Final Judgement – by M Piper

Final
Judgment
by
Michael Piper
Dedication
To my late friend, Lois Petersen.
Without Lois, this book simply
would not have been possible.
Thanks, Lois, for everything.
To the remarkable O. W. MacLeod, whose friendship
and encouragement were most valued.
To Robert M. Piper, who shared my
enthusiasm for seemingly lost causes.
And to the gutsy and inimitable Jim Floyd.
The Israeli Nuclear Arms Link to the JFK Assassination
Now the Subject of Worldwide Discussion . . .
For ten years Israeli propagandists called Final Judgment author
Michael Collins Piper a “liar” and an “anti-Semite” for charging that
Israeli intelligence played a role in the JFK assassination conspiracy
because of JFK’s bitter secret conflict with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-
Gurion over Israel’s efforts to build nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Certain self-styled “JFK assassination researchers” scoffed at Piper and
refused to address the thesis of his book.
However, on July 25, 2004, many of Piper’s critics were red-faced and
silent when Israel’s respected Jerusalem Post carried a story headlined:
“Vanunu: Israel behind JFK Assassination.” The newspaper reported that
famed Jewish-born nuclear physicist, Dr. Mordechai Vanunu, recently
released after spending 18 years in prison for exposing Israel’s covert
atomic weapons program—had charged that supporters of Israel’s drive for
nuclear weapons were involved in the JFK assassination precisely because of
JFK’s interference with their ambitions.
The Israeli government dismissed Vanunu’s allegations, but what he
said received attention in newspapers worldwide, with the notable exception of
the United States where one and only one newspaper, mentioned Vanunu’s
charges and that was American Free Press, the Washington-based weekly that
published Final Judgment. However, as widely read Internet writer, Rev.
Mark Dankof, put it quite correctly: “The Vanunu-Piper allegations about
Israel will not go away.”
New Evidence Ties Israel’s Nuclear Weapons Program to
The New Orleans Connection in the JFK Conspiracy . . .
As the second printing of the sixth edition of this book went to press, a
source with intimate, high-level knowledge about the NUMEC nuclear plant
in Pennsylvania that smuggled nuclear materiel to Israel (see Chapter 8)
provided documentation to Michael Collins Piper that the family of
Edith Rosenwald Stern, a prominent New Orleans Jewish leader, were key
financiers behind NUMEC. Mrs. Stern was the closest friend of Clay Shaw, the
longtime CIA asset charged by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in
the JFK conspiracy. Final Judgment had already documented Shaw’s ties to
Israeli intelligence, so the NUMEC-Stern connection is all the more
damning and, with other data, explains why Garrison ultimately
concluded there was an Israeli connection behind the conspiracy. And
note this: Another NUMEC investor was Pittsburgh’s CIA-connected
“right wing” billionaire Richard Scaife, whose protégé, Joe Farah, a vocal
supporter of Israel, promoted a JFK conspiracy book evidently designed to
distract attention from Final Judgment. No more need be said.
The Israeli nuclear weapons link to the JFK assassination is
a reality—a fact of history that is not going to go away . . .
JFK and Israel—No “Special Friendship”
“Israel need not apologize for the assassination or destruction of those
who seek to destroy it. The first order of business for any country is the
protection of its people.”
Washington JewishWeek
October 9, 1997
“The murder of American President John F. Kennedy brought to an
abrupt end the massive pressure being applied by the U.S. administration on
the government of Israel to discontinue the nuclear program [In Israel and
the Bomb, Avner] Cohen demonstrates at length the pressures applied by
Kennedy on Ben-Gurion . . . in which Kennedy makes it quite clear to the
Israeli prime minister that he will under no circumstances agree to Israel
becoming a nuclear state. The book implied that, had Kennedy remained
alive, it is doubtful whether Israel would today have a nuclear option.”
Reuven Pedatzer in the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz,
February 5, 1999, reviewing Israel and the Bomb.
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1998)
“`Nothing in the universe is coincidence,’ Rabbi Meir Yeshurun of the
Kabbalah Center in Boca Raton, Florida, told a reporter for The Palm Beach
Post. ‘Somebody in the [Kennedy] family did something to open the family
to this negative energy, and that has been plaguing the Kennedys for
decades.’ According to a story that is told in mystical Jewish circles . . .
[JFK’s father] Joseph Kennedy . . . returned to the United States aboard an
ocean liner that was also carrying Israel Jacobson, a poor Lubavitcher rabbi,
and six of his yeshiva students, who were fleeing the Nazis.
“A notorious anti-Semite, Kennedy complained to the captain that the
bearded, black-clad Jews were upsetting the first class passengers by
praying on the Jewish high holy day of Rosh Hashanah . . . In retaliation, or
so the story goes, Rabbi Jacobson put a curse on Kennedy, damning him
and all his male offspring to tragic fates.
“ . . . It is a curious fact that the very same people who scoff at the
concept of Kismet, or fate, find it difficult to dismiss the concept of curses . .
. [The Kennedy family] made the fatal mistake of thinking of themselves as
divine.”
Edward Klein, former Editor-in-Chief of The
New York Times Magazine, writing in the
opening pages of The Kennedy Curse (New
York, St. Martin’s Press, 2003)
MOTIVES . . .
“It is interesting—but not surprising—to note that in all the words
written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence
agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned. And yet a Mossad motive is
obvious. On this question, as on almost all others, American reporters and
commentators cannot bring themselves to cast Israel in an unfavorable light—
despite the obvious fact that Mossad complicity is as plausible as any of the
other theories.”
Former Rep. Paul Findley (R-I11.), in The
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,
March 1992.
ORIGINS . . .
“. . . The Israeli origin should be totally covered while attention should
be shifted to any other possible factor . . .”
Benjamin Givli, head of Israeli military
intelligence, outlining an Israeli terror
campaign to be blamed upon Moslem
extremists. Documented during the inquiry
into Israel’s “Lavon Affair.”
PLAYERS
“There has been since almost the earliest days of the Israeli state and
the earliest days of the CIA a secret bond, basically by which Israeli
intelligence did jobs for the CIA and for the rest of American intelligence.
You can’t understand what’s been going on with American covert
operations and the Israeli covert operations until you understand this secret
arrangement.”
Andrew Cockburn on C-SPAN’S Booknotes,
September 1, 1991.
RESEARCHERS . . .
“While the [JFK assassination] researchers have involved themselves in
consuming preoccupation with the microanalytic searching for facts of how
the assassination was accomplished, there has been almost no systematic
thinking on why President Kennedy was killed.”
JFK researcher Vincent Salandria quoted by
Daniel Brandt of NameBase NewsLine report,
January-March 1994.
MISINFORMATION
“There has been a lot of misinformation poured out . . . It is time for
people to look in different directions. I don’t really care who did it. I just
want Lee to be exonerated if he is not the guilty party.”
Marina Oswald, in Dick Russell’s
The Man Who Knew Too Much.
ILLUSIONS . . .
“There is a type of optical illusion known in its more pretentious
manifestations as ‘camouflage art.’ These are paintings, generally of
wilderness landscapes, that, viewed up close, look like simple picturesque
scenes—a mountain lake with a snow-covered slope reflected on its surface, a
field of wildflowers, a forest of birch trees. Take a few steps back,
however, and the picture changes. The mirrored rock assumes the shape of
an eagle in flight, the flowers form themselves into a rearing stallion, the
boles of the birch trees become the profile of an Apache warrior. The
myriad details resolve themselves into a single, unmistakable image,
previously hidden from sight, but only when they are seen from a distance.”
From Deranged, Harold Schecter’s study of
serial killer Albert Fish.
MIRRORS . . .
“The overwhelming evidence is that a conspiracy—a big conspiracy
containing numerous levels of intrigue—led to the Kennedy assassination.
Everywhere you look, there is another hall of mirrors. Over the years . . . it
has become virtually impossible to see what the truth is. Where is the
wizard, the wicked witch? All of the above, or none of the above . . . What
ultimately faces us is a hydra-headed beast, but it is possible to come to
grips at least with its claws. Always remembering that the intrinsic nature of
this beast is fog and smoke, nevertheless this is not a wholly ambiguous and
unknowable world . . .”
From Dick Russell’s
The Man Who Knew Too Much.
MAGICIANS . . .
“President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of magicians. It was a
stage trick, complete with accessories and false mirrors, and when the
curtain fell the actors, and even the scenery, disappeared. But the magicians
were not illusionists but professionals, artists in their way.”
From Herve Lamarr’s
Farewell America
Here’s what Australian-based JFK
assassination researchers have to say
about FINAL JUDGMENT . . .
MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER MUST BE A GLUTTON FOR
PUNISHMENT. Upon the first release of his book, Final Judgment, a storm
of controversy erupted in the United States with certain “pressure groups”
trying hard to have the book banned. Since then, Final Judgment has gone
through three more printings—and the controversy hasn’t abated.
We here in Australia believe that all theories on the JFK assassination
should be heard, no matter whether you agree with them or not. Heck, we
even bought and read Gerald Posner’s Case Closed, and there isn’t a more
outlandish theory than his! Trying to get another book banned because you
don’t agree with it, or it isn’t Politically Correct (the greatest censorship
drive of the 80s and 90s), is just the kind of thing we fight against. It’s just
the same as groups such as the FBI and CIA “redacting” lines of text here
and there. People in glass theories shouldn’t throw books, so to speak.
So, we here at Probable Cause are proud to review Final Judgment and
hope that we never go down the path of the “American Model”—freedom
of speech and the First Amendment and all that—yeah, okay, until you start
speaking out and stepping on other people’s toes. They line you up for a
takedown. Boy, does Michael Collins Piper know about that!
Okay, so after that little editorial, what is Final Judgment about?
Piper’s thesis is that Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, played a key
role in the assassination alongside the CIA and organized crime.
Throughout his presidency, JFK was involved in an increasingly bitter
behind-the-scenes dispute with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
over Israel’s steadfast determination to build a nuclear arsenal. JFK wanted
them to stop. But they had other ideas.
Sound far-fetched? Well, actually, you’ll be surprised how many wellknown
“JFK assassination players” have links to the Mossad and we were
quite impressed with the documented evidence within the book. Still, you’ll
have to read this one for yourself to decide. Piper is under attack from the
ADL in the U.S. for this book and, really, it’s not warranted. Did the French
community in the U.S. get upset when it was suggested there was a French
connection in the assassination? No. But then again, perhaps they don’t
have the lobbying power of the ADL.
The Internet Review of Final Judgment by the
Australia-based JFK assassination group, “Probable
Cause.” The review also gave Final Judgment a three
star rating—out of a possible four stars.”
Here’s what some big names have said
about America’s #1 Banned Book:
• A respected former high-ranking U.S. State
Department official . . .
“As one who has read over 200 books on the JFK assassination, and
engaged in research both as an individual and as part of various teams, I can
say without fear of contradiction that Piper’s book is now the definitive
work on the JFK assassination. Final Judgment is the most thorough, most
honest, most penetrating, most factual, and most analytically complete and
systematic of all that I have read so far.
“The author builds an upwardly spiraling tapestry of well documented
facts that connect the threads of the conspiracy as they ascend level by level
from the ground up to the very tip of the pyramid. Along the way, he breaks
the conspiracy into easily digestible parts. Otherwise its sheer complexity
would be nearly impossible to follow and decipher. At each level, the
threads of the puzzle are woven together in such a way that the fog from the
labyrinth is slowly but inexorably lifted until eventually it is peeled back
completely and the outlines of the conspiracy are laid bare. What is revealed
is as convincing as it is scary.
“Someday America will have to face some unpleasant truths about its
democracy and about how it has been, and continues to be manipulated, if
not completely commandeered by those whose primary loyalties lie
elsewhere. While the links at some of the levels may be tenuous, the author
refuses to `fake or fudge the data’ or to be `fatally selective’ in what is
included or left out—as was so clearly the case in Gerald Posner’s Case
Closed, or indeed as was the case in the Warren Commission’s own flawed
report. Piper is intrepid in following his analysis to every logical
conclusion—wherever they lead and whatever the implications may be.
“In short, Piper keeps his eye on the donut (`Big Picture’) and not on
the hole (inessential details). He focuses on the `why and how’ of the
conspiracy and unmistakably the threads all lead back to Israel, Israeli
super-patriots, the Meyer Lansky led `Jewish branch of the mob,’ and the
Mossad and the international `agents of influence’ under its control.
“While serious researchers may quibble with inessential details in the
study, such as tenuous links at some levels, or redundancies at others, those
of us who have studied this issue since the days after the assassination
always knew that the truth would have its own resonance—like the Garrison
investigation did. We knew that the truth would have its own context, its
own smell, like Peter Dale Scott’s Deep Politics and the Death of JFK did.
Piper’s book has them all and in the grand tradition of Carl Oglesby’s The
Yankee & Cowboy War, Michael Collins Piper has struck gold. He has hit
the `mother lode,’ and in the process has pointed the finger at, if not
tightened the proverbial noose around, the necks of the cabal of conspirators
responsible for pulling the strings (and triggers) of the JFK assassination.
“JFK assassination research has a new standard bearer. It will never be
the same again. Because of this book, future research will begin to focus
more on the `big picture,’ and turn away from constantly grinding, ad
nauseam, at inconsistencies in the Warren Commission’s Report. Compared
to Posner’s Case Closed, Final Judgment is a masterpiece.”
—Herbert L. Calhoun
(Herbert L. Calhoun, Ph.D. retired as deputy division chief of the
Policy, Plans and Analysis Office of the State Department’s Bureau of
Political-Military Affairs and formerly served as a senior foreign
affairs specialist for the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency
and as the U.S. representative to the 1996 and 1998 United Nations
Group of Governmental Experts on Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Dr. Calhoun posted this endorsement of Final Judgment on
amazon.com on March 10, 2003.)
• A famed Hollywood screenwriter and
victim of the “witch hunts” of the 1950s . . .
“Michael Collins Piper has laid out the only scenario for the JFK
assassination that makes ultimate sense. He’s a gutsy guy who hasn’t been
afraid to confront the truth head on. That’s what America is all about. Final
Judgment is a masterpiece that would make a great film—but it’s not likely
one that will ever be made.”
—Bill Norton
(One of the movie industry’s most prolific screenwriters, the
colorful Bill Norton was described by The Sunday World of London (on
April 9, 2000) as “a leading Hollywood movie figure” and “a dedicated
socialist and a man with strong religious beliefs who had helped various
left-wing causes.” In the late 1940s and early 1950s Norton was a hostile
witness during the infamous anti-communist “witchhunts” of the House
Un-American Activities Committee.)
• A respected veteran American author, journalist
and foundation official . . .
“I think you’ve pinned the tail on the donkey. In my estimation, Final
Judgment ranks as the most important book of the 20th century.”
—William J. Gill
(Gill—who died just as this edition of Final Judgment was going to
press—was the author of such books as Trade Wars Against America,
The Ordeal of Otto Otepka, Suite 3505: The Story of the Draft Goldwater
Movement, and Why Reagan Won. A journalist with United Press
International and the Pittsburgh Press, Gill also wrote for Life, Fortune,
the Saturday Evening Post, Reader’s Digest and National Geographic. He
also served as executive director of the prestigious Allegheny
Foundation and was a well-known Washington representative for the
domestic steel industry.
• A former top-ranking Pentagon official . . .
Here’s what Colonel Donn De Grand Pre has written in his own book,
Barbarians Inside the Gates, citing Final Judgment, which Grand Pre
describes as “brilliant”…
“Several high-level military officers believed that the killing of JFK
was in fact a coup d’etat carried out by elements of the CIA working with
the Israeli Mossad. Kennedy was attempting to halt the development of
nuclear weapons by the Israelis, while simultaneously planning to disband
the CIA and disengage our military troops from the Indo-China area. (Read
Final Judgment by Michael Collins Piper for more details.)”
—Col. Donn De Grand Pre
(A veteran of World War II and Korea, Grand Pre served as
Deputy Chief of the International Division/Office of the Chief of
Research and Development at the Pentagon. In 1967 Grand Pre was
named as Director for Ground Weapons Systems in the newly-created
office of International Logistics Negotiations, responsible for
negotiating sales contracts with heads of foreign nations for military
weapons systems. On Sept. 30, 1979, The Washington Post Magazine
wrote about Grand Pre, citing his expertise: “If you had been a Middle
Eastern ruler in the 1970s in search of American weapons systems, you
would have called Donn de Grand Pre, Pentagon arms peddler.”)
• One of America’s most hard-driving young
independent investigative reporters . . .
Shortly before his strange death in Phoenix, Arizona on June 16, 2003,
journalist Brian Downing Quig wrote Michael Collins Piper and said:
“A very important person gave me your book. So I started to read what I
would not have purchased at a dollar book sale. I was hostile to the thesis
stated on your cover! But I looked at the photos and then read every word. I
am now convinced that you have seen and now help others see the largest
feature of the JFK assassination that has been missed by all up to this
period. I think that Final Judgment delivers all that you promise.”
—Brian Downing Quig
(Quig was best known for his inquiries into the death of reporter
Don Bolles and later for his work on the Charles Keating scandal.)
And here’s what famed American populist
historian Eustace Mullins says about FINAL
JUDGMENT . . .
“Only once in a decade does a book appear which immediately
becomes a ‘must read’ for all concerned patriots. Final Judgment is such a
book. Final Judgment is a ‘must’ book because it raises and answers so
many questions which we need to know about.
“You need to know everything in this book if you are to understand the
subversive forces which are destroying our nation.
“Final Judgment is ammunition for the coming war of liberation for
America. Victory is not possible without information, and this book has
given us the information we need.
“You will wait a long time, if ever, before you see such a gargantuan
assembly of vital information as you’ll find in this book.”
FINAL JUDGMENT—the one book that—if
read by enough people—will turn American politics
upside down.
The Myth of Dallas: New Revelations
As the second printing of the sixth edition of Final Judgment was being readied
for press, a detailed 19-page anonymously written document, cited with 115
footnotes, relying on a wide variety of mainstream sources, arrived in the mailbox of
Final Judgment author Michael Collins Piper. The document was in an envelope
(with no return address) postmarked “Dallas, Texas.” Entitled “The Kennedy
Assassination and Israel: Some Dallas Connections,” the document—apparently the
work of a professional journalist—focused on “the specifics of how the Israelis could
have influenced the events in Dallas,” filling in details never explored in previous
editions of Final Judgment. The data is quite explosive, particularly when
contrasted with the mythology regarding “Big D” repeated ad infinitum in JFK
literature. However, understanding the real Dallas—not the city of legend and of
Hollywood drama—prepares one for the revelations laid forth in Final Judgment.
The document buries the tired old myth that a clique of anti-Semitic White
Anglo-Saxon Protestant oil plutocrats ruled Dallas. Instead, the truth is quite the opposite.
Not only did Dallas have an immensely powerful Jewish community, but, more
importantly, the city (and Texas) had been a major center of fundraising and arms
smuggling on behalf of the Zionist cause, going back to the 1940s. Even Jonathan
Pollard, the American spy for Israel, said he was inspired to pro-Israel activism by
stories he heard (while living in Texas) of gunrunning for the Israeli underground by Jews
in Texas. In fact, the official published history of a major Zionist arms smuggling
operation, the Sonneborn Institute, reports its agents smuggled aircraft parts out of
Texas to Israel. This was happening when a then recently discharged Army Air Corps
aircraft mechanic, Jack Ruby, was re-settling in Dallas in 1947, the year prior to Israel’s
birth, when Sonneborn’s activities were at a zenith. Ruby bragged of having run arms to
Israel and, in 1963, is now known to have part of an arms smuggling operation overseen by
an Israeli intelligence officer. So the Israeli connection to Texas was a lot more intimate
than many today ever realized.
In 1963, JFK’s primary interest in Dallas was raising money from the Dallas
elite, and that meant the wealthy pro-Israel Jewish Democrats who were major financial
angels for the ruling Democratic Party there. And since JFK was, at that time, at
loggerheads with Israel over its nuclear arms program, it is critical to recognize how JFK
was lured to Dallas and who was in charge of the arrangements that actually facilitated
his assassination. And while it is well known that the Dallas leg of JFK’s Texas trip
was sponsored by the Citizens Council (CC), the elite business group that ruled
Dallas, the little-noticed evidence shows that two of the three key figures who dominated
the CC were Jewish—not “WASPs,” as the legend of Dallas would have it. These were
the folks who really ran Dallas, not the conservatives affiliated with the John Birch
Society, as the old myth suggests. In 1963, one of those Jewish power brokers was an
outspokenly pro-Israel liquor wholesaler, Julius Schepps, who held the distribution rights
in Dallas for the Bronfman family’s Seagram’s products. And as we shall see, there
is evidence that Jack Ruby was on the payroll of the Bronfman family, whose
fingerprints are to be found all over the JFK assassination conspiracy.
The means by which the Dallas elite gained control of JFK’s Dallas trip agenda is
interesting. Since JFK’s Dallas trip was officially designated as “non political”—in contrast
to other Texas stops such as Houston and Austin which were designated as “political”—
the private entities paying for the Dallas trip gained control of the planning (taking
it out of the hands of the JFK-controlled Democratic National Committee). The
CC designated a “host committee.” The chairman was Dallas Jewish leader and public
relations man, Sam Bloom, the CC’s longtime executive director, and—in
retrospect—one of the least known but most pivotal figures in world history.
There was an immediate confrontation between Bloom, representing the Dallas elite,
and Jerry Bruno, JFK’s veteran advance man. Bruno wanted the president to speak at the
Women’s Building, but the rulers of Dallas insisted JFK speak at the Trade Mart.
Although Bruno fought long and hard, after much pressure, the Dallas elite prevailed,
causing the JFK loyalist to comment that “this was one of the few fights like this that I
had lost. On things like this my judgment was usually taken. This time it wasn’t.”
By forcing JFK to speak at the Trade Mart, the Dallas elite positioned the JFK
motorcade to take the now-infamous “dog-leg” turn into what was a classically sniperfriendly
“kill zone” on Elm Street just below the Texas School Book Depository
(TSBD), from where it later was claimed the alleged assassin, TSBD employee Lee
Harvey Oswald, fired the fatal shots. The spot was also in easy range of the “grassy
knoll” and the nearby Dal-Tex Building, where assassination researchers believe
snipers were located. Had JFK’s advance man prevailed—as he usually did—JFK (on
his way to the preferred location) would have traveled two blocks farther away from the
TSBD—out of the kill zone—at a greater speed.
Although the Secret Service objected (for security reasons) to the publication of
JFK’s motorcade route, Bloom (the point man for the Dallas elite) nonetheless made
sure a map of the route was repeatedly published in Dallas papers. Thus, later, when
the “patsy” was in custody, there was a plausible explanation as to how he knew JFK
would pass by his workplace.
That an assassin quite probably fired on JFK from the Dal-Tex Building is most
relevant in the context of an Israeli connection. Co-owned by David Weisblat, a major
financial backer of the Israeli lobby’s Anti-Defamation League, Dal-Tex housed, on
different floors, a number of firms that utilized the telephone number of Morty
Freedman, an attorney, garment manufacturer, and activist in Jewish affairs. Since
JFK was working to stop Israel’s nuclear arms program—which received smuggled
uranium from U.S. sources—it is notable that one Dal-Tex firm linked to Freedman
was the Dallas Uranium & Oil Company. It is also intriguing that one of Freedman’s
Dal-Tex business partners was Abe Zapruder, the Jewish dress manufacturer who
filmed the assassination and profited immensely. Today there are some who now
believe Zapruder had advance knowledge of the assassination.
Once the accused assassin was in custody, it was—you guessed it—Sam Bloom,
who had earlier maneuvered JFK into the kill zone, who pressured Elgin Crull, the
city manager, to in turn pressure Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry into making
Oswald accessible to the press and to move him publicly from the Dallas police
station to the city jail. Thus, the situation was in place for Jack Ruby to move in for
the kill. There are several sources, including Dallas FBI agent James Hosty, who
stated Bloom and his backers were the forces behind this. When the police searched
Ruby’s home, they found a slip of paper with Bloom’s name, address and telephone
number on it.
So it is that the Dallas myth comes to an end. This will be painful for those who
thought the city an anti-Jewish stronghold, ripe for Nazi revolution. Instead, Dallas was
actually an outpost for the advancement of the interests of Israel and today it very much
remains so.
Although Walt Brown suggested in Treachery in Dallas that the city’s elite were
prime movers behind the events of November 22, 1963, he rushed to write elsewhere
that the JFK assassination “wasn’t done by Mossad . . . as some would have us believe”
(referring to Final Judgment). However, in light of the “Big Picture of Big D”—
details Brown ignored (or suppressed) in terms of their ultimate (and critical) context—
it’s time for real JFK assassination truth seekers to take a new look at Final Judgment.
A Note from the Publisher . . .*
“When Final Judgment was temporarily out of print,
second-hand book dealers were selling copies over the
Internet for as much as $185 each. And this is a book that
certain people refuse to acknowledge even exists!”
Few people know it, but it takes as few as 40,000 copies to be sold for a
book to reach the New York Times best-seller list. What far fewer people
know—but book dealers can attest to it—is that there have actually even
been books listed by the Times as “best sellers” even though the books have
not yet actually been printed! Advance orders from book
dealers—presumably—make this unusual phenomenon possible.
Whatever the case, there’s much more to the story behind the story of
“best-sellers” than meets the eye. And it’s a story that most of the major
names in the publishing industry probably would prefer left untold.
Nonetheless, a number of books dealing with the JFK assassination
have reached the Times’ list. Interestingly enough, though, Mark Lane’s
ground-breaking international best-seller, Rush to Judgment—which did
reach the Times list—was never once reviewed by the Times, which tells us
that it is the source of “all the news that’s fit to print,” until long after the
book had become an international cause celebre.
In more recent years, particularly in the wake of the release of Oliver
Stone’s Hollywood blockbuster, JFK, several more volumes did reach the
Times’ best-seller list. Final Judgment was not one of those volumes. This
despite the fact that nearly 8,000 copies of Final Judgment were sold within
two weeks of the book’s release in January of 1994—this as a response to a
single advertisement in a relatively small national weekly newspaper.
Since then, no more than 300 copies of the book were purchased in
bulk by dealers. All other sales were to individual buyers. In one instance,
however, an enthusiastic reader purchased 100 additional copies after his
favorable reception of the first two copies he ordered. Now, as a result of
direct mail promotions, many thousands more copies of Final Judgment are
being sold across the country with more than 40,000 copies in circulation.
When the book was temporarily out of print—in the fall of 2003—there
was so much demand that second-hand copies were being sold by used book
dealers over the Internet for as much—at one point—as $185 a copy.
Clearly, there’s obviously a little bit of interest in a book that some people
don’t even want to admit exists!
That Final Judgment has already sold so exceedingly well is quite
remarkable, considering the general lack of publicity that the book has
received. One much-touted JFK assassination work, The Plot to Kill the
President, by former House Assassinations Committee director G. Robert
Blakey, received widespread national promotion when it was released by a
New York Times book publishing affiliate in 1981. Yet, Blakey’s book,
___________________________
*Authored by the American Free Press, publisher of the soft cover edition
Foreword
according to Blakey himself, sold only some 20,000 copies—far less than
Final Judgment which received no mass media promotion whatsoever.
So if you’ve never read anything about the JFK assassination, Final
Judgment will be the only book you ever need read on the subject. If, on the
other hand, you have read one or more earlier volumes on the subject, you’ll
be amazed at the explosive new revelations appearing in Final Judgment.
Don’t look for analysis of “where the shots came from” or “how many
shots were fired” or “how many assassins were involved.” None of that
appears here. Dissecting the assassination conspiracy in its entirety, Final
Judgment ties together little-known details that have been ignored or
misunderstood (or even covered up) by other authors—whether by accident
or by design. Final Judgment focuses on the most important question of all:
Who was ultimately responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy?
Once you’ve read Final Judgment, you’ll never look at the JFK
assassination the same way again. And you may never again trust the media
to tell you all of the facts about any other important event that shaped the
course of history. Above all, you’ll understand how the JFK assassination
conspiracy evolved as it did and why—at least until the advent of Final
Judgment—the truth had never been told.
It is important to note that since the first release of Final Judgment,
only a handful of minor errors have been brought to the author’s attention.
The errors, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with the thesis of the
book and were based on the research of others. Those errors have been
corrected. Otherwise the conclusions reached remain unchanged.
Final Judgment stands unchallenged. The only criticism has been ad
homenim. Yet, name-calling does not a successful challenge make. If
anything, hysterical and malicious defamation—especially considering the
sources—lends credence, in its own way, to the thesis of the book.
So there is indeed much more to be learned about the assassination of
John F. Kennedy. Final Judgment points the direction for those who wish to
pursue the matter further. Final Judgment is—at least for the time being—
precisely what its title suggests.
Michael Collins Piper has done the work necessary to assemble this
volume. Now it is up to the readers to make sure that the message imparted
within these pages reaches the widest audience possible. When you’ve
finished the book, pass it on to a friend. Order extra copies to donate to
libraries and to give to opinion makers in your community. Write letters to
the editors of local newspapers about the book. Call radio talk shows.
Let the American people know the truth. It’s all up to you. This book, if
read by enough people, could play a major part—just as did the
assassination of President Kennedy—in reshaping the course of world
affairs. But that can only happen if enough people—who will be mad as
Hell when they learn the truth—take action.
Now, prepare for a remarkable journey and learn—at long last—who
really killed John F. Kennedy . . . and why.
An Introduction
by Robert L. Brock
A Black American’s Perspective
on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
As an American of African slave descent, as a U.S. Army veteran of
World War II, and as a long-time laborer within the African-American
community, I have a special interest in finding out precisely who killed
President John F. Kennedy and why.
John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy, put a great deal on
the line when they stepped forward and identified themselves with the cause
of justice for Blacks in America. To be sure, Jack and Bobby were savvy
politicians, conscious of the growing and increasingly influential Black
voting bloc in America. Thus, for reasons of their own, they had made a
conscious decision to align themselves politically with Americans of
African slave descent. However, at the same time Jack and Bobby also truly
believed that it was time that the Black man and Black woman in America
deserved an even break.
Through their words and—more significantly—through their actions,
the Kennedy brothers were bringing a previously-disenfranchised people
under the protection of the Kennedy dynasty. Had John Kennedy lived and
been elected to a second term, the Black voting bloc—for years to
come—would have ultimately become part of a Kennedy political
powerhouse.
Throughout the 20th century the Black political apparatus in America
was dominated at the highest levels—particularly in the all-important
financial realm—by Jewish influence. Organizations such as the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, one of the foremost elements in
the powerful Israeli lobby, aggressively dictated the internal affairs and the
public course and discourse of what were ostensibly “Black”—or, in the
parlance of the day, “Negro”—civil rights organizations.
However, with the advent of the Kennedy presidency, Americans of
African slave descent now had an effective and eloquent spokesman in the
White House itself. This essentially had the effect of moving the ADL, for
example, out of the loop. The ADL was no longer the “middleman” divvying
up the civil rights crumbs for Blacks in America.
John F. Kennedy, for all intents and purposes, had emerged as a white
“mainstream” voice for Black America’s political empowerment. As
President of the United States, speaking out on behalf of Black concerns,
John F. Kennedy short-circuited the long-time domination of the Black
community by Jewish financial interests and placed himself in the center of
the civil rights debate. The ADL and other “civil rights” organizations
funded by the Jewish financial interests were pushed aside and made
irrelevant. A white man of Irish Catholic descent—the grandson of a saloon
keeper—became Black America’s unlikely spokesman and co-opted the
Jewish overseers of the civil rights movement in America.
As a consequence, I do believe—as do many other Americans of
African slave descent—that this is one of the reasons that the powers-thatbe
within America’s plutocratic elite determined that John F. Kennedy’s
presidency had to be brought to premature closure.
What’s more, all of this came at a time when independent Black voices
such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were themselves rising in
popularity and influence—much, it seems, to the dismay of the Jewish
community. We now know that although we have heard much in the media
about J. Edgar Hoover’s war on Dr. King, it was the ADL that was
providing the foot soldiers for this war—a fact that the ADL would much
prefer be kept under wraps. A former ADL official has admitted (and as
Michael Collins Piper documents in Final Judgment) it was the ADL that
was actually doing much of the surveillance of Dr. King, the illicit fruits of
which, in turn, were channeled by the ADL to J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.
Dr. King and Malcolm X and others knew the way of the Black ghetto.
They understood how Black America was being manipulated. They knew
how the drug and gambling and prostitution rackets of Meyer Lansky—a
major ADL contributor—were eviscerating Black America. They dared to
speak out. For that, both Martin and Malcolm ultimately paid the price.
When all is said and done, there’s no question in my mind that we will
find that those who slew those dreamers were also behind the murder of
John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby. This is why I take great pleasure in
penning this brief introduction to Michael Collins Piper’s remarkable book. I
believe that Final Judgment provides the answer to the mystery of who really
killed John F. Kennedy—and why.
I will say this for the record: I have nothing but contempt for those
cowardly white liberals who portray themselves as admirers of JFK’s stand
on civil rights and say that they want to find the real murderers of President
Kennedy but who otherwise ignore or suppress the facts put forth in Final
Judgment. They are frauds and phonies. They are afraid of the truth. They
are profiteers who are trading on the death of President Kennedy but
covering up all of the facts that are there before them.
There is no other book ever written that explains the JFK assassination
conspiracy so honestly or which makes everything about the JFK
assassination conspiracy so crystal clear. Once you’ve read Final Judgment
you’ll understand the big picture.
Michael Collins Piper has stepped right up into the footlights of center
stage and, like one of those great Broadway impresarios, Piper has
presented a spell-binding scenario outlining the entirety of the JFK
assassination conspiracy more powerful and more convincing than any
before. I think you’ll agree.
ROBERT L. BROCK, Founder
The Self -Determination Committee
Acknowledgements—and Intrigue . . .
Having written a book on such a “controversial” topic as the JFK
assassination—coupling that subject with a highly “sensational” thesis—has
proven quite an adventure. It has been rewarding, if not sometimes
frustrating. It’s brought me a lot of new friends—and lots of enemies, too!
Since the first edition was released, I’ve received so many letters of
congratulation and appreciated comments of many people I respect who
have said—as one put it: “I think you’ve pinned the tail on the donkey.”
Never having styled myself as an “expert” on the JFK assassination, I
protest when anyone introduces me as such. In fact, despite what many have
assumed, the subject has never been a particular preoccupation of mine.
There are others who have devoted much more time to the topic. And I am
very familiar with their work.
However, there are many JFK assassination researchers who refuse to
admit that there is even any basis for my thesis. There are those who don’t
wish to even acknowledge the very existence of this book—it’s that
“controversial.”
In the pages that follow, I pull no punches in naming names or pointing
out why I believe some “researchers” are disingenuous and perhaps even
compromised, bought off by the forces responsible for the JFK
assassination. I don’t believe I’m overstating the case at all.
Some fools have suggested Final Judgment is “Arab propaganda.” No
Arab government or financial interest—or even any Arab-American
source—had any hand in preparing, publishing or distributing this book.
Only in later 2001—a full year after the publication of the fifth Englishlanguage
edition—did a privately owned Arabic-language publishing house
issue a translation of the book.
This work is mine alone.
Some critics pointed out that I was an employee of Liberty Lobby, the
populist institution that published the (now-defunct) national weekly
newspaper, The Spotlight. These critics note that Liberty Lobby questioned
U.S. favoritism toward Israel. All of this is true. However, for this I make
no apologies nor, for that matter, are any apologies due.
In fact, as this new edition of Final Judgment is being delivered to the
publisher, the global media is focused on Israel and the Middle East . . . and
the publications and voices of the Israeli lobby in America are crying (true
or not) that “The Whole World is Against Us.”
So, it was precisely my association with Liberty Lobby that enabled me
to gain special insights—particularly vis-à-vis U.S. policy toward Israel—
which assisted tremendously in the preparation of this book. Other JFK
researchers have not had this unusual advantage.
What’s more, as you’ll see in Final Judgment, Liberty Lobby became
embroiled in a heated libel trial after ex-CIA figure E. Howard Hunt
brought a lawsuit against Liberty Lobby for publishing an article alleging
the CIA intended to frame Hunt for involvement in the JFK assassination.
Acknowledgments—and Intrigue . . .
Handling The Spotlight’s successful defense, appropriately enough, was
Mark Lane, dean of the Warren Commission critics. Lane put aside
presumed ideological differences with Liberty Lobby and skillfully used the
Hunt case to explore the JFK assassination in a legal forum—the first such
opportunity since Jim Garrison’s ill-fated prosecution of Clay Shaw.
Thus, following the Hunt case from the “inside”—and later studying
Lane’s account of the affair in Plausible Denial—gave me a unique vantage
point others haven’t had. I thank Mark Lane—and Willis Carto, the founder
of Liberty Lobby—for this opportunity.
Willis Carto’s encouragement and enthusiasm were most important in
making this book possible. The title for Final Judgment was his suggestion
and right on target.
As for Mark Lane, let it be noted that had he not written one word after
Rush to Judgment—the book that proved the Warren Commission Report a
fraud—we would still be indebted to Mark for that alone.
Although many books from others came later, Mark’s singular crusade
convinced the world there was much more to the story. Mark and his one-ofa-
kind wife, Trish, are tremendous human beings and valued friends.
In Final Judgment you will also meet another remarkable individual: a
former French intelligence officer who provided me with stunning “inside”
information that forced me to rewrite the first draft of Final Judgment,
thereby bringing my thesis full circle. Had it not been for his input, this
book would not be complete.
The name of my French source, Pierre Neuville, was unveiled for the
first time in the fifth edition of Final Judgment, but the Mossad—of
course—knew his identity from the beginning.
Although the first draft presented—I think—a compelling indictment of
Mossad complicity in the JFK assassination, my French source pointed me
in a direction that convinced me—and many readers—that Final Judgment
was on the mark.
History owes a debt to the well-known and respected former U.S.
congressman, Paul Findley—a liberal, no “right-wing extremist”—who
introduced me to this French source and vouched for his credibility. Only
recently did I formally identify Findley as the conduit, but, again, it was no
mystery to those who make it their business to know these things.
Another former U.S. Congressman—the late John G. Schmitz—told me of
his own long-time suspicion of Mossad involvement in the JFK
assassination (based on his own inquiries) and encouraged me to write this
book, saying it was a book he would have liked to have written.
A rather colorful international businessman intimately associated with
several prominent figures mentioned in Final Judgment gave me a rather
firm endorsement of this book’s thesis, saying succinctly: “I think that’s
pretty much what happened.” Considering this gentleman’s connections, his
assessment is very telling indeed.
Although they’ve certainly never endorsed my thesis, several authors
upon whose works I relied extensively do confirm the secret war between
JFK and Israel and suggest (in my view) that behind-the-scenes intrigue in
the U.S.-Israeli relationship is relevant to the events of November 22, 1963.
Stephen Green, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, and Seymour Hersh, in
their own studies of U.S. Middle East policy (Taking Sides, Dangerous
Liaison, and The Samson Option, respectively), provided the foundation
upon which much of my own research was conducted.
In 1998—four years after the first release of Final Judgment—Israeli
historian Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb, came along and his
book (certainly unintentionally) has given great credence to my thesis.
Cohen told a mutual acquaintance—I’m sure he’d be shocked to know
we even know somebody mutually—that he was horrified to learn (while
doing an Internet search for data on his own book) about the existence of
Final Judgment and its thesis. Of course, Cohen rushed to assert his view that
rejects the idea of Israeli involvement in the JFK assassination, but the genie
is out of the bottle and the world now knows that Israel and JFK were not
the “special friends” some would have us believe.
A little-noticed—but important—book, There’s a Fish in the
Courthouse, by Gary Wean, enriched my own work considerably.
Unfortunately, Gary now claims my book “plagiarized” his and that I was
“forced” to acknowledge his work, which, of course, was clearly quoted and
cited and prominently acknowledged from the start.
Nobody “forced” me into giving his book the recognition it was due. In
fact, Gary’s friend, Wade Frazier, has pointed out that I’m one of the few
who has even given any credence or publicity to Gary.
A special “thanks” to a very real friend, Tom Valentine, host of the
popular Radio Free America. When no others would, Tom gave me the
opportunity to discuss this book and has continually given me much
encouragement. (Among other things, by the way, Tom’s also a fabulous
source of information on alternative health. Check out carotec.com.)
Several other radio hosts, including Jack Stockwell and Barbara Jean at “KTALK”
in Salt Lake City, and “One Eyed Jack” Jackson in Springfield,
Illinois, Bill Boshears in Cincinnati, Ron Muhammed in San Diego, Victor
Thorn and Lisa “Vicki” Guliani (of babelmagazine.com) and Rick Adams at
WALE in Providence, Rhode Island have also dared to have me on.
Ex-CIA official Victor Marchetti’s counsel was appreciated, although
my longtime buddy makes me chuckle when he says he still believes “The
KGB killed JFK.” As publisher of New American View, Victor and his right
hand, Donna McGrath, kept a watch on the Israeli lobby in Washington.
Vince Ryan, John Tiffany, Travis McCoy and Jim Yarbrough, among
others, provided helpful suggestions during the writing of Final Judgment.
Each, in his own way, contributed to this volume.
Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, the brash and wonderful pioneer American critic
of America’s disastrous Middle East policy, was most supportive.
A warm nod of appreciation to the late H. Keith Thompson whose
support for my work honored me tremendously.
From the start, Van Loman has been a valued confidante, providing
sharp insights and remarkable leads that brought the book full circle.
Acknowledgments—and Intrigue . . .
A tremendous, albeit-belated word of thanks to Bill Grimstad for
putting me onto Frank Sturgis’ little-noted Mossad connection, a rather
relevant point—and that’s putting it lightly—that escaped my own research.
Tom Kerr, Bill W., Reg O., Martin Williams, Tony Blizzard, and others
provided editing which improved this book considerably. Bob “H. L.”
Diehli’s humor and support has also been encouraging.
Friendly words from the late Ace Hayes, firebrand publisher of the
Portland Free Press, and Daniel Brandt of NameBase Newsline proved the
point that the JFK assassination is not a matter of “right” or “left,” as some
naïve folks still believe. Those old labels are gone with the wind.
God bless Dr. Herbert Calhoun, the former State Department official
whose no-holds-barred endorsement of Final Judgment has absolutely
floored my critics who do know that there are a lot of others in high places
who agree with Calhoun, but just aren’t yet ready to say it publicly.
Counsel from British writer Gordon Thomas was very much
appreciated. Thanks also to Gordon’s colleagues at The European for
publishing a detailed exposition of my controversial research.
The hearty endorsement from no-nonsense Idaho attorney Edgar Steele
(see conspiracypenpal.com) has certainly helped spread the word.
And I would be remiss in failing to mention Sid and Wwoolf at
feralnews.com and Russ at playtowinmoney .com and the folks at
afrocubaweb.com who have generously promoted Final Judgment.
Alan Jones’ excellent synopsis of Final Judgment in How the World
Really Works (see abjpress.com) has really been a boost. And Carol Adler,
the courageous maverick publisher of many fascinating “controversial”
titles (see dandelionbooks.net) also stands out for her interest in my work.
To Christopher and Helje Bollyn: You’re gutsy people and good
friends. The same to Professor Ray Goodwin who put his career on the line
by telling his students Final Judgment is the “last word” on the JFK affair.
Thanks to others who provided moral support along the way: Blayne
Hutzel, Paul Wolff, Pete Godlove, Dale Crowley, Robert Boody, Mark
Lillis, Mary and Mae, the travel agents, Tom McIntyre, Joe Power, Ed
Harrington, George Kadar, Joe Fields, Jim Scott, Robert Wolfe, Larry
Showell, R. H. Showell, Greg Garnett, Jerry Myers, Donald Malloy, David
Lewis, Dan Hinton, James Jakes, Anne Cronin, Julia Foster, Trisha Katson,
Ann Brown, Helen Nunley, Marie Zittel, Agi, Mike, Nick, Jim, Judy, Ruby
Lee, George, Will, Ricky, DVS, Steve, James the Poet—and last but far from
least—that special dog, Brute, and all my other four-legged friends too numerous
to mention.
My mother—always my worst critic—read the volume and became
convinced, her initial doubts notwithstanding. Too bad my father didn’t live
to see the book published. He would have been proud.
All of this having been said, I now leave it up to the reader to determine
if I have indeed “pinned the tail on the donkey.”
—MCP
An Apology From the Author . . .
“I Missed the Missing Link.”
“Michael Collins Piper does much more than convince readers of the
multi-layered conspiracy to remove JFK from office: he convinces us
that the facts have always been right before our eyes.”
From a review of Final Judgment
posted on Amazon. Com
One of the problems with writing a book is that no matter how hard an
author researches his subject, he’s bound to miss a few significant items the
first time around. Since Final Judgment was first released in 1994, I’ve
repeatedly kicked myself for having passed by more than a few such details
that I believe lend credence to the theory that this book puts forth.
Up through and including the fourth edition of Final Judgment, I
repeatedly made the point that former New Orleans Jim Garrison who
prosecuted trade executive Clay Shaw for conspiracy in the JFK
assassination had no inkling of any Mossad connection to the assassination.
But it now seems that I was wrong.
After the fourth edition of Final Judgment was released, I made the
somewhat unsettling discovery that Garrison apparently did indeed realize
that the Mossad was connected to the conspiracy—and the information had
been there for me to find it, if I had looked in the right place.
Although I had scanned the quite extensive Internet web site of veteran
JFK assassination researcher A. J. Weberman (www.weberman.com) I
found something which amazed me, to say the least. On his web site,
Weberman made the following remarkable assertion:
This researcher knew Jim Garrison in the mid-
1970’s. Garrison wanted me to find a publisher for a
manuscript he had written on the assassination of
President John F. Kennedy. When I read the
manuscript I found that it was a fictional work that
placed the blame for John Kennedy’s death on the
Mossad—the Israeli intelligence service.
Considering all the grief to which I had been subjected over the past
several years—even including criticism coming from some defenders of the
Garrison investigation—I could barely believe what I had read.
If A. J. Weberman is to be believed, Jim Garrison himself had indeed
figured out—somehow, not surprisingly—that there was good reason to
believe that the Mossad had been involved in the crime of the century.
But Garrison himself evidently concluded (quite correctly, I might add)
that it was not in his interests to say so—at least not publicly and certainly
not in any of his non-fiction writings on the subject. So Garrison decided
instead to put his thesis in a novel, but it was a novel that obviously was
never published. I doubt that Garrison’s family will be attempting to put the
unpublished manuscript (if it still exists) on the market any time soon.
Weberman’s revelation is sure to make many defenders of Jim Garrison
uncomfortable, but it does provide astounding confirmation that the thesis
that has been put forth in Final Judgment does have some genuine support
from a figure who has become both a villain and an icon in the lore of the
JFK assassination conspiracy.
Garrison’s reported theorizing of Mossad involvement does not, of
course, prove that the Mossad was involved in the JFK assassination, but it
does lend credence to what has been so widely criticized (but without
refutation, I might add) in the pages of Final Judgment.
The question, naturally, arises: was Weberman lying about Garrison’s
Mossad theory, and if so, why would Weberman make this allegation? This
is not for me to answer. I am only here to tell you that this is what
Weberman has said.
If Weberman is not lying, are we then to believe that Garrison was
simply having some sort of twisted fun, that he concocted this scenario for
his own peculiar purposes? This, of course, seems highly unlikely.
Thus we are left with the fact of what Weberman has alleged about
Garrison’s apparent suppositions, coupled with the reality that Final
Judgment has now come forth documenting the “how” and the “why” of
Mossad involvement in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
And as much as it may dismay Israel and its powerful lobby in
America, represented by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai
B’rith and other powerful forces, there are a lot of people—in growing
numbers—who do believe that Final Judgment presents a scenario that does
make sense, one that makes as much sense or more than many of the other
standard theories on the subject, the ADL’s hysterical efforts to silence me
(but not refute me) notwithstanding.
So despite the subtitle of my book, in a sense I actually initially missed
“the missing link in the JFK assassination conspiracy”—the fact that Jim
Garrison had indeed recognized the Mossad connection.
Only now am I finally able to bring this vital detail to my readers. I
only wish I had done it earlier.
Keeping all of this in mind, I invite the readers of Final Judgment to
read what I have written, and re-written, and revised and up-dated and to
determine for themselves if Jim Garrison’s apparent suspicions were indeed
on the mark and that Israel and its Mossad were primary players alongside
the CIA in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
—Michael Collins Piper
Washington, DC
”The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle”
A Foreword by the Author . . .
On August 21, 1997 a front-page article appeared in the Los Angeles
Times describing an uproar in Southern California that erupted over my
impending lecture at a community college seminar on the JFK
assassination. The seminar was being held under the auspices of the South
Orange County Community College District. Although four speakers were
scheduled, it was my expected presence—my presence alone—that created
the controversy. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith was
(not surprisingly) upset that I contend in this book, Final Judgment, that
Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, played a front-line role in the JFK
assassination alongside the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate.
The Times reported that the ADL accused yours truly “of being a
proponent of Holocaust denial and labels his claim that Israelis killed
Kennedy ridiculous.” The ADL failed to cite any evidence of my being a
“proponent of Holocaust denial,” but evidently the ADL considers that the
ultimate kiss of death and that such accusations are fair game when trying to
silence anyone who runs afoul of its agenda.
That the ADL presumes to label my charge of Israeli involvement in
the JFK assassination as being “ridiculous” is downright laughable.
Inasmuch as the ADL not only functions as a major force in the Israeli
lobby in the United States, but is also an intelligence and propaganda arm of
the Mossad, it seems unlikely the ADL would ever endorse my thesis.
In any case, as a direct result of intense and highly hysterical clamor by
the ADL, the JFK seminar was canceled, although college officials and
others said publicly and forthrightly that they were concerned about the
implications and consequences of the ADL’s heavy-handed pressure
campaign to restrict freedom of speech, particularly in an academic forum.
Nonetheless, news reports about the affair appeared in newspapers
nationwide, even including a Newsweek commentary by George Will, a
strident supporter of Israel.
So, as a consequence, I’m pleased to say, there was a positive side to all
of this. Now—for the first time since Final Judgment was published in 1994—
readers of “mainstream newspapers” across America have been told that there
is a theory floating around out there that Israel’s Mossad was involved in
the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
As I told the Los Angeles Times and which was quoted in a second
article on August 22: “The Anti-Defamation League has not heard the last
of Final Judgment. The door has been kicked open. There is now going to
be a lot of debate about this book” —whether the ADL likes it or not.
Although the Los Angeles Times reporter, Michael Granberry, made
some attempt to present my views, I do feel compelled, however, to
comment on various aspects of the Los Angeles Times article, inasmuch as
the whole story behind the article needs to be told.
The Times quoted one Gerald Posner, the author of Case Closed, as an
authority on JFK conspiracies. The fact is that Posner has been widely
reviled by serious longtime JFK assassination researchers for having written
Case Closed which claims that the Warren Commission Report was correct
(despite some flaws) and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
The cosmopolitan Mr. Posner was said to be “aghast” that the seminar
was scheduled and said “This strikes me as being similar to the notion that
the Holocaust was a hoax.” This happens to be precisely the propaganda
line now promoted by the ADL which has said that if people believe there
was a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination, they might also end up
believing that there was no Holocaust.
ADL National Director Abe Foxman, writing in Antisemitism in
America Today: Outspoken Experts Explode the Myths, stated forthrightly:
“If segments of the population are really willing to believe that
President Kennedy was killed by the military-industrial complex because he
was too soft on Communism . . . then it is not hard to imagine some of these
same people falling for the lies of Bradley Smith or the fabrications of
Louis Farrakhan and Leonard Jeffries.
“All of these conspiracy theories share the core feature that the
`research’ which supports them—little more, in fact, than a compendium of
anecdotes divorced from their original context—is rigged to arrive at
predetermined conclusions, not historical revelations or insights.”
(The aforementioned Smith, by the way, promotes the view, held even
by so-called “mainstream” JFK assassination researcher Jim Marrs, that the
number of Jews who died in the Holocaust has been over-stated.
(Farrakhan and Jeffries, of course, are outspoken Black figures who
have documented a major Jewish role in the slave trade and have given the
ADL much distress.)
In short, if you believe in any JFK assassination conspiracy theory, you
might actually believe something else about another matter—such as the
Holocaust or the slave trade—that the ADL doesn’t want you to believe.
But back to the ADL’s friend, Posner. In fact, Posner’s book is little
more than a rehash of the original Warren Commission Report
supplemented with an offensive mish-mash of virulent attacks on not only a
number of JFK investigators but also citizens who came forth with credible
evidence pointing toward a conspiracy behind the assassination of the
president. But just who is Posner anyway? Why has he emerged as a sort of
fair-haired boy for the ADL and the other critics of Final Judgment (and
JFK conspiracy theories in general)?
The aforementioned Jim Marrs, the author of Crossfire, a popular
compendium of JFK conspiracy theories, has been fiercely critical of Posner
and he’s been pretty public in those criticisms and he has his own opinions
(worth citing) about where Posner is coming from.
In the fall 1995 issue of Paranoia magazine, an expose of Posner
reveals that Posner had privately admitted to Marrs that Bob Loomis, an
executive at Random House, had approached Posner asking him to write a
Foreword: The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle . . .
book on the JFK assassination, promising Posner that the CIA would open
its own JFK assassination files to Posner so that he could write the book.
As a consequence, Marrs has condemned Posner as a CIA front man. Why
did Loomis ask Posner—out of all of the authors in the world—to write
the book? According to Mans: “Probably because [Posner] had been used as
a CIA tool in his earlier book, Hitler’s Children. In this book he interviewed
the children of top Nazi leaders. How do you go about doing that? How do
you find who they are? They’ve all changed their names. How do you locate
them? Posner had to have been set up by the CIA for that book, too,” says
Marrs.
Marrs is (rightly) upset by the way the mainstream media promoted
Posner’s book on the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination. It was then
obvious (as it is today) that the media does want the public to believe that
the JFK affair is a “case closed.” What is notable is that by far the biggest
media push for Posner’s book came in the August 30th 1993 issue of U.S.
News & World Report, which gave the book a widely-advertised cover
story. I’ll probably upset some people by pointing out that U.S. News is
owned by Mort Zuckerman, one of the most outspoken and powerful
figures in the Israeli lobby in America.
In an appendix in this edition of Final Judgment, I have analyzed
Posner’s book and showed precisely what a pathetic fraud it is. However,
for those interested in a comprehensive critique of Posner, I would heartily
recommend Case Open by veteran JFK researcher Harold Weisberg.
So much for Gerald Posner. Although he’s not a reliable source
(obviously), the Los Angeles Times took great delight in citing his critique
of Final Judgment which Posner, the Times said, considers one of the more
“outlandish” theories presented to date.
The Los Angeles Times also quoted one Chip Berlet, whom it described
as one “who has studied the assassination extensively,” and as a “senior
analyst” at a “think tank . . . that examines authoritarian thinking.” Berlet
said that my views represented “the outer limits.”
First of all, I am not aware of anything Berlet has ever written on the
JFK assassination (other than random attacks on other JFK conspiracy
theorists) so I know of no published evidence of his “extensive study.” This
in stark contrast to what was, at that time, the 385-page third edition of
Final Judgment which was documented with 746 footnotes.
Furthermore, the so-called “think tank” that employs Berlet has its own
axes to grind. The Times failed to point this out when presenting Berlet as
some sort of objective “analyst.” What the Times also failed to mention is
that Berlet’s “think tank” has been funded by at least two known CIA front
companies. So we can see, even now, where Berlet is coming from.
At this juncture I should also note that prominent “New Left” activists
of the 1960’s such as (the since-deceased) Ace Hayes, publisher of the
Portland Free Press, and Daniel Brandt of the NameBase NewsLine
newsletter, had long kept a close watch on Berlet and concluded that:
1) There is no question that Berlet has collaborated closely with the
ADL to the point that they consider him little more than a “shill” for the
ADL and at worst, possibly one of its paid operatives; and
2) Berlet himself may also have covert connections to the CIA,
including involvement with a CIA-financed “student” group of the 1960’s.
There are others who have pointed out that despite his preppy
nickname, Berlet’s real name is John Foster Berlet. He was named after
former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was apparently
associated with Berlet’s father. Dulles’ brother, Allen, of course, was not
only fired as CIA director by JFK but later went on to serve as a member of
the Warren Commission which covered up the truth about the assassination.
So inasmuch as Final Judgment indicts the CIA for collaborating with
the Mossad in the JFK assassination we can understand why Berlet (and
Posner) are eager to keep Final Judgment under wraps. Obviously, the ADL
directed the Los Angeles Times to both Posner and Berlet, knowing that the
two CIA-connected “authorities” would come through as they did.
The Times also quoted Roy Bauer, a philosophy instructor, at the Irvine
Valley College, as referring to me (and the other scheduled speakers at the
conference) as “crackpots.” (It was Bauer, it seems, who originally called the
ADL to complain about my impending presence at the seminar.)
I am certain Bauer never read my book, so for him to accuse me of
being a “crackpot” is malicious and baseless name-calling of the worst sort.
What’s more, although I am not familiar with the “philosophy” espoused in
the classroom by the good professor it is clearly not a philosophy in line
with the American tradition of freedom of speech.
I made repeated efforts to contact Bauer to speak to him directly but he
refused to return my calls. When I finally did reach Bauer, he told me that
he had been “advised” not to speak with me and promptly hung up. This
advice, I’m sure, came directly from Bauer’s friends at the ADL. For years
the ADL has maintained a policy of “refusing to debate” those it otherwise
so feverishly attacks through the press. The anguished Bauer, evidently was
comfortable throwing brickbats from afar and by calling in the “thought
police” at the ADL, but he didn’t have the fortitude to confront me directly.
The Los Angeles Times also reported, incidentally, that college trustee
Steve Frogue, the sponsor of the ill-fated college seminar, had claimed
some time ago that “the ADL was behind” the Kennedy assassination.
Frogue did not say this. What Frogue, in fact, said was that there was
evidence (clearly documented in Final Judgment) that it was possible that
Lee Harvey Oswald’s strange activities in New Orleans were part of one of
the ADL’s famous (or infamous) “fact finding” operations.
The Times reporter (perhaps) misunderstood Frogue’s remarks about
the ADL’s connection to Oswald, but now that misinterpretation has been
reported again and again and has taken on a life of its own. But Frogue
didn’t say what he was alleged to have said. However, in Final Judgment
Oswald’s (surprising) ADL connection(s) are examined for the first time.
Poor Mr. Frogue. As a young admirer of JFK, Frogue was preparing to
join the Peace Corps, inspired by Kennedy’s New Frontier. Upon the death
Foreword: The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle . . .
of the president, however, Frogue was so frustrated and disillusioned that he
instead joined the Marine Corps. A high school teacher and community
leader (and a part-time student of JFK conspiracy theories) Frogue thought
that an academic forum—through the auspices of the South Orange County
Community College District (of which he was elected president)—would be
an ideal way to debate the theory presented in Final Judgment, along with
other competing theories—including one that “The Nazis Killed JFK.”
But the ADL thought otherwise. They had no desire to allow college
students and other interested participants to even hear what I had to say.
They considered the thesis of Final Judgment so dangerous that they did all
in their immense power to prevent me from being heard. Thus, Steve
Frogue’s project was scuttled through a smear campaign against me and
against this decent man that he probably never imagined possible.
The Los Angeles Times did correctly report my comment that JFK was
involved in a fierce battle with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
over Israel’s efforts to build a nuclear arsenal. The young reporter, Mike
Granberry, had asked me specifically (and it was a good question, needless
to say): “My editors want to know why you think that Israel would be
opposed to John F. Kennedy?” So I told him and he reported my response.
What the Times did not report was that I had additionally noted that
upon JFK’s death U.S. policy toward Israel under Lyndon Johnson did a
complete and immediate 180-degree turnabout and that—most importantly—
Israel’s nuclear bomb program went forward unimpeded.
As I told the Times (but which was not reported): “Although there is
some debate about whether or not the U.S. would have remained involved
in Vietnam had JFK lived, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about
the drastic reversal in U.S. Middle East policy from which Israel was the
prime beneficiary.” I pointed out to the Times that four prominent authors,
Seymour Hersh, Stephen Green and Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, wrote
extensively about JFK’s policy toward Israel and that I relied almost
exclusively upon their findings.
I did not say, as the Times further reported, that I disputed the muchreported
figure that “six million Jews” died at the hands of the Nazis, nor
did I ever once allude to claims that the figure is actually much lower.
What I said was this: “First of all, my book is about the JFK assassination. It
has nothing to do with the Holocaust. The JFK assassination took place in 1963.
The Holocaust ended in 1945. My views on what did or did not take place
during the Holocaust have nothing to do with my book on the JFK
assassination. It is another subject altogether.
