Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Dealey Plaza Cover-Story Continues

The Second Plot – the Original Cover-Story

The most recent reports about Cuban involvement in the assassination, as all other reports of the same nature, stem directly from the CIA where the original cover story for the assassination was devised as part of the plot to kill the President.

As promoted by former CIA officer Brian Latell: “The Cuban intelligence service, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, connived in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, according to a new book by a retired CIA analyst. Coming from Brian Latell, the Agency’s former national intelligence officer for Latin America, the charge is both sensational and uncorroborated, yet still important.

Latell says flatly that Castro played a role in Kennedy’s murder in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963.”

“Castro and a small number of Cuban intelligence officers were complicit in Kennedy’s death but … their involvement fell short of an organized assassination plot,” he writes in “Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine,” a well-footnoted polemic about Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence to be published next month. Latell says accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald told Cuban diplomats in Mexico City in September 1963 that he might kill JFK. Latell also speculates, without any direct evidence, that Oswald kept the Cubans apprised of his plans as he made his way to Dallas.

In JFK – The Second Plot, British author Matthew Smith explains that, “The first – main tier plot was at least simple in concept. A team of marksmen were to be assembled in various positions in the Dealey Plaza, and they were to ambush the President as his limousine made its way down Elm Street, catching him in a crossfire from which there would be no chance of survival. The second plot provided not only for the escape of the marksmen, but for the concealment of the identities of those who had sent them and for the laying of the blame at the door of Fidel Castro. It is when the detail of the second plot is understood that the framework of the entire conspiracy is exposed...”

“….So the two plots were meticulously put into operation. The team of marksmen were recruited and drilled. Weapons were prepared, heights and distances calculated in relation to motion; this was to be a once only event and it must succeed the first time. There must be no escape from it. But for all its precision and careful planning, the first plot by itself added up to a little more than a bunch of high-tech bandits laying in wait to spring an ambush on the President. All the real sophistication lay in planning and execution of the second plot. Without the second plot the shooters would have been picked up at once and those who had sent them would have been exposed. But then all was well with the second plot. It was as meticulously planned as the ambush. All the right ingredients were there and, like the first plot it was timed with great accuracy. As with the marksmen’s operation, there was no margin of error. It must dovetail with precision into the overall plan.” (JFK: The Second Plot, Mainstream Publishing, 1992, p. 265-268)

            The second plot to blame the assassination of the President on Castro was devised and put into motion well before hand, as it was patterned after the Valkyrie plot that failed to kill Hitler, retooled and revised to kill Castro, and then turned on President Kennedy.

From his defection to the Soviet Union and return home with his Russian wife to his championing of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, arrest in New Orleans with the DRE Cubans, radio debate and attempt to get a visa to Cuba during his visits to the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City, this public Oswald was reinforced by intelligence contacts that emphasized his support for Castro, almost all of which can be traced back to CIA operatives and media assets.

As more and more information came out about Oswald, the accused assassin, whether he was a shooter or the patsy he claimed to be, the Cuban and Russian angles stood out clearly, but instead of using them to mount the invasion of Cuba that JFK had refused to do, LBJ, the new President used the second plot in order to convince Chief Justice Earl Warren and the Warren Commissioners of the necessity of discounting this plot, and officially determine that the assassination was the work of a lone, demented nut-case. This is what happened even though it became known that Oswald was not a loner, nor a demented nut-case, but rather a well trained covert intelligence operative whose true allegiances were known only to those who framed him for the crime and were actually responsible for the murder of the president.

While the first plot necessitated getting both Oswald and the President to the Elm and Houston rendezvous point at the right time, the second plot also involved setting up Castro for the crime. The part of the second plot, an integral aspect of the Valkyrie plan,  involved blackmailing Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy by getting him, and the President, to sign off and approve the plan – the covert plot that originally targeted Castro.

Most conspiracy theories point to the CIA-Mafia plots that involved Sam Giancana, John Rosselli and Santo Traficante, but they began during the Eisenhower administration, before JFK assumed office, and had been officially terminated by the time the post-Missile Crisis Mongoose operations were also cancelled.

On March 30, 1963 the State Department issued a statement declaring that the United States would not support any attacks against Cuba from U.S. shores and public efforts were made to stop this activity, although a small number of covert operations were approved, designed primarily to disrupt strategic economic activities. What’s significant is the Russians knew these operations were approved and they told President Kennedy they knew when he complained about attempts to spread the Cuban revolution to the rest of Latin America. The Russians knew that some of the raids were officially approved because of the Cuban double agents that had infiltrated the operations.

