PART ONE: HAVE YOU EVER ASKED “WHY WAS PRESIDENT KENNEDY WAS MURDERED?”
PART TWO: TIMELINE OF HISTORICAL CAUSATION
PART THREE: THE BLOG
PART FOUR: PEOPLE AND EVENTS
PART FIVE: RESEARCH RESOURCES
PART SIX: THE AUTHOR
WHAT SCORPIO RISING IS ABOUT
My assumption about you if you are visiting this blog is that you have an interest in the John F. Kennedy assassination and that you probably have a fair knowledge of the details of the event and the key figures involved in it. The question that has been asked and tentatively answered by researchers for many years is “Who killed John F. Kennedy?” Initially for most people, I believe that the motivation was one of attaining justice. No question exists that the killing was unjust and someone should pay a price for it. For those few who posit that Lee Harvey Oswald was the shooter (Stephen King, Gerald Posner, for example), justice was done by Jack Ruby. Other than those few, the rest believe others were involved and ultimately responsible. Their doubts about the Warren Commission’s official conclusion have never been satisfied. I think that the question of “who” has been answered about as well as it ever will be with the possible exception of light that will be shed in the future by records which will be released in the future under the authority of the 1992 law passed for that purpose. Some of those records – those which haven’t been intentionally destroyed or locked away somewhere with no public knowledge or access – may be released as far into the future as 2029.
Because with each passing year the possibility of the names of the shooters/plotters being identified becomes more miniscule, the matter of which individual(s) actually shot JFK, the focus of thousands of books and articles, becomes less and less historically important as decades pass – given the premise that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone if he even was the/a shooter (which most knowledgeable experts agree is highly improbable given the physical evidence). To me, the importance would be that if we knew who the shooter was/shooters were and what his/their organizational affiliations were, that might add to our understanding of the historical context, the “why” of the assassination.
WHY WAS JFK KILLED?
Scorpio Rising is my historical novel which digs into the answer to the question I pose above. Does the answer matter? Why JFK was killed is an important historical matter because it impacts the way that we are now and will continue to be governed as a nation and world. You know the old adage: those who don’t learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. After conducting decades of research and analysis, I add my historical perspective to try to provide historical context to where we have been in the United States for the past fifty-plus years. On this website and blog, I will post cuttings from chapters, albeit not in final form because I’ll be rewriting and reshaping until the entire story is ready to publish.
As you read and think of critiques, remember that it is a novel not a history book. It isn’t factual per se, though I try to be as true to history as I possibly can, true to the real events and people who appear in it so that you may find yourself in agreement that the internal premises you will encounter are valid. Exceptions to the factual are a few fictional characters, composites of real people involved in imagined situations that may or may not be close to the details of what occurred in real life, but which reflect the reality of their context. The conversations are as I imagine they would have happened, involving real subjects, and occurring during events that real people were actually involved with. Some conversations are based upon real conversations that I have read, seen or heard over the years, but are not verbatim so that attribution isn’t an issue. I repeat: this is a work of fiction in an authentic historical context, meant to improve understanding of what happened in recent history prior to the assassination.
I will use this blog for more than posting chapters. While great forums and research sites dedicated to the assassination already exist, for example,
I believe that at least one blog should be focused on the overriding question of why President Kennedy was murdered; that is what this blog is all about. If you would like to participate, please feel free to start a new thread or to add to an existing conversation. During the first four years of this blog’s existence, almost no one has commented. Perhaps that means my blog is more for me than for anyone else. If so, so be it.
It is my thesis that in order to understand why President Kennedy was killed, we first have to identify who all of his enemies were. Generally, his enemies were people and organizations that he had opposed as a Senator during his time in the United States Senate or that he grew to oppose as President…and vice versa. He asked for particular legislation, issued Presidential directives, and moved in particular directions which attempted to change the directional flow of history, of organizations, and of initiatives that had been in place for a very long time. In order to grasp the power of those moves, how they would have reversed the direction of the flow of history, why his assassination became a political necessity, and why he was assassinated in Texas, we need to understand the flow of history beginning during the 1800’s. The United States was still a newly forming nation during the 1800’s and the early 1900’s. Some of the families whose members dominated America politically during the first half the Twentieth Century were born in the late 1800’s and were key figures in establishing the flow of history which John Kennedy was attempting to reverse, including the development of the branches of the government of the United States as its grew, the policies and other developments as the result. This relevant movement of history began with the formation of independent states within the federation known as the United States, how they understood themselves, and the evolving federal constitutional relationships with corporations both within and outside the United States in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteen centuries, what would become massively powerful banking, financial, and other types of institutions. These families and institutions partnered with the political system to initiate programs that built behemoths in the banking sector, programs like “Lend Lease” for the rebuilding of Europe after WWI. Their conservative religion powered Prohibition which eventually died an ignominious death because it was unsustainable. Yet, these conservative religious/political elements helped guide the institution and direction of regulatory agencies and recovery programs after the onset of the Great Depression. The financial and political power of these men, families and institutions would not easily be headed and would become instrumental in the devastating conflict that enshrouded the brief interruption by the Kennedy Presidency of their control of U.S. political institutions.
When I read about these powerful men – for example, men like JFK’s father, Joe Kennedy, a former bootlegger who was appointed by FDR to head the new Securities and Exchange Commission after the Great Depression, I learned names like that of Tommy Corcoran. Who was he? If you read about him, you will learn that he was probably the most important key to FDR’s appointment of Joseph Kennedy and was the key to many other significant decisions that FDR made. And then we learn that he was deeply involved with German Fascists and played a key role in their importation into the Americas after WWII, resulting from decisions made beginning in 1943. Why does that matter? Because Tommy Corcoran – and many more historical events and key people – play a role in the answer to the key question: why was JFK killed? You say you don’t know the whole story? Hopefully, Scorpio Rising will shed light on the answer(s) in ways that will intrigue you as you read it.
See you next time with a cutting!!!
Loud, rolling thunder shook the cocktail glasses that lined the shelves on the wall. Hot, sultry air insipidly greeted the approaching storm. As the tall, thin figure crossed the room, the brilliant flash of lightning cast his shadow on the floor, bending it crazily as it raced up the brick fireplace. French cut panes in the stately bay window on the opposite side of the Great Room rattled in symphony with the deafening clap as the reverberating tympani gently rocked the stately lace curtains like cymbals reverberating in syncopation, fading measure by measure into the far distance before the next clap arrived.
Alone in his refuge, his forest green recliner, Andrew sank into the plush cushions pillowing around his back, resting the package on his lap, momentarily closing his eyes. Before opening them to look again, he considered the UPS package that had been leaning against his screen door. The very moment he picked it up and observed the return address, he knew that this was a very special delivery. The return address was his Uncle Bud’s, his mother’s brother. Andrew had lived his entire life hoping that Bud would fill in the blanks after his father died when he was barely old enough to know what “dead” meant. Maybe Bud could tell him why his Dad had died. No one else ever could. Bud and Dad had been war buddies. They served in the Far East together. And that’s about all Andrew knew.
Bud had always led a very private life, secluded…at least, secluded from family. Andrew had never been privileged to know the reason why Bud only came around maybe once in every decade or more. But, Bud had always seemed pretty mysterious. Mom said that, after the War, Bud had spent all those years traveling the world and gambling. Eventually, after about twenty years as a roaming gambler, he had supposedly earned his CPA designation and settled down to work in Las Vegas. That never quite made any sense to Andrew. Yet, Andrew had to admit to himself that, from a distance, casinos seemed like a pretty exciting environment to work in. Andrew had no memory of Bud ever talking about what he did to earn a living…not what he had done before he went to Vegas…and not about what it had been like since. Mom hadn’t been any help. She was just as much in the dark as he was. And, of course, Dad couldn’t help. He was gone.