“As far as the numbers are concerned,” I pointed out, “I have heard the
figure of Six Million all of my life. You can’t turn around without reading
something about it in the press all of the time. However,” I added, “in recent
years, some Jewish historians have claimed that the figure is as high as
seven million or even eight million. So I don’t know what the figure is.”
(For an example of such a claim that the figure may be as high as seven
million, see the ever-august Washington Post of November 20, 1996, the
issue of the highly reputable Jerusalem Post for the week ending November
23, 1996 and the May 23-May 30, 1997 edition of the New York-based
Jewish Press—all of which are considered quite “responsible” by the ADL.)
At no time did I ever suggest to the Los Angeles Times that I believed,
as the Times falsely reported, “that no Jews were killed in gas chambers.”
This was literary license on the part of the reporter who presumed that these
were my views based upon what the ADL had already (falsely) told him my
views happened to be on this irrelevant issue.
Despite all this, of course, my JFK book had nothing to do with the
Holocaust, the ADL’s false and malicious rantings notwithstanding.
And it’s probably worth noting that a handful of characters who are
self-styled Holocaust revisionists—”Holocaust deniers” in the parlance of
the ADL—have not only tried to stop distribution of Final Judgment and
discredit it, but these same intriguers successfully sabotaged a pending
Russian-language translation of the book! So much, then, for this nonsense
about “the Holocaust.”
Frankly, I doubt very much that if I happened to be “pro-choice” on the
issue of abortion that the Catholic Church would have, on that basis,
launched a major smear campaign to stop me from speaking on the unrelated
subject of the JFK assassination. So therefore, again, we have to
wonder precisely why the ADL was so adamantly opposed to my lecture
being heard and then dragged in the irrelevant issue of “the Holocaust.” The
answer is obvious. When all is said and done, the ADL’s hysterical reaction
to Final Judgment validates the thesis of this book. It’s that simple.
The Los Angeles Times made reference to another proposed speaker at
the scuttled seminar, John Judge, and pointed out that he was known for his
adherence to “the conspiracies theories of the late New Orleans Dist. Atty.
Jim Garrison” and that “those theories had no anti-Semitic overtones.”
What is interesting to note is that Judge refused to permit me to speak
at a JFK conference that he organized here in Washington in October of
1996. The diplomatic excuse at the time (in the words of Judge’s associate,
Philip Melanson) was that the program at that conference was “attempting
to focus on evidentiary issues and questions rather than broad historical
themes and theories.” However, Judge’s associates told one attendee, who
asked why Final Judgment wasn’t on display at that conference: “Neither
Michael Collins Piper nor his book are welcome here.” Ultimately, when
Judge’s name was linked with mine in press reports, Judge rushed off a
letter to the Orange County Register to assure its readers that he and his
colleagues would certainly not have anything to do with an extremist like
me. Yet, even Judge is in the soup as far as the ADL is concerned: after all,
Judge, too, believes in a conspiracy theory—and that’s baaaaad!
Thus, I find it quite amusing that Judge has now been labeled a
“crackpot” alongside me. Likewise with another individual who was
scheduled to speak at the seminar in California—one Dave Emory—who
contends the Nazis were behind JFK’s assassination. I won’t burden the
reader with commentary here on that peculiar notion, although in Chapter
15 of Final Judgment I do provide some interesting information about
Emory’s so-called “Nazi connection” which proves it was anything but that.
Foreword: The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle . . .
In fact, the thesis presented in Final Judgment, if anything, vindicates
Jim Garrison’s indictment of Clay Shaw for involvement in the JFK
assassination conspiracy. Garrison first pinpointed the role of Clay Shaw in
the conspiracy and, in Chapter 15, Shaw’s Israeli connections are outlined
in sharp detail. However, I must say that the theory presented in Final
Judgment does not hinge on Clay Shaw. With or without Shaw there is firm
evidence in many, many other areas that points in the direction of Israeli
involvement in the JFK assassination. However, Shaw’s complicity in the
conspiracy simply brings things full circle, as you’ll see.
As far as the suggestion by the Times that my thesis has “anti-Semitic
overtones,” I will say this: I don’t think the book is “anti-Israel” or “anti-
Semitic.” Period. To criticize the actions of Israel and its lobby in this
country is not “anti-Semitic” and common-sense people who have no
fanatical religious or political axes to grind realize this.
One reviewer, Kenn Thomas, in his conspiracy theory journal,
Steamshovel Press, commented that “the book cannot be read without trying
to identify the fine line of an anti-Israel/anti-Zionist critique with oldfashioned
anti-Semitism.” I think that’s nonsense. However, to be perfectly
honest, I have to think that Thomas made that remark (in the context of a
grudgingly friendly review) simply in hopes of avoiding being called an
“anti-Semite” himself for suggesting (as he did) that the reader could learn a
great deal about JFK’s little-known behind-the-scenes struggle with Israel
by reading the book. You see, there are a lot of cowards out there among
self-styled conspiracy researchers: “Mossad involvement? Oh no!” they cry,
and then add, whispering among themselves: “But, if there was, by all
means don’t say it. We’ll be discredited in our research.” Poor folks.
Israel, in my view, is just another foreign country and doesn’t deserve
any special treatment any more than Ireland or Iceland. However, there is a
very strong pro-Israel lobby in America (which includes some of its
strongest backers such very Christian men as Jerry Falwell and Pat
Robertson) and as a consequence, Israel has immense power over U.S.
foreign policy making. Because of that “special relationship” Israel does
occupy a unique position that has put Israel right there in the line of fire to
be pummeled with criticism. Israel is not above reproach and because it
wishes to exert its influence it must expect to be criticized.
I firmly believe that the Mossad had a hand in the assassination of JFK
and that Israel must be held accountable for its actions. It’s that simple. If
there was evidence that Arabs had a hand in the JFK assassination, they,
too, would have to be held accountable. However, the evidence does not
point in the direction of the Arabs.
At any rate, I do have the right under our good old-fashioned American
Constitution (at least at the present) to make my views heard. If someone
(wrongly) construes those views to be “anti-Israel” or “anti-Semitic” that is
also their right. But being opposed to the misdeeds of Israel is not being
“anti-Semitic,” no matter what the ADL says. However, in any event, I
don’t frankly care what the ADL thinks.
The evidence presented in Final Judgment stands on its own, no matter
what the name-callers at the ADL and their assorted shills might say.
Anyone who contends that I believe the JFK assassination was a “Jewish
plot” is a liar or a fool or both—or illiterate, at the least.
Despite all this, as I’ve said, the frenzy over the college seminar
brought an amazing amount of fully-unexpected publicity to the thesis
presented in Final Judgment.
Of some 27 different news accounts of the controversy that came to my
attention in the days following the initial Los Angeles Times article, fully 21
of those subsequent accounts (based on the Times’ report and on coverage
by the Associated Press) said specifically that the seminar featured a
speaker who contended that the Mossad had a hand in the president’s
murder. Most of the references, in fact, actually appeared in the opening
paragraphs of the articles in question.
Not all of the accounts mentioned Final Judgment by name—although
many did—but the thesis herein was definitively referenced and no doubt
surprised those who had never heard of the theory before.
Some of the headlines on the articles themselves were quite forthright:
“Speakers say Kennedy killed by Israeli plot” read the article in the Bryan
College Station Eagle out of Texas. “Guest speaker claims Israel
masterminded the killing” announced a sub-headline in the Miami Herald.
“Class lecturers blame JFK death on Israelis,” reported the Chicago Sun-
Times. “Community college speakers blame JFK death on Israel,” declared
the Birmingham News. The Pasadena Star-News, in announcing that an
“uproar” had forced the cancellation of the seminar, added (falsely) that
“One panelist said Jews behind death of JFK.”
And so it went—all across the country. In the end, what is so ironic is
that if the ADL had just ignored the seminar, the role of Israel’s Mossad in
the JFK assassination might never have received the widespread national
exposure in the daily press that it at long last has.
Ironically, Michael Granberry, the young man who covered the story
for the Los Angeles Times—and whose byline appeared in many of the
stories across the country—left his post shortly after his story appeared. Did
Granberry pay the price for telling too much about the thesis of Final
Judgment to his readers? I don’t know, but it’s something to think about.
To his credit, noted commentator Nat Hentoff, who writes a widely
read column on First Amendment issues, weighed in on the controversy.
Hentoff wrote: “There is no academic freedom unless one has the freedom
to speak about any idea no matter how offensive or disgusting” (the
suggestion being, obviously, that my thesis is “disgusting” by the very
nature of the fact that I have said something less than friendly toward
Israel—a unique re-definition of the word “disgusting” indeed!).
Hentoff’s comments were featured in a report entitled “Free speech in
academe under fire” published by the First Amendment Center at
Vanderbilt University. It turns out that none other than Caroline Kennedy,
daughter of the late president, is a member of the center’s advisory board.
Foreword: The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle . . .
So evidently Caroline has probably heard about Final Judgment—as have
several members of her family and possibly her late brother, as we will see.
In any case, as a direct consequence of its hysterical (and successful)
effort to prevent me from appearing at the seminar in Orange County, the
ADL suffered a historic (and much-deserved) “double-whammy” within
eight days time, stemming directly from the controversy.
First of all, on October 12, 1997 the Orange County Register, the
biggest daily newspaper in one of the most densely populated metropolitan
regions in the country, published a lengthy commentary in which I
responded to the ADL’s attacks and outlined the thesis of the book.
This was the first time since Final Judgment was published in January of
1994 that any “mainstream” newspaper gave any substantial publicity of any
kind to the allegations made in the book.
Although a flimsy attempt at a “rebuttal” by an ADL spokesman,
Bruno Medwin, was published in conjunction with my commentary, the
ADL’s lame response never once attempted to refute any of my specific
allegations. The ADL commentary actually misled readers by suggesting
that the ADL believes that “mainstream” theories about a possible JFK
assassination conspiracy have a right to be heard.
In fact, as noted previously, ADL national director Abe Foxman had
said elsewhere that any theory of any kind relating to the assassination is
potentially dangerous and has no basis in fact. Evidently, the ADL is ready
to shift its position, depending upon the audience—which, of course, says a
lot about the basic dishonesty of the ADL to begin with.
Then, just one week later—on October 20, 1997—the ADL suffered an
even more critical blow. At a meeting of the South Orange County
Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees, the board’s
president, Steven Frogue—who had invited me to the JFK seminar in
Orange County—was re-elected by a 4-3 vote, much to the ADL’s dismay.
Although the ADL clamored for Frogue’s head and sent its supporters
to lobby for his resignation from the board—or his forced removal—that
effort failed. Then, another board member, Marcia Milchiker—herself a
member of the local ADL chapter’s board of advisors—introduced a
resolution for Frogue’s ouster, but her scheme fell flat.
The failed attempt to punish Frogue came following a raucous crowded
public meeting in which some forty people from the general public were
permitted to speak and most of them—average citizens, teachers, students
and others—rose in Frogue’s defense, publicly defying the ADL even
though ADL operatives were on hand taking photographs of the meeting’s
participants. “This is thought control,” said one speaker, James Scott,
denouncing the ADL campaign, saying (to much applause) that “the buck is
stopping here tonight.”
When the ADL’s Marcia Milchiker saw that there was such a genuine
grassroots outcry against her effort to dislodge Frogue—as opposed to the
orchestrated campaign by the ADL—Milchiker could only respond in a
rambling, disjointed and rather pathetic fashion that led to other board
members asking that she cut her remarks short.
Describing her “research” into the origins of Final Judgment and citing her
so-called findings, Milchiker, at one point, referred to me as “William Collins
Piper,” showing precisely how adequate her research really is. Milchiker
called herself a “scientist” (and is thus presumably able to read) but she didn’t
respond when an Orange County taxpayer angrily called out, asking her “Did
you read the book?” when Milchiker was attempting to explain (without
any documentation whatsoever) why Final Judgment simply could not be
believed.
Rolling into the meeting, Milchiker had been confident that Frogue was
on his way out. What a surprise she had in store. Ultimately, Milchiker
claimed the theory in Final Judgment was “scientifically unprovable” and
“outrageous” and “preposterous” but didn’t demonstrate why. Nor could
she. In the end, another board member, Dorothy Fortune, speaking in
Frogue’s defense, publicly accused Milchiker—who is Jewish—of “playing
the religion card for political gain.” So Frogue was re-elected.
Yet, the ADL had another card up its sleeve. Using a retired minister,
Buckner Coe, as its front man, the ADL orchestrated a recall drive against
Frogue. Although the effort failed to gather the required signatures of
35,000 college district voters by March of 1998, an “anonymous” source
came up with a $10,000 donation and the recall drive was reinvigorated
At that juncture, the ADL attempted to forge a “united front” against
Frogue, roping a variety of special interest groups, including Asian-
American, Latino, Black and homosexual rights activists into backing the
recall. Although that gimmick likewise failed to generate any further
interest, the ADL refused to give up and called on a host of prominent
Southern California politicians including two GOP members of Congress—
Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Christopher Cox—to demand Frogue’s
ouster. Along with other Republican functionaries, the two lawmakers
joined with Democratic Party hacks to dip into their own campaign slush
accounts to help finance the ADL campaign to dislodge Frogue, generating
some $40,000 at a much-ballyhooed fund-raiser.
One Orange County resident, George Kadar, who formed an ad hoc
committee to rally support for Frogue was also subjected to media attacks.
In one instance, a newspaper reporter proclaimed that Kadar was, according to
the ADL, also “anti-immigrant” only to learn to her embarrassment that Kadar
was himself an immigrant who had fled the very communist “thought police”
of Eastern Europe whose tactics were being mimicked so well—echoed in
Orange County by the ADL and its allies.
In the midst of the anti-Frogue petition drive, one ADL member,
Harriet Walther, claimed that she was the victim of an “anti-Semitic” attack
outside the county registrar’s office. Walther claimed people in the
registrar’s office saw the incident but according to even the Orange County
Register’s report on February 4, 1998, a supervisor in the office, Mai Kang,
said that, according to the Register, “no one saw the assault.”
For my own part, at the height of the frenzy, I traveled to Orange
County to speak at a public meeting of the SOCCCD board of directors in
June of 1998. The event was a veritable media circus, with the press and
Foreword: The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle . . .
armed guards very much in evidence as hundreds of people crowded into
the meeting room and into an adjoining room where the overflow audience
was able to watch the proceedings live via the magic of video.
Waiting outside, prior to the meeting, an idealistic young reporter for a
local Jewish community newspaper made energetic efforts to pin me down
as a “Holocaust denier” and an “anti-Semite” and to challenge the thesis of
Final Judgment. However, Bob Ourlian, a reporter from the Los Angeles
Times, was overheard whispering to the young lady, “Don’t try to argue
with this guy. He’s very articulate and knows what he’s talking about,” and
she quickly (and wisely) changed her approach.
One week prior to this, I had actually sent Ourlian a copy of Final
Judgment, so he knew full well the book was thoroughly documented and
that I was fully in command of the information that I had presented. As far
as the Holocaust was concerned, I told the press this:
I’m tired of hearing about the Holocaust. It’s
boring. Enough already. It happened more than 50
years ago—long before I was born. My grandmother
sent four of her sons—my father and three of his
brothers—off to fight in World War II.
They were involved in Holocaust rescue activities
as members of the U.S. military. My father spent time
in a veteran’s hospital for his efforts on behalf of the
Jews. So please: I really don’t want to hear about the
Holocaust. I’m here to talk about the JFK
assassination.
But if you want to know about a real Holocaust,
that’s happening right now, let’s take a look at what’s
happening to the American Indians on the
concentration camps in the United States that are
euphemistically called “reservations. ”
My great-great-grandfather was a full-blooded
American Indian and for all I know, I have relatives
on the reservations today, suffering malnutrition,
alcoholism, high rates of suicide and other tragedies.
Despite all this, the federal government is cutting
aid to the reservations, yet billions of American tax
dollars are going to Israel. If you want to talk about
that Holocaust, I’ll be more than glad to.
Needless to say, the reporters didn’t seem interested in discussing that
subject, and frankly, I’m not surprised.
It was quite a drama. The corpulent Professor Roy Bauer also put in an
appearance accompanied by a coterie of giggling and notably unattractive
women who cooed at his witticisms as he circulated a malicious four-page
“report” entitled “Just Who Is Michael Collins Piper?” which purported to
detail my crimes against the Jewish people. But what was interesting was
that Bauer had backed off in his charge that I was a “Holocaust denier,”
now contending that I was only “reportedly” a Holocaust “revisionist.”
Missing, however, was Marcia Milchiker, my foremost critic on the
SOCCCD board. Although for an entire year she had much to say about me
and about my publisher, including making the patently ridiculous
accusation that we were attempting to “bring back the Nazi Party,” she
refused (in ADL fashion) to face me when I came to confront her. Although I
had been the center of bitter public argument at SOCCCD meetings for almost
a year, the board, unfortunately, would not permit me any more than three
minutes to speak (the same amount allotted to other speakers).
However, the entire time I was speaking, Irv Rubin, the head of the
violent Jewish Defense League (JDL), and two equally-repugnant associates
were shouting from the audience, resulting in the police finally expelling
one of Rubin’s cronies, a bizarre troll named Barry Krugel.
At one point, in exasperation, I told the board, quite frankly, “There’s been
a lot of talk here about ‘anti-Semitism,’ but if ever there was an argument
in favor of anti-Semitism, it’s this self-appointed spokesman for the Jewish
community right here,” referring to Rubin.
There was a positive side to this most raucous event, however. The day
afterward, I was invited by Saddleback College journalism professor Lee
Williams to address his class on the college campus. Williams issued the
invitation on behalf of the staff of the college newspaper and I met with the
staff in the newspaper office on the campus where the students posed
thought-provoking questions and exhibited the very type of intellectual
curiosity that the ADL was so determined to suppress.
Not only did the students defy the book banners at the ADL by asking
me to pose for a picture with them, but later they went even further and, as a
group, publicly defied the ADL by coming to the defense of Steve Frogue.
But the ADL-instigated clamor for the destruction of Frogue still
continued. The ADL even managed to contrive a short-lived alliance
between Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County and her bitter
foe, former Rep. Bob Dornan, the Republican whom Mrs. Sanchez narrowly
defeated in 1996 and then dispatched into oblivion in the 1998 election.
Both Mrs. Sanchez and Dornan endorsed the recall campaign at the ADL’s
behest. However, Mrs. Sanchez back trailed after many of her Hispanic
supporters (who despised Dornan) recoiled at her “deal with the devil.”
Despite all this firepower, the ADL’s recall scheme crashed and
burned. In the end, on November 12, 1998 the ADL hate-mongers suffered
an embarrassing defeat. The ADL’s media-backed 16-month-long campaign
to oust Frogue came to a crashing halt. The Orange County registrar of
voters ruled that a two-dozen member team of petition circulators had fallen
short, having submitted some 13,000 invalid signatures.
The media’s coverage of the ADL’s Waterloo was interesting. The
Orange County Register’s Kimberly Kindy, who had reported the ADL’s
campaign against Frogue with particular relish, failed to mention the ADL’s
role in the scuttled recall in her notably brief report on the demise of the
recall drive. Instead, Miss Kindy focused on the role of Democratic and
Republican politicians in the effort, never once indicating the ADL had
been the prime mover behind the bungled effort to eviscerate Frogue.
Foreword: The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle . . .
There was an interesting footnote to this. My old nemesis, Professor
Roy Bauer was ordered to seek psychiatric counseling because of the
inflammatory writings in his scurrilous campus newsletter in which I had
been one of his targets. Bauer sued the SOCCCD board, charging that his
First Amendment rights were violated. Bauer’s concern for free speech
meant little when he was working to suppress my liberties, but when the
tables were turned, he took a second look at the Bill of Rights. Bauer won
his suit and I’m glad he did, because, unlike Bauer, I do believe in the First
Amendment, even though he and the ADL do not.
Steve Frogue declined to seek reelection to the SOCCCD board in the
year 2000, but we can be certain the “Final Judgment Affair” would have
come back to haunt him. However, the fact is the ADL suffered a walloping
defeat in Orange County and it happened again in Schaumburg, Illinois, as
we will see later. The ADL will continue to be defeated over this issue as
long as I have anything to say about it—and the ADL knows it.
For his own part, the loathsome Irv Rubin of the JDL is now dead—
allegedly having committed suicide while in federal custody after having
been arrested in late 2001 on charges of plotting to bomb the office of
California GOP Congressman Darrel Issa, an Arab-American. Yet, Rubin was
precisely the type of speaker that the ADL and its allies welcomed at the
SOCCCD—saying much about what the ADL’s agenda really is.
What is it about Final Judgment that so upsets the ADL? Why indeed
does the ADL “protest too much”? Here’s your opportunity to find out.
Then, perhaps, you’ll understand why Final Judgment really is on the mark.
Had I not amended Final Judgment after its first edition, I would say—
even now—that the book could continue to stand on its merits with no further
emendation whatsoever. Now that the book has been substantially expanded,
more so than I would have thought possible, I do believe the book will
stand the test of time.
The facts speak for themselves. Israel’s Mossad was indeed a primary
player alongside the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate in the
assassination of John F. Kennedy. Ultimately, Final Judgment will prove to
be the first-ever comprehensive record of that conspiracy.
I believe I have taken a new look at a very big jigsaw puzzle that
displays a remarkably complex and somewhat murky picture. On the puzzle
you see before you all of the various groups and individuals implicated in
the JFK assassination conspiracy. It is an immensely confusing picture.
However, when you turn the puzzle over you find one complete
picture—and that’s a great big very clear picture of the Israeli flag. All the
other flags on the front of the puzzle are, in intelligence jargon, “false
flags,” and Final Judgment proves just that.
MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER
FINAL
JUDGMENT
“A crime is like any other work of art.
Every work of art, divine or diabolic, has one
indispensible mark —the center of it is simple,
however much the fulfillment may be
complicated. . . .
“Every clever crime is founded ultimately
on some one quite simple fact—some fact that
is not itself mysterious.
“The mystification comes in
covering it up, in leading men’s
thoughts away from it.”
G. K. Chesterton’s legendary
“Father Brown” in The Queer Feet
Table of Contents
PREFACE:
The Unspoken Truth:
Israel’s Central Role in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy
Soft cover edition page [ i]
Who’s Who
in the JFK Assassination
Conspiracy and Cover-Up
Page [v], ebook page 54
CHAPTER ONE
The Tie That Binds:
What All of the Most Commonly Accepted JFK Assassination Theories Have in
Common—
The Never-Mentioned Israeli Connection
Page [1], ebook page 62
CHAPTER TWO
Off With His Head:
A Mossad Plot to Kill an American President
Page [14], ebook page 75
CHAPTER THREE
A Bad Habit:
Israel’s Use of “False Flags” in Global Terrorism—
Pointing the Finger of Guilt Elsewhere
Page [19], ebout page 80
CHAPTER FOUR
No Love Lost:
JFK, Meyer Lansky, the Mafia & the Israeli Lobby
Page [26], ebook page 87
CHAPTER FIVE
Genesis:
JFK’s Secret War With Israel
Page [40], ebook page 101
CHAPTER SIX
The Coming of the Messiah:
Lyndon Johnson Rushes to Israel’s Rescue;
U.S. Middle East Policy Is Reversed
Page [59], ebook page 120
CHAPTER SEVEN
Israel’s Godfather:
The Man in the Middle
Meyer Lansky, the CIA, the FBI & the Israeli Mossad
Page [72], ebook page 133
CHAPTER EIGHT
Thick as Thieves:
A Dangerous Liaison—
James Jesus Angleton Israel, the CIA and the Mob
Page [95], ebook page 156
CHAPTER NINE
A Little Unpleasantness:
JFK’s War With Israel’s Allies at the CIA
Page [110], ebook page 171
CHAPTER TEN
Little Man’s Little Man:
Meyer Lansky & Carlos Marcello–
Did the Mafia Kill JFK?
Page [124], ebook page 185
CHAPTER ELEVEN
Cuban Love Song:
Meyer Lansky, the Mafia, CIA, the Mossad
and the Castro Assassination Plots
Page [137], ebook page 198
CHAPTER TWELVE
An Opiate for the Masses:
The Lansky-CIA-Southeast Asian Drug Pipeline
and the Mossad Connection
Page [146], ebook page 207
CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Israel’s California Connection:
Mickey Cohen and the JFK Assassination
Page [156], ebook page 217
CHAPTER FOURTEEN
The Errand Boy:
Jack Ruby Was More “Mossad” Than “Mafia”
Page [167], ebook page 228
CHAPTER FIFTEEN
The Twain Shall Meet—
The Permindex Mystery:
Israel, the CIA, the Lansky Crime Syndicate
and the Plot to Kill John F. Kennedy
Page [186], ebook page 247
CHAPTER SIXTEEN
Double Cross in Dallas:
What Really Happened in Dealey Plaza?
James Jesus Angleton, E. Howard Hunt and the JFK Assassination
The Truth About the “French Connection”
Page [209], ebook page 270
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
They Dare Not Speak Out:
The Media’s Silence—
Why Israel’s Role in the JFK Assassination Could Not Be Exposed
Page [251], ebook page 312
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
The Heir to the Throne
The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
Israel, Iran, Lansky & the CIA
Page [286], ebook page 347
CONCLUSION
Operation Haman?
The Theory That Works
Page [295], ebook page 356
APPENDIX ONE
Where Was George?
George Bush, the CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Did GHWB Have a Hand in the Murder of JFK?
Page [306], ebook page 367
APPENDIX TWO
The Man From the Klan—
Lee Harvey Oswald’s “Nazi” Connection.
The Alleged Assassin’s Little-Known Ties to Undercover
Intelligence Operatives in the Neo-Nazi Underground
Page [314], ebook page 375
PHOTO SECTION
Leading personalities involved in the JFK assassination
ebook page 384
APPENDIX THREE
“Communist Blood Red”
Guy Banister & Kent and Phoebe Courtney—
The Leaders of the Right Wing’s Pro-Israel Clique in New Orleans
Page [323], ebook page 420
APPENDIX FOUR
Agents of Influence
A Troublesome Topic:
The Jewish Presence on the Warren Commission
“The Best and the Brightest”—and Jerry Ford, Too.
Page [333], ebook page 430
APPENDIX FIVE
JFK’s Greenbacks—
The Truth About The Federal Reserve Connection.
A Grain of Truth and Much Misinformation.
Page [347], ebook page 444
APPENDIX SIX
Retribution?
The Strange Deaths of William Colby and John Paisley
Was There a JFK Assassination Connection?
Page [353], ebook page 450
APPENDIX SEVEN
“Deep Throat”
Dallas and Watergate Were Connected—
James Jesus Angleton, Israel and the Fall of Richard M. Nixon
Page [364], ebook page 461
APPENDIX EIGHT
The Battle of the Books:
A Commentary on the Major JFK Assassination Works
Page [383], ebook page 480
APPENDIX NINE
Quid Pro Quo?
The Peking Connection to the JFK Assassination Conspiracy—
Israel’s Secret Nuclear Alliance With Communist China.
Page [401], ebook page 498
APPENDIX TEN
“Israel’s Dark Side”
Was Israeli Intelligence Involved in the
Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin?
Page [417], ebook page 514
AFTERWORD:
The Continuing Cover-Up
Page [421], ebook page 518
POSTSCRIPT
Page [445], ebook page 542
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Page [448], ebook page 545
REFERENCE NOTES
Page [458], ebook page 555
DEFAULT JUDGMENT
Questions, Answers & Reflections
Page [495], ebook page 592
FINAL WORD?
The Book They Tried to Ban
Page [588], ebook page 686
INDEX—and Some Very Fascinating Odds and Ends
Page [643], ebook page 741
A CHALLENGE TO THE READERS
Page [663], ebook page 761
ERRATUM
Minor spelling, “typo,” and other revisions
in this ebook compared to the soft cover sixth edition
ebook page 768
PREFACE
The Unspoken Truth:
Israel’s Central Role in the JFK Assassination
Where in the world could anyone come up with the idea that
Israel’s Mossad had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy?
All of the information which, taken together, proves this contention has
long been in the public domain. This book, Final Judgment, brings all of
these facts together for the first time in a fascinating and frightening
scenario that—although controversial—does make sense.
Considering all of the theories about the assassination of John F.
Kennedy that have been circulating for years, how could anyone ever
suggest that Israel’s Mossad was involved ?
This was the reaction of more than a few people when apprised of the thesis
presented in the pages of this book. Yet, I believe, that when you read this
volume you will reach the same conclusion: that Israel and its spy
agency, the Mossad, did indeed play a critical role in the JFK assassination
conspiracy and its cover-up. The evidence is there, as you shall see.
It was in 1989, while re-reading A. J. Weberman and Michael
Canfield’s Coup d’Etat in America (first published in 1975) that I first
stumbled upon a strange reference that ultimately led to my research that is
outlined here in the pages of Final Judgment. The reference, simple as it
was, appearing on page 41, read as follows:
“After the assassination, an informer for the Secret Service and the
FBI who had infiltrated a Cuban exile group and was in the process of
selling them machine guns, reported that on November 21, 1963 he was
told, ‘We now have plenty of money—our new backers are the Jews—as
soon as they take care of JFK.’ This man had furnished reliable
information in the past.” (emphasis added)
I barely noticed the reference, but it did intrigue me. Who did this
source mean by “the Jews” and why (of all people) would “they” want to
“take care of JFK”? I concluded the source meant Jewish gangsters such as
Meyer Lansky who wanted to regain their Cuban gambling interests they
lost when Castro came to power. This, I thought, had to be the answer.
Frankly, I laid the speculation aside. It was just one lone detail among
millions of words written about the JFK assassination. Nearly a year went
by before I came across the reference again—while re-reading the same
book. I pondered the quote for a moment, thinking, “This is interesting.”
However, I once again cast it aside. I had long ago already concluded
that the CIA, in collusion with elements of “the Mafia” and the anti-Castro
Cuban exiles, was responsible for the president’s assassination.
However, an entire year later—sometime in 1991—I came across a
variation of the same quotation cited in the book by Weberman and
Canfield. This time it appeared in David Scheim’s book, Contract on
America, which contends “The Mafia Killed JFK” and which also
[ii] Final Judgment
vehemently dismisses any CIA involvement whatsoever. I had read
Scheim’s book when it first came out in 1988, but I had not noticed the
reference (or the similarity to the other one) at that time.
What intrigued me, however, was that Scheim’s rendition of the quote
deleted the reference to the alleged Jewish backers of the Cuban plotters.
My immediate thought was: “What’s Scheim trying to hide?” At that
moment I finally began to see that this unusual (seemingly minor) detail
might, in fact, point toward something much bigger than I had realized.
THE LANSKY CONNECTION
It was at this time that a new biography of organized crime figure
Meyer Lansky was released. Entitled Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the
Gangster Life, the book—prepared in cooperation with Lansky’s
family—was little more than a puff piece for Lansky. I realized immediately
that the book still somehow seemed to be missing quite a lot.
It was then that I returned to my library and pulled a book off the shelf
that I hadn’t re-read in perhaps fifteen years. It was Hank Messick’s
biography of Lansky. Re-reading this important book I began to see that
Meyer Lansky was not just a Mafia advisor as David Scheim, for example,
would have his readers believe. Instead, Lansky was “the chairman of the
board” of organized crime. All of the Mafia figures that had been repeatedly
implicated in the JFK assassination were, in fact, Lansky’s front men—his
subordinates, his underlings. In short, if “the Mafia” had a hand in the
killing of JFK, then Lansky had to have been one of the key players.
Yet, as I quickly began to see in reviewing many of the works which
allege that “The Mafia Killed JFK,” Lansky’s preeminent role was being
ignored or otherwise under-played. I was aware of Lansky’s close ties to
Israel. After all, Lansky fled to Israel when the heat was on in the United
States. But how deeply did the Lansky-Israeli connection go? My research
into that question began to turn up some interesting facts.
THE ISRAELI CONNECTION
At this juncture, however, I had no reason whatsoever to think that
Israel would have had any reason to participate in the JFK assassination
conspiracy. However, it was just about the time that I had begun to take a
second look at the Lansky connection—in 1991—that several new works
were released which provided never-before revealed information about the
covert relationship between the United States and Israel.
These books, cited extensively in Final Judgment, made it all too clear
that John F. Kennedy had become embroiled in a bitter behind-the-scenes
battle with Israel. In fact, Kennedy was at war.
JFK’s secret war with Israel was something that even long-time JFK
assassination researchers had no reason to know about. Much of the
material had long been classified. It was a secret—a deep, dark secret.
Preface [iii]
Some of JFK’s communications with then-Israeli Prime Minister David
Ben-Gurion were classified for years, until just recently. Not even top-level
intelligence officials with special security clearance were initially allowed
access to those explosive documents.
In fact, prior to these more recent revelations, very little about JFK’s
relations with Israel and the Arab world had ever actually been published
anywhere. As historian David Schoenbaum pointed out quite notably in his
book, The United States and the State of Israel:
“Submerged among the high-visibility themes of East-West relations,
the nuclear arms race and the early dawn of a test ban and nonproliferation,
the Berlin and Cuban missile crisis, the perplexities of the newly
decolonized Belgian Congo, buoyant hopes for an Alliance for Progress in
Latin America, and the deepening quagmire in Vietnam, the Middle East is
scarcely even visible in the standard biographies that followed Kennedy’s
assassination. Even by liberal estimates, Ben-Gurion and Nasser, Israel
and Egypt appear on only seven each of Theodore Sorensen’s 758, and
Arthur M. Schlesinger’s 1,031 pages of text.” (Emphasis added.)
In short, while JFK assassination researchers were busy probing a wide
variety of areas, they were missing the big picture—the secret picture on the
other side of the jigsaw puzzle.
So it was that the new revelations about Kennedy’s relationship with
Israel (and its potential link to the assassination conspiracy) made me
realize that there was an unexplored area of research—never before
considered—that needed examination.
ISRAEL, LANSKY & THE CIA
By this time, then, the long and close relationship between Israel and
JFK’s foes at the CIA was something that was now being acknowledged.
And JFK’s own war with the CIA was already common knowledge. At the
time of the JFK assassination, however, the depth and breadth of the CIA’s
relationship with Israel’s Mossad, however, was not so commonly known.
The pieces of the puzzle were all there. They simply needed to be put
together. With a basic thesis now evolving in my mind, I began re-reading
much of the published information about the JFK assassination, his policy
toward Israel and the history of organized crime.
And in so doing, I repeatedly found myself stumbling upon new
information that continued to verify what was initially in my mind just a
theory, but which I now believe to be the truth. By December of 1992 I
realized that I had enough material for a book and I began to write it.
But even as I was already in the process of writing the book, I was
startled by the vast amount of material that I was continually uncovering—
and virtually all of it was in the pages of mainstream sources freely available
to anyone who cared to do the research. I thus began to realize that I had
indeed begun to assemble a remarkable wealth of material that brought my
initial thesis full circle.
[iv] Final Judgment
THE PERMINDEX CONNECTION
It is the Permindex connection which is the tie that binds—the final
proof that the Mossad was at the center of the assassination conspiracy. In
Permindex we find all of the critical elements tying the Mossad, the CIA
and the Lansky Crime Syndicate together in close-knit intrigue linked
directly to the murder of President Kennedy.
Although researchers have devoted much time and energy to pursuing a
wide variety of questions relating to the JFK assassination (focusing on many
matters that will never be resolved) most have steered clear of Permindex.
Those who have referenced it portray Permindex as some sort of remnant
of the Third Reich but nothing could be further from the truth.
In fact, understanding the forces behind Permindex is the key to
resolving the biggest mystery of this century: the question of not only who
killed John F. Kennedy—but why.
INSIDERS AGREE . . .
Just before I began the book I mentioned my theory to a rather well-known
former United States congressman. He surprised me when he said, “I think you
are on to something. I’ve believed for years that the Mossad was involved in
the Kennedy assassination, but I never really took the time to look into it.
I’m glad you’re doing it, though. It will be an important book. It’s a book I
would have liked to have written myself.”
Then, just after I finished the first draft, I sent a copy of the manuscript to
another former member of Congress, Paul Findley, thinking that he might have
some interest in the subject. His response was perhaps a bit astonishing.
The ex-Congressman wrote me a surprising letter in which he said, “I will
mention that over the past four years I have had lengthy correspondence with
a retired diplomat from a western European nation whose family (including
himself) has had disastrous experiences with Israel and the Mossad. He has
been prodding me all that time to do what you have done.”—that is, write a
book exploring Israel’s secret role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
Congressman Findley then passed the manuscript on to the Frenchman
(whose remarkable story you will learn about in these pages) who in turn
provided me additional fascinating leads and inside information that helped
make the thesis presented in Final Judgment complete.
ONE COMPLETE PICTURE
Israel’s Mossad was indeed a primary force behind the JFK
assassination conspiracy. The Israeli connection pulls all of the pieces of the
puzzle together into one complete picture. The role of the Mossad in the
JFK assassination is indeed the “missing link” in the conspiracy. For the
sake of history, it is a story that needs to be told.
—MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER
A Who’s Who
of the JFK Assassination
Conspiracy and Cover-Up
While the following selection of names in this special “who’s who” is
by no means complete, it does provide the reader of Final Judgment with a
brief overview of the facts relating to the involvement of the individuals in
question with the circumstances surrounding not only the JFK assassination
itself, but also the efforts by some to uncover the truth about the
assassination—and by others to bury it.
Following each name and description are references to the particular
chapters in Final Judgment where details about that individual appear in
pertinent part. The inclusion of any name in particular is by no means
intended to suggest that the individual—unless specifically stated—had
foreknowledge that the murder of President Kennedy was being planned.
As we note in these pages, there were many people who were brought
into the JFK assassination conspiracy and the subsequent cover-up who had
no idea of the actual role that they were playing.
The following “who’s who”—if read in this context—provides the
reader a quick glance at the key individuals who ultimately prove central to a
complete understanding of the entirety of the conspiracy that resulted in
the assassination of President Kennedy.
At Permindex
Clay Shaw – If New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison had been
permitted to carry out an unimpeded investigation and prosecution of Shaw, a
CIA contract operative and former director of the International Trade Mart in
New Orleans implicated in involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie,
Guy Banister and other figures central to the JFK assassination
conspiracy, the truth about Shaw’s connections—through a shadowy
corporation known as Permindex—to not only Israel’s Mossad, but also the
international crime syndicate of Israeli loyalist Meyer Lansky would have
been bared to the world. (See Chapter 15)
Louis M. Bloomfield – Based in Montreal, Bloomfield was a long-time
intelligence operative and a front man for the powerful Bronfman family
interests. The Bronfmans were not only key international backers of Israel
but also long-time figures in the Lansky crime syndicate. Bloomfield, one
of the foremost figures in the Israeli lobby in Canada and one of Israel’s
leading international operatives, not only served as the chief shareholder in
the Permindex Corporation on whose board of directors Clay Shaw served,
but also had intimate ties to American intelligence. (See Chapter 15)
[vi] Final Judgment 54
Tibor Rosenbaum – One of the “godfathers” of the state of Israel and the
first director for finance and supply for Israel’s intelligence agency, the
Mossad, Rosenbaum was a prime financial angel behind the Permindex
corporation and a key figure in the JFK assassination conspiracy. His Swiss
bank, the Banque De Credit International, also served as the chief European
money laundry for Meyer Lansky, chief of the global crime syndicate. (See
Chapter 8, Chapter 15, Appendix Four and Appendix Nine).
John King – A close business associate of Tibor Rosenbaum’s protégé and
sometime front man, Bernard Cornfeld, King showed up in New Orleans in
the early stages of Jim Garrison’s investigation—before Clay Shaw’s name
had come up—and sought to persuade Garrison (through a bribery attempt)
to give up the inquiry. Fortunately he failed in his scheme. (See Chapter 15)
The Mossad Connection
David Ben-Gurion – Prime Minister of Israel; resigned his post in disgust
with JFK’s stance toward Israel in April of 1963; Said JFK’s position
threatened Israel’s very survival. (See Chapter 4 and Chapter 5)
Yitzhak Shamir – A long-time Mossad officer (based largely at the
Mossad’s chief European office in Paris), Shamir headed the Mossad’s
assassination squad at the time of the JFK assassination. A former French
intelligence officer has charged that Shamir himself arranged the hiring of
JFK’s actual assassins through a close ally in French intelligence. (See
Chapter 5 and Chapter 16)
Menachem Begin – In 1963, Begin (later prime minister of Israel) was a
roving Israeli diplomat; prior to JFK’s assassination he was overheard
conspiring with Meyer Lansky’s California henchman, Mickey Cohen, in a
conversation that suggested hostile intentions by Israel against the
American president. (See Chapter 13)
Luis Kutner – Although known largely as a “mob lawyer” in Chicago,
Kutner—who was long and closely associated with Jack Ruby, a sometime
client—Kutner also doubled as an international intelligence operative and
functioned as an advisor to an ad hoc pro-Israel lobby group in the United
States. (See Chapter 14)
A. L. Botnick – Head of the New Orleans office of the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, an intelligence and propaganda arm for
Israel’s Mossad; a close associate of New Orleans-based CIA operative Guy
Banister who helped create Lee Harvey Oswald’s pre-assassination profile
as a “pro-Castro” agitator. Evidence suggests Banister’s manipulation of
Oswald may have been carried out under the guise of an ADL “factfinding”
operation. (See Chapter 15 and Appendix Three)
55 Who’sWho? [vii]
Arnon Milchan – Israel’s biggest arms dealer, Milchan was “executive
producer” (i.e. chief financial angel) of Oliver Stone’s Hollywood fantasy
about the JFK assassination—a fact which may explain Stone’s aversion to
exploring the Israeli connection to the affair. (See Chapter 17)
Shaul Eisenberg – Israel’s wealthiest industrialist and longtime operative
for the Mossad was a prime mover behind Israel’s efforts to build a nuclear
arsenal. His covert dealings with Red China played a key role in the JFK
assassination conspiracy. (See Appendix Nine)
The CIA Connection
Rudolph Hecht – An owner of the CIA-linked Standard Fruit concern,
Hecht was a prominent figure in the New Orleans Jewish community and as
chairman of the board of directors of the International Trade Mart was
Permindex board member Clay Shaw’s primary sponsor. (See Chapter 15)
James Jesus Angleton – Angleton, the CIA’s long-time chief of
counterintelligence, was the CIA’s primary high-level conspirator in the
murder of President Kennedy and the subsequent cover-up. Angleton, who
had been co-opted by and was totally loyal to the Israeli Mossad, played a
major role in the effort to frame Lee Harvey Oswald. Final Judgment is the
first JFK assassination study to delve into Angleton’s role in the conspiracy.
(See Chapter 8, Chapter 9, and Chapter 16)
David Atlee Phillips – A long-time high-level CIA official, Phillips was the
CIA station chief in Mexico City at the time a strange effort was underway
to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald as a Soviet KGB collaborator. If anyone in
the CIA knew the truth about Oswald, it was Phillips. He confessed publicly
that the story about Oswald being in Mexico City was not precisely what
the CIA had long claimed. (See Chapter 16)
E. Howard Hunt – Long-time CIA officer and liaison to the anti-Castro
Cuban exiles. Testimony by ex-CIA contract operative Marita Lorenz
placed Hunt in Dallas, Texas the day before the president’s assassination.
The full truth about Hunt’s actual involvement in the affair may never be
known, but there is no question that Hunt was deeply involved in the
intrigue surrounding the president’s murder. Evidence does indeed indicate
that there was a conscious effort to frame Hunt for involvement in the
crime. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)
Guy Banister -The former FBI agent-turned-CIA contract operative whose
New Orleans office was a central point for intrigue involving the CIA, the
anti-Castro Cuban exiles and the anti-DeGaulle forces in the French Secret
Army Organization (OAS). Under Banister’s direction, Lee Harvey Oswald
[viii] Final Judgment 56
established a public profile for himself as a “pro-Castro” agitator in the
streets of New Orleans. (See Chapter 15 and Appendix Three)
David Ferrie – An enigmatic CIA contract operative, Ferrie was closely
involved with Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963,
working alongside Oswald out of Guy Banister’s office. The investigation
of Ferrie by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison ultimately led to
Garrison’s discovery of Permindex board member Clay Shaw’s ties to
Ferrie, Oswald and Banister. (See Chapter 15 and Appendix Three)
Marita Lorenz – A former CIA contract operative, she testified under oath
that one day prior to the JFK assassination she arrived in Dallas with her
CIA handler Frank Sturgis and an armed caravan of Cuban exiles who were
met there by not only Jack Ruby, who later killed Lee Harvey Oswald, but
also by CIA official E. Howard Hunt. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)
Frank Sturgis – Best remembered as a key CIA player in the war against
Castro, Sturgis had worked for the Mossad even prior to his years with the
CIA and maintained his Mossad ties well into the 1970s. Sturgis was not
only involved in the training of Cuban exiles near New Orleans (the same
operation involving Guy Banister and David Ferrie) but he also led the
armed caravan (described by Marita Lorenz) that arrived in Dallas the day
before the JFK assassination. Sturgis later told Miss Lorenz that his team
had played a part in the events in Dealey Plaza. (See Chapter 16)
Guillermo & Ignacio Novo – Two brothers, veterans of the CIA-backed
Cuban exile wars against Fidel Castro, the Novos were part of the armed
caravan led by CIA and Mossad asset Frank Sturgis that arrived in Dallas
on November 21, 1963. Many years after Dallas, the Novos were convicted
of participating in the murder of a Chilean dissident in collaboration with
another Mossad-connected adventurer, Michael Townley, who in 1963 had
been working for high-level Mossad figures implicated in the JFK
conspiracy. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)
Victor Marchetti – A high-ranking CIA official who left the agency in
disgust, Marchetti later made a career writing about the CIA. In a 1978
article in The Spotlight newspaper, Marchetti charged that the CIA was
about to frame its long-time operative, E. Howard Hunt, with involvement
in the JFK assassination. A libel suit filed by Hunt as a consequence of
Marchetti’s article resulted in a climactic finding by a jury that the CIA had
been involved in the assassination of the president. (See Chapter 16)
Robin Moore – A journalist with long-standing close ties to the CIA,
Moore co-authored former CIA man Hugh McDonald’s book, LBJ and the
JFK Conspiracy which promoted James Jesus Angleton’s false claim that
the KGB was behind the president’s murder—another of the disinformation
stories that emerged following the assassination. (See Chapter 17)
57 Who’sWho? [ix]
The Lansky Crime Syndicate
Meyer Lansky – Chief executive officer and de facto “treasurer” of the
international crime syndicate; active in gun-running on behalf of the Israeli
underground; collaborated closely with American intelligence on a number
of fronts; later settled in Israel. Researchers who have claimed that “The
Mafia Killed JFK” have pointedly refused to acknowledge Lansky’s
preeminent positioning in the underworld. (See Chapter 7)
Carlos Marcello – The head of the Mafia in New Orleans, Marcello owed
his status to Meyer Lansky who was his chief sponsor in the crime
syndicate. Marcello could not have orchestrated the JFK assassination—as
some suggest—without Lansky’s explicit approval. (See Chapter 10)
Seymour Weiss – Meyer Lansky’s New Orleans bagman and liaison with
the Louisiana political establishment served as a director of the CIA-linked
Standard Fruit company. He appears to have been a high-ranking CIA asset
in New Orleans at the time of the JFK assassination. (See Chapter 15)
Santo Trafficante, Jr. – Although best known as the head of the Mafia in
Tampa, Trafficante actually functioned as Meyer Lansky’s chief lieutenant
in the crime syndicate and as Lansky’s liaison with the CIA in the Castro
assassination plots. (See Chapter 12)
Sam Giancana – Longtime Chicago Mafia leader, Giancana was a player in
the CIA-Mafia plots against Castro, working under the direction of the real
“boss” of the crime syndicate in Chicago, Mossad-connected Hyman
Lamer, a partner of national crime chief Meyer Lansky. (See Chapter 11)
Johnny Rosselli – A roving “ambassador” for the Mossad-connected
Chicago Mafia, Rosselli was the primary conduit between the CIA and the
mob in the plots against Fidel Castro; may have arranged the murder of Sam
Giancana and was later murdered himself. (See Chapter 11)
Mickey Cohen – Meyer Lansky’s West Coast henchman; Jack Ruby’s role
model and a gun-runner for the Israeli underground, Cohen collaborated
closely with Israeli diplomat Menachem Begin prior to the JFK
assassination; Cohen arranged for John F. Kennedy to meet actress Marilyn
Monroe who was assigned the task of finding out JFK’s private views and
intentions toward Israel. (See Chapter 13)
Jack Ruby – A long-time functionary for the Lansky syndicate, Ruby was
the Lansky connection man in Dallas and also engaged in CIA-linked gunrunning
to the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. Evidence suggests there is more to
Ruby’s sudden “death” than meets the eye. (See Chapter 14)
[x] Final Judgment 58
Jim Braden – A veteran personal courier for Meyer Lansky, Braden was
almost assuredly in contact in Dallas with Jack Ruby prior to the JFK
assassination. He was briefly detained in Dealey Plaza minutes after the
president’s murder, but those JFK assassination researchers who have
mentioned Braden prefer to cast him as a “Mafia” figure rather than as
Lansky’s man on the scene in Dallas. (See Chapter 14)
Al Gruber – A henchman of Meyer Lansky’s West Coast operative, Mickey
Cohen, Gruber and Ruby spoke by telephone just shortly before Ruby killed
Lee Harvey Oswald. It is believed that Gruber gave Ruby the contract on
Oswald on behalf of his superiors. (See Chapter 13)
The French Connection
Charles DeGaulle – Repeatedly targeted for assassination by Israeli-allied
forces in French intelligence and in the Secret Army Organization (OAS)
who were angry that DeGaulle had granted independence to Arab Algeria.
The Mossad-sponsored Permindex operation that also had a hand in the
murder of JFK, laundered money used in the assassination attempts on
DeGaulle. (See Chapter 9, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16)
Georges deLannurien – High ranking official in the SDECE, the French
intelligence agency; pinpointed by a former French intelligence officer as
the individual who (at the behest of Mossad assassinations chief Yitzhak
Shamir) contracted the hit team who killed JFK in Dallas. (See Chapter 16)
Michael Mertz – A former French SDECE officer and the Paris connection
for the Lansky-Trafficante heroin syndicate; alleged to have been one of the
actual gunmen in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Long believed to be the
legendary CIA contract killer, QJ/WIN. (See Chapter 16)
Jean Soutre – A liaison for the French OAS with the CIA’s E. Howard
Hunt, Soutre maintained contact with Guy Banister’s CIA- and mob-linked
gunrunning headquarters in New Orleans. Soutre may have been in Dallas at
the time of the JFK assassination. There is evidence linking Soutre to James
Jesus Angleton’s intrigue inside the CIA that affected French intelligence
in a dramatic way. (See Chapter 15 and Chapter 16)
Thomas Eli Davis III – A world-traveling mercenary linked to Jack Ruby’s
arms dealing activities, Davis was taken into custody in North Africa for his
subversive activities alongside Israeli agents in supplying weapons to the
French OAS just prior to the JFK assassination. The CIA’s infamous
international assassin QJ/WIN has long been said to have secured Davis’s
release from prison. (See Chapter 16)
59 Who’sWho? [xi]
Geoffrey Bocca – A former propagandist for the OAS, Bocca later coauthored
former CIA contract agent Hugh McDonald’s book, Appointment in Dallas,
which pointed the blame for the JFK assassination away from those who
were actually responsible—the first of two suspect books put out by
McDonald. (See Chapter 17 and Appendix Eight)
Christian David – A French Corsican criminal associated with reputed JFK
assassin Michael Mertz, David has claimed knowledge of a French hit team
involved in the JFK assassination. David himself was the chief suspect in
the murder of a Moroccan dissident, Mehdi Ben-Barka, whose killing was
orchestrated by the Israeli Mossad through anti-DeGaulle forces in French
intelligence. (See Chapter 16)
Truth Seekers
Mark Lane – Retained by Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother to represent her
son’s interests before the Warren Commission, Lane’s book Rush to
Judgment was the first major critique of the Warren Commission Report. In
defending a libel suit filed against The Spotlight newspaper by former CIA
operative E. Howard Hunt, Lane proved to the satisfaction of a jury that the
CIA had indeed been involved in the JFK assassination. His best-selling
book Plausible Denial outlined the circumstances of that libel suit and its
ultimate conclusion. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)
Gary Wean – A former detective on the Hollywood beat of the Los Angeles
Police Department, Wean discovered how Meyer Lansky’s West Coast
henchman, Mickey Cohen, was conspiring against John F. Kennedy on
behalf of the Israelis. In a meeting with the former sheriff of Dallas County,
Bill Decker, Wean learned a portion of the truth about what really happened
in Dallas. (See Chapter 13 and Chapter 16)
News Twisters
Edgar & Edith Stern – Close friends of Clay Shaw and financial backers
of the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, and
owners of the WDSU media empire in New Orleans that not only played a
major role in giving vast publicity to Lee Harvey Oswald’s profile as a
“pro-Castro agitator” but also later sought to undermine Jim Garrison’s
investigation of Clay Shaw. (See Chapter 17 and Appendix Three)
Johann Rush – As a young WDSU cameraman, Rush was on the scene to
record Oswald’s “pro-Castro” activities. He emerged—many years later—
as the brains behind a “computer-enhanced” version of the famous Zapruder
film of the JFK assassination that author Gerald Posner cited as “proof’ that
Oswald acted alone in the president’s murder. (See Chapter 17)
[xii] Final Judgment 60
Drew Pearson – Accused by his own mother-in-law of being a
“mouthpiece” for the pro-Israel ADL, Pearson had close ties to not only the
Israeli lobby, but also the CIA and to President Lyndon Johnson and his
cronies. It was Pearson who floated an unlikely story that Fidel Castro was
behind the JFK assassination and who also played a major influence in
shaping Earl Warren’s perceptions of the tragedy. (See Chapter 17)
Jack Anderson – As protégé of Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson likewise had
strange connections that might have biased his own reportage on the JFK
affair. Since 1963 Anderson has promoted a number of conflicting versions
about “who really killed JFK” ranging from “the Mafia” to Fidel Castro or a
combination of both. (See Chapter 17)
Jack Newfield – A liberal columnist and some-time JFK assassination buff,
Newfield has been a likewise long-standing devotee of Israel. He made a
big splash with a highly fantastic story that missing Teamster boss Jimmy
Hoffa had “ordered” two Mafia figures to arrange the killing of President
Kennedy. Not surprisingly, Newfield’s ridiculous story was given wide play
in the Establishment media. (See Chapter 17)
Theorists and/or Propagandists?
Oliver Stone – His Hollywood extravaganza, JFK, gave the public a fullblown,
full-color, gory-in-every-detail conspiracy theory on the JFK
assassination. Yet, Stone’s presentation of the conspiracy was far from
complete and failed to reach any firm conclusions. He deliberately
suppressed the “French connection” which, in turn, was the long-hidden
Israeli connection. Not only was Stone’s chief financial backer Israel’s
leading arms dealer but the company distributing his film had its origins in
the Lansky crime syndicate. What’s more, one of the chief shareholders in
the film company was none other than Bernard Cornfeld, long-time
associate of Permindex figure Tibor Rosenbaum (See Chapter 17).
Frank Mankiewicz – This former publicist for the Israeli Mossad-linked
Anti-Defamation League had a peculiar part in the events that took place
prior to the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. Then when Oliver Stone began
promoting his film JFK, Mankiewicz popped up as his key public relations
man. (See Chapter 17 and Chapter 18)
Anthony Summers – Author of one book hinting that the Kennedy family
were responsible for the death—maybe the murder—of actress Marilyn
Monroe, Summers wrote another book on the JFK conspiracy. In neither
book did Summers reveal explosive information (of which he was aware)
that could have helped point in the direction of those same forces which
played a part in both crimes. (See Chapter 13)
61 Who’sWho? [xiii]
Robert Morrow – A former CIA contract operative who played a major
role in activities on the periphery of the JFK assassination conspiracy,
Morrow’s book on his experiences is rife with detail, yet suspect in the eyes
of many who had looked into his claims. Morrow’s book absolves the key
CIA conspirator, James J. Angleton, of involvement in the JFK conspiracy
and portrays him as being “out of the loop” when, in fact, precisely the
opposite was true. Is it a coincidence that Morrow’s book publisher is an
American affiliate of an Israeli publishing company? (See the Afterword)
G. Robert Blakey – An unlikely choice to serve as director of the House
Select Committee on Assassinations, Blakey had, just two years previously,
served as a character witness for a long-time close associate of crime boss
Meyer Lansky. When pointing the blame in the JFK assassination, Blakey
targeted Lansky’s protégé, New Orleans Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello, but
looked no further. Blakey, likewise, found no role by the CIA—or any other
intelligence agency—in the assassination. Blakey says that if (that’s if)
there was a conspiracy—”The Mafia Killed JFK. “(See Chapter 10)
David Scheim – The author of a book that pins the murder of President
Kennedy on “the Mafia,” Scheim refuses to acknowledge Permindex board
member Clay Shaw’s intelligence connections and paints Israeli loyalist
Meyer Lansky as a low-level syndicate figure with no influence of
substance. Scheim’s book was published by the American front for an
Israeli publishing company. (See Chapter 10)
John Foster “Chip” Berlet – A hit-and-run “journalist” with longstanding
covert connections to the CIA and an open collaborator with the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL)—a conduit for Israel’s Mossad—Berlet played a
key role in a major propaganda campaign by the ADL to prevent the facts
about the JFK assassination put forth in the pages of Final Judgment from
being heard. (See the Foreword)
James DiEugenio – Although a deep admirer of both John F. Kennedy and
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, DiEugenio has tread lightly
when inquiring into the ties between Clay Shaw and the Permindex
operation with its multiple links to the Israeli Mossad and the crime
syndicate. (See Appendix Three and the Afterword)
Peter Dale Scott – His years of in-depth research on the JFK assassination
have led him directly to the doorstep of the CIA, the Mossad and the
Lansky Crime Syndicate, yet he has never been prepared to name names or
point in the direction of those very forces, preferring to sidestep the issue. Is he
afraid or is he simply ignorant? (See the Afterword.)
And now, for a final judgment . . .
Chapter One
The Tie That Binds:
What All of the Most Commonly Accepted JFK
Assassination Theories Have in Common—
The Never-Mentioned Israeli Connection
Who killed John F. Kennedy? That question has plagued
the world for a generation. What is it that we do know about
the JFK murde r tha t t i e s a l l o f the di f f e r ing theo r i e s
together? What is it that all of the theories have in common?
The blame for the assassination has been placed on
numerous power groups, perhaps working independently or
together. Most often named have been the CIA (or rogue
elements thereof), organized crime and the anti-Castro Cuban
network.
Yet, one power in particular—Israel and its spy agency,
the Mo s sad—links a l l o f the s e fo rc e s tog ether . I s ra el ,
h owe v e r , i s t h e c e n t r a l p l a y e r wh o s e r o l e h a s b e e n
consistently ignored.
“Everybody on earth on November 22, 1963, it sometimes seems, was
involved in a plot to assassinate JFK. If all those alleged conspirators—all
of whom have denied the allegations—were there, it’s lucky anyone got out
of Dealey Plaza alive.”1
These were the words of one journalist, Terry Catchpole, reflecting on
the controversy over Oliver Stone’s Hollywood all-star extravaganza JFK
and of widespread interest in the JFK assassination in general.
Catchpole cites groups often alleged to have been involved in some way
with the JFK assassination—although this summary by no means is
complete (ignoring, in particular, the CIA as an institution):
• Cuban Communists
• Cuban Anti-Communists
• Military-Industrial Complex
• A Renegade CIA Clique
• Organized Crime
• Soviet Communists
• The FBI
• The Mastermind
This final theory, according to Catchpole, is that “the Mafia had actually
taken over the Howard Hughes organization from the bedridden recluse, and
it was run by a “Mr. X,” possibly [organized crime syndicate
boss].Meyer.Lansky.” 2
Each and every one of these theories, of course, has its own advocates.
Each and every one of these theories, additionally, has been intertwined with
[2] Final Judgment 63
one or more of the others. And now, the advent of Stone’s film, coupled
with the subsequent r elease of several new books on the
assassination—most notably Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial, which proved
CIA complicity in the president’s murder—has brought new interest in the
controversy.
Perhaps some day there will even be a book which places the blame for
the assassination on, as New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison used
to say, “retired circus clowns.” However, it was not retired circus clowns
who killed John F. Kennedy, at least so far as we know.
ISRAEL’S CENTRAL ROLE
This book contends that Israel’s Mossad was a primary player alongside
the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate in the JFK assassination
conspiracy and that, in fact, the Mossad’s role was probably the driving
force behind the conspiracy. It is clearly Israel and its Mossad—as we shall
document—which is the one force which ties all of the most frequently
mentioned alleged conspirators together: the CIA, the anti-Castro Cuban
forces, organized crime and, most specifically—and more significantly than
the so-called Mafia—the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate. The connections
are far more sinister and go far deeper than most might imagine. In Final
Judgment we will examine all of this in detail.
