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Bogota Ripples


Greg Parker
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JORGE ELIÉCER GAITÁN

There is a war between the rich and poor,

a war between the man and the woman.

There is a war between the left and right,

a war between the black and white,

a war between the odd and the even.

Gaitán was a Columbian populist Liberal Party politician who was assassinated in Bogota as he left his office building for lunch on April 9, 1948. The presidential campaign was in full swing - and it was one he was widely tipped to win. As a backdrop to this, Secretary of State, George Marshall was in Columbia attending the 9th Pan-American Conference to build support for the creation of the Organisation of the American States which would act as a bulwark against communism. Protesting against the conference was the Pan American Youth Congress organised by Gaitán's friend and ally, Fidel Castro.

Gaitán, much like Kennedy, had made a lot of enemies on all sides of politics, as well as in business - not the least in Gaitán's case, United Fruit. This was as a result of seeking justice for striking workers who had been fired upon in 1928 by order of the company. He compounded this by starting up his own political machine in 1933, the Leftist Revolutionary Union - though he rejoined his old party two years later.

JUAN ROA SIERRA

You can still find a job,

go out and talk to a friend.

On the back of every magazine

there are those coupons you can send.

Why don't you join the Rosicrucians,

they can give you back your hope

Sierra was born in the slums of Bogata. One of fourteen siblings raised by a sole parent (his father having died of a venereal disease when Sierra was five), he had little schooling, and soon enough found himself in a succession of menial jobs in which he was usually described as being given to day-dreaming. At the time of Gaitán's assassination, he was unemployed and had sought Gaitán's assistance in finding a job. His death came about when he was identified on the streets as the assassin and set upon by an angry and vengeful mob who had gathered at the spot. His former mistress was later to describe him as a xxxx with peculiar ideas who dabbled in witchcraft and believed he was the reincarnation of Columbian hero, General Santander. This belief had come about after joining the Rosicrucians who had apparently written to him advising that he buy a mirror and two candles, and that he should stare into the mirror and "see who emerged".

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

I came upon a butcher,

he was slaughtering a lamb,

I accused him there

with his tortured lamb.

He said, "Listen to me, child,

I am what I am"

At the moment of the assassination, future Nobel Prize winning author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez was dining at a nearby cafe. When he arrived at the scene his journalistic instincts kicked in as observed a well-dressed man inciting the gathering mob to attack Sierra. When this was accomplished, a car pulled up and whisked the mystery man away from the scene.

THE GOVERNMENT REACTION

Your story was so long,

The plot was so intense,

It took you years to cross

The lines of self-defense.

The incumbant conservative oligarchy publicly called both the assassination and subsequent riots part of a premiditated plan to sabotage the Pan-American conference by communists. It neverless, tried, in secret, to ascertain the facts.

GEORGE MARSHALL

Waiting for the miracle

There's nothing left to do.

I haven't been this happy

since the end of World War II

Marshall's position was summed up in the New York Times editorial of April 14: " "Backing up the findings of the Colombian Government, Secretary of State Marshall and other delegates to the Inter-American Conference have now likewise accused Soviet Russia, and its tool, international communism, of instigating the riots that wrecked Bogota and cast a pall over the whole Western Hemisphere. Basing their judgement on first-hand information and personal observation on the spot, they see in the tragic events which interrupted their deliberations the same powers and patterns at work its to the attempted insurrections in France and Italy. And that makes Bogota, as Mr. Marshall said, not merely a Colombian or Latin American incident but a world affair, and a particularly lurid illustration of the length to which Russia is willing to go to its no longer (cold war) against the democracies."

THE WASHINGTON REACTION

We asked for signs

the signs were sent:

the birth betrayed

the marriage spent

Yeah the widowhood

of every government --

signs for all to see.