In the sworl of memories, Andrew’s mind returned to the last time he saw Bud, sometime after his accident. Andrew had been badly injured in a car accident that almost killed him three months after he graduated from high school. In a coma for a twenty-four hours, he had awakened with no recollection of the accident and very little of the rest of his life prior to September 24th. Desperation building inside her for three weeks, Mom invited her brother to town, hopeful that his presence would jog her boy’s memory and lift him out of the amnesia that gripped his mind. The doctors told her that his amnesia was emotionally related, induced by the trauma of the brain concussion, not the result of any physical brain damage. While most of his friends went off to college, he stayed home to recuperate, unable to return to his job at the bank – totally detached from the world around him. Bud’s visit had worked. Andrew’s first moments of conscious self-awareness came while sitting at the kitchen table late one night while Bud and Mom talked. In the thirty years that had passed since the accident, Andrew had seen Bud but once, and that only for an hour at a family gathering. Suddenly…here was a parcel from him…out of the blue. Opening his strikingly blue eyes, Andrew tore the butcher block wrap from the box, peeled back the tape, and lifted the lid to reveal a well-worn microcassette recorder and many tapes to accompany. Puzzled, he pursed his lips, and began nervously drumming his fingers on the intricately carved mahogany end table next to him. Excitement began to well up from deep within. Uncle Bud had never had a solo conversation with him, let alone written him a letter. Here was Bud’s first communication directly and purposefully meant for only him. Andrew chuckled as he thought about the medium Bud had chosen…it was almost anachronistic. A microcassette recorder? How many hours had Bud spent putting his thoughts on tape? If each microcassette contained two hour’s worth of recorded material, listening to all of it was going to take many, many hours. Andrew scooped up a handful of microcassettes and with the other hand reached inside the tasseled lampshade, pulled the chain and flooded his lap with adequate light. He squinted to read the tiny scrawl penciled on each label. No titles. Just numbers. No clues. Just suspense. Listening was how it would be broken. No problem. It was, after all, early Sunday evening, one that he had planned to spend with a book in any case. Snapping #1 firmly into place, Andrew pushed the tiny “start” button and began listening to his Uncle’s voice.
“Hello, Andrew. When you were only knee high to a grasshopper, you pummeled me with questions. Questions about what I did every day. Questions about birds and dogs and cats. Questions about your father. Hmph. For the short time I was with you, you never stopped asking me questions. I’ve decided to finally answer your questions. I’m going to tell you about your father. He was no ordinary man, Andrew, and you deserve to know what happened.”
Andrew’s stomach tightened.
“You’re saying to yourself right now: ‘It’s about time!’ I know, I know…it is time you know. But, please, Andrew…know that deciding to tell you was no small decision. What I’m going to tell you isn’t only about your Dad. It’s about a lot of people. I really never thought this day would come. I waited a long time, hoping that this wouldn’t be necessary. We were men of honor, patriotic men. There were rules which governed how we acted and what we did. If the rules of the game hadn’t been broken, I wouldn’t be sitting here with my very old tape recorder…retelling history as it should have been told many years ago. But, the rules were broken and now I am going to try to get it all down. Once you’ve listened to all of it, you’ll have to decide what you want to do with what you learn. Or maybe I’ve measured you incorrectly and you’ll choose not to listen.”
Andrew paused the tape for a moment and looked out the window at the trees whipping violently in the torrential rain. “Like I wouldn’t want to hear this.” He ruminated aloud as though Bud was sitting directly across the room from him. “I’ve waited all my life for this moment.” He started it once again
“If things had gone the way I once supposed they should, Andrew, no one would ever hear the details of your father’s story…no, not even you. You heard your Mom and I talk about your Dad on rare occasions. You were still pretty small when we did that. After that, your Mom really didn’t want to talk about him in front of you. She thought it would just add more confusion to your world. You never knew much about him. And I know how hard that has been on you. Now you are going to understand why you were kept in the dark.”
Andrew could hear the sounds of Bud clearing his throat and apparently adjusting his seat. At least, that’s what it sounded like. Maybe he needed a moment to collect his thoughts. The pause only lasted a few seconds.
“We were young men during World War II, Kevin and I. Actually, we were part of the same unit in Asia even before Pearl Harbor. I’ll bet you never knew we had people over there before Japan attacked, did you? Andrew, we participated in things you never studied in school. They never put this stuff in textbooks. We participated in important things, secret things. It didn’t end after World War II. The secrets continued. Hell, even the Presidents didn’t know most of it until they were told…if they were told at all…and a lot of it never made it to the desk in the Oval Office. Most of the men in that office asked that they not be told anything unless they really needed to know. As long as their policies weren’t countermanded by the covert ops that unfolded, they were perfectly content to remain in the dark. But that took us down some pretty dark paths in the name of patriotism.”
“The Presidents may not have wanted to know. But, other people did and still do. Some records were slowly being released before 1992…like after the report of the House Committee investigation into assassinations in the late Seventies. That report and the records it unveiled were intended to satisfy all but the deepest researchers. They just wanted the questions to go away. You see…the “official” conclusion issued in 1978 was that the JFK assassination was a conspiracy…but left in place the Warren Commission’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone shooter. They figured that if they conceded that the JFK assassination was the result of a conspiracy, the researchers would be satisfied and the public would eventually force them to let it go. Heh, that didn’t hold much water. Did they really believe that the concrete evidence contrary to their report would just disappear? That the people who loved JFK and distrusted the government throughout the Nineteen Sixties and beyond would just accept their pablum? Too many people in too many high places demanded that more records be released. Nineteen-ninety-two was a turning point. Congress passed the JFK Assassination Records Review Act. I think the naive Congressmen who drafted the document truly believed that it would finally put the matter to rest. Trouble is…the act began a review process of at least twenty million pages of documents…and those are just the ones that they authorized the review of for eventual release. So far, what has been revealed casts a faint shadow on what happened. But, the government will never allow…or should I say…will never be allowed…to release all of its pertinent records…and there are millions more pages of them, those that are still extant. In any case, Andrew, the details are scattered between too many places…tucked away too deeply in our nation’s underbelly. No one will ever be able to gather it all together into a coherent aggregate.”
“Did you know that the Freedom of Information Act was passed to cure that? Orwell would have loved that bit of doublespeak. “Freedom!” Ha! Some rebellious members of the press – people who weren’t on the inside…who weren’t assets of one agency or another…wanted all the documents opened for public view. Heh…the way they figured…if only they could have gotten their hands on those documents…well, that might have opened up some of the mysteries to public view. Sure, right. Believe that if you choose to. What did the Freedom of Information Act lead to? Simple…the largest peace time destruction of official documents in history. Records that existed from the 1940’s to today. The shredding put an end to the most critically important official data. Of course, some of the keys to the puzzle were never put on paper in any case. One by one, the keys have disappeared with first one death and then another. Hundreds…thousands. There aren’t enough pieces left to connect everything… unless….unless someone like me puts it together for them. Andrew, I don’t know everything. Not all the names…or all the faces…or all the details. But…I know enough. I know why. That is what matters in the end anyway.”
The tape fell silent for a few moments as Bud seemed to be gathering his thoughts.
“Andrew, I remember what you were reading that day I arrived when you had amnesia. You were sitting on the couch in the living room reading a book about the JFK assassination. It was Mark Lane’s “Rush to Judgment.” Do you remember? After my visit…as the years passed…your Mom told me of your fascination with what happened that day in Dallas, how you read everything you could get your hands on. You probably don’t even remember that I sent you “Inquest” by Epstein. She said you read one book after another…and then another.” Bud chuckled. Andrew always loved his uncle’s chuckle. It was gentle and loving.