Among the “unofficial” anti-Castro Cuban commando training camps that the FBI closed down was the one on Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, that Oswald tried to infiltrate, which had Mafia connections, and whose only participants were sent packing back to Florida on a bus. The “official” training facility in New Orleans was run by David Atlee Phillips and used buses with blacked out windows to take its students to a restricted US Navy air station.  

In early 1963 US Army Ranger Bradley Ayres was assigned to the CIA to train the Cubans who were engaged in “approved” CIA covert operations run out of JM/WAVE. William Turner first identified Gordon Campbell as the CIA officer responsible for the JM/WAVE maritime operations, and Bradely Ayres recalls working closely with a man he knew as Gordon Campbell, although official and family records indicate Gordon Campbell died in September, 1962.

According to Ayres, Campbell’s “outside” man, or assistant who would handle operational details outside of the JM/WAVE base, bore a remarkable resemblance to accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Ayres later realized that the operations he was associated with were somehow connected to what happened at Dealey Plaza, but he wasn’t sure exactly how.

After William Harvey and Ed Lansdale were no longer officially part of the CIA’s Cuban operations run out of the Florida JM/WAVE station, Desmond Fitzgerald assumed responsibility  for the CIA’s covert Cuban operations.

Even after William Harvey, “America’s James Bond” was relieved of his JM/WAVE duties by RFK after continuing infiltration missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962, Harvey and his friend John Rosselli were seen by Bradley Ayres and others at the JM/WAVE base, where Rosselli was known as “Colonel Rosselli.”

Rosselli’s cooperation with the CIA in planning covert anti-Castro Cuban operations out of JM/WAVE would not only be used to blackmail the Justice Department from indicting him and other mobsters because of their organized crime activities, it appears Rosselli was also instrumental in the second plot – which set up Oswald and Castro as the fall guys and in effect blackmailed RFK from retaliating against those responsible for his brother’s murder.

Bradley Ayres, who once accompanied his commandos on an infiltration mission to Cuba aboard the CIA mother ship the Rex, was also taken to a remote rendezvous point in the Everglades swamp where his commando team members were personally introduced to Robert F. Kennedy, who shook their hands and offered encouragement on their mission.

Ayres was to train them for their mission which, according to “Gordon Campbell,” was to destroy an oil facility on the coast, a mission that was later scrapped after the failure of a number of other, similar missions, possibly because of double-agents within their ranks.

Fitzgerald, who took over the CIA Cuban operations, was a close personal friend of Robert Kennedy. Fitzgerald was also responsible for the AM/LASH plot, an aspect of Valkyrie that attempted to get Cuban military officers to kill Castro and stage a coup, though AM/LASH was also suspected of being a double-agent.

Fitzgerald personally briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff at a September 25, 1963 meeting chaired by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay, during which he mentions the use of the Valkyrie plan against Castro.

Fitzgerald also told LeMay and the military brass that their help might be needed if the CIA’s maritime raiders got into trouble while on a mission, especially protecting the mother ships that deposited and picked up teams of commandos who were being sent in to blow up approved industrial sites. But he noted that only five missions were planned for that fall, and if successful, all of the primary targets would have been exhausted, without mentioning the fact that the one, primary target was Castro himself, and that they were sending in teams of assassins with high powered rifles with scopes, ostensibly to be used for killing Cuban leaders.

According to the official, administrative records, the Special Group assigned to approve CIA covert operations, as well as the President and his brother the Attorney General, approved a number of anti-Castro Cuban CIA covert operations, including the infiltration of commandos to destroy select industrial targets and possibly try to kill Cuban leaders. 

In their book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, John Marks and Victor Marchetti wrote, “…the agency continued its relationship with its “penetrations” of Cuban exile groups – in a way reminiscent of its lingering ties with Eastern European émigré organizations from the early Cold War period. And the CIA kept many of the Bay of Pigs veterans under contract, paying them regular salaries for more than a decade afterward.[ 8 LINES ELEAATED ] Time after time, the Cuban government would parade CIA-sponsored rebels before television cameras to display them and their equipment to the Cuban public and the world. Often the captives made full confessions of the agencies role in their activities. Nevertheless, the CIA kept looking for new and better ways to attack the Castro government. UNDER CONTRACT TO THE AGENCY, THE ELECTRIC BOAT DIVISION OF GENERAL DYNAMICS AT GROTON, CONNECTICUT DEVELOPED A HIGHLY MANEUVERABLE HIGH-SPEED BOAT DESIGNED FOR USE BY GUERIAL RAIDERS. THE BOAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE FASTER THAN ANY SHIP IN THE CUBAN NAVY, AND THEREBY ABLE TO MOVE ARMS AND MEN INTO CUBA AT WILL…” (Emphasis once censored by CIA
PP. 135, 136, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, V. Marchetti, John Marks, Dell, 1974)

Although the original cover-story of blaming the assassination on Castro was scrapped in favor of the equally implausible deranged lone-nut scenario, Rosselli later used it to get the Justice Department from prosecuting him for his other crimes, as this memorandum details.