The immediate reaction in Washington was that this was "a South American Pearl Habor." This reference however, was not a lament for Columbia and its people. It was a lament for what was considered another intelligence failure and the possibility of a Communist coup. The day after the assassination, the CIA came under heavy fire. Dewey was one who went on the offensive. On April 12, with one eye on the Republican presidential nomination, he stated without any apparent facetiousness "During the war the United States had the finest intelligence service operating all over South America under J. Edgar Hoover. After the war Mr. Truman ordered the entire service discontinued. He cut off our ears and put out our eyes in our information service around the world."

But it was Rep Clarence Brown who cut to the chase. The day after the riots, Brown urged an investigation of the intelligence community by the House Committee on Expenditures in the Executive Departments.

VICE ADMIRAL ROSCOE HENRY HILLENKOETTER

The rain falls down on last year's man,

an hour has gone by

and he has not moved his hand.

But everything will happen if he only gives the word

Hillenkoetter was the first Director of the CIA and served in that role until late 1950. His initial reaction to the inquiry was to try and have it quashed. Discussing strategy with Truman however, he was convinced that facing the committee with the CIA record would show the critics to be wrong. Truman also saw political advantage in such a move, as it would take the wind out of Dewey's sails.

And so it was, on Apr 15, Hillenkoetter confronted a special subcommittee of the Committee on Expenditures armed with a wad of classified CIA intelligence reports from which he read excerpts. His testimony charged that appropriate warnings of possible unrest and even violent outbreaks aimed at embarrassing the American Inter-American Conference delegation had been made, but that some of these had been blocked from transmission to the State Department by Embassy officials. The unwanted spotlight now shone on State - which had been in conflict with the CIA for what it termed the latters "empire building". As for the assassination - Hillenkoetter emphatically told his inquisitors the sole perpetrator was Sierra, and that his motive was purely personal. Gaitán, he told the subcommittee, had just an hour before his death, obtained an acquittal for the man accused of killing Sierra's uncle.

It would not be the first time Hillenkoetter would have to face a committee over alleged intelligence failures. The second would be as a result of North Korea's invasion of South Korea on Jun 25, 1950.

For all of this, he is probably best remembered for his involvement with The National Investigations Committee On Aerial Phenomena (NICAP) - a UFO group.

THE SCOTLAND YARD INVESTIGATION

Don't argue now you'll be late

There is nothing to investigate

The Columbian government obtained the services of three Scotland Yard detectives, headed by Sir Norman Smith, to conduct an independent, but secret (closed) investigation. Their acual brief however, was to review the investigations already undertaken, along with all government files and documents which might have bearing. The reality, as they found out on arrival in mid-June, 1948, was that the main task would be to act as advisors to the chief investigator; a Gaitán loyalist, Dr Jordon Jimenez. The findings of the detectives regarding identifying the guilty party or parties are summarised below with all comments in brackets mine:

* There was no reliable evidence that any political party was involved in the assassination.

* The same could be said for speculation concerning police involvement.

* There was a lead in a government file indicating the possible involvement of two Cubans with Sierra. The two were named as [Fidel] Castro and [Rafael] Del Pino. After having the allegations in the document thoroughly investigated, it was considered that they were based on evidence entirely lacking in substance.

* Juan Roa Sierra acted alone when he shot and killed Gaitán.

The evidence and findings on Sierra are now summarised:

* His mother reported that he had started acting strangely and quit his job about eight months prior to the assassination, . This was around the time he took an interest in Rosicrucianism and the Occult through his dealings with a German Palmist he'd been visiting. His mother, distraught at his behaviour and unemployment, visited the Palmist who would only tell her that her son "ought to be a mechanic." She further advised that her son suffered from heart problems, fainting fits and severe headaches [unfortunately the time when these conditions first manifested was not obtained, nor was any information regarding what - if any - medical treatment he was receiving for them].

* Sierra had consulted the Palmist ten times over an eighteen month period - the last consultation being two days prior to the assassination. According to the Palmist, Sierra had told him on that last visit of a dream he'd had about treasure or an Indian tomb which could be found in one of two towns not far from Bogota, and that Providence had chosen him for a higher destiny. The Palmist made a point of emphasising that Sierra had insisted this destiny was a lone one. He further advised that he saw in Sierra a "psychic sensibility", and did not detect any mental disorder, though he was sensitive and sometimes withdrawn.