“Now…I’m going to tell you a story…well, actually, a whole series of stories. JFK is a part of them. I’ll talk. You’ll listen. Then you have to decide whether you believe me. Isn’t that ultimately what reality is for each of us in every case anyway? We choose what we believe. Your Dad warned me about talking. If we ever went public…to the press, he said, we’d be dead before the next day’s headlines were even written. We’d never live to see the story in the news. Your Dad didn’t need to warn me. I saw too many people die, Andrew. People who never had the slightest inclination to talk…dozens of people. Old men, young men…women. It didn’t matter who they were. Military people, civilians, reporters, bystanders…third parties…mobsters…foreigners. No one was excluded from the circle of death. Some of the people didn’t even know they knew anything important. They told someone they heard something. Or they said they saw something. It could be they asked the wrong question at the wrong time. Bang…they were dead. Of course, it didn’t usually involve a bang…unless the cause of death happened to be listed as a suicide. Suicide…right. There couldn’t be any slip ups. Nothing could ever leak out. Nobody could be allowed to get close to the truth except those involved in it. Nobody was more important than absolute silence. It began with the War. People had to be killed to ensure the victory. But, as the war wound down, the killing fields changed. It became much more than that. Battlefields disappeared after the war was won. But the world had already changed in ways that almost no one understands even now. A whole cadre of our warriors no longer wore uniforms. The hot war became the “Cold War” without missing a beat. Maybe the most powerful men understood what they had done. Maybe. But, I’m not even sure of that.”
Kevin paused the recorder again and put the coffee pot on.
“And now…well, you see…I am preparing to die, too. Not because I have decided to talk. Oh yes…talking could kill me. But…you see…I am going to die anyway. I have stage four cancer. Six months ago I was diagnosed with Carposi’s Sarcoma. Chemo didn’t work. There’s nothing left for them to do. I have nothing left to lose. That’s why I’m telling you my story…because I am going to die anyway. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you in person. By the time you receive this tape, I’ll already be gone. I’ve instructed my attorney to send it after my demise. Andrew, I can’t die knowing that the part of the truth which I know will die with me. You’re the logical one to tell my story to. You have had a lifelong abiding curiosity about what happened. You need to know just as I need to get it out of me.”
“We really didn’t know each other before the war…most of us…I mean the men I served my country with. Some of us thought we did. We thought we knew one another. But war changes people, you see. You could borrow that old literary phrase – “war makes strange bedfellows” – because it applies. We weren’t the same any more. We formed a bond that would never be broken…not for the rest of our lives. I guess you could say we loved each other, Kevin. We didn’t realize it at the time. But over the course of our lives…as some of us died…some in action…others from the usual stuff…heart attacks, cancer, you know the drill…over the course of our lives we came to realize things about ourselves that we never knew before.”
“Let’s get started.”
[the following is another chapter, not in consecutive order]
At seven forty-five on this late November morning with the rain but a memory, the clouds had cleared off to reveal a brilliant day. The warm, clean Texas air illustrated why so many Americans were continuing to move south just as they had been for a half century, fleeing wintry northern climes with their twenty below wind chills, three foot icicles and ten foot snow drifts. At midday, Texas in November looked much like Chicago in August, grass still green, flowers still blooming, old folks milling around their yards, their offspring scurrying to work. When the sunlight broke over the rooftops on this Friday morning, it brightened the yellow check of a lightweight cotton dress here, the teal blue pin-striped button down sport shirt there. No heavy winter coats, boots, mufflers or stocking caps were to be found. Most folks kept those in the closet unless they had reason to travel “uh-up noath”.
In the earliest twilight of the morn, Dallas had begun to hum like the well-oiled machine that it was. Well-oiled, all right. Dallas was erected on oil. Grandpa Johnson – whose father started the very first supply store in town said he could barely remember when an oil rig was anchored and a single well sunk right where the Stemmons Freeway begins. He would tell news people from the three networks all weekend that he was “knee high to a grasshopper” when that happened. An influx of dirty, greasy, roughcut oilmen claimed the black gold, wildcatters whose idea it was to drill on this spot. They needed supplies, transportation, a place to lay their head at night. Grandpa said it didn’t take long thereafter for the first shanty town to spring up.
That original hole had long been abandoned, run dry, the rig taken elsewhere. When it became apparent that other holes weren’t about to stop producing, first one permanent building, then another were constructed. An empire formed out of the desert waste right on this spot. Within a half century, oil had endowed a small group of men with immense wealth and power…men who called Texas home…men who attempted, in less than than the span of their own generation, to make the transition from the treacherous world of the oil fields to the long empowered society that had always been dominated by old-money, educated, northeastern liberal sophisticates. The transition would take generations, if it would be accomplished at all. As a memorial to the difficulty of that task, this day would live forever in the hearts and minds of men.
On this eventful morning, the men of Dallas arose to smell fresh coffee brewing, scanning the day’s newspaper headlines, listening to the news on the radio of the impending visit by the President of the United States. Their children were awakened, fed breakfast, and scooted off to school. Gulping down their last swallow of coffee, the breadwinners left for their offices, kissing their mates goodbye, suspecting that this, like any other morning, would be filled with the normal challenges, negotiating the flow of traffic as they trekked to their jobs, responding to and hopefully completing the previous day’s unfinished business, addressing today’s issues, and planning Monday’s schedule. Hopefully, they could enter this weekend before Thanksgiving with a clean slate so that they could get about the business of holiday planning, perhaps even getting a little ahead of the game on Christmas shopping. In their wildest imaginings, they couldn’t have anticipated that not since Pearl Harbor had such a day dawned.
Inexorable forces in the centers of power had been clashing for more than a decade, synergistically creating an inevitable pandemonium, blending into a synthesis which would not now be altered, a path which would not now be reversed. Many more than a handful of men who, if they weren’t already, would be in Dallas that afternoon had awakened this morning knowing that the landscape of history would be changed. Some knew only that the picture would be different, not knowing exactly how. A handful knew precisely how the brushstroke would sweep across the canvas. For those whose design would be masterfully painted, the crux of the matter was that they believed the course of history needed be altered before they themselves fell victim to it, the artist’s stroke entirely erasing them from the picture .
On the previous evening, the former Vice President – who had been the White House Operations Officer for Intelligence Activities during the previous administration, who sat in the Director’s chair at every National Security Council meeting for eight years while the tentacles of the various intelligence agencies were commingled with the fabric of everyday life – had arrived in town ostensibly to meet and conduct business with executives of PepsiCo International whom he represented. Because he had been a private citizen for just under three years, losing to John Kennedy the race for office which he had recently attempted, the official record would never reflect either that he had arrived in Dallas or that he would fly out by mid-morning. However, his private business agenda included being the house guest of an oil czar, one of the farthest right wing powers in the entire United States let alone in the Dallas political community. The honored guest would depart from the city on the same runway that would receive Air Force One only two hours later. His estimation and the estimation of those whom he spent the previous evening with was that he would benefit from what would be happening on this historic day.
Today, Dallas’ dual personality would be on exhibit. On the one hand, nearly all of its publically elected officials and most of the electorate who annointed them lived their politics far to the right of center. And yet because of how extraordinary the event was in Texas, many average citizens were excited about the arrival of the President and would line the streets to greet him. Local Democratic officials busied themselves, believing with all their hearts that they were the ones taking care of the details of his arrival at the Airport, looking forward both to riding in the motorcade that would wend its way through the city and to listening to the speech he had prepared that he would never have the opportunity to deliver to a thronging crowd at the Trade Center, a site that the original advance planners never intended to reserve for this occasion, but that the Vice-President made sure would be the destination.
The President had developed a mystique about him as he matured in office, building a groundswell of popular support by means of the romance which the television camera was having with him, the likes of which had never been seen in modern American politics. Electronic media still in its adolescence portrayed the President as an eloquent, dashing young figure. He was a stark contrast with the rather stale and boring retired Army General whose seat he had taken in what everyone knew had been an upset victory over the Vice President. The media had only recently dubbed the President and First Lady’s White House world “Camelot.”
The Mayor of Dallas – whose brother headed the Central Intelligence Agency station in New Orleans – did his best to prepare a Texas-size welcome for the President. Despite the selection of Texas’ favorite son as his Vice-Presidential running mate, the President was an enemy. Texans with political savvy believed that their native son on the ticket had made the difference in 1960 and believed that without their native son on the ticket, the President would have no chance to carry the nation in the 1964 Presidential election a year down the road. They paid little attention to the reality that even with their native son on the ballot in the previous election, the Mayor of Chicago had been required to rig elections in his city’s wards to carry the state of Illinois for the Democratic Party, creating out of thin air the neccessary few hundred thousand votes which in turn provided the needed electoral votes to carry the nation.