March 22, 1967
To: Mr. DeLoach
From: A. Rosen
Subject: Assassination of President Kennedy
Interview w/ Edward P. Morgan (former Bureau Inspector)

“By way of background, during February, 1967, James J. Rowley, U.S. Secret Service, advised that Drew Pearson contacted Chief Justice Earl Warren concerning information in possession of Edward P. Morgan. The Chief Justice refused to see Morgan, however, it was determined Morgan alleged that former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy organized a group to go to Cuba to kill Castro. All of this group were killed or imprisoned except one person who escaped, and subsequently, after Castro learning of the plot, decided to utilize the same procedure to kill President Kennedy and that he hired Oswald to do the job. This information allegedly came from a client of Morgan’s and the Secret Service made an appointment to talk to Morgan; however he never showed up.  On 3/17/67, Mr. Watson at the White House advised that President Johnson desired the FBI to interview Morgan concerning any knowledge he might have concerning the assassination of President Kennedy…..”

It was later determined that Morgan’s client was John Rosselli, a personal friend of William Harvey – the former FBI agent and CIA officer who was dubbed “America’s James Bond” and ran the CIA’s covert Cuban operations out of the Miami JM/WAVE station until the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when he was severely reprimanded by Attorney General Robert Kennedy for conducting infiltration operations during the crisis. While Harvey was reassigned to a government post in Europe, he continued his association with Rosselli and frequented the JM/WAVE station, where he was replaced at first by Ed Lansdale and at the time of the assassination by Desmond Fitzgerald. Bradley Ayers, the US Army Ranger who trained the Cubans, recalls seeing both “Colonel Rosselli” and Attorney General RFK mingling with the commandos and encouraging them on success of their officially approved mission – an aborted attempt to blow up a coastal oil refinery. Their real intent however, was the assassination of Castro, and if they failed, JFK would be the target, with the evidence indicating Castro was responsible for Kennedy’s murder.

David Kaiser, who speculates about the Mafia involvement in the assassination in The Road to Dallas (2008) writes:

….He (D. A. Phillips) rose eventually to be head of the Western Hemisphere branch of the CIA, and when he appeared before the Church Committee in 1975 he denied, falsely, that the CIA had anything to do with the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile two years earlier. In retirement, with several children to send through college, he launched a career as an author. His autobiography, The Night Watch (1977), was followed by a novel about intelligence, The Carlos Contract (1978), and The Great Texas Murder Trials (1979), a work of nonfiction.

At some point before his death from cancer in 1988, he wrote an outline for another novel, entitled The AMLASH Legacy, dealing specifically with the Kennedy assassination.

The outline carefully identified the characters with the real figures on which they were based: Mexico City station chief Winston Scott, HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi, Antonio Veciana, long-time assassination conspiracists Mark Lane and Bernard Fensterwald, and Phillips himself, who went by the name of Harold Harrison….one of two case officers who recruited Lee Harvey Oswald, helped establish his credentials as a Marxist, and then attempted to send him to Cuba through Mexico City in order to assassinate Fidel Castro, using a sniper rifle from an upper floor of a high-rise to shoot Castro in his jeep. Harrison does not know whether Oswald was a double agent, the letter continues, but this was the same plan Oswald used to kill Kennedy. Allen Dulles, the letter stated, provided Harrison and the other unidentified agent with $400,000 to set up Oswald after he succeeded in assassinating Fidel.

Yet his outline of this novel was the only document I know in existence before 1998 to suggest that Oswald might have been trying to go to Cuba to assassinate Castro. In that year, I wrote a short article to introduce the idea that - as "Leopoldo" suggested to Silvia Odio a few days before or a few days after Oswald's visit to Mexico City - Oswald's first assassination target may well have been the Cuban premier….but the plot of his novel, until the spectacular revelation at the end, tracks key events leading up to the Kennedy assassination almost perfectly.
In The Zenith Secret (VoxPop 2006, p. 86), Bradley E. Ayers wrote:

…Speeding westward along Tamiami Trail I thought about how unusual it was for Rudy to get excited about anything that was really important. As the acting chief of training, he should have gone to this meeting, buthe had deferred to me. It seemed odd, as did all the secrecy. When I asked the young driver where we were going, he replied that the trip would take slightly more than an hour; we were going to a meeting place in the Everglades. He didn’t elaborate.