ISRAEL’S MOTIVE
Israel, as we shall see, had a very distinct motive not only to orchestrate
Kennedy’s removal from office but also to elevate his successor, Lyndon B.
Johnson into the White House. As did, of course, many of those other
elements in the conspiracy that resulted in Kennedy’s murder.
Never once, however—at least in standard assassination research—has
the suggestion that Israel had a hand in Kennedy’s murder ever been uttered.
Yet, the evidence is there—evidence that has lain dormant or has otherwise
been ignored or gone unrecognized for its significance.
Indeed, virtually all of the facts brought together in Final Judgment
have been drawn from recognized volumes in the field of JFK assassination
research and in other standard sources.
One former member of Congress, Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.) himself
has publicly suggested that Israel indeed may have had a hand in the JFK
assassination. In the March 1992 issue of The Washington Report on
Middle East Affairs, Findley points out:
“It is interesting—but not surprising—to note that in all the words
written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence
agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned. And yet a Mossad motive is
obvious.” 3
Findley lays out the motive—a motive that we outline in detail in the
pages of this book: “Israeli leaders never trusted the Kennedys. They were
64 The Tie That Binds [3]
aware that when President Kennedy’s father, Joseph Kennedy, was
ambassador to Great Britain, he frequently praised Nazi Germany.
“During John Kennedy’s campaign for the presidency, a group of New
York Jews had privately offered to meet his campaign expenses if he would
let them set his Middle East policy. He did not agree . . . As president, he
provided only limited support to Israel.
“On the other hand, Lyndon Johnson had demonstrated his strong
support for Israel throughout his political career. The government of Israel,
therefore, had every reason to believe that its interests would be better
advanced with Johnson as president. And indeed they were. After Kennedy’s
death, the United States, for the first time, began large-scale shipments of
arms to Israel .. .
“Certainly, the Mossad possessed the resources to carry out an
assassination almost any place on earth.”
Findley concludes: “Am I accusing the Mossad of complicity?
Absolutely not. I have no evidence of such. My point is simply this: on
this question, as on almost all others, American reporters and commentators
cannot bring themselves to cast Israel in an unfavorable light—despite the
obvious fact that Mossad complicity is as plausible as any of the other
theories.” 4
In these pages we will provide Congressman Findley and the readers
with the evidence. We will let the readers make the final judgment.
`SOME SUBTERRANEAN ASSOCIATION’
One leading assassination investigator, Carl Oglesby, recently
summarized his own decades of personal research. “It was an inside job,” he
said, “something on the order of the enterprise which we discovered in the
Iran/Contra scandal.
“At the same time,” he added as a caveat, “I cannot bring myself to
believe that an institution such as the CIA [for example] could in any
formal and regular sense decide to kill the president.
“So what I am talking about is an off-the-shelf, off-the-books kind of
action that must have been put together by some subterranean association
cutting through not only the CIA, but to a certain extent the FBI the Dallas
police and the military-intelligence agencies themselves.” 5
Final Judgment suggests that it was Israel’s Mossad that
was indeed the very “subterranean association” that did cut
through the various entities which found themselves brought
into the JFK assassination conspiracy.
In a recent interview another respected JFK assassination researcher,
Peter Dale Scott, perhaps lends further credence to the theory we are about
to present. Scott believes that there were a variety of forces at work behind
the JFK assassination. He specifically fingers “Lyndon Johnson’s backers—
particularly those who had a stake in the military-industrial complex” and “an
intelligence-Mafia connection that included members of the intelligence
community who were involved with military-industrial
[4] Final Judgment 65
corporate backers of Lyndon Johnson, who in turn were involved with Mafia
people. At a minimum,” according to Scott, “you have to consider this triad of
forces.” Note Scott’s words: “at a minimum.” 6
This, of course, suggests that other forces were indeed involved. Final
Judgment not only suggests that it was, in fact, Israel’s Mossad, but also
clearly pinpoints the Mossad connection.
`OTHER INTELLIGENCE NETWORKS’
Scott himself goes one step further, but without naming the Mossad.
He says, “In my research, the most suggestive clues have emerged from a
relatively restricted circle within what I call the dark quadrant of suppressed
relationships or deep politics: a circle within the tripartite world of first,
CIA, defense, and other intelligence networks; second, the underworld of
organized crime and anti-Castro Cubans; and third, corporate interests with
links both to the intelligence and defense communities and also to organized
crime.
“The key,” says Scott, “is that all those in this dark quadrant would
have resisted its exposure whether or not they were key plotters.” 7 Final
Judgment concurs with Scott’s judgment. Again, note Scott’s words: “CIA,
defense, and other intelligence networks.”
As we demonstrate—and which is not really so very secret—it is
Israel’s Mossad—above and beyond any other intelligence network—foreign
or domestic—that has been unusually close (almost incestuously so) to the
CIA in a variety of international ventures.
THE MEDIA’S ROLE
What’s more, we go one step beyond Scott’s conclusions. Final
Judgment points out the highly significant role of the American media in its
role in the cover-up. The cover-up of the JFK assassination conspiracy could
never have succeeded without the support of a willing media. The fact is that
Israel and its supporters in the American media have a long and intimate
relationship. Until recent years—and even still today—criticism of Israel and
its misdeeds have been verboten in the Establishment media, as noted
previously in the comments by Congressman Findley.
‘FALSE FLAGS’
We will illustrate, by several notable examples, how primary friends of
Israel in the American media have been key players in floating “false leads”
(or “false flags” in intelligence jargon) that have directed attention and
suspicion elsewhere. This is a phenomenon never before examined in
studying the JFK assassination and which explains, in large part, why the
real truth about the assassination conspiracy has remained hidden for so
long, all of the research notwithstanding.
66 The Tie That Binds [5]
(In Chapter 3 we will examine numerous instances wherein Israel’s
Mossad itself utilized “false flags” to cover up its own role in a wide variety
of assassination conspiracies and crimes around the globe.)
A CHANGE IN MIDDLE EAST POLICY
Professor Scott, like many JFK researchers, has long focused on the
change of policy toward Vietnam that took place as a result of John F.
Kennedy’s assassination. He also points out that there was, additionally, a
change of policy toward Latin America.
However, in these pages, we demonstrate beyond question that the most
profound—and, in retrospect, probably most lasting and unusual—reversal
in the conduct of American foreign policy was in the arena of U.S.-Israeli
relations. These facts, unfortunately, have been neglected by even the most
serious researchers into the JFK assassination.
THE THEORIES MESH
The purpose of Final Judgment, you see, is not to prove, once and for
all, that there was indeed a conspiracy to assassinate President John F.
Kennedy and to perpetuate a cover-up of that conspiracy. That has been
proven, time and again, in an endless array of books, monographs, magazine
articles—even in the pages of several novels.
Instead, Final Judgment takes the commonly accepted theories one step
further and binds them all together—all too well—in a frightening scenario
that is surely so very close to the truth.
Many desired JFK’s removal from the presidency. However, as we note
throughout these pages, research over the years has—for a variety of
reasons—ignored the bitter conflict between the State of Israel and John F.
Kennedy.
Likewise, researchers have—again, for a variety of reasons, innocent
and otherwise—ignored the very close connections between Israel and each
of the diverse groups all of whom had a reason to want to end John F.
Kennedy’s presidency: the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, the
Mafia, the anti-Castro Cubans, and the CIA.
In Final Judgment, we present a theory that, in the free market of ideas,
deserves consideration—controversial though it will be.
John F. Kennedy himself put it best: “A nation that is afraid to let its
people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is
afraid of its people.”
What all of the commonly alleged conspiracies are tied together by is
the one strand that has been consistently ignored—and that, of course, is the
Israeli connection.
In Final Judgment we will consider this (unfortunately) long-ignored
hidden aspect of history.
What Final Judgment proves is not only that Israel had reason to
conspire against JFK, but that Israel was in a central position to not only
[6] Final Judgment 67
coordinate the assassination scheme (and did) but also the subsequent coverup—
all of this in close collaboration with its co-conspirators in the CIA
and organized crime—most specifically those elements intimately linked to
syndicate boss Meyer Lansky.
Israel—as much as the Mafia or the CIA, for example—stood to benefit
greatly from the death of America’s 35th president—and did, JFK’s
assassination set the stage for Israel to become a major power.
Research into the Kennedy assassination is most difficult, if only
because the literature is so immense, the web so tangled, and the surfeit of
theories and potential conspirators so seemingly unending. What’s more,
some assassination researchers have latched onto their own unique theories
and, as a consequence, have failed to look elsewhere—in the direction of
Israel, for example. With all of this in mind, let us proceed on the basis that
there are certain areas of agreement.
GENERALLY ACCEPTED CONCLUSIONS
Our final judgment—outlined in these pages—rests on a foundation
composed of the following generally accepted conclusions about the nature
of the JFK assassination conspiracy:
• That there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy;
• That the conspiracy itself involved elements of the U.S. intelligence
community, the CIA in particular;
• That Organized Crime figures played a major part in the conspiracy;
• That anti-Castro Cubans were actively participating in the conspiracy,
at the urging of and/or manipulation by the CIA and elements of Organized
Crime;
• That somehow Lee Harvey Oswald (wittingly or unwittingly) was
brought into the conspiracy and that the conspirators planted false evidence
to link Oswald with Fidel Castro and the Soviets;
• That Oswald was involved in some manner of U.S. intelligence
activity, even if he was unaware those activities were sponsored or
manipulated by some element of the U.S. intelligence community.
• That Jack Ruby was either an active participant in the assassination
conspiracy itself or was used in some fashion to manipulate Oswald prior to
the assassination of JFK;
• That Ruby was actively involved in organized crime activities and that
he was, as a consequence of that involvement, also linked with organized
crime activities that operated in conjunction (or ran parallel) with U.S.
intelligence community activities.
• That the Central Intelligence Agency was cognizant of the activities of
both Oswald and Ruby and certainly manipulated both;
• That Oswald was executed by Jack Ruby for the purpose of silencing
Oswald forever;
• That a major cover-up of the JFK assassination conspiracy was
undertaken following the events in Dallas;
68 The Tie That Binds [7]
• That the cover-up involved elements of the federal government
(including the CIA);
• That the Warren Commission and the House Assassinations
Committee were deliberate participants in the cover-up;
• That the cover-up conspiracy was conducted for a wide variety of
motivations—both ostensibly “patriotic” and otherwise—including—but not
limited to:
a) burying intelligence community connections to the assassination
conspiracy;
b) protecting Organized Crime elements involved;
c) preventing hostilities between the United States and foreign nations
(whether it be the Soviet Union or Castro’s Cuba); and
d) resolving questions about the assassination in the public’s mind,
both here and abroad.
• That the Controlled Media actively encouraged and/or participated in
the cover-up due to its links to the CIA, the intelligence community in
general, and Organized Crime.
This is the basis upon which the research for this volume was
undertaken. Upon this foundation Final Judgment ties together all of the
facts and shows how the State of Israel and its spy agency, the Mossad,
collaborated with not only the CIA but also key elements in Organized
Crime and in the anti-Castro Cuban community in order to orchestrate the
assassination of John F. Kennedy and the cover-up.
THE EVIDENCE IS THERE
Some of the facts presented—while not necessarily “new”—have been
available to researchers for decades. However, many researchers, regrettably,
have not been looking in the right direction. That, of course, is not their
fault. Additional information—particularly in regard to Kennedy’s difficult
relations with Israel and how U.S.-Israeli relations changed drastically as a
result of JFK’s murder—has really only recently come into the public
forum. In Final Judgment we will explore this information in detail. It is
this information—long unavailable to even the most dedicated researchers—
that ties all of the previous data together.
The remarkable scenario presented in Final Judgment logically
incorporates all of the commonly-accepted theories into one broadly
encompassing theory that not only makes sense but which brings the
diverse elements in the conspiracy together full circle. It is for this reason
that Final Judgment truly lives up to its name.
The theory presented in the pages of Final Judgment has been greeted
with the charge of “anti-Semitism”—a standard attack directed upon any
utterance even vaguely critical of Israel and its misdeeds.
However, the author leaves it up to the basic honesty and openmindedness
of the readers to determine whether or not the theory presented in
this volume makes sense.
[8] Final Judgment 69
WHAT HAPPENED . . .
Here, in essence, is the basis of the theory presented and documented—
sometimes in excruciating detail—in the pages which follow.
• That during his presidency, John F. Kennedy alienated three major
international power blocs: the American CIA, Organized Crime, and Israel
and its American lobby.
• That in each case, Kennedy’s continued tenure in the White House
was perceived by each of these power groups as a threat to its very existence.
• That each of these major international power blocs was
closely intertwined with the others, often on several levels.
• That when Kennedy’s presence in the White House became
so intolerable that these forces came together in a wide-ranging conspiracy that
resulted in JFK’s murder.
• That the power of these forces, together, over the American
media played a vital role in the assassination conspiracy cover-up.
Final Judgment explores in detail the little-known behind-thescenes
war between John F. Kennedy and Israel and documents how U.S.
policy toward Israel and the Arab world underwent a drastic reversal upon JFK’s
assassination.
This book also documents not only the intimate collaboration
between the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate and the Mossad, but also the
similar incestuous relationship between the Lansky syndicate and Israel’s
allies in the CIA. We will also focus on the singularly important role of
Meyer Lansky’s positioning in the joint Mossad-CIA-Organized Crime nexus
that came together in the JFK assassination.
Lansky’s own role in the JFK assassination conspiracy has been
continually ignored or otherwise suppressed—even by those very
“authorities” who claim that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” As we shall see,
Meyer Lansky was, in fact, the real “overlord” of the international crime
syndicate; many of the “Mafia bosses” who allegedly masterminded the JFK
assassination were, indeed, Lansky henchmen, front-men, underlings.
The basic facts have virtually all been published in previous works
on the JFK assassination and in other studies on the subjects of U.S-Israeli
relations, international intelligence intrigue, and organized crime.
It is only now, however, that all of the facts have been finally placed
together in a neatly-constructed jigsaw puzzle that presents the whole picture
in its rather simple entirety. It is not, as we shall see, as complex as it
might at first appear. However, the bottom line is this: it is clear that not
only did Israel have a motive for participating in the JFK assassination, but
that it indeed did play a critical part in the conspiracy.
A THEORY OF POWER POLITICS AT WORK
The conspiracy outlined here was a criminal enterprise involving power
politics in its highest—and lowest—forms. This volume:
70 The Tie That Binds [9]
• Presents international intrigue above and beyond the then-crumbling
U.S.-Israel relationship;
• Examines the tragic reality of American involvement in Southeast
Asia—which Kennedy sought to prevent—the final result of which
guaranteed:
(a) Israel’s dominance in Middle East affairs as the United States became
bogged down in Asia;
(b) Southeast Asian drug profits for Meyer Lansky’s global drug racket
(operating in conjunction with the Mossad’s ally, the CIA); and
(c) Multi-billion dollar profits in arms production for the backers of
Israel’s ally—Lyndon Johnson—in the military-industrial complex;
• Explains how the CIA—so closely tied to Israel—was able to
continue its subterranean covert activities in Southeast Asia and elsewhere
after the elimination of JFK;
• Illustrates how certain special interests (the anti-Castro Cuban
movement and Organized Crime) could be manipulated by another special
interest—the CIA-Mossad alliance—in pursuit of a mutual goal: ending
John F. Kennedy’s presidency;
• Points out why the various elements involved in the conspiracy were
working in conjunction with one another in covering up the facts about the
assassination;
• Details how the Controlled Media—long a primary collaborator with
the Lansky-linked pro-Israel lobby in the United States—promoted the
Warren Commission’s “lone nut” solution of the JFK murder and sought to
silence critics of the “official” explanation;
• Reveals how the anger and disgust of one powerful man—in this
instance, David Ben-Gurion of Israel—could result in a vendetta carried out
by means of a far-reaching conspiracy orchestrated through his own sphere
of influence;
• Describes how key American political power brokers—such as J.
Edgar Hoover and, most particularly, Lyndon B. Johnson (both connected to
the Israeli-linked Lansky Crime Syndicate)—were able to maintain their
influence—and expand it correspondingly—upon the death of John F.
Kennedy and
• Demonstrates how low-level operatives such as Lee Harvey Oswald
and Jack Ruby—both with a diverse array of strange connections—were
utilized by conspirators at the top.
All of this taken together makes the conspiracy outlined here one that is
not only logical, but one that ties all of the most prominently mentioned
conspirators together in a package that is all too uncomfortably neat.
HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED: A READER’S GUIDE
In order to outline the conspiracy described in the pages of Final
Judgment, it is necessary, from the beginning, to consider that conspiracy in
its historical context. A wide array of players were involved and their
integral links with one another and with the diverse forces behind the
[10] Final Judgment 71
conspiracy make it prudent, at this juncture, to provide the reader with an
overview of the material about to be presented. Here, however, is a
summary overview of the chapters which follow and which presents the
necessary outline of the approach we take in laying the groundwork upon
which we reach our final judgment:
THE MOSSAD
• Chapter 2 explores the accusation that Israel’s Mossad did indeed
consider assassinating an American president perceived hostile to Israel—in
this instance, George Bush—and ponders the likelihood that the Mossad did,
in fact, previously collaborate in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
• Chapter 3 reviews the Mossad’s historic use of so-called “false flags”
in its worldwide acts of terrorism and assassination, leaving others (such as
the Mafia,” “right wing extremists,” and “Arab terrorists”) to take the
blame. The point driven home is that the Mossad could have done likewise
in the JFK assassination.
JFK, LBJ AND ISRAEL
• Chapter 4 examines the initial tactical alliance—and then enmity—
between John F. Kennedy and his father Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy not
only with the Israeli lobby but also the Israeli-linked Meyer Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate.
• Chapter 5 reviews, in depth, the growing conflict between President
John F. Kennedy and the state of Israel—facts which have never been
seriously examined by students of the JFK assassination.
• Chapter 6 outlines how the assassination of John F. Kennedy
permitted the Lansky Crime Syndicate- and Israeli lobby-linked Lyndon B.
Johnson (a favorite of Israel’s allies in the CIA) to assume the presidency
and begin an incredible reversal of JFK’s Middle East policies, thereby
strengthening Israel’s global hand.
This important chapter also demonstrates how Israel, the CIA and the
Lansky Syndicate stood to benefit from American involvement in the
Vietnam War—a little explored aspect of that unfortunate period.
MEYER LANSKY, ISRAEL AND THE CIA
• Chapter 7 is a comprehensive overview of organized crime figure
Meyer Lansky, covering his preeminent role in global criminal enterprises
and his links not only to Israel’s Mossad, but also American intelligence.
• Chapter 8 explores the close relationship between Israel’s Mossad and
the American CIA, and particularly the important role of the Mossad’s chief
CIA ally, James Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence.
• Chapter 9 reviews the conflicts between the administration of John F.
Kennedy and the CIA, Israel’s primary link in the world of international
72 The Tie That Binds [11]
intelligence. Also considered are the connections of a number of key CIA
figures (linked to the JFK assassination) with Israel.
• Chapter 10 sheds important light upon Meyer Lansky’s ties with New
Orleans Mafia chieftain Carlos Marcello (often fingered as a key conspirator
in the JFK assassination) and upon Lansky’s preeminence over the Italian
Mafia in organized crime activities.
• Chapter 11 reviews Lansky’s involvement with Mafia figures Johnny
Rosselli and Santo Trafficante Jr., and Sam Giancana and explores all-new
revelations about the ties between the Chicago “Mafia” and Israel’s
intelligence service.
• Chapter 12 is a detailed exploration of Meyer Lansky’s predominant
role in the international drug racket and how his criminal syndicate worked
hand-in-glove with the CIA in these international ventures.
• Chapter 13 considers a little known angle in the JFK assassination
conspiracy: the role of Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen. This
chapter documents Cohen’s close relationship with Israeli intelligence and
connects the murder of actress Marilyn Monroe, with Cohen’s pro-Israel
activities.
• Chapter 14 is a review of the career of Jack Ruby as an errand boy for
both the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and his
activities connected with the JFK assassination. And yes, there’s even
evidence linking Ruby to Israel.
PERMINDEX AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION
• Chapter 15, aptly entitled, “The Twain Shall Meet,” demonstrates that
it was through the little-explored Rome-based intelligence operation known
as Permindex that the Israeli Mossad-CIA alliance and the Lansky Crime
Syndicate came together and utilized their joint resources to orchestrate the
JFK assassination, bringing about the conspiracy documented in previous
chapters full circle.
• Chapter 16 documents a little-known libel trial in which a jury
concluded that the CIA had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy
and examines the role that James Jesus Angleton, Israel’s ally at the CIA
played in the conspiracy. Most importantly, we will examine the oftmentioned
(but little-understood) so-called “French connection” to the JFK
assassination conspiracy which was, in fact, also the Israeli connection.
• Chapter 17 dissects the role that CIA and Mossad assets in the media
played in distorting the public’s perception of the JFK assassination
conspiracy and how they pointed the finger of blame elsewhere.
• Chapter 18 is a new look at the assassination of Senator Robert F.
and how RFK’s murder ties together not only the CIA, Israel’s Mossad, and
the Meyer Lansky syndicate, but also the Iranian secret police, SAVAK
(itself a creation of the CIA and the Mossad).
• The concluding chapter constitutes an overview outlining the nature of
the conspiracy that resulted in the JFK assassination.
[12] Final Judgment 73
Then, what follows are ten uniquely diverse appendices that shed new
light on a wide variety of little-known aspects of the JFK assassination
conspiracy and cover-up that have been distorted or misinterpreted or
otherwise forgotten.
SOME LITTLE-KNOWN SIDELIGHTS . . .
• Appendix One considers the covert CIA career of George
Herbert Walker Bush and examines his integral links with several of the key
players in the JFK assassination conspiracy, examining that critical
question, “WhereWas George?”
• Appendix Two reviews Lee Harvey Oswald’s little-known link to at least
one long-time federal undercover informant who operated in both “right-” and
“left-” wing groups.
• Appendix Three puts to rest, at long last, the theory that “right wing
extremists” were the driving force behind the JFK assassination. The
primary “right wing” figure linked to the assassination was moving in pro-
Israel circles all along. (This appendix will surely open up new vistas for
argument and discussion among “liberal” JFK assassination researchers.)
• Appendix Four discusses a hotly controversial subject that no
other book on the JFK assassination has ever discussed before: the ethnic and
political antecedents of the staff attorneys who handled the day-to-day work of
the Warren Commission “investigation” of the JFK assassination.
This appendix also examines the little-known facts about the
“kingmaker” behind Warren Commission member Gerald R. Ford: a
political power broker with ties to both Israel’s Mossad and the Lansky Crime
Syndicate.
• Appendix Five looks into the widely-discussed claim that “The Federal
Reserve Killed JFK.” Separating the facts from the myths, this appendix
shows that there’s much more to the story than meets the eye.
• Appendix Six takes a look at the strange death of not only former
CIA Director William Colby (himself a critic of Israel) but another highlevel
CIA figure who ran afoul of Israel’s Mossad. (Even in both of these
cases there may indeed be a JFK assassination connection.)
YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST . . .
• Appendix Seven is the first-ever exposition of the real link between
the JFK assassination and Watergate. Forget anything you’ve ever heard before
about the “Dallas-Watergate” connection. What you’ll read here ties the two
conspiracies together unlike anything you’ve ever read before.
• Appendix Eight is a special overview of some of the more pertinent
books (along with some of the outrageous ones) that have appeared over the
years about the JFK assassination—a reader’s guide to the literature.
• Appendix Nine examines the long-secret collaboration between Israel and
Red China in the arena of nuclear production and addresses the question as to
whether the cancellation (by Lyndon Johnson) of JFK’s plans to
74 The Tie That Binds [13]
launch a military attack on Red China’s nuclear facilities was a direct
consequence of Israel’s role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
•Appendix Ten analyzes the ongoing political crisis in Israel: many
Israelis believe that Israeli intelligence had a hand in the assassination of
Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. If that theory is subject to open
debate in Israel, why can’t Americans ponder the possibility that Israeli
intelligence had a hand in the assassination of an American president?
•A special supplement to this edition of Final Judgment appears in the
form of what was originally published in a separate volume under the title
Default Judgment. This is a detailed selection of questions addressed to the
author after the initial release of Final Judgment. The answers shed
additional light on many matters discussed in Final Judgment as well as
upon some things that were not addressed.
•Our afterword and what may well be our “final word” reflect on the
nature of the continuing cover-up and of how the truth may never really be
told. A special postscript explains the tragic story of how an honest French
diplomat may have died as a result of the r elease of Final
Judgment—another of the strange deaths that came in the wake of the
assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963.
What appears in these pages, many readers now believe, is a logically
constructed recitation of the facts that lead us to the conclusion that Israel’s
Mossad did play an instrumental role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
REACHING A FINAL JUDGMENT
You be the judge.
You have heard all of the other theories time and again.
This is the one and only book which ties all of those
theories together in a comprehensive summary which makes
ultimate sense.
Read this book and reach your own final judgment.
Chapter Two
Off With His Head:
A Mossad Plot to Kill an American President
Would Israel’s Mossad actually consider assassinating an
American president perceived hostile to Israel? A former
Mossad agent says “yes.” According to ex-Mossad man Victor
Ostrovsky, the Israeli spy agency hatched a plan to kill
President George Bush.
If President John F. Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy
orchestrated—at least in part—by Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, this
evidently not be the last time that the Mossad planned the assassination of
an American president. According to former Mossad agent, Victor
Ostrovsky, elements of the Mossad were plotting an attempt on the life of
President George Bush. The reason: according to Ostrovsky, Bush was hated
by the Mossad and considered an enemy of Israel.
This amazing revelation was published in the February 1992 edition of
the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. The author of the report was
former Congressman Paul Findley (R-Ill.), himself a prominent critic of
Israel. (Findley’s best-selling book, They Dare to Speak Out: People and
Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, is a classic exposition of the way
Israel’s lobby has worked to silence American critics of the foreign nation.)
Findley reported that Ostrovsky had learned through his sources in the
intelligence community that because of President Bush’s seeming
intransigence toward Israel’s demands, the Mossad had begun coordinating
plans for the assassination of the American president.
Ostrovsky relayed this information to several members of the Canadian
parliament, indicating that the Mossad and not Israel’s elected leadership, is
“the real engine of policy in Israel.” 8 One of those attending the meeting
with Ostrovsky passed the information on to another former U.S.
Representative, Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey (R-Calif.).
Upon learning of the potential threat to President Bush, ex-
Congressman McCloskey himself flew to Canada where he met with
Ostrovsky. According to Findley: “Ostrovsky impressed McCloskey as a
patriotic Zionist who believes the Mossad is out of control. Ostrovsky told
him the present leadership of the Mossad wants ‘to do everything possible
to preserve a state of war between Israel and its neighbors, assassinating
President Bush, if necessary.” 9
“He said a public relations campaign is already underway in both Israel
and the United States to ‘prepare public acceptance of [vice president] Dan
Quayle as president.’ After lengthy discussion during which he became
convinced that Ostrovsky was ‘real’ and telling the truth, McCloskey took
the next flight to Washington.
76 OffWith His Head [15]
“There he relayed the information to the Secret Service and State
Department, receiving mixed reactions to Ostrovsky’s reliability. An officer
of the Navy Department dismissed him simply as a “traitor to Israel.”10
AMERICANS KILLED BY ISRAELI INTRIGUE
Findley points out that in his controversial book, By Way of
Deception, the aforementioned Ostrovsky documented a Mossad action
which was “especially shocking to American readers.”11 In that instance,
241 U.S. Marines were murdered by a terrorist truck bomb that plowed into
the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.
Although Israeli agents learned that the attack was impending, the
Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv ordered its agents to ignore the threat and
to not alert the American servicemen to the danger. “We are not there [in
Beirut] to protect Americans,” the Mossad leaders explained. “They’re a big
country. Send only the regular information.” According to Ostrovsky, the
“regular information” was “like sending a weather report, unlikely to raise
any particular alarm.”12
“Is it conceivable,” asks Findley, “that Israel’s Mossad might
assassinate George Bush in order to put a more sympathetic man in the
White House? It is well to remember two earlier occasions when Israeli
authorities were willing to sacrifice American lives to serve their own
national interests.” 13 Congressman Findley points out two other occasions
where Americans died or otherwise faced extinction at the hands of Israel:
•On June 8, 1967, naval and air forces of Israel deliberately—and
without provocation—attacked the American spy ship, the U.S.S. Liberty
killing 34 American sailors and wounding 171 others. It was an attempt to
destroy the ship and its entire crew.
•During the October 1973 war, Israeli pilots were ordered to shoot
down an unarmed U.S. reconnaissance plane that was overflying Israel’s
secret nuclear bomb development site at Dimona. The plane, however, flew
too high for Israel’s would-be assassins to reach.
Assessing the potential threat to President George Bush, Congressman
Findley concludes, “The U.S. Secret Service will be wise to assume the
worst.”14
Incredibly enough, at almost the same time Findley’s provocative report
first appeared, several unusual events occurred that seemed to give credence
to the allegation that there might indeed be a plot afoot to eliminate George
Bush—if not physically, at least politically. Each of these threatening
incidents took place during President George Bush’s January 1992 trip to the
Far East.
The most notable incident, of course, was the President’s bizarre public
seizure while dining in the company of the Japanese premier. More than a
few people speculated—privately—that the president might indeed have been
poisoned. This, of course, is speculation, but it is based in reality.
Interestingly, it was while the president was on his Far Eastern junket
that The Washington Post—the daily newspaper of record in the nation’s
[16] Final Judgment 77
capitol—inexplicably reversed itself and began publishing a lengthy and
glowing seven-part series hailing Vice President Dan Quayle. Obviously
this seems to be a confirmation of Victor Ostrovsky’s claim that
preparations were being made in the United States to make a Dan Quayle
presidency palatable.
The Post’s unusual flip-flop was made all the more potent when the
news arrived that the president had been stricken. Quayle, evidently, already
had the Establishment’s support if he had been unexpectedly thrust into the
presidency. Oddly, prior to the Post’s turn-about, the Washington daily had
been one of Quayle’s most persistent critics. However, something quite
alarming also took place during that eventful week.
A SECURITY BREACH
For two days, during President George Bush’s visit in Seoul, South
Korea, top-secret information regarding the president’s personal
arrangements was inexplicably made available to the public. Incredibly
enough, this was during a period when terrorist alert status was already high.
Security experts believed that if potential presidential assassins had such
action in mind, the security breach would have assisted them tremendously.
According to Robert Snow, a spokesman for the Secret Service, “It wouldn’t
be stretching it”15 to suggest that the security lapse could have put Bush in
danger. Blame for the lapse in security was laid at the hands of the U.S.
Information Service (USIS), a branch of the State Department. For their
own part, officials at the State Department were unable to provide an
explanation of the bizarre security breach. The White House refused to
comment.
The USIS published a list of the names and hotel room numbers of the
president’s traveling party, which numbered 471 people. (The fact that the
president was staying at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence was part of the
information revealed.) Included on the list were the names and room
numbers of 122 Secret Service agents, eight Marine guards, four presidential
stewards and six military aides. Also revealed were security control room
locations in the hotel where the president was staying as well as the names
of the 10 Secret Service agents heading security at the various locations that
the president visited while in Korea. The room assignments of top
administration officials accompanying the president, as well as those of the
thirteen corporate executives along for the trip were also published. 16
This incredible revelation caused suspicion that perhaps there were those
in positions of power who may not necessarily have been concerned for the
president’s safety. The tentacles of Israel’s Mossad do reach far and wide—
even into the depths of the U.S. State Department. Was this breach of
security a first step in an assassination attempt—perhaps one to be carried out
by some obscure Korean terrorist group acting as a “false flag” for the
Mossad?
Retired Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, himself an acknowledged
authority on covert operations—including assassination planning—says that
78 OffWith His Head [17]
one of the primary necessary measures in any assassination plot is the
process of removing or otherwise breaching the intended victim’s blanket of
security. Prouty, who worked in presidential security with the military,
knows whereof he speaks. According to Prouty, “No one has to direct an
assassination—it happens. The active role is played secretly by permitting it
to happen . . . This is the greatest single clue . . . Who has the power to
call off or reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect
whenever a president travels?” 17
IF IN 1991, WHY NOT IN 1963?
In his 1994 book, The Other Side of Deception, Mossad man Victor
Ostrovsky finally revealed the specifics of what he had learned of the 1991
Mossad plot against Bush: the Mossad planned to assassinate Bush during
an international conference in Madrid. The Mossad had captured three
Palestinian “extremists” and leaked word to the Spanish police that the
terrorists were on their way to Madrid. The plan was to kill Bush, release
the “assassins” in the midst of the confusion—and kill the Palestinians on
the spot. The crime would be blamed on the Palestinians—another Mossad
“false flag,” more about which we will learn in Chapter Three. 18
SOME HISTORICAL SPECULATION
Frankly, there have been those who have suggested, in the wake of the
publication of the first edition of Final Judgment, that President Franklin
Delano Roosevelt, in fact, may himself have been the first American
president to die at the hands of the intelligence network that ultimately
evolved into Israel’s Mossad. They point out, based on well-documented
historical evidence, that FDR may have been a genuine roadblock in the way
of the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.
It is known that Saudi King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud met with FDR on
board a U.S. Navy ship on February 14, 1945 when the American president
was returning from the famous Yalta Conference. There, according to former
American diplomat Richard Curtiss, the Saudi king “exacted assurances from
the President that he would ‘do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs
and would make no move hostile to the Arab people.'” 19
After that meeting, according to Curtiss, FDR “told friends that in a
few minutes of conversation with the Saudi monarch he learned more about
the Palestine situation than he had learned in all of his previous life. His
new knowledge did not prevent him, however, from authorizing a U.S.
Zionist leader to state that the President still favored a Jewish state and
unrestricted Jewish immigration into Palestine.
“Then, as the Arabs reacted with angry questions, he authorized the
Department of State to reaffirm his pledge to Ibn Saud and other Arab
leaders that there would be prior consultation with the Arabs as well as the
Jews before the U.S. took any action related to Palestine.” 20 One week later
FDR was dead.
[18] Final Judgment 79
In fact, two authors known for their devotion to the Zionist
cause—John Loftus and Mark Aarons—have stated candidly that many
friends of Israel do believe that FDR’s death was quite fortuitous: “Although
American public opinion was favorable toward Jews, few Zionists trusted
Roosevelt entirely . . . As several leading Zionists admitted, if Roosevelt
had lived, it is unlikely that Israel would ever have been born. They knew
what they were talking about.” 21
AN INTERESTING FOOTNOTE IN HISTORY . . .
We could speculate forever about how FDR really died. However, we do
know—based on a very reliable source—that FDR’s successor, Harry
Truman, was in fact the target for assassination because he was perceived
hostile to Zionist interests. According to Margaret Truman, daughter of the
late president, the Jewish underground terrorist movement in Palestine
known as the Stern Gang once tried to murder her father.
In a biography of her father Miss Truman discussed the attempt on her
father’s life by Puerto Rican nationalists. Then, in a little-noticed, but
highly significant aside she commented: “I learned in the course of my
research for this book that there had been other attempts on Dad’s life,
which he never mentioned . . . In the summer of 1947, the so-called Stern
gang of Palestine terrorists tried to assassinate Dad by mail . . .” 22
The Jewish terrorists, it seems, had sent the president letters that had been
tainted with toxic chemicals. Fortunately, the mail was intercepted and no
harm was done. Harry Truman, of course, got the message, though, and
rushed to recognize the state of Israel upon its founding in 1948, despite his
own reservations and those on the part of his diplomatic advisors.
This clumsy attempt to kill Truman is interesting, to say the very
least, and points to a proclivity for political violence on the part of the
Israeli leaders in the Stern Gang whom, it should be pointed out, were the
very individuals who emerged as the leaders of the Mossad following the
establishment of the state of Israel.
A PATTERN OF EVIDENCE . . .
Very clearly, there is strong evidence—indeed a pattern—to suggest that
Israel would indeed consider the assassination of an American president.
With this in mind, let us move forward and examine the evidence which will
lead us toward a final judgment.
Chapter Three
A Bad Habit:
Israel’s Use of “False Flags” in Global Terrorism—
Pointing the Finger of Guilt Elsewhere
Researchers in the JFK assassination controversy have
repeatedly pointed out the false leads that continue to appear.
Most believe that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin,
was indeed what he claimed to be—the patsy—and that false
clues had been laid by the real conspirators to make it appear
a s thoug h Oswa l d wa s an a g ent o f Fi de l Ca s t r o o r the
Soviets or both. The use of such “false flags” by Israel’s
Mossad to cover up its own role in worldwide assassination
conspiracies and other criminal activity has been documented
time and again. “Arabs,” “the Mafia,” “right-wing
extremists,” and others have repeatedly taken the fall for
crimes committed by the Mossad or carried out under its
coordination.
The use of “false flag” operations by Israel and its Mossad has been
documented repeatedly since the Jewish State first came into being. This
book contends that Israel and its primary collaborator, the CIA, utilized
insidious “false flags” in orchestrating the assassination of John F. Kennedy
and the subsequent cover-up: “the Mafia,” “anti-Castro Cubans,” “the
Soviets,” “Castro agents” and even “right-wing extremists” have all been
fingered as those responsible for the JFK assassination. But the real hard
evidence points in another direction entirely.
‘FORGED TRAILS’ AND ‘FALSE FLAGS’
One major JFK assassination researcher, Professor Peter Dale Scott, has
described what he called “the brilliance of the assassination plot.”23 This
was, according to Scott, “that the conspirators had forged trails to induce a
cover-up.” Scott cites a number of instances: “There were, for example,
trails that potentially linked Oswald to Fidel Castro or to the KGB and
Khruschev—a trail that might lead to war.
“Moreover, there was false evidence given to the Secret Service that led
to a group of anti-Castro Cubans in Chicago whose operations had been
authorized indirectly by Bobby Kennedy himself. This is just one of several
trails that might have led in directions that no one wanted to investigate.”24
That Israel has had a long and proven record in planting “false flags” is
the subject of discussion in this chapter.
In preparation for our consideration of Israel’s role in the JFK
assassination conspiracy, it is worthwhile to first review some of the more
[20] Final Judgment 81
notable instances in which Israel orchestrated assassinations and pinned
those atrocities on innocent parties—”false flags.”
In Chapter 2 we noted how former Congressman Paul Findley had cited
two cases in which Israel indicated a willingness to sacrifice American lives
for its own interests: (a) the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in June of 1967
and (b) the intended attack on an American reconnaissance plane that was
overflying Israel’s secret nuclear bomb development site. These incidents are
particularly intriguing in light of what we will ponder in this volume.
The attack on the Liberty—it is generally acknowledged by everyone but
Israel and its defenders—was a deliberate attempt to destroy the Liberty and its
crew and to sink the vessel to the bottom of the Mediterranean. What is
most interesting, however, is the reason behind this bizarre and brutal
attack.
THE U.S.S. LIBERTY—BLAMING THE EGYPTIANS
Israel, in fact, hoped to pin the responsibility on a “false flag”—Egypt—
and draw the United States into the impending 1967 war on the side of
Israel. It is only because the Liberty did not sink and instead was rescued
that the history books don’t tell us today that “the Arabs” sunk an American
spy ship and sparked another “Lusitania incident” that forced America to go
to war.
THE NUCLEAR BOMB
The second instance to which Congressman Findley referred is of
special interest inasmuch as the intended attack on an American air force
reconnaissance plane was designed to protect Israel’s secret development of
nuclear weaponry. It was Israel’s nuclear offensive that led President John F.
Kennedy into the “secret war” with Israel that he conducted with increasing
intensity during the three years of his short-lived presidency.
As we shall see in Chapter 5, it was the very issue of Kennedy’s
intransigent opposition to Israel’s nuclear arms development that became a
central part of his standoff with Israel and its Mossad. It was this conflict
that played a critical part in setting in final motion the assassination
conspiracy that ended John Kennedy’s life.
What follows is an overview of some other notable instances in which
Israel utilized ‘false flags” in its international criminal endeavors.
THE LAVON AFFAIR
Perhaps the best-known instance in which Israel used a “false flag” to
cover its own trail was in the infamous Lavon Affair. It was in 1954 that
several Israeli-orchestrated acts of terrorism against British targets in Egypt
were carried out. Blame for the attacks was placed on the Muslim
Brotherhood, which opposed the regime of Egyptian President Gamul
82 A Bad Habit [21]
Abdul-Nasser. However, the truth about the wave of terror can now be
found in a once-secret cable from Colonel Benjamin Givli, the head of
Israel’s military intelligence, who outlined the intended purpose behind the
wave of terror:
“[Our goal] is to break the West’s confidence in the existing [Egyptian]
regime. The actions should cause arrests, demonstrations, and expressions of
revenge. The Israeli origin should be totally covered while attention should
be shifted to any other possible factor. The purpose is to prevent economic
and military aid from the West to Egypt.” 25
Ultimately the truth about Israel’s involvement in the affair became
public and Israel was rocked internally in the wake of the scandal.
Competing political elements within Israel used the scandal as a bludgeon
against their opponents. But the truth about Israel’s use of a “false flag” had
come to international attention and demonstrated how Israel was indeed
willing to needlessly endanger innocent lives as part of its grand political
strategy to expand its influence in the Middle East.
BLAMING ‘RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS’
A shadowy “right wing” group known as “Direct Action” was accused
of the attack on Goldenberg’s Deli in Paris on August 9, 1982. Six people
died and 22 were injured. The leader of “Direct Action” was one Jean-Marc
Rouillan. Rouillan had been operating in the Mediterranean under the cover
name of “Sebas” and had been repeatedly linked to the Mossad. All
references to Rouillan’s Mossad links were deleted from the official reports
issued at the time.
However, the Algerian national news service—which has ties to French
intelligence—blamed the Mossad for Rouillan’s activities. Angry French
intelligence officers were believed to have leaked this information to the
Algerians. Several top French security officials quit in protest over this coverup
of Mossad complicity in Rouillan’s crimes. 26 However, other Mossadorchestrated
false flag operations also took place on French soil.
On October 3, 1980 a synagogue on Copernicus Street was bombed in
Paris. Four bystanders were killed. Nine were injured. The media frenzy
which followed the incident was worldwide. Reports held that “right wing
extremists” were responsible. Yet, of all of the “right wing extremists” held for
questioning, none was arrested. In fact, all were released.
In the upper echelons of French intelligence, however, the finger of
suspicion was pointed at the Mossad. According to one report: “On April 6,
1979, the same Mossad terror unit now suspected of the Copernicus carnage
blew up the heavily guarded plant of CNIM industries at La Seyne-sur-Mer,
near Toulon, in southeast France, where a consortium of French firms was
building a nuclear reactor for Iraq.
“The Mossad salted the site of the CNIM bomb blast with ‘clues’
followed up with anonymous phone calls to police—suggesting that the
sabotage was the work of a ‘conservative’ environmentalist Troup—’the
most pacific and harmless people on earth’ as one source put it.” 27
[22] Final Judgment 83
BLAMING THE CORSICAN MAFIA
• On June 28, 1978, Israeli agents exploded a bomb under a small
passenger car in the Rue Saint Anne, killing Mohammed Boudia, an
organizer for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Immediately
afterward, Paris police received anonymous phone calls accusing Boudia of
involvement in narcotics deals and attributing his murder to the Corsican
Mafia. A thorough investigation subsequently established that Mossad
special-action agents were responsible for the terrorist killing.
BLAMING THE NEO-NAZIS
• In October, 1976 the same Mossad unit kidnapped two West German
students named Brigette Schulz and Thomas Reuter from their Paris hotel.
Planted “clues” and anonymous phone calls made it appear that a Bavarian
“neo-nazi” formation had executed the abduction. In fact, French
intelligence established that the two German youths had been secretly flown
to Israel, drugged, tortured, coerced into a false “confession of complicity” in
PLO activities, and then anonymously incarcerated in one of the Israeli
government’s notorious political prisons.
BLAMING THE SOUTH KOREANS
• In February 1977 a German-born, naturalized U.S. citizen named
William Jahnke arrived in Paris for some secretive business meetings. He
soon vanished, leaving no trace. Paris police were anonymously informed
that Jahnke had been involved in a high-level South Korean bribery affair
and “eliminated” when the deal went sour. A special team of investigators
from SDECE, the leading French intelligence agency, eventually determined
that Jahnke had been “terminated” by the Mossad, which suspected him of
selling secret information to the Libyans. Along with other details of this
sordid case, the SDECE learned that Jahnke had been “fingered” to the
Mossad by his own former employer, the CIA.28
BLAMING THE LIBYANS
One of Israel’s most outrageous “false flag” operations involved a wild
propaganda story aimed at discrediting Libyan leader Muamar Qaddafi—one
of Israel’s favorite enemies. In the early months of the administration of
President Ronald Reagan, the American media began heavily promoting a
story to the effect that a “Libyan hit squad” was in the United States for the
express purpose of assassinating Reagan. This inflamed public sentiment
against Libya and there were repeated calls for blood.
Suddenly, however, the “hit squad” stories vanished. In fact, it was
ultimately discovered that the source of the story was one Manucher
Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK (secret police) agent with close ties
84 A Bad Habit [23]
to the Mossad. Even The Washington Post acknowledged that the CIA
itself believed that Ghorbanifar was a liar who “had made up the hit-squad
story in order to cause problems for one of Israel’s enemies.” 29
The Los Angeles Times itself had already blown the whistle on Israel’s
scare stories. “Israeli intelligence, not the Reagan administration,” reported
the Times, “was a major source of some of the most dramatic published
reports about a Libyan assassination team allegedly sent to kill President
Reagan and other top U.S. officials . . . Israel, which informed sources said
has ‘wanted an excuse to go in and bash Libya for a longtime,’ may be
trying to build American public support for a strike against [Qaddafi], these
sources said.” 30
In other words, Israel had been promoting the former SAVAK agent,
Ghorbanifar, to official Washington as a reliable source. In fact, he was a
Mossad disinformation operative waving a “false flag” to mislead America.
This was yet another Israeli scheme to blame Libya for its own misdeeds,
this time using one “false flag” (Iran’s SAVAK) to lay the blame on another
“false flag” (Libya). (In Chapter 18 we shall see yet another SAVAK crime
carried out on behalf of Israel and its allies in the CIA.)
BLAMING LIBYA AGAIN
Israel’s Mossad was almost certainly responsible for the bombing of the
La Belle discotheque in West Berlin on April 5, 1986. However, claims
were made that there was “irrefutable” evidence that the Libyans were
responsible. A U.S. serviceman was killed. President Ronald Reagan
responded with an attack on Libya.
However, intelligence insiders believed that Israel’s Mossad had
concocted the phony “evidence” to “prove” Libyan responsibility. West
Berlin police director Manfred Ganschow, who took charge of the
investigation, cleared the Libyans, saying, “This is a highly political case.
Some of the evidence cited in Washington may not be evidence at all,
merely assumptions supplied for political reasons.” 31
BLAMING THE SYRIANS
On April 18, 1986 one Nezar Hindawi, a 32 year old Jordanian was
arrested in London after security guards found that one of the passengers
boarding an Israeli plane bound for Jerusalem, Ann Murphy, 22, was
carrying a square, flat sheet of plastic explosive in the double bottom of her
carry-on bag. Miss Murphy told security men that the detonator (disguised
as a calculator) had been given to her by her finance, Hindawi. He was
charged with attempted sabotage and attempted murder.
Word was leaked that Hindawi had confessed and claimed that he had
been hired by Gen. Mohammed Al-Khouli, the intelligence director of the
Syrian air force. Also implicated were others including the Syrian
Ambassador in London. The French authorities warned the British Prime
[24] Final Judgment 85
Minister that there was more to the case than met the eye—that is, Israeli
involvement. This was later confirmed in reports in the Western press. 32
BLAMING THE PLO
In 1970, King Hussein of Jordan was provided with incriminating
intelligence that suggested the Palestine Liberation Organization was
plotting to murder him and seize power in his nation. Infuriated, Hussein
mobilized his forces for what has become known as the ‘Black September’
purge of the PLO. Thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan were rounded
up, some of the leaders were tortured, and in the end, masses of refugees
were driven from Jordan to Lebanon.
New data, coming to light after the murder of two leading Mossad
operatives in Larnaka, Cyprus suggested that the entire operation had been a
Mossad covert action, led by one of its key operatives, Sylvia Roxburgh.
She contrived an affair with King Hussein and served as the linchpin for a
major Mossad coup designed to destabilize the Arabs. 33
In 1982, just when the PLO had abandoned the use of terrorism, the
Mossad spread disinformation about “terror attacks” on Israeli settlements
along the northern border in order to justify a full-scale military invasion of
Lebanon. Years later, even leading Israeli spokesmen, such as former
Foreign Minister Abba Eban, admitted that the reports of “PLO terrorism”
had been contrived by the Mossad. 34
It is also worth noting that the attempted assassination—in London—of
Israeli Ambassador to England, Shlomo Argov, was initially blamed upon
the PLO.
The attempted assassination was cited by Israel as one excuse for its
bloody 1982 incursion into Lebanon. In fact, the diplomat in question was
considered one of Israel’s “doves” and inclined toward a friendly disposition of
Israel’s longtime conflict with the PLO. He was the least likely target of PLO
wrath. What’s more, one of the suspects in the crime was found carrying a
“hit list” which actually included the name of the head of the PLO office in
London. 35 Thus, it appears that the assassination attempt was carried out
by the Mossad—under yet another “false flag”—for two purposes: (a)
elimination of a domestic “peacenik” considered friendly toward the
Palestinians; and (b) pinning yet another crime on the Palestine Liberation
Organization.
WHY FRAME OSWALD AS A ‘PRO-CASTRO AGITATOR’?
These instances cited here are but a handful of Mossad-orchestrated
“false flag” operations blamed on a wide variety of alleged “suspects.” The
evidence that we shall be examining in Final Judgment suggests that the
assassination of John F. Kennedy was yet another “false flag” conspiracy by
Israel’s Mossad and its collaborators in the American CIA.
We now know, based upon years of study by numerous JFK
assassination researchers, that prior to the JFK assassination, the accused
86 A Bad Habit [25]
assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was being set up as a patsy. Indeed, Oswald’s
activities were presented as proof that a “pro-Castro agitator” had been the
“lone nut” behind the president’s assassination.
If anything—we should note at this juncture—Lee Harvey Oswald’s
identity as a “pro-Castro agitator”—the role he played prior to the JFK
assassination—was tailor-made for (or, perhaps we should say, tailor-made
by) the CIA and its allies in the Mossad. What few JFK assassination
researchers have noted (or perhaps even understood) was that Fidel Castro’s
Cuba had long been hostile to Israel and the cause of Zionism. Thus, both
the Mossad and the CIA would find a “pro-Castro agitator” an ideal patsy.
In a lengthy essay the Castro government published in the November 4,
1979 edition of Granma—an official newspaper—the Cuban Marxists
critiqued Israel and Zionism. Castro’s newspaper said, in part:
“The Zionists never did, and never will, forgive the Soviet state and its
Leninist Party . . . because the Bolsheviks implemented a correct policy that
incorporated the talents and efforts of the Soviet Jews into the tasks of
building a new society and thus demonstrated the class origins of
discrimination and anti-Semitism, breaking with the past and providing a
genuine solution to the Jewish problem, a solution which was not and could
never be a massive exodus to Palestine.
“With the outbreak of the cold war the Zionists collaborated in all the
subversive and diversionary activities against the USSR and other socialist
countries. The secret services of the Zionist state of Israel coordinated their
spy activities with the CIA. And to complete the picture there is the Zionist
counter-revolutionary action against the national liberation movements.
“The Zionists became a power and succeeded in establishing their own
state in 1948. Now their task is to defend oil routes, protect all the interests
of U.S. imperialism and block the advance of the Arab revolution. Neither
the machinations of Zionist counterrevolution, nor Israeli arms, can hold
back the victorious march of the peoples of the world.” 36
These are fighting words, to say the least, and do explain perhaps why
those who were responsible for framing Lee Harvey Oswald would have
selected his profile as a “pro-Castro agitator.” The profile would satisfy both
the hard-line anti-communists and the Zionists.
In subsequent years, as the initial cover story that Oswald was a pro-
Castro agitator began to unravel and new fallback targets have been named—
primarily “the Mafia.” It was the Mossad and its allies in the CIA and in the
controlled American media who have been doing all the fingering. Everybody
being blamed by the Mossad and its CIA allies were implicated and
everybody, as a consequence, had a stake in the cover-up.
JFK AND SECRET DEALS
To achieve the presidency in 1960, John F. Kennedy was forced to cut
secret deals—behind the scenes—with a variety of powerful forces intricately
linked to Israel. In Chapter 4 we shall examine the history of those deals and
how they played a part in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
Chapter Four
No Love Lost:
JFK, Meyer Lansky, the Mafia & the Israeli Lobby
There was a long history of bitt er enmity between John
F. Kennedy and his powerful father Ambassador Joseph P.
Kennedy and organized crime boss Meyer Lansky, stemming
in part from the senior Kennedy’s deals with the underworld.
This, however, did not stop the Kennedy family from cutting
deals with the crime syndicat e when it came to winning
elections.
The Kennedy family’s alleged anti-Semitism didn’t do
anything to improve JFK’s relations with Israel and its
American lobby either. Kennedy’s intervention in the issue
of Algerian independence from France also drew sharp
criticism from the Israeli lobby as well. Yet, when John F.
Kennedy sought the presidency, he was willing to cut deals
with the Israeli lobby—for a price.
By the end of his presidency, however, Kennedy had
reneged on his deals, not only with Israel’s Godfather, Meyer
Lansky, and his henchmen in the Mafia, but also with the
Israeli lobby.
John F. Kennedy was very much a product of his father’s upbringing—
much to the dismay, it might be said, of many of even JFK’s most devout
disciples. They would, frankly, prefer to forget much of the recorded history
of the Kennedy family and present JFK as something just short of being a
saint.
That President John F. Kennedy was the son of Ambassador Joseph P.
Kennedy long perceived to be, at the very least, neutral to the ambitions of
Nazi Germany—and, at the worst, an anti-Semite and even an admirer of
Adolf Hitler—has been a lot for Kennedy’s admirers to swallow.
Ambassador Kennedy, of course, fought U.S. entry into World War II.
Several accounts of the period suggest that Kennedy himself returned from
Britain, where he served as American ambassador, with the intent of
launching a major campaign against President Roosevelt’s war plans.
However, after a meeting at the White House between the ambassador
and the president, Kennedy backed off. What happened during that meeting is
ripe for speculation.
JFK, HITLER AND THE WAR IN EUROPE
What is interesting to note (and definitely little known) is that at the
same time Ambassador Kennedy was fighting against American
involvement in what became the Second World War, his sons Joe, Jr. and
John were also promoting the same agenda.
88 No Love Lost [27]
Joe, Jr., as a student at Harvard, served on the Harvard Committee
Against Military Intervention in Europe, described as “a reactionary group
that petitioned influential government officials and held rallies opposing
American entry in the European war effort.”37
More significantly, however, it appears that JFK himself was under
steady surveillance by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI because of his anti-war
activities. JFK was accused by the FBI of voicing “anti-British and defeatist
sentiments and blaming Winston Churchill for getting the United States
into the war . . . It also appears,” charged the FBI, “that Kennedy had
prepared for his father at least one of the speeches which his father had made,
or was intending to make, in answer to criticism of his alleged appeasement
policies . . . In addition Jack Kennedy stated that in his opinion England
was through, and his father’s greatest mistake was not talking enough, that
he stopped talking too soon.” 38
Young Jack Kennedy, as a Harvard student, was more than neutral
toward Hitler, it seems. Having visited Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Russia
and Hitler’s Germany, JFK recorded in his diary, according to Time
magazine, that he had come “to the decision that Facism [sic] is the thing
for Germany and Italy, Communism for Russia and Democracy for America
and England.”39 Youthful musings, but interesting, to say the least.
KENNEDY AND THE ‘FASCIST’
After the war was underway, JFK’s father, Ambassador Kennedy,
actively considered involvement in a scheme to cut the war short—in
opposition to President Roosevelt.
Kennedy’s biographer, Richard Whalen, has written of a secret meeting
between Kennedy and a prominent critic of the Roosevelt administration, the
controversial publicist, Lawrence Dennis. Often described (inaccurately) as
“America’s leading fascist,” Dennis was a former diplomat himself and one of
the early leaders in the effort to block American intervention in what evolved
into World War II. Consequently, he and Kennedy had much in common.
Kennedy’s biographer outlined the circumstances of that secret
meeting—a meeting which says much about Kennedy’s line of thinking:
“In October 1943, Lawrence Dennis received a telephone call from his
friend, Paul Palmer, then a senior editor of The Reader’s Digest. Before the
war, Dennis had contributed to the Digest, but the author of The Coming
American Fascism since had become too controversial for his byline to
appear in the nation’s largest magazine. Now he received a $500-a-month
retainer as an editorial consultant.
“One of his recent efforts had been a memorandum sharply critical of
unconditional surrender and the rumored plans to break up Germany. Palmer
invited Dennis to lunch in his suite in Manhattan’s St. Regis Hotel, saying
he would meet someone there who was thinking along similar lines.
“It turned out to be Joe Kennedy. Over lunch, Kennedy said he had been
seeing Archbishop Spellman almost daily. He said the Archbishop had
[28] Final Judgment 89
returned from Rome with word that Hitler’s generals might attempt to
overthrow him if they were offered terms less hopeless than unconditional
surrender.
“Kennedy grew emotional and castigated Roosevelt. He talked of his
two sons in the service, and declared that the war could be ended within two
weeks if the German generals were given encouragement.
“Of course, no Church official could speak out against the folly of
Roosevelt’s policy, but Kennedy could, and this had been Palmer’s purpose
in arranging the luncheon. The editor asked whether the former Ambassador
would write, or at least sign, an article condemning unconditional surrender.
The impact of such an article, given Kennedy’s former standing in the
administration, could be enormous. But he did not accept the invitation and the
war being fought by his sons and so many other young men raged on.” 40
Ambassador Kennedy no doubt remembered this meeting for the rest of
his days. He was very bitter about the war and particularly bitter at Franklin
D. Roosevelt. Kennedy once allegedly referred to FDR as “that crippled
son of a bitch that killed my son Joe.”
(Joe Kennedy, Jr., of course, being the ambassador’s eldest son. It was
Joe, Jr.’s death that ultimately laid the groundwork for the second son, John,
to be groomed for the presidency in his older brother’s place.)
A BUSINESS VENTURE
However, the senior Kennedy’s views most definitely did not change as
time went by. But as the retired ambassador grew older, he became more
pragmatic. This was evidenced in a meeting—in the mid-1950’s—between
Kennedy and an associate of Lawrence Dennis—a New York-based
entertainment executive named DeWest Hooker.
In fact, as we shall see, it may have been efforts by Hooker, as a
consequence of his meeting with Joe Kennedy, that helped John F. Kennedy
win his narrow victory in the 1960 presidential election.
Mr. Hooker hoped to interest Joe Kennedy in a business venture which
Hooker believed might be right up the ambassador’s alley. Hooker wanted
to establish an independent television network, and he felt that Kennedy,
himself a veteran movie mogul, might be interested in backing the
enterprise. Hooker’s memory of that meeting is quite interesting,
particularly in the context of the thesis presented in these pages. To
appreciate just precisely where Hooker was coming from, however, it is
appropriate to review Hooker’s remarkable background.
UNABASHEDLY ANTI-JEWISH
Born to wealth and privilege and a descendent of one of the signers of
the Declaration of Independence, Hooker had a varied career. Not only did he
act on the Broadway stage, but he also modeled in cigarette advertisements.
Hooker also served for a period as a talent agent with the powerful firm
90 No Love Lost [29]
MCA and was, at a time during the 1950’s one of the highest-paid talent
agents in America. Hooker also dabbled in television production and was
equally successful.
However, there was an aspect to Hooker’s persona that made him, to
say the least, persona non grata in the entertainment industry: Hooker is
unabashedly and frankly anti-Jewish. He will be the first to admit it, no
questions asked. A powerfully-built man, Hooker is fearless and not afraid to
make his position known.
One of Hooker’s protégés was George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the
American Nazi Party. In his memoirs, This Time the World, Rockwell
credits Hooker as being a major influence on his thinking. In fact,
Rockwell dedicated the book to Hooker, along with several others including
Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy and General Douglas MacArthur. Hooker,
Rockwell declared, was the one “who taught me to know the cunning and
evil ways of the enemy.”41 According to Rockwell, Hooker was “the
nearest thing to a Nazi since the Bund.” 42
The reason for Hooker’s interest in establishing an independent network
was highly political: Hooker wanted the new network to be totally divorced
from Jewish money and influence. In his judgment, the three existing
networks were entirely under the control of Jewish interests. Hooker wanted
a network that presented what he called “our way of thinking.”