What the President’s strategists were hoping for on this trip was to begin to heal the divisive wounds that had been opened during earlier conflicts in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., to approach unity within the party, and to show the rest of the nation on tonight’s television news broadcasts that even Dallas welcomed Jack Kennedy. The rift ran deep. Morning newspapers opened to full page ads blasting the President for his policies, accusing him of selling out the country to the communists. One newspaper even called him a communist sympathizer and a traitor.
The President, who would shortly be arriving, had alienated the Texas oil barons in his first two years, introducing legislation into the Congress to remove the revered oil depletion allowance, a sophisticated system of providing the oilmen with massive profits in exchange for the risks they were willing to take, a windfall which the rest of America’s industrialists could only dream of. Through the influence which their money had provided decades earlier in the Twentieth Century, they had insulated themselves from the effects of taxes which other entrepreneurs, no less exposed to risk, were required to suffer through. If this legislation were to be reversed, the control of wealth in the United States would take a serious turn away from the Southern power brokers, both actually and symbolically. The oil men could not allow that outcome.
The inexperienced President’s legislative program created an irresolvable dilemma for his Vice President, the former strong armed Majority Leader of the Democrats in the Senate. If he supported his President’s agenda, he would lose the loyalty of the men who were responsible for his position on the ticket in the first place; if he lobbied against the President’s program, he would virtually guarantee that he would not be the Vice-Presidential candidate the next time around. In the latter case, he would also most probably guarantee that the Republicans would recapture the White House both in 1964 and for the foreseeable future. On the surface of the dilemma, the oil men also faced an uncomfortable choice. They could support the re-election of this President in less than a year or they could attempt to bolt from the incumbent at the Party convention seven months hence. Either selection would be political suicide.
Of course, their candidate of choice and they themselves already knew that the plan was for him to be dropped from the ticket. For the man who had lived his entire life waiting for the culmination of his political career, who had bent or broken every rule in the cause of his ascendance to the presidency, a dream he had first shared with friends when he was still wet behind the ears, that alternative was unacceptable. He had accepted the Vice Presidency only because it brought him within an eyelash of his goal. If the President was re-elected for another term, the Vice President would be at the far end of his life expectancy; people in his family didn’t live deep into an elderly state. He had accepted the Vice Presidency because it was the shortest path to his goal. If anything happened to the President, he would be beknighted, enthroned, taking the oath of office at the earliest possible opportunity, even before the body had grown cold or rigor mortis had set in, as they say. Rumor abounded that he had killed before to attain his intermediate objectives. Not by his own hand, of course. That’s what Mac was for, to ensure that obstacles were removed. If the rumors were true, would he assign Mac to kill again in order to achieve his ultimate destiny?
SAMPLE: JFK: SCORPIO RISING – TIMELINE OF PEOPLE AND EVENTS – 1960____________
NOTE: The sample year 1960 is one year drawn from the upcoming manuscript, JFK: Scorpio Rising – Timeline of People and Events. The entries are entered from myriad sources researched over more than twenty years. When I began and for most of the years that I made entries, I didn’t include footnotes or credit sources because I never intended to publish this work. It was created for my own resource as I wrote/write the attendant stories to follow. Hopefully, I’ve put everything in my own words, though trying to go back twenty-some years and figure out what is and what isn’t is problematic.
Should you like to pursue the purchase of this title, it will soon be published and available on Amazon.com.
– Asked by the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA) to investigate the activities of investor Billie Sol Estes, AAA investigator-employee Henry Marshall discovers that over two year’s time in violation of federal law, Estes has bought up 3200 acres of federally designated cotton allotments from 116 different farmers, allotments that Estes must have for collateral in order to borrow the money he needs to continue doing business selling his wares to cotton farmers in Texas.
– George H. W. Bush’s “employer,” CIA shell company the Zapata Corporation splits into independent companies Zapata Petroleum and Zapata Off-Shore, Headed by him, Bush moves his offices from Midland to Houston, TX.
– Harry Dean is “recruited” into intelligence work (by the CIA? FBI? Or?) with the threat of imprisonment because of his previous support for Fidel Castro’s 26th of July Movement and establishment of a Fair Play for Cuba Chapter. The message is “either-or.”
- His first assignment is infiltration of the John Birch Society’s inner structure, a task he completes very successfully, quickly moving into their inner circle.
- The John Birch Society assigns him to infiltrate both the Republican Party just as they have assigned other members to infiltrate the Democratic party.
– White Russian émigré and CIA asset George de Mohrenschildt’s only son dies of cystic fibrosis, purportedly causing a grieving George to ask his new bride, Jeanne, to give up her design business and join him on a trek through Mexico and South America.
- The impeccably successful oil businessman and agent extraordinaire, de Mohrenschildt inexplicably along with his wife expends all of their savings and returns to Dallas at some point during the next year to write about his exploits while Jeanne takes a job in the millinery department of a Dallas department store.
- At this point in time, George is a member of two CIA proprietary organizations: The Dallas Council on World Affairs and The Crusade for a Free Europe both of whose memberships include Abraham Zapruder, Clint Murchison, David Byrd, George H.W. Bush, Neil Mallon and Haroldson L. Hunt, members of the Suite 8F Group and key players in the power dynamics surrounding the JFK assassination and LBJ ascendance.
- Zapruder is thus separated from de Mohrenschildt by one degree of separation. Zapruder will be in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, filming the assassination on celluloid which will be the only film “officially” utilized by the Warren Commission in drawing their conclusion that JFK was killed by three bullets all fired from behind.
- Murchison is also separated from de Mohrenschildt by one degree of separation. He will throw a party on the evening before the assassination at which LBJ, J.Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon and signigicant others will be participants.
- George H.W. Bush is separated from de Mohrenschildt by one degree of separation. Mr. Bush, both the future CIA Director and the President of the United States, has repeatedly obfuscated when asked where he was on November 22, 1963, and has never publicly revealed the answer.
- H.L. Hunt is separated from George de Mohrenschildt by one degree of separation, and from Oswald by no more than two degrees. George de Mohrenschildt will say that he knew H.L. Hunt for “more than twenty years” and that he went to all of his parties.
– In partnership with longtime friend and fellow oil exec Edwin Pauley of Pan American Petroleum, George H.W. Bush creates a new company, Perforaciones Marinas del Golfo (aka PERMARGO ), another CIA front.
- Pauley is close to his longstanding clients, John Foster and Allen Dulles, whom he assisted as they moved Nazi assets out of Europe during WWII.
– John F. Kennedy’s Senate speech about the perceived strategic nuclear “missile gap” with the U.S.S.R. appears in his book The Strategy of Peace.
– January 13, 1960 – Allen Dulles presents his proposal for the “Cuban Project” to the National Security Council which calls for the elimination of Castro through carefully planned covert ops. This is a slight change of direction, running askew of Nixon’s original plan. The Cuban Task Force operation is overseen by Vice President Richard Nixon, White House Operations Officer for covert and intelligence activities.
– The result is the setup of Operation 40, named after the Group of 40 members of the National Security Council who are vested with the authority to formulate a plan for dealing with the Cuban question. Operation 40 plans to foment counterrevolution, a “general uprising.” Now the Nat’l Security Council has a vested commitment, a personal investment
- A CIA base is built in Miami to house and train exiles. George Bush and his friends – James Baker for one – raise tens of millions of dollars in cash to fund the project. No banks are involved and no control from inside the government is required. Now a broader base of financial support is involved. No doubt because of his connections to Nixon, a lawyer for PepsiCo, Bush also received money from PepsiCo, Nixon’s suitor in Dallas on Nov. 22, 63
- The Operators:
- Richard Bissell, CIA Deputy Director For Plans, chose
- Tracy Barnes, promoted to Asst Director of CIA by Richard Bissell, who was head of the Cuban Task Force to isolate Col. King, Director of the Western Hemisphere Dept. Here’s a rub: the virtual political castration of Col. King.
