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Commander Juan Almeida and the CIA


Wim Dankbaar
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http://www.nypost.com/gossip/liz/liz.htm

September 22, 2006 -- 'IF A man cannot keep a measly affair secret, what is he doing in charge of the Intelligence Service?" asks the spy novelist Frederick Forsyth.

If you were an investigative reporter, would you save your biggest book revelation for the trade paperback publication? Well, maybe a lot happened between the pub date and the paperback. That seems to be the case for the JFK-invasion-of-Cuba conspiracy book "Ultimate Sacrifice," which we've written about in this column.

Author Lamar Waldron is set to tell the following sensational details in the paperback on Oct. 9. In the hardcover edition of his book, Waldron went to great lengths to conceal the identity of the Cuban official who was working with President John F. Kennedy and for U.S. interests back in the '60s. Now the CIA has decided to reveal who the man is. Author Waldron advised them not to, but the powers that be feel the man's best protection is wide publicity after the trade book's release. Castro can't take action against him in secret as he did back in 1990.

The "him" is one of the top officials in Cuba today, a leader standing below only Raul Castro, his brother's heir. The secret conspirator is Commander Juan Almeida, head of the army, famous hero of the revolution, best friend to the late Che Guevara. Almeida was in direct contact with Bobby Kennedy's top Cuban exile aide in the summer and fall of 1963; he was to receive $500,000 for helping stage a coup and the down payment was delivered before JFK was assassinated.

Almeida's wife and sons had wisely already been sent out of Cuba because he feared reprisals against them if the coup failed. The sons are said to have been paid a lot of money by the U.S. government and are today living as capitalist businessmen in Cancun and Madrid. Their father remains the No. 3 man in Cuba.

Four days before Kennedy died in Dallas, he made a speech that the CIA now says contained messages intended directly for Commander Almeida to assure him of the president's personal support. The background for all this appeared in the hard cover version of "Ultimate Sacrifice," telling the story of how three Mafia bosses - Johnny Rosselli, Santo Trafficante and Carlos Marcello - infiltrated JFK's coup plan in their own effort to assassinate the president. Waldron says that after JFK's death, the CIA and Bobby Kennedy were forced to cover up a lot of information to Congress and the public in order to protect Almeida.

In 1965, Castro put Che Guevara under house arrest for conspiring with Almeida, but he allowed the latter to rejoin his government in 1995. Almeida is one of the highest black officials in Cuba; some believe his race is a major reason why Castro failed to exact retribution from him. It wouldn't have been popular in Cuba. Evidently, Castro considers Almeida to be "safe" since he has no family to retaliate against in Cuba and he could now never stage a coup for the CIA.

The revelation of his name at this late date should be big news all over, and now that we know Castro is still alive, it might even influence the political situation in Cuba today or in the near future.

These astounding revelations also remove the last legitimate reason for the CIA to continue holding 1 million files related to JFK's assassination. And for dear old Uncle Sam to at last let the entire truth come out.

AFTER THIS column revealed that Elizabeth Taylor wasn't dying and had written us from Hawaii about her adventures underwater in a shark cage, our pal Jess Cagle rushed to Los Angeles to interview her. He, too, found her in fine fettle. The results will appear in People magazine next week. She is celebrating the 15th year of her successful "White Diamonds" (fragrance "Passion" was her first perfume hit), as well as a booming jewelry line. Miz Liz is still having fun. "I don't regret I am stuck in this wheelchair, because - hell, if I can go in a shark cage, life isn't all that bad." Jess even found out that ET has been quietly "dating." No names, however.

All the star of stars will say about her ex Eddie Fisher is "Oy, gevalt!" Of her other six husbands she is very kind indeed. As they were about her.

SINCERE condolences to Mariska Har gitay on the death of her cherished fa ther, Mickey. Three weeks ago, the "Law & Order: SVU" star acknowledged her dad, a handsome one-time "Mr. Universe," as she accepted her Emmy. Years ago, winning a Golden Globe, the actress thanked both her father and her mother, who was the iconic bombshell blonde of the '50s, Jayne Mansfield. On that occasion, Mickey stood in the audience, weeping and blowing kisses, celebrating his daughter's moment in the sun. It was a rare instance of genuine, spontaneous sentimentality and love at an awards show.

THE DEMONIC wit Fran Lebowitz was asked by a stylish woman at a re cent "Marie Antoinette" screening, "Do you think this will start on time?"

Fran: "Nothing has started on time in 25 years - anyway, we know how it ends!"

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CIA has been making contingency plans for a post-Castro government since 1959. Now that it looks like a post-Castro period may finally be looming on the horizon, CIA has suddenly decided to become publicly expansive about 40 year old coup plans, implicating a potential successor as a Yanqui fifth columnist all along? How accommodating of CIA to suddenly drop its penchant for secrecy in order to come clean on this. A-hem....

The article itself started out with a note of deserved skepticism: "If you were an investigative reporter, would you save your biggest book revelation for the trade paperback publication?"

Good question.