We pulled into a truck stop at the junction of Tamiami Trail and Highway 27, and another man – a women who I’d never seen before – checked the license of the car and climbed in. No one spoke as we drove down the long, slightly traveled highway and eventually turned onto a dirt road bordered by a canal. After about a mile, the driver pulled over. An airboat was waiting in the canal, and in moments we were noisily skimmed across the saw grass as dusk settled over the glades. I wasn’t surprised since long ago I learned to expect the unexpected from the agency.

After nearly 30 minutes of travel across the open swampland and deep canals, we turned under some overhanging trees and pulled up to a small dock behind another airboat. A sign on one of the rotting timbers read: “Waloos Glades Hunting Camp – No Tresspassing.” It was nearly dark, but I could see two helicopters parked in the shadows. One was a military Bell H-13 with the identification numbers taped over. The other was a civilian chopper with the name of a West Palm Beach air service on the tail rotor boom.

We walked to the fire and a young man handed us cups of coffee. I had never seen any of the men before. Soon the door to one of the Quonsets swung open and four men emerged. As they moved into the circle of firelight I recognized Gordon Campbell. I had seen him only a few times since my brief meeting with him, but had been impressed with his polished, slightly flamboyant executive manner. I caught my breath at the appearance of the second man. It was the attorney general, Robert Kennedy.

The four men talked in low voices for a few minutes, and then the attorney general came over and shook hands with each of us, wishing us good luck and God’s speed on our mission.

Hell, I didn’t even know what my mission was. His white teeth flashed and sparkled, and I felt a strange sense of strength and resolve when he grasped my hand. Then he hand one of the Cubans went to the civilian helicopter, and in minutes it took off. Now I understand the need for extra secrecy. If the president felt strongly enough to send his brother, something very big was being planned. 

When the helicopter was gone, the deputy chief of station came over…

As we walked to one of the Quonsets, he said, “The reason we’ve got you here and the reason for all this secrecy is that we just got the green light from upstairs to go ahead on some of the mission we’ve been planning for some time.”

We entered the Quonset. It was brightly illuminated by several Coleman lanterns, and there were charts, maps, and other papers on a table in the center of the room. Campbell closed the door behind us and turned to face me.

“We’re very pleased with the way you’ve handled the training setup for the station so far, and we’ve made that known to your people at the Pentagon. We know it hasn’t been easy for your and your family….You’ll be happy to know that the Special Group has finally given us permission to use two-man submarines to strike Castro’s ships in the harbors. Some of your UDT people will be involved in that. And next week Rip’s boys are going to Eglin for parachute training so an airborne commando raid may not be far off. But right now we’ve got a go-ahead to hit one of the major oil refineries from on the island. All we’ve got to do is get a commando force in shape to do the job.”

So, the Special Group had finally put his interest in big business second to national interest. The president and his brother were tough, smart politicians: the elections were getting closer.

“We want you to take a commando force of 12 men and give them six weeks of the toughest, most realistic training you can….”

He pointed to a spot on the marine chart in front of him: the southern tip of Elliot Key….the Elliot Key Safehouse….

There were other more abstract questions that remained prominent in my thoughts. What about the anti-Kennedy atmosphere that prevailed, essentially in the Operations Branch under Dave Morales at JM/WAVE, and among some of the contract agents and Cuban exiles in Miami? What about Rosselli and his organized crime connections? I knew that the Kennedy Justice Department had declared war on the Mafia and that Bobby Kennedy was personally orchestrating the battle against mob kingpins. It seemed so odd to me this was going on at the same time that Rosselli had carte blanche access to JM/WAVE and enjoyed a close relationship with Morales and the station hierarchy…

In a review of Ayers book “The Zenith Secret,” one critic noted that Ayres had previously wrote a similar book, “The War That Never Was,” which was published by Bobs-Merrell.

Bobs-Merrell was a major book publisher that maintained offices at the Texas School Book Depository, where the fatal shots that killed President Kennedy were allegedly fired from. Among the items that Ayres wrote about that was inexplicitly edited out of the printed product was the part about Gordon Campbell.