– Individuals involved are:
- Frank “General Boulding” Bender, a friend of dictator Trujillo in the Dominican Republic;
- Jack Engler, recalled as the CIA’s Operations Director in Venezuela;
- Howard “William” “Eduardo” Hunt who had helped direct Guatemalan operations and nicknamed “Uncle Sam” by Cuban refugees because of his ability to marshal resources at any time, day or night.
- David Atlee Phillips, a specialist in psychological warfare and mass media, named head of communications and propaganda for the Cuban op. Alongside Frank Sturgis who has been a CIA trainer for Fidel Castro’s troops in the Camaguey, he has been performing covert ops in Havana, recruiting agents since 1958. During the next decade, Sturgis and Hunt will reappear as Watergate burglars.
– Operation 40 is divided into stages:
1. Cadres or leaders recruited, trained as military instructors
2. Recruit training would extend to areas outside the U.S., in preparation for immediate attack on Cuba, leading resistance on the island in org and training there
3. President Ike promised to issue a National Security Directive that none of the operations would have to be regulated.
– Hunt helps form and coordinate the Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD), the Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition of exile groups providing the political base for the invasion of Cuba, “feet on the ground” operatives.
- At the top of the structure are Manuel Artime Buesa, and Manuel Antonio de Varona, and Hunt
- Varona is one of the leaders of the Authentic Party (Partido Autentico) which was in power two administrations before Batista took over in ‘52
- Buesa is founder and head of the organization called Moviemeiento de Recuperacion Revolucionara (Revolutionary Recovery Movement – MRR)
- Hunt chooses Bernard Barker (another future Watergate burglar) as his right hand for coordinating FRD
- Barker was a Cuban origin U.S. citizen had served as a spy in Batista’s police force, the link with Manuel Artime
- Another operative at the Miami base is Frank Sturgis (Fiorini), a CIA special agent, who had a friendship with Cuban President Carlos Prios , the President immediately before Batista; and who was the Cuban Minister of Games of Chance prior to Castro’s takeover
– Operation 40 is performed by the operatives as “freelance work” so that the U.S. government has “plausible deniability.”
- Freelance work means private contracts (like the mafia) financed at least in part with private money.
- Texas oil man George H.W. Bush is deeply involved in these covert activities largely as a money aggregator and personnel recruiter for CIA.
- Fabian Escalante, a senior officer of the Cuban Department of State Security (G-2), connects to George Bush and Jack Crichton who are involved in covert right-wing activities.
– In 1990, a Common Cause magazine story will be linked to the release of a November 1963 memorandum addressed to FBI chief J. Edward Hoover re: “Mr. George Bush of the CIA.” The CIA will eventually argue that this isn’t the Bush who will become their Director and the President, but rather “another George Bush” in their employ. That argument will be demonstrated to be baseless.
– Richard Bissell, the CIA’s Deputy Director for Plans, selects the “Operators” for Operation 40. His team is comprised of:
- Tracy Barnes – promoted to Assistant Director of the CIA by Richard Bissell;
- Frank “General Boulding” Bender who is a friend of Trujillo of the Dominican Republic.
- Jack Engler, recalled as CIA Operations Director in Venezuela
- Howard “William” “Eduardo” Hunt who had helped direct Guatemalan operations, especially the overthrow of the dictator in 1954.
- He is, nicknamed “Uncle Sam” by Cuban refugees because of his ability to marshal resources at any time, day or night.
- Hunt has been coordinating the Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD), the Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition of exile groups providing the political base for the invasion, operatives who are “feet on the ground” committed.
- Members of the FRD will gain public notice when they scuffle with Lee Oswald in New Orleans in 1963.
- David Atlee Phillips, a specialist in psychological warfare and mass media, is named head of communications and propaganda for the CIA’s Cuban operations. He has been performing covert ops in Havana and recruiting agents since 1958.
– January 18, 1960 – Tracy Barnes, the operations officer for Operation 40 chairs the first planning meeting for Operation 40; it is attended by David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Jack Esterline and Frank Bender.
- Allen Dulles presents the plan for the specific covert operation to eliminate Castro, Operation Pluto, a plan to foment a Cuban counterrevolution, a “general uprising.” This represents the first time that the National Security Council has a vested commitment to removing Castro.
- In order to avoid public scrutiny by keeping it out of the press, George Bush and friends – including future Treasury SecretaryJames Baker – privately raise tens of millions of dollars in cash to fund the construction of a CIA base which will be built in Miami to house and train Cuban exiles.
- The project will become known as JMWAVE. No banks are involved and no control from inside the government is either required or deemed appropriate.
- Broadening their base of financial support, Bush receives money from PepsiCo, the company for whom Richard Nixon will allegedly be conducting legal business in Dallas on November 21-22, 1963, explaining his presence there until shortly before the assassination.
- As one of its original planners while still in the White House, Nixon is closely connected (one degree of separation) to many of the operatives at CIA and JMWAVE and others involved in Operation 40 and Operation Pluto who are also connected in one way or another to JFK’s assassination.
- Just as they have for the past decade and more, an alliance of public and private forces and money combine to perform covert operations for the United States government and its closely connected private interests.
– Within Operation 40, Richard Bissell begins Operation Pluto to eliminate Castro.
- Their first attempt is using poison pills disbursed to someone inside Cuba who can get to Castro’s drinks, initially Castro girlfriend Marita Lorenz.
- Bissell decides that the Security Office should conduct this op, handing it off to Colonel King who gives it to Jim O’Connell. O’Connell seeks out Robert Maheu, an old CIA operative now in private investigation, to line up someone to do the job.
- Maheu, also a former FBI agent, is directly connected to the Mob. O’Connell tells him to have the Mob do the job. Maheu contacts hit man, Johnny Roselli.
- John Roselli is directly linked to top Chicago Mobster Sam “Momo” Giancana who “has the goods” on J. Edgar Hoover (who has been a practicing homosexual during an era when that would destroy a person’s career) as well as having become an acquaintance of Hoover through horseracing and other activities. Roselli is also connected to Santos Trafficante, mafia chieftain in Florida.
- By this time already a trained assassin for the mob, Richard Cain will become an “asset” of the Central Intelligence Agency through Sam Giancana. When the poison pills fail to do their intended job, he will be issued a contract to kill Fidel Castro.
- During the 1950’s, Giancana, Trafficante, and Maheu had been the mobsters who “discovered” Cuba as a prime location for mafia gambling operations, drug trade, and money laundering.
- Roselli informs Maheu that he refuses the “hit” unless it is approved by the highest levels of the government, asking to be given assurances that someone representing the government has approved the contract.
- Colonel Sheffield Edwards authorizes O’Connell to meet with Maheu and Roselli. O’Connell, using an alias, gives the green light and Roselli agrees to do it.
- Subsequently, meetings are held in NY between Roselli, Maheu, Giancana, and Trafficante.
- The government offers to pay $50,000 for the hit.
- The Mafia’s Commission then offers its own contract: $1,000,000 for a successful “hit.”
– Operation 40 is divided into stages:
- Cadres or leaders such as Eugene Hall are recruited and then trained as military instructors
- Recruit training extends to areas outside the U.S. (Guatemala, for example) in preparation for an imminent attack on Cuba.
- Leaders of the resistance on the island are organized and trained in the jungles of Cuba.
- President Eisenhower promises to issue a National Security Directive that none of the impending operations will have to be regulated.
– Representing both independent interests and his CIA connections, working from his home base in Texas, Suite 8F member and CIA asset/operative, George H.W. Bush, makes weekly hops from Houston to Miami, first meeting and then working with CIA agent Felix Rodriguez to recruit right-wing Cuban exiles for the invasion of Cuba.
- Cubans are trained as marksmen by the CIA.
- Even before Operation 40 has comeformally into existence, George H.W. Bush spends 1960-1961 recruiting Cubans in Miami for the invasion.
– When he is threatened with being indicted as an unregistered agent of a foreign government” because of his association with the 26th of July Movement of Fidel Castro since 1958 and because of his formation of a chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Chicago, Harry Dean is blackmailed into going to work for “intelligence” (the FBI, alledgedly).
– January 1960 – “Branch 4” of the Western Hemisphere Division, an internal task force, is created within the CIA to direct the Cuban project.