* Correspondence between Sierra and the Rosicrucian Order in San José, California was located.

* One unnamed witness said of Sierra, "I noticed in him something a little strange because he spoke of magicians." Another advised "he did not like to work. He said his life must be different. He felt himself half-prepared to fill a superior position by virtue of the special knowledge he was acquiring and the special instruction he was giving himself."

* Sierra had told people in the recent past that he was a supporter of Gaitán, but more recently still, was heard to have made a sarcastic remark about him.

* Gaitán's secretary advised that Sierra had come several times to her office adjoining that of her employer, in the hope of seeing the politician. He was unsuccessful on each occasion. On two such visits he was accompanied by a man she described as "thin, tolerably well-dressed, but of a rather wild appearance, with bulging eyes and an aggressive manner." Sierra's last visit had been at 9:30 am on the day of the assassination. He had been alone on that occasion, and had not indicated the reason for the visit. This particular visit was different in one aspect; it was the first time the secretary actually booked an appointment for Sierra to see Gaitán.

* Some eyewitnesses to the assassination described Sierra as "blazing with passion" during the murder. However, there was total agreement as to what happened immediately after - that being Sierra "surrendering himself almost willingly".

* The crowd which attacked the alleged assassin, battered his face beyond all recognistion and stripped of all clothing bar a tie. Despite this [and an unsatifactory autopsy], his identity as that of Sierra was accepted.

* Sierra had purchased the revolver on April 7, and the ammunition the following day.

* Sierra told no less than four people he was purchasing the revolver as part of equipping himself to act as a servant for some foreigners intending to visit wild country. He further told them that, upon his return, he expected to be far better off. No corroboration was found regarding this purported trip.

* Whilst recognising the limitations of trying to determine a man's mental state under the circumstances, the tentative conclusion was reached that Siena was an unsuitable tool" for use in any plot, that he suffered abnormailities with regard to his obsession with mysticism, with tendancies toward megalomania. Whilst these were considered harmless foibles by family and acqaintenances, he was most likely pushed over the gulf into "murderous intention" by the refusal of Gaitán to offer him a hearing, let alone a job in keeping with his notion of his grand destiny [the Scotland Yard report makes absolutely no mention of the potential motive for the assassination spelled out by Hillenkoetter on April 15. Given that this should have been a readily ascertained piece of public information, it's absence here causes consideration of it being a total or partial CIA fabrication - perhaps in the belief that merely being refused an interview was hardly going to float in Washington as a tenable explanation for assassination. It should be noted however, that the CIA has stuck to that story to this day].

JOHN MEPPLES SPIRITTO [note: middle name sometimes spelt as "Maples". AKA JOHN MECKPLESS ESPIRITTO AKA GEORGIO RICCO]

Give me back my broken night

my mirrored room, my secret life

it's lonely here,

there's no one left to torture.

It needs to be noted at the outset that information on Spiritto is scant, and in some cases, disputed as to accuracy.

Papers across the US reported in early Jan, 1959 that two American Soldiers of Fortune had been given military posts in Las Villas province under the provisional government. The reports identified the two as "rebel Maj. William Morgan, of Ohio and John Spiritto of Los Angeles". The reports described the two as "veterans of the rebel fighting in central Cuba."

Spiritto was arrested on or about March 26, 1959.

One version has it that this arrest was purely on suspicion of involvement in the murder of another member of the revolutionary forces - to wit, the death of a rival paramour. Visited by US Embassy offcials, he refused to coorperate in being registered as a US citizen. He did at that time however, state he was born in San Pedro, California on June 24, 1924. He also produced a New York driver's license dated April 2,1956. Found guilty, his sentence (one year) was suspended on the proviso that he remain in Havana Province.

Another version of his arrest has it that he had been identified as a CIA agent and leader of the counter-revolutionary organisation, Clandestine Second Front of Escambray. In this version, he was held for "several years" and returned to the United States upon release. In this version, his CIA contacts were Frank Sturgis and Embassy Attaché, Robert Mayor Van Horn.