A few other good questions about this book also deserved to be asked. Among them, in my mind, is "How likely is it that AMWORLD could have achieved critical mass without Robert McNamara or Dean Rusk [among others] knowing anything about it?"

When CIA - whom the Kennedys loathed - was purportedly entrusted with a crucial role in AMWORLD, while Kennedy's own most trusted cabinet members were kept in the dark, we have reason to suspect that sleight of hand is being employed.

This is reminiscent of CIA's assertions that it undertook multiple plots to murder Castro at the Kennedys' specific and aggressive insistence, yet failed to brief Kennedy-appointed DCI McCone about any of it.

One also notes another oddity contained in the gossip column that causes one to raise a doubting eyebrow:

"In the hardcover edition of his book, Waldron went to great lengths to conceal the identity of the Cuban official who was working with President John F. Kennedy and for U.S. interests back in the '60s. Now the CIA has decided to reveal who the man is. Author Waldron advised them not to, but the powers that be feel the man's best protection is wide publicity after the trade book's release."

So, one of the book's author's fought against making the disclosure, but "the powers that be" insisted upon its inclusion? How often is an author forced to include something in his book by a source? Who published this book? Avalon? Or CIA?

As John Simkin has already pointed out in another thread on this book: Dick Goodwin has commented “it's crazy to think the Kennedys, who were still riding pretty high after the Cuban missile crisis, would take such a huge political risk on the eve of the 1964 presidential season. JFK was too shrewd to flirt with another Bay of Pigs fiasco.”

The Kennedys may have been anxious to avoid another Bay of Pigs, but there was another entity in the US that was spoiling for a rematch with Castro, and its version of events is recited in "Ultimate Sacrifice," just as surely as it was in "Live By The Sword" and "Rendezvous With Death."

Caveat emptor.

Edited by Robert Charles-Dunne
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This seems to me like a CIA limited hangout. The truth is that Juan Almeida would have been named in the paperback edition of Ultimate Sacrifice anyway. The CIA needed to leak it before the book came out. Gus Russo and Max Holland will no doubt come up with other documents suggesting that Almeida was a double agent and that JFK was assassinated on the orders of Fidel Castro.

This has more to do with David Talbot’s forthcoming book than Ultimate Sacrifice. The CIA has been willing to accept the naming of CIA agents like David Sanchez Morales and Rip Robertson as being involved in the assassination. They are much more concerned with the exposure of top figures such as Richard Helms and James Jesus Angleton being involved in the cover-up. See the threads on John Moss Whitten and George Joannides:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=7940

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3915

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According to the article, Lamar Waldron agrees to Almeida being a mole, secretly talking to Kennedy to overthrow Castro.

Or do interpret the article incorrectly? I quote again from the article:

Author Lamar Waldron is set to tell the following sensational details in the paperback on Oct. 9. In the hardcover edition of his book, Waldron went to great lengths to conceal the identity of the Cuban official who was working with President John F. Kennedy and for U.S. interests back in the '60s. Now the CIA has decided to reveal who the man is. Author Waldron advised them not to, but the powers that be feel the man's best protection is wide publicity after the trade book's release. Castro can't take action against him in secret as he did back in 1990.

The minute I read this, I know it's in the same category as Fabian Escalante flying to Dallas on 11/22/1963. That's the category of Ultimate Horse Manure.

So where does that leave Ultimate Sacrifice?

Or is this article the real horse manure?

It would be nice if Mr Waldron and/or Mr Hartmann could give us their comments here.

Wim

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This seems to me like a CIA limited hangout. The truth is that Juan Almeida would have been named in the paperback edition of Ultimate Sacrifice anyway. The CIA needed to leak it before the book came out. Gus Russo and Max Holland will no doubt come up with other documents suggesting that Almeida was a double agent and that JFK was assassinated on the orders of Fidel Castro.

This has more to do with David Talbot’s forthcoming book than Ultimate Sacrifice. The CIA has been willing to accept the naming of CIA agents like David Sanchez Morales and Rip Robertson as being involved in the assassination. They are much more concerned with the exposure of top figures such as Richard Helms and James Jesus Angleton being involved in the cover-up. See the threads on John Moss Whitten and George Joannides:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=7940

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=3915

Spot on John...and I'm pretty sure we will hear more detail on how they were forced into this position by the additional documents that we are beginning to see.

Document disclosure can be such a pain....

-- Larry

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Spot on John...and I'm pretty sure we will hear more detail on how they were forced into this position by the additional documents that we are beginning to see.

Of course I should have added CIA's concern about the publication of the revised edition of Someone Would Have Talked. Jefferson Morley's book on Win Scott is also due out in the autumn (he has agreed to discuss it on the Forum). It is an interesting time.

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This seems to me like a CIA limited hangout. . . . . The CIA has been willing to accept the naming of CIA agents like David Sanchez Morales and Rip Robertson as being involved in the assassination. They are much more concerned with the exposure of top figures such as Richard Helms and James Jesus Angleton being involved in the cover-up.