- J.D. Esterline becomes task force director on January 18, 1960. Esterline reports on the project directly to the CIA Deputy Director for Plans, Richard M. Bissell.
- Bissell’s principal aide, Tracy Barnes, acts on Bissell’s behalf about 50 percent of the time.
- Branch 4 begins with a staff of 20 and grows by April 1961 to a staff of more than 500 with its own communications, propaganda, and military sections.
– General Edward Lansdale spearheads writing the procedure for the creation of Civil and Military Government (CAMG) units into the new Army Special Forces manual with assistance from General Sam Wilson and Colonel Prouty.
– Lee Oswald goes to Russia
– Russian spy Yuri Nosenko transfers to the American Section within the Embassy to work against personnel at the American Embassy.
– February – In pursuit of his own political identity, one that he began to build as the legal counsel for Congressional investigations into the American mafia families, Robert F. Kennedy publishes his book, “The Enemy Within,” in which he names as enemies of the United States two well known leaders of mafia families, Salvador “Momo” Giancana (also known as “Sam”) and Santos Trafficante.
– February 4-13 – Soviet Foreign Minister Anastas Mikoyan begins negotiations with Cuba to change the face of trade with Cuba.
– February 12 – CIA Director Allen Dulles warns the National Security Council that Castro intends to foment communist revolutions throughout Latin America.
– At around this time through arrangements made by the CIA, the United States delivers US manufactured tank parts to Egypt to equip Soviet built tanks that are then delivered to the Egyptian army. The winners are the industrial contractors.
- The stated motive is to show the Egyptians that the US is a more reliable friend and supplier than the Soviets.
– Scientist R. Buckminster Fuller quips that the CIA is “The Capitalist Welfare Department.”
– March 9 – Selected by Richard Bissell to reign in Colonel J.T. King, Tracy Barnes and members of the Cuban Task Force hear King present “proof” that Castro is planning an attack on the U.S. forces at Guantanamo Bay. He argues that the Cuban leadership should be be removed with a “single blow.”
- Raul and Fidel Castro and Che Guevara are identified as the targets.
– March 17 – Eisenhower signs off National Security Directive authorizing Operation 40. Operation 40 is part of a broader program which is named “Executive Action,” a plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders. As expressed in the Report by Maxwell Taylor, the Commission on Studies About Cuba, 1961, Allen Dulles presents the plan for:
- the creation of a responsible and unified opposition to the regime of Fidel Castro outside of Cuba;
- the development of means of mass communication to reach the Cuban people as part of a strong propaganda offensive;
- the creation and development within Cuba of a secret intelligence and action organization which will be sensitive to the orders and instruction of the opposition in exile;
- and a large paramilitary force outside of Cuba for future guerilla action…jointly with creation of mechanisms to provide the necessary support in terms of the logistics of the covert military actions on the island.
- This plan has two stages:
- Stage 1: Initially, leaders will be recruited and, after a careful selection process, trained as paramilitary instructors.
- Stage 2: the cadres will be trained in secure locations outside the United States with the objective of preparing them both to launch an immediate attack on Cuba and to organize, train and lead the resistance forces which they will recruit both before and after the establishment of one or more centers of active resistance on the island.
- Ike promises to issue another security directive assuring that none of the operation will have to be regulated from that point forward.
- President Eisenhower approves a budget of $13 million to train “a paramilitary force outside Cuba for guerrilla action,” the strategy to be organized by Richard Bissell and Richard Helms.
– The FRD is formed with E. Howard Hunt, Manuel Artime Buesa, and Manuel Antonio de Varona at the top
- During the two administrations prior to Batista’s take over in 1952, Tony Varona was one of the leaders of the party in power, the Authentic Party (Partido Autentico).
- Hunt chooses Bernard Barker as his right hand person for coordinating FRD
- Barker, originally a Cuban national, is a U.S. citizen who has served as a spy in Batista’s police force, creating a link with Buesa/Manuel Artime.
- Buesa, usually known as Manuel Artime, founds and heads the Moviemeiento de Recuperacion Revolucionara (Revolutionary Recovery Movement or MRR)
- Another operative at JMWAVE, the CIA’s Miami base, is Frank Sturgis/Fiorini, a longtime CIA special agent with deep experience in Cuba who is friends with Cuban President Carlos Prios, the Cuban President immediately before Batista; Fiorini was the Minister of Games of Chance prior to Castro’s takeover
- Leading the exile forces is Manuel Antonio de Varona [bio bits needed]
- He lead the Authentic Party in Cuba prior to the takeover in 1952 by Batista
- Recruiting offices open for Cubans residing in the US
- Training is held at Camp Peary, also know in CIA circles as “The Farm”
- Training also occurs at “Isolation Tropic,” a base in N. Carolina
- The best students are sent to Trax Base in Guatemala for advanced training
- Others go to Ft. Gulick in Panama, an ops base
– Sturgis, with the assistance of Lanz, begins to direct the International Anti-communist Brigades (IAB), a phantom organization running a network of safe houses, naval installations, a fleet of boats and planes, warehouses, the resettlement of exiles, and innumerable other activities, especially paramilitary preparation in training camps and support missions for anti-Castro exile groups in Cuba.
– On a visit by Castro to the U.S., Vice-President Richard Nixon meets with him to take his measure of the man. He concludes that Castro needs to be worked with in a positive manner by the U.S. because he is a natural leader of men.
– April 6, 1960 – In an ad paid for by Castro, the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) is established. The founders immediately place a full page ad in the NYT to announce its arrival.
- FPCC is a pawn in the power struggle between the Communist Party USA and the Socialist Workers Party
– During the summer of 1963, Lee Oswald will be arrested in a scuffle while allegedly representing the FPCC.
– May 1 – At the order of someone within the national security state, Francis Gary Powers flies his U2 spy plane from Pakistan over the Soviet Union, bound for Bodo, Norway.
- Ostensibly, the plane develops some sort of mechanical trouble. The public “cover story” is that it is shot down. However, it fies at an altitude beyond the capability of any Russian missile.
- Powers lands, uninjured, and is captured by Russian forces. Power’s apparent intentional landing in Soviet territory is in direct violation of President Eisenhower’s directive for all U.S. military personnel to cease and desist from becoming involved in any covert or overt combat activities during this period.
– 1960 – Two more mafia bosses who have achieved great power in La Cosa Nostra, the national crime syndicate and who are new to the national limelight are elected to the organized crime Commission, Joseph “Joe Z.” Zerilli of Detroit and Angelo “The Docile Don” Bruno of Philadelphia.
- Zerilli is related by marriage to New York crime boss Profaci, a member of the Liberal Faction..
- Zerilli’s son married Profaci’s daughter.
- Zerilli thereby allies himself with the Liberal Faction
- Bruno is close to New York boss Carlo Gambino and his friend and in-law, New York boss Lucchese.
- Lucchese’s daughter is married to Gambino’s son.
- Bruno is thereby persuaded to side with the “Liberal Faction”.
– CIA sets up QJWIN and ZRRIFLE assassination programs, reaching out to mobsters Johnny Rosselli and Santos Trafficante for help.
- Trained assassin Johnny Roselli will take on a key role in the CIA-mafia plots against Castro.
– In Havana, new CIA Station Chief James Noel arranges for the recruitment and training of counterrevolutionaries.
– May 17 – Cuba passes a new Agrarian Reform Law which has negative impacts on privately owned sugar plantations.
– As cover for plausible deniability, the U.S. Department of State sends an urgent telegram to all Latin American U.S. missions, warning of an impending plot against Cuba by pro-Batista forces in the Dominican Republic.
- The CIA station in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital city busies itself helping groups who want to launch an attack on Cuba from Dominican waters.
– July 1960 – JFK wins the Democratic nomination for president and picks Lyndon Johnson as his running mate.
– Presidential candidate Jack Kennedy is given a security debriefing on Cuba by Allen Dulles and leaders of the FRD in which he learns of the CIA’s plans to kill Castro.