Escalante however, revealed in The Secret War that it was another Embassy official, Arthur Avignon, who was his case officer.

According to H.P. Albarelli Jr. (William Morgan: Patriot or Traitor? April 21, 2002), Spiritto was sent to Cuba by the CIA to keep an eye on Morgan (also working for CIA) who was proving to be somewhat ill-disciplined. He goes on to describe Spiritto as a "former special employee of the Federal Narcotics Bureau" who had, in the early 1950s, "been employed in Manhattan as part of the CIA's top-secret Artichoke Project."

What's not disputed is that Spiritto was interrogated by the counter-intelligence service of the Ministry of the Interior. According to Carlos Cajaraville, a former official involved in the interrogations, Spiritto gave the following additional biographical data. He was of Sicilian heritage, had fought in WWII, then had resided in Mexico where he learnt to speak fluent Spanish courtesy of his new employer, the CIA.

THE CONFESSION

By the rivers dark,

In a wounded dawn,

I live my life

In Babylon.

The most significant information to emerge from Spiritto during his interrogations was his confession to involvement in the assassination of Gaitán. The key features of his confession follow:

* He was dispatched from Mexico to Columbia to neutralize a candidate who could become a destabilizing political factor in the region.

* This was done under Operation Pantomime.

* His initial efforts were in the form of offering Gaitán inducements to renounce his candidacy. These all involved leaving Columbia for Europe.

* The inducements were rejected.

* He then coordinated, but had no direct role in the assassination.

* He would not confirm nor deny that Sienna was in fact the person killed by the mob, or that any of his associates had urged the mob into a killing frenzy.

* In all aspects of these operations, he was supported by fellow CIA agent, Thomas [also spelt Tomás] Elliot and pro-Nazi activists.

A NEW TWIST TO THE TALE

Through gardens of pastel

I walked in charcoal and in lime

footprints left to tell

of this awful crime*

The Columbian government initially blamed the radicals who they said were intent on disrupting the Inter-American Conference and wanting to fuel a communist coup. But this was a game of chess where thinking many moves ahead was required, and the "lone nut" scenario was soon adopted - with the help of an official investigation so finding, and for added certainty, that finding being reviewed by the putative best police force in the world - Scotland Yard.

An old axiom in politics is never to hold an inquiry unless you already know what the outcome will be. In this case, the government had at least partial control of the investigation by cherry-picking what files it would hand over to it. Sir Norman Smith, in his report, outlines some of the difficulties he and his fellow detectives faced in the review, adding that their brief did not allow any independant investigative work. It is true that they prized two files out of the government which had not been made available to Dr Jordan Jimenez, but this was within their brief as the files were in relation to rumours mentioned by Jimenez. In any event, these files did not arrive until well into the review, and moreover, Smith felt strongly that more damning files were being withhled. Neverless, the government could not control everything that came out, and steps would need be taken to cut damaging leads generated by the investigation off at the head. We will come to how and why this was done soon enough.

If the above sounds at all familiar to anyone even slightly aware of the JFK assassination, the subsequent FBI investigation, and the Warren Commission Report, remarkable similarities can also be found in the background of Juan Roa Sierra, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby and Sirhan Sirhan as demonstrated here:

From large families: Sierra, Ruby, Sirhan

Raised by single mothers for large parts of their childhood: Sierra, Oswald, Ruby, Sirhan.