The review continued, “….unfettered by the censorship, loyalties and pressures that existed within the military and clandestine services during the Cold War, Ayers has come forth to provide an insider's account of his experience with the CIA and JMWAVE in the secret war against Cuba. He offers his perceptions of the crucial 1963-1964 period when the secret war reached its peak, culminating with the death of President Kennedy, and the aftermath of the assassination at the Miami Station. Ayers book, The Zenith Secret, seeks to relate the dynamic events and personalities of that period to major developments at the national-social-political level, particularly as they reflect the influence of the CIA covert operations and former JMWAVE figures in the ensuing thirty years. Ayers' first attempt to make revelations concerning the Kennedy Administration-CIA-JMWAVE secret war against Cuba was his book titled The War That Never Was published in 1976. The book was drastically sterilized and revelations tempered by the publisher's managing editor who, on his deathbed in 1985, conceded that he had been on the CIA payroll as a literary damage control, "limited hangout" contract operative with the task of defusing books being written about the Agency. THE ZENITH SECRET, comes to the reader uncontaminated by such editings and manipulations. (Of even further relevance to the censorship and eventual distribution interference with The War That Never Was, Former CIA officer William Harvey (known widely for his involvement in early Agency plots to kill Castro as a pistol toting original Cold War "cowboy") became an editor at Bobbs-Merrill, Ayer's original publisher, following his retirement from the CIA. Ayer's was not aware of this when the publisher contacted him for this book.).”

 The Dealey Plaza Cover-Story Continues – By William Kelly

The idea that Fidel Castro and Cuba were behind the covert intelligence operation that manifested itself at Dealey Plaza and took the life of the President of the United States was instituted as part of the plan as the original cover story, which the assassins hoped would trigger a US invasion of Cuba. 

All of the sources – that is every single one of the original sources of this cover-story can be traced back to CIA personnel, agents, operatives or media assets, so it is no surprise that Brian Latell, longtime CIA official, continues to parrot the same, previously dismissed story line that Castro is somehow suspect in what happened at Dealey Plaza.

It is not Castro who we should suspect, and seek to answer outstanding questions, but the CIA.

In reviewing what Latell has written about the subject, I will dissect his article:

How the assassination of JFK put Fidel Castro in a delicate spot

The Cuban leader’s protestations that he knew nothing about Lee Harvey Oswald ring hollow.

[BK: Whenever Latell uses the word Castro or Cuban leader, if you substitute the CIA it rings true. As here, the CIA’s protestations that they knew nothing about Lee Harvey Oswald rings hollow, and we now to be false, as the CIA and other branches of the US government knew a lot about Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin and patsy in the murder of the president.]


It was only about 30 hours after John F. Kennedy’s death in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, when Fidel Castro took to the airwaves to deny any knowledge of the president’s assassin. The Cuban leader was unequivocal about Lee Harvey Oswald: “We never in our life heard of him.”

[BK: The CIA knew from the get-go what Castro knew because they intercepted many of his communications and had the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City totally wired with electronic and photo surveillance and had doubleagents working inside. In addition, French journalist Jean Daniel had met with JFK before going to Cuba to meet with Castro and he was with Castro when news of the assassination was announced and is a first hand witness to Castro’s reaction to the murder. Daniel said Castro thought it was very bad for Cuba that Kennedy was killed, because they knew Kennedy and were talking with him, and Kennedy had asked Daniel to visit him on his return trip to report on what Castro had told him. So the idea that Castro lied when he gave a three hour speech on the assassination denying any foreknowledge of Oswald or the assassination just doesn’t hold water, unless you are the CIA and want to continue to promote the original cover story.]

Castro delivered another speech four days later at the University of Havana. A CIA assessment described it as “a carefully prepared refutation of charges of complicity . . . [with] Oswald.” Fidel insisted that he had known nothing of the assassin.

[BK: Oswald wasn’t the assassin, he was set up as a Patsy to take the fall for the real assassins, who got away.]

Speaking of Oswald’s mysterious visits to the Cuban consulate in Mexico City in late September, Castro issued a second critical denial. “We did not know about it.” Then, he went further out on that limb. “We have no other background for the accused . . . other than what has been published in the press.”

[BK: That’s exactly what the CIA said at the time, though now we know they actually knew a lot more, and were exchanging cables about Oswald’s visit and considered it a highly significant event.]

But research I have conducted over the last five years for Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine, my new book, reveals that in all these respects, Castro lied.

[BK: I can’t wait for the book CIA’S Secrets. Cuba’s Intelligence Machine – his G-2, had infiltrated many of the anti-Castro Cuban groups in the USA and knew that they were plotting and trying to kill Castro, and that one of those plots was turned on Kennedy at Dealey Plaza.]

Evidence I have culled from tens of thousands of pages of declassified U.S. government documents, and from the reporting of two defectors from Cuba’s General Directorate of Intelligence, the DGI, proves his duplicity beyond any doubt.

[BK: It isn’t the tens of thousands of pages of declassified U.S. government documents that have been released that matter, it is the tens of thousands of pages of CIA documents that remain sealed and may never see the light of day because they contain secrets that affect the national security of the United States, and prove CIA duplicity beyond any doubt.]