JOE KENNEDY SPEAKS FRANKLY
It was in 1956 that Hooker had a private meeting in Palm Beach,
Florida with Kennedy. After a game of golf, Kennedy and Hooker got down
to business. Hooker was there to solicit Kennedy’s financial, political and
personal backing for his proposed network.
(It was during this period that Sen. John F. Kennedy was then actively
seeking the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nomination. He lost, but
his efforts brought him widespread acclaim within party ranks, and set in
place the mechanism for his successful bid for the top spot on the party’s
national ticket in 1960.)
After Hooker made his presentation to the retired ambassador,
Kennedy’s response was supportive in spirit, but Old Joe made his final
position clear during their four-hour conference.
According to Hooker, “Joe admitted that when he was ambassador to
England that he had been pro-Hitler. However, in Kennedy’s words, ‘we’
lost the war. By ‘we’ he didn’t mean the United States. When Kennedy said
`we,’ he meant the non-Jews. Joe Kennedy believed that it was the Jews
who had won World War II.
“Kennedy said, ‘I’ve done everything I can to fight the Jewish power
over this country. I tried to stop World War II, but I failed. I’ve made all the
money I need and now I’m passing everything I’ve learned on to my sons.”
“I don’t go with the ‘loser’,” Kennedy told me. ‘I’ve joined the
`winners.’ I’m going to work with the Jews. I’m teaching my boys the
whole score and they’re going to work with the Jews. I’m going to make
[30] Final Judgment 91
Jack the first Irish Catholic President of the United States and if it means
working with the Jews, so be it. I’m in sympathy with what you’re doing,
Hooker’,” Kennedy said, ‘but I’m not going to do anything that will ruin
Jack’s chances to become president.”‘ 43
Hooker was, of course, disappointed by Kennedy’s response and
ultimately his “fourth” network failed to get off the ground. However,
Hooker at least had the satisfaction of knowing that he and the Kennedy
family were on the same wavelength—even if they were willing to
compromise those views for political gain.
THE NAZIS ‘ENDORSE’ NIXON
As they parted at the end of their Palm Beach meeting, Hooker asked
Kennedy if there was anything he could do to help the Kennedy family.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, there is something you can do.” responded Joe
Kennedy. “I’d like you to use your contacts in the right-wing. Have them
start publishing articles accusing Jack of being controlled by the Jews, of
being a Jewish puppet. This will have the effect of neutralizing Jewish
opposition to Jack (because of me).
“The Jews know my views and naturally they’ll assume that Jack is a
chip off the old block. If the right wing starts hitting Jack this will give the
Jews second thoughts—at least the ones who do the voting.” 44
Hooker promised Kennedy he would do what he could. And being a man
of his word, Hooker did influence his right-wing contacts as Kennedy had
asked. Hooker encouraged his friend, Nazi leader Rockwell, and other “right
wingers” to smear John F. Kennedy as JFK’s father had suggested. His
efforts succeed.
As one chronicle of the 1960 campaign noted: “The American Nazi
Party helped too by throwing its support to Richard Nixon—”Nazis for
Nixon, Kikes for Kennedy” was one of its slogans. Another of its placards
read, “FDR and JFK mean JEW deal.”45
This, of course, was inspired by JFK’s father and carried out through
the good offices of DeWest Hooker and his friend George Lincoln Rockwell,
although the historian who penned the description of Rockwell’s
sloganeering probably had no idea that it was indirectly the work of Joe
Kennedy.
“Frankly,” Hooker says to this day, “As far as I’m concerned, it was my
work that got Johnny Kennedy in the White House.”46 (Hooker’s claim is
not completely off the mark, inasmuch as American Jewish leaders claimed
themselves at the time that it was Jewish support for John F. Kennedy that
gave him his narrow victory over Nixon in the 1960 election.)
This interesting—and revealing—episode is not likely to be
memorialized at the John F. Kennedy Library at Harvard or in any friendly
biographies of the Kennedy family. However, there can be little doubt that
Israel and its American lobby had a fairly good idea of what was going on
behind the scenes.
92 No Love Lost [31]
KENNEDY RILES THE ISRAELI LOBBY
In 1957, while serving in his first Senate term, John Kennedy became
involved in a festering international issue that was little noticed among the
average American voters, but which was of special interest to Israel and its
lobby in America: the question of Algerian independence. The giant Arab
colossus, long a French colony, was seeking its freedom and in France itself
the nation was engaged in a heated debate over the question. Israel, of
course, saw the emergence of another independent Arab republic as a threat
to its security and anyone favoring Algerian independence was, thus,
advocating a policy deemed threatening to Israel’s survival.
Former diplomat Richard Curtiss described Kennedy’s surprise entry
into the debate over Algeria: “By 1957, as a freshman member of the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, he thought he recognized [the] tragedy of
colonial inflexibility unfolding in Algeria. Already one of the congressional
library’s heaviest borrowers, he now spent additional time in conversation
with William J. Porter, an Arabist and the director of the State Department’s
Office of North African Affairs.
“Porter feared that Washington’s uncritical support of its NATO ally,
France, in the increasingly brutal French repression of the Algerian
nationalists, threatened the whole future of the United States in North
Africa. Kennedy also talked to members of the Algerian FLN delegation at
the United Nations.” 47
On July 2, 1957, JFK rose before the Senate and gave his maiden
foreign policy address on this controversial question. He said, in part: “No
amount of mutual politeness, wishful thinking, nostalgia or regret should
blind either France or the United States to the fact that, if France and the
West at large are to have a continuing influence in North Africa . . . the essential
first step is the independence of Algeria.” 48
According to Curtiss: “The speech prompted more mail than any other
he delivered as a senator. The foreign policy establishment in New York, a
bastion of Atlantic solidarity, expressed righteous indignation.” 49 Also,
notes Curtiss, “the French were irritated.” 50
Some of Kennedy’s critics said that the speech was a political move and
that he chose the topic of Algerian independence as the subject of his first
major foreign policy address because there was neither a “French” vote nor
an “Algerian” vote to contend with in his home state of Massachusetts or in
the nation as a whole.
While the latter observation is correct, of course, the fact is that there
was one particularly powerful American voting bloc (and source of financial
contributions) that did take note of Kennedy’s support for Algerian Arab
independence: the powerful American lobby for Israel.
As we shall see, in the end, it may have been JFK’s initiative on the
Algerian question that, in fact, played a major part in shaping the entirety of the
conspiracy that ended his life in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
This gesture by the young senator also angered many French
nationalists who wanted to retain French colonial control of Algeria. Many
[32] Final Judgment 93
of these nationalists later banded together in the so-called Secret Army
Organization—the Israel-backed OAS—and fought against French President
Charles DeGaulle who ultimately granted Algerian independence.
In Chapter 12, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we will learn more about the socalled
“French connection” and how, indeed, it ultimately played a role in the
JFK murder, manipulated by Israel’s Mossad.
KENNEDY AND LANSKY
Kennedy had other powerful enemies. An ancient enmity also stood
between Joseph P. Kennedy and Meyer Lansky, the foremost Jewish mob
boss in America. (In Chapter 7 we shall examine Lansky’s history in more
detail.) The conflict between JFK and Lansky, however, went back to the
days of the president’s father’s own bootlegging activities.
According to JFK assassination expert, Jim Marrs: “In 1927, a
shipment of bootleg whiskey on its way from Ireland to Boston was
hijacked in southern New England. Almost the entire guard was killed in the
resulting shootout. The hijackers were part of the Luciano-Lansky mob,
while it was rumored that Joseph P. Kennedy was involved in the shipment.
Kennedy reputedly lost a fortune on the deal and was besieged by widows of
the guards seeking financial assistance. Lansky later told biographers he was
convinced that Kennedy held a grudge against him personally from that time
on and, in fact, had passed the hostility on to his sons.”51
Long-time Lansky henchman Michael Milan lends support for Marrs’
allegation. According to Milan, “Ask Meyer Lansky about Joe Kennedy and
you’d see one of the few times that Mr. L. would actually get conniptions.
What they said back during Prohibition was that you can’t trust Joe
Kennedy to keep his word. He stole from his friends so much that he had no
friends. And right before World War II, the sonovabitch turned around and
said that we should all get on Hitler’s side, that the Jews could go to Hell.
“Meyer was ready to bust a blood vessel. His temples were actually
throbbing when Sam Koenig told him what Kennedy had said. And then
Meyer, almost like he was a born Sicilian, swore a blood revenge on the
entire family. ‘The sins of the father,’ he kept on saying to himself,
mumbling like an old zeydah vowing revenge. ‘The sins of the father.’”52
The conflict between Lansky and Joseph P. Kennedy was but one facet
of Kennedy’s relationship with organized crime. It was a relationship of
many parts, and, in the end, clearly had a significant role in helping shape
the conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of Ambassador Kennedy’s
son who had, in fact, finally achieved the presidency.
A DOUBLE CROSS
Commenting on the theory that organized crime killed JFK (a theory
with which Fox concurs), historian Stephen Fox noted that “Gangsters did
not normally harm honest lawmen,” 53 such as a president like Kennedy
94 No Love Lost [33]
whose administration had begun cracking down on the national crime
syndicate.
However, notes Fox, “For such an extraordinary murder—to kill a
president—they must have been extraordinarily provoked. In their terms, it
could only have involved a double cross. The Kennedys must have dealt
with the underworld in compromising ways. When the Kennedys then turned
around and nonetheless went after organized crime, they breached the code
and put a contract on the President.” 54
Fox notes that while old Joe Kennedy was an inveterate gambler, with
many ties to the underworld, “given his vast wealth, no matter how much
he lost the underworld could never have ‘owned’ him.” 55
Joe Kennedy himself was a regular visitor to Meyer Lansky’s Colonial
Inn, which Lansky co-owned with New York Mafia boss Frank Costello and
an assortment of smaller shareholders including a little-known Dallas
nightclub keeper named Jack Ruby. Lansky himself used to brag that among
his clients included, “judges, senators, respectable businessmen. Joe
Kennedy used to come four or five times a week.”56
However, as the senior Kennedy’s son Jack moved upward in the
political arena, his father tried to shut out his past relationship with Frank
Costello. According to one of Costello’s friends, “The way [Costello]
talked about [Joe Kennedy], you had the sense that they were close during
Prohibition and then something happened. Frank said that he helped
Kennedy become wealthy. What happened between them I don’t know.” 57
KENNEDY AND CRIME
It took the family of Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana to fill in the
missing pieces of the puzzle. According to Sam Giancana (nephew of the
Windy City mobster) and Chuck Giancana (brother of the mobster), JFK—
and his father—had indeed double crossed organized crime.
According to the Giancanas, Detroit’s “Jewish Mafia,” the so-called
“Purple Gang” had put out a contract on Joe Kennedy’s life for bringing
illegal liquor through their territory without their permission during the
Prohibition days. However, Kennedy Sr. had gone to Chicago to beg for his
life and the Chicago Mafia bosses intervened on his behalf, saving his life.
As the Giancana’s put it: “Ever after, Kennedy was in Chicago’s debt.” 58
The relationship went much deeper, however. According to the
Giancanas: “Kennedy’s ties to the underworld intersected at a hundred points.
Besides making a fortune in bootlegging, Kennedy had made a financial
killing in Hollywood in the twenties—with the help of persuasive behindthe-
scenes New York and Chicago muscle.
“When Prohibition came to a close, as part of a national agreement
between the various bootleggers, Kennedy held on to three of the most
lucrative booze distributorships in the country—Gordon’s gin, Dewar’s, and
Haig & Haig—through his company, Somerset Imports.” 59
[34] Final Judgment 95
The Giancanas also say that it was Sam Giancana who smoothed things
over with Frank Costello on Joe Kennedy’s behalf after Ambassador
Kennedy had snubbed the New York mobster. According to the Giancanas,
Kennedy was concerned about his son’s burgeoning political career and it
was at that point that he agreed to cut a deal with organized crime in order to
ensure smooth sailing—and in order to get Frank Costello, in Kennedy’s
words, “off my back.” 60
A PROMISE TO THE MOB
After Joe Kennedy begged for Giancana’s assistance at a meeting in
Chicago, Giancana reportedly said, “I’ve heard nothing today that leads me
to think that you can promise me anything in return for my assistance.”
Kennedy responded: “I can. And I will. You help me now, Sam, and I’ll see
to it that Chicago—that you—can sit in the godamned Oval office if you
want. That you’ll have the President’s ear. But I just need time.”
Kennedy told Giancana, “He’ll be your man. I swear to that. My son—
the President of the United States—will owe you his father’s life. He won’t
refuse you, ever. You have my word.” 61
JFK, THE MAFIA AND MEYER LANSKY
It was during the 1960 Democratic Presidential primary campaign that the
Kennedys once again turned to Giancana for critical Mafia support. In fact,
according to the Giancanas, the Kennedys—father and son—actually met
with Sam Giancana to work out a joint agreement of mutual support, before—
and after—the election. As Giancana summarized the agreement: “I help get
Jack elected and, in return, he calls off the heat. It’ll be business as usual.” 62
Mafia money poured into critical primary states such as West Virginia
(where many local political leaders were on the Mafia “pad”) and by
convention time, JFK was virtually assured the presidential nomination.
Although New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello preferred Texas Senator
Lyndon Johnson, an agreement was cut, and a Kennedy-Johnson ticket was
set in place. The Democratic ticket was ready for the fall election.63
(In Chapter 10 we shall explore the relationship between Carlos
Marcello and Meyer Lansky in detail. Marcello, in fact, was a protégé of
Lansky—his New Orleans front man, pure and simple.)
It turns out, too, that JFK himself was busy with other mob figures
other than Sam Giancana, although the history books have discreetly
ignored JFK’s other crime connections, preferring instead to focus on the
Italian-American “Mafia” figures.
According to FBI documents and wiretaps, JFK himself had “direct
contact”64 with Meyer Lansky himself during the 1960 presidential
campaign, presumably for the purpose of shoring up mob support for his
presidential campaign—a pact that would ultimately prove to have been a
proverbial deal with the devil.
96 No Love Lost [35]
PROBLEMS WITH THE ISRAELI LOBBY
During this same period JFK was also engaged with critical negotiations
with another important power bloc in American political affairs: the pro-
Israel lobby. For obvious reasons, as we have seen, there was indeed no
love lost between JFK, his father, Ambassador Kennedy, and the American
Jewish community.
Writing in his book, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American
Foreign Policy, Edward Tivnan comments: “Senator Kennedy’s record on
Israel was vague, certainly not as staunchly supportive as Hubert
Humphrey’s. And unlike Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy did not rush to Israel’s
defense during the Suez affair.
“He was also a Catholic. Many Jews associated American Catholics
with right-wing, pro-McCarthy, and anti-Semitic causes. Worse, there was
the touchy issue of the candidate’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, who, as
ambassador to Great Britain in the late 1930’s, had been a supporter of
Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasing the Nazis.” 65
Kennedy’s 1957 speech calling for Algerian independence, as we have
seen, had not gone over well with Israel’s American supporters. Angering
the Israeli lobby further, Senator Kennedy had once offered an amendment
that would have slashed economic assistance to Africa and the Middle East
from $175 to $140 million, this despite the fact that pro-Israel senators said
that this was harmful to Israel. 66
ABRAHAM FEINBERG
However, John F. Kennedy was ready to deal, and he made moves to
appease the pro-Israel lobby. JFK, according to Edward Tivnan, “turned out
to be a better diplomat than his father.” 67
Kennedy’s contact with the Israeli lobby was New York apparel
manufacturer and financier, Abraham Feinberg. Feinberg was president of
the Israel Bond Organization and was helping raise private money to finance
Israel’s secret nuclear development program.
(The financing was done through private, covert means and outside the
normal Israeli budget process because the nuclear development program was
controversial, in the eyes of not only the Eisenhower administration in
Washington but also in the eyes of many Israelis.)
Referring to Kennedy, Feinberg later said, “My path to power was
cooperation in terms of what they needed—campaign money.” 68 (Feinberg,
himself had previously supported JFK’s fellow Senator Stuart Symington, a
rival for the 1960 Democratic nomination.)
Recognizing the need for not only critical Jewish money, but also
Jewish votes, Kennedy arranged to meet with Feinberg and a host of other
wealthy Jewish Americans in Feinberg’s New York apartment. Following a
discussion with Kennedy, Feinberg and his associates agreed to come up
[36] Final Judgment 97
with $500,000 on Kennedy’s behalf. According to Feinberg: “I called him
right away. His voice broke. He got emotional” with gratitude.69
KENNEDY’S ‘OUTRAGE’
However, there was much more to the story according to author
Seymour Hersh who has investigated Kennedy’s relations with Israel and its
American lobby:
“Kennedy was anything but grateful the next morning in describing the
session to Charles L. Bartlett, a newspaper columnist and close friend. He
had driven to Bartlett’s home in northwest Washington and dragged his
friend on a walk, where he recounted a much different version of the meeting
the night before.
“`As an American citizen he was outraged,’ Bartlett recalled, “to have a
Zionist group come to him and say: ‘We know your campaign is in trouble.
We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle
East policy.’ Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, also resented the crudity
with which he’d been approached. `They wanted control.’ he angrily told
Bartlett.
“Bartlett further recalled Kennedy promising to himself that `if he ever
did get to be President, he was going to do something about it.'” 70—that is,
special interest lobbies—particularly foreign pressure groups—dictating
American election campaigns and foreign policy through their financial and
political clout.
PARTIALITY ‘DANGEROUS’
In a private letter to Jewish American historian Alfred Lilienthal,
himself a vocal critic of Israel, Kennedy did, however, reveal his feelings
toward the Middle East conflict. The letter, written on September 30, 1960,
read in part: “I wholly agree with you that American partiality in the Arab-
Israeli conflict is dangerous both to the U.S. and the Free World” 71 In
Lilienthal’s judgment, Kennedy’s comment was “one of the most significant
and perspicacious Middle East statements” ever made by any American
political figure. 72
But Kennedy had already cut his deals. Not only organized crime—but
the Israeli lobby (of which Meyer Lansky was a critical supporter)—had
their claims on John F. Kennedy.
After the election, they expected Kennedy to pay up. In the general
election, it was a narrow Kennedy victory over the Republican candidate,
Vice President Richard M. Nixon.
The role of the Chicago Democratic political machine (under the thumb
of Mafia boss Sam Giancana) in stealing Illinois votes on behalf of the
Kennedy-Johnson ticket is now well known and a widely accepted part of
American political history.
98 No Love Lost [37]
Sam Giancana and his allies in organized crime—including Meyer Lansky
and the Israeli lobby—were confident that they had themselves a president.
KENNEDY & BEN-GURION—THE FIRST ENCOUNTER
Shortly after his inauguration as president, Kennedy arranged to meet
with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. At this meeting, Kennedy
said, “I know I was elected because of the votes of American Jews. I owe
them my election. Tell me, is there something that I can do for the Jewish
people?”
According to Seymour Hersh, “Ben-Gurion was surprised by the
frankness and evaded the question by answering, ‘You must do what is best
for the free world.”‘ However, Ben-Gurion’s real reaction to Kennedy was
somewhat different. “What a politician!” is how the Israeli leader described
the American leader. 73
It was the beginning of a bitter and unpleasant relationship between the
two men that came to its finish in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.
(In Chapter 5 we will examine that unfortunate relationship in detail.)
KENNEDY TURNS THE TABLES
It was not much longer afterward that Kennedy’s organized crime friends
began to realize that Kennedy was not proving to be the loyal ally that they
had expected he would be. Soon after JFK assumed the presidency, an
unexpected war on organized crime began. Robert Kennedy, who had cut his
teeth prosecuting mobsters as a counsel for the Senate’s “rackets
committee,” was named attorney general and it was apparent that he was
taking his new job seriously.
According to Sam Giancana, “It’s a brilliant move on Joe [Kennedy]’s
part. He’ll have Bobby wipe us out to cover their own dirty tracks and it’ll
all be done in the name of the Kennedy ‘war on organized crime.’ Brilliant.
Just fuckin’ brilliant.” 74
Meyer Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, reflected in
later years upon the Organized Crime-Kennedy alliance and what it meant,
particularly after Bobby Kennedy launched his campaign against the
underworld.
“I know that certain people in the Chicago organization knew that they
had to get John Kennedy in. There was no thought that they were going to
get the best of it with John Kennedy. See, there may be different guys
running for an office, and none of them may be . . . what’s best for a
combination.
“The choice becomes the best of what you’ve got going. John Kennedy
was the best of the selection. But nobody in my line of work had an idea
that he was going to name Bobby Kennedy attorney general. That was the
last thing anyone thought.” 75
[38] Final Judgment 99
(In Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 we shall examine Cohen’s own strange and
critical role in the JFK assassination conspiracy and its ultimate coverup—yet
another piece of the puzzle brought together in these pages.)
Ultimately, as we shall see, JFK’s war against his former allies in the
underworld, would lead him to the very doorsteps of the real brains behind
the national—and international—crime syndicate, Meyer Lansky.
However, he had already double-crossed his immediate underworld
collaborators. That alone was enough to spell JFK’s doom.
JFK MOVES AGAINST THE ISRAELI LOBBY
However, Kennedy was also engaged in some legislative sleight-of-hand
that could also prove dangerous to Israel’s political leverage in American
election politics. Angry at his campaign experiences with the Israeli lobby’s
fundraisers, Kennedy appointed a bipartisan commission in 1961 to
recommend ways to broaden “the financial base of our presidential
campaigns.” 76
According to Seymour Hersh, “In a statement that was far more
heartfelt than the public or the press could perceive, [Kennedy] criticized the
current method of financing campaigns as ‘highly undesirable’ and ‘not
healthy’ because it made candidates `dependent on large financial
contributions of those with special interests.'” 77
In 1962 Kennedy submitted five bills to reform campaign financing to
Congress and in 1963 two more such bills. But none of those bills
survived, having been beaten back by the very special interests that Kennedy
sought to counter. 78
SECRET WARS
However, Kennedy was more deeply engaged with Israel than on this
more subtle level. As we shall see in Chapter 5, Kennedy, in fact, was at
war with Israel.
Not only had Kennedy double-crossed his allies in organized crime, but
he had crossed his pro-Israel financiers. Israel, as we shall see in Chapter 7,
was long close to the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.
And Israel, as we shall see in Chapter 8, was particularly close to the
American CIA. Kennedy, too, by the middle of his presidency, was also at
war with the CIA. This we shall discuss in Chapter 9.
All of these powerful special interests had very special reasons to want
to see JFK removed from the presidency and replaced with Lyndon Johnson.
There was clearly no love lost between John F. Kennedy and the powerful
forces which had helped bring him to the presidency.
A reform-minded President Kennedy also had other long-range plans in
the works. The scion of an independent and essentially self-made man who
“played the game” to gain power and influence—and to get his son elected
president—JFK was indeed very much his father’s son. As a consequence, in
[39] No Love Lost 100
another important realm, JFK was moving in a direction that could rock the
international banking establishment to its core.
There have been widespread rumors, for nearly a generation, that JFK
was planning to issue interest-free money—so-called “greenbacks”—
independent of the stranglehold of the privately-owned Federal Reserve
System. In fact, interest-free United States Notes were issued during JFK’s
presidency—some remain in private hands today—but there have been many
myths about what some have called “JFK’s Greenbacks” and in Appendix
Five we will examine this controversy in detail.
THE MONEY MONOPOLY
There is no question, however, but that JFK—once firmly established
in the presidency—fully intended to move against the Federal Reserve
money monopoly. In fact, during his private meeting with DeWest Hooker,
described earlier in these pages, JFK’s father, Ambassador Joseph P.
Kennedy assured Hooker that an ultimate long-term aim of the Kennedy
dynasty would be the destruction of what the senior Kennedy described as
“the Rothschild-dominated Federal Reserve.”
This alone could have assured JFK’s removal from the White House.
However, there were other more immediate and ultimately dangerous
conflicts at work between the forces whose influence JFK sought to
dismantle and the hard-driving new Kennedy administration.
DIVERSE ENTITIES
Let us move forward and examine the strange and intimate connections
between all of these Kennedy foes and the dynamics at work between them.
However, as we shall see, it is the central thread of Israel and its Mossad
that ties all of these diverse entities together.
To begin the process of untangling this hidden web of intrigue, we
must first review the long-hidden story of Israel’s secret war with John F.
Kennedy.
Chapter Five
Genesis:
JFK’s Secret War With Israel
The history books have told us of John F. Kennedy’s epic
struggles with Fidel Castro and the Soviets in the Bay of Pigs
debacle and the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Yet, only in recent years have we begun to learn of
Kennedy’s secret war with Israel. Much of the conflict
stemmed from Israel’s determination to build a nuclear bomb.
Thi s i s a hidden hi s t o ry tha t he lps expla in in pa r t the
dynamic forces at work resulting in Kennedy’s assassination.
By mid-1963 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
hated Kennedy with a passion. In fact, he considered JFK a
threat to the very survival of the Jewish State.
One of John F. Kennedy’s first presidential appointments was naming
his former campaign aide Myer (Mike) Feldman as his point man for Jewish
and Israeli affairs—an important post, especially considering JFK’s tenuous
relationship with Israel and its American lobby.
According to author Seymour Hersh, “The President viewed Feldman,
whose strong support for Israel was widely known, as a necessary evil
whose highly visible White House position was a political debt that had to be
paid.” 79
However, the administration was determined to make certain, according
to Hersh, that nobody—Feldman in particular—would be able to circumvent
any administration policy insofar as the Middle East was concerned.
“The President’s most senior advisors, most acutely McGeorge Bundy,
the national security advisor, desperately sought to cut Feldman out of the
flow of Middle East paperwork.” 80 Hersh quotes another presidential aide as
having said, “It was hard to tell the difference between what Feldman said
and what the Israeli ambassador said.” 81
‘ZIONISTS IN THE CABINET ROOM’
President Kennedy himself had his own suspicions about Feldman,
according to the president’s close friend, Charles Bartlett (to whom Kennedy
in 1960 had previously voiced concerns about Israeli influence as noted in
Chapter 4).
Bartlett recalls a visit with the new President at his home in Hyannis
Port, Massachusetts one Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath). Talk turned to
Feldman’s role in the White House bureaucracy. “I imagine Mike’s having a
meeting of the Zionists in the cabinet room,” the president said, according
to Bartlett. 82
102 Genesis [41]
The President’s brother, Robert Kennedy, himself said that his brother
admired Feldman’s work, but added, “His major interest was Israel rather
than the United States.” 83
However, while Myer Feldman was busy promoting Israel’s interests at
the White House, the president was sending out a message to the rest of the
foreign policy-making establishment in Washington.
Kennedy was making it clear that he was very much interested in
finding a path to peace in the Middle East and was, in particular, looking for
ways to solve the problem of finding a home for the Palestinian refugees
who had been displaced by Israel in 1948.
KENNEDY’S GOOD INTENTIONS
According to Hersh, “State Department Arabists were pleasantly
surprised early in 1961 to get word from the White House, according to [one
source], that ‘just because 90 percent of the Jewish vote had gone for
Kennedy, it didn’t mean he was in their pocket.'”84
Former high-ranking U.S. diplomat Richard H. Curtiss, writing in A
Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute,
elaborated on Kennedy’s attitude toward the Middle East controversy. In a
chapter appropriately titled: “President Kennedy and Good Intentions
Deferred Too Long,” Curtiss comments:
“It is surprising to realize, with the benefit of hindsight, that from the time
Kennedy entered office as the narrowly-elected candidate of a party heavily
dependent upon Jewish support, he was planning to take a whole new look
at U.S. Mideast policy.
“He obviously could not turn the clock back and undo the work of
President Truman, his Democratic predecessor, in making the establishment
of Israel possible. Nor, perhaps, would he have wanted to.
“Kennedy was determined, however, to develop good new personal
relationships with individual Arab leaders, including those with whom the
previous administration’s relations had deteriorated.
“As a result, various leaders of newly independent countries were
surprised to find their pro forma messages of congratulations upon
Kennedy’s assumption of office answered with personalized letters from the
young American President.” 85
OLIVE BRANCH TO NASSER
The key Arab leader at the time was Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, the
voice of Pan-Arabism. Kennedy was especially intrigued with the
possibility of opening up relations with Nasser.
According to Kennedy associate, Theodore Sorensen, “Nasser liked
Kennedy’s Ambassador, John Badeau, and he liked Kennedy’s practice of
personal correspondence. Kennedy put off, however, an invitation for a
Nasser visit until improved relations could enable him to answer the
[42] Final Judgment 103
political attacks such a visit would bring from voters more sympathetic to
Israel.” 86
(Unfortunately, however, as noted by Richard Curtiss, “As with most good
intentions deferred, the invitation to Nasser for a personal meeting with
Kennedy was never issued.” 87)
Thus, it was that upon assuming office, Kennedy made positive
attempts to contact Arab heads of state asking how the U.S. could help each
country in its individual disputes with Israel.
STANDING BY TRADITION
However, Kennedy wanted one thing in particular understood by all sides
in the conflict: the new U.S. president wanted “to make it crystal clear that the
U.S. meant what it said in the Tripartite Declaration of 1950—that we will
act promptly and decisively against any nation in the Middle East which
attacks its neighbor.” 88 This policy was directed not only to the Arabs, but
Israel as well. Kennedy did indeed mean business.
ISRAEL’S LOBBY REACTS
Soon after Kennedy assumed office, Israel and its American lobby began to
understand the import of Kennedy’s positioning in regard to the Arab-Israeli
conflict. Israel was not happy—to say the very least—and began putting
heat on the White House through the egis of its supporters in Congress,
many of whom relied upon support from the Israeli lobby for campaign
contributions and political leverage.
According to America’s most noted longtime Jewish critic of Israel, Dr.
Alfred Lilienthal: “While the President, more often through Vice President
Lyndon Johnson, gave much lip service to Israelist aspirations, his
administration continued to resist pressures, including a round-robin petition
signed by 226 Congressmen of both parties (aided by a large New York
Times advertisement on May 28, 1962) to initiate direct Arab-Israeli
negotiations. Kennedy had decided to shelve his pledge in the Democratic
platform to bring Israeli and Arab leaders together around a peace table in
order to settle the Palestine question.” 89
ALGERIA, AGAIN
It was mid-way into Kennedy’s presidency that he had the satisfaction of
seeing French President Charles DeGaulle grant independence to Algeria—
something, of course, as we saw in Chapter 4 that was not looked favorably upon
by Israel and its American lobby.
Five years and one day after Kennedy’s Senate speech calling for
Algerian independence, Algeria became a sovereign state on July 3, 1962.
According to former diplomat Richard Curtiss, “Algeria’s [revolutionary]
leaders had not forgotten the American senator who had championed their
cause and they publicly hailed his election.” 90
104 Genesis [43]
“Kennedy in turn sent William Porter, the U.S. Foreign Service officer
who had explained to him the Algerian cause, as the first U.S. Ambassador
to Algeria. [Algerian leader] Ahmad Ben Bella visited Washington the same
year. Afterward, in the words of Ambassador Porter, Ben Bella ‘ascribed to
Kennedy everything he thought good in the United States.'” 91
Although pro-Israel propagandists and some American conservatives
with close ties to the Israeli lobby said that an independent Algeria would be
a “communist” outpost in the Middle East, Algerian Premier Ahmed Ben
Bella banned the Communist Party of Algeria on November 29, 1962.92 In
fact, Algeria was very much an Islamic state and it was precisely this which
created so much concern for Israel.
DeGAULLE’S MIDDLE EAST TURN-ABOUT
However, the debate over Algerian independence had sparked a major
crisis within France and the French Secret Army Organization (OAS), which
fought Algerian freedom, considered John F. Kennedy an enemy only second
to Charles DeGaulle.
(In subsequent chapters, in greater detail, we shall see further how
JFK’s CIA enemies were, in fact, collaborating with DeGaulle’s enemies in
the OAS, and traitors within his regime—along with the Israeli Mossad.)
Twenty years after Algerian independence, the Washington Post
commented on the effect that Algerian freedom had upon DeGaulle’s Middle
East policy and, in turn, upon Israel:
“Diplomatically, France shorn of Algeria, returned under president
Charles DeGaulle to its traditional policy of friendship with the Arabs—
much to the chagrin of Israel and the 200,000 Algerian Jews who had lived
peacefully alongside their Arab neighbors until emigrating to France.” 93
Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi notes that “when Algeria,
finally independent, joined the United Nations, only Israel voted against its
admission.” 94 In fact, as we shall see, the Algerian question would
ultimately play a part in the events that led to JFK’s assassination.
At the same time, JFK was shaping a Middle East policy that put him
at loggerheads with Israel. Yet, cognizant of Israel’s political influence in
the United States, JFK made overtures to Israel and arranged to meet in
Palm Beach, in December of 1962, with Israeli Foreign Minister Golda
Meir.
`A TWO-WAY STREET’
It was during that meeting that Kennedy actually went so far as to
emphasize American support for Israel, probably the farthest that any
American president had gone since Israel was first established.
However, the president tempered that pledge with a hope that Israel
recognized that America also had interests in the Middle East. According to
[44] Final Judgment 105
President Kennedy, referring to U.S.-Israeli relations, “Our relationship is a
two-way street.” 95
NO ‘EXCLUSIVE FRIENDS’
Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs,
who was present at the Kennedy-Meir conference prepared a memorandum
for the State Department summarizing that meeting. According to the
memorandum, summarized by Stephen Green in his monumental study,
Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel:
“The United States, the President said, has a special relationship with
Israel in the Middle East really comparable only to that which it has with
Britain over a wide range of world affairs. But for us to play properly the
role we are called upon to play, we cannot afford the luxury of identifying
Israel, or Pakistan, or certain other countries, as our exclusive friends.” 96
According to Green, the thrust of Kennedy’s message to Israel was this:
“The best way for the United States to effectively serve Israel’s national
security interests, Kennedy said, was to maintain and develop America’s
associations with the other nations of the region. [America’s] influence
could then be brought to bear as needed in particular disputes to ensure that
Israel’s essential interests were not compromised.” 97
“‘If we pulled out of the Arab Middle East and maintained our ties only
with Israel this would not be in Israel’s interest,’ Kennedy said.” 98
FOUR PROBLEMS WITH ISRAEL
The American President cited four areas causing a strain in U.S.-Israel
relations: 1) Israel’s diversion—from the Arab States—of the Jordan River
waters; 2) Israel’s retaliatory raids against Arab forces in border areas; 3)
Israel’s pivotal role in the Palestinian refugee problem; and 4) Israel’s
insistence that the United States sell advanced Hawk missiles to Israel. 99
The President outlined to Mrs. Meir what has come to be called the
Kennedy Doctrine. Kennedy told Meir that U.S. interests and Israel’s
interests were not always the same. The Talbot memorandum described
Kennedy’s forthright stance:
“We know,” [said Kennedy] “that Israel faces enormous security
problems, but we do too. We came almost to a direct confrontation with
the Soviet Union last spring and again recently in Cuba . . . Because we
have taken on wide security responsibilities we always have the potential of
becoming involved in a major crisis not of our own making . . .
AMERICA’S NEEDS IMPORTANT
“Our security problems are, therefore, just as great as Israel’s. We have
to concern ourself with the whole Middle East. We would like Israeli
recognition that this partnership which we have with it produces strains for
the United States in theMiddle East . . . when Israel takes such action as it
106 Genesis [45]
did last spring [when Israel launched a raid into Syria, resulting in a
condemnation by the UN Security Council]. Whether right or wrong, those
actions involve not just Israel but also the United States.” 100
AMERICA—NOT ISRAEL—FIRST
Stephen Green believes that Kennedy’s position vis-à-vis Israel was an
important stand: “It was a remarkable exchange, and the last time for many,
many years in which an American president precisely distinguished for the
government of Israel the differences between U.S. and Israeli national
security interests.” 101
Thus it was that John F. Kennedy informed Israel, in no uncertain
terms, that he intended—first and foremost—to place America’s
interests—not Israel’s interests—at the center of U.S. Middle East policy.
NUCLEAR EXPANSION
This set the groundwork for further tension between the U.S. and Israel
over an even more explosive issue: Israel’s determination to build a nuclear
bomb. Israel had been engaged in nuclear development during the past decade
but continued to insist that its nuclear programs were strictly peaceful in
nature. However, the facts prove otherwise.
In order to thoroughly examine Kennedy’s conflict with Israel over the
Zionist State’s nuclear intentions, we once again refer to Stephen Green’s
aforementioned work, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a
Militant Israel, a treasure trove of little known information relating to U.S.-
Israeli relations from the period of 1948 through 1967. Green writes of
JFK’s discovery that Israel was engaged in nuclear arms development.
When Kennedy was coming into office in the transition period in
December 1960 the Eisenhower administration informed Kennedy of Israel’s
secret nuclear weapons development at a site in the desert known as
Dimona. Israel had advanced several cover stories to explain its activities at
Dimona.
A ‘HIGHLY DISTRESSING’ SITUATION
Israel had kept the nuclear weapons program as secret as possible, but
US intelligence had discovered the project. Kennedy termed the situation
“highly distressing.”102 Kennedy, upon taking office, determined that he
would make efforts to derail Israel’s nuclear weapons development. Nuclear
proliferation was to be one of Kennedy’s primary concerns.
Israel’s intended entry into the nuclear arena was, as a consequence, a
frightening prospect in JFK’s mind, particularly in light of ongoing conflict
in the Middle East.
From the very beginning of his presidency, John F. Kennedy found
himself at severe odds with the government of Israel. It was a conflict that
[46] Final Judgment 107
would never really be resolved until the day JFK died in Dallas. It was not
an auspicious start for the New Frontier.
KENNEDY ‘NOT AMUSED’ AND DE GAULLE ‘ANNOYED’
According to Stephen Green: “The next year-1961—was to be an
important one in the process of the nuclearization of the Middle East. In
January, [Israeli Prime Minister] David Ben-Gurion informed the Israeli
Knesset and the rest of the world that the Dimona reactor was in fact not a
textile plant or a pumping station, but ‘a scientific institute for research in
problems of arid zones and desert flora and fauna.’ A new American
president, John Kennedy, was not amused.” 103
In Paris, Charles DeGaulle’s reaction mirrored that of Kennedy’s. His
government had been providing nuclear technology assistance to Israel, but
with the assurance from Ben-Gurion that the nuclear development was
peaceful in nature.
According to Israeli historians Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman: “There
was also pressure from President DeGaulle in Paris. The French attitude
toward the Middle East began to change just after he took office in 1958 . . .
He suspected that the Dimona reactor was destined for military uses and this
greatly annoyed the French president.” 104 (DeGaulle’s later decision to grant
Algerian independence, already described, simply exacerbated his own already
growing tensions with Israel.)
In Washington, JFK was determined to settle the matter once and for
all. Stephen Green described Kennedy’s next step: “In May Kennedy and
Ben-Gurion met in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Kennedy had
already written to Ben-Gurion expressing his extreme concern about the
Dimona project, and suggesting regular inspections by the International
Atomic Energy Agency. In New York, Ben-Gurion agreed to a
compromise—(approximately) annual inspections by U.S. scientists at
times and on terms to be determined by the Israeli Defense Ministry.
“Later, Myer Feldman, Kennedy’s aide for Middle East matters, would
reveal that in return for the periodic U.S. inspections, Ben-Gurion had
exacted a promise of provision of advanced Hawk ground-to-air missiles.
“There is no reason to doubt Kennedy’s seriousness in wanting to track
Israeli nuclear research and forestall weapons development, but whether
annual inspections under the terms indicated achieved this result [was, as
events unfolded] open to question.” 105
So it was that John F. Kennedy unintentionally found himself already
at loggerheads with Israel behind the scenes.
THE SECRETWAR
Kennedy’s friendly overtures to the Arab states were only a public
aspect of what ultimately developed into an all-out ‘secret war’ between
Kennedy and Israel.
108 Genesis [47]
According to Seymour Hersh: “Israel’s bomb, and what to do about it,
became a White House fixation, part of the secret presidential agenda that
would remain hidden for the next thirty years.”106
As Hersh notes, quite profoundly we see in retrospect, this secret war
with Israel was never once noted by any of Kennedy’s biographers.107 If
indeed it had been, as we shall see, the mystery behind the JFK
assassination might have been unraveled long, long ago.
ISRAEL’S NUCLEAR AGENDA
There was an added wrinkle. Although Israel and the American CIA had
established a longtime close and ongoing working relationship, the CIA was
monitoring Israel’s nuclear weapons development.
In March, 1963, Sherman Kent, the Chairman of the Board of National
Estimates at the CIA, wrote an extended memorandum to the CIA’s Director
on the highly controversial subject entitled “Consequences of Israeli
Acquisition of Nuclear Capability.”
According to Stephen Green, for the purposes of this internal
memorandum, Kent defined “acquisition” by Israel as either (a) a detonation
of a nuclear device with or without the possession of actual nuclear
weapons, or (b) an announcement by Israel that it possessed nuclear
weapons, even without testing. Kent’s primary conclusion was that an
Israeli bomb would cause ‘substantial damage to the U.S. and Western
position in the Arab world.’ 108
According to Green’s accurate assessment, “The memorandum was very
strong and decidedly negative in its conclusions” 109 which were as follows:
“Even though Israel already enjoys a clear military superiority over its
Arab adversaries, singly or combined, acquisition of a nuclear capability
would greatly enhance Israel’s sense of security. In this circumstance, some
Israelis might be inclined to adopt a moderate and conciliatory posture . . .
“We believe it much more likely, however, that Israel’s policy toward
its neighbors would become more rather than less tough. [Israel would] seek
to exploit the psychological advantages of its nuclear capability to
intimidate the Arabs and to prevent them from making trouble on the
frontiers.” 110
In dealing with the United States, the CIA analyst estimated, a nuclear
Israel would “make the most of the almost inevitable Arab tendency to look
to the Soviet Bloc for assistance against the added Israel threat, arguing that
in terms of both strength and reliability Israel was clearly the only
worthwhile friend of the U.S. in the area.
“Israel,” in Kent’s analysis, “would use all the means at its command to
persuade the U.S. to acquiesce in, and even to support, its possession of
nuclear capability.”111
In short, Israel would use its immense political power—especially
through its lobby in Washington—to force the United States to accede to
Israel’s nuclear intentions.
[48] Final Judgment 109
However, the CIA did not make known its concerns about Israel’s
determination to produce a nuclear bomb. According to Green, “It is perhaps
significant that the memorandum was not drafted as a formal national
intelligence estimate (NIE), which would have involved distribution to
several other agencies of the government. No formal NIE was issued by CIA
on the Israeli nuclear weapons program until 1968.”112
That the CIA—or at the very least, elements within the CIA—would be
interested in protecting Israel’s interests is no surprise. As we shall see in
Chapter 8, the ties between Israel and the CIA were quite intimate—perhaps
too intimate in too many, many ways.
KENNEDY AND BEN-GURION
In the meantime, President Kennedy was well aware that Israel’s nuclear
project at Dimona would enable Israel to produce at least one bomb per
year—and that was enough to start a world war.
Although Israel’s nuclear program was ostensibly “peaceful” in nature, the
fact is that the project was entirely controlled by Israel’s Ministry of Defense.
This alone made the project controversial, even in Israel. It was for this reason
that it was critical for Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to neutralize
JFK’s opposition.
There was enough domestic opposition to the program in Israel itself
that Kennedy’s own steadfast refusal to support Israeli nuclear development
could have killed the project altogether.
In the early months of his administration, Kennedy maintained regular
contact with Ben-Gurion in an effort to stop the nuclear development. The
two leaders had an ongoing private correspondence over the issue.
A POISONED RELATIONSHIP
According to Seymour Hersh, “Israel’s bomb program, and the
continuing exchange of letters about it, would complicate, and eventually
poison, Kennedy’s relationship with David Ben-Gurion.” 113
Ben-Gurion sought to have a private meeting with Kennedy—in the
course of an official state visit to Washington—but the president refused to
provide a formal invitation.
It was then that, in May 1961, Ben-Gurion pulled his strings at the
White House and contrived a meeting with Kennedy through the
intervention of New York financier Abe Feinberg.
It was Feinberg, as we have seen in Chapter 4, who had initially
smoothed over Kennedy’s relations with the American Jewish community
during the 1960 presidential campaign and arranged for a massive infusion of
Jewish money into JFK’s campaign.
(It was this experience, as noted previously, that soured Kennedy’s
attitude toward Israel and its powerful lobby to a significant extent.)
Feinberg arranged for the American president and the Israeli leader to
meet during Ben-Gurion’s unofficial visit to the United States where he was
110 Genesis [49]
scheduled to be honored at a convocation at Brandeis University, a Jewishoriented
center of learning near Boston.
Following the affair at Brandeis, Ben-Gurion journeyed to New York
City where he met with Kennedy at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. According to
Hersh, “The meeting with Kennedy was a major disappointment for the
Israeli prime minister, and not only because of the nuclear issue. “114
“‘He looked to me like a twenty-five-year-old boy,’ Ben-Gurion later
told his biographer. ‘I asked myself: ‘How can a man so young be elected
President?’ At first I did not take him seriously.'”115
HATRED
Following the meeting, Ben-Gurion complained to Feinberg about his
unhappy first meeting with JFK. It was not an auspicious start, and as we
shall see, it set a trend. According to Feinberg, “There’s no way of
describing the relationship between Jack Kennedy and Ben-Gurion because
there’s no way B.G. was dealing with JFK as an equal, at least as far as
B.G. was concerned. He had the typical attitude of an old-fashioned Jew
toward the young. He disrespected [Kennedy] as a youth.” 116
What’s more, the Israeli Prime Minister had an additional reason to be
suspicious of the young American’s motives. According to Feinberg, “B.G.
could be vicious, and he had such a hatred of the old man.” 117 The “old
man” in this case was the president’s father, former Ambassador Joseph P.
Kennedy, long considered not only an “anti-Semite” but a Hitler partisan.
Ben-Gurion’s contempt for the younger Kennedy was growing by leaps
and bounds—almost pathologically. According to Hersh, “The Israeli prime
minister, in subsequent private communications to the White House, began
to refer to the President as ‘young man.’ Kennedy made clear to associates
that he found the letters to be offensive.”118
Kennedy himself told his close friend, Charles Bartlett, that he was
getting fed up with the fact that the Israeli “sons of bitches lie to me
constantly about their nuclear capability.”119
Obviously, to say the very least, there was no love lost between the
two leaders. The U.S.-Israeli relationship was at an ever-growing and
disastrous impasse, although virtually nothing was known about this to the
American public at the time.
‘A MORE SERIOUS DANGER’
President Kennedy’s efforts to resolve the problem of the Palestinian
refugees also met with fierce and bitter resistance by Ben-Gurion. The Israeli
leader refused to agree to a Kennedy proposal that the Palestinians either be
permitted to return to their homes in Israel or to be compensated by Israel
and resettled in the Arab countries or elsewhere.
Former Undersecretary of State George Ball notes in his book, The
Passionate Attachment, that “In the fall of 1962, Ben-Gurion conveyed his
[50] Final Judgment 111
own views in a letter to the Israeli ambassador in Washington, intended to
be circulated among Jewish American leaders, in which he stated: ‘Israel will
regard this plan as a more serious danger to her existence than all the threats
of the Arab dictators and Kings, than all the Arab armies, than all of
Nasser’s missiles and his Soviet MIGs . . . Israel will fight against this
implementation down to the last man.”120
Clearly, then, by this point, Ben-Gurion perceived the American
president’s policies to be a very threat to Israel’s survival. Ben-Gurion was
vowing to fight, as we have seen, “down to the last man.”
KENNEDY’S GESTURE
Despite all of this, the American president remained determined to find a
solution to the potential crisis presented by Ben-Gurion’s obstinacy.
Kennedy offered to sell Israel Hawk missiles for defensive purposes—as
Israel had been demanding—but Kennedy continued to drag his feet on the
sale. The president refused to be pushed to the limit by Israel.
Kennedy finally relented and approved the sale, but only after pressure
from Israel and its allies in the American Congress. By then, however, it
was probably too late. The twig had been bent.
ISRAEL RELENTLESS
Even the arms sales to Israel did not assuage Israel and its lobby.
According to Alfred Lilienthal: “Congress continued to maintain pressures
on the White House. The “Israel first” bloc in the Senate attacked the
administration for failing to conclude a defense pact to protect Israel and to
call an embargo on all arms shipments to the Middle East.
“The legislators reechoed the Ben-Gurion contention that Israel had fallen
behind in the arms race. Nasser, they claimed, was ready for a pushbutton
war. Israel [was] easy to pinpoint and destroy and [could not] retaliate against
four or five Arab states at once.”121
By this time—behind the scenes—Kennedy had ordered continuing
surveillance of the Israelis and their push for the nuclear bomb. It was a top
priority for Kennedy, by all estimations. However, to ensure that Israel’s
access to intelligence regarding the American spy operation against Israel
was limited, the surveillance was being conducted directly out of then-CIA
Director John McCone’s office. 122
(This, of course, still did not guarantee that Israel’s friends in the CIA
[whom we will consider in Chapter 8] did not tip off the Israelis to the
hostile operations being conducted.)
Kennedy was still willing, however, to attempt to settle the matter and
requested that Israel permit American inspectors the opportunity to come to
Israel’s nuclear operation at Dimona to verify that—as Israel claimed—the
program was peaceful in nature. This was the president’s last-ditch effort,
apparently, to pacify Israel and, at the same time, find out precisely what
was going on at Dimona. But Israel would not permit the inspection.
112 Genesis [51]
By this time there was a general understanding at the highest ranks of
the Kennedy administration that there was a major problem at hand. The
president’s inner circle had begun to realize that Israel deemed Kennedy’s
refusal to knuckle under to Israel’s demands as a dire threat to Israel’s
survival.
According to then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, speaking in
retrospect, “I can understand why Israel wanted a nuclear bomb. There is a
basic problem there. The existence of Israel has been a question mark in
history, and that’s the essential issue.”123
The Israelis—and particularly Ben-Gurion—would no doubt agree. In
their view, John F. Kennedy himself was emerging as a threat to Israel’s
very existence:
JFK would simply not countenance a nuclear Israel and Israel’s leaders
believed that a nuclear Israel would ensure the continued survival of the
Jewish State.
THREATS AGAINST JFK
The American president continued to demand that Israel permit
American inspection of Israel’s nuclear development facilities. In response,
Israel called on its American lobby to apply pressure on Kennedy behind the
scenes.
One of those called into action was Abe Feinberg, the New York
businessman who had helped raise critical funds for Kennedy during his
presidential campaign. However, even Feinberg was unsuccessful.124
However, Feinberg did send a message to the president that continued
demands for inspection of the plant might “result in less support [from the
Israeli lobby] in the 1964 presidential campaign.”125
According to Hersh, “In the end Feinberg and Ben-Gurion could not
overcome the continued presidential pressure for inspection of Dimona. Ben-
Gurion’s categorical public denial of any weapons intent at Dimona had left
the Israeli government few options: refusing access would undercut the
government’s credibility and also lend credence to the newly emerging antinuclear
community inside Israel. 126
DESERT DECEPTION
So it was that Ben-Gurion finally agreed to allow American nuclear
experts to come to Dimona. However, Ben-Gurion had a clever trick up his
sleeve. The Israeli Prime Minister hurriedly ordered the construction of what
amounted to a phony nuclear plant—one that didn’t give evidence of the
construction of a nuclear bomb. False control rooms were set in place and
dummy operations were displayed.
It was all very carefully orchestrated. Even the Israeli guides who took
the Americans through the facility were accompanied by translators who
gave the Americans fraudulent translations of the remarks made by the
Israeli engineers at the plant.
[52] Final Judgment 113
According to Hersh, “Ben-Gurion took no chances: the American
inspectors—most of them experts in nuclear reprocessing—would be
provided with a Potemkin Village and never know it.”127
Ben-Gurion’s deception—however successful it may have been—still did
not convince JFK that Israel was indeed fully committed to peaceful nuclear
development. Kennedy, of course, knew better.
A standoff between Kennedy and Israel was already in place and it did not
bode well for the future.
THE ‘LAST AMERICAN PRESIDENT’
John Hadden, the former CIA station chief in Tel Aviv at the time
believes that John F. Kennedy was the last American president to have
really tried to stop the advent of the Israeli atomic bomb. “Kennedy really
wanted to stop it,” said Hadden, “and he offered them conventional weapons
[for example, the Hawk missiles] as an inducement.
“But the Israelis were way ahead of us. They saw that if we were going
to offer them arms to go easy on the bomb, once they had it, we were going
to send them a lot more, for fear that they would use it.”128
`THE TURBULENT YEAR’
By the fateful year of 1963, John F. Kennedy and Israel were decidedly on
two different sides, and not only in the realm of the secret—and critical—
nuclear controversy.
In fact, it went much deeper than that. Overall Kennedy administration
policy toward the Middle East left Israel and its American lobby most
dissatisfied. In his memoirs, I. L. Kenan of the pro-Israel American-Israel
Public Affairs Committee, a registered lobby for Israel, described 1963 as
“the turbulent year” between John F. Kennedy and Israel. In a chapter in
those memoirs, entitled “A Multitude of Promises”—Kennedy presumably
the promiser—Kenan scored Kennedy’s Middle East policies:
“Kennedy’s neutralist strategy, his hope to please both sides in every
troubled area, plunged him into a multitude of predicaments in the turbulent
year of 1963. His pursuit of former enemies whom he sought to befriend
alarmed our allies, whose fears he constantly sought to ally by strong but
quiet commitments.” 129
The “enemies” whom Kenan referred to were those Arab leaders—Nasser
of Egypt most especially—to whom JFK offered peace. Those “allies”—at
least in Kenan’s context—really meant just one country—Kenan’s foreign
principal, Israel.
Kennedy’s “strong but quiet commitments,” however, were apparently
not enough as relations between Israel and the Arab states were strained. War
appeared imminent, at least in the eyes of the Israeli leadership.
By the end of April, 1963 Israel’s David Ben-Gurion sensed that the
Arabs were going to attack the Jewish State, but John F. Kennedy did not
114 Genesis [53]
share that pessimistic view. Kennedy still hoped for peace in the region and
he continued his efforts.130
THE ALGERIAN PROBLEM
Although then-Senator John F. Kennedy’s 1957 speech calling for
independence for Algeria from France had helped pave the way for that end
result, newly-won Algerian freedom came at great cost. Israel was actively
seeking to undermine the new regime.
On August 14, 1963 the government of Algerian premier Ben Bella
accused Israel of plotting to topple the new Arab regime. The Algerian
authorities captured 20 Algerians and 10 foreigners who were engaged in a
conspiracy to bring down the government.
“Those foreigners are nearly all Israelites,” declared the Algerian
information minister. “We are led to believe that we are facing a plot with
far-flung ramifications and that behind it is the hand of Israel which is trying
to oppose the march of our revolution.
“Ben Bella has made clear the Algerian position on the enclave of
imperialism called Israel but which is really Palestine. It is not strange that
they are trying to interfere in our internal affairs.” 131
Israel and its allies in the French Secret Army Organization
(OAS)—now officially disbanded, but effectively still functioning—were
determined to reverse the course of history.
This, however, is not the last time in these pages that we will find the
fine hand of Israel and the OAS interfering in the life and work of John F.
Kennedy.
THE LAST PRESS CONFERENCE
Kennedy’s efforts to conduct a balanced U.S. Middle East policy were
being frustrated at each and every turn. The bitterness was apparent—on
both sides. As a result of Israel’s manipulation of Congress, both the House of
Representatives and the Senate voted in late 1963 to cut off aid to Egypt, a
country central to Kennedy’s drive for peace.
This, in effect, temporarily—at least—scuttled JFK’s peace efforts. His
hand of friendship to the Arab world and its leaders, Nasser of Egypt in
particular, was being cut off—at the shoulder.
Israel’s chief (registered) lobbyist in Washington—I. L. Kenan—described
John F. Kennedy’s finalWashington press conference.
“Kennedy ruefully surveyed the debris of his Nasser policy at a press
conference on November 14, 1963. He was sharply critical. The Senate
amendment required him “to make a finding which is extremely
complicated,” and he did not believe that this language would strengthen our
hand or our flexibility in dealing with the UAR.
“[Kennedy] went on: ‘In fact, it would have an opposite effect. I think
it’s a very dangerous, untidy world, but we’re going to have to live with it;
and I think one of the ways to live with it is to permit us to function.’
[54] Final Judgment 115
“If the Administration did not function, the voters would throw it out.
Kennedy asked Congress not to make it impossible to function by means of
`legislative restraints and inadequate appropriations.’
“These words,” Kenan notes, “were uttered at his last White House
press conference.” 132
On many fronts, indeed, JFK’s Middle East policy was angering the
Israelis, including—perhaps especially—JFK’s determination to solve the
problem of the Palestinian refugees.
JFK’S ‘GOOD FAITH’ IN DOUBT
On November 20, 1963, Kennedy’s delegation at the United Nations
called for continuing movement toward the implementation of the 1948 UN
resolution which called for the right of displaced Palestinian Arabs to return
to their homes (in Israel) and for those who chose not to return to their
homes to be compensated.
The London Jewish Chronicle reported the reaction of the Israelis:
“Prime Minister Levi Eshkol summoned the U.S. ambassador . . . and told
him that Israel was ‘shocked’ by the pro-Arab attitude adopted by the U.S.
delegation.” Golda Meir, the Chronicle reported, “expressed Israel’s
`astonishment and anger’ at the attitude of the U.S.” 133
For its own part, the Chronicle noted editorially, “Israel, which has
neither been consulted nor informed about the American intention, is not
surprisingly questioning the good faith of the United States.” 134
It is not likely that JFK ever got to read the defamatory comments
about his Middle East policy published by the London Jewish Chronicle.
They were printed on November 22, 1963.
So it was that even as John F. Kennedy was preparing to leave
Washington for his final journey as president, he was plagued with the
problem of Israel and its powerful influence in Washington.
As it turned out, it was during Kennedy’s trip to Dallas that one last
memorandum was prepared on his behalf relating to the touchy issue of
global nuclear arms development.
Although JFK had forcefully opposed French production of nuclear
weapons—much as he opposed that of Israel—the American president had,
however, begun taking a new look at his stance vis-à-vis the French.
Thus it was that while John F. Kennedy was triumphantly touring
downtown Dallas, there was being prepared a “Top Secret, Eyes Only”
memorandum from JFK’s advisor, McGeorge Bundy, outlining the new,
perhaps more lenient, Kennedy policy toward France, which, as we have
seen, had itself played a major role in Israel’s nuclear development and,
unwittingly (much to the disgust of French President DeGaulle) in the drive
for atomic weaponry. The memorandum regarding the new policy toward
France was also dated November 22, 1963. 135
By this time, however, John F. Kennedy’s fate was sealed. He had
pushed Israel and its leaders to the brink.
116 Genesis [55]
BEN-GURION: ‘SIGNS OF PARANOIA’
The straw that broke the camel’s back, had actually taken place some
six months earlier. By spring of 1963, Kennedy and Ben-Gurion were at
loggerheads, more seriously than ever before. What’s more, Ben-Gurion
was suffering a deep personal crisis (part of which, we now see, stemmed
from his unhappy relationship with John F. Kennedy).
According to the Israeli prime minister’s biographer, Dan Kurzman:
“Lonely and depressed, Ben-Gurion felt strangely helpless. Leadership of
Israel was slipping from his withered hands . . . Ben-Gurion began to show
signs of paranoia. Enemies were closing in on him from all sides. A mere
declaration by Egypt, Syria and Iraq in April 1963 that they would unite and
demolish the “Zionist threat” threw him into near-panic.” 136
SECRET CORRESPONDENCE ‘INCREASINGLY SOUR’
All of this, of course, contributed immensely to the problems between
Kennedy and Ben-Gurion. Seymour Hersh writes: “Kennedy’s relationship
with Ben-Gurion remained at an impasse over Dimona, and the
correspondence between the two became increasingly sour. None of those
letters has been made public.”137
KENNEDY A ‘BULLY’
(Like much of the secret government files on the JFK assassination, the
Kennedy exchanges with Ben-Gurion also have not been released—not even to
U.S. government officials with full security clearances who have attempted to
write classified histories of the period.) 138
“It was not a friendly exchange,” according to Ben-Gurion’s writer,
Yuval Neeman. “Kennedy was writing like a bully. It was brutal.”139 Ben-
Gurion’ s response was not passive either.
All of this exacerbated tensions—fierce tensions—between the
American President and the Israeli leader. Kennedy’s impatience was
building. Relations between the United States and Israel were unlike they
had ever been before. According to Hersh, “The president made sure that the
Israeli prime minister paid for his defiance.” 140 When Ben-Gurion
once again sought the opportunity for a formal, ballyhooed state visit to
Washington, Kennedy rebuffed him.