Impoverished upbringing: Sierra, Oswald, Ruby, Sirhan

Juvenile delinquency: Ruby, Oswald

Interest in occult: Sierra, Sirhan

Members of Rosicrucians: Sierra, Sirhan

Poor work history: Sierra, Oswald, Ruby, Sirhan

Shot victim from close range in full view of multiple witnesses: Sierra, Ruby, Sirhan

Reportedly calm/relieved after event: Sierra, Ruby, Oswald, Sirhan

Claimed no memory of event: Ruby, Sirhan (excluded here is Sierra since he was immediately murdered - or disappeared)

Unknown person/s of interest seen leaving scene: Sierra, Oswald, Sirhan

Had indicated to others shortly before the event that they expected to find themselves in better circumstances soon: Sierra, Ruby

Motive was a sore point in the investigation: Sierra, Ruby, Oswald

Looking at the career of John Spiritto, his confession, and the facts as far as they can be determined, I now posit that Sierra was the first CIA "brainwashed" assassin..

Spirrito joined the CIA in Mexico shortly after it came into being in 1947. His next known appearance was in New York working for the Federal Narcotics Bureau before moving on to Artichoke. He therefore had time in between to be in Columbia for what he called "Operation Pantomime." Project Artichoke started out as Project Bluebird and ran from August 20, 1951 to April 19, 1953, having been signed into existence by Roscoe Hillenkoetter on Apr 20, 1950. It's next incarnation would be MKULTRA. It is a mistake however, to believe that Bluebird was the beginning. Artichoke techniques had been developed and refined by Germany, Russia and Great Britain from around 1920. The United States, through the OSS, had begun co opting behavioural scientists during WWII in its own search for human control methods. Such research certainly did not cease beween then and August 20, 1951. Bluebird, it would appear, only made it possible to conduct such research on US soil. Between the end of the war, and the beginning of Bluebird, Mexico would have been an ideal location, giving access to German researchers who had fled Europe for South America prior to Paperclip. Moreover, potent drugs were easy to obtain and nn impverished and often superstitious populous would offer up many subjects on which tests could be carried out.

One potentially damaging loose end in the Jimenez/Scotland Yard reports was the identity of the person who accompanied Sierra twice on his visits to try and obtain an audience with Gaitán. The latter report was dated July 30, 1948. On August 24, this loose end was "tidied up" with the arrest Cesar Bernal Ordoñez by military police. Ordoñez was subsequently identified by both Gaitan's secretary and the elevator operator as Sierra's companion. He was described as possibly mentally deranged, with "wild eyes", and having something of a persecution complex who complained about "big interests" persercuting him over an invention "greater than radar". Case closed. Sierra was a lone nut colliding - not colluding - with another lone nut twice in Gaitàn's office. The US Embassy was so "relieved" over this arrest, the Embassador through Second Secretary, William Wieland, immediately notified Marshall.

Looking at this more closely, it can be seen in Smith's report that Gaitàn's secretary was unable to furnish much information to Jimenez during his investigation. It was not a matter of lack of cooperation, but lack of recall on detail. Perhaps understandably, her recall improved sharply when confronted by the military police. Not only could she identify the mystery man, she could now recall what he said, and that, though he may have been "with" Sierra, he was actually there on separate business.

Given the above-mentioned concern regarding her identification of Sierra's friend as Ordoñez, and the Embassy 's"relief" over the second arrest, it does not seem outrageous to suggest that the "tolerably well-dressed" friend was actually Spiritto, possibly trying to ensure that the mild-mannered Sierra would be remembered by Gaitàn's staff, and that, whoever this person was, he was likely the same "well-dressed" individual seen by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

I would nominate the German Palmist as possibly one of Spiritto's "pro-Nazi" collaborators, given that Nazism and the occult often went hand-in-hand. I would also nominate Rafael Del Pino (recall he was in Bogota with Castro at the time) as possibly being involved by helping ignite the riots rendering them attributable to communist influence. Del Pino was a naturalised US citizen, a memeber of the CIO affiliated Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, and had served in the US army. On Dec 8, 1959, he was sentenced in Cuba to 30 years for counter-revolutionary activities - one of a number of Americans so accused - including Morgan and Spiritto...

All lyrics by Leonard Cohen except * by Joe Darcy

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John and Chris,

If there is a book dealing solely with this assassination, I'm not aware of it. I do apologise for lack of citations. Fully intended to go back and insert them, but the research and writing took far, far longer than anticipated, and to be frank, I just ran out of steam.