Fidel first spoke about Kennedy’s assassination for about two hours from a Havana television studio. Oswald by then had been charged with the president’s murder and also for killing a Dallas police officer less than an hour later. Fidel had no idea what the young former Marine might confess to as he was being interrogated at Dallas police headquarters, or what he might say about his contacts in Mexico City with Cuban intelligence officers. And, Castro could not be sure how much American authorities had already learned about the gunman, a professed Marxist who adored Castro and revolutionary Cuba.

[BK: The CIA had no idea what the former Marine might confess to, and Fidel certainly didn’t have Oswald, the Patsy killed, someone closer to the Dallas scene took care of that. And the real gunman got away, as Oswald was never in the Sixth Floor window.]

The Cuban leader was profoundly worried. He warned his people to be “cautious and vigilant and alert,” describing the assassination as a “dangerous Machiavellian plot against Cuba.” The CIA reported that the speech reflected his “apprehension that U.S. policy toward Cuba may now become even tougher.”

[BK: He certainly was worried about the US invasion of Cuba, and with just cause.]

It was known in Washington that “immediately after the news of President Kennedy’s death,” Castro ordered an island-wide “defensive military alert.” By nightfall, Cuban military units had been deployed to strategic positions around Havana and on the north coast. American intelligence had intercepted Cuban communications showing that Fidel “was frightened” the United States “might invade.”

Che Guevara expressed acute alarm in a speech a day after Fidel first spoke. He warned that “the peace of the world will be threatened for years to come.” The Cuban Communist Party newspaper summed up the fear festering at the highest levels of the regime: “A dirty maneuver was afoot . . . making Cuba the perpetrator of the crime.”

These were not paranoid overreactions. The regime knew that while in Mexico City Oswald had tried to defect to Cuba so he could become a warrior for the bearded man he worshipped. The assassin was known to Cuban intelligence as a radical militant who had previously defected to the Soviet Union where he lived and married.

[BK: First Oswald “adores” Castro, now he “worshipped” him, and indeed Oswald did say that Marxism was his religion, and was known to Cuban G2 as a radical militant, certainly not crazy or a loner, but those he affiliated with were right-wing and pro-Castro Cubans.]

He had been arrested that summer in New Orleans after handing out pro-Cuban leaflets and engaging in a street brawl with anti-Castro exiles, whose group he had apparently tried to infiltrate.

[Yes, the DRE, but Latell can’t say that, even though he knows that the CIA is in court trying to keep the DRE records from being released and open to the public.]

Cuban intelligence knew that in New Orleans he had created a notional chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee — a pro-Castro cheerleading group headquartered in New York. Oswald claimed that the fictitious A. J. Hidell was his chapter’s president. Hidell, the alias Oswald used to purchase the rifle he fired at Kennedy, was devised to rhyme with Fidel.
[BK: Actually Oswald knew a Hidell in the USMC who lived in New Orleans at the time, though it most certainly was an alias, and alias are used by covert operators and not by idiots or lone nuts.]

Much more eventually became known about Oswald’s Cuba obsessions. He had tried to persuade his pregnant wife to help him hijack a plane to the island, so, she recalled him saying, he could fight for “Uncle Fidel.” She later said Castro “was his hero . . . he was a great admirer . . . in some kind of revolutionary mood . . . he would be happy to work for Fidel Castro’s causes.”

[BK: Yes, just as Oswald tried to infiltrate the DRE in New Orleans, he was seen in Dallas with “Maurice Bishop,” aka David Atlee Phillips, who was responsible for CIA’s Cuban operations and specifically for infiltrating the FPCC, so Oswald was happy to work for Fidel’s causes, but actually as a double-agent for Phillips.]


The first reliable indication that Fidel lied about his knowledge of Oswald came from Vladimir Rodriguez Lahera — codenamed AMMUG by the CIA. He was described by a top Agency officer as “an operational gold mine” when, in April 1964, he was the first to defect from the DGI. Rodriguez had worked at its headquarters in Havana and briefly at its Mexico City Center.

He told his CIA handler that Castro had lied when he publicly denied any knowledge of Oswald. In fact, Rodriguez reported that “before, during and after” Oswald’s visits to the Cuban consulate, “he was in contact” with the DGI. It is not clear that any of this incriminating information from a proven and trusted source was shared with the Warren Commission that investigated Kennedy’s murder. Rodriguez’s CIA files were not declassified until the 1990s.

[BK: Of course the CIA said all along that the accused assassin and designated Patsy had ties to the DGI, Castro’s G2, as well as the Russian KGB in Mexico City, but the Warren Commission instead opted to portray the accused assassin and Patsy as a lone-nut and therefore what happened at Dealey Plaza was the act of a deranged gunman and not a covert operation.]

