:

While Cubela was not very close to Castro, or considered part of his inner circle by most experts, the Case Officer did admit Cubela was very close to one very high Cuba official, saying - if I recall correctly - Cubela "was intimate with Che Guevara.")

Of course, there are two different meanings of the word "intimate".

I believe I read in one of a. j. weberman's nodules that there was a report that Cubela and Che were lovers.

Are you aware of anything to support that proposition? Or are you aware if either Cubela or Che were either homosexual or bisexual?

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Yes Tim, we have.... as used in Lamar's documents it refers to the head of the US government, the decision makers, Wash DC i.e. the Kennedy administration.

It may also have been used at other times to refer to other administrations... but it clearly relates to the President and his administration. Its a lot more accurate than Hoovers SOG...

-- Larry

CIA Code Name for Kennedy Administration: ODYOKE.

Anyone ever heard that before?

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The story of Veciana seeing his CIA handler, code-named "Bishop," meeting with Oswald in Dallas in the later summer of 1963 is well-documented. The HSCA's attempts at positively identifying Bishop as David Atlee Phillips is also well-documented. What I have not been aware of is that Veciana ever broke his silence and positively made the identification that Bishop was indeed David Phillips. So my question is: am I correct in understanding from Ultimate Sacrifice that Veciana identified Bishop as Phillips to the authors? This question is based on the assertion on page 242: "Veciana told us that Oswald and Phillips were discussing what 'we can do to kill Castro.'"


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Several writers and commentators have made reference to an 11/25/63 FBI interview with Ferrie's friend Layton Martens, and Martens' assertion that he was told by Ferrie's lawyer and employer G. Wray Gill that Ferrie's library card had been found on Oswald when he was arrested. This is a reference to Commission Document 75. Let us follow the assertion through the other pages of the document.

Martens told the FBI that Gill had stopped by Ferrie's apartment at about 1:00pm on 11/24/63, and that "Gill stated that he had gotten word that Lee Oswald, when he was picked up, had been carrying a library card with David Ferrie's name on it."

When the FBI asked Gill about this, he replied that he had spoken to a man named Hardy Davis, who "informed him that he had learned through hearsay when Oswald was arrested by the Police Department in Dallas, Texas, he had in his posession a library card of David Ferrie."

The FBI then questioned Hardy Davis, who said that he had spoken to Jack Martin who "told Davis that (a) television program had reported that the library card of David Ferrie had been found in the posession of Oswald in Dallas, Texas upon the latter's arrest."

This led the FBI to Jack Martin, who told the agents that "he had several phone conversations with Hardy Davis...regarding a television program which mentioned the possibility that David Ferrie was associated with Lee Harvey Oswald in the Civil Air Patrol, and Martin and Davis may have come to the conclusion that Oswald had used or carried Ferrie's library card."

Let us reverse this evidence trail and follow it forward: Jack Martin came to the conclusion that Ferrie's library card had been found in Oswald's posession, and he told this to Hardy Davis. Davis repeated this assertion to G. Wray Gill. Gill repeated the information to Layton Martens.

While there were references on New Orleans TV stations that Oswald may have served under Ferrie in the Civil Air Patrol, there is no record of any reference to Oswald having Ferrie's library card. Could Jack Martin have made the story up? Martin had briefly been a friend of Ferrie's but had developed a grudge after Ferrie threw him out of Gill's office the previous May. Over the years Martin gave numerous statements to investigators about Ferrie which are filled with demonstrably erroneous information. By any measure, Martin had a peculiar background. One investigator wrote that "Martin is considered extremely unreliable and on several occasions this man has himself been involved in matters which bordered on extortion." Could these words have been written as part of a cover-up/smear? Not likely - they were written nearly a year before the assassination.

When Ferrie was questioned by the FBI, Ferrie said that "he has never loaned his library card to Lee Harvey Oswald or any other person at any time." It is not unreasonable to speculate that the FBI's reason for asking this question was the assertion of Jack Martin, reported to the Bureau by Martens, Gill, Davis and Martin himself. The Secret Service may have obtained this information from the FBI.

After Ferrie's 1967 death, Oswald's landlady and a former neighbor told Jim Garrison's investigators that Ferrie had visited them and inquired about a library card. (The landlady said Ferrie's visit was on the night of the assassination, but his whereabouts during that evening are accounted for.) Presumably, Ferrie did visit the women a few days later in response to the allegation made by Jack Martin.

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