There are two opposing camps with regard to Spiritto's confession. Those who believe it include Gaitán's daughter, Gloria (who recalls her father coming home one day and telling her mother about the inducements to move to Europe) and Escalante. Chief among those who dismiss it is Gaitán specialist, Paul Wolf.

What's new in my take on it is fitting the assassination into a Spiritto time-line, suggesting that he was the mystery man with Sierra in Gaitán's offices, and in suggesting the involvement of the German Palmist, and the rabble-rousing Del Pino.

The main sources used were:

Paul Wolf's website

Reviews of Marquez's autobiography

Castro Hid Testimony About the Assassination of Gaitan an article by Gerardo Reyes and Pablo Alfonso

Wikipedia

William Morgan: Patriot or Traitor? an article by H.P. Albarelli Jr.

terrorfileonline

These, and other sources used can all be found on the web.

Chris, can you can add anything on spiritto?

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John M Spiritto was known to us in Cuba as "Johnny Espiritus" which is a bit of ecclesiastical play on his name. He brought his Cuban wife pregnant at that time, to the house. He was always at the house with John Hudson Wilson.

Recall Wilson Hudson contacted Hoover from London re: Ruby at jail. From my docs it appears Hudson was considered a spy, whose spy is anyone's guess as he moved the world freely on multiple passports. I believe the pairing of these men is a clue to the nature of their business at our house.

Castro put us under house arrest summer 1959 for a planned invasion of Nicaragua from Havana. We children stayed in the house whilst the men were first taken to Jefetura, police hdqtrs. in Havana. We were allowed to take the men fruit and briefly visit. The cells were open, crowded and prisoners were on a diet of water, rice and beans but not mistreated as far as we could tell.

It seems Spiritto was incarcerated again later, interrogated and made the film Gloria saw. I’m not too versed on Gaitan topic but as I understand it, Castro provided some backing to Gloria’s cause and screened Spiritto’s apparent confession, for her. IMHO if Spiritto had a family in Cuba and money and/or freedom and duress or even stateside prosecution was in the mix, wouldn't you concur there's some leverage over historical fact and convenient fiction? Any good researcher will consider the source as much as the info, right?

I've made some attempt to learn the whereabouts of Spiritto in San Pedro (an up and coming seaport town with much history) and Miami and elsewhere but come up empty-handed. I’ve never seen any evidence that Spiritto was involved with Operation Artichoke MKUltra or was in Colombia during the Gaitan assassination and resulting Bogotazo though, respectfully, it makes a fantastic story. If there is evidence to support the Hank A. research, Cuba’s or another's claims, I missed it and would really like to see it.

BTW, thank you for your interest

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Within a few weeks, "the gringo from Ohio" was leading rebel bands in ferocious attacks against Batista's troops and was quickly promoted to the rank of major in the National Second Front of the Escambray. Fidel Castro praised Morgan at the time and said that he was "the kind of American that Cuba needs." ... Gen. Fabian Escalante, former head of Cuban State Security and today an adviser to Castro, claims that he has a thick intelligence dossier on Morgan that firmly establishes he was a CIA agent under the control of the agency's former Western Hemisphere Division chief, Col. Joseph Caldwell King. However, Escalante says, Morgan's cover legend of being a chronic disciplinary problem for the Army and perennial outsider was too close to reality, and Col. King and CIA personnel operating out of the embassy in Havana were unable to control him. Writes Escalante "Morgan was undisciplined and reported little, greatly displeasing the CIA station, which complained about him constantly." The CIA's displeasure soon prompted the agency to dispatch another agent to Cuba who could watch over the unpredictable American. That agent, operating under the alias John Maples Spiritto, was a former "special employee" of the Federal Narcotics Bureau. In the early 1950s, Spiritto also had been employed in Manhattan as part of the CIA's top-secret Artichoke Project. William Morgan: Patriot or traitor? by H.P. Albarelli Jr., April 21, 2002

Also...

http://www.terrorfileonline.org/en/index.p...Maples_Spiritto

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Nice job Greg.