Another reliable covert source, an American Communist Party member recruited by the FBI to report on his contacts with communist bloc leaders, provided reliable information showing that Castro had known of Oswald’s hatred of Kennedy weeks before the assassination. Jack Childs, with his brother Morris and their wives, were codenamed Operation SOLO. Jack met with Castro in Havana in May, 1964.

[BK: Oswald didn’t hate Kennedy, as his wife, and everyone who knew him said that he liked and admired Kennedy and only disagreed with him over his Cuban policy.]

Fidel told him that when Oswald was departing the Cuban consulate in Mexico, he shouted, “I’m going to kill Kennedy. . .” Strangely, the FBI report of this conversation was never properly shared with the Warren Commission and remained TOP SECRET for another 30 years. A related document drafted by the FBI office in New York that I discovered last year at the National Archives substantially adds to the accuracy of what Childs reported. I am not aware that any of its contents were ever shared with Kennedy assassination investigators.

[BK: A number of incidents, including Oswald imposters, indicated that he threatened to kill the President or the Secretary of the Navy, none of which sparked a Secret Service Protective Service Section investigation or put Oswald on a watch list, as any other threat to the president would.]


The report quoted Childs saying that “Castro had been “in a very good mood, and was not under the influence of liquor” when they met. Fidel had spoken “in broken English” and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was told “there is no question as to the accuracy of what he said [because] the informant indicated that he had made notes at the time Castro was talking and he had scribbled down what he considered important.”

Jack learned that “Castro received the information about Oswald’s appearances at the Cuban consulate, because he was told about it immediately.” Fidel spoke to him “on the basis of facts given to him by his embassy personnel, who dealt with Oswald, and apparently made a full, detailed report.” That Castro had publicly lied about that went unnoticed by American government specialists.

[BK: That Castro learned of Oswald’s visits to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City before the CIA did is hard to believe, and those Cubans who dealt with Oswald later failed to identify him as the man killed by Jack Ruby. So who was that who visited the Cuban embassy in Mexico City and threatened to kill the President if it wasn’t Oswald?]

Remarkably, another confirmation of Fidel’s deceptions came from a most unlikely source. Alfredo Mirabal, known to his colleagues by the alias “Eulogio,” was the incoming DGI chief in Mexico City and was present when Oswald visited. Mirabal was described by the defector Rodriguez Lahera as an experienced intelligence officer. In Mexico they had worked together plotting subversive operations in El Salvador.

Mirabal was interviewed by members of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978. In an oddly unguarded moment, he admitted that he had prepared a report on Oswald for his headquarters. Apparently he did not realize that he was contradicting what his commander in chief had solemnly claimed years earlier. As far as I can tell, this revealing error was never noticed by previous researchers.

[BK: The CIA said that it had no records on Oswald until after the assassination, which we now know to be false since we have many documents that show that they certainly did have records on Oswald before the assassination, some very incriminating. The Cuban G2 met with COPA researchers in the Bahamas and shared with them the records and reports that they had on Oswald and the Cubans suspected of complicity in the assassination, so it is hard to believe they didn’t know what was in their own files.]

So there can be no doubt: Castro lied egregiously. He knew truths about Kennedy’s assassin that for nearly 49 years he has refused to reveal.

[BK: So there can be no doubt: the CIA lied egregiously. They knew truths about Kennedy’s alleged assassin and Patsy and after 49 years are fighting in court to keep these truths secret from the American people].

What were his motives for gambling he could get away with such a big lie?

[BK: What are the CIA’s motives for gambling that they can get away with such a big lie we know is false – that Castro was behind the Dealey Plaza operation?]

Self-preservation was surely the overriding objective.

[BK: Self-preservation is surely the overriding objective, because if was publicly known that the CIA helped engineer the cover-up and frame the Patsy for the assassination, certainly their very existence as an organization and institution would be threatened.]

He had good reason to worry that emotions in the United States after Kennedy’s death were so inflamed that any evidence, even as CIA analysts wrote, “the imputation” of Cuban involvement, could lead to war.

[BK: That was the idea behind framing Oswald, the fake Castro lover, in the first place, and the reason why LBJ and the Warren Commission decided to go with the deranged lone-nut scenario rather than the one they knew to be true – that the President was a victim of a covert operation and the perpetrators were permitted to go free.]

He knew he had to calm the ferocious anti-Kennedy hatreds that he had previously stoked in Cuba. The first reaction of many of his followers was to celebrate Kennedy’s death. A CIA source on the island reported that spontaneous outbursts occurred at workplaces and neighborhood defense committees.