This may sound like a dumb or naive question, but would anyone at the CIA in 2006 necessarily know what happened and who did it in 1963? Are there existing files they can review whenever they need to get up to speed on the true history of Dealey Plaza? Or maybe they can call up E. Howard Hunt whenever they need details on what exactly went down and why, so they will know what to cover up and what to hang out on a limited basis.

I can see the CIA as an institution continuing to manipulate the media against conspiracy theories and support the LN theory just from the standpoint that the agency and other government entities certainly must have had something to do with the assassination. But this doesn't necessarily mean that anyone at the CIA knows, 43 years later, the details of that covert action or whether Morales, Helms, or someone we've never heard of ran the show.

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1. More than one government agency was involved in the decision to make Commander Almeida's identity and work for JFK available to the public. So rather than focus on just the CIA (who was involved) or the ARRB, it would be more accurate for now to say that it was the decision of the US government. It is explained in more depth in the book's last chapter.

2. The US government's decision to make his identity known was make independent of - and before - publication of the hardback edition of Ultimate Sacrifice. Obviously, at the time the hardback was written and published, I assumed the US government wouldn't reveal it until 2017, which is why I worked so hard to not reveal his identity.

3. It was confirmed to me in writing in late November 2005 - just days after the hardback hit the stores - that his identity would remain available to the public. But it was March before it was clear there was no chance the decision would be reversed. That's when I decided to tell the full story in the trade paperback, and fully and as accurately as possible.

4. Castro has known about the official since 1990, when he disappeared for several years. That's when Kennedy associates first told us about the coup invasion plan (Dean Rusk, 1990) and all the details about the official's identity and work for the Kennedys (1992), because they thought he was dead. It surprised everyone when he turned out alive and back in the government in 1995. That's why - after Thom and I appeared on the History Channel and Vanity Fair in Nov. 1994 talking about the coup (and I wrote to the Review Board about it that same month) - we had to back off public appearances for years.

5. Apparently hoping his disappearance was for some other reason, the CIA tried an outreach to the official and his old allies in the Cuban military, in order to try to get them to stage a coup against Castro. This attempt even involved some AMWORLD veterans from 1963. However, it finally became clear to the CIA in 2001 that Fidel knew about Commander Almeida's work for JFK in 1963, and he was no longer in a position to help them even if he still wanted to.

6. So, it wasn't our decision to reveal his identity, and in fact, we argued against it. But once their decision was made, we felt the best thing we could do was to tell the whole story as accurately and fully as possible. As readers will see, the framework is already there in Ultimate Sacrifice. As a noted historian told me recently, at this point, wide publicity is Commander Almeida's best protection, so Fidel cannot take action against him in secret, as he did in 1990.

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Right, and Castro allows this traitor to be in his government?

****************

As several Kennedy associates told us, the only man who knew everything about C-Day was Robert Kennedy, the plan’s guiding force.[13] Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance was one of the few military leaders who knew the full scope of C-Day while the plan was active. The others were generals the Kennedys especially trusted, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell Taylor and General Joseph Carroll, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). High CIA officials involved in C-Day included CIA Director John McCone, Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms, Desmond FitzGerald, and key field operatives like David Morales and David Atlee Phillips. Most high US officials didn’t know about C-Day prior to JFK’s assassination. There is no evidence that Lyndon Johnson was told anything about C-Day prior to JFK’s death. Likewise, no evidence exists showing that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara knew about C-Day before JFK’s assassination. Dean Rusk told us he did not learn about the actual C-Day plan until soon after JFK’s death.[14] There is no evidence that Edward Kennedy was told about the plan. Documents and sources indicate that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had no active role in C-Day, although he may have learned a great deal about it from field reports. The Secret Service was even less informed about C-Day, which no doubt hindered their actions when serious threats seemingly related to Cuba surfaced against JFK in the weeks before C-Day.

*****************

What bothers me about the Ultimate Sacrifice scenario is that all people implicated are not around anymore to comment. Even Richard Helms died shortly before the book was published. Robert McNamara, not implicated but still alive, JFK's Secretary of Defense, hence in the number 1 spot to be privy of such a plan after Kennedy, has denounced the book as fiction.

What especially is inconceivable to me is that David Atlee Phillips and David Morales, arguably Kennedy's worst enemies, were supposedly assisting the Kennedy's in their plan? So they are off the hook in the Kennedy assassination, as are LBJ, Hoover, Bush, Lansdale, Shackley, Nixon, Dulles, Cabell, etc?

Who was right above Morales and Phillips? None other than Ted Shackley.

So Roselli, Marcello and Trafficante , "the men behind the murder", were able to torpedo the plan? They didn't want to get rid off Castro?

And then they had the Warren Commission cover up for them?

Bush must be happy with this book. Maybe that's why it has the backing of Carroll and Graf?

Wim

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"Since the overall coup plan was under the personal control of Attorney General Kennedy, who did not sue a code-name for it, we call it 'C-Day' in this book, a name entirely of our own invention."

C-Day never existed, except in the mind of Waldron and Hartman, and never happened."

The only coup that happened was at Dealey Plaza, and Waldron and Hartman want you to believe that Robet Kennedy was responsible for his own brother's murder, the Ultimate Sack.

BK

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