That is a good precident and case study.

Wasn't Nixon in Bogota too?

BK

Thanks Bill.

A bit surprising to me that no profile comparison seems to have ever been done on Sierra, Oswald Ruby and Sirhan before this.

Don't know about Nixon. If no one else can jump in and confirm or refute, I'll try and find out.

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John M Spiritto was known to us in Cuba as "Johnny Espiritus" which is a bit of ecclesiastical play on his name. He brought his Cuban wife pregnant at that time, to the house. He was always at the house with John Hudson Wilson.

Kind of fits with Sturgis who had a thing for wearing priestly vestments in Cuba.

Recall Wilson Hudson contacted Hoover from London re: Ruby at jail. From my docs it appears Hudson was considered a spy, whose spy is anyone's guess as he moved the world freely on multiple passports. I believe the pairing of these men is a clue to the nature of their business at our house.

I think these two passages from Perfect Cover by GM Evica might have some relevance:

The perfect False Sponsorship of the CIA/Mafia plots against Castro accounts for the willingness of the power elite and its intelligence facilitators to allow the venting of so much published material on JMWAVE, Santo Trafficante, and Rolando Cubela, for example, and the carefully-circulated stories of 1. double agents reportedly working for both Castro and the CIA who subverted the anti-Castro plots and 2. Mafia facilitators (including Johnny Roselli) reportedly conning their CIA handlers by taking their covert black op funds and deliberately failing their assignments—or never carrying them out.

What Oswald did not know was that he had been framed and scheduled for elimination with the complicity of members of CIA counterintelligence so that a CIA secret (not directly related to the assassination plot) would not be revealed. CIA eagerness to help cover-up the crime accounted for the quick entry of James Jesus Angleton and his Counterintelligence staff into the investigation of the Warren Commission. This Central Intelligence Agency secret was a treasonous collaboration between KGB and CIA agents in Mexico City, one of several such spy games being played out between U.S. and Soviet intelligence and counter-intelligence officers, their assets and their double agents in the spy capitals of the world. JFK assassination facilitators introduced two Oswald impersonators into that treasonous Mexican collaboration, compromising both the CIA and the KGB in Mexico City by association with Lee Harvey Oswald.

Castro put us under house arrest summer 1959 for a planned invasion of Nicaragua from Havana. We children stayed in the house whilst the men were first taken to Jefetura, police hdqtrs. in Havana. We were allowed to take the men fruit and briefly visit. The cells were open, crowded and prisoners were on a diet of water, rice and beans but not mistreated as far as we could tell.

It seems Spiritto was incarcerated again later, interrogated and made the film Gloria saw. I’m not too versed on Gaitan topic but as I understand it, Castro provided some backing to Gloria’s cause and screened Spiritto’s apparent confession, for her. IMHO if Spiritto had a family in Cuba and money and/or freedom and duress or even stateside prosecution was in the mix, wouldn't you concur there's some leverage over historical fact and convenient fiction? Any good researcher will consider the source as much as the info, right?

It would be reckless of me to claim I'd proven anything. As for what you say above... this part of the story is a hodge-podge of conflicts. "Spiritto married a Cuban girl and is still in Cuba..." "he was released early and whereabouts currently unknown..." "he served many years and then was sent back to US..." "Gloria only heard the audio of the confession..." "Castro refused to release the documentary because it was not favourable to him..." Although those aren't direct quotes, I've used quatations to show the jist of the varying statements.

What I will say is this: Gloria was reported to have broken down when she heard the part of the confession concerning inducements because she remembered her father coming home and telling her mother about them. Was Gloria lying? If not - how did Spiritto know about it? At least two of his interrogators have also stated that Spiritto used the language of intelligence and knew things about what happened in Bogota that could have only been known by someone there, or who had "inside" information.