- He will utilize this information in upcoming Presidential debates to “handcuff” Richard Nixon by calling out Eisenhower for being “passive” on the Cuban question. Nixon, the CIA Operations Officer in the White House, looks awkward and uncomfortable on camera, knowing that the Republican administration can’t very well reveal its hand by telling of their plans to overthrow Castro.
– July 8 – In addition to other restrictions to reduce trade with Cuba, the U.S. suspends the “sugar quota,” effectively cutting off 80% of U.S.- Cuban trade.
– July 9 – the USSR agrees to make up the difference in trade dropped by the U.S.A.
– July 14 – At the Democratic National Convention, Lyndon Baines Johnson and J.Edgar Hoover apply blackmail pressure on Jack Kennedy to accept LBJ as his running mate. He accepts the consequence rather than have his dark secrets revealed and his campaign destroyed.
- This puts LBJ where he needs to be, in a position to take the Presidency later in JFK’s first term…which will give Ed Clark the power he has spent his life reaching for as he has engineered LBJ’s ascent.
– Operation 40 planning changes as solid intelligence reveals that an “internal uprising” inside of Cuba is unlikely. Ignoring their own strong and well-informed sources, the leadership of the intelligence community and their supporters in the private business community make a tactical mistake in judgment. In part encouraged by their anti-Castro expatriated Cuban allies, they continue in their erroneous belief (which will continue through the day JFK is assassinated) that an invasion by outside forces will spark an internal revolution which will remove Castro from power. Consonant with that belief, they redouble their efforts to find ways to foment a Cuban revolution.
- Through the auspices of private fundraiser George H.W. Bush and others, $13 million is raised privately to finance an expeditionary brigade, providing both the human resources and the weaponry to arm them for that purpose.
- Initially,two private enterprises owned by men who have longstanding involvement with both the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence establishment – United Fruit and the Garcia Line – are employed as the primary means for transportation of men and materiel.
– In tandem with the effort to stir up a revolution from within, CIA chief Allen Dulles authorizes his longtime associate Gen. Charles Cabell to give the go-ahead to CIA Assistant Director of Operations Richard Bissell and Colonel Sheffield Edwards to organize the effort to recruit mob marksmen to assassinate Castro. The program is named ZRRIFLE.
- Because of their knowledge and contacts, Frank Sturgis and Alexander Rourke are brought in to assist in this effort.
- Howard Hughes aide Robert Maheu makes initial contact with Johnny Roselli.
- E. Howard Hunt draws up the initial assassination plans, the same man who more than a decade later will carry “hush” money to Watergate Burglars.
- This method will give the U.S. government a credible cover story and plausible deniability. It is correctly believed that the public will accept this story when it is published or broadcast in the mass media.
- Most of the major mass media in the United States are by this juncture largely assets of the intelligence establishment and become, as such, apologists for it.
– August 16 – Using Marita Lorenz and others, the U.S. attempts the first plot to assassinate Fidel Castro. A box of his favorite cigars is presented to a CIA operative who may or may not have ever successfully passed them along to Castro. Marita Lorenz had also attempted to poison Castro at about this time.
– August 28th – The U.S. places a trade embargo on Cuba
– August 31, 1960 – After being asked to investigate Billy Sol Estes and concluding that what he did was or should be illegal, Agricultural Adjustment Administration administator Henry Marshall writes to his superiors in Washington, D.C. that: “The [cotton allotments transfer] regulations should be strengthened to support our disapproval of every case [of allotment transfers]”.
- On June 3rd, 1961, Marshall will be murdered to stop his pursuit of Estes and because of the few degrees of separation between Lyndon Johnson and Estes which will implicate Johnson in illegal activities which will continue to unfold – up to and including murder – even as LBJ assumes the Vice Presidency and Presidency. Johnson’s culpability will only be hinted at for the next two decades until decisive proof is presented in 1984 by Billy Sol Estes himself..
– September 1960 – Recognizing that their skills and vested interests may be of value in achieving the objectives of the U.S. Government, CIA Director Allen Dulles initiates talks with two leading figures of the Mafia, Johnny Roselli and Sam Gianacana, seeking their collaboration in the assassination of Fidel Castro. Later, other crime bosses – Carlos Marcello, Santos Tranfficante and Meyer Lansky – will become involved in this plot against Castro.
- The deal is made that the investigative forces of the government will “look the other way” and allow a certain degree of criminal activity in exchange for the services of mafia killers.
- Organized crime becomes a gateway for money laundering by the CIA as they learn that by using drug money, they can freely finance their actions without accountability to either the Congress or the public and can maintain invisibility and deniability in the press.
- This is an unholy alliance that will result in disaster for both the government and the mafia.
– Marine Corps Colonel Jack Hawkins is assigned to Branch 4 of the CIA with direct responsibility for military training operations.
– September 13 – Inexplicably and without extant records to explain why, the Marine Corps changes Lee Oswald’s discharge from honorable to undesirable.
– Robert Kennedy launches Senate hearings on mobster Carlos Marcello.
– September 1960 – With the stated mission of preparing young people for the struggle ahead with liberalism, socialism and communism, William F. Buckley, Douglas Caddy and Marvin Liebman oranize Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), the youth arm of the John Birch Society. At its first meeting held at Buckley’s home in Sharon, Connecticut, Caddy is elected as YAF’s first President.
- YAF’s first national council includes eleven members of the John Birch Society .
– Prior to the televised and final Nixon-Kennedy Debate as protocol dictates, JFK is debriefed by the military and intelligence communities about Fidel Castro and Cuban affairs. He receives intimate detailed knowledge about American operations.
– During the final Nixon-Kennedy Debate, JFK outmaneuvers Nixon – who is the Operations Officer in the White House for covert actions – on matters concerning Cuba and Castro because Nixon is unable to attest to certain information that he knows about the advance planning that is being done for an invasion of Cuba. In addition to appearing uncomfortable in front of the camera, even sweating, the Vice-President appears uninformed. This swings the election polling in Kennedy’s favor.
– Meeting at the Burning Tree Club, Wash., D.C. attended by Vice President Nixon, Cuban exile leader Mario Garcia Kohly, CIA Deputy Director General Charles P. Cabell, and another CIA official identified only as “Ed.”
- The purpose of this meeting is to plan an invasion which later will become the Bay of Pigs.
- Kohly named this “Operation Lake.”
- During the Kennedy administration, it will be renamed “Operation Pluto”
- At the behest of Richard Nixon, a friend of Preston Bush, George Bush and friends finance the Bay of Pigs Invasion, including Jim Baker and Robert Mosbacher, eventual members of his administration.
The original plan for Operation Lake included two invasion forces, one from the Florida Keys, the other from Central America; one landing at Pinar del Rio near Guantanamo, the other landing at the Bay of Pigs (Bahia Cochinos).
– October, 1960 – For election purposes, JFK says that he appreciates “the value and importance of the oil-depletion allowance. I realize its purpose and value… The oil-depletion allowance has served us well.” This statement serves Kennedy well, befriending Big Oil and its money. Not long after his inauguration, he will reverse course and attempt to remove or greatly diminish the allowance.
– October 1 – Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer is appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces. A rabid hater of communists, he will detest every liberal politician in Kennedy’s administration until he is replaced by JFK with Maxwell Taylor on September 30, 1962.
– October 6 – Cuba nationalizes $1 Billion in U.S. investments in Cuba
– CIA agent Gerry Hemming produces 14 separate reports on Cuba for the CIA and moves to Miami on his return to the U.S. from Cuba.
– October 11 – After the suggestion is made by Sheffield Edwards, CIA asset Robert Maheu is approached to organize the assassination of Fidel Castro. In a meeting between Maheu and two leading mobsters, Santo Trafficante and Sam Giancana, hitman Johnny Rosselli is given the contract on Castro’s life.
- As Maheu points out, Santo Trafficante and Sam Giancana are among the ten most powerful Mafia members in America.
- Maheu tells the mobsters that the CIA is willing to pay $150,000 for the contract to have Castro killed.
- The contract is agreed upon.
– October 31, 60 – In another joint operation, the CIA asks Robert Maheu to hire an independent detective a private detective to bug a Las Vegas hotel room for Sam Giancana
- The CIA pays for it.