[BK: This sounds like the Jews who celebrated 9/11, a false attempt to implicate, and one that rings hollow and untrue.]

In Mexico City, a still mysterious DGI agent was overheard by the CIA rejoicing in a telephone conversation. When told the news by an unidentified caller an hour after the assassination, she exclaimed, How great!” Then, mistakenly informed that “Kennedy’s brother and his wife were also injured,” she laughed and again blurted out, “How great!”

[BK: But Castro himself, as we know from Jean Daniel, who was with him at the time, was very concerned and said that the assassination of the president was bad for him and Cuba. And if that what this is about, how come Latell doesn’t even mention it? Because it doesn’t fit in with his CIA agenda to promote the original cover story.]


Fidel knew he had to go public to establish new policy and propaganda guidelines. Orders prohibiting “manifestations of pleasure” were issued. He began referring to Kennedy with respect, even deference. He knew it was too dangerous to continue goading the American people as Kennedy was being mourned nearly everywhere else in the world.

But the most compelling reason for Fidel’s decision to put forth such now transparent lies is that he knew Oswald was going to shoot at Kennedy that morning. And he chose to remain silent.

[BK: Oswald didn’t shoot Kennedy and Castro didn’t know that morning that Kennedy would be shot, and chose to remain silent, but others, in the CIA and US national security state, certainly did.]

Florentino Aspillaga, a highly decorated Cuban intelligence officer who defected in 1987, told me Castro knew in advance that Oswald would shoot at Kennedy. Aspillaga is a source who proved so reliable to American intelligence that one retired officer told me “his value as a defector was as good or better than any the CIA ever had anywhere. If he had been a Soviet, it would have been the best by far we had in our entire history.”
I believe Florentino Aspillaga had it right: “Fidel knew.”

[BK: Aspillaga worked at the Cuban-Russian electronics intercept station at Lourdes, and was instructed to listen for AF1 radio communications out of Texas, where the President was known to have been visiting, so it would be natural for them to listen there. And if they did, they might have tapes of the uncensored AF1 radio transmissions that our own government has managed to tape and then lose. For Latell to take that fact and extend it to proof the Cubans knew JFK would be killed is a stretch. Fidel may have known JFK was in Texas, but it is not proof he knew JFK would be killed, unless you are a CIA asset who wants to promote that fairy tale.]

About the Author
BRIAN LATELL began tracking Cuba for the CIA in the early 1960s. Today, as Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, he continues as one of the most distinguished and frequently quoted experts. For a quarter century he taught Cuba and Latin America as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. A former National Intelligence Officer for Latin America and Director of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence, he has written for the Washington Post, Miami Herald, Wall Street Journal, Time, and many other American and international publications. His After Fidel has been published in eight languages.

Editorial Reviews

“An insider's look at Castro's Cuba, and its tortured relationship with America, from one of the most knowledgeable Cuba experts around. Brian Latell draws on exclusive interviews with Cuban spies and troves of declassified documents to provide the most authoritative account yet of the decades-long U.S. Cuba intelligence war.”--Michael Dobbs, author of One Minute to Midnight: JFK, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War

“I have been waiting more than 35 years for this book. Since my service as a member of the Senate’s Church committee I have never believed Fidel Castro’s denials of prior knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. Brian Latell has performed a national service by writing a book that lays bare the duplicity of the Cuban government.”--Robert Morgan, former US Senator

"No one knows more about Cuban intelligence than Brian Latell. In this page-turner, he not only tells compelling stories that reveal the strength of Cuban actions in Le Carre's world of spy vs. spy but raises unsettling questions about Lee Harvey Oswald's Cuban connections. By the end, the reader is asking, What did Fidel know and when did he know it?"--Timothy Naftali, Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counterterrorism

"A remarkable look at Fidel Castro's intelligence machine. This is a must read for anyone curious about the long history of Fidel Castro's intelligence preoccupation with the U.S. "--Frederick P. Hitz, former Inspector General of CIA and author of The Great Game 

“Castro’s Secrets is a must read for anyone who cares about how JFK died, how Fidel Castro lied to a congressional investigating committee, and whether the CIA is still covering up crucial knowledge.”--G. Robert Blakey, Former Chief Counsel and Staff Director to the House Select Committee on Assassinations

"In this provocative book, Brian Latell brings to bear all his experience and knowledge as a former intelligence analyst on Cuba for the CIA. This is a book that should be read, regardless of whether one agrees with Latell about Castro’s complicity in JFK’s assassination."-- Max Holland, author of The Kennedy Assassination Tapes

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