I've made some attempt to learn the whereabouts of Spiritto in San Pedro (an up and coming seaport town with much history) and Miami and elsewhere but come up empty-handed. I’ve never seen any evidence that Spiritto was involved with Operation Artichoke MKUltra or was in Colombia during the Gaitan assassination and resulting Bogotazo though, respectfully, it makes a fantastic story. If there is evidence to support the Hank A. research, Cuba’s or another's claims, I missed it and would really like to see it.

The fact that you've never seen the evidence he was involved with Artichoke doesn't mean he wasn't - though I do wish Albarelli Jr had provided a cite for the claim.

In any event, Sierra looks to me like he was under some sort of "control" in the style outlined here from Wiki:

The project studied hypnosis, forced opiate addiction (and subsequent forced withdrawal), and the use of other chemicals, among other methods, to produce amnesia and other vulnerable states in subjects. Magician John Mullholland was consulted for the project.

Artichoke was an offensive program of mind control that gathered together the intelligence divisions of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and FBI.

BTW, thank you for your interest

And thank you for the input. Hope you do locate JMS. Have you tried New York?

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Nice job Greg.

That is a good precident and case study.

Wasn't Nixon in Bogota too?

BK

Thanks Bill.

A bit surprising to me that no profile comparison seems to have ever been done on Sierra, Oswald Ruby and Sirhan before this.

Don't know about Nixon. If no one else can jump in and confirm or refute, I'll try and find out.

Greg,

I found two references to Bogota 1948 in Nixon transcripts of the Fourth Debate with JFK.

The Bogota riot incident I was thinking about took place in 1958 when Nixon was VP and I believe he mentions it in Six Crisis.

Castro also involved.

BK

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  • 2 weeks later...
It seems Spiritto was incarcerated again later, interrogated and made the film Gloria saw. I’m not too versed on Gaitan topic but as I understand it, Castro provided some backing to Gloria’s cause and screened Spiritto’s apparent confession, for her. IMHO if Spiritto had a family in Cuba and money and/or freedom and duress or even stateside prosecution was in the mix, wouldn't you concur there's some leverage over historical fact and convenient fiction? Any good researcher will consider the source as much as the info, right? - Chris Cox

Chris,

I've found a little in the way of possible circumstantial evidence which goes to Spiritto's involvement with Artichoke.

From Weberman's Nodule 10:

The Technical Services Division supplied CHRIST with false Identification that consisted of a New York Driver's License, Pennsylvania Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, a United States Air Force Reserve Officers Association Membership Card, an American Association of Engineers Membership Card, and a International Vaccination Certificate.

As noted in the original post, newspaper accounts stated Spiritto came from Los Angeles to join the revolution. When arrested however, he was in possession of a NY driver's license.

If Spiritto's lisense was a fake issued by TSS staff, it connects him directly with those responsible for MKULTRA and all of its subprojects, as well as its precursor projects.

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  • 2 years later...
It seems Spiritto was incarcerated again later, interrogated and made the film Gloria saw. I’m not too versed on Gaitan topic but as I understand it, Castro provided some backing to Gloria’s cause and screened Spiritto’s apparent confession, for her. IMHO if Spiritto had a family in Cuba and money and/or freedom and duress or even stateside prosecution was in the mix, wouldn't you concur there's some leverage over historical fact and convenient fiction? Any good researcher will consider the source as much as the info, right? - Chris Cox

Chris,

I've found a little in the way of possible circumstantial evidence which goes to Spiritto's involvement with Artichoke.

From Weberman's Nodule 10:

The Technical Services Division supplied CHRIST with false Identification that consisted of a New York Driver's License, Pennsylvania Birth Certificate, Social Security Card, a United States Air Force Reserve Officers Association Membership Card, an American Association of Engineers Membership Card, and a International Vaccination Certificate.

As noted in the original post, newspaper accounts stated Spiritto came from Los Angeles to join the revolution. When arrested however, he was in possession of a NY driver's license.

If Spiritto's lisense was a fake issued by TSS staff, it connects him directly with those responsible for MKULTRA and all of its subprojects, as well as its precursor projects.

So this comedian say's, "Have you heard the one about R.P. Stoval?"

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