ISRAEL’S ‘EXISTENCE IS IN DANGER’
It was then that Ben-Gurion made his position all too clear. He was
convinced that what he perceived to be Kennedy’s intransigence was an all-out
threat to the continued survival of the Jewish State. JFK was perceived as an
enemy of the Jewish people.
[56] Final Judgment 117
In one of his final communications with Kennedy, Ben-Gurion wrote:
“Mr. President, my people have the right to exist . . . and this existence
is in danger.” 141 (emphasis added) It was at this time that Ben-Gurion
demanded that Kennedy sign a security treaty with Israel. Kennedy refused.
On June 16, 1963 Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned as prime minister and
defense minister. Thus, the “prophet of fire” ended his fifteen-year career as
grand old man of Israel. At the time, the Israeli press—and indeed the world
press—told the world that Ben-Gurion’s sudden resignation was a result of
his dissatisfaction with domestic political scandals and turmoil that were
rocking Israel.142
A BITTER IMPASSE
However, the primary reason behind Ben-Gurion’s departure was the
Israeli leader’s inability to pressure JFK into accepting Israel’s demands.
According to Hersh: “There was no way for the Israeli public . . . to suspect
that there was yet another factor in Ben-Gurion’s demise: his increasingly
bitter impasse with Kennedy over a nuclear-armed Israel.” 143 Ben-Gurion
had failed. The battle had been lost, but the war between the two men was
still to be won.
A MODERN-DAY HAMAN?
What was on Ben-Gurion’s mind as he turned over the reins of
government to his successor? What was David Ben-Gurion’s final act as
Prime Minister of the Jewish State? In light of Ben-Gurion’s explicit
comment to John F. Kennedy that “my people have the right to exist . .
and this existence is in danger,” we can certainly make a good presumption.
In Ben-Gurion’s eyes, John F. Kennedy was clearly a modern-day
Haman—an enemy of the Jewish people. In Jewish folklore, Haman was a
descendant of the Amalekites who served as prime minister to King
Ahasueros of Persia. It was Haman who sought to convince the king that
all of the Jews of his empire should be exterminated forever.
However, according to legend, a beautiful Jewish temptress named
Esther used her feminine wiles on Ahasueros and, in the end, it was Haman
who was instead put to death. The important Jewish holiday of Purim
celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s intended holocaust.
In the Bible—Deut 25:19, I Sam. 15:8—the ancient Hebrews were
urged to “blot out the memory of the Amalekites” from whom Haman
descended.
In Israel—in 1963—David Ben-Gurion certainly looked upon John F.
Kennedy as a modern-day Haman, a son of the Amalekites. As he pondered
the brutal conflict with JFK, Ben-Gurion no doubt remembered the
meditation that is read on Purim:
“A wicked man, an arrogant offshoot of the seed of Amalek, rose up
against us. Insolent in his riches, he digged himself a pit, and his own
greatness laid him a snare. In his mind he thought to entrap, but was
118 Genesis [57]
himself entrapped; he sought to destroy, but was himself speedily destroyed
. . . he made him a gallows, and was himself hanged thereon.”
A FINAL ORDER?
The Israeli leader could not help but ponder further how he might
deliver his people from what he perceived to be certain destruction. Ben-
Gurion had devoted a lifetime creating a Jewish State and guiding it into the
world arena. And, in Ben-Gurion’s eyes, John F. Kennedy was an enemy of
the Jewish people and of his beloved state of Israel.
Andrew and Leslie Cockburn have summarized it well: “Ben-Gurion is
the father of Israel. He really steered the state to independence, steered his
people to independence, wrote the Israeli declaration of independence, was
prime minister all the way through, with a brief interval, until 1963. The
Israel you see today is really the creation of David Ben-Gurion.”144 We can
thus see why Ben-Gurion was indeed so frustrated by his failure to back
down John F. Kennedy. It was a time of crisis and a time for action.
It is the thesis of this volume that Ben-Gurion, in his final days as
Prime Minister, ordered the Mossad to participate in the JFK assassination
conspiracy. Based upon evidence that we will outline in Final Judgment, we
believe that the Mossad carried out Ben-Gurion’s order.
On November 22, 1963, the American president whom Ben-Gurion
considered a threat to Israel’s very survival came to an inglorious end in
Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
That Israel and its leaders believed that drastic measures might be needed
to influence the course of history and to ensure the survival of Israel cannot
be doubted.
Isser Harrel, who was head of the Mossad until mid-1963, has been
quoted as saying that “The government of Israel must act to root out the evil
of racism and the monster of anti-Semitism . .” and that if it could not be
done diplomatically, it was to be done in other ways, including, according to
Harel, “the secret services, as was the case in my times.” 145 In short, by
means of murder, if necessary.
Former Undersecretary of State George Ball summarizes the impact of
John F. Kennedy’s assassination on U.S.-Israeli relations quite succinctly, if
somewhat cryptically: “However Kennedy would have succeeded in his
relations with Israel must remain one of the many intriguing questions for
which his assassination precludes any answer.” 146
A MOSSAD HIT SQUAD
We know precisely who would have coordinated Mossad participation in
the assassination on John F. Kennedy, working in concert with Israel’s
allies in the CIA and in Organized Crime (about more of which we shall
discuss in these pages.)
Israel’s respected Ha’aretz newspaper reported on July 3, 1992 that it
was former Jewish underground terrorist-turned-Mossad operative Yitzhak
[58] Final Judgment 119
Shamir (later Israeli Prime Minister) who headed a special Mossad hit squad
during his service in the Mossad.
The Israeli newspaper reported that Shamir headed the assassination unit
from 1955 until 1964—the year after JFK’ s assassination. “The unit carried
out attacks on perceived enemies and suspected Nazi War criminals,”147
according to an account of the newspaper’s report.
“In February 1963 Mr. Shamir dispatched squads on two unsuccessful
attempts to assassinate Hans Kleinwachter, a German scientist suspected of
helping Egypt develop missiles. Another German scientist working for the
Egyptians, Heinz Krug, disappeared mysteriously in September 1962.”148
Shamir’s operatives were suspected of having been responsible.
According to the Israeli newspaper, Shamir had recruited members for
his Mossad hit squad from former members of the Stern Gang, the
underground terrorist group that Shamir led during Israel’s fight for
independence. The Stern Gang was responsible for the murder, in 1944, of
Lord Moyne, Britain’s resident Mideast minister, and for the slaying of U.N.
mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948. 149
We have already seen that Kennedy—like Moyne and Bernadotte—was a
“perceived enemy” of Israel and its embittered Prime Minister, David Ben-
Gurion. And now we know of the existence of the Mossad hit squad that
played a major role in the conspiracy that brought about the death of John
F. Kennedy. In Chapter 16 we shall learn precisely how this Mossadorchestrated
conspiracy came about.
THE ENEMIES COME TOGETHER
With Israel’s intimate ties to not only the American CIA but also the
Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—which we will examine in
much further detail—the Israeli prime minister and his Mossad operatives
had in place a network of allies with whom they could easily collaborate in
orchestrating the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Each of these powerful forces had good reason to take drastic action to
put an end to the threat posed by JFK. That they undoubtedly came together
in a joint conspiracy we shall document in this volume.
THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH
With John F. Kennedy lying in a grave in Arlington National
Cemetery, Israel was safe—for the time being at least. The modern-day heir
of Haman’s legacy had been destroyed. That Lyndon Johnson—a man with a
steadfast history of loyalty to Israel and its American lobby—was in line to
assume the American presidency was a fact not gone unnoticed. Israel’s
messiah had come.
Chapter Six
The Coming of the Messiah:
Lyndon Johnson Rushes to Israel’s Rescue;
U.S. Middle East Policy Is Reversed
Within weeks of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Israel
was perhaps the most immediate primary beneficiary of
Kennedy’s death—although this was not something that the
controlled media told the American people.
The most immediate individual beneficiary of JFK’s death
was, of course, Lyndon Johnson who was a political favorite
of Israel and its allies in Meyer Lansky’s Organized Crime
Syndicate.
It was Johnson who promptly reversed Kennedy’s Middle
East policy and who, for all intents and purposes, according
to one historian, established Israel as America’s 51st state.
There can be no question but that the assassination of John F. Kennedy
accomplished several very specific things insofar as the U.S.-Israeli
relationship was concerned:
1) It removed from the White House a president—John F. Kennedy—
who had reached a bitter impasse with Israel over its steadfast determination to
assemble a nuclear arsenal;
2) It placed in the Oval Office a president—Lyndon Johnson—who
completely reversed long-standing U.S. Middle East policy and placed the
United States firmly in Israel’s camp—with a vengeance.
3) It allowed Lyndon Johnson to reverse JFK’s Vietnam policy and
begin escalating U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. This permitted Israel
to advance its own geo-political stance in the Middle East; and
4) It enabled Israel’s allies in the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized
Crime Syndicate to gain a lock on drug trafficking in Southeast Asia as a
proximate result of U.S. involvement in the region.
Israel was clearly—and beyond doubt—the primary
international benef iciary of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency
which only became possible through the assassination of
John F. Kennedy.
ISRAEL’S SURVIVAL
If protection of its national security interests and its very survival can
be considered a motive—and surely it can be—then Israel, perhaps above all,
obviously had a major interest—and motivation—in helping orchestrate the
assassination of President Kennedy. Indeed, the very survival of Israel has
been a cornerstone of its foreign policy from that nation’s earliest
beginnings. Thus, elimination of a perceived enemy to Israel’s
[60] Final Judgment 121
survival—that is, John F. Kennedy—would only be a logical course of
action.
This especially, of course, in light of the fact that the man who
succeeded Kennedy—Lyndon Johnson—had long and often proven a history
of personal affinity for Israel and its international interests.
JOHNSON’S LANSKY CONNECTION
Johnson, too, had a long and sordid record of involvement in criminal
activities—including murder—that have finally begun to surface. The record
is far too complex to examine here—besides which, popular literature on the
subject is quite complete.
Nonetheless, it is certainly worth noting that one major Johnson backer
was Meyer Lansky’s Louisiana henchman, Carlos Marcello. According to
John W. Davis, Lansky’s man Marcello funneled at least $50,000 a year in
payoffs to then-Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson who, in turn, helped kill in
committee all rackets-related legislation that might have been harmful to the
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. 150
There are indications, however, that Johnson’s ties to Lansky and his
associates go even deeper. When Lansky himself was living in Israel, one of
his American cronies, Benjamin Sigelbaum, came visiting. 151
It was Mr. Sigelbaum (not to be confused with Benjamin “Bugsy”
Siegel whom Lansky had ordered killed in 1947) who was involved with
longtime Johnson intimate Bobby Baker in two major dealings: the
purchase of a bank in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in Baker’s controversial Serv-U
Vending Machine Company.152
Another of Baker’s business collaborators, was Edward Levinson, who
operated the Fremont Casino in Las Vegas as a front man for longtime
Lansky friend and business partner, Joseph (Doc) Stacher (who ultimately
died in exile in Israel). 153
What’s more, author Robert Morrow, a former CIA contract agent, has
revealed that one of Baker’s closest associates, with whom he was reportedly
“thick as thieves,” was a mob courier named Mickey Weiner who was “a
complete user of [Baker’s] office, of all the [Baker] facilities on [Capitol]
Hill.” 154 Needless to say, Baker’s office and Baker’s “facilities” were one
and the same with those of Lyndon B. Johnson.
It was this same Mickey Weiner who, as we shall see in Chapter 7, was
one of Meyer Lansky’s chief couriers between his Miami banking
operations and his European money-laundering center at the Banque de Credit
International (BCI) in Geneva, Switzerland.
(BCI, as we shall see in detail in Chapter 7, Chapter 12 and Chapter 15,
was operated by an Israeli banker, Tibor Rosenbaum, former Director for
Finances and Supply for Israel’s Mossad.)
Mr. Baker, who served time in federal prison for his criminal activities
during his time as Johnson’s protégé (and as his reputed bagman), would
have been the one person who could have sent Lyndon Johnson to prison if
he had revealed all.
122 The Coming of the Messsiah [61]
Indeed, it was Johnson’s involvement with Bobby Baker that had led
John F. Kennedy to begin laying the groundwork for dropping Johnson
from the Democratic ticket in 1964. But even with Kennedy’s death, the
stench of corruption surrounding the Lansky-linked Baker still threatened
Johnson.
JOHNSON FACES PRISON?
Washington lobbyist Robert N. Winter-Berger recalls a visit by then-
President Johnson to the office of House Speaker John McCormack while
Winter-Berger was there. Johnson burst in unexpectedly. Unconscious of
Winter-Berger’s presence, Johnson began shrieking and shouting and
condemning his longtime friend and protégé, Bobby Baker. “John, that son
of a bitch is going to ruin me. If that cocksucker talks, I’m gonna land in
jail,” Johnson roared. “I practically raised that motherfucker and now he’s
gonna make me the first President of the United States to spend the last days
of his life behind bars.” 155
According to Winter-Berger Johnson suddenly realized that he was
present. Speaker McCormack assured the president that Winter-Berger was
“all right” and that Winter-Berger was close to one of Baker’s other
associates, Nat Voloshen.
Johnson asked Winter-Berger to have this message relayed to Baker.
“Tell Nat to tell Bobby that I will give him a million dollars if he takes this
rap. Bobby must not talk.” 156 Baker did not talk. Baker went to jail.
Johnson did not.
Obviously, Johnson’s Lansky connection is far more complex than we
might even be able to determine—but the interplay between Johnson and his
intimates and those of the Lansky syndicate is indisputable, to say the least.
SUDDEN POLICY CHANGES
Needless to say, when Lyndon Johnson became president, the Kennedy
war against organized crime came to a sudden halt. There were other
important policy reversals as well, including, of course, the change in
Vietnam policy (about which we will explore further in this chapter and in
Chapter 9.)
What, of course, however, is most significant about Lyndon Johnson’s
assumption of the Oval Office were the profound—and immediate—changes
in U.S. policy toward Israel and the Arab world that came rapidly upon
LBJ’s sudden succession to the presidency.
`GOOD NEWS’ FROM DALLAS
The earliest evidence we can find that Israel and its lobby in America
were delighted by Lyndon’s elevation to the presidency comes in a memo
that I. L. Kenan, director of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee
[62] Final Judgment 123
(AIPAC) sent out to top-ranking figures in AIPAC and others in the Israel
lobby in Washington.
Hailing Johnson’s “front-rank pro-Israel position”157 during his Senate
career, the memo was dated November 26, 1963, just one day after John F.
Kennedy was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The memo,
incidentally, was formally noted “Not for Publication or Circulation.”158
Clearly, those in the Israeli camp didn’t want their seeming delight in
Kennedy’s passing—and Johnson’s sudden good luck—to be in the public
record.
What is additionally interesting are Kenan’s memoirs of his service as
one of the Israeli lobby’s top men in Washington. The memoirs contain, as
we have seen, a chapter about John F. Kennedy cryptically—perhaps
critically—entitled—”A Multitude of Promises” along with the intriguing—
and accurate—reference to 1963 as “The Turbulent Year,” (for U.S.-Israeli
relations).159
The very next chapter—about Lyndon Johnson—is warmly entitled
“Israel’s Texas Friend.” Johnson—who was, in Kenan’s words, the “New
Man in the White House”—proved to be a very loyal friend of Israel.
Seymour Hersh points out that one of Johnson’s first symbolic acts as
president was to dedicate a synagogue in Austin, Texas—less than six weeks
after assuming the presidency. In fact, Hersh notes, Johnson was the first
American president in history to dedicate a synagogue. It was, we shall see, a
very symbolic act indeed. 160
Lady Bird Johnson, the new president’s wife, later tried to explain why
her husband was so fond of Israel and its friends in the American pro-Israel
lobby. “Jews have been woven into the warp and woof of all his [Johnson’s]
years,” she said.161
ISRAEL’S INTERESTS FIRST
In Israel, Johnson’s presidency was greeted with pleasure. The Israeli
newspaper Yedio Ahoronot said that in a Johnson presidency the issue of
“U.S. interests” would not be as much of a problem in U.S.-Israeli relations
as they had been under Kennedy.162 In other words, Johnson—unlike
Kennedy—would be willing to set aside American interests in favor of
Israel’s. The Israeli journal added, “There is no doubt that, with the
accession of Lyndon Johnson, we shall have more opportunity to approach
the President directly if we should feel that U.S. policy militates against our
vital interests.” 163
MOURNING IN ISLAM
In the Arab world, however, the response was far different. According to
former diplomat Richard Curtiss, who spent much time in the region, “The
mourning stretched across the Arab world, where to this day faded
photographs on humble walls depict the young hero.” 164
124 The Coming of theMessiah [63]
In Algeria, the new Arab republic that had achieved independence with
help from John F. Kennedy, Premier Ahmad Ben Bella telephoned the U.S.
ambassador to say, “Believe me, I’d rather it had happened to me than to
him.”165 Kennedy’s friendly gestures for peace were being remembered.
In Egypt President Nasser realized that the death of John F. Kennedy
would have a profound impact upon the Arab world. With Kennedy’s
departure, Nasser later said that “[French President Charles] DeGaulle is the
onlyWestern Head of State on whose friendship the Arabs can depend.” 166
However, according to DeGaulle’s biographer, Jean Lacouture,
DeGaulle was “a friend neither of the Arabs, nor of Israel, but only of
France.” 167 One might say that similar words could likewise be applied to
John F. Kennedy: “a friend neither of the Arabs, nor of Israel, but only of
America.” And Israel certainly did not consider JFK a friend.
MOURNING IN PARIS
In Paris, DeGaulle—who had granted Algerian independence and who
had suffered numerous attempts on his own life in retaliation—was
thoroughly stunned by the murder of the American president. He interrupted
a Cabinet meeting to announce: “John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been
assassinated. He was one of the very few leaders of whom it may be said
that they are statesmen. He had courage and he loved his country.”168
According to DeGaulle’s biographer, “It was a tribute without precedent and
one that was never repeated.” 169
In fact, as we shall see, the very same elements that had conspired
against the life of DeGaulle were indeed those same elements who had
brought about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And if DeGaulle did
not know it then, he ultimately would.
SUSPICIONS
There was additional fall-out in the Arab world as a consequence of
Kennedy’s assassination. According to Curtiss, the fact that Kennedy’s
alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald was promptly murdered by Jack
Ruby—in Curtiss’ words—“an American Jew with gangster
connections,”170 suspicions about Israel’s complicity in the crime were
widespread.
According to Curtiss: “The circumstances gave rise to many conspiracy
theories, including one believed by virtually all Arabs that the assassination
was to prevent an impending U.S. policy change in the Middle East.”171
Curtiss’ next comment, however, has proven wrong in the light of
what we are about to explore in the pages of Final Judgment: “No Middle
East connection of any sort has ever been discovered, however.”172
Curtiss notes that, “Instead, ironically, the assassination five years later
by an Arab-American in California of President Kennedy’s younger brother,
an outspoken supporter of Israel, made Robert Kennedy the first American
[64] Final Judgment 125
victim of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute to be killed on U.S. soil.”173
(However, as we shall see in Chapter 18, there is—as in the assassination of
John F. Kennedy—a lot more about the murder of his younger brother than
really meets the eye.)
Nonetheless, as Alfred Lilienthal, the veteran critic of U.S. Middle East
policy, has written, “There is little question that Kennedy intended to move
decisively in his second term. The assassination of President Kennedy in
Dallas on November 22, 1963, shattered the possibility that his second term
might see Washington start to free itself from the grave burdens of U.S.
partisanship on the Arab-Israeli conflict and of continuous politicking for
domestic votes.” 174
MOVING FAST
Arab hopes for peace had been shattered and a new American president
in Washington was—in the meantime—busy ingratiating himself with
Israel’s representatives in the American capital.
“You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one,” the
new president told one Israeli official. 175 Although Johnson’s quote has
been oft repeated, it is not quite certain just who that official was. The
quote, indeed, may have been apocryphal—another legend in the Lyndon
Johnson legacy.
However, most sources believe that Johnson’s comment was probably
made to Ephraim Evron, the number two man in Israel’s embassy in
Washington. It was Evron who ultimately became a very close friend of
Lyndon Johnson.
At the time of the Kennedy assassination—interestingly enough—Evron
was in Washington in charge of Israeli intelligence operations, working
closely with James Jesus Angleton, Israel’s man at the CIA. Thus, it seems
likely, that whatever Angleton knew about JFK’s assassination, Evron likely
knew—and vice versa. And perhaps, we might speculate, Johnson also thus
knew as well. (In Chapter 8 and in Chapter 16 we will consider Angleton’s
peculiar part in the JFK assassination conspiracy in full detail.)
According to Johnson aide Harry McPherson, “I think [Evron] felt what
I’ve always felt, that some place in Lyndon Johnson’s blood there are a great
many Jewish corpuscles.” 176
The aforementioned McPherson, speaking on tape for the LBJ Library
Oral History Project, interestingly described himself as the Johnson White
House’s “staff anti-Semite,” 177 McPherson explained that this meant that
he had to maintain “a continuing relationship with B’nai B’rith, the Anti-
Defamation League, to some extent the Zionist organization, and others
who want various things,”178 presumably a difficult task. As a
consequence, McPherson was especially tuned in to Johnson’s relationship
with Israel and its lobby in Washington.
126 The Coming of theMessiah [65]
In fact, as the record shows, Johnson had a long and close relationship
with Israel and its partisans. Israel knew that it had a loyal devotee of its
interests in the White House now that John F. Kennedy was out of the way.
A LONG-TIME FAVORITE OF ISRAEL
Israel, of course, had been keeping a close watch on Lyndon Johnson
for a long time. About Johnson, Israeli intelligence man Evron said as
follows: “Johnson’s feeling about Israel came out very early in the [Suez]
crisis in 1957 when he was [Senate] majority leader. When at that time
President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles wanted to force us to
withdraw from Sinai, they threatened us with economic sanctions. Johnson
persuaded Senator William Knowland of California, who was then minority
leader, to come with him to the White House and tell the President that it
just wouldn’t do.”179
The Arab States were also watching Johnson closely, particularly after
he assumed the presidency. Particularly concerned was Egyptian President
Gamal Abdel Nasser with whom JFK had hoped to build bridges. In fact, as
we have seen, it was during his last White House press conference that JFK
bemoaned the efforts by Israel and its partisans to sabotage his Middle East
peace initiatives, especially in regard to relations with Nasser.
THE CHANGE IN POLICY BEGINS
According to author Stephen Green, as early as March 5, 1964 Nasser
told Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Phillips Talbot that “The U.S. had
shifted its policy into more active support of Israel.” 180
This was just little more than three months after John F. Kennedy had
been assassinated and Lyndon B. Johnson was catapulted into the presidency.
Nasser’s assessment was on target. According to intelligence historian
Richard Deacon, Johnson’s new policy was keeping in line not only with
Israel’s demands, but those of Israel’s friends at the CIA:
“President Johnson had already swung away from the tentative pro-Arab
stance of the Kennedy administration which had always been frowned upon
by the CIA.”181
Deacon reports that Walt Rostow, the president’s national security
advisor believed that US policy towards Israel would serve as an effective
check on Soviet support for Arab countries. “Thus,” according to Deacon,
“Rostow reflected almost totally the views of the CIA hierarchy.” 182
Johnson, himself, also had long-standing ties to Israel’s friends in the
CIA from his years of service in the Senate.
As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson worked closely with the CIA on a
regular basis and was considered a “CIA friend” in Congress.
Unquestionably, however, Lyndon Johnson did indeed begin a major
shift in U.S. Middle East policy—keeping in line with his joint devotion to
not only the CIA’s interests, but those of Israel’s as well.
[66] Final Judgment 127
This, of course, had a momentous impact on the course of American
foreign policy and was an immediate and absolute turn-about of the policy
that had been pursued by the late President Kennedy.
THE NUCLEAR BOMB
Interestingly enough, Israel’s initial primary benefit from the death of
JFK was, in fact, the removal from the White House of a president who
vehemently opposed Israel’s nuclear weapons development.
According to historian Stephen Green: “Perhaps the most significant
development of 1963 for the Israeli nuclear weapons program, however,
occurred on November 22 on a plane flying from Dallas to Washington,
D.C., Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the
United States, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
“In the early years of the Johnson administration the Israeli nuclear
weapons program was referred to in Washington as ‘the delicate topic.’
Lyndon Johnson’s White House saw no Dimona, heard no Dimona, and
spoke no Dimona when the reactor went critical in early 1964.”183
Thus it was that the critical point of dispute between John F. Kennedy
and the Mossad-dominated government of Israel was no longer an issue. The
new American president—so long a partisan of Israel—allowed the nuclear
development to continue. This was just the beginning.
HUBERT HUMPHREY & THE LANSKY SYNDICATE
Johnson was also cementing his long-standing ties to Meyer Lansky’s
Organized Crime Syndicate. In 1964—seeking his first full term in the
White House—Johnson selected Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey as
his vice-presidential running mate.
As the Washington Observer newsletter noted: “Humphrey was first
catapulted into public office as Mayor of Minneapolis in 1945 via the
machinations and campaign slush funds raised by the notorious Kid Cann,
king of the Minneapolis underworld.
“Cann, whose real name was Isadore Blumenfeld, along with his
brothers (who were known by their aliases, Harry and Yiddy Bloom) were
partners with Meyer Lansky in the ownership of many of the plush resorts
in Miami, along with Humphrey’s chief advisor, Max Kampelman, a top
figure in the Israeli lobby in Washington.”
“Blumenfeld and Lansky were partners in the syndicate that owned the
Sands and Fremont Hotels—gambling operations in Las Vegas—until they
sold their interest in the Sands to Howard Hughes. When Humphrey and his
top aides are in Miami,” the Observer reported, “they enjoy[ed] free
accommodations at the syndicate’s plush hotels.”184
(Alan H. Ryskind, writing in his critical biography of Humphrey,
demonstrated how then-Minneapolis Mayor Humphrey managed to look the
other way when Blumenfeld got himself into a widely-publicized set of
128 The Coming of theMessiah [67]
difficulties185—just one of HRH’s favors for the Meyer Lansky Organized
Crime Syndicate.
Thus, in the 1964 presidential election—which was Johnson’s to lose—
Lansky and his partners in Israel were assured a dream ticket come
November. Both Johnson and his vice president were bought and paid for.
Lansky and Israel made sure there wouldn’t be any problems with any
independent upstart second-generation multi-millionaire Irishmen like John
F. Kennedy who was not only the son of a notorious anti-Semite but a bullheaded
proponent of America’s interests to boot.
Thus, having become ensconced in the presidency, Lyndon Johnson was
in a position to do many favors for Israel.
THE FOREIGN AID PORK BARREL
Perhaps his most drastic efforts in service to Israel involved massive
increases in U.S. taxpayer-financed foreign aid giveaways. Although John F.
Kennedy himself had been generous to Israel in that regard, Johnson made
Kennedy look like a piker.
Former Undersecretary of State George Ball comments that in the
foreign aid realm: “The Israelis were proved right in their assumption that
Johnson would be more friendly than Kennedy.” 186
According to author Stephen Green, citing U.S. Agency for
International Development data: “Over the next few years—the first three
years of the Johnson administration—[the level of foreign aid] support [to
Israel] would change both qualitatively and quantitatively. U.S. government
assistance to Israel in FY 1964, the last budget year of the Kennedy
administration, stood at $40 million. This was substantially reduced from
the levels of assistance in previous years. In FY 1965, this figure rose to
$71 million, and in FY 1966, to $130 million.”187
ARMING ISRAEL’S WAR MACHINE
Green notes further that under Lyndon Johnson, United States military
aid to Israel also saw a drastic increase:
“More significant, however, was the change in the composition of that
assistance. In [JFK’s] FY 1964, virtually none of the official U.S.
assistance for Israel was military assistance; it was split almost equally
between development loans and food assistance under the PL 480 program.
In [LBJ’s} FY 1965, however, 20 percent of U.S. aid was military in
nature, and in FY 1966, fully 71 percent of all official assistance to Israel
came in the form of credits for purchase of military equipment.
“Moreover, the nature of the weapons systems we provided had changed.
In FY 1963, the Kennedy administration agreed to sell five batteries of
Hawk missiles valued at $21.5 million. This however was an air defense
system. The Johnson administration, in FY 1965-1966, provided Israel with
250 modern (modified M-48) tanks, 48 A-1 Skyhawk attack aircraft,
communications and electronics equipment, artillery, and recoilless rifles.
[68] Final Judgment 129
Given the configuration of the [Israel Defense Forces], these were anything
but defensive weapons.
“The $92 million in military assistance provided in FY 1966 was
greater than the total of all official military aid provided to Israel
cumulatively, in all the years going back to the foundation of that nation in
1948.”188 Green summarizes the massive extent of Johnson’s giveaways:
“Seventy percent of all U.S. official assistance to Israel has been military.
America has given Israel over $17 billion in military aid since 1946,
virtually all of which—over 99 percent—has been provided since 1965.”189
ISRAEL’S INTERESTS FIRST
It was clearly Lyndon B. Johnson who set the precedent for unlimited
aid to Israel. All told, however, the death of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon
Johnson’s assumption of the Oval Office marked a major change in overall
U.S. policy. As Stephen Green writes, in all too clarifying detail in Taking
Sides: America’s Secret Relations With A Militant Israel:
“In the years 1948-1963, America was perceived by all of the
governments in the Middle East as a major power that acted upon the basis
of its own, clearly defined national self-interest. Moreover, U.S. Middle
East policy was just that—Middle East policy; it was not an Israeli policy
in which Arab countries were subordinate actors.
“In the years 1948-1963, Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy
firmly guaranteed Israeli national security and territorial integrity, but just as
firmly guaranteed those of Jordan, Lebanon, and the other nations of the
region. That was what the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 was all about.
“For successive Israel governments in this period, the boundary line
between U.S. and Israeli national security interests was drawn frequently,
and usually decisively. Truman’s policies on arms exports to the middle
East, Eisenhower’s stands on regional water development and on territorial
integrity during the Suez Crisis, and Kennedy’s candor with Mrs. Meir—all
of these were markers on this boundary line.
“Nevertheless, during this time U.S. financial support for Israel far
exceeded that given any other nation in the world, on a per capita basis. And
U.S. diplomatic support for Israel in the UN and elsewhere was no less
generous.
“But the limits to U.S. support for Israel were generally understood by
all of the countries of the region, and it was precisely these limits that
preserved America’s ability to mediate the various issues that composed the
Arab-Israeli dispute.
“Then, in the early years of the Johnson administration, 1964-1967,
U.S. policy on Middle Eastern matters abruptly changed. It would perhaps
be more accurate to say that it disintegrated. America had a public policy on
the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, but suddenly had a covert policy of
abetting Israel’s nuclear weapons program. We had a public policy on arms
balance in the region, but secretly agreed, by the end of 1967, to become
Israel’s major arms supplier.
130 The Coming of theMessiah [69]
“Officially, the United States was “firmly committed to the support of the
political independence and territorial integrity of all the [Middle Eastern]
nations,” while consciously, covertly, the Johnson “Middle East team” set
about enabling Israel to redraw to her advantage virtually every one of her
borders with neighboring Arab states.
“It was, of course, a policy without principle, without integrity. But it
was also ineffective, in the sense that Israel steadily continued to act in ways
that ignored U.S. national security interests.”190
VIETNAM—ISRAEL BENEFITS
These incredible facts about the sudden reversal of traditional U.S.
policy have gone too long ignored in the context of considering the question of
who stood most to benefit by the assassination of John F. Kennedy.Israel clearly
stood most to benefit—and did.
All of this is most ironic when one considers the fact that Israel
repeatedly and pointedly refused to support Johnson’s Vietnam policy, much
to the dismay of “Israel’s Texas Friend.” “Dammit,” Johnson once
complained to his “staff anti-Semite” Harry McPherson, “they want me to
protect Israel, but they don’t want me to do anything in Vietnam.” 191
Clearly, Israel’s allies in the CIA now had a free hand to conduct their
own private war in Vietnam—one CIA benefit resulting from Kennedy’s
removal from the presidency. (In Chapter 9 we will examine Kennedy’s war
with the CIA in further detail.)
Johnson’s reversal of JFK’s decision to begin withdrawing U.S. forces
(and CIA personnel) from Southeast Asia was, in its own sense, a CIA
coup. The CIA also expanded its own power during the Vietnam conflict.
Likewise with Johnson’s many friends in the defense industry both at
home in Texas and elsewhere. The defense contractors reaped untold billions
in profits from Johnson’s dirty little war in Southeast Asia—a war that
probably spelled the end of Johnson’s popular chances for a second term.
VIETNAM—ISRAEL’S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET
However, what has been unfortunately ignored is that Israel, too, had
much to gain from U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
As Stephen Green points out, a direct and proximate result of U.S.
military adventurism in Southeast Asia was Israel’s ability to advance its
own military muscle and political influence in the Middle East.
After all, Israel could now argue, with the United States bogged down
in Southeast Asia, Uncle Sam needed its close, reliable, democratic ally in
the Middle East looking out for America’s interests in the region.
According to Green: “In a period in which the Johnson White House
was becoming increasingly obsessed with the war in Vietnam, Israel’s
military leaders offered to impose stability upon the peoples and countries of
the Middle East—it was to be a ‘Pax Hebraeca.’
[70] Final Judgment 131
“There were, of course, costs involved for America. The United States
would have to take the initial steps toward becoming what three previous
Presidents had said we never would be—Israel’s major arms supplier. We
would also at least temporarily forfeit our role as primary mediator of the
multifaceted Arab-Israeli dispute.
“The new arrangement would necessitate throwing our long-standing
nuclear nonproliferation treaty to the winds, the 1968 treaty to the contrary
notwithstanding.
“Perhaps most important, U.S. national security interests in the region
would become merged with Israel’s to a degree that was, and is to this day,
unique in the history of U.S. foreign relations.”192
Israel—above all—stood to benefit immensely from U.S. involvement
in Vietnam, something which would not have occurred had JFK lived.
There is yet an additional irony in the relationship of the United States
and Israel vis-à-vis the Vietnam conflict that is very much worth noting,
After the war in Vietnam was underway, dragging Lyndon Johnson
deeper and deeper into the muck of public discontent, Israel was beginning
to encounter its own difficulties as it flexed its muscle in the Middle East.
Although America’s entry in Southeast Asia had given Israel a free hand
in its own sphere of geographic influence, the tiny Jewish state found that it
now needed the United States—perhaps more so than ever. Israel’s
aggression against its Arab neighbors had rallied the Arab world against
Israel.
With the United States in too deep in Southeast Asia, Israel and its
American lobby perceived U.S. energy to be focused in the wrong direction.
Thus it was that many of the very voices urging U.S. withdrawal from the
arena of Vietnam were those who were most stridently demanding that the
U.S. re-insert itself into the Middle East cauldron.
WHERE SHOULD AMERICA FIGHT?
It was on the eve of the 1967 War—a war that could have been the end
for Israel—that the Washington Star (in its June 4 lead editorial) pointed out
the strange paradox.
“Many of those, both at home and abroad, who most loudly condemn
the American presence in Vietnam, were the first to urge total American
involvement in the Middle East.
“And having made the leap from isolation to intervention, they have
gone on to argue that our commitment in the Middle East is additional
justification for disengagement in Asia. The nation, so this line of
reasoning goes, cannot afford involvement in both areas.
“A choice must be made. And the Middle East is the logical place for
the United States to intervene,” 193according to the Star’s assessment of the
attitude of the pro-Israel advocates of withdrawal from Vietnam who were
urging U.S. intervention in the Middle East.
So it was that Israel, which initially reaped benefits from U.S.
involvement in Southeast Asia, ultimately began banging the drum for U.S.
[71] The Coming of the Messiah 132
withdrawal—but it was only well after the damage of the Vietnam War had
already been done. Israel was placing its own interests—not America’s
interests—first.
LANSKY, THE CIA & VIETNAM
It should be noted, too, that Israel’s friends in the Meyer Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate also stood to benefit from the Vietnam conflict.
In Chapter 12 we shall examine in detail the little-known collaboration
between the Lansky syndicate, its Mossad-linked banking money launderers,
and the CIA in the drug pipeline out of Southeast Asia.
The Lansky crime empire began operating major global drug
trafficking, largely under CIA cover, throughout Southeast Asia during the
Vietnam War, during which time the drug problem began escalating to a
major degree in the United States and elsewhere.
Now, many years later, the CIA’s role in the global drug market is only
now just coming to the surface. The Iran-contra scandal, for example, shed
some light on this little known aspect of the underbelly of world affairs.
Thus, the joint Israel-Lansky-CIA combine shared a major benefit from
American involvement in Vietnam. They had Lyndon Johnson to thank.
A PASSIONATE ATTACHMENT
Israel and its covert allies did indeed have a messiah in Lyndon Baines
Johnson. In his book, The Passionate Attachment, former Undersecretary
of State George Ball summarized the results of Johnson’s Middle East policies:
“First, the administration put America in the position of being Israel’s
principal arms supplier and sole unqualified backer.
“Second, by assuring the Israelis that the United States would always
provide them with a military edge over the Arabs, Johnson guaranteed the
escalation of an arms race . . . Third, by refusing to follow the advice of his
aides that America make its delivery of nuclear-capable F-4 Phantoms
conditional on Israel’s signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty,
Johnson gave the Israelis the impression that America had no fundamental
objection to Israel’s nuclear program.
“Fourth, by permitting a cover-up of Israel’s attack on the Liberty [see
Chapter 2], President Johnson told the Israelis in effect that nothing they did
would induce American politicians to refuse their bidding. From that time
forth, the Israelis began to act as if they had an inalienable right to
American aid and backing.”194
As Stephen Green concluded in his discussion of the incredible changes
in U.S. policy toward Israel that took place during the Johnson era:
“By June of 1967, for a variety of reasons that prominently included
`domestic political considerations,’ Lyndon Johnson and his team of foreignpolicy
advisors had completely revised U.S.-Israeli relations. To all intents
and purposes, Israel had become the 51st state.”195
Chapter Seven
Israel’s Godfather:
The Man in the Middle
Meyer Lansky, the CIA, the FBI & the Israeli Mossad
If it had not been for int ernat ional crime boss Meyer
Lansky there might not be a state of Israel today. This is
something that Israel would rather be forgotten.
Israel was established as a state, in major part, through
the political, financial and moral support of Meyer Lansky
and hi s a s so c ia t e s and henchmen in Org ani z ed Cr ime .
Lansky’s interests and Israel’s int erest s were almost
inc e s tuous . In fa c t , Lansky ‘ s chi e f Eur opean money
laundering bank was an operation run under the auspices of a
high-ranking, longtime officer of Israel’s Mossad.
Lansky ‘ s int ima t e t i e s wi th no t only Ame r i can
intelligence (including both the CIA and the FBI) made the
Jewish mobster the “untouchable” leader of the global
organized crime syndicate.
During John F. Kennedy’s short-lived presidency, he was not only at
odds with Israel and its powerful lobby in America. Kennedy, as we saw in
Chapter 4, had also double-crossed his secret allies in the criminal
underworld who had helped him achieve the presidency. The president’s
brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was waging a relentless war
against organized crime.
In the years prior to Kennedy’s ascendency to the presidency, a littleknown,
but immensely powerful underworld figure by the name of Meyer
Lansky had schemed and shot his way to the top of the crime syndicate.
That syndicate was not just national—it was international—and the
uncrowned king of crime was Meyer Lansky—the so-called “chairman of the
board” of that incredible criminal empire which spanned the globe.
It was Meyer Lansky, early in his criminal career, who had emerged as
one of the leading sponsors of the state of Israel and whose most intimate
associates were among the chief financial patrons of the influential Israeli
lobby in America.
What’s more, as we shall see, Lansky had also forged close ties with
Israel’s allies in the American CIA—an agency that, in itself, had entered
into a bitter war with John F. Kennedy.
Thus, when JFK came to blows with not only Israel and its allies in
the Lansky Organized Crime empire, but also with the CIA, the American
president had unwittingly forged a deadly alliance among his fiercest foes.
134 Israel’s Godfather [73]
It is the Meyer Lansky connection which explains how Israel’s Mossad
was able to utilize and manipulate, among other elements, the anti-Castro
Cuban community—itself working with not only the CIA but also the
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—in the conspiracy to assassinate John
F. Kennedy.
To begin our investigation of the shadowy crevices of the underworld
where Israel’s Mossad, Organized Crime and the CIA came together in the
Kennedy murder, it is most appropriate to begin with Lansky.
It is Lansky (individually) and his crime syndicate which tie all of these
diverse strands together, pointing the finger toward the until-now
undisclosed role of Israel in the JFK assassination.
A spokesman for the Bahamas Commission of Inquiry which was
investigating organized crime in the islands, once said, “At one stage, we
began to wonder whether the name of Meyer Lansky was not some vast
journalistic piece of fiction, so ghostly and mythical a figure did he appear.” 196
But exist he did.
Meyer Lansky, in fact, is a pivotal player in the international
conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy—all of the
literature propagating the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK”
notwithstanding.
WHO WAS MEYER LANSKY?
The most concise summary of the origins and rise to power of Meyer
Lansky appeared in a lengthy profile of Lansky that appeared on the front page
of The Wall Street Journal in 1969. It reads, in pertinent part:
“Born Maier Suchowjansky in Grodno, Russia, Lansky arrived in the
U.S. at age nine. His family settled in New York’s immigrant slums. By
the time he was 27, young Maier had five arrests on his record, on charges
ranging from disorderly conduct to suspicion of murder, but he was never
convicted. He had begun his painstaking climb up the underworld ladder.
“It was during the 1920’s that Lansky became a pal and partner of
Bugsy Siegel. The two became a formidable pair, first as hired gunmen for
Legs Diamond, soon as leaders of their own gang, called the ‘Bugs and
Meyer Mob.’
A MEMBER OF THE BOARD
“Their specialty was protecting liquor in transit from hijackers to East
Coast gangs. They were good at it, and when an alliance called the Eastern
Syndicate was formed to coordinate rum-running Lansky and Siegel were
named to the board. Lansky was put in charge of handling the syndicate’s
finances.
“By the early 1930’s, the Eastern syndicate began to form a loose
alliance with other regional mobs. Thus was the national syndicate born. Each
gang retained its own identity and pursued its own activities, with the federation
coming together occasionally to discuss matters of common
[74] Final Judgment 135
interest. Final decisions rested with individual gang leaders, with one acting
as federation chairman. The first chairman was Lucky Luciano, head of the
Mafia in the East.
TIES TO U.S. INTELLIGENCE
“During World War II, Lansky played a part in an incredible alliance
between the underworld and the U.S. Navy . . . Apparently, the Navy
decided East Coast piers could be protected from sabotage only with the aid of
the Mafia.
“Lucky Luciano was [by then in prison], but he still held power and the
loyalty of Mafia members. Luciano’s attorney and Meyer Lansky were
recruited to persuade Luciano to give the arrangement his blessing. After
several months of prison visits, Luciano agreed . . . After the war, Lucky
was paroled and sent home to Italy on promise he would never again enter
the U.S.
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
“With Luciano gone, a triumvirate of Lansky, Joe Adonis and Frank
Costello took over leadership of the syndicate. By the late 1950’s, Costello
had been ousted from power by his colleagues and Adonis had been deported.
Lansky sat alone at the top.” 197
In the meantime, Lansky had already cemented his ties with the
Washington establishment. In fact, those ties were long-standing.
LANSKY & CUBA
(In Chapter 10, we shall discuss Lansky’s critical role in helping win
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the Democratic presidential
nomination in 1932.)
Roosevelt himself sent Lansky as a personal emissary to Cuba to meet
with Cuban strongman Fulgencio Batista. FDR believed that Batista’s
authoritarian rule was stirring popular discontent which could be exploited
by a growing communist movement in Cuba. Through Lansky FDR hoped
to influence Batista to institute reforms that would quell the communist
threat. It was during this period that Lansky had begun establishing his
lucrative gambling empire in the tropical paradise and a long and profitable
personal and business relationship with Batista and other Cuban leaders who
made millions in kickbacks from Lansky’s casino operations.
(Among those on the receiving end of Lansky’s pay-offs was Carlos
Prio Soccaras, whom, we shall see in Chapter 14, ultimately became a
business partner in gunrunning activities with Dallas nightclub operator
and Lansky Syndicate henchman, Jack Ruby.) 198
(In Chapter 11, we shall examine Lansky’s Cuban gambling activities
and his Israeli Mossad-linked European money laundering operations. In
136 Israel’s Godfather [75]
Chapter 12 we shall examine Lansky’s international narcotics trafficking,
and his consequent connections with the CIA, in detail.)
Although Batista was in and out of office several times during the next
two decades, the Cuban strongman remained the de facto leader of the island
through successive puppet regimes until the advent of Fidel Castro on New
Years Day, 1960.
However, Lansky also had extensive contacts much farther away from
American shores. Lansky—as we shall see here—was a key force in
establishing the State of Israel.
ALLIANCE & RIVALRY
To understand Lansky’s preeminent leadership position in organized
crime, however, we must first look at the strange and complex alliance—and
rivalry—between the Italian and Jewish elements in the organized crime
world.
The Wall Street Journal’s account of Lansky’s rise to power hints at
these contradictions, but doesn’t explore them in the fashion needed. Two
interesting things left out of the Journal summary of Lansky’s career should
be mentioned.
It is generally known that Lansky launched his criminal career working
in conjunction with the famed Mafia figure Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Their
alliance is noted in the Journal account and a recent Hollywood extravaganza
entitled Mobsters highlighted the youthful exploits of Lansky, Luciano,
Benjamin Siegel and Frank Costello.
LUCIANO GETS FRAMED
However, it may have been Lansky, through his political contacts, who
arranged the criminal indictment and subsequent imprisonment of Luciano.
It was Luciano’s imprisonment—and ultimate deportation—that smoothed
Lansky’s further advancement in organized crime.
In his own memoirs Luciano provides a detailed account of how he was,
in fact, framed on the white slavery and prostitution charges that resulted in
his imprisonment. Luciano does not blame Lansky, by any means,
although, as we shall see, he may have had his suspicions.
Luciano doesn’t ask the reader to believe that he (Luciano) wasn’t
engaged in extensive criminal activity. He does present a very cogent case,
however, that he was not guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted.
Indeed, Luciano was never brought to trial for any of the crimes in which he
was engaged with Lansky.
In any case, it is quite possible that Lansky, in fact, did have some role
in framing Luciano on the prostitution charges. Tom Dewey’s war against
Lucky Luciano, the Mafia chieftain’s imprisonment, and his subsequent
deportation smoothed the way for Lansky’s rise to the top.
[76] Final Judgment 137
It was upon Luciano’s deportation, that Luciano actually named Lansky
as his official spokesman. According to Luciano, “I worked it all out with
Lansky, and that’s the point where Meyer became the real treasurer of the
outfit. I put him in charge of my money and later on he started to take care
of the finances of quite a few guys.” 199
Lansky was—despite his Jewish origins—the capo di tuti capi (“boss of
all bosses”) in Luciano’s absence. Theoretically, Lansky could never be a
“member” of the Mafia, but he certainly ranked higher than even “made”
members who had been inducted into the so-called “honored society.”
LANSKY, DEWEY & THE CIA
Both Dewey and Lansky did, of course, stand to benefit from Luciano’s
imprisonment. The case of Dewey and his Lansky connection is most
interesting.
As a consequence of his prosecution of Luciano, Dewey won widespread
political fame and in 1938 ran, unsuccessfully, for governor of New York.
In fact, at that time, Lansky reportedly donated fully $250,000 (in 1938
dollars) to Dewey’s campaign.
Dewey did not win that race, but during the remaining period of his
service as New York’s “racket-busting” prosecutor he did obtain a conviction
of one of Lansky’s Jewish rivals in organized crime, Louis “Lepke”
Buchalter, who eventually died in the electric chair.
Then, in 1942 when Dewey once again—this time,
successfully—sought the governorship, Lansky provided additional financial
support and political muscle. Dewey, as governor, commuted Luciano’s
sentence. In return for his freedom, Luciano agreed to go into exile to his
homeland of Italy. Thus, Lansky’s influence widened in Luciano’s absence
abroad.
This would not be, however, the end of the Dewey-Lansky relationship.
Dewey later became a major stockholder in the Mary Carter Paint Company
in the late 1950’s.
According to former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow, “Carter Paint
was originally an active corporation set up by Thomas Dewey [and CIA
director] Allen Dulles to use as a CIA front. In 1958, Dewey and some
friends had bought controlling interest in the Crosby Miller Corporation,
with two million dollars in CIA money—authorized by Allen Dulles. Then,
in 1959, the Crosby Miller Corporation was merged with the CIA-owned
paint company. As an example of one of its early activities, it provided
laundered CIA money for the Bay of Pigs army. In 1963, Mary Carter Paint
spun off its paint division, after a Florida land scandal, and became Resorts
International.” 200
Resorts International, Inc. controlled virtually all of the resorts in the
Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean where Lansky reorganized his
gambling operations after being forced out of Cuba in 1960.
138 Israel’s Godfather [77]
Resorts International ultimately set up a subsidiary known as
International Intelligence, Inc. (Intertel) ostensibly designed to curtail
organized crime involvement in the casino industry. However, in reality, this
was a myth.
There are those who suspect that Intertel—like Resorts International and
Mary Carter Paint before it—was not simply a CIA operation, but a joint CIALansky
operation—an intelligence network interacting with Israel’s Mossad. 201
Perhaps not surprisingly, Dewey’s admiring biographer, Richard Norton
Smith, writing in Thomas E. Dewey and His Times, never mentions
Dewey’s Mary Carter Paint Company—or Lansky’s support for Dewey’s
political endeavors. Another Lansky connection gone unmentioned. All of this
illustrates the depth of Lansky’s political influence and his wide range of
connections.
FRANK COSTELLO ‘RETIRES’
There is also the question as to whether Lansky may have had a hand in the
unsuccessful assassination attempt against his other boyhood friend, the
aforementioned Frank Costello, who was often called “the Prime Minister of the
Mafia.” Whatever the truth, the attempt on Costello forced the “prime
minister” into early retirement and gave Lansky further influence in
organized crime.
LUCIANO REMEMBERS . . .
“Lucky” Luciano, who had initially smoothed Meyer Lansky’s way to the
top, later rued the day that he had placed so much trust in his early gangland
associate. In 1961, well after his influence in the international crime
syndicate had begun to dwindle, Luciano reflected upon his relationship
with Lansky. “In [Shakespeare’s] Julius Caesar, you remember a guy by the
name of Cassius? He was a pain in the ass. It seems like everybody’s got a
Cassius in his life.”
According to Luciano, his Mafia associate Vito Genovese was his own
Cassius. However, upon further thought he added, “Come to think of it, I even
had two Cassiuses in my life, the other one bein’ a guy by the name of Meyer
Lansky. But I didn’t get on to him for a long time.” 202
In his waning days Luciano considered offers from Hollywood producers
who wanted to film his life story. However, Luciano—in exile in Italy—got
word from home that there were “orders” that he not participate in any such
venture. It was then that Luciano saw the whole picture—the whole truth about
what “the Mafia” had really become.
‘THE BOSS OF EVERYTHING’
“When I realized that Meyer Lansky was right in the middle of this, that’s
when I knew he had us all by a string. Why should Lansky, bein’ a
[78] Final Judgment 139
Jew, give a shit whether or not some fuckin’ movie had a bunch of Italian
names in it? Because he was pullin’ the wires and everybody was dancin’ to
his tune on the other end, like a bunch of puppets.
“Lansky held the purse strings, too; he was the treasurer and he was really
tryin’ to be the boss of everythin’. He was so hungry for power behind the
scenes he’d kiss anybody’s ass and do anythin’ he had to do so that in the end,
he—Meyer Lansky, my old partner and a Jew—would wind up the real boss
of bosses of all the Italians and the Jews—and without a single fuckin’ vote on
the [organized crime syndicate] council.
“I never really knew what it meant when we was kids and I used to call him
the Genius. But at the age of sixty-four, I finally got wise.” 203
THE GUIDING HAND
So it was that Meyer Lansky—though not an Italian—did, indeed, become,
as he was to be called, “the chairman of the board” of the organized crime
syndicate, even more powerful than the “Mafia” itself.
If, as some claim, “The Mafia Killed JFK,” it couldn’t have been done
without the foreknowledge—and guiding hand—of Meyer Lansky.
And as we shall see in this chapter—and further throughout the pages of
this work—Lansky’s connections with Israel and its Mossad (as well as
Israel’s allies in the CIA), demonstrates that Israeli loyalist Meyer Lansky is an
integral player who bound together the diverse elements which came together
in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
HIDING BEHIND ‘THE MAFIA’
In Little Man, his recent friendly biography of Meyer Lansky, Robert
Lacey dismissed rumors of Lansky’s role in the JFK assassination when he
wrote that: “Meyer was mentioned most frequently of all in that happiest of
hunting grounds for conspiracy theorists, the assassination of President John F.
Kennedy.” 204
This is the only reference in Lacey’s book to even the most tenuous
link between Lansky and the JFK murder. However, as we shall see, the
connections are very deep indeed. Yet, contrary to what Lacey contends,
Lansky’s name seldom appears in any significant fashion in most standard
accounts which contend that organized crime played a role in the
assassination.
The fact is that Lansky’s name has been continuously and conveniently
buried behind a host of Italian Organized Crime (“Mafia”) figures. In
Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 we review, extensively, Lansky’s connections
with the more famous—perhaps infamous—Italian-surnamed underworld
figures linked to the Kennedy assassination.
As we shall see, in fact, those individuals in question were, practically to
a man, Lansky’s underlings. However, Lansky’s name is hardly
mentioned at all in standard accounts which suggest that organized crime—
particularly “the Mafia”—played a part in the president’s murder.
140 Israel’s Godfather [79]
`THE REAL LEADERS OF CRIME’
Lansky’s most authoritative biographer, organized crime writer Hank
Messick pinpoints the tendency of the media—and the law enforcement
community—to overlook the broad and penetrating reach of the Meyer
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, focusing instead on the media’s hype of
“the Mafia”—the Italian wing of the criminal underworld.
Says Messick: “The real leaders of crime have remained hidden while
the nation’s law enforcement agencies have chased minor punks. And naive
is he who believes this development is accidental. Research reveals that non-
Mafia leaders of crime have been hiding behind the vendetta-ridden society
[the Italian Mafia] for decades. . . Attempts to frame me have been made,
and I’ve been smeared as anti-Semitic from coast to coast by gangsters who
used religion as a cloak.” 205
In his own memoirs, Lansky’s crony, Charles “Lucky” Luciano
revealed one rather interesting fact. According to Luciano, it was Lansky
himself who suggested that the newly-assembled national crime syndicate
dub itself “the Union Siciliano”—a sobriquet which gave the criminal
underworld a decidedly “Sicilian” imagery. 206
`KOSHER NOSTRA’
According to veteran JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott, “It is
relevant that [then-Senate rackets committee counsel Robert F.] Kennedy did
not use the word ‘Mafia’ when presenting, in his 1960 book The Enemy
Within, his model of organized crime as an endemic, multi-ethnic, partially
institutionalized syndicate.”207
According to Scott: “What Robert Kennedy had meant by the
`syndicate’ was very different from what [Mafia experts meant by the term]
La Cosa Nostra.” 208 According to Scott, “anyone speaking about organized
crime . . . does so under conditions of great political restraint.” 209
To put it bluntly: the term “Mafia” does not account for the substantial—
and indeed predominant—role ofMeyer Lansky and his Jewish associates in the
national crime syndicate.
Because of political constraints and fear of being accused of “anti-
Semitism,” many have been afraid to point out the important role of Jewish
criminals in the world of crime.
One Jewish gangster, Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen,
discussed the Italian-Jewish conflict in organized crime in his memoirs. He
said, frankly: “See, I don’t want to pull any wool over anybody’s eyes
because I’m writing a true autobiography, right? And I certainly don’t want
to mince any words, but I really don’t consider the Mafia or anything of that
type the only strength [in organized crime].” 210
[80] Final Judgment 141
Cohen differentiated between the Italian elements in organized crime,
popularly known as “the Mafia” and “La Cosa Nostra” and the Jewish forces
sometimes satirically called, “the Kosher Nostra.”
“It’s an organization. It’s more what I would refer to as a syndicate.. .
So it was an organization, but it wasn’t the Mafia. Being Jews, Benny and
me and even Meyer couldn’t be a real part and parcel of that [the Mafia].”211
(The “Benny” to whom Cohen referred was the aforementioned
Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the lifelong friend and crime partner of Lansky’s.
It was Lansky who ultimately ordered Siegel’s assassination.
(We will learn much more about the Lansky-Siegel-Cohen connection
in Chapter 13 where we uncover Cohen’s own pivotal role in the JFK
assassination conspiracy.)
It was not, in fact, until the infamous Mafia conclave at Appalachian,
New York, in 1957 when the media began hyping “the Mafia” as a major
force in organized crime.
Americans had long been aware of legendary mobsters such as Al
Capone and Lucky Luciano, but general awareness that a national crime
syndicate did indeed exist was not commonplace.
Following a police raid of the Appalachian conference—attended
exclusively by top Italian-surnamed Mafia figures from around the country—
public attention began focusing on “the Mafia”—thanks to the media.
MAFIA IN TURMOIL/LANSKY ON TOP
The official story has always been that a local policeman just happened
to stumble upon the Mafia conclave at the home of Mafia figure Joseph
Barbara. He called in reinforcements and a major “bust” took place.
However, according to Hank Messick, the police had been tipped off by a
Lansky associate that the meeting was about to take place. Messick
described the consequences of the Appalachian raid :
“The delegates were scattered before any alliance could be reached. And
the publicity caused the greatest heat since the 1930’s. It focused not only
on the men who attended the session but on the entire Mafia. What’s more,
it continued for well over a year as state and federal officials tried to find
some charge to stick against the delegates they had captured or identified.
“Not only were Mafia leaders immobilized by the continuing publicity,
but also they were demoralized. Almost instinctively they rallied to Lansky
and other non-Mafia syndicate leaders for advice and assistance.” 212
Perhaps not coincidentally, one of the young attorneys who played a
key role in the Appalachian raid was one Justin Finger. It was Finger who
later went on to become chief of the “civil rights division” of the Anti-
Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the primary intelligence and propaganda
arm of Israel’s Mossad in the United States. 213 In subsequent chapters,
Chapter 17 in particular, we will examine the role of the ADL in the JFK
assassination cover-up in more explicit detail.
142 Israel’s Godfather [81]
Obviously, the Appalachian raid was a critical event in Lansky’s
continuing rise to power. It solidified Lansky’s hold over the crime
syndicate.
Michael Milan, a low-level Jewish organized crime figure who grew up
in Lansky’s sphere of influence claims to have, in fact, been ritually
inducted into the Mafia—by Lansky himself. It was to Lansky that Milan
swore his allegiance. Writing in his memoirs, Milan remembers the event
fondly: “`Omerta’ whispered Meyer Lansky, only half believing in the
ritual itself, but not wanting to show the slightest sign of disrespect to . . .
[Mafia] traditions.” 214
In any case, as we have seen, Meyer Lansky’s predominant role in the
criminal underworld was already well in place.
THE HOOVER-LANSKY CONNECTION
Lansky’s role in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)-Naval
Intelligence operations during World War II and his work on behalf of
Franklin Delano Roosevelt in handling Batista may account for the fact that
Lansky seldom faced harassment from the federal authorities.
Writing in Secret File, Hank Messick comments: “Was Lansky
rewarded? No final answer is possible, but he has been strangely immune to
prosecution on the Federal level. Twice the IRS Intelligence Division has
recommended prosecution, and twice the Justice Department has declined.
Lansky remains the only top man in the national crime syndicate to escape
untouched. Because of his brains and the troubles of his colleagues, he rules
as undisputed chairman of the board.”215
Lansky himself acknowledged his role in the so-called “Operation
Underworld.” “Sure, I’m the one who put Lucky and Naval Intelligence
together,” he told his Israeli friend, Israeli newsman Uri Dan. Lansky’s
reasons were interesting: “The reason I cooperated was because of strong
personal feelings. I wanted the Nazis beaten. I was a Jew and I felt for those
Jews in Europe who were suffering. They were my brothers.”216
Former Lansky associate (and covert FBI operative) Michael Milan also
points toward another critical Lansky connection that may have accounted for
his immunity from federal harassment.
“I also knew that [J. Edgar Hoover] and Meyer Lansky sometimes broke
bread together. Mr. L. was never rousted, was rarely served with federal
subpoenas, and was generally left alone to conduct his business. Mr. L., on
the other hand, didn’t go around shooting anybody like people in some of
the other [Mafia] Families, and making life embarrassing for the cops and
the feds.
“So in this way everybody got along. Mr. H. could worry about his
fifth column [the communists]. Mr. [Costello] could worry about keeping
peace among the different Families and looking forward to retirement, and
Mr. L. could worry about the cash flow in his Las Vegas casinos. “ 217
[82] Final Judgment 143
J. Edgar Hoover’s own connections to the Lansky Crime Syndicate and
to the pro-Israel lobby have been the subject of rumors and controversy for
many years.