- Private eye Arthur is hired by Maheu and, when he is caught his bail is paid for by Johnny Rosselli.
- Unaware of the handshake agreement between the mob and CIA, the FBI commences an investigation and quickly discovers that Maheu and Giancana are involved in the case.
– November 8, 1960 – John F. Kennedy is elected to the Presidency.
– Near the end of 1960, the CIA sponsored movement of people from North Vietnam into the South causes violent unrest, banditry, and civil disturbances on a massive scale between various family/tribal groups – the Cochin Chinese, the Tonkinese, the Vietminh, etc.. The American military leadership coins a new term to describe their efforts to put this conflict down: “counterinsurgency.”
– Thomas Gates, reports that JFK is “intensely disliked” by what he names as the “military industrial complex.” This dislike occurs because
1) JFK discontinues the policies of the Truman and the Eisenhower Administrations; and
2) the interrelationship between industry, the military and the ruling administration – what becomes known as the “military-industrial complex” – is inhibited by the replacement of Ike’s old-timers by JFK’s newcomers who neither know the nature of the existing relationships nor support the old policies and ways.
- Dislike of JFK is expressed frequently at the Pentagon.
- Of particular concern is the failure to continue high-cost “hardware” support of the warfare-to-come in Vietnam because JFK wants the U.S. out of Vietnam.
- Colonel Fletcher Prouty, a veteran of six years in the Pentagon under Eisenhower while working in the Office of Special Operations, a direct function of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, will write that the reason Kennedy was hated from the moment he took office was that they knew his reputation and that he was a threat to their future plans.
– November 10, 1960 – January 14, 1961 – Lee Oswald works as a messenger boy for Gerard F. Tujague, Inc., a shipping company, where he earns $130 per month. Frank DiBenedetto, his manager at Tujague says that Oswald’s work consists largely of delivering company papers and messages to various steamship lines on the docks. DiBenedetto describes Oswald as “a quiet, withdrawn person,” a description consistent with that given by many of the people who have known Oswald over the years.
– November 18th – CIA’s Bissell and Dulles go to President-elect Kennedy to convince him of the importance of the Cuban Operation w/o divulging any details. While one source lists this debriefing on this date, another source reports that it occurred on January 18, 1961 without listing the names of the debriefers.
– November 20 – The Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC), with 5000 reported members, is headquartered at 1799 Broadway, NYC, NY. This organization will become important during the summer of 1963 when Lee Oswald acts on their behalf in New Orleans.
– Without the FBI’s knowledge or permission, CIA Security Officer (and future Watergate burglar) James McCord orders the launch of a counterintelligence operation against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) within the U.S.
– November 25, 1960 – Birth of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
– November 27, 1960 – Dulles and Bissell brief President-elect JFK on the present state of plans for Cuban exiles and CIA to invade Cuba and to assassinate Castro (per Bissell) without telling him either of their involvement with organized crime or their involvement in the execution of the plans.
– Future Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt coordinates the FRD, the Democratic Revolutionary Front, an anti-Castro rebel group that will serve as the base for the Bay of Pigs Invasion
- 600 men are declared “ready” to invade
– December 11 – A memo from Colonel J.T. King proposes to eliminate Castro, a leader who “hypnotizes the masses.” The possibility he posits is that Castro could be imitated in other Latin American countries.
- King’s memo leads to Operation Liborio, an effort to instigate a revolution from within Cuba
– The proposed Cuban counterrevolution encounters obstacles from within
- A cable from Guatemala reports dissent within the rebel force. The rebels are tired of discussion of politics and have stopped attending training sessions. The cable ends with a request for further instructions.
- Cuban G-2 Intelligence is busily dismantling forces within Cuba which would support the invasion.
– CIA’s Richard Bissell recognizes that a small invasion force isn’t enough, especially one plagued with discord and division
- CIA becomes “suspicious” of Cuban mercenaries, exiles, and others in the movement which has begun rapidly fragmenting into competing forces.
– CIA Director Dulles establishes Operation 40 an “official” CIA operation
- During the waning days of the Eisenhower Administration, Operation 40 asks the State Department for reinforcements for another “D-Day.” Department of State agrees and amps up the size of the invasion force.
- Operation 40 is made more visibile by this action because of the extra training and war materiel that it requires.
- Therefore, Operation 40 transforms into an invisible and vast “counterintelligence” program .
- The range of operations is from propaganda to assassinations
- They employ such widely diverse elements as counterrevolutionary groups and the Mafia
- Tools include propaganda and drug-trafficking (This is when drugs become the official currency of intelligence covert ops, something they had long been on an occasional basis)
- Major players include Dave Phillips, Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, and Carlos Diaz Lanz who train exile soldiers, ex-Marines, and other operatives in Miami, Florida, as well as in Cuba itself
- Becoming standard operating procedure, weapons for the planned invasion are supplied by the Mafia out of Louisiana
– December 19, 1960 – Cuba and the Soviet Union issue a joint communiqué in which Cuba openly aligns itself with the domestic and foreign policies of the Soviet Union and indicates its solidarity with the Sino-Soviet Bloc. (NYT, 12/20/60)
– The National Security Council approves “Operation Pluto,” land, air and naval contingents totaling 2000 men which can be called into action when the expeditionary force lands in Trinidad on the south coast of Cuba.
- The plan is drawn up for rebel troops, armed and trained by CIA forces in the Escambray/ Camaguey mountains, to hold off Cuban military troops and help expedite the establishment of new political leadership which will then ask for immediate help from the U.S.. JFK will not agree in advance to provide the requested help nor even when the Bay of Pigs eventually happens in April 1961.
– Operation Peter Pan (Operación Peter Pan), one component of psychological warfare waged against Fidel Castro’s government, is introduced by the CIA.
- As a part of Peter Pan, CIA operatives spread the rumor inside Cuba that parents are going to lose the rights to their children in the Cuban state, and that many will be sent to Siberia. This is the same propaganda that has been used inside the USSR to create dissent.
- The operation which will continue until 1962 is initially designed to transport the children of parents who oppose the revolutionary government but is expanded to include parents concerned that their children could be shipped to Soviet labor camps.
- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami and its Monsignor, Bryan O. Walsh (allegedly, a CIA agent or asset), find friends, relatives and group homes in 35 states in which to place the more than 14,000 children they receive. Many of the children who are sent by their parents from Cuba to live in the U.S. will never again see their parents
– December 28, 1960 – The New Orleans States-Item newspaper reports that when President-elect Kennedy takes office in January and appoints his brother to the post of Attorney General, new A-G Robert F. Kennedy has plans to expedite the deportation proceedings which have been pending against Mafioso CarlosMarcello.
– Late in 1960 – President Eisenhower warns JFK that his most difficult foreign policy problem will be Laos. He reassures him that with Ngo Dihn Diem in power in South Vietnam, he should have little trouble there. This prophecy for Southeast Asia isn’t fulfilled until LBJ is in the Presidency and then affects Laos only as Vietnam involvement dictates.
– Accepting the argument by the United States Air Force that it needs a successor to its F105 tactical jet fighter, the Eisenhower Administration begins what will become known as the TFX/F-111 Project.
- Newly appointed Secretary of the Navy, Texan John Connally, is instrumental in this effort and works to make sure that a Texas company gets the manufacturing contract award.
– As the result of a series of illegal activities with which he has been involved both before and after his election to the Vice Presidency, LBJ’s involvement in “influence peddling”with respect to government contracts which are awarded illegally will in late 1963 result in a Congressional investigation which would have resulted in his arrest. The investigation and legal proceeding will be derailed in November, 1963, only by the JFK assassination and his ascendance to the Presidency, a position which makes him the chief law enforcer/evader of the United States.
- As President, he would be liable only to impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the U.S. Senate, not indictment by a grand jury.
- In the tenuous political environment immediately following the murder of a President in which LBJ is rumored to have been involved, Congress will have no stomach to pursue the investigation any further.
- Another influencing factor is that LBJ is widely understood to be a very dangerous man in a very powerful position.