It was the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith that
was largely responsible for the establishment of the J. Edgar Hoover
Foundation in 1947. (Top Lansky associates have long been generous
financial backers of the ADL.) The Hoover Foundation’s first president was
Rabbi Paul Richman, Washington director of the ADL.
Hoover’s longtime associate, Louis B. Nichols, the FBI’s Assistant
Director in charge of the Records and Communications Division of the
Bureau, was the FBI’s key contact with the ADL when the ADL helped
orchestrate mass sedition trials against key critics of President Franklin D.
Roosevelt’s foreign policy.
Nichols went on to serve as president of the J. Edgar Hoover
Foundation, but only after he left the FBI. Upon retirement from the bureau
he signed on as Executive Vice President of Schenley Industries, a major
liquor firm run by ex-bootlegger and Lansky associate Lewis R.
Rosenstie1.218 Rosenstiel himself was a very close friend of the FBI director
in spite of, or perhaps precisely because of, his ties to Lansky.
THE ADL AND ORGANIZED CRIME
The liquor industry, largely controlled by Jewish families such as the
Bronfman family, and others, have been major contributors to the ADL,
financing a large portion of its budget over the years. 219 These same liquor
interests—obviously, as we have seen—had longtime contacts with Lansky
from his earliest years in the bootlegging and rum-running rackets.
The origins of Hoover’s sponsor—the ADL—is quite interesting. The
organization’s initial impetus came not so much out of a desire to defend
members of the Jewish faith, but, more so, in particular, Jewish mobsters.
In the early part of this century New York City Police Commissioner
Thomas Bingham had begun a dedicated investigation of organized crime in
his city. By 1908 Bingham was under fire and being accused of being “anti-
Semitic” for pointing out the role of certain Jewish gangsters in organized
crime.
Ultimately, Bingham was forced out of office and organized crime took
hold in New York City. One of the immediate beneficiaries of Bingham’s
departure was mobster Arnold Rothstein, Lansky’s mentor and the
undisputed Jewish underworld leader prior to the younger Lansky’s rise to
power.
The source of the attacks on Bingham was a public relations committee
formed by a corporate attorney by the name of Sigmund Livingston. By
1913 Livingston’s committee had formally incorporated as the Anti-
Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. 220
144 Israel’s Godfather [83]
So it was that “crime buster” J. Edgar Hoover was himself a beneficiary
of ADL largesse (a large portion of which, as we have seen, came from the
coffers of Lansky and his criminal syndicate.)
LOOKING THE OTHER WAY
Critical J. Edgar Hoover biographer Curt Gentry notes that Hoover’s
FBI was never strongly concerned with Lansky’s activities. According to
Gentry, “The Dallas and Miami field offices [of the FBI] had blind spots. As
a result, there were no taps or bugs on [Lansky’s protégé, New Orleans
Mafia boss Carlos] Marcello, [Lansky’s Tampa Mafia underling Santo]
Trafficante, and, except for a brief period, Meyer Lansky.”221
(In Chapter 10, Chapter 11, and Chapter 12 we will explore Lansky’s
relationships with Marcello, Trafficante and other “Mafia” figures further.)
Gentry adds: “There was a rumor, often heard in the underworld, that
Meyer Lansky had his own man very high up in the FBI. William Sullivan
had his own suspect, someone close to both the director and [Hoover’s close
friend and second in command, Clyde] Tolson, who was reputedly living far
above his means. This was one case the FBI never solved.” 222
This same Sullivan happened to be the number three man at the FBI
behind Hoover and Tolson. As head of the Bureau’s highly secretive
Division Five, Sullivan was in charge of domestic counterintelligence. Also
in charge of the FBI’s participation in the Warren Commission
investigation, Sullivan was not only a close friend of James Angleton, head
of the Mossad desk at the CIA, but also—incredibly enough—a CIA conduit
within the FBI itself.223 (We will examine Angleton’s role in the JFK
assassination in much further detail in Chapter 8 and in Chapter 16).
As head of the FBI’s Domestic Intelligence, Sullivan was in charge of
the infamous COINTELPRO operations against, among others, Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr. and a bevy of left-wing (and right-wing) political
groups.224 COINTELPRO relied heavily on the Israeli lobby’s Anti-
Defamation League for continuing and ongoing intelligence reports as it had
since at least before World War II.
A DEAD WITNESS
Clearly a man with much inside knowledge, Sullivan was shot to death
in a strange hunting accident on November 9, 1977 just prior to the time
that he was to be called to testify before the House Select Committee on
Assassinations.
Sullivan, who had resigned from the FBI, having broken with Hoover,
had told investigators that he had become disenchanted when Hoover told
him personally, “I am most concerned about having something issued so we
can convince the public that Lee Harvey Oswald is the real assassin.” 225
Whatever Sullivan did know about Hoover—and perhaps Hoover’s
relationship with Meyer Lansky—will never be known.
[84] Final Judgment 145
HOOVER’S DEAL
According to Sam and Chuck Giancana, in their biography of Chicago
Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, “Hoover himself had been on the [organized
crime] pad for years.” 226
The Giancanas say that Hoover had worked out a deal with Lansky’s
boyhood friend and criminal associate Frank Costello. The New York
mobster would pass horse race betting tips to columnist Walter Winchell, a
Hoover intimate. Winchell, in turn, would pass the information on fixed
races to Hoover. Hoover would arrange his real bets through his associates
while making minimal bets on his own ticket at the horse races. According to
the Giancanas, “Hoover won every time.” 227
That Hoover was well versed in Lansky’s criminal activities there is no
question. His intelligence sources were legendary.
WHAT HOOVER KNEW
Gentry sums it up well, noting that Hoover, although an inveterate
gambler, knew all about what was happening in Lansky’s Las Vegas
casinos even though he, Hoover, avoided Las Vegas like the plague:
“[Hoover] knew who was skimming from the casino profits—and how
much they were taking in. He knew where the money went and how it made
its way to the top bosses.
“He also knew that some people, well connected with this place, were
very unhappy with the Kennedys, John and Robert, unhappy to the point
they were talking about killing them.”
“Eventually the FBI discovered that most of the `skim’ loot went to
Meyer Lansky in Miami. In a typical month in 1963, the skim from one
casino amounted to $123,500, of which Lansky kept $71,000, then
transmitted the rest to the New Jersey mobster Gerald Catena. Catena
distributed in the north and Lansky in Florida. Each recipient would have a
small percentage of his share deducted for casino employees who kept mum
about the operation. There were also couriers, $300,000 to a Swiss bank,
$100,000 to the Bahamas.”228
(Later in this chapter and in Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 15 we
shall discuss Lansky’s Swiss bank connections. They are central to the joint
Lansky-CIA-Israeli Mossad operation that resulted in the assassination of
John F. Kennedy.)
Even in the late 1960’s, according to Gentry , “Hoover still had a blind
spot so far as [Lansky] was concerned.”229
THE ANGLETON CONNECTION
However, in 1993 author Anthony Summers provided what may be a
critical missing piece of the puzzle. Summers created a media sensation
when he alleged in his new biography of Hoover, Official and Confidential,
and on the PBS series “Frontline,” that Lansky blackmailed Hoover with
146 Israel’s Godfather [85]
supposed photos of Hoover engaged in homosexual activity. Although such
rumors about Hoover had been commonplace for years, no well-known
author had affixed his own name to the charge.
Citing numerous sources—some suspect and virtually all of them
unsavory—Summers claimed that not only Lansky, but also several others
had access to similar photos (which Summers is apparently unable to
produce). Summers reports that former OSS man and later longtime CIA
counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton also had control of the
Hoover photos, as did former OSS chief William Donovan.
The question, though, is whether Angleton, Donovan and company
gave the photos to Lansky—or vice-versa–either option being possible in
light of Lansky’s own longtime association with American intelligence. 230
That both Lansky and Angleton were in possession of such evidence is
quite interesting in light of their joint interest in the welfare of the state of
Israel, a subject we will be examining shortly. Angleton, as we shall see in
Chapter 8 and Chapter 12, had been directly involved with the Lansky crime
syndicate through the CIA’s dealings with Lansky’s drug-smuggling allies in
the Corsican and Sicilian Mafias. He was also Israel’s chief CIA patron.
THE GODFATHER
Clearly, Meyer Lansky was very much a “godfather” in organized crime,
far more influential than even the most powerful Mafia boss in any city in
America. All of this, then, accounts for Lansky’s preeminent role in the
underworld. It is for this reason, then, that when we refer to the “Meyer
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate” we are referring to not only the “Mafia”
but also to the powerful Jewish interests that are inter-connected here. It was
the Lansky Syndicate that played a pivotal role in the establishment of
Israel. Lansky, you see, was Israel’s modern-day “Godfather.” Lansky was
with Israel from the beginning.
GUN-RUNNING FOR ISRAEL
According to Hank Messick, “Certainly Jewish gangsters have long and
openly supported Jewish causes and the State of Israel. On the night
Lansky’s ex-partner, Bugsy Siegel, was executed, the Flamingo was taken
over by Moe Sedway [a Lansky henchman]. When asked how he so
conveniently happened to be in Las Vegas, [Sedway] explained that he was
there to arrange a United Jewish Appeal fund drive.” 231
Robert Lacey points out in his biography of Lansky that Israeli agents
were introduced to Lansky in the summer of 1948, the year that Israel
became a state. Lansky permitted the Haganah (Jewish terrorist underground)
fund-raiser, Joseph Baum, to hold a $10,000 benefit at (Lansky’s gambling
house), the Colonial Inn. He gave a donation himself. Lansky told them:
“I’m at your service.”232 (As we noted in Chapter 4, one of the smaller
shareholders in the Colonial Inn—at least at one point—was a Dallas
nightclub keeper named Jack Ruby.)
[86] Final Judgment 147
Lansky also provided other “technical assistance” to the Israeli gunrunning
operations in the United States. In one instance, a Pittsburgh arms
dealer’s shipment of weapons to the Arabs who were fighting the Jews in
Palestine was tossed overboard after Lansky talked to his friends at the New
York docks. On other occasions, arms intended for the Arabs were, instead,
hijacked by Lansky’s henchman and shipped to Israel.
Lansky also wasn’t above putting the squeeze on r ackets
buddies—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—to buy Israel bonds. “Hey, these are
a great investment,” he would say.233 In fact, according to journalist Robert
Friedman, Lansky was later a major contributor to radical New York-born
Rabbi Meir Kahane who founded the militant Jewish Defense League.
Kahane, who was ultimately assassinated, actually served, at one point, in
the Israeli parliament. 234And, as we shall see in Chapter 8, Kahane himself
had unusual connections to American intelligence that bring his Lansky
connection full circle.
OPERATION UNDERWORLD
It was Lansky’s connection with the OSS-Naval Intelligence enterprise
known as “Operation Underworld” that brought him into a strange global
network that ultimately paved the way for the establishment of the state of
Israel. Operation Underworld was stationed at Rockefeller Center in New York
and supervised by a British intelligence operative named William Stephenson
(who was said to be Ian Fleming’s inspiration for the fictional character,
James Bond.) It was Stephenson who worked closely with the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith as well as the FBI in coordinating
anti-Nazi intelligence operations in the United States.235
(In later years, following the establishment of Israel, the Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate-financed ADL emerged as an unregistered foreign
agent for Israel, handling intelligence and propaganda operations for the
Jewish State, in collaboration with the FBI and the CIA. In Chapter 17 we
will examine the ADL’s role more fully, particularly in regard to its
manipulation of the media. )
In any case, as we shall see in Chapter 15, it was Operation
Underworld’s William Stephenson who became a critical player in the
establishment of Israel’s Mossad. Stephenson’s top aide was Louis
Bloomfield, later an attorney for the Lansky-linked Bronfman bootlegging
family and himself a key player in the conspiracy to assassinate John F.
Kennedy. (We shall examine Bloomfield in detail in Chapter 15.)
There is little question but that Stephenson and Bloomfield were in
close contact with Lansky and his henchmen during this period. Lansky
himself, as we have seen, acknowledged his own role in Operation
Underworld.236 Following World War II, the activities of Operation
Underworld and many of the key players shifted to a new front: the
establishment of Israel.
148 Israel’s Godfather [87]
Both Stephenson and Bloomfield were integral to gunrunning
operations on behalf of the Jewish terrorist underground that later emerged as
the government of the new Jewish State in 1948.
It was in 1947 that Rudolph Sonneborn (husband of New York
publisher Dorothy Schiff) set up an entity known as the Sonneborn
Institute. It was this institute that provided the Jewish Haganah, and later
the Irgun, in Palestine with arms and money. The Institute’s coordinator for
arms smuggling to the Jewish underground was Louis Bloomfield.
Working with Bloomfield were liquor baron Samuel Bronfman, one Hank
Greenspun (about whom we shall see much more later in Chapter 17) and
Lansky himself. 237
It was during the 1947-1948 period that Teddy Kollek, later mayor of
Jerusalem, was in charge of the Haganah station in Lansky’s then-base of
operations, New York City. He was said to be the formal liaison with
American organized crime. 238 Kollek worked with the Lansky Syndicate
and ultimately had contact with yet another key player in our story, one
James Jesus Angleton—a controversial figure indeed. 239
It was Angleton, an OSS man, who later became a top-ranking figure
in the American CIA and Israel’s chief contact—some would say co-opted
agent and loyalist—within CIA ranks. Angleton worked closely with
Jewish underground activities both in London and in Italy and was
instrumental in orchestrating U.S. intelligence collaboration with the
Corsican Mafia and the Sicilian Mafia in intelligence operations during
these same years and thereafter.
(In Chapter 8 and Chapter 16 we shall examine Angleton’s CIA
activities, working closely with Israel and of his pivotal role in the JFK
assassination and cover-up conspiracy in detail.)
Clearly, during the period of the establishment of Israel, Meyer Lansky
was directly and intimately involved with all of the major players. Many of
these same people would later be involved with Lansky in what some call
“the crime of the century.” The Russian-born Jewish immigrant had come a
long way from the slums of Brooklyn to a singular and pre-eminent role in
global power politics. Indeed, Lansky was emerging as the “godfather” of a
newly born nation: Israel.
ISRAEL: A BASE OF OPERATIONS
The real key to the Lansky connection with Israel is money. The
newly-established State of Israel not only needed money to exist, but the
organization of a new government was an ideal opportunity for Lansky and
his confederates to establish their own worldwide financial—and criminal—
network. In its early years Israel was “untouchable.” The emotional
memories of the experiences of the Jewish people during World War II—
indeed throughout history—were the foundations upon which Israel had been
established. Criticism of Israel was verboten. The new Jewish
[88] Final Judgment 149
State was an ideal cover under which Lansky and his criminal syndicate
could operate unfettered.
MONEY LAUNDERING
Lansky’s status as organized crime’s chief financier and grand wizard of
money laundering put Lansky in a particularly central position. Organized
crime writer Ed Reid’s description of Lansky pinpoints Lansky’s role
precisely: “With his brother Jake, [Lansky] rules the gambling roost of the
crime syndicate and may be the direct link between unknown moneyed
nabobs who stash away mob dollars in foreign banks and the cash vaults of
the U.S. criminal cartel.” 240
It was Lansky’s foreign banking connection that draws him into the
web of Israel’s international intrigue to the utmost.
RABBI TIBOR ROSENBAUM
Lansky’s primary link with Israeli intelligence and financial operations
came through the entity of the Banque de Credit International in Geneva
Switzerland. This bank emerged as Lansky’s primary European moneylaundering
operation.241 This bank was the brainchild of one Tibor
Rosenbaum.
An Orthodox rabbi, Rosenbaum served for a period as international vice
president of the World Jewish Congress (of which Lansky-connected
Bronfman family member Edgar Bronfman has served as president).
Rosenbaum also was a co-founder of the World Zionist Congress and a
director of the Jewish Agency in Geneva, Switzerland. 242
However, and most importantly, Rosenbaum had served as Director
General for Finance and Supply for Israel’s secret intelligence agency, the
Mossad. Rosenbaum was, very clearly, a key figure in Israel’s international
intrigue and a critical player in the world of organized crime syndicate boss
Meyer Lansky.
Rosenbaum, among other things, also served on the board of the Swiss-
Israel Trade Bank, established by Pinchas Sapir, Israel’s Finance Minister
and a Mossad officer. 243 It was during the time he served on the Swiss-
Israel Trade Bank that Rosenbaum created the Banque de Credit International
(BCI).
THE BANQUE DE CREDIT INTERNATIONAL
BCI—Meyer Lansky’s European money laundering bank—was very
much an Israeli government/Mossad operation, critical to the survival of
the Jewish State.
Indeed, one of the board members of BCI was Zwi Recheter, director of
the Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks and a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Israel’s Histadrut, the national labor confederation. 244 What’s
150 Israel’s Godfather [89]
more, BCI held the bulk of funds for the World Jewish Congress and the
Jewish Agency, no minor deposits by any means.
BCI was to become Meyer Lansky’s primary overseas money
laundering bank—sharing those money laundering services that the bank
provided to Israel’s Mossad. In fact, during its heyday, BCI included among
its board of directors two longtime Lansky associates, Edward Levinson and
John Pullman. 245
As we noted in Chapter 6, Levinson was one of the operators of the
Fremont Casino in Las Vegas, a front man for Lansky’s close friend, Joseph
“Doc” Stacher, and a frequent business partner of Bobby Baker, reputed
“bagman” for Lyndon Johnson. John Pullman, about whom we shall learn
more later in this chapter and in Chapter 12 and Chapter 15, was Lansky’s
key international money handler.
The extent of Lansky’s Israeli connection—through Rosenbaum’s BCI—
first became part of the public record in 1970 during the criminal trial of
Alvin Malnik, one of Lansky’s lieutenants.
Testimony in the trial revealed that one of the main money laundering
channels for the illegal proceeds of the Lansky Crime Syndicate’s narcotics,
vice and gambling rackets in the United States was Tibor Rosenbaum’s
BCI. Rosenbaum’s bank received its Lansky Crime Syndicate cash flow
mainly through the Lansky-dominated Bank of World Commerce in Nassau,
Bahamas.
The middleman was a Swiss national, Sylvain Ferdmann, a courier for
Lansky. Ferdmann was an official of Rosenbaum’s bank, an associate of
the Bank of World Commerce (controlled by Lansky’s longtime crony, John
Pullman) and a legman for Investors Overseas Services (IOS), the fiefdom of
financier Bernard Cornfeld.
Cornfeld, in fact, was sponsored by Rosenbaum, and had emerged as a
major money launderer for Lansky’s global drug trafficking. Millions in
small bills were transferred from Lansky’s casinos, often masked as Israeli
Bond sales and contributions to Jewish philanthropies.246 This, of course,
an outrageous betrayal of honest supporters of the Zionist cause.
(In Chapter 12 we shall examine in detail how as a result of active U.S.
involvement in the region, the Lansky Syndicate used the cover of CIA
covert activities in Southeast Asia to carry out multi-billion dollar drug
smuggling operations.)
Investigative reporter Jim Hougan focused on the Lansky-Rosenbaum
connection and its central link to I srael’s international
operations—particularly those of the Mossad:
“During the Second World War [Rosenbaum had become] a hero of the
resistance through his underground activities on behalf of the Jews.
“After the war he became a delegate to the World Zionist Congress in
Basel, where plans were made for the creation of Israel, and worked in
various European capitals for the Palestine Liberation office (forerunner of
the Jewish Agency). This was at the height of Zionist terrorist attacks in
Palestine. A superb clandestine operator, Rosenbaum is said to have been
instrumental in providing weapons to the Haganah and Stern Gang. That
[90] Final Judgment 151
would tend to explain why the International Credit Bank [i.e. Banque de
Credit International or BCI], `Rosenbaum’s Baby,” became gambling czar
Meyer Lansky’s Number One conduit abroad.
“Rosenbaum was more than a friend to the Jews, however. When his
bank was rocked with scandal after the collapse of [Bernard Cornfeld’s] IOS,
the newspaper Ha’aretz solemnly declared, ‘Tibor Rosenbaum is Israel.’
And the paper wasn’t far from wrong. While Rosenbaum’s bank facilitated
the flight-capital schemes worked by IOS, it also served as a source of secret
funds for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, and as one of the
country’s primary weapons brokers. At one point ‘as much as ninety
percent of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s external budget flowed . . . through
Rosenbaum’s bank on the Rue de Conseil General.’
“In economic matters he was equally important, founding the Israel
Corporation with the help of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a French
aristocrat committed to the Zionist cause. The raison d’etre of the Israel
Corporation was to raise money among the world’s Jews, money to be
invested in a variety of public and semi-public Israeli enterprises.
By finding money abroad to fund development projects in “the
homeland,” Rosenbaum and Rothschild freed Israeli tax monies to be spent
on the country’s critical military needs. Accordingly, [Rosenbaum] became
the “Mr. Fixit” of Israeli finance, cementing friendships with the country’s
most important military and political leaders.
“The mix of Mob, Mossad, IOS, and Rothschild monies was an
intoxicating one in which the common denominator appears to have been a
love of Israel. Certainly Rosenbaum and Cornfeld shared that affection with
Lansky and the French baron.”247
THE ISRAEL CORPORATION
There is yet another interesting Lansky-BCI-Israel link in the
aforementioned Israel Corporation. It was Rosenbaum’s BCI that held the
bulk of funds for the Israel Corporation, a $200 million investment trust.
The founders of the Israel Corporation included a host of longtime figures
who moved in Lansky’s sphere of influence.
Prominent among them was Sam Rothberg of the National Distilleries.
Rothberg, in fact, was one of the initial investors in Lansky’s first Las
Vegas casino, established by Benjamin Siegel, the Flamingo Hotel.
Rothberg was one of the leading lights in the American Jewish community
and the U.S. director of the Israeli Bonds drive. Rothberg later came to
Lansky’s aid and fought against Lansky’s forced return to the United States
to face criminal charges following Lansky’s flight to Israel (more about
which later in this chapter.)
Others included two interesting figures in particular:
• Shaul Eisenberg, Israel’s wealthiest industrialist and longtime
Mossad operative—a key figure in Israel’s nuclear bomb project; and
• Philip M. Klutznick, a top-ranking figure in the Anti-Defamation
League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith. 248
152 Israel’s Godfather [91]
The ADL connection here is interesting in that it further backtracks to
Lansky’s BCI-Rosenbaum linkage. Klutznick, who had been associated with
the Lansky-linked Sonneborn Institute gunrunning operations coordinated by
Louis M. Bloomfield (mentioned earlier), had become chairman of the board
of the American Bank and Trust Company.
American Bank and Trust was a subsidiary of the Swiss-Israel Trade
Bank, a Mossad financial operation of which Rosenbaum and his long-time
associate, Shaul Eisenberg, had been directors. By coincidence—maybe
not—Swiss-Israel Trade Bank assumed management of American Bank and
Trust on a very memorable day: November 22, 1963.249
Installed as one of the new directors of the company was New York
businessman Abe Feinberg. It was Feinberg, whom we first met in Chapter
4, who was instrumental in arranging highly critical American Jewish
financial support for the 1960 presidential campaign of then-Senator John F.
Kennedy.
American Bank and Trust had an unhappy ending. The company was
looted in 1975-76 by financier David Gravier who subsequently was
supposed to have died in an airplane crash in Mexico. Tibor Rosenbaum’s
BCI also, incidentally, had a similarly unhappy ending. The bank collapsed
in 1974 resulting in a scandal that shook Israel to its core. In his book,
Jews and Money: The Myths and the Reality, author Gerald Krefetz details
the collapse of the Lansky-Mossad banking operation.
THE ADL BANKS
The Bank of Miami Beach and the City National Bank of Miami were
Lansky’s chief money laundering banks in the United States and both
included several Lansky associates, most notably one Max Orovitz, as
directors. In 1963, in fact Lansky began planning the installation of his
gambling casinos in the Bahamas in Orovitz’ office. Finally, when Lansky
himself ultimately settled in Israel, he initially took up residence in the Dan
Hotel in Tel Aviv, owned by Lansky’s Miami banker friend, Orovitz.
Lansky’s Miami banks were central to Lansky’s gambling operations in
the Caribbean. According to former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow, the
Bank of Miami Beach “was originally set up to service Cuban casinos
operated by organized crime and continued to perform laundering services
through the 1960s—and was still considered mob-connected. It was
considered a sister bank of the Miami National Bank in the 1960s, sharing
many of the same directors and performing many of the same services.” 250
These Miami banks, additionally, have close ties to the Anti-
Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Israel’s intelligence and propaganda arm
in this country. For example, Leonard Abess was chairman and founder of
City National Bank of Miami. His bank managed ADL Foundation funds
and Abess himself served as ADL national vice chairman. 251
City National’s chairman, beginning in 1982, was Donald Beazley,
who was a former director of the mysterious Australian Nugan Hand
Bank.252 The Nugan Hand Bank, the subject of an interesting study by
[92] Final Judgment 153
Jonathan Kwitny entitled The Crimes of Patriots, has been repeatedly linked to
international drug money trafficking out of Southeast Asia conducted through
the conduit of CIA operations in the region.
(And as we shall see in Chapter 12, Lansky utilized the CIA’s activities
in Southeast Asia as a cover for his drug-running operations which were, in fact,
carried out hand-in-hand with the CIA. In Chapter 15, however, we shall see the
Lansky-Rosenbaum connection once again, and in further detail. Their
linkage is critical to recognizing the important role that Israel played in the
JFK assassination conspiracy.
THE GODFATHER GOES HOME
It was in 1970, finally, that Meyer Lansky pulled up stakes and settled
in Israel. Under Israel’s unique “Law of Return” any Jew from anywhere in the
world could claim Israeli citizenship. That is what Lansky did.
At home in the United States, Lansky was under criminal investigation.
Exile in Israel seemed a likely way of escaping the trouble. Israel was an
ideal location for Lansky to relocate his operations and he set about plans for
setting up the Jewish State as the new, formal headquarters for his global crime
syndicate. As Hank Messick put it: “As chairman of the board of the Syndicate
International, [Lansky] could operate just as easily—perhaps more easily—from
Tel Aviv as Miami Beach.” 253 Lansky’s longtime associate Joseph (Doc)
Stacher had already gone to Israel to live. So had a wide-ranging assortment of
other American Jewish mobsters, including Lansky’s good friend Phil “The
Stick” Kovolick.
The Mossad-dominated government of Israel seemed to welcome these
criminals as new countryman. Israel, according to Newsweek, “appeared to be
motivated by self-interest. Each year, Lansky and his underworld associates
pour vast sums into Israeli bonds and Israeli philanthropies.
MOB MONEY IN ISRAEL
“As the daily Ha’aretz saw it, the government seemed afraid of losing the
millions of dollars in illicit money first ‘laundered’ in mob-controlled
institutions and then funneled into Israeli business and industry.„254
Lansky’s initial entree to Israel was quietly orchestrated. Word leaked out
that a wealthy “Miami philanthropist” had taken up residence in the Jewish
State. However, circumstances beyond Lansky’s control made matters
difficult for the grand wizard of the underworld.
During his stay in Israel, two American grand juries (in March of 1971 and
in June of 1972) handed down indictments against Lansky and several of his
associates. The first indictment charged—correctly, of course—that Lansky
had been skimming millions from the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las
Vegas. The second indictment charged Lansky with income tax evasion.
There were more than a few honest, law-abiding Israelis who objected to the
“chairman of the board” staking his future in Israel, and the political
154 Israel’s Godfather [93]
pressure was such that there was widespread clamor for his deportation. It
didn’t help matters that fearless crime reporter Hank Messick’s biography of
Lansky appeared during that same period and portions of it appeared in the
Israeli press. Lansky himself made his own loyalties clear, however. In a
friendly series of interviews with Ma’ariv, an Israeli daily, Lansky said, “I
don’t care what they wrote and write about me in America. I care what they
think of me in Israel.”255
Between the public outcry in Israel and pressure from American
authorities, the Israel government buckled and agreed to expel Lansky.
However, the “boss of all bosses” appealed his expulsion all the way to the
Israeli Supreme Court. The emotional issue of a Jew who had made
“aliyah” and settled in Israel under the Law of Return—and who was then
being expelled to face possible punishment in a criminal court in another
country—played heavily in Lansky’s favor. However, despite Lansky’s best
efforts—including an offer of $10,000,000 if he was permitted to
remain—he was forced to return to the United States.
LANSKY IN DECLINE
By this time, Lansky was in ill health and even underwent open-heart
surgery. However, as the Wall Street Journal noted: “Whenever the heat
[was] on—an investigation made public, a grand jury inquiry, a new task
force of federal crime fighters on his trail—stories suddenly abound that
Meyer Lansky is dying of cancer or some other terminal illness. In the files
of the New York State Police, there exists a report made out in the 1920’s
that says Meyer Lansky is a bad guy, all right, but there’s no need to worry
because he’s a sickly man who won’t live out the year.”256
But Lansky’s traditional magical powers over the American criminal
justice system were still with him. First of all, a jury in his home base of
Miami acquitted him on the income tax evasion charges. Then, in mobcontrolled
Nevada, the criminal charges against Lansky were thrown out of
court on the basis that Lansky was in ill health. And in Washington, U.S.
Solicitor General Robert Bork decided that going after Lansky—the ruling
boss of international organized crime—was not in the nation’s best
interests. Bork decided that the Justice Department just didn’t have a case
against Lansky. The case was dropped.257 Lansky had once again
prevailed—to nobody’s surprise.
(Bork later suffered an ignominious rejection by the Senate when
nominated for the Supreme Court. However, it was not Bork’s pandering to
Lansky that weighed against him—although it probably should have.)
Lansky’s remaining years were quiet ones spent with his wife and dog
and an assortment of other aging racketeers. He still maintained some
oversight over his business operations but increasing health problems
continued to plague him. The mastermind behind the global crime syndicate
finally died on January 15, 1983.
[94] Final Judgment 155
In his final years—and posthumously—Lansky (with the willing help
of Hollywood and the rest of the media) became a folk hero of sorts.
Gangsterism was being made fashionable—even as the glory days of John
F. Kennedy and Camelot were being trashed by that same media. Lansky’s
days with Benjamin Siegel were glamorized in films such as The Gangster
Chronicles, The Neon Empire, and in Mobsters, where a host of teen idols
played Lansky, Siegel, Costello and Luciano in their early years.
Author Robert Lacey—who had previously written a glowing profile of
the British royal family—turned his attention to the royal family of the
international crime syndicate and produced—with the help of the Lansky
family—a Lansky biography, Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster
Life. Lacey’s epic tells much—but ignores a lot. He would have us believe
that Lansky was, more than anything, a devoted family man, and not the
ruthless thug that he truly was. Even as Lacey’s Lansky biography was
hitting the bookstores, yet another Hollywood production brought Lansky
to the screen. This film, Bugsy, starring heart-throb Warren Beatty as
Benjamin Siegel, cast the highly-regarded actor Ben Kingsley (who had even
played Mahatma Gandhi) as a wise and all-knowing Meyer Lansky.
However, the Hollywood versions of the life and times of Meyer
Lansky were far from the truth, no matter how colorful a story they told
about the evil genius they portrayed.
Thus, even in death, Meyer Lansky prevailed. Lansky’s central role As a
virtual middleman between the high-level forces that conspired in the
assassination of John F. Kennedy has been cleverly buried by a willing
media. “Israel’s Godfather” was lionized almost as a misunderstood
statesman. Meyer Lansky, however, was not that.
Instead, Lansky was a cynical, cold-blooded killer who had ordered the
death of his closest friend—Benjamin Siegel—and who certainly had no
qualms about helping orchestrate the murder of an American president who
threatened not only his own survival, but that of his beloved State of Israel.
Chapter Eight
Thick as Thieves:
A Dangerous Liaison—
James Jesus Angleton and the Unholy Alliance
Between Israel, the CIA
and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate
By 1963 John F. Kennedy was not only at war with Israel
and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, but he was
a l s o a t wa r wi th the i r c l o s e a l l y in the int e rna t iona l
int elligence underworld—the CIA. That was a deadly
combination.
The CIA and Israel had forged a close-working strategic
alliance in the previous decade. Their joint enterprises around
the globe t i ed the CIA and Israe l together inext r icably.
Israel’s interests—and the CIA’s interests—were often one
and the same, perhaps too often. Likewise with the Meyer
Lansky crime network.
What ‘s more, Israel’s chief contact at the CIA in
Washington, Jame s Je sus Angleton, ult imat ely played a
pivotal role in the JFK assassination conspiracy cover-up.
Angleton, too, had close links with the same forces in the
Lansky Syndicate.
At the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters at Langley, Virginia
there was one man who knew perhaps better than any other American,
Israel’s intentions and attitudes toward President John F. Kennedy. This was
the enigmatic James Jesus Angleton. Angleton was so close to the Israelis
during his tenure at the CIA that, following his death in 1987, a monument
was unveiled in Israel by its government in his honor. This is one of the
few known public monuments to any American CIA official anywhere in
the entire world but actually one of several memorials to Angleton in
Israel.
According to Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, co-authors of Dangerous
Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship, Angleton
was “a man who for nearly a quarter of a century was one of the most
powerful and mysterious figures in the CIA.”258
According to the Cockburns, “Angleton was involved in many strange
and secret dealings in the world of intelligence, but the Israelis like to talk
of him as having been especially close to them, which is why they paid
public homage to his memory.” 259
Recruited into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) while at Yale
University, Angleton was a fast-rising star in the world of clandestine
activities, and following the abolition of the OSS after World War II,
Angleton entered into service with the Central Intelligence Agency after the
[96] Final Judgment 157
CIA was established in 1947. By 1954 Angleton assumed the highly
sensitive post of chief of CIA counterintelligence.
What’s more, Angleton’s influence within the CIA itself was of a
greater magnitude than what otherwise might be expected. Angleton was a
very powerful—and secretive—man.
POWERFUL PATRONS
According to Angleton’s biographer, Tom Mangold, CIA Director
Allen Dulles and his deputy, Richard Helms, who later went on to become
CIA director under Lyndon Johnson, were Angleton’s mentors. However,
Mangold says, Helms was Angleton’s “chief patron.” 260 Dulles, of course,
was later fired as CIA director by JFK and then, in a twist of fate—or by
someone’s design—served on the Warren Commission which ostensibly
investigated JFK’s murder. And it would be Helms, along with Angleton,
who would later be implicated in a strange series of events—examined in
Chapter 16 in detail—that would ultimately and apparently unwittingly
blow the lid off the CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination.
A POWER UNTO HIMSELF
According to the CIA spymaster’s biographer, “Angleton’s longstanding
friendships with Dulles and Helms were to become the most
important factor in giving him freedom of movement within the CIA.
[Angleton] was extended such trust by his superiors that there was often a
significant failure of executive control over his activities. The result was
that his subsequent actions were performed without bureaucratic interference.
The simple fact was that if Angleton wanted something done, it was done. He
had the experience, the patronage, and the clout.
“In the sixties the Counterintelligence Staff, for example, had its very
own secret slush fund, which Angleton tightly controlled. This fund gave
him easy access to a large amount of money that was never audited (as other
such funds were). Angleton argued that he would have to be trusted, without
outside accountability, because it would have been difficult to allow mere
clerks to go through his accounts—if only because sources would have to be
revealed. The [directors of central intelligence] (including Helms) agreed to
this unusual arrangement, which gave Angleton a unique authority to run
his own little operations without undue supervision.” 261
In short, according to Peter Dale Scott, Angleton “managed a ‘second
CIA’ within the CIA”262 and one, as we shall see, that was collaborating all
too comfortably close with Israel’s Mossad.
INTERNATIONAL INTELLIGENCE BOSS
However, Angleton’s influence went even further. Angleton, in fact,
was the CIA liaison for all Allied foreign intelligence
agencies”263—in particular, and most especially, theMossad. Through these
158 Thick As Thieves [97]
connections, Angleton was able to manipulate intelligence activities around
the globe. A friend of Angleton recalls: “That’s the job that was so sensitive
and that’s the one that you don’t read about. While he was liaising with
everyone, he was getting them to do favors for either the CIA—things the
CIA didn’t want to carry out directly; like they’ve never killed anyone,
right?—or for his own agenda.
“Even on a more mundane level, he could use his contacts with Israeli
intelligence, which he kept to himself, as authority for whatever line he was
trying to push at the CIA. You know, ‘My Israeli sources tell me such and
such,’ and no one was going to contradict him, since no one else was
allowed to talk to Israeli intelligence.
“I always had the impression that he used the Israelis in this way,
getting them to say that the Russians had not really broken with the
Chinese or whatever. They would be perfectly happy to do him the favor.
On top of all that he felt that he was getting the benefit of Israeli networks
and connections all over the place, not just in the Communist bloc.” 264
One friend of Angleton’s (who didn’t necessarily share the
counterintelligence chief’s infatuation with Israel) commented: “You have to
understand that Jim’s central dominating obsession was communism,
something that for him was the essence of absolute and profound evil. For
him nothing else really mattered, but he would use anyone and anything to
combat it. Sure he liked Israelis . . . but he was not a ‘co-opted Israeli
agent,’ as some people in Washington used to call him.” 265
BEN-GURION’S MAN IN WASHINGTON
Most important to Angleton, however, was his relationship with the
Mossad. In fact, he was the CIA’s longtime, self-appointed man at the
agency’s Israel desk. Angleton’s biographer, Tom Mangold, points out that
“The legends alone surrounding his twenty years as head of the Israeli Desk
would fill another book, as indeed would the truth.”266
And although Mangold’s account of Angleton’s career devoted hardly
any attention to Angleton’s intimate ties with Israel and its Mossad,
Mangold does state flatly: “I would like to place on the record, however, that
Angleton’s closest professional friends overseas, then and subsequently,
came from the Mossad and that he was held in immense esteem by his
Israeli colleagues and by the state of Israel, which was to award him
profound honors after his death.”267
Angleton, in fact, had long-standing direct ties with Israeli Prime
Minister David Ben-Gurion himself, dealing with the Israeli leader on an
intimate basis. If there was anyone in the CIA who knew of Ben-Gurion’s
distaste for JFK, it was Angleton. As a devoted friend of Israel—and chief
liaison with the Mossad—Angleton had to be fully aware of the raging
conflict between the Israeli prime minister and the American president who
refused to bow to Israel’s demands.
And considering President Kennedy’s efforts to build bridges with the
Soviet Union and his efforts to wind down the Cold War, one knows,
[98] Final Judgment 159
beyond question, that Angleton—hard-line, even fanatical anti-communist
that he was—viewed Kennedy’s overtures with outrage and disgust. All of
this not to mention Kennedy’s own conflicts with the CIA which we will
review in Chapter 9.
KENNEDY A THREAT
Clearly, John F. Kennedy was not only a threat to Israel and the CIA
and their allies in the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, but also to
James Jesus Angleton himself. Kennedy’s war with the CIA could spell an
end to Angleton’s career and the world-wide intelligence empire that the
strange and calculating counterintelligence boss had assembled. The ties
between Angleton’s CIA and the Mossad were such, according to historian
Steven Stewart, that they “had the effect of ensuring that virtually every
CIA man in the Middle East was also working at second hand for the Israelis .
. . as the CIA’s policy changed almost overnight, in an extraordinary volteface,
from being largely pro-Arab to becoming almost totally pro-Israeli”268—a
close relationship indeed.
THE CIA AND ISRAEL: EARLY DAYS
It is the CIA’s relationship with Israel that is most significant in terms
of that agency’s global intrigue—and, of course, in light of the CIA’s
documented role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy (which we
examine in more detail in subsequent chapters). And it was Angleton who
was, as we have seen, the prime mover behind the CIA-Israeli Mossad’s
close working relationship—in fact, from its very beginnings.
The late Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former advisor to the CIA and former
member of the policy-planning staffs of the White House and Pentagon, had
written extensively on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. In his book, Ropes of
Sand, Eveland reviewed the beginnings of what Andrew and Leslie Cockburn
call the “dangerous liaison”—America’s covert relationship with Israel.
This covert relationship was conducted primarily through the aegis of
Angleton’s Israeli desk at the CIA. Eveland writes of its origins: “CIA
operations had started before Allen Dulles became director that had longrange
implications from which the United States might find it difficult to
disengage. Stemming from his wartime OSS liaison with Jewish resistance
groups based in London, James Angleton had arranged an operationalintelligence
exchange agreement with Israel’s Mossad, upon which the CIA
relied for much of its intelligence about the Arab states.” 269
This relationship, however, was not necessarily initially based on
mutual trust. According to Wolf Blitzer, longtime Washington
correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, the CIA-Mossad relationship began on a
basis of mutual distrust. Blitzer notes that after Iranian militants seized the U.S.
Embassy in Tehran (sparking the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981), the
militants seized CIA documents which they later released.
160 Thick as Thieves [99]
“The documents,” says Blitzer, “showed that Israeli intelligence
agencies, mostly in the 1950’s, had blackmailed, bugged, wire-tapped, and
offered bribes to U.S. government officials in an effort to gain sensitive
intelligence and technical information.” 270
The U.S. was apparently also spying on Israel, although this didn’t
appear in the report. However, when it was necessary for the CIA and the
Mossad to reach a joint accord, it was James Jesus Angleton who stepped
in, and, according to Blitzer, “was said to have been largely responsible for
arranging the deal.”271
ASSASSINATION PLOTS
The CIA and the Mossad had many joint ventures over the years, all
conducted under Angleton’s watchful eye. Some of those ventures, of
course, included assassination plots. In fact, after President Eisenhower
commented that he hoped that “the Nasser problem could be eliminated”272—
(referring to what he perceived to be an intransigence by the Egyptian)—CIA
Director Allen Dulles and Angleton launched a plan to kill Nasser. However,
Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (brother of the CIA director) intervened
and called off the CIA dogs.
The CIA was also engaging in covert actions against Israel’s enemies in
Syria. One CIA conspiracy in 1958 to overthrow the nationalist government
of Syria—which anti-communist fanatics such as Angleton considered to be
“leftist”—fell apart when the CIA’s paid henchmen, Syrian nationals (who
evidently were patriots), turned themselves in and exposed the CIA’s plot to
the Syrian government. At the time, CIA director Dulles commented, “I
guess that leaves Israel’s intelligence service as the only one on which we
can count, doesn’t it?” 273
ANGELTON’S ZR/RIFLE TEAM
The CIA’s now-best known assassination plot, of course, was the
agency’s collaboration with organized crime in a scheme to kill Cuban
leader Fidel Castro. (We will examine the Castro assassination plot in much
further detail in Chapter 11.) It is interesting to note, however, at this
juncture, that as part of the plot against Castro the CIA established its nowinfamous
ZR/Rifle Team, incorporating a wide array of foreign assassins
and mercenaries—skilled and dangerous men who were trained in murder.
The ZR/Rifle Team, in fact, was one of Angleton’s pet in-house CIA
projects which he ran in conjunction with his CIA colleague, William
Harvey.274 This, in the long run, as we shall see in Chapter 16, gave
Angleton and his Israeli allies access to the “talent” necessary to achieve a
successful operation in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on November 22,
1963.
A FIRM ALLIANCE
[100] Final Judgment 161
According to intelligence historian Richard Deacon, Israel’s relationship with
the CIA (and Angleton, in particular) had been firmly cemented: “On the
American side the Israelis had won a certain amount of unofficial support
from the CIA even during the Eisenhower era. The CIA had been realistic
enough to realize that the Eisenhower appeasement policy towards the Arab
world would ultimately be disastrous for every American interest, military or
economic.
“For this reason they had maintained a policy of allowing all
intelligence operations in Israel to be carried out entirely by the Mossad. In
short, what this meant was that the CIA had no office or station chief in Tel
Aviv, but that certain officers in the US Embassy there co-operated with the
Mossad. In theory this entailed an exchange of intelligence between the two
sides and in practice this worked rather better than one could have expected
normally.
“The key figures in this arrangement were originally [Mossad chief]
Isser Harel, Ephraim Evron, who later became deputy Israeli ambassador in
Washington, and James Angleton, chief of the CIA Counter-Intelligence.” 275
(Evron, as we saw in Chapter 6, also became particularly close to John F.
Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, who reversed U.S. policy toward Israel—
and in favor of the CIA’s interventionist policies in Southeast Asia—
immediately upon assuming office.)
According to intelligence historian Deacon, Angleton exploited the new
intimate relationship between the CIA and the Mossad for use
internationally: “Angleton, having seen the folly of U.S. foreign policy
during the abortive Suez operation, decided to counteract the State
Department’s bias towards the Arabs by close cooperation with Israel. It
was he who first saw the need for a new policy in the Middle East and
safeguards against increasing Russian influence.
A REVERSAL OF POLICY
“He and Evron worked well together and, as a result, the CIA helped
Israel with technical assistance in the nuclear field. Evron was eager to
grasp this opportunity for he had been one of the prime instigators of the
aggressive challenge to [John F. Kennedy’s] policy of friendship for Nasser
[and] was instrumental in paving the way to a reversal of the pro-Arab
policy which for a while dominated American thinking, not only under
Eisenhower, but also the Kennedy administration.”276 According to Deacon,
Evron was Israel’s most powerful figure in Washington, more highly
regarded than even the Israeli ambassador and was welcomed as a Mossad
liaison officer to Angleton at the Central Intelligence Agency.277
ANGLETON AND ISRAEL’S NUCLEAR BOMB
There is, in fact, evidence that Angleton was covertly assisting Israel’s
nuclear bomb program which, of course, was the primary source of conflict
between JFK and Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.
162 Thick as Thieves [101]
Tad Szulc, the noted foreign correspondent, “quoted sources close to
Angleton as saying that he had indeed secretly aided Israel with technical
nuclear information during the late 1950’s.”278 Additionally, Seymour
Hersh reported that Szulc’s report “fits in with something [Hersh] had been
told by a high-level CIA official—that Angleton gave the Israelis similar
technical information in the mid-1960s.”279
We do know that one of Angleton’s “closest colleagues” from his days in
the OSS in Italy was a former leader of the Jewish underground, Meir
Deshalit, the older brother of Amos Deshalit, a physicist who was one of
the leaders in Israel’s drive to build a nuclear bomb. 280
The evidence also suggests that Angleton was a key player in attempts
within the CIA itself to cover up Israel’s secret nuclear weapons
development.
John Hadden, who was the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv before his
retirement in 1960, is evidently the CIA officer who first reported (perhaps
incorrectly) that an Apollo, Pennsylvania company, the Nuclear Materials &
Equipment Corporation (NUMEC), was illegally providing bomb-grade
uranium for Israel’s nuclear weapons development.
THEODORE SHACKLEY
However, Hadden faced much opposition from within the CIA. One
individual in particular, the assistant to the deputy director for covert
operations, was constantly attacking Hadden, belittling his claims. This was
the ubiquitous Theodore Shackley, nicknamed “the Blonde Ghost.”
Shackley, as we’ll see in Chapter 11, was a key CIA player in CIA-Lansky
Syndicate plots against Fidel Castro. And it was also Shackley, as we shall
see in Chapter 12, who was a key CIA player in Southeast Asia during the
joint CIA-Lansky drug-trafficking operations in the region.
Later, following his retirement from the CIA, Shackley entered into
lucrative international arms dealing ventures with Shaul Eisenberg, a key
Mossad operative and a major figure in Israel’s nuclear development
program. And later in these pages we will learn much more about the
connections of both Shackley and his future business partner Eisenberg.
Here, however, we see Shackley engaged in covering up Israeli operations in
the nuclear development arena—along with Angleton.
According to Hadden, Angleton “had no interest in stopping„281 the
NUMEC operation, and did not. Hadden comments: “Why would someone
whose whole life was dedicated to fighting communism have any interest in
preventing a fiercely anti-communist nation from getting the means to
defend itself?” 282 However, as we will see in Appendix Nine there is much
more to the NUMEC story than meets the eye.
SECRET MEMORANDUM
As we noted, in Chapter 5, an internal CIA memorandum issued during
the presidency of John F. Kennedy cast negative light on Israel’s nuclear
[102] Final Judgment 163
development program. However, according to historian Stephen Green, “It is
perhaps significant that the memorandum was not drafted as a formal
national intelligence estimate, which would have involved distribution to
several other agencies of the government. No formal NIE was issued by CIA
on the Israeli nuclear weapons program until 1968.” 283
There is no question, of course, considering Angleton’s close ties with
Israel and its Mossad, that Angleton (and perhaps the aforementioned
Shackley) were instrumental in burying this memorandum.
The CIA-Mossad joint operations relating to Israel’s nuclear
development continued for a generation. Many years later, the CIA and Israel
jointly arranged the kidnapping of Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear technician
who blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear weapons development. A woman
used to lure Vanunu in the kidnapping conspiracy was a CIA covert action
operative who also did occasional work for the Mossad.
ANGLETON’S POWER INCREASES
With the advent of the Lyndon Johnson administration and the amazing
reversal of U.S. policy toward Israel, outlined in detail in Chapter 6, and
with the close relationship between Angleton’s Mossad liaison, Evron, and
Lyndon Johnson, Angleton’s influence in Middle East policy-making
became even greater.
According to Andrew and Leslie Cockburn: “One long-serving official at
the CIA’s ancient rival, the code-breaking National Security Agency,
states flatly that `Jim Angleton and the Israelis spent a year cooking up the
`67 war. It was a CIA operation, designed to get Nasser [of Egypt].’ Such a
verdict, from a source inside an agency that had the inclination and the
facilities to monitor both the CIA and the Israelis, must carry some
weight.” 284
Now all of the aforementioned is particularly relevant when one
considers Angleton’s preeminent role in the CIA-Mossad alliance.
However, much new additional information has come to light which ties
Angleton even further into the international web of conspiracy that resulted
in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
ANGLETON, LANSKY & THE OSS
Angleton, in fact, had intimate ties to Meyer Lansky-linked organized
crime operations in Europe stemming back from his service in the OSS in
England (working with British intelligence) and in Italy. And it was during
this same period that Meyer Lansky himself was engaged in joint covert
operations with the OSS, as noted in Chapter 7. It is also very likely that
during this time Angleton came in contact with a young American officer
detailed to the OSS—one Clay Shaw. As we shall see in Chapter 15, Shaw
is the focal point of contact in the JFK assassination conspiracy between
not only the CIA and low-level elements in the intelligence
community—Lee Harvey Oswald among them—but also between Meyer
164 Thick as Thieves [103]
Lansky’s European money laundering operation based at Mossad officer
Tibor Rosenbaum’s Banque de Credit International (first examined in
Chapter 7).
THE JEWISH UNDERGROUND
At the tender age of 27, Angleton—then stationed in Rome—was the
youngest counterintelligence branch chief in the entire OSS and the only
non-Briton in Italy cleared to share intelligence secrets of the top-secret Ultra
program which was cracking Nazi codes. Italy, indeed, became a central
point of contact for Angleton and his international intelligence connections,
and particularly for his work on behalf of the state of Israel.
By 1951 Angleton was engaged in “the underground Jewish network
that ran down from Eastern Europe through Italy to the ports where
shiploads of immigrants were loaded for Palestine.” 285 It was this refugee
network, according to Richard Deacon, writing in The Israeli Secret Service,
a history of the Mossad, that was “paving the way for an ultimate
intelligence network for the future state of Israel.” 286
One of Angleton’s Israeli contacts in the Jewish underground in Europe was
Teddy Kollek (later to become mayor of Jerusalem). Kollek, in fact, emerged
to become “a close personal friend.”287 Kollek, as we saw in Chapter 7,
was the Haganah station chief in New York during the 1947-1948 period,
engaged in arms smuggling to Palestine in conjunction with Meyer Lansky
and Major Louis M. Bloomfield—whom we shall see in Chapter 15, was
associated with not only the aforementioned Clay Shaw, but also with
Tibor Rosenbaum’s Banque De Credit International.
TIBOR ROSENBAUM, AGAIN
But there is an even more pivotal contact between Angleton, Major
Bloomfield, Shaw and Lansky: the same Tibor Rosenbaum. In Chapter 7
we met Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum of the Banque De Credit International. It
was Rosenbaum, who went on to serve as Director General for Finance and
Supply for the Mossad, who was one of the prime movers in the refugeeturned-
intelligence network with which Angleton worked so closely.
It was also during this same period that the terrorist Menachem Begin
(who later became prime minister of Israel) was coordinating Israel’s Irgun
operations in Europe. In Chapter 13, we shall find, Begin was also
operating in the United States in conjunction with a key figure in the
Lansky Crime Syndicate in joint efforts on behalf of Israel—and against
John F. Kennedy.
THE CORSICAN MAFIA CONNECTION
Angleton’s connections with the Lansky operations, however, go even
deeper. It was through a secret CIA asset, one Jay Lovestone, that Angleton
manipulated what his biographer called “an odd little operation that
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Angleton had been quietly running all on his own since 1955.” 288
Through an aide, Stephen Millet, who was the counterintelligence officer
who handled the Israeli desk for Angleton, the CIA spymaster was
maintaining close links with the criminal underworld in Italy and France.
For details on the activities of Angleton and his Lansky-linked
organized crime associates we turn to the work of Robert I. Friedman. In his
biography of militant New York-born Rabbi Meyer Kahane (later a member of
the Israeli parliament), we learn that it was the aforementioned Lovestone who
provided Kahane and his closest associate and fellow rabbi, Dr. Joseph Churba,
with financing and support. (Lansky, himself, as we saw in Chapter 7,
was a contributor to Kahane’s later activities in support of Israel.) In the
1960’s Churba and Kahane functioned as CIA assets in churning up Jewish
support—and otherwise—for the war in Vietnam, a venture, we have seen,
which proved fruitful for not only the CIA, but its allies in Israel and their
allies in the Lansky Syndicate.
THE CIA’S HIRED GUNS
According to Friedman, “Churba and Kahane also received support from
legendary cold warriors Jay Lovestone and Irving Brown, who had been top
officials of the American Communist Party in the 1920s before undergoing
a ‘Damascus Road’ conversion and who subsequently ran the AFL-CIO’s
powerful International Affairs Department under the tutelage of the CIA. It
was under the CIA’s direction that Lovestone and Brown—using Corsican
and Italian mafiosos—set up right-wing death squads in Marseilles and other
European cities after the Second World War to break the burgeoning leftwing
labor movement. Thanks to Brown, by 1953 his key contact in the
Marseilles underworld, Pierre Ferri-Pisain, had control of the city’s port,
where he built an international heroin trafficking empire.
“This was not the first time that American intelligence purchased the
services of the Mafia. Prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily in the Second
World War, the OSS established contacts with the Sicilian Mafia through
the same Lucky Luciano who allowed [the Jewish underground] to smuggle
weapons from Hoboken to the Irgun in Palestine. The Sicilian Mafia
provided intelligence on the Germans, and after the war assassinated hundreds
of Italian left-wing political activists.”289
According to historian Alfred McCoy, “After the CIA withdrew from
active involvement] Marseille’s Corsicans won political protection from
France’s intelligence service, the SDECE, which allowed their heroin
laboratories to operate undisturbed for nearly 20 years. In partnership with
Italy’s Mafia syndicates, the Corsicans smuggled raw opium from Turkey
and refined it into no. 4 heroin for export. Their biggest customer was the
United States .. .290
(In Chapter 7 we examined Lansky’s pivotal role in arranging the
accommodation between the OSS and the Sicilian Mafia in the famed
“Operation Underworld.” In Chapter 12 we will examine the Lansky-CIA
manipulation of the Corsican and Sicilian organized crime elements in the
166 Thick as Thieves [105]
drug trade. In Chapter 12 , Chapter 15 and Chapter 16, we will also examine
the role of French Corsican gangsters and French intelligence operatives in
the JFK assassination—linking Angleton further to the events in Dallas on
November 22, 1963.
Here, now, we see that it was Israeli Mossad ally James J. Angleton
who was, in fact, the prime mover behind the CIA operations utilizing the
Corsican and Sicilian organized crime elements in Angleton’s “anticommunist”
ventures. That all of this was run through the Angleton’s
Israeli desk at the CIA is quite interesting, to say the least. This, of course,
ties Angleton and the CIA and their collaborators in the Mossad even further
into the Lansky network—and into the nexus revolving around the
conspiracy that led to the murder of John F. Kennedy.
ANGLETON, THE CIA & THE FRENCH CONNECTION
However, Angleton’s French intrigue went beyond his connections with
the Corsican crime syndicate. He and the CIA were also dabbling in internal
French politics, interfering with the political aims of French leader Charles
DeGaulle and his political alliance. The CIA, in fact, was backing the
Socialist Party.
Historian Alfred McCoy notes that: “On the surface it may have seemed
a bit out of character for the CIA to be backing so far left [a party] as a
Socialist Party. However, there were only three major political parties in
France—Socialist, Communist and Gaullist—and by a simple process of
elimination the CIA wound up allying itself with the Socialists.
“While General DeGaulle was too independent for American tastes,
Socialist leaders were rapidly losing political ground to the Communists and
thus were willing to collaborate with the CIA.” 291
That Angleton and the CIA would be actively working against
DeGaulle is intriguing, particularly in light of further evidence we shall
examine in Chapter 12, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 which ties the CIA and
its allies in Israel to joint operations against DeGaulle. It was from this
same sphere of intrigue, as we shall see, that the JFK assassination evolved.
MANIPULATING THE WARREN COMMISSION
After John F. Kennedy was killed, it was Angleton who emerged as the
CIA’s “overseer” of the Warren Commission investigation into the
assassination of Kennedy. In fact, as we shall see, Angleton maneuvered
himself into this position. JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott
has written of what he called “the recurring presence of Angleton in the
background of the Warren Commission investigation.”292
In 1996 new information about Angleton’s peculiar role emerged when
the government’s JFK Assassination Records Review Board released 192
pages of heretofore-classified testimony given to the House Assassinations
Committee in 1978 by a witness who was “chief of a CIA branch
responsible for operations in Mexico and Central America.” 293 The actual
[106] Final Judgment 167
identity of the witness was considered so sensitive that the CIA insisted on
withholding his real name so he testified under the alias “John Scelso.”
According to Scelso’s story, it was he, “Scelso,” who had initially been
placed in charge of the CIA’s end of the assassination investigation, but—
according to Scelso—Angleton “immediately went into action to do all the
investigating.”294 (This suggests, of course, that Angleton did have a very
specific interest in controlling any evidence which did emerge.)
The testimony by Scelso also brought forth some interesting
revelations about Angleton’s organized crime connections. At one point in
his testimony, a committee attorney, Michael Goldsmith, asked Scelso the
intriguing question, “Do you have any reason to believe that Angleton
might have had ties to organized crime?”295 to which Scelso responded in
the affirmative.
Scelso went on to explain that the Justice Department had once asked
the CIA to determine the true names of people holding numbered bank
accounts in Panama because the mob was hiding Las Vegas “skim” money
there. Scelso commented that “We were in an excellent position to do this
and told them so—whereupon Angleton vetoed it and said, ‘That is the
[FBI’s] business.”296
When Scelso discussed this with another CIA officer, the other officer
“smiled a foxy smile and said, ‘Well, that’s Angleton’s excuse. The real
reason is that Angleton himself has ties to the Mafia and he would not want to
double-cross them. “2 9 7
Indeed, Angleton, Israel’s point man at the CIA, was well-placed to
help cover up the real truth about Israel’s role—along with that of the CIA
and the Lansky syndicate—and ultimately he did.
THE NOSENKO AFFAIR: PLACING BLAME
It was Angleton who emerged in the period of the Warren Commission
investigation as the leading CIA critic of Russian Soviet defector Yuri
Nosenko. Nosenko, who defected to the United States in 1964, claimed to
have been the KGB’s case officer who handled Lee Harvey Oswald during his
sojourn in Russia (presumably as a defector.)
Nosenko’s most provocative claim was that, contrary to some
suspicions—and allegations—the Soviet KGB had absolutely nothing to do
with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Thus, those such as Israel’s
man at the CIA, Angleton, who wanted to hang the blame on the KGB for
the president’s murder, had what appeared to be a bona fide Soviet defector
on their hands whose claims ran contrary to the propaganda line they sought
to promote. Angleton was Nosenko’s loudest and most vociferous accuser,
determined to prove Nosenko a liar. Angleton subjected Nosenko to 1,277
days of torture, questioning and deprivation, but Nosenko stuck to his story.
Angleton was clearly determined to disprove the one man who was
clearly well-informed enough about the Soviet KGB to dispute the claim
that the Soviets were behind the JFK assassination. Eliminating the Soviets
as a suspect would, of course, shift suspicion elsewhere. Looking elsewhere
168 Thick as Thieves [107]
for those with not only the means and the opportunity—but also the motive—
to kill John F. Kennedy would have, of course, pointed in the direction of
Angleton’s own CIA and its allies in the Israeli Mossad. In Chapter 16 we
shall see how Angleton did indeed play a key role in the JFK assassination
cover-up.
Revelation of either a CIA role or an Israeli role in the murder of JFK
would have inevitably destroyed not only America’s relationship with Israel,
but it would have brought the international house of joint CIA-Mossad-
Lansky Crime Syndicate conspiracies tumbling down. And James Jesus
Angleton, as the CIA’s intimate liaison with Israel, would have been
destroyed in the process. Likewise with his CIA patrons, Allen Dulles and
Richard Helms.
(In Chapter 16 we shall review the activities of Angleton and Richard
Helms further, particularly as they relate to the cover-up of the truth about
the JFK assassination conspiracy. In Chapter 18 we shall see how Helms’
close relationship with the Iranian secret police, SAVAK—created jointly
by the CIA and the Mossad—tie Helms himself even further into the realm
of conspiracy in the continuing cover-up of the JFK assassination.)
Angleton’s “chief patron” Richard Helms left the CIA in 1973. This
was the beginning of the end of his days at the CIA. Angleton was fired by
the new CIA director, William Colby, on December 20, 1974. And, as we
shall see in Appendix Six, Angleton’s firing not only had precisely to do
with his unusually close affiliation with Israel, but ultimately may have
played a part in the strange demise—years later—of William Colby.
FANTASY IN BOOK FORM
In his remaining years, Angleton habitually met with Washington
reporters, feeding them tidbits, stroking them with information, convincing
them all that they were getting “the inside story”—particularly in regard to
the matter of the JFK assassination.
The ultimate parlay of Angleton’s Kennedy assassination disinformation
appeared in Edward Jay Epstein’s book, Legend: The Secret
World of Lee Harvey Oswald (published in 1978). Epstein, a Warren
Commission “critic,” first came to prominence as the author of Inquest, a
book-length study of the commission, originally written as his master’s
thesis at Yale University, long a recruiting ground for the CIA. It was some
years later, however, that Epstein came forth with Legend. As pointed out,
however, by assassination researcher, Carl Oglesby, it was Angleton who
was “Epstein’s chief source for the narrative unfolded”298 in Legend.
Epstein’s book presented the thesis that Oswald had been recruited by
the Soviet KGB during his Marine service. Later KGB asset Oswald killed
JFK, but not necessarily on the Kremlin’s orders. Evidently, we are led to
assume, Oswald got out of control.
Oswald’s KGB connection, according to Epstein, was subsequently
covered up by a Soviet mole in the CIA and then the FBI’s legendary
communist hunter, J. Edgar Hoover, helped in the cover-up, for reasons of
[108] Final Judgment 169
his own—a fanciful story indeed. Whatever the case, it was Angleton who
was Epstein’s most important source of “inside” information in the weaving
of this particular “legend.” And interestingly enough, it was the controlled
media which had otherwise scoffed at JFK conspiracy allegations that
responded so favorably to this “new” conspiracy story.
As Carl Oglesby noted at the time Legend was published: “Time called
Epstein ‘a careful, academic researcher’ and said his evidence that Oswald
was a Soviet spy was ‘strong.’ The New York Times Review of Books
called it “fascinating, alarming and perhaps enormously significant’ and
praised its ‘explosive qualities.’ The normally chaste Wilfred Sheed
swallowed the whole Angleton kaboodle and chimed in on his own that
`Cuba itself seems the most likely conspirator’ with Oswald. ‘This one,” he
concluded, ‘is a beauty.'”299
(And as we shall see in Chapter 17, the controlled media’s own
extensive links with Israel and its lobby in America, particularly the Lansky
Syndicate-funded Anti-Defamation League [ADL] of B’nai B’rith, accounts
for the media’s desire to place the blame for the JFK assassination
elsewhere, other than on Angleton’s CIA and his allies in Israel.)
FOOLED BY A FALSE FLAG
Interestingly, many American conservatives (who were certainly no
admirers of the Kennedy administration) fell for the Angleton-sponsored
fantasy that the KGB was behind the JFK assassination.
They wanted, more than anything perhaps, to believe that a communist
had killed JFK. It was wholly in line with their anti-communist worldview
and tailor-made for those who wanted to wave the proverbial “red flag.”
(This red flag, as we shall see in these pages, however, was, in fact, yet
another Israeli false flag.)
Noting the conservative outcry that “a communist killed JFK,” Peter
Dale Scott has written of “the loud and irresponsible campaign of the
American Security Council, the largest p.r. lobby for the military-industrial
complex, to support the intelligence-fed claim that a KGB assassin ‘had
been trained at an assassin’s school in the USSR for assignment later on the
North American continent.’” 300
Since the publication of the second edition of Final Judgment, a former
publicist for the American Security Council. William J. Gill,
acknowledged to this author his own sincere belief (at the time) that there
had been a communist role in the JFK assassination. He acknowledged that,
for political reasons, he had indeed been a part of the effort to pin the
assassination on the Soviets.
However, having read Final Judgment Gill concluded that, as he put it,
“I think you have pinned the tail on the donkey.” In other words, that he
now believed that the Israeli Mossad was indeed the prime mover behind the
JFK assassination. “It was an angle that I never even conceived possible—
until now,” he said. Gill described Final Judgment as “the most important
book of the 20th century.”
170 Thick as Thieves [109]
There is no question but that conservative elements did indeed stress the
“communist” angle in the JFK assassination following the president’s
murder—for very obvious political motivations.
One prominent “right wing” journalist of the time, Revilo P. Oliver—
then a key figure in the John Birch Society—was actually called before the
Warren Commission to elaborate on his controversial and widely-publicized
theory that the Soviets had JFK executed because he [JFK] was not doing
enough to advance international communism. However, shortly before his
death in 1994 Oliver told associates that had he not been so ill, he would have
relished the opportunity to write a favorable review of Final Judgment which
had just been released earlier in the year. Oliver himself evidently realized that
he, too, had been taken in by the Angleton-inspired myth. Needless to say,
however, the myth the Soviets were somehow involved in the JFK
assassination was an ideal cover story and one that James J. Angleton was
very much the prime mover behind.
`A MANSION HAS MANY ROOMS’
All of this is interesting and illustrates the lengths to which Angleton
would go in order to fabricate a story targeting his enemies for the blame—
and clearing his friends. However, Angleton’s most provocative and widely
known statement, often presumed to be in reference to the JFK
assassination—came when he was quoted in The New York Times —two
days after he was fired from the CIA by then-Director William Colby.
Angleton’s cryptic remark was as follows: “A mansion has many rooms.
I’m not privy to who struck John.” 301 Angleton, however, insisted that the
reference had nothing to do with the JFK assassination.
Angleton died a broken man on May 11, 1987—driven out of the CIA
to which he had devoted his lifetime. Angleton was correct: “A mansion has
many rooms.” There was yet another secret room—so to speak—a shadowy
intelligence operation working closely with Organized Crime and the CIA in
a wide variety of ventures both in the United States and around the globe:
James Jesus Angleton’s beloved allies in Israel’s Mossad.
A FINAL NOTE: Since the first release of Final Judgment—which was the
first JFK assassination book to seriously focus on James Angleton (based upon
leads provided by Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial)—JFK researcher Lisa Pease
(who received a copy of Final Judgment from the author) has written two
excellent articles examining Angleton’s critical role in the JFK affair. They
appear in the book The Assassinations (Los Angeles, Feral House Press, 2003)
edited by Miss Pease and James DiEugenio. Unfortunately, although Miss Pease
referenced Final Judgment, in passing in earlier renditions of her essays (when
they were first published on the Internet), she has since deleted those references,
perhaps out of fear of being associated with yours truly. In any case, Miss Pease
also rushes to assure her readers that she has found no evidence to support the
theory that Angleton was “controlled” by the Mossad, despite her suggestion
that other un-named writers have asserted as much. In fact, as readers of Final
Judgment know well, no such assertion is made in this book. Quite the contrary,
Angleton was a Mossad loyalist. No “control” was necessary.
Chapter Nine
A Little Unpleasantness:
JFK’s War With Israel’s Allies at the CIA
JFK’s battle with the CIA over the Bay of Pigs debacle
was just the beginning. By November of 1963, JFK was not
only fighting the CIA’s Israeli allies over the nuclear bomb,
but he was also resisting efforts by the CIA to involve the
United States more deeply in Southeast Asia. In fact, JFK
planned to dismantle the CIA entirely—a move that would
threaten Israel’s power base in official Washington.
At the same time, the CIA and the Mossad were also
engaged in efforts to undermine French President Charles
DeGaulle. In the end, the intrigue against DeGaulle would
prove to play a little-known but critical part in the JFK
assassination conspiracy.
In 1972 the Washington Observer newsletter published perhaps what
was one of the first hints—in print—that the Kennedy family itself
suspected that the CIA had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
According to the Observer, “Back in 1963, shortly after President
Kennedy’s assassination, Robert F. Kennedy while he was still Attorney
General, conducted his own private investigation, which ran parallel with
the official inquiry into the assassination conducted by the Warren
Commission. Kennedy’s investigation featured trips to this country by an
Inspector Hamilton, former Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard. Hamilton, an
old friend of Joseph P. Kennedy, had been retained by the attorney general to
help unravel the real truth about the murder of JFK.
“After long conferring with the members of the Kennedy family and
making a few discreet soundings with his own contacts, Hamilton zeroed on
the fact that the assassination of John Kennedy had occurred very shortly
after his brother Bobby had made some preliminary moves for direct
personal control of the CIA, whose leadership he blamed for the Bay of Pigs
fiasco.
“Hamilton, following the cui Bono (“whom does it benefit?”)
reasoning, reached the conclusion that Bobby’s move to seize control of the
CIA had something to do with the murder of his elder brother.”302
THE BAY OF PIGS
That the Bay of Pigs debacle was a major bone of contention between
the Kennedy brothers and the CIA is now very much a recognized part of
history. The bittnerness that developed between JFK and the CIA over the
failed attempt to invade Castro’s Cuba was a serious point of conflict
between the president and the intelligence agency. The Bay of Pigs and its
aftermath was a sore spot between Kennedy and the CIA, but not the last. It
did, however, set in motion events leading to the final showdown between
172 A Little Unpleasantness [111]
JFK and the CIA, what, in fact, was ultimately the assassination of the
American president.
The family biographers of Chicago Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, who
participated in the infamous CIA-Organized Crime plots against Fidel
Castro (which we will examine in more detail in Chapter 11) report that
Giancana was very much aware that the CIA was unhappy with the
Kennedys. “Within the CIA, the dismay at having been betrayed by both the
President and attorney general, as well as the President’s open promise to
dismantle the intelligence agency’s power, soon turned to hatred, creating a
ripple effect that would blacken the moods of the men [Giancana] dealt with
in his covert operations. These men expressed their outrage at the Bay of
Pigs operation along with their fear that Kennedy now posed a very real
threat to the CIA’s continued autonomy, perhaps its very existence.” 303
KENNEDY MOVES AGAINST THE CIA
In his best-selling, Plausible Denial, in which he pinpoints the CIA’s
role in the JFK assassination conspiracy, veteran JFK assassination
investigator Mark Lane commented on the CIA’s move against the
president:
“If the CIA operatives, officers, and former officers believed that the
defense of their Agency and their nation required the elimination of President
Kennedy because he was about to dismantle their organization, one could
comprehend, while neither accepting nor condoning their viewpoint, that
their concept of self-defense required them to use deadly force. Most relevant,
therefore, is not what Kennedy was or was not about to do vis-à-vis the
CIA, but what the leaders of the Agency believed he might do.
“John F. Kennedy made it clear that he planned to destroy the CIA. The
New York Times reported on April 25, 1966, under a subheadline,
‘Kennedy’s Bitterness,’ that ‘as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came
home to him, [Kennedy] said to one of the highest officials of his
Administration that he wanted ‘to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and
scatter it to the winds.’
“He clearly was not suggesting a modest legislative proposal or
executive order to modify or reform the organization. The total destruction
of the Agency was his apparent objective.” 304
CONTROLLING THE CIA
Lane points out that Kennedy’s preliminary actions against the CIA had
already been set in motion and that the president was very clearly moving
toward ultimate evisceration of the agency.
“[Kennedy] dealt with the CIA through the implementation of a threepoint
emergency program designed to control the agency. He fired its most
culpable and powerful leaders, he appointed a high-level committee, the
Cuban study group, to investigate the misdeeds of the organization so that
he might determine what additional short-range limitations were required
[112] Final Judgment 173
and, in the interim, he dramatically reduced the powers and jurisdiction of
the Agency and established strict limits as to its future actions through
National Security Action memoranda.”
“Kennedy then sought to control the Agency by sharply reducing its
ability to act in the future through National Security Action Memoranda 55,
56 and 57. These documents, in theory, eliminated the ability of the CIA to
wage war. The CIA would not be permitted to initiate any operation
requiring greater firepower than that generated by handguns.” 305
That all of these actions upset the CIA and its allies is undoubted. One
man on the scene at the time was Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, who served as
liaison between the Defense Department and the CIA during the relevant
period.
According to Prouty, “Nothing I had ever been involved in my entire
career had created such an uproar. NSAM 55 stripped the CIA of its
cherished covert operations role, except for small actions. It was an
explosive document. The military-industrial complex was not pleased.” 306
THE CIA AND VIETNAM
However, Kennedy’s conflict with the CIA went well beyond the issue
of Cuba. The burgeoning issue of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia had
positioned the president at odds with the CIA even further.
By late 1963 JFK’s conflict with the CIA was in full force and although it
was not the subject of heated public discussion, the word was leaking out
through official and un-official channels that there was something afoot at
the highest levels.
On October 3, 1963, the dean of America’s newspaper columnists,
Arthur Krock, was writing frankly in the New York Times of Kennedy’s
war with the CIA—a war which was intensifying over the issue of Vietnam.
Krock’s front-page article, in fact, was entitled, “The Intra-Administration
War in Vietnam.”
KENNEDY’S TRUSTED CONDUIT
But what is so astounding about the column is that Krock quoted a
high-level administration source as having suggested that if there were ever a
coup d’etat in the United States, one might expect that it would be the CIA
which was responsible—this just weeks before JFK was murdered.
The significance of this astounding column is that it was Arthur Krock
who affixed his name to this explosive report: Krock was a longtime close
friend and confidant of the Kennedy family and had even ghost-written
several published works on behalf of the president’s father, Ambassador
Joseph P. Kennedy.
The columnist was a key Kennedy link in press circles and would have
been the first and foremost choice of President Kennedy if JFK had wished
to utilize the press to bring his conflict with the CIA into the public arena.
As Mark Lane so aptly described the column: “This was John F. Kennedy
174 Little Unpleasantness [113]
sending out a message to the American people through his trusted conduit
Arthur Krock.” 307
This column remained forgotten in the wake of the president’s
assassination, but it was in 1992 that Lane surfaced the prophetic warning
and began bringing it to the attention of American audiences who now had a
renewed interest in the Kennedy assassination.
OUT OF CONTROL
Lane described the column: “Krock pointed out that John F. Kennedy had
gone to war against the CIA. He concluded that Kennedy no longer could
control the CIA.
The columnist stated that President Kennedy sent Henry Cabot Lodge,
his Ambassador to Vietnam, with orders to the CIA on two separate
occasions and in both cases the CIA ignored those orders, saying that it was
different from what the agency thought should be done. In other words, the
CIA had decided that it—not the president—would make the decisions as to
how American foreign policy should be conducted.”308
Lane pointed out that a source for Krock’s column was a report filed for
the Scripps-Howard newspapers by foreign correspondent Richard Starnes
who had interviewed a number of high-ranking administration officials and
others who expressed their concern about the CIA’s intransigence.
A CIA-SPONSORED COUP D’ETAT?
According to Krock’s column: “Among the views attributed to United
States officials on the scene, including one described as a “very high
American official . . . who has spent much of his life in the service of
democracy . . . are the following:
The CIA’s growth was “likened to a malignancy” which the “very high
official was not sure even the White House could control . . . any longer.”
“If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to
overthrow the Government] it will come from the CIA and not the
Pentagon.” The agency “represents a tremendous power and total
unaccountability to anyone.”
“Whatever else these passages disclose, they most certainly establish
that representatives of other Executive branches have expanded their war
against the CIA from the inner government councils to the American people
via the press.
And published simultaneously are details of the agency’s operations in
Vietnam that can come only from the same critical official sources. This is
disorderly government. And the longer the President tolerates it—the period
already is considerable—the greater the real war against the Vietcong and the
impression of a very indecisive Administration in Washington.
“The CIA may be guilty as charged. Since it cannot, or at any rate will
not, openly defend its record in Vietnam or defend it by the same
confidential press ‘briefings’ employed by its critics, the public is not in a
[114] Final Judgment 175
position to judge. Nor to this department, which sought and failed to get
even the outlines of the agency’s case in rebuttal.
“But Mr. Kennedy will have to make a judgment if the spectacle of war
within the Executive branch is to be ended and the effective functioning of
the CIA preserved. And when he makes this judgment, hopefully he also
will make it public, as well as the appraisal of fault on which it is based.
“Doubtless recommendations as to what his judgment should be were
made to him today by Secretary of Defense McNamara and General Taylor
on their return from their fact-finding expedition into the embattled official
jungle in Saigon.” 309
It is ironic, indeed, that Krock’s column concluded with its reference to
the trip by McNamara and Taylor to Southeast Asia.
For, as Col. Fletcher Prouty points out, upon their return they
“reported to the President that it looked to them, after their visit to Saigon,
as though things could be put under control and that we would be able to
withdraw all personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1965.
“Now we can see why they chose that date,” comments Prouty. “This
was the date the President had used in his own discussions with his closest
advisers. They all knew that he planned to announce a pullout once he had
been re-elected.” 310
It was soon thereafter, however, that John F. Kennedy was indeed gone
from the scene and the president’s plans for withdrawal from Vietnam, so
carefully drawn, were now being reversed by the new President.
THE CIA PREVAILS
In his book Plausible Denial, Mark Lane summarizes the events which
occurred: “Just four days after the death of President Kennedy, Lyndon
Johnson signed NSAM 273 that began to reverse the policy of withdrawal
from Vietnam and signified the beginning of the escalation of the conflict.
The CIA had prevailed. The effort in Southeast Asia was to become a
massive land-based war.”
“During March, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM 288 that repudiated
Kennedy’s plan to end the U.S. military participation in the war that year. In
the months that followed, Johnson increased the military commitment from
under 20,000 troops to approximately a quarter of a million.” 311
“Years later . . . after the deaths of more than 50,000 Americans and
more than a million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians, the war finally
ended with the military defeat of the United States. “312
However, as we have seen in Chapter 6, the war in Vietnam proved a
boon to the CIA’s allies in Israel, allowing the Middle East state to flex its
muscles in the region.
And in Chapter 12 we shall see that a joint CIA-Meyer Lansky Crime
Syndicate venture in the international drug racket out of Southeast Asia
proved so very profitable, conducted under military cover in the midst of
U.S. involvement in Vietnam.
176 A Little Unpleasantness [115]
THE CIA AND THE JFK ASSASSINATION
It was not until the release of Plausible Denial that the extent of the
CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination was fully outlined. Suspicion
of the CIA’s complicity was commonplace over the years, but Lane’s book
proved the matter once and for all. And, significantly, his book was a
written summation of a libel trial in Miami some years previously in which
the jury had concluded that the CIA had indeed been involved in the JFK
assassination conspiracy and cover-up.
The circumstances of how the trial came about are interesting. It was in
1978, that a Washington-based weekly newspaper, The Spotlight, published
an article by former high-ranking CIA official Victor Marchetti which
alleged the CIA intended to frame longtime CIA operative E. Howard Hunt
for involvement in the Kennedy assassination.
Hunt, of course, was the CIA’s chief political liaison with the anti-
Castro Cuban community during the period leading up to the JFK
assassination and who had, subsequently, over the years, been mentioned as
a suspect in the assassination conspiracy.
(Hunt had organized, on the CIA’s behalf, several anti-Castro Cuban
groups, including the Revolutionary Democratic Front. Hunt’s Cuban point
man in the RDF, Antonio de Varona, in fact, personally received funding for
the RDF from Meyer Lansky himself.) 313
Marchetti’s article suggested that there was then so much growing
suspicion that the CIA had been involved in the JFK assassination that the
CIA had decided that it would sacrifice Hunt and say that Hunt was a
“renegade” operative involved in the president’s assassination.
HUNT A FREE-LANCE OPERATIVE?
However, according to Marchetti, the CIA intended to say that Hunt and
his co-conspirators had been operating independently—that the CIA as an
institution had not been part of the conspiracy.
Although the editors of The Spotlight felt Marchetti’s article served, if
anything, as an advance warning to Hunt about what his former employers
had in mind, the ex-CIA man decided to sue, even though he ultimately
admitted under oath that he believed The Spotlight’s story seemed plausible.
When the case finally went to trial in federal court in Miami, the newspaper
suffered a devastating loss. The jury found in favor of Hunt and ordered The
Spotlight to pay $650,000 in damages.
Fortunately—for The Spotlight—an error in the trial judge’s
instructions to the jury gave the populist weekly grounds for an appeal.
When the case was successfully appealed and ordered for retrial, Mark
Lane—an attorney—stepped in for the defense.
Among the big names deposed during the Hunt case were: former CIA
Director Richard Helms; former CIA Director Stansfield Turner; former
CIA chief for the Western Hemisphere David Phillips; and former CIA and
FBI man (and Watergate celebrity) G. Gordon Liddy. The most damning
[116] Final Judgment 177
evidence against Hunt came, however, when attorney Lane presented the
deposition of former CIA operative Marita Lorenz
HUNT, STURGIS AND RUBY IN DALLAS
Miss Lorenz testified that one day prior to the president’s assassination
she arrived in Dallas (traveling from a CIA “safe house” in Miami) in a twocar
caravan. Accompanying Miss Lorenz on what she described as a secret
mission were several CIA operatives, led by Miss Lorenz’ CIA “handler,”
Frank Sturgis, armed with telescopic rifles. According to Miss Lorenz she
had not been apprised of the purpose of the mission.
Upon arrival in Dallas, according to Miss Lorenz, they met with not
only E. Howard Hunt, who was functioning as the CIA operatives’
paymaster, but also nightclub operator Jack Ruby who later executed the
president’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
When Hunt himself took the stand, attorney Lane, while questioning
Hunt, pointed out numerous inconsistencies in Hunt’s testimony. Hunt
himself had told several stories, over the years, about where he had been on
the day the president was assassinated.
It was Miss Lorenz’ testimony, however, that convinced the jury that
the CIA had been involved in the Kennedy assassination. The jury found in
favor of The Spotlight and dismissed Hunt’s claim.
Leslie Armstrong, a Miami resident who was jury forewoman in the
case, issued a statement in conjunction with the release of Lane’s written
account of the trial:
“Mr. Lane was asking us [the jury] to do something very difficult. He
was asking us to believe John Kennedy had been killed by our own
government. Yet when we examined the evidence closely, we were
compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.” 314
In his best-selling Plausible Denial Lane recounted this exciting trial and
demonstrated other compelling evidence that he uncovered which proves that
the CIA did indeed have a hand in the president’s assassination But in
Chapter 16 of Final Judgment we will look more closely at the activities of
both E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, examining remarkable evidence
which points further toward the involvement of the Mossad—alongside the
CIA—in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
THE NOVO BROTHERS
But there are other interesting connections, in the meantime, that
should be explored. Lane has described how Miss Lorenz had gone even
further in her testimony, naming other CIA operatives who had been in the
two-car caravan organized by Frank Sturgis in which Lorenz traveled from
Miami to Dallas. According to Lane, “Before Miss Lorenz testified, I asked
her, Will you tell me the names of the people who traveled with you in
that two-car caravan?’
178 A Little Unpleasantness [117]
“She said that she wouldn’t name names. ‘That could get me killed,’
she said. ‘Don’t ask me that question. I want you to promise me that you
won’t ask me that question.’ However, ” according to Lane, “Mr. Hunt’s
lawyer asked her that question and she answered it, to my surprise. She said
that it was the Novo brothers.”
According to Lane, “The Novo brothers—Guillermo and Ignacio—are very
interesting characters. I’ve done some research on them. I can assure you,”
said Lane, “that the first time I heard their name connected with the Kennedy
assassination was when Miss Lorenz gave their names to Hunt’s lawyer. She
had not told me anything before that.
“After her testimony to Hunt’s lawyer, I asked Miss Lorenz, ‘Why did
you tell them?’ She said—referring to Hunt, the CIA and his lawyers—`If
they are so dumb as to ask me that question, then it is not my fault if I give
them the answer. It’s on their heads,’ said Miss Lorenz. `If you had asked
me, it would have been a different story. However, if the CIA—through
Hunt and his lawyers—asked that question, then it’s on the record and it’s
their fault, not mine.’”
THE HUNT-BUCKLEY CONNECTION
“These Novo brothers that Miss Lorenz named have been involved in a
series of intelligence related crimes. They were involved in the murder in
Washington, D.C. in 1976 of former Chilean government official Orlando
Letelier and Ronnie Moffit, a woman who was with him. A man named
Michael Townley who was connected with the Chilean secret police was
involved in planning the Letelier murder with the Novo brothers. When
Townley was indicted, he testified against the Novos.
“Townley was questioned by the FBI who asked Townley to show
them where in New York City he had his first meeting with the Novos.
Townley pointed out a building at 500 Fifth Avenue and showed the FBI the
office on the 41st floor where the first meeting was held.” 315
According to Lane, research indicated that the meeting was held in the
office of then-U.S. Sen. James Buckley (C-N.Y.). Now a federal judge on
the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Buckley is
the brother of former CIA operative and conservative fortnightly National
Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr.
(E. Howard Hunt was William F. Buckley’s immediate superior in the
CIA during the period that the two served together in the CIA in Mexico for
nine months in the period of 1951-52.)
According to Lane, “The testimony by Townley made reference to a
William Sampol who worked in James Buckley’s office. Sampol was a
cousin of the Novo brothers.”316
Lane points out that the murder of Letelier took place during the time that
George Bush was director of the CIA: “There is evidence that Bush was given
information that indicated that the Chilean government was responsible
for the murder of Letelier. However, Bush gave information to
[118] Final Judgment 179
selected friends in the news media the story that Letelier was killed by his
own supporters who wanted to make him [Letelier] a martyr.
According to Lane, “It was William F. Buckley, Jr. who took that story
from Bush and ran with it. The media followed Buckley’s lead, but the story
turned out not to be true.” (In Chapter 20, as we shall see, it was George
Bush who, in many ways, had very close connections to a number of the
key players in the strange netherworld of international intelligence as it is
linked to the JFK assassination.)
As Lane points out: “The Novos were both convicted of the Letelier
murder and sentenced to prison. These are the brothers that Marita Lorenz
testified were in the two-car caravan of killers traveling from Miami to
Dallas for the purpose of assassinating President Kennedy.” 317
MULTIPLE MOSSAD CONNECTIONS
Evidence now available from former Mossad operative Victor Ostrovsky
suggests that Israel’s Mossad, in fact, was indirectly connected with the
Letelier assassination for which the Novo brothers (implicated in the JFK
assassination) were later convicted.
(It was Ostrovsky, coincidentally enough, whom we learned in Chapter 2,
had exposed a Mossad plot to assassinate the former director of the CIA,
George Bush, after Bush, serving as U.S. President, ran afoul of Israel.)
According to Ostrovsky, commenting on the Letelier murder: “Nobody
pointed the finger at the Mossad. And while the Mossad had no direct
involvement in the hit ordered by Chilean DINA [secret police] Chief
Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, it had played a significant indirect role in the
execution through a secret deal with Contreras to buy a French-made Exocet
surface-to-surface naval missile from Chile.
“The death squad didn’t use Mossad personnel in killing Letelier but
they certainly used Mossad know-how, taught to them as part of the deal
Contreras made to supply the missile.” 318 It was the Novo brothers,
however, who took the fall and served time in prison. No Mossad agents,
however, were charged with the crime.
It is interesting to note, nonetheless, that Michael Townley himself had very
interesting further connections with Israel. His wife, Ines, although a Chilean
Christian, had spent time on an Israeli Kibbutz with her first husband,
and maintained a long-standing “devotion to the cause of Israel.” 319
Part of Townley’s deal with the federal prosecutors, in the case of the
Novo brothers, involved a plea bargain in which his wife received immunity
from prosecution, although she had been implicated in various terrorist
enterprises alongside her husband. 320
However, Townley’s other connection with Israel is far more
significant, particularly in the context of our discussion of his connection
with the Cuban Americans who have been implicated in the JFK
assassination. During Townley’s long career as an international adventurer, he
served—apparently during the period from 1961-1966—as a mutual funds
salesman for financier Bernard Cornfeld’s Investors’ Overseas Service (JOS)
180 A Little Unpleasantness [119]
321 It was in Chapter 7 that we first came across the IOS, in examining the
relationship of Meyer Lansky’s Organized Crime Syndicate to the Israeli
Mossad-linked Banque De Credit International (BCI).
TIBOR ROSENBAUM’S PROTEGE
During the criminal trial in 1970 of one of Lansky’s Florida
lieutenants, Alvin Malnik, it was publicly revealed that one of the key
money laundering channels for the illegal proceeds of Lansky’s narcotics,
vice and gambling rackets was BCI, the brainchild of the Israeli Mossad’s
former Director-General for Finance and Supply, Tibor Rosenbaum
Rosenbaum’s BCI received its Lansky Crime Syndicate cash flow
mainly through the Lansky-controlled Bank of World Commerce in Nassau,
Bahamas. The middleman was a young Swiss, Sylvain Ferdmann, a courier
for Lansky.
Ferdmann was not only an official of Rosenbaum’s bank, and an
associate of the Bank of World Commerce (controlled by Lansky’s longtime
crony, John Pullman) but—like Michael Townley himself—also a legman
for Investors Overseas Services (IOS).
Townley’s employer, Cornfeld, in fact, was initially sponsored by
Rosenbaum who had emerged as a major money launderer for Lansky’s
global drug trafficking. Millions in small bills were transferred from
Lansky’s casinos, often masked as Israeli Bond sales and contributions to
Jewish philanthropies through BCI and the IOS.
It is thus interesting, to say the least, that Michael Townley, with his
Israeli Mossad connections during not only the period of the JFK
assassination but also during his participation in the Letelier murder, should
be associated with the Novo brothers who have been implicated in both
crimes themselves.
That former New York Senator James Buckley’s office should have,
perhaps by coincidence, served as the meeting place where the Letelier
assassination was planned is also interesting. As we’ve noted already, E.
Howard Hunt (himself implicated in the JFK assassination) and Buckley’s
brother, publisher (and Hunt’s ex-CIA support staffer) William F. Buckley,
Jr. were longtime friends stemming from their CIA days.
Hunt’s own longtime intrigue with the Cuban American community in
anti-Castro activities as the CIA’s chief liaison with the Cubans, of course,
has long been widely noted.
THE BUCKLEY-ISRAEL CONNECTION
However, what is not so widely known is that the Buckley family—
including brothers James and William—had substantive links to Israel
through their various family oil enterprises. In 1971 the Washington Observer
newsletter shed some interesting light on the Buckley family oil concessions in
Israel, established by Buckley’s father.
[120] Final Judgment 181
Buckley, Sr. incorporated Pan-Israel Oil Co (headquartered in Jerusalem)
with Buckley, Sr. as president. Directors of the company included several
Israelis. Simultaneously, Israel-Mediterranean Petroleum, Inc. was
incorporated under the laws of Panama. The principal offices of the firm
were in Jerusalem at the same address where Pan-Israel Oil Co. was located.
James L. Buckley was one of the vice presidents. All of the voting stock for
the two companies was held in the voting trust. No members of the Buckley
family, however, held votes. The voting trustees had Jewish names.
Pan-Israel and Israel-Mediterranean jointly owned eight petroleum
licenses, all located in Israel. The two companies also owned Mana Oil
Distributors and Tri-Continent Drilling Co., a subsidiary of the Pantepec
Oil Company (later absorbed by Pantepec International Petroleum, Ltd.).
President of PIP, Ltd. was John W. Buckley who, with his brother
James L. Buckley, served on the board of directors. These companies,
together conducted global operations with oil properties in Australia, South
America, Canada, Libya, Spanish Sahara, the Philippines and Israel. 322
That the Hunt- and CIA-linked Buckley family should also be so
closely tied to the Novo brothers, implicated in both the JFK and Orlando
Letelier assassinations is intriguing.
More so, perhaps, because the Novo brothers’ associate in the Letelier
assassination—at least—was himself intimately tied to the Meyer Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate and an Israeli Mossad-sponsored money
laundering operation.
Incredibly enough, however, there is yet another bizarre Buckley family
link to a key player in the strange world of JFK’s alleged assassin, Lee
Harvey Oswald, and the JFK assassination conspiracy.
THE BUCKLEY-DeMOHRENSCHILDT CONNECTION
This link came in the person of the colorful Russian nobleman,
George DeMohrenschildt, who befriended Oswald upon the young
American’s return from exile (some would say “CIA service”) in the Soviet
Union. DeMohrenschildt, who is reputed to have worked for various
international intelligence agencies, had a long-standing relationship with the
CIA, dating back to the days of the CIA’s predecessor, the Office of
Strategic Services (OSS), in which, incidentally, E. Howard Hunt himself
had served. 323
The European nobleman, however, traveled around the globe primarily
in his capacity as an oil engineer. It was in this guise that he came into
contact with the Buckley family. As early as 1945 DeMohrenschildt worked
directly under Warren Smith, then the president of the Pantepec Oil Co., the
Buckley family’s Mexican oil company, established in 1914.
DeMohrenschildt and Smith eventually formed the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil
Trust Co. The Buckley Family’s Pantepec, interestingly enough, had, by
that time, already shifted its focus to Venezuela. 324
182 A Little Unpleasantness [121]
Despite all these more tenuous Buckley links, there is, however, firm
evidence of a link between the Buckleys and DeMohrenschildt. It turns out
that in DeMohrenschildt’s address book is listed one “Buckley, W.F.”325
DeMOHRENSCHILDT AND HUNT
DeMohrenschildt’s career also seems to have intersected on a regular
basis with that of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s friend and CIA mentor, E.
Howard Hunt. Both Hunt and DeMohrenschildt had worked for the Agency
for International Development (AID); Hunt for the Economic Cooperation
Administration (ECA), a subsidiary of AID and DeMohrenschildt in the late
1950’s for the International Cooperation Administration, the AID subsidiary
which was the successor to the ECA.
Hunt and DeMohrenschildt also both popped up in Cuba in 1956 in the
stormy period before Fidel Castro pushed the Meyer Lansky Organized
Crime Syndicate off the island. While DeMohrenschildt said later that he
was there on oil business, Hunt was attending a meeting of CIA station
chiefs from the Caribbean and Central American regions.
In 1960 both Hunt and DeMohrenschildt also appeared in Guatemala
when troops were being trained there for what was ultimately to be the Bay
of Pigs debacle, initially intended for the purpose of toppling Castro.
DeMohrenschildt said that he and his wife were on a walking tour of Central
America. Hunt, however, was serving as the CIA’s liaison with anti-Castro
Cuban groups. 326
By 1963, however, DeMohrenschildt had settled in Dallas and had
befriended Lee Harvey Oswald who by this time, was mixing easily with the
anti-Castro Cuban elements that were directly under the thumb of the CIA’s
chief liaison with those forces—E. Howard Hunt.
The role of DeMohrenschildt in the JFK assassination conspiracy will
probably never be known. In the end, the globe-hopping nobleman died
(ostensibly by his own hand) on the morning of March 29, 1977 just
shortly before he was scheduled to meet with an investigator of the House
Select Committee on Assassinations. DeMohrenschildt’s wife believed her
husband’s suicide had somehow been induced.
Whatever the case, there is yet another bizarre coincidence,
DeMohrenschildt had just met—before his death—with author Edward Jay
Epstein. In Chapter 8, as we saw, it was Epstein who was the primary
literary promoter of the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was under Soviet
influence when he assassinated John F. Kennedy. The primary source for
Epstein’s theory was Israel’s CIA ally, James Jesus Angleton.
THE CIA AND THE OAS
It was during the same period of JFK’ s war with the CIA that the CIA
was actively engaged in an effort to topple French President Charles
DeGaulle, lending aid and support to the Israeli-backed French Secret Army
[122] Final Judgment 183
Organization (OAS) that was fighting DeGaulle’s decision to grant
independence to Algeria.
Although the Church Senate Committee hearings on clandestine CIA
activities later concluded that there had been no CIA involvement with the
OAS,327 there is very strong evidence to the contrary.
General Maurice Challe, former commander in chief of French forces in
Algeria and leader of the military revolt against DeGaulle in April of 1961,
emerged as one of the key figures in the OAS. Although Challe insisted that
he “‘had no contact personally with any foreign countries’ and that in fact he
had deliberately avoided all such contacts so as not to incur any possible
charge of having been brought in on foreign bayonets.
“Nevertheless,” according to historian Alistair Horne, “some of
[Challe’s] subordinates appear to have made informal, and highly tentative,
soundings with representatives of various countries that might be considered
sympathetic, among them Portugal, Spain, Israel and South Africa.”328
“Rumors of clandestine United States involvement ran extremely strong in
France. Undeniably, during his time at NATO headquarters the popular Challe
did make firm friends of a number of high-ranking United States generals
who made no secret of their aversion to what DeGaulle was doing to NATO,
going so far—over a plethora of Scotch—as to express enthusiasm for
anyone who might rid France of her turbulent president, or, at least, force
him to change his tune.”329
“There were also rumors that the CIA had promised Challe United
States recognition if they succeeded—in order to keep the communists out
of North Africa. Any hopes, however, that all this may have engendered in
the bosom of the conspiracy were to be swiftly dashed when [John F.
Kennedy’s] Ambassador to Paris, General James M. Gavin, firmly assured
DeGaulle that if any rebels attempted to land on French bases where there
were American troops, these would at once open fire.” 330
There is further evidence that the CIA was engaged in intrigue with the
OAS. According to historian Alexander Harrison, “In early December 1961,
a ‘Colonel Brown’ of the CIA station in France requested a meeting with
[OAS leader General Raoul] Salan. Brown offered Salan enough weaponry to
equip an army of 50,000 men.”331
Although some have speculated that the purported CIA operatives were
not, in fact, really with the CIA, General Salan himself said, “I was sure
they were serious, because they knew all the right people, and their
credentials were perfect.” In fact, in the end, some arms were indeed
delivered.332 So there really is no question, really, that the CIA was indeed
covertly supporting the OAS in its war against DeGaulle.
We do know that during this same time frame, the CIA did have one
liaison, at least, to the OAS. He was E. Howard Hunt, the agency’s
political handler for the anti-Castro Cuban exiles.
In Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we will examine Hunt’s OAS
connections further, particularly as they relate to the key players involved in
the JFK assassination conspiracy.
184 A Little Unpleasantness [123]
THE OAS AND ‘ISRAEL’S FRIENDS IN FRANCE’
One of the few American conservatives to recognize the strange
dynamics between DeGaulle and the CIA was Dan Smoot, who commented
perceptively as early as 1958 that: “In the current liberal-internationalist
smear of DeGaulle, the lefties hammer that DeGaulle is anti-American; but
they never tell why.”333 He pointed out that DeGaulle was angry about CIA
support for the anti-DeGaulle left in France, and commented that largely
DeGaulle was more, instead “anti-CIA, which is something else again.” 334
He added, “The New York Times was almost hysterical about DeGaulle
coming to power—You can understand why.”335
In fact, during this time of CIA intrigue against DeGaulle, it is worth
noting that the aforementioned OAS leaders—Salan and Challe—among
many others “were known as Israel’s friends in France,”336 according to
Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi.
Ultimately, Israel rewarded Challe for his efforts. After Challe was
released from prison in 1967, having been convicted of his involvement in
attempting to topple DeGaulle, Challe was hired by Zim, the Israeli
shipping concern, 337 part of the international corporate empire of one of the
Mossad’s most valued assets, billionaire Shaul Eisenberg, whose enterprises
were an integral part of the economy of the state of Israel itself.
We first met Eisenberg in Chapter 7 where we learned of his
partnership, along with Mossad officer Tibor Rosenbaum, in the Swiss-
Israel Trade Bank. But we will learn much more about Eisenberg and his
ventures on behalf of Israel’s drive for a nuclear arsenal later in these pages.
More importantly, however, we will see how Eisenberg’s activities tie
directly into the JFK assassination—a story that has never been told before.
That Israel and its allies in the CIA would be conspiring against
Charles DeGaulle during the same period when they were likewise
conspiring against John F. Kennedy, as we shall see, is quite significant
indeed.
THREE POWERFUL FORCES
All of these connections illustrate the cycle which continually links key
players in the international intrigue between not only the CIA and the Israeli
Mossad, but also the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—three
powerful forces all of which desired the removal of John F. Kennedy from
the White House.
Chapter Ten
Little Man’s Little Man:
Meyer Lansky & Carlos Marcello—
Did the Mafia Kill JFK?
Meyer Lansky’s Louisiana front-man, Carlos Marcello,
h a s b e c ome a f a v o r i t e t a r g e t f o r JFK a s s a s s i n a t i o n
researchers who like to claim that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”
The fact is that Marcello’s most formidable chief accuser,
G. Robe r t Bl a ke y , s t a f f di r e c t o r o f t he Hous e Se l e c t
Committee on Assassinations, had been on the payroll of a
key figure in the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.
Marcello was only one cog in the Lansky Syndicate. His
key placement in New Orleans—scene of much of the preassassination
planning—makes him the perfect fall guy.
Marcello also had ties to Israel’s allies in the CIA. There’s a
lot more to the Marcello story than meets the eye.
It was Lee Harvard Oswald’s pathetic cry, “I’m just a patsy,” that has
become immortalized. Ironically, though, one of the most widely alleged
JFK assassination masterminds—New Orleans’ widely-publicized supposed
“crime boss”—might himself be able to make that same claim. We are
speaking, of course, of the colorful Carlos Marcello—nicknamed “Little
Man”—a sobriquet he happened to share with Meyer Lansky.
BLAMING MARCELLO
One book, John W. Davis’s Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the
Assassination of John F. Kennedy, names Marcello as the likely
mastermind of the JFK murder. Standing alone, with no further evidence
such as that we have cited in the pages of Final Judgment, in this chapter
and elsewhere, Davis’ contention seems reasonable. But, as we’ve said, his
conclusions are not based on the totality of all the evidence available to
those who are interested in the big picture.
DISTORTING THE TRUTH
David Scheim, writing in Contract on America: The Mafia Murder of
President John F. Kennedy, likewise blames “the Mafia” for the JFK
assassination and also points the finger at Carlos Marcello in particular. For
whatever reason, however, Scheim is devoted to underplaying (even
ignoring) the critical role of Meyer Lansky in the underworld.
In Scheim’s view, Lansky was little more than a bit player—this in
direct contradiction to even standard histories of organized crime which, by
virtue of reality, are forced to recognize Lansky’s particular influence.
186 LittleMan’s LittleMan [125]
Scheim, in fact, goes to great lengths to suggest that Lansky was of
little consequence in the whole scheme of things. He writes: “The late
syndicate financier Meyer Lansky could take no action without the approval
of Mafia superiors.”338 This is simply not true in any sense whatsoever.
That Scheim even suggests this indicates that he is determined to ignore the
entire picture.
Scheim notes, incorrectly, that Lansky’s alleged “Mafia superiors” kept
him under constant surveillance through one Jimmy “Blue Eyes” Alo whom
Scheim describes as a “caporegime” in the Genovese Mafia family out of
New York. 339 Alo was indeed closely associated with Lansky, but, in fact,
was not only a close personal friend, but also a working partner. He was
not, contrary to Scheim’s bizarre concoction, a Mafia handler of Meyer
Lansky.
CLAY SHAW AND THE CIA
Scheim’s own determination to ignore the role of the intelligence
community in the JFK assassination conspiracy—particularly that of the
CIA—is also interesting. In his book Scheim goes to great lengths to
portray New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as a tool of the Mafia
and an associate of Carlos Marcello. He also comes down hard on Garrison’s
investigation of international businessman Clay Shaw.
According to Scheim, “Equally bizarre was Garrison’s prosecution of
Clay Shaw, who became his prime culprit. A retired director of the New
Orleans International Trade Mart, Shaw was a soft-spoken liberal who
devoted most of his time to restoring homes in the Old French Quarter.” 340
What Scheim fails to note—and what he could not miss inasmuch as he
is self-portrayed as a longtime JFK assassination researcher—is that Shaw
was, indeed, involved with the CIA.
IGNORING THE FACTS
This was a fact well known among JFK assassination researchers at the
time Scheim’s book went to press. There is simply no rational excuse for
Scheim’s deliberate deletion of this critical fact.
Be that as it may, in Chapter 15 we shall examine Shaw’s central
positioning in the conspiracy that involved not only the CIA and the Mafia
and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, but also Israel’s Mossad.
Obviously, in order to perpetuate the myth that “The Mafia Killed
JFK,” Scheim is forced to avoid the facts that damage his thesis. And this is
precisely what he has done.
Scheim’s own book (and the aforementioned work by John W. Davis)
both rely heavily on a previously-released work, The Plot to Kill the
President: Organized Crime Assassinated JFK by G. Robert Blakey and
Richard N. Billings.
(Scheim’s book, in fact, is hardly more than a re-write of much of the
same material and, actually, constitutes little more than a history of the
[126] Final Judgment 187
Mafia, available in many standard sources. Scheim’s book, all in all, fails
miserably in its attempt to lay the blame anywhere for that matter.
(And in light of the facts that we are uncovering in the pages of Final
Judgment it is probably worth noting that Scheim’s publisher, Shapolsky
Publishers, is an affiliate of an Israeli-owned company—a fact that could
perhaps have something to do with the decision to promote a book pinning
the assassination of JFK on “the Mafia.”)
That Scheim and Davis relied upon the Blakey/Billings work is
unfortunate, particularly since this book comes from what can only be
charitably described as suspect sources.
Blakey, of course, was director of the House Assassinations Committee
which concluded that there had probably been a conspiracy behind the
president’s assassination and that, more than likely, elements of the “Mafia”
may have been been involved.
SABOTAGING GARRISON
Richard Billings, who served alongside Blakey in the House Committee
investigation, was no stranger to the JFK assassination conspiracy. In fact,
Billings had been the Life magazine editor who led a team from his
magazine to New Orleans ostensibly to collaborate with then District
Attorney Jim Garrison in his investigation into the JFK murder.
Garrison notes, however, that Life, instead, did just the opposite. Life
ran several major articles which linked Garrison to organized crime—to the
Mafia—to Carlos Marcello, specifically, thereby discrediting Garrison to
many who believed the tales.341
As a consequence when Blakey and Billings teamed up to write the
book based on their experiences with the House Assassinations Committee,
they reserved harsh criticism for Garrison and suggested that he was pointing
the finger, wrongly, at the intelligence community and, in effect covering
up for Marcello’s involvement in the crime.
Billings, it also just happens, was an in-law of C. D. Jackson, the
publisher of Life magazine whom investigative journalist Carl Bernstein has
described as “[Life owner] Henry Luce’s personal emissary to the CIA.”342
Billings also—perhaps not coincidentally—played a recurring role in Life’s
coverage of CIA-backed Cuban exile raids on Castro’s Cuba.
ORGANIZED CRIME ‘EXPERT’
So it was that Blakey and Billings’ work put much emphasis on
Marcello as having been one of the prime movers in the conspiracy. Yet,
Blakey’s allegations about the role of “the Mafia” can only be described as
suspect, to say the very least. There’s much more to the story as we will
see.
A professor of law and the director of the Notre Dame University
Institute on Organized Crime, Blakey is often loudly trumpeted by the media
as one of the nation’s leading authorities on “the Mafia.” Previously a
188 LittleMan’s LittleMan [127]
special prosecutor in the Justice Department under then-Attorney General
Robert Kennedy, Blakey is the author of the famous Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute that has become a major tool in
federal organized crime prosecutions.
Thus it is that Blakey’s conclusions about the role of “the Mafia” (and
specifically Carlos Marcello) in the JFK assassination conspiracy have
received widespread recognition and credibility. However, just two years
before he was named director of the House Assassinations Committee,
Blakey had a different relationship with organized crime: he had been on
the payroll of a top figure in the Lansky Syndicate.
BLAKEY’S LANSKY CONNECTION
After Penthouse magazine had published an article alleging that the La
Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, California was linked to the underworld,
several of La Costa’s founders filed a lawsuit against Penthouse. One of the
plaintiffs in the La Costa case was Morris “Moe” Dalitz, a former Detroit
and Cleveland bootlegger-turned-Las Vegas casino boss, who had longstanding
and close personal and business ties with Meyer Lansky.
Brought in as part of Dalitz’s legal team was Robert Blakey himself.
This was certainly an unusual position for a self-promoted “crime fighter”
such as Blakey. The longtime crime fighter, in fact, provided an affidavit on
Dalitz’s behalf against Penthouse. 343
Blakey’s employer Dalitz was very much an integral part of the Lansky
Syndicate. In Chapter 4 we learned that it was the notorious “Purple Gang”
in Detroit that had put out a contract on the life of Ambassador Joseph P.
Kennedy, father of the future president, during Prohibition for interfering in
their “territory.” Kennedy, as we saw, made contact with Chicago Mafia
chieftain Sam Giancana who intervened on the elder Kennedy’s behalf,
convincing the Purple Gang to cancel the proposed “hit.” At that time, in
fact, one of the key leaders of the Purple Gang was none other than Moe
Dalitz, an up-and-coming mob figure.
DALITZ, SIEGEL AND LANSKY
According to FBI organized crime expert William Roemer, “Moe Dalitz
started his criminal career way back in the Prohibition Era. He had been one
of the admirals in ‘the Little Jewish Navy’ in Detroit when, as a rumrunner,
he ferried booze across the Detroit River from Canada to quench the
thirst of the many Motor City citizens who were eager to taste the whiskey,
wine, and beer forbidden by the ‘Noble Experiment.'”344 This was the
beginning of a long, lasting, close working relationship between Lansky,
“the chairman of the board of organized crime” and Morris Dalitz.
In fact, according to Roemer, it was Dalitz who was the prime mover
behind the Syndicate’s move against Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Lansky’s
boyhood friend and fellow racketeer who was shot dead in 1947.
[128] Final Judgment 189
According to Roemer, it was Lansky who sent Dalitz to Las Vegas to
inquire into the activities of Ben Siegel. Dalitz, reports Roemer, “was the
main contributor to the growing opinion that everything was not on the up
and up. His report was the major reason why Lansky, [Frank] Costello, et
al, made their report to the [organized crime] assembly in Havana in
December 1946 and later in June when it was finally decided to chop
Bugsy.”345
In Chapter 13 we shall review the Lansky-Siegel connection further and
examine the bizarre role that the colorful thug, Mickey Cohen, Siegel’s
successor as Lansky’s West Coast henchman, played in Israel’s intrigues
against JFK and in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
In fact, as a direct consequence of Seigel’s assassination, Dalitz stepped
in as Lansky’s official liaison in Las Vegas, becoming the so-called
“godfather of Las Vegas.” However, it would be nearly thirty years later that
Robert Blakey, the chief proponent of the theory that “The Mafia Killed
JFK” would end up on Morris Dalitz’s team, proclaiming Dalitz innocent of
any mob connections and directing attention away from any direct Lansky
connections to the JFK assassination conspiracy.
Unfortunately for Blakey, Dalitz and La Costa, Penthouse prevailed and
beat back their libel suit and, in effect, repudiated Blakey’s character
reference on behalf of Dalitz and his associates.
So it was that the chief proponent of the theory that “the Mafia Killed
JFK” had lined up in defense of one of Meyer Lansky’s closest associates—
Moe Dalitz, a legendary figure in the underworld himself.
Some seven months after Blakey and the House Assassinations
Committee issued their report that “The Mafia Killed JFK”—a report that
carefully and studiously ignored Lansky’s high-level influence over “the
Mafia”—the Wall Street Journal reported in September of 1979 that Dalitz
had long been identified by federal authorities as an ongoing senior advisor to
organized crime.346 This time Dalitz did not bring a libel suit.
ISRAEL HONORS DALITZ
Dalitz’ public image, however, did not suffer as a consequence of the
Penthouse victory in the libel suit or as a result of the report in the Wall
Street Journal. Instead, in 1983 the aging mob figure and Las Vegas
“philanthropist” was honored by the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) of B’nai B’rith with its prestigious “Torch of Liberty Award.”
Evidently the ADL did not see any problem with giving its highest
honor to one of the top leaders of organized crime. Dalitz’s service to the
cause of Israel was apparently deemed more significant than his activities in
the underworld. And Dalitz was indeed an active supporter of Israel’s cause.
In fact, Dalitz himself was the key mid-West contact for the Sonneborn
Institute—the Israeli arms smuggling entity—that we first encountered in
Chapter 7 where we examined the long-standing ties of the Lansky
Syndicate to Israel. So we can certainly understand why the ADL would be
so eager to award Dalitz for his services.
190 LittleMan’s LittleMan [129]
In Chapter 17 we shall examine the immense influence that the ADL
itself has on the American news media. We shall also see one instance of
how a longtime ADL collaborator floated a “new” theory about the JFK
assassination—a widely-publicized cover story that seems to have been
orchestrated by Israel’s friends at the CIA.
For his own part, Dalitz’s defender, Robert Blakey, clearly prefers to
look at the Italian elements of the underworld, but no further. As we saw in
Chapter 7 (and which we will discuss further in this chapter and elsewhere)
the differences between “the Mafia” and organized crime as a whole are far
more profound that Blakey would allow us to imagine.
BLAKEY AND THE CIA
Blakey, likewise, has refused to acknowledge the role of American
intelligence, specifically the CIA, in the JFK assassination. No wonder then that
prominent JFK assassination researchers such as Mark Lane, writing in Plausible
Denial, and Jim Marrs, writing in Crossfire—among many others—have
commented critically on Blakey’s close relationship with the CIA during the
period of the House Assassinations Committee investigation. In his own
book, Conspiracy, Anthony Summers documents—in frightening
detail—the CIA’s subversion of the House investigation which, it appears, was
aided and abetted by Blakey himself
Blakey himself did nothing to allay the suspicions of his critics by
first clearing his own book with the CIA. The concluding paragraph of
Blakey’s book—which another JFK assassination researcher, Carl Oglesby,
caustically remarked should have appeared on the opening pages rather than
buried at the end of the book—read as follows:
“Pursuant to agreement with the Select Committee on Assassinations,
the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
reviewed this book in manuscript form to determine that the classified
information it contained had been properly released for publication and that
no informant was identified. Neither the CIA nor the FBI warrants the
factual material or endorses the views expressed.” 347
Thus, while Blakey was busy pointing the finger at Carlos Marcello
and away from the CIA and its allies in the Israeli Mossad, the facts about
the Lansky-Marcello relationship belie Blakey’s claim that “the Mafia” was
the driving force in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
LOUISIANA FRONT MAN
The fact remains that whatever role Carlos Marcello or any of his
underlings played in either the JFK assassination or the cover-up, Marcello
was nothing more than a front-man for the “boss of all bosses”—Israel’s
longtime patron, Meyer Lansky himself. Marcello was indeed, Little Man’s
Little Man. Lansky was, in fact, much, much bigger—in terms of power
and influence—than Carlos Marcello would ever be, Marcello’s fame and
reputation notwithstanding.
[130] Final Judgment 191
To understand the fatal flaws in the Davis, Scheim, Blakey-Billings
theories—and to underscore the thesis of Final Judgment—it is vital to
remember this all-important fact.
Interestingly, Davis himself makes clear that Marcello was, in fact, a
protégé of Lansky. The author does not, however, place the significant
emphasis on Lansky’s superiority over Marcello that must be made in
presenting any theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”
For the full story of the Lansky-Marcello relationship we are indebted
to Hank Messick, the fearless investigative reporter who specialized in
Organized Crime coverage. In his biography of Meyer Lansky, Messick
described how Lansky picked Marcello out of relative obscurity and set up
Louisiana’s supposed “Mafia boss” in business. Messick told how Lansky
(through his partner and longtime associate Frank Costello) first moved into
Louisiana.
Under heat from New York reform Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Lansky
and Costello had decided that New Orleans was an ideal location to relocate
their slot machine operations. Costello met in New York with then-
Louisiana Governor Huey Long who agreed to open up his state to
Organized Crime.
Lansky-Costello associate “Dandy Phil” Kastel was sent in to take
charge of the project. However, it was Lansky himself who went to New
Orleans to cut the final deal with Long. The two met at the Roosevelt Hotel
which was owned by a mutual crony, Seymour Weiss. 348
(This was not the first meeting between Lansky and Long, however.
The two had first met at the 1932 Democratic Convention in Chicago which
nominated then-New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt for
president. It was during that brokered convention that Lansky bribes, along
with Long’s support, enabled FDR to win his party’s nomination. Lansky’s
longtime associate and primary link to the Italian underworld, Charles
“Lucky” Luciano, described that momentous meeting in his historic
posthumously-published memoirs.) 349
THE LONG-LANSKY DEAL
It was during their second fateful meeting that Long and Lansky cut a
deal which sealed their fates irrevocably and which, in fact, ultimately led to
Long’s untimely demise at the hands of an assassin. Here was the deal: in
return for allowing Lansky’s syndicate to operate in Louisiana, Long agreed
to take a $20,000 monthly kickback. Lansky’s slot machines were installed
by a company chartered for “charitable contributions.” However, out of the
first $800,000 made by Lansky and his cronies in New Orleans, widows and
orphans got exactly $600. 350
This cozy arrangement between Lansky’s Organized Crime syndicate
and Huey Long’s powerful Louisiana political machine made possible the
rise of Carlos Marcello. Lansky biographer Messick described the origins
and nature of the Lansky-Marcello relationship as follows: “Lansky was
smart enough, however, to recognize that even the innovation of slot
192 LittleMan’s LittleMan [131]
machines which paid off in mints as well as cash would not suffice forever.
[Lansky’s] brother Jake was listed as an officer of the Louisiana Mint
Company, the new outfit controlling the slots, but something more was
needed.
“In the Algiers section of New Orleans, across the Mississippi, he
found Carlos Marcello. Born in Tunis, he had come to New Orleans in
1910 and made a living in a variety of ways, none of them successful. Nor
had he bothered to become a U.S. citizen.
“Lansky gave Marcello a franchise for the Algiers section, allowing
him to keep two-thirds of the slot profit. By 1940 he had 250 machines in
operation and proved himself as an efficient businessman. Later he was
given a piece of the plush Beverly Club, the biggest rug joint (a posh
gambling casino) in the area and at that time second to the Beverly Hills
Club outside Newport, Kentucky.”351
MARCELLO TOOK THE HEAT
Messick’s concluding comments regarding the Lansky-Marcello
relationship, however, are probably the most significant: “As a front man,
Marcello worked out perfectly. In years to come he was touted as the Mafia
boss of Louisiana—despite his birth in Tunis—and resisted all efforts to
deport or jail him.
“With all the heat on Marcello, the role of Lansky was almost
forgotten—exactly what Meyer wanted. Ultimately, Lansky was able to
shift Kastel to Las Vegas and leave Marcello and Weiss to run New
Orleans.”352
“Meyer Lansky once explained why he left New Orleans to Marcello
and others to run. ‘There was just too frigging much to do elsewhere,’ he
said.” 353
As Messick elaborated even further, if only to drive home the point:
Even Marcello’s famous Beverly Club was not, in reality, Marcello’s
personal fiefdom. According to Messick, “Costello and Kastel were
partners, Marcello had a small piece, but Lansky was the real boss.” 354
Aaron Cohn, who was director of the New Orleans Crime
Commission, lends credence to Messick’s analysis of the relationship.
According to Cohn, “The Commission had long been suspicious of the
massiveness of Marcello’s holdings—which were much too large to be
controlled by a single don—even one as powerful as Marcello.” 355
Marcello, in short, was indeed fronting for Meyer Lansky.
All of this, of course, taken together, sheds a more accurate light on the
truth about the Lansky connection and Carlos Marcello.
LANSKY, MARCELLO & THE CIA
There is also evidence that Marcello was working directly with the CIA
in at least one other sphere of influence that also links Lansky, whose own
Final Judgment 193
connections with American intelligence we examined in Chapter 7 and
which we will examine further in Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 14.
According to Sam and Chuck Giancana, in their biography of Chicago
Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, “Marcello was a co-conspirator with the CIA in
gunrunning operations and a fervent supporter of the anti-Castro exiles. It
was an arrangement [Giancana] said more than once, aimed at returning Cuba
to its pre-Castro glory—meaning its lucrative casinos and vice rackets.” 356
But there was another realm in which the Lansky-CIA-Marcello nexus
had a close working relationship: the illicit traffic in narcotics. The Senate
Committee on Government Operations report to the 88th Congress on
“Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics” had pinpointed New
Orleans—at that time—as having been the key distribution point for drugs
coming into the United States.
Most observers believe that one of Marcello’s “legitimate” businesses, a
shrimp-boat operation, was, in fact, part of the drug-smuggling—and gunrunning—
network.
(In Chapter 12 we shall see, in fact, that Lansky was the prime mover
behind that drug network working in conjunction with the CIA.)
Needless to say, Marcello’s central positioning in New Orleans made it
such that it was inevitable that the Mafia chieftain would have an inside
track to gaining first-hand knowledge about developments—at least in New
Orleans—in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
MARCELLO, FERRIE, BANISTER & THE CIA
After all, Marcello’s personal pilot was CIA contract agent David
Ferrie, (now widely known as a result of his portrayal in Oliver Stone’s
Hollywood extravaganza, JFK). Ferrie’s still-undetermined part in the JFK
assassination conspiracy, and his apparent association with alleged assassin,
Lee Harvey Oswald, is but another piece of the whole puzzle.
It was Ferrie’s associate, Guy Banister, whose New Orleans private
detective agency (a conduit for CIA arms to the anti-Castro Cuban exiles)
employed several other Marcello cronies. Banister, who had been with the
Office of Naval Intelligence, and was later special-agent-in-charge of the
Chicago office of the FBI, had re-located to New Orleans. 357
According to the Giancanas, Banister had long been close to the
Chicago Mafia and that it was their good offices that brought Banister into
Marcello’s sphere of influence when the former FBI man went to New
Orleans, initially working for the city police department.358
(During the summer of 1963 the Cuban Revolutionary Council, a
creation of the CIA’s chief liaison with the anti-Castro Cuban groups, E.
Howard Hunt, also maintained offices in the same building as Banister. 359
We first met Hunt, of course, in Chapter 9 where we learned of a libel trial
in which both Hunt and the CIA were directly implicated in the JFK
assassination.)
Banister, clearly, was the intermediary between the CIA and the Lansky-
Marcello operation in New Orleans. And it was through his office that Lee
194 Little Man’s Little Man [133]
Harvey Oswald, was being set up as the patsy. (In Chapter 11, Chapter 14,
Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we shall examine that aspect of the JFK
assassination conspiracy further.)
Without question, New Orleans and the Marcello fiefdom were an
integral part of the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. But to suggest that
Marcello was the driving force behind the JFK assassination conspiracy is to
ignore the whole picture.
LANSKY & THE LONG ASSASSINATION
As a passing historical note, it is probably appropriate to refer to the
demise of Huey Long and the role that Lansky and his associates played in
that important political event.
By 1935, Long had been elected to the Senate and had risen to national
prominence. In fact, Long was generally considered a major threat to
Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1936 re-election chances. Long had made it
clear that if he didn’t run as a Democrat—or as a third party candidate—in
1936, he certainly intended to play a major part in that election, and not on
FDR’s side.
This, obviously, was of major concern to FDR. Thus, a Justice
Department investigation of Long and his finances was unleashed. Such an
inquiry was dredging up Long’s tangled financial arrangements and
threatened to break the back of the very profitable machine that Long had
assembled. There were more than a few Louisiana political figures and Long
associates who were frightened of their impending demise alongside Long at
the hands of federal prosecutors.
As Messick notes—and this is ironic—it was in a Dallas, Texas hotel
room that the federal authorities made the decision to indict Long. The
colorful Louisiana Senator was shot that same day by a “lone assassin” who
was himself promptly shot to pieces by Long’s bodyguards.
To this day there are myriad conspiracy theories relating to Long’s
murder. Some say that the alleged assassin never fired a shot—instead, that
he swung a punch at Long and that the “murder weapon” was planted on the
scene afterward by the bodyguards who wanted to cover up the fact that it
was one of them who accidentally shot Long when firing at his assailant.
There are those, however, who say that Long was, in fact, deliberately shot
by one of his bodyguards.
The Giancana family, in their biography of the Chicago Mafia boss,
say that Sam Giancana later claimed that “Some of our friends in New York
had him hit—worked it out with a New Orleans [Mafia] boss. They figured
it out so it would look like a loony did it.”360
The real truth may never be known. Whatever the case, Long died in the
hospital some hours after the shooting. What we do know is that Long’s
death removed from the scene a major threat not only to the Roosevelt
administration, but to the Long machine which relied so heavily on the
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. With Long out of the picture, the
Final Judgment 195
federal authorities gave up their interest in Louisiana and its murky political
underworld.
The evidence now indicates that Long’s death could have been prevented.
Hank Messick told the story: at a meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the
Arlington Hotel, shortly after Long’s death, Frank Costello filled Lansky in
on the truth about Long’s departure. “We could have saved him,” Costello
told Lansky, “but I didn’t see much use in it. The doctors had their orders
to let him die.”361
This apparently was Meyer Lansky’s first major involvement in the
assassination of an American political figure with whom Organized Crime
had collaborated. It would not be the last time, however.
That Lansky’s lieutenant, Carlos Marcello had his own reasons for
wanting John F. Kennedy out of the way cannot be doubted. The Justice
Department under Robert F. Kennedy had targeted Marcello repeatedly.
John Davis’s interesting biography of Marcello provides a detailed
analysis of the Kennedy campaign against Marcello. No wonder Marcello
made his famous oft-told exclamation, “Livarsi na petra di la scarpa” (Take
the stone from my shoe.”) Yet, such an emotional outburst does not an
assassination order make.
In fact, there is no evidence anywhere whatsoever that Marcello took
any further affirmative action to have his order—if indeed one can call it an
order—fulfilled.
STALKING LANSKY THROUGH MARCELLO
It’s worth noting, in this regard, that Robert Kennedy’s systematic
prosecution and harassment of Marcello would have only been a logical first
step in the Justice Department’s ultimate prosecution of Meyer Lansky.
This, of course, is a standard procedure in all similar organized crime
prosecutions: first the underlings are targeted—then the boss. In this case, of
course, it would have been the so-called “chairman of the board,” Meyer
Lansky.
Seth Kantor, Jack Ruby’s acquaintance and biographer, summarizes it
well: “As Attorney General, [Robert F. Kennedy] got more indictments on
members of America’s criminal industry than had any previous prosecutor,
pursuing them relentlessly.
“Meyer Lansky, for instance, no longer was safe behind the bolted doors
of that industry’s executive suite. The Attorney General put together what
was known inside the Justice Department as the OCD (Organized Crime
Division) and was stalking Lansky’s secret operations in the Bahamas and
Las Vegas.”362
The assassination of John F. Kennedy and the demise of Robert
Kennedy’s campaign against organized crime as a direct consequence
prevented this from happening. The end of the Kennedy war on organized
crime was a major consequence—a major victory—for the organized crime
fiefdom of Meyer Lansky.
196 LittleMan’s LittleMan [135]
Of course, as we have said, even if the JFK murder was strictly a
“Mafia” operation—with no tentacles leading elsewhere—it would have been
Lansky who ordered it from the start.
Meyer Lansky was Carlos Marcello’s immediate superior in the world
of organized crime and not vice versa. There is simply no way of getting
around Lansky’s critical positioning in the center of the vast conspiracy.
What we are demonstrating here is that the conspiracy reached above and
beyond “the Mafia.” And that is central to our thesis.
LANSKY’S ‘KOSHER NOSTRA’
Interestingly, Ruby biographer Seth Kantor differentiated between what
he called “Lansky’s ‘Kosher Nostra” and what the separately referred to as
“the hot-blooded Sicilian Cosa Nostra.” 363 Certainly, Carlos Marcello
breathed a sigh of satisfaction when John F. Kennedy died in Dallas.
However, Meyer Lansky was, of course, the ultimate beneficiary.
Any major operation such as the assassination of a president—even if
proposed by Marcello single-handedly—would have first had to have been
cleared by Marcello through his boss, Meyer Lansky. Thus, it would have
been Lansky himself who most certainly had to have given the go-ahead,
even if the Kennedy assassination plot originated with Marcello alone.
The evidence, of course, suggests, however, that Marcello and his
associates in New Orleans were simply pawns in a more far-reaching
conspiracy that originated elsewhere. Their proximity to Oswald and the
New Orleans end of the conspiracy, however, makes them an easy target for
those who seek to find a “Mafia” conspiracy behind the murder.
WEASEL WORDS
As noted previously, those very sources who point to Marcello as the
mastermind of the JFK murder choose to ignore Marcello’s secondary
positioning to Meyer Lansky in the syndicate chain of command. Lanskylinked
Robert Blakey’s House Assassinations Committee gingerly skirted
around the issue, however. In its final report the committee concluded:
“Given the far-reaching possible consequences of an assassination plot
by the commission [i.e. the national `commission’ of Organized Crime],
the committee found that such a conspiracy would have been the subject of
serious discussion by members of the commission, and that no matter how
guarded such discussions might have been, some trace of them would have
emerged from the surveillance coverage [by federal authorities].
“It was possible to conclude, therefore, that it is unlikely that the
national crime syndicate as a group, acting under the leadership of the
commission, participated in the assassination of President Kennedy.
“While the committee found it unlikely that the national crime
syndicate was involved in the assassination, it recognized that a particular
organized crime leader or a small combination of leaders, acting unilaterally,
[136] Final Judgment 197
might have formulated an assassination conspiracy without the consent of
the commission.” 364
These are weasel words, to be sure. However, one could also conclude
from the committee’s presumption that if indeed Organized Crime did play
some significant role in the assassination conspiracy, that it was not a
conspiracy that originated with “the Mafia,” for example. Perhaps then the
conspiracy originated elsewhere. That, of course, is the conclusion presented
in Final Judgment.
Unwittingly, then, the House Committee has provided us even further
basis for the conclusions drawn here.
LANSKY NOT MENTIONED
The House Committee report had nothing to say about the Lansky-
Marcello connection. This is par for the course in standard accounts of the
JFK assassination which promote the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”
What is also particularly interesting is that Robert Lacey’s Lansky
biography, Little Man, never once mentions Lansky’s sponsorship of
Marcello, nor does Marcello’s name appear once in the book. The New
Orleans connection is barely mentioned at all, and only in passing. Was
Marcello—who even the FBI has said headed “the first family” of the
Mafia—that unimportant?
Could it be that because Marcello’s name has been repeatedly linked to
the JFK assassination that for Lacey—a very friendly biographer who
worked closely with Lansky’s family—to bring up Marcello’s much-abused
name would obviously draw in the Lansky connection to the JFK
assassination?
Is it possible that Marcello and his associates such as David Ferrie were
deliberately drawn into the periphery of the assassination plot in order to
deliberately plant the possibility that the blame for the assassination could
be laid upon Marcello and the Mafia—in the event, perhaps, that the image
of Lee Harvey Oswald as a “pro-Castro agitator” failed to work?
This is indeed a possibility and would fit firmly into the long-standing
Israeli Mossad policy of using “false flags” in its criminal endeavors.
Clearly, there’s a lot more to the relationship between Meyer Lansky
and key “suspects” in the JFK assassination than meets the eye. All of
which, again, points toward Lansky’s central role in the international
conspiracy which we document.
Chapter Eleven
Cuban Love Song:
Meyer Lansky, the Mafia, the CIA and
the Mossad and the Castro Assassination Plots
Three top “Mafia” figures—Sam Giancana and Johnny
Rosselli of Chicago and Santo Traff icante, Jr. o f Tampa—
were key figures in the CIA-Mob plots against Fidel Castro and
often linked to the JFK assassination.
Although the three Italian-American gangsters were major
mob players, evidence shows they also were—like Carlos Marcello—
subordinates of Meyer Lansky.
Amazing new evidence demonstrat es Giancana (and
Rosselli) were actively collaborating with the Mossad,
essentially mere ‘front men” for Meyer Lansky’s little-known
Chicago partner-in-crime, Mossad-connected Hyman Larner,
the real ‘boss” of the mob in the Windy City.
Carlos Marcello is not the only major “Mafia” figure whose
connections with Organized Crime syndicate boss Meyer Lansky have been
ignored by Lansky’s friendly biographer Robert Lacey. The legendary
Johnny Rosselli is never mentioned either. Was neither Marcello nor
Rosselli worth mentioning?
Were they really that insignificant? Not according to standard accounts
of Organized Crime history. Both Marcello and Rosselli have particular
prominence in the annals of criminal folklore, especially in relation to the
Kennedy assassination.
It is quite significant that Lacey has chosen to delete Rosselli from his
account of Lansky’s life:
• Rosselli was a major figure in Organized Crime in Los Angeles,
where Lansky’s longtime associate Ben Siegel—and Siegel’s successor as
Lansky’s West Coast operative, Mickey Cohen—represented Lansky’s
interests.
• Rosselli was a major figure in Organized Crime in Las Vegas, where
Lansky maintained major gambling operations. He was Chicago Mafia boss
Sam Giancana’s primary representative there;
• Rosselli was a major figure in Organized Crime in Havana,
representing the interests of the Chicago Mafia, where Lansky also
dominated gambling operations.
By all standard accounts, Rosselli was very much a key figure in the
modern “Mafia” as we know it.
In short, while Marcello’s activities were based almost entirely in his
Gulf Coast fiefdom (and extending into Texas), Rosselli operated as almost a
roving ambassador for the Italian wing of Organized Crime (popularly
called “the Mafia.”), primarily the Chicago branch.
[138] Final Judgment 199
Yet, Rosselli’s ties to Lansky have been ignored by Lansky’s
biographer Robert Lacey. Why? Lacey’s biography (which is otherwise quite
detailed) would suggest—by virtue of ignoring both Marcello and Rosselli—
that Lansky had no connections with them at all, or that any connections he
did have were so insignificant that they weren’t even worth mentioning.
Rosselli’s name—like that of Marcello—has also been prominently
linked to the Kennedy murder.
One can only wonder why Lansky’s biographer failed to bring in these
clearly important connections. Even Tiger (described in the index as
“(Lansky’s dog)” is mentioned—not once, but twice. (Carlos Marcello is
not mentioned at all.)
Rosselli was also particularly close to Lansky’s Florida and Havana
lieutenant, Santo Trafficante, Jr, who is also practically a “non-person” in
Lacey’s account of Lansky’s ventures. And, as we shall see, it may well
have been Trafficante who arranged Rosselli’s own ultimate assassination on
behalf of the CIA.
Like Rosselli, Trafficante was also a major figure in the annals of crime and
much more so than even Rosselli, was an intimate working partner of Lansky.
In fact, as we shall see in much more detail in Chapter 12, Trafficante—
although a “Mafia” leader—was Lansky’s immediate underling in the
gambling and narcotics rackets.
In Lacey’s biography of Lansky, Trafficante is also given short shrift.
In fact, he is hardly mentioned at all, except in minor passing—just eight
times. In fact there are fewer references to Trafficante than there are to yet
another Lansky dog, Bruzzer, who rates 13 references, including a detailed
review of the dog’s sad final days.
In Kennedy assassination folklore this is also particularly relevant,
inasmuch as we have been told repeatedly that Trafficante once told one Jose
Aleman, Jr., a wealthy Cuban exile, that JFK was scheduled to be hit.
However, interestingly enough, the rest of the story goes untold. According
to J. Edgar Hoover biographer Curt Gentry, it was, in fact, Aleman’s
impression that although Trafficante may have been aware of
assassination plot against Kennedy that Trafficante himself “wasn’t principal
architect.” 365 Who, then, was?
THE LANSKY-CIA ALLIANCE
All of this is interesting about Rosselli and Trafficante, particularly in
the context of their central involvement in CIA-Organized Crime
assassination plots aimed at Fidel Castro who had seized control of Lansky’s
gambling operations in Havana.
There is much, much more to the Rosselli-Trafficante link with Meyer
Lansky that needs to be explored, for this connection opens up another area:
Lansky’s long-standing and intimate ties with Israel’s allies in the CIA.
Indeed, as we shall see in Chapter 12, Lansky’s CIA linkage goes far beyond
Cuba and the Caribbean. It even extended into Southeast Asia.
200 Cuban Love Song [139]
As we saw in Chapter 7 (and which has been repeatedly documented by
perhaps hundreds of writers over and over again), organized crime—Meyer
Lansky in particular—had much to lose when communist revolutionary
Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba.
Prior to the advent of Castro, Cuba had been a primary gambling
money-making base of operations for the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate and its Mafia lieutenants. Anthony Summers summarizes the
situation well:
“Castro’s predecessor, the dictator Batista, had long been a puppet on
strings pulled by American intelligence and the mob. In 1944, when the
United States feared trouble from the Cuban left, Lansky reportedly
persuaded Batista to step down for a while. When he came back in 1952, it
was after the current President, Carlos Prio Socarras, was persuaded to
resign, a departure reportedly eased by a bribe of a quarter of a million
dollars and a major stake in the casino business.
“It was now that the gambling operation already established in Cuba
became a Mafia bonanza . . .When the Batista regime began to crumble
before a revolution of popular outrage, the mob hedged its political bets by
courting Fidel Castro.
“Many of the guns which helped him to power in 1959 had been
provided courtesy of Mafia gunrunners, a policy which did not pay off.
Lansky saw the writing on the wall and flew out of Havana the day Castro
marched in.”366
Investigative reporter Jim Hougan described the relationship between
the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and the Cubans—both Castro
and his enemies. “The Mob’s relationship to the arrivista Castro regime was a
stormy one. On the one hand, some of its members had been active in the
revolution, ferrying guns to Castro’s guerrillas. On the other hand, the new
Cuban premier seemed determined to eradicate those social evils that the
Mob found most profitable: drugs, prostitution, and gambling. Castro had,
moreover, jailed both Trafficante and Meyer Lansky’s brother Jake in the
wake of his triumphal march upon Havana.”367
However, the initial mob support for Castro went sour when Castro
proved to be a danger to the Lansky syndicate’s lucrative operations in
Cuba. It was at this point, then, that the mob did a turn-around and began
working against Castro.
Although many syndicate figures still hoped that they could resume
operations in Cuba after Castro was removed from office, Lansky was more
realistic and practical. He began looking to the Bahamas as his next
Caribbean gambling base of operations.
Still, Lansky maintained his ties with the anti-Castro Cubans. It was
during this period the CIA was preparing to move against Castro. Lansky
would play a major role in that effort.
For an even more obscure reason—one which has often gone unnoticed—
perhaps unmentioned—Lansky had another reason to be disenchanted with
Fidel Castro and supportive of anti-Castro Cuban
[140] Final Judgment 201
elements. The fact is that many of the anti-Castro Cubans who had settled in
Miami and elsewhere following Castro’s rise to power were Cuban Jews.
THE CUBAN ‘JEWISH CONNECTION’
American CIA-financed anti-Castro propagandist Paul D. Bethel, writing
in the December 15, 1965 issue of the Latin America Report (subtitled the
“Free Cuba News”) gives us some interesting facts about the status of Jews in
Cuba before and after the advent of Castro. Bethel noted that of a total of
11,000 Jews in Cuba at the time of Castro’s takeover, only 1,900 remained at
that time. The rest had already joined the anti-Castro Cuban colonies which had
largely migrated to the Miami and New Orleans areas. Of those remaining, an
additional 1,300 were leaving at the time of Bethel’s report .368
The affluent Cuban Jewish community was, in fact, an important
faction within the overall anti-Castro Cuban community. This, coupled with
Lansky’s financial loss in Cuba, made him all the more inclined to strike
against Castro in cooperation with the CIA.
LANSKY AND THE ASSASSINATION PLOTS
Although Anthony Summers’ previously-cited book on the JFK conspiracy,
aptly titled Conspiracy, devotes very little attention to Meyer Lansky’s pivotal
role in Organized Crime, he does make reference to a CIA anti-Castro operation
funded by Lansky.
CIA operative E. Howard Hunt put together the Revolutionary Democratic
Front, a coalition of anti-Castro Cubans, headed by Manuel Antonio de Varona,
a former president of the Cuban Senate. In fact, as Summers tells us, de Varona
met with Lansky for financial support and also received funds through the
Washington, D.C. firm of Edward K. Moss and Associates, which represented
the interests of Lansky operatives Dino and Eddie Cellini.369 (In Chapter 9 we
first met the aforementioned CIA operative, E. Howard Hunt, and learned how
he was implicated, in a little-publicized libel trial, in the JFK conspiracy. In
Chapter 16 we shall learn much more about the circumstances which led up to
that trial.)
Now although the famous CIA-Mafia assassination plots against Castro have
been reported time and again, the key organized crime players in the tale are
always the aforementioned Santo Trafficante, Jr., Johnny Rosselli and Sam
Giancana of Chicago.
Rosselli’s biographers note that it was CIA contract agent Robert Maheu,
a longtime acquaintance of Rosselli, who initiated the CIA’s dealings with
organized crime in the anti-Castro plots. 370
(It was this same Maheu, a former FBI agent as well, who had worked
directly under the former special-agent-in-charge of the Chicago FBI office, Guy
Banister. 371 It was Banister, as we saw in Chapter 10, who was the direct link
between the Lansky-Marcello-CIA gun-running on behalf of the anti-Castro
Cuban network.)
202 Cuban Love Song [141]
Maheu, who had become friendly with Rosselli during business trips to
Las Vegas, had been approached by the CIA to open up negotiations with the
Mafia for this special, mutually beneficial, operation. Thus, the initial plot was
set in place. However, there were subsequent developments:
“Once the basic groundwork was laid, Rosselli decided to introduce two new
players into the picture. One was Rosselli’s Chicago boss, Sam Giancana,
and the other was Santo Trafficante, Meyer Lansky’s colleague in the Havana
casinos. Trafficante’s connections could prove helpful in moving the plots along,
and besides, Mafia tradition required that as the local don, he be informed of
any activity taking place in his domain.”372
There is no question that Trafficante, Rosselli and Giancana did indeed
help coordinate assassination plots against Castro with representatives of the
CIA. (This, as we have said, has been thoroughly documented time and again.
To discuss this here would belabor the point.)
However, as one author succinctly put it: “Lansky was the top man in the
CIA-Mafia plot against Castro, but the only journalist who had guts enough
to point this out was [columnist] Victor Riesel.” 373 JFK assassination
researcher Peter Dale Scott acknowledges that Lansky was indeed involved
in the CIA plots against Castro,374 but, Lansky’s role has been obscured,
ignored, or otherwise gone unmentioned.
In fact, as we shall see in Chapter 12 when we examine the Lansky-
Trafficante relationship further, Trafficante was Lansky’s subordinate. All of
Trafficante’s anti-Castro operations in league with the CIA were being
conducted with Lansky’s approval and under Lansky’s watchful eye.
The latter phase of the CIA’s anti-Castro operations were known as
Operation MongooseHeadquarters of the operation—known as JM/Wave—
were in Lansky’s own city of Miami and based on the campus of the
University of Miami. Part of the CIA’s campaign against Castro included its socalled
ZR/Rifle Team project. Skilled assassins, recruited from around the globe
(and often from the ranks of professional mercenaries and from within organized
crime) were on retainer for use in the CIA’s own private “hit team” or terrorist
army, as the case may be. One of the prime in-house supervisors of the
ZR/Rifle Team project was the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, Israel’s loyal
ally, James J. Angleton.
ROSSELLI & THE JFK ASSASSINATION
That Rosselli, for example, was entwined in some aspect of the JFK
assassination conspiracy seems certain. Evidence suggests that Rosselli was
definitely engaged in activities during the summer and fall of 1963 that tied him
directly to several of the key figures in the assassination conspiracy.
Rosselli’s biographers themselves have suggested that Rosselli was indeed
involved in the assassination itself. According to Rappleye and Becker: “The
strongest indication that John Rosselli had a hand in the pre-assassination planning
is a report of a direct contact between Rosselli and Jack Ruby in early October
1963. There were two meetings, both taking place in small motels near
Miami, and both observed by the FBI. One of the
[142] Final Judgment 203
federal investigators probing Rosselli’s murder thirteen years later came
across an FBI report on the meetings and relayed its contents, on a
confidential basis, to Washington, D.C. reporter William Scott Malone.
“An accomplished investigator himself, Malone said in an interview he
was confident of the integrity of his source, and said the FBI had determined
the actual site of the Miami meetings.” 375
According to Rappleye and Becker, Rosselli visited Guy Banister’s
office at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans. It was in the same controversial
building that the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) had an office. The
CRC, as we saw in Chapter 9, was the brainchild of the CIA’s chief liaison
with the anti-Castro Cuban exiles, E. Howard Hunt, himself implicated in
the JFK assassination.)
Rosselli’s biographers even go further, asking “Was Rosselli, in fact,
in Dallas? FBI surveillance loses his trail on the West Coast between
November 19 and November 27.”376
According to the Giancanas, the president was deliberately lured to
Dallas where the operation could be carried off to the specifications of the
plan. “The politicians and the CIA made it real simple,” Sam Giancana
explained. “We’d each provide men for the hit. I’d oversee the Outfit [Mafia]
side of things and throw in Jack Ruby and some extra backup and the CIA
would put their own guys on to take care of the rest.” 377
So it was that Johnny Rosselli and Sam Giancana—along with Santo
Trafficante, Jr.—were brought into the JFK assassination conspiracy.
The full story of Sam Giancana’s role in much of these matters—the
JFK assassination in particular—never became known until his own nephew
and brother went public in 1992 with their book Double Cross.
However, we now know that there was indeed a major Mossad influence
at work in the affairs of Sam Giancana.
SAM GIANCANA’S MOSSAD CONNECTION . . .
An eye-opening new book, Double Deal, bares new facts about the
secret history of the famed Chicago “Mafia,” revealing certain significant
never-before-told details that further confirm the likelihood of Mossad
involvement in the JFK assassination.
The author of the new book, Michael Corbitt—the mobbed-up former
chief of police of a Chicago suburb—has joined writer Sam Giancana—
nephew of the legendary Chicago Mafia figure—in producing a startling expose
that unveils, for the first time ever, the surprising identity of the littleknown
“mystery man” who was the real “power behind the throne” in
organized crime in Chicago and whose influenced reach all the way to Israel,
Panama, Iran, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.
Despite his famous “Mafia” name, Corbitt’s co-author, Giancana, was
never involved in the family business and earlier wrote the account of the
life and crimes of his late uncle, who had been murdered in 1975. Now
Giancana is telling “the rest of the story.”
204 Cuban Love Song [143]
Giancana and Corbitt dare to report something that has never been
published anywhere before: that a shadowy Jewish, Mossad-connected
gangster named Hyman “Hal” Lamer was the real, continuing behind-thescenes
force guiding the Chicago mob for over thirty years.
Despite the media-ballyhooed “revolving door” of Italian-American
Mafia bosses such as Giancana and others who were alternately jailed or
“whacked,” it was Lamer who was continually in charge. Beyond that, the
authors reveal that much of Lamer’s criminal activity was conducted not
only in concert with the CIA, but also, in particular, with the Mossad.
Lamer was not just a major figure in Chicago crime, but on the
international scene as well. He was also a longtime associate of Jewish
crime chief Meyer Lansky but, effectively, Lansky’s successor when Lansky
died in 1983.
According to Corbitt, he learned early on, during his mob days, of
Larner’s existence, although Larner’s presence so high up in the mob was
something neither government investigators nor a media (which was
otherwise fascinated by the mob) wanted to focus on. Corbitt writes:
“All the other Outfit guys were in the papers every day, their pictures
plastered all over the front page of the Tribune. But when Hy Larner’s name
was mentioned in the papers, he was described only as an ‘associate’ or
`protégé’ or some gangster and nothing more than that. Nobody knew how
deep his contacts went or how high up. Reporters called him a ‘riddle” and a
`mystery man.’ 378
As Corbitt himself advanced in organized crime circles under the
patronage of Lamer’s man, Giancana, Corbitt ultimately began to learn the
secret of how and why the Chicago mob was able to operate so freely. It
was the partnership with the Mossad—running guns to Israel–that gave the
Chicago mob its ‘get out of jail free’ card as far as Israeli sympathizers high
up in the Justice Department were concerned. Corbitt writes:
“At the insistence of Meyer Lansky, [Giancana] and his pals started
working with the Israeli Mossad, smuggling weapons in the Middle East.
Everything was coming in and out of Panama, which meant that everything
was being handled by Hy Lamer. Lamer was without a doubt Sam
Giancana’s most trusted financial advisor. He had everybody who was
anybody in Panama—from bankers to generals—eating out of his hand.
Once they started running guns to Israel, Lamer also had the U.S. military
and its airstrips at his disposal.”‘ 379
And contrary to popular legend, they say—confirming what Final
Judgment had already reported in earlier editions—it was not Giancana nor
another famed Chicago mobster, Johnny Roselli, who cemented the nowinfamous
CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro, it was Meyer Lansky and Lamer.
In addition, Corbitt and Giancana reveal, Lamer was also deeply
enmeshed with two of Lansky’s chief high-level lieutenants, Carlos
Marcello in New Orleans and Santo Trafficante in Tampa. The two southern
Mafia leaders were engaged with Lamer in lucrative guns and drugs
smuggling operations in the Caribbean, not to mention gambling as well.
[144] Final Judgment 205
Larner and Lansky were particularly close. Corbitt and Giancana say
that the two master criminals were “Zionists—passionate defenders of the
divine right of Jews to occupy the Holy Land of Jerusalem. . . But Hy
Lamer and Meyer Lansky weren’t just Zionists, they were also mobsters
who believed the end justifies the means. Put organized crime and the U.S.
government at their disposal and you’ve got a very powerful force . . . 380
Lamer and Giancana were also engaged in gambling deals with casinos
based in Iran, then the fiefdom of the Shah of Iran whose infamous secret
police, SAVAK, was a joint creation of the CIA and the Mossad—a major
point of contention when Islamic fundamentalists overthrew the Shah and
forced him into exile.
Corbitt also reveals the amazing story of how Giancana (with Larner’s
help) finally got the U.S. Justice Department off his back. It turns out that
as much as President Lyndon Johnson and his Zionist advisors wanted to
wage war against Egypt and the other Arab states on behalf of Israel, U.S.
entanglement in Vietnam made it impossible for Johnson to act. However,
Giancana not only put up a substantial amount of money to help arm Israel
for its 1967 war against the Arab countries, but, in addition, Lamer and
Giancana arranged shipments of stolen weapons to Israel from one of their
outposts in Panama, an operation conducted in league with the Mossad’s
Panamanian-based operative, Michael Harari. In return for this service on
behalf of Israel, President Johnson ordered the Justice Department to drop its
campaign against Giancana.
In the end, though, the arrangement between Giancana and Lamer came
to an end. Lamer, it appears, was almost certainly behind Giancana’s 1975
murder. Lamer, however, continued to thrive, even as a series of Giancana’s
successors were faced with a continuing series of federal prosecutions,
widely hailed by the media as “the end of the mob in Chicago.”
GIANCANA AND ROSSELLI EXECUTED
Giancana was murdered execution style in his own home in Chicago on June
19, 1975. The Establishment media hyped it as yet another “Mafia killing.”
The Giancana family doesn’t think that’s what it was. They say it was a
CIA double cross. (And clearly, too, the Mossad was involved.) As it just so
happens, Giancana was killed the very day that congressional investigators
were on their way to Chicago to interview the Mafia leader about reported
CIA-organized crime plots against Castro.
Sam and Chuck Giancana frankly assert in their own book that it may
have been Johnny Rosselli who helped arrange Giancana’s murder.
According to the Giancanas they believe that the CIA contracted out the
Giancana murder and that the CIA had arranged it through Trafficante.
The Giancanas believe that Trafficante, in turn, saw to it that Rosselli
arranged the Chicago hit on Sam Giancana. As they summarize matters:
“[Giancana’s] Outfit friends knew he never would have divulged damaging
information; the CIA, rampant with spies and counterspies, crosses and
double crosses, may not have been so certain of his loyalty.”381
206 Cuban Love Song [145]
In any case, Johnny Rosselli never lived long enough to tell the true
story of the CIA-Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate operations in the
Caribbean—and in Dallas. On July 28, 1976, Rosselli disappeared in
Miami. On August 7, the flamboyant mobster’s butchered corpse bobbed up
in a drum from the bottom of the ocean.
Charles Rappleye and Ed Becker note that there have been suspicions
that it was indeed Trafficante, again, who may have even arranged the hit on
Rosselli. However, they point out that there are many in the Mafia who do
not believe this necessarily to be the case.
In the judgment of Rosselli’s biographers, “The CIA certainly had the
contacts in Cuban Miami to pull off Rosselli’s execution, and as it had
demonstrated by enlisting him in the first place, it had the will. Even the
evidence pointing to Trafficante did not rule out collaboration by the spy
agency.” 382
As the authors point out, Trafficante did indeed have very close
connections with the CIA—connections that went above and beyond his
dealings with the spy agency in anti-Castro operations. In Chapter 12 we
shall see, indeed, that Trafficante, as Lansky’s primary lieutenant in the
Southeast Asian drug smuggling racket, developed even closer and more
intimate ties to the CIA following the JFK assassination.
Only Santo Trafficante, Jr., Meyer Lansky’s subordinate, remained alive
and, as the Giancana family notes, “conducted business without so much as a
whisper of legal difficulty.” 383
The Giancanas point out: “One had only to read the newspapers to see
that the focus of underworld crime busters was not on Tampa, Florida, but
on its highly visible New York and Chicago cousins to the north.” 384
And by this time—the mid-1970’s—Lansky himself was ailing and
almost infirm. Trafficante himself died of kidney failure in 1987—just four
years after Lansky.
THE MAFIA AND THE MOSSAD
The bottom line: anyone who attempts to view the JFK assassination
as a “Mafia hit” is making a big mistake, failing to calculate in the role of
Mossad-connected Meyer Lansky, his Chicago associate Hyman Lamer, and
their allies in Israel’s Mossad, not to mention the CIA itself.
So, once again, the Mossad connection is very much there, although
there are few “JFK assassination experts” who are willing to admit it. But
there’s more.
Chapter Twelve
An Opiate for the Masses:
The Lansky-CIA-Southeast Asian Drug Pipeline
and the Mossad Connection
Tampa, Florida Mafia boss Santo Trafficante, Jr. has
frequently been mentioned as a possible mastermind behind
the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The media has also
portrayed Trafficante as the prime mover behind the
international heroin racket operating out of Southeast Asia.
However, the truth is that it was Meyer Lansky who was the
primary architect of the global drug operations. Trafficante
was his immediate underling.
The Lansky heroin pipeline was conducted through the
CIA-backed French Corsican Mafia in Marseille and used the
CIA’s covert activities in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam
War as a cover for its operations. In fact, all the evidence
suggests that the drug smuggling was a joint CIA-Organized
Crime venture. What’s more, Lansky’s chief drug money
laundering bank in Switzerland was a Mossad operation.
Thus, the Lansky Crime Syndicate/Mafia connections with
Israel’s allies in the CIA are even deeper and more intimate
than we have been led to believe.
Veteran JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott has suggested
that “[the flood] of drugs into this country since World War II was one of
the major ‘unspeakable’ secrets leading to the ongoing cover-up of the
Kennedy assassination.”385 Scott is correct, for any careful, in-depth
examination of the global drug racket shows conclusively that Israel’s allies in
the Lansky crime syndicate and the CIA are very much a part of the
international drug racket.
Students of the global drug trade are indebted to Professor Alfred
McCoy of the prestigious University of Wisconsin at Madison for his
ground-breaking expose of the real origins of the modern-day drug crisis.
First published in 1972—despite the strongest efforts of the CIA to block
its publication—McCoy’s classic work, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast
Asia, has withstood the test of time.
In 1992 McCoy re-issued the work under the title The Politics of
Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. The new edition is an
equally remarkable work which not only includes additional findings
uncovered in the subsequent 20 years since its initial publication, but also a
valuable preface in which McCoy outlines the CIA operations against his
research and the publication of the book.
THE DRUG BOSS
208 An Opiate for theMasses [147]
Although the Establishment media has repeatedly pinpointed Santo
Trafficante, Jr., Mafia boss of Tampa, as the brains behind the Southeast
Asian drug traffic, McCoy makes it very clear that Trafficante was simply
operating as Lansky’s underling. McCoy describes the origins of the
Lansky-Trafficante relationship:
“During the 1930’s Meyer Lansky ‘discovered’ the Caribbean for
northeastern syndicate bosses and invested their illegal profits in an
assortment of lucrative gambling ventures. In 1933 Lansky moved into the
Miami Beach area and took over most of the illegal off-track betting and a
variety of hotels and casinos. He was also reportedly responsible for
organized crime’s decision to declare Miami a ‘free city’ (that is, not subject
to the usual rules of territorial monopoly).
“Following his success in Miami, Lansky moved to Havana for three
years, and by the beginning of World War II he owned the Hotel Nacional’s
casino and was leasing the municipal racetrack from a reputable New York
bank.
“Burdened by the enormous scope of his holdings, Lansky had to
delegate much of his responsibility for daily management to local gangsters.
One of Lansky’s earliest associates in Florida was Santo Trafficante, Sr., a
Sicilian-born Tampa gangster. Trafficante had earned his reputation as an
effective organizer in the Tampa gambling rackets and was already a figure
of some stature when Lansky first arrived in Florida. By the time Lansky
returned to New York in 1940, Trafficante had assumed responsibility for
Lansky’s interests in Havana and Miami.
TRAFFICANTE THE FRONT MAN
“By the early 1950s Trafficante had himself become such an important
figure that he delegated his Havana concessions to Santo Trafficante, Jr., the
most talented of his six sons. The younger Santo’s official position in
Havana was that of manager of the Sans Souci Casino, but he was far more
important than his title indicates.
“As his father’s financial representative, and ultimately Meyer
Lansky’s, Santo Jr. controlled much of Havana’s tourist industry and
became quite close to the pre-Castro dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Moreover,
it was reportedly his responsibility to receive bulk shipments of heroin from
Europe and forward them through Florida to New York and other major
urban centers, where the distribution was assisted by the local Mafia
bosses.” 386
LANSKY MOVES TO THE TOP
Lansky biographer Hank Messick makes it very clear that it was
Trafficante Jr. who played a key role in ensuring Lansky’s dominance over
syndicate gambling in Cuba. It was Trafficante who helped orchestrate the
assassination in 1957 of Lansky rival, New York Mafia figure Albert
Anastasia, the most vocal Italian Mafia critic of Lansky’s growing influence
[148] Final Judgment 209
in the Cuban gambling rackets. Anastasia’s removal from the scene was
vital to Lansky’s ultimate dominance.
Messick notes that Trafficante got caught in the middle between Albert
Anastasia and Lansky over the Havana gambling. Not only did Trafficante
opt to abandon his fellow Italian Mafia figure, but Trafficante also swore a
blood oath Mafia-style, assuring Lansky of his support.
“So long as the blood flows in my body,” he intoned solemnly, “do I,
Santo Trafficante, swear allegiance to the will of Meyer Lansky and the
organization he represents. If I violate this oath, may I burn in hell
forever.”387
He signed it in his own blood. It was shortly thereafter, on October 25,
1957, that Anastasia was shot dead after what he wrongly believed to have
been a friendly meeting in New York with Trafficante. Anastasia should
have known what was coming. After all, according to Messick, he had,
shortly before, told his fellow Mafia figures what he thought of them: “You
bastards have sold yourselves to the Jews.”388
(Interestingly enough, Lansky’s friendly biographical cheerleader,
Robert Lacey, never mentions the Lansky-Anastasia stand-off that led to the
Lansky rival’s murder.)
Organized crime authority Dan Moldea summarized the Lansky-
Trafficante relationship best and most succinctly: “Trafficante was deeply
devoted to Lansky.” 3 89
THE MAFIA UNDER FIRE
It was shortly after Albert Anastasia’s murder that public attention
began focusing on Organized Crime as a result of media publicity. It was
not, in fact, until the infamous Mafia conclave at Appalachian, New York,
in 1957 that the media began hyping “the Mafia” as a major force in
organized crime.
Americans had long been aware of legendary mobsters such as Al Capone
and Lucky Luciano, but general awareness that a national crime syndicate did
indeed exist was not commonplace.
Following a police raid of the Appalachian conference—attended
exclusively by top Mafia figures from around the country, Trafficante
included—public attention began focusing on “the Mafia”—thanks to the
media.
The official story has always been that a local policeman just happened to
stumble upon the conclave at the home of Mafia figure Joseph Barbara. The
officer called in reinforcements and a major “bust” took place, following a
heated chase of the Mafia figures through the briars and brambles of the rural
countryside.
However, according to Hank Messick, the police had been tipped off by
a Lansky associate that the meeting was about to take place. Messick
described the consequences of the Appalachian raid:
“The delegates were scattered before any alliance could be reached. And
the publicity caused the greatest heat since the 1930’s. It focused not only
210 An Opiate for theMasses [149]
on the men who attended the session but on the entire Mafia. What’s more,
it continued for well over a year as state and federal officials tried to find
some charge to stick against the delegates they had captured or identified.
Not only were Mafia leaders immobilized by the continuing publicity, but
also they were demoralized. Almost instinctively they rallied to Lansky and
other non-Mafia syndicate leaders for advice and assistance.”390
(Perhaps not coincidentally, one of the attorneys who played a key role
in the Appalachian investigation was one Justin Finger. It was Finger who
later went on to become chief of the “civil rights division” of the Lanskyfinanced
Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the primary intelligence
and propaganda arm of Israel’s Mossad in the United States.)
Despite all this, as Messick notes, Trafficante himself stood to benefit.
According to Messick: “Trafficante was a little annoyed at the publicity he
received—after being picked up with the rest—but was soon mollified when
he discovered he was now being hailed as the Mafia boss of Florida by the
press. Glory was as important as loot to the Mafia mind.”391
Clearly, a close working relationship between Lansky and Trafficante
had been cemented. It continued for many years, up to and including—and
beyond—the critical year of 1963. It was in 1970, however, that Lansky,
preparing to take refuge in Israel, turned over most of his responsibilities to
his subordinate, Santo Trafficante, Jr. By this time Lansky was aging and in
ill health. He was ready to move into retirement.
In 1968—just two years earlier—Trafficante had journeyed to Saigon,
Hong Kong and Singapore. It was there in the exotic East that he was
solidifying the longtime relationship between Lansky and the CIA in the
international drug racket.
WHO’S THE BOSS?
Here we turn once again to Professor Alfred McCoy for an elucidation
of Lansky’s ties with the CIA in the Southeast Asian drug racket and the
covert part it played in the CIA’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
McCoy writes:
“[After Mafia kingpin Charles “Lucky” Luciano, was deported from the
United States in 1946], he charged his longtime associate Meyer Lansky
with the responsibility of managing his financial empire. Lansky also
played a key role in organizing Luciano’s heroin syndicate: he supervised
smuggling operations, negotiated with Corsican heroin manufacturers, and
managed the collection and concealment of the enormous profits
“Lansky’s control over the Caribbean and his relationship with the
Florida-based Trafficante family were of particular importance, since many
of the heroin shipments passed through Cuba or Florida on their way to
America’s urban markets. For almost twenty years the Luciano-Lansky-
Trafficante partnership remained a major feature of the international heroin
traffic.” 392
McCoy notes further: “There is reason to believe that Meyer Lansky’s
1949-1950 European tour was instrumental in promoting Marseille’s heroin
[150] Final Judgment 211
industry. After crossing the Atlantic in a luxury liner, Lansky visited
[Lucky] Luciano in Rome, where they discussed the narcotics trade. He then
traveled to Zurich and contacted prominent Swiss bankers through John
Pullman, an old friend from the rum running days.
“These negotiations established the financial labyrinth that organized
crime used for decades to smuggle its enormous gambling and heroin profits
out of the country into numbered Swiss bank accounts without attracting
the notice of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
“Pullman was responsible for the European end of Lansky’s financial
operation: depositing, transferring, and investing the money when it arrived
in Switzerland.”393
THE MOSSAD DRUG LINK
As we noted in Chapter 7, Lansky biographer Hank Messick himself
pointed out that, ultimately, Pullman’s chief Swiss depository for Lansky’s
drug money was the Banque de Credit International (BCI), established in
1959. This bank, as we have seen, was the brainchild of longtime Israeli
Mossad officer Tibor Rosenbaum. In Chapter 15 we shall examine the
Lansky-Rosenbaum-BCI link to the JFK assassination in detail.
According to Messick, “Once safely deposited in numbered accounts at
BCI and other banks], it could be invested in the stock market or returned in
the form of loans to individuals and corporations controlled by the National
Crime Syndicate.” 394 (Pullman, who had moved from Lansky’s base in
Miami beach to Montreal was Lansky’s lieutenant in charge of that phase of
the international drug operations.)
THE CORSICAN MAFIA
McCoy describes Lansky’s European sojourn further: “After making the
financial arrangements with Pullman in Switzerland, Lansky traveled
through France, where he met with high-ranking Corsican syndicate leaders
on the Riviera and in Paris. After lengthy discussions, Lansky and the
Corsicans are reported to have arrived at some sort of agreement concerning
the international heroin traffic.
“Soon after Lansky returned to the United States, heroin laboratories
began appearing in Marseille. In future years, U.S. narcotics experts were
to estimate that the majority of America’s heroin supply was being
manufactured in Marseille.” 395
McCoy notes that the European phase of the Lansky drug operations
gradually began moving out of the hands of Lansky’s associates in the
Sicilian Mafia to the Marseille area in France, under the domination of the
Corsican Mafia. 396
All of this took place at the same time Israel’s friend in the American
OSS (and later the CIA), James Angleton was engaged in the region,
assisting the emigration of European Jews to Palestine. (In Chapter 8 we
212 An Opiate for theMasses [151]
examined Angleton’s role in these affairs further, including his links to the
Corsican Mafia and to BCI founder Tibor Rosenbaum.)
LANSKY, THE CIA AND THE CORSICAN MAFIA
McCoy explains how the CIA had developed ties with Lansky’s
partners in the Corsican Mafia: “The CIA . . . had sent agents and a
psychological warfare team to Marseille, where they dealt directly with
Corsican syndicate leaders through the Guerini brothers [Antoine and
Barthelemy, leaders of the Corsican Mafia].” 397
The CIA’s operatives supplied arms and money to Corsican gangs for
assaults on Communist picket lines and harassment of important union
officials. The communists had amassed much political clout in the region
and the CIA utilized the Corsican Mafia to shatter the communists’
strength.
“The Guerinis gained enough power and status from their role in
smashing the 1947 strike to emerge as the new leaders of the Corsican
underworld. While the CIA was instrumental in restoring the Corsican
underworld’s political influence, it was not until the 1950 dock strike that
the Guerinis gained enough power to take control of the Marseille
waterfront.
“The combination of political influence and control of the docks created
the ideal environment for the growth of Marseille’s heroin laboratories—
fortuitously at the same time that Mafia boss Lucky Luciano was seeking an
alternative source of heroin supply.” 398
THE VIETNAMESE DRUG LINK
As McCoy notes further, the CIA had also began flexing its muscles in
Southeast Asia, where the drug trade originated. McCoy describes the CIA’s
relationship with the indigenous drug racketeers:
“[In Laos] from 1960 to 1975, the CIA created a secret army of 30,000
Hmong tribesmen to battle Laotian Communists near the border with North
Vietnam. Since the Hmong’s main cash crop was opium, the CIA adopted a
complicitous posture toward the traffic, allowing the Hmong commander,
General Vang Po, to use the CIA’s Air America to collect opium from his
scattered highland villages.
“In late 1969, the CIA’s various covert action clients opened a network
of heroin laboratories in the Golden Triangle. In their first years of
operation, these laboratories exported high-grade no. 4 heroin to U.S. troops
fighting in Vietnam. After their withdrawal, the Golden Triangle
laboratories exported directly to the United States, capturing one-third of the
American heroin market.” 399
Thus it was that the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate had
developed a close working relationship with the CIA.
Sam Giancana’s family biographers stated flatly that Giancana claimed
that in exchange for the underworld services of the Organized Crime
[152] Final Judgment 213
Syndicate, “the CIA looked the other way—allowing over $100 million a
year in illicit drugs to flow through Havana into the United States.
“It was an arrangement similar to all the rest they’d made, he said. The
CIA received 10 percent of the take on the sale of narcotics, which they
utilized ‘for their undercover slush fund.’ Such illegally earned monies were
stashed away by the CIA in Swiss, Italian, Bahamian, and Panamanian
accounts.” 400
Further, according to the Giancanas, when Sam Giancana was engaged
in various and sundry rackets he conventionally shared his profits with other
Organized Crime bosses depending on the region or activity in question.
“Largely,” they pointed out, “[Giancana’s] international deals involved
Lansky and whomever else they needed to take care of at the time.”401
The two primary CIA figures in Southeast Asia during the time of the
Lansky-CIA drug smuggling collaboration were, interestingly enough,
Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines. Shackley was chief of station for
the CIA in Laos. Clines served as Shackley’s immediate deputy. 402
As we saw in Chapter 11, it was Shackley and Clines who had
supervised the CIA’s Operation Mongoose, the code name for the CIALansky
Crime Syndicate assassination plots against Castro, operating at a
headquarters on the University of Miami campus. It was this operation that
came to be known as JM/Wave.
Operation Mongoose, it turns out, was under the direction of General
Edward Lansdale whom, assassination researcher Bernard Fensterwald notes
later “reportedly cultivated a close relationship with the Corsican Mafia
during his controversial service in Vietnam.” 403
Interestingly enough, it was Shackley and Clines—upon “retiring” from
the CIA who set up an arms dealing agency—the Egyptian Transport
Service Company. 404 “This firm worked closely with Israel’s Mossad figure
Shaul Eisenberg’s Aviation Trade and Service Company .” 405 Eisenberg,
in fact, was a major player in Israel’s nuclear arms development program—the
very operation that created the crisis between John F. Kennedy and Israel.
The plot clearly comes full circle.
The role of Lansky in all of these activities, however, has been
carefully ignored, even by writers—Alfred McCoy, the notable exception—
who have exposed the CIA’s role in the global drug racket.
COVERING UP THE LANSKY CONNECTION
In Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World, journalist
Jonathan Kwitny takes several pages to outline the CIA-backed drug
trafficking networks operating out of Southeast Asia and using the CIAallied
Corsican crime families as a central distribution source.
Kwitny points out the role of Charles “Lucky” Luciano in establishing
the initial networks which also utilized the Sicilian crime families in the
Mediterranean. Kwitny even acknowledges Alfred McCoy’s work as “the
best published documentation of all of this.” 406
214 An Opiate for theMasses [153]
However, interestingly enough, Kwitny does not once mention Meyer
Lansky’s pivotal role in formally establishing the Luciano-launched global
drug network, despite the fact that Kwitny cited McCoy as “the best
published” source on the history of the drug network. Nor does Kwitny
make reference to Santo Trafficante, Jr., Lansky’s chief lieutenant and
primary heir in the global drug racket.
This is all particularly interesting when one realizes that in the recent
furor over the JFK assassination conspiracy (resulting from the release of
Oliver Stone’s JFK film) that Kwitny himself is one of the primary
promoters of the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” According to
Kwitny, the principal architect of the crime was, by his estimation, more
than likely New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello—who, as we have
seen, was one of Lansky’s local front men.407 Evidently Kwitny—like
others who claim that “The Mafia Killed JFK”—doesn’t want to
acknowledge that Meyer Lansky even existed.
It is also worth mentioning as well that Lansky’s friendly biographer,
Robert Lacey, writing in his 1991 biography of Lansky goes to great
lengths to suggest that Lansky had no part in the international drug racket.
This, as we have seen, is par for the course as far as Lacey’s attitude toward
Lansky is concerned.
However, Rachel Ehrenfeld, one of the world’s leading experts on the
drug combine and its connections with global terrorism, writes in her book
Evil Money that “there exists reliable evidence to the contrary. “ 408
She cites an interview she conducted with a former congressional
special investigator for organized crime. She reports that she was “reassured
that the evidence for Lansky’s illegal dealings was ample and that Lacey
must have been the victim of his close dealings with Lansky’s former
associates and family.”409
FRENCH ASSASSINS?
Considering the CIA’s alliance with Lansky’s allies in the Corsican
Mafia, it is interesting to consider here that there are those who believe that the
Corsican Mafia or other French elements may have played a role in the
assassination of John F. Kennedy. There is evidence, indeed, that at least
one French mercenary did show up in Dallas the day JFK was slain.
Writing in Reasonable Doubt, Henry Hurt explores one aspect of the
so-called “French connection” in some detail. He describes the possible role
of a French OAS terrorist in the assassination.
As we saw in Chapter 6 and in Chapter 9, the OAS was comprised of
CIA-backed French forces who opposed granting independence to the French
colony in Arab Algeria. This led them into direct confrontation with French
President Charles DeGaulle who granted Algerian independence.
As a member of the Senate, as we saw in Chapter 4, John F. Kennedy
had called for Algerian independence, in opposition to the OAS. Israel itself
had a stake in continued French domination of Algeria in that French
[154] Final Judgment 215
occupation of Algeria was a direct obstacle in the path of Arab nationalism. (In
Chapter 15 we will examine Israel’s covert ties to the OAS.)
Hurt cites a CIA document discovered in 1977 by Mary Ferrell, Dallas
researcher: “The document, dated April 1, 1964, reported that the French intelligence
service wanted help in locating one Jean Souetre, a French OAS terrorist
considered a threat to the safety of French President Charles DeGaulle.
“The document asserted that Jean Souetre was in Fort Worth, Texas, on
the morning of November 22, 1963. That morning President Kennedy also was
in Fort Worth. A few hours later, John F. Kennedy was in Dallas, where, at
12:30 p.m. he was assassinated. Also in Dallas that afternoon was Jean Souetre.
“Within forty-eight hours of Kennedy’s death, according to the query
from the French, Jean Souetre was picked up by U.S. authorities in Texas. He
was immediately expelled from the United States. French intelligence wanted
to ascertain whether he was expelled to Canada or Mexico.
“The French also wanted to know why the U.S. authorities had expelled
Souetre. The simple purpose was to ensure the safety of President DeGaulle on
his pending trip to Mexico.” 410
Hurt notes that the original document also noted that Souetre used the
names Michel Roux and Michel Mertz. Roux happened to be in Fort Worth on
November 22, having entered the country on November 19 and leaving at Laredo,
Texas on December 6. He was not expelled. When questioned later, Souetre said
that Mertz was an old enemy who often used his name and may have been
trying to implicate him in misdeeds.
THE HUNT CONNECTION
Interestingly enough, it was CIA man E. Howard Hunt (whom we first
met in Chapter 9) who was one of the CIA’s point men in the dealings with
Souetre and OAS intelligence 411 That the two may have been in Dallas—
perhaps even together—during the time of the JFK assassination is intriguing, to
say the very least and yet another of the details that, taken together, demonstrate
continuing intimate connections between persons and institutions that have
(elsewhere) been repeatedly linked to the JFK assassination conspiracy.
In Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we shall see that Israeli Mossad/ Lansky–
linked elements in New Orleans and elsewhere funneled money to the OAS for a
1962 assassination attempt against Charles DeGaulle and that, indeed, these same
elements are tied directly to the JFK assassination.
TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
Professor Alfred McCoy summarizes the covert links between the CIA and
organized crime around the world:
“Since prohibition of narcotics in the 1920s, alliances between drug
brokers and intelligence agencies have protected the global narcotics traffic.
216 An Opiate for theMasses [155]
Given the frequency of such alliances, there seems a natural attraction
between intelligence agencies and criminal syndicates . . . Both are
practitioners of what one retired CIA operative has called the ‘clandestine
arts’—the basic skill of operating outside the normal channels of civil
society. Among all the institutions of modern society, intelligence agencies
and criminal syndicates alone maintain large organizations capable of
carrying out covert operations without fear of detection.” 412
Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana’s family biographers have written of
Giancana’s own elaboration on this relationship. They described how
Giancana showed his brother an ancient Roman coin and declared: “Look,
this is one of the Roman gods. This one has two faces . . . two sides.
That’s what we are, the Outfit and the CIA—two sides of the same
coin: 413
ISRAEL, THE CIA AND THE DRUG COMBINE
All the evidence we have covered here suggests that the CIA and the
Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate were indeed partners in many
areas of mutual concern—not only in Cuba and in the Southeast Asian drug
racket—but also in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
And as we saw in Chapter 6, Lansky’s allies in Israel stood much to
benefit from American involvement in Southeast Asia.
While Israel was using America’s engagement in and preoccupation
with the Vietnam conflict as a means whereby Israel could flex its muscle in
the Middle East, the Lansky narcotics network was using its partnership
with the CIA during the VietnamWar as a cover for its drug-smuggling.
And as we have seen in Chapter 8, the CIA and Israel itself had long
and close ties equally as incestuous of those of the Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate and Israel. That Israel had its own difficulties with John F.
Kennedy we have already seen. Likewise with the Mafia and the Lansky
Syndicate. In Chapter 9 we reviewed the CIA’s own problems with John F.
Kennedy. Clearly, this alliance of forces against JFK was such that there
was really no way John F. Kennedy could have ever completed his first term
in the White House.
Chapter Thirteen
Israel’s California Connection:
Mickey Cohen and the JFK Assassination Conspiracy
The role of Meyer Lansky’s West Coast Henchman — longtime
Israeli loyalist Mickey Cohen—in the JFK assassination conspiracy
is one of history’s little-known stories. Cohen — who was one of
Jack Ruby’s idols — apparently had a direct hand in the initial stages of
I s rae l i ma chinat ions a gains t J ohn F. Kennedy. Ev idence
suggests also that the death of film actress Marilyn Monroe
was linked, in fact, to the Israeli connection in the JFK
assassination conspiracy.
When Mickey Cohen’s name has appeared in numerous books and
monographs relating to the JFK murder, it has only been in passing.
Cohen, it would appear on the surface, deserves mention if only because of
his involvement in Organized Crime which figures so prominently in JFK
conspiracy theories.
However, Cohen’s intimate involvement with Israel and its international
intrigue, and Cohen’s dedication to advancing Israel’s interests—even at the
expense of his own criminal money-making activities—needs to be examined
further.
The evidence we shall examine here suggests that even the death of film
actress Marilyn Monroe is indeed linked to the John F. Kennedy
assassination in a way never imagined.
Cohen, as we shall see, was using Miss Monroe—one of John F.
Kennedy’s illicit liaisons—as a conduit to learn Kennedy’s intentions toward
Israel. There is a lot more to the story of Marilyn Monroe’s affair with JFK
than the tabloids have told us.
COHEN’S MEMOIRS
The primary source on Mickey Cohen is the Los Angeles mobster’s
own colorful memoirs. Cohen’s memoir—Mickey Cohen: In My Own
Words—is one of the more fascinating first-hand accounts of life in
Organized Crime. The memoir is particularly interesting for three specific
reasons:
(a) it is one of the few autobiographical accounts of life in Organized
Crime written by a non-Italian. Virtually all of the popular accounts of life
in the mob come from former “Mafia” members or associates. Cohen—
with the exception of Michael Milan, whom we first met in Chapter 7—is
perhaps the only other non-Italian, non-Mafia Organized Crime leader to put
his experiences in writing.
(b) Cohen, as Hollywood’s rackets boss, was a central player in that
unique underworld that links the entertainment industry to Organized Crime.
218 Israel’s California Connection [157]
A friend and associate of the prominent and of the rich and powerful, Cohen
knew where Hollywood’s bodies were buried, in more ways than one.
(c) Cohen’s “ghost-writer,”—the man who put Cohen’s sometimes
inelegant ramblings together and edited them for publication—was John
Peer Nugent.
THE CIA CONNECTION
A former correspondent for Newsweek, Nugent was—on one occasion—
taken into custody while in Africa on suspicion of being a CIA agent. He was
released through the personal intervention of then-Secretary of State Dean
Rusk. However, according to organized crime authority Art Kunkin, Nugent
did have CIA connections. 414
Interestingly enough, Nugent himself once participated in a debate with
JFK assassination investigator, A. J. Weberman, co-author of Coup d’Etat
in America, where he—Nugent—sought to refute CIA complicity in the
JFK assassination.
In this context, one can’t help but wonder if Cohen’s memoirs weren’t
a laundered version, CIA-style.
Both what does appear in Cohen’s reminiscences—and what doesn’t
appear—are equally intriguing. Cohen’s memoirs are a gold-mine of often
fascinating information, particularly in regard to the Hollywood mobster’s
early links to Israel and its birth struggle.
SUCCESSOR TO SIEGEL
Cohen was the West Coast successor to Meyer Lansky’s ill-fated
boyhood crony, Benjamin Siegel, Organized Crime’s top man on the West
Coast until his bloody assassination on June 20, 1947. Remembered best as
“the man who invented Las Vegas,” the handsome Siegel was shot dead in
the Beverly Hills home of his second wife, mob playgirl Virginia Hill.
Lansky and Siegel were longtime friends and early partners in Brooklyn
at the beginning of their initial reach into the upper echelons of Organized
Crime. The oft-told tales of New York’s “Bug and Meyer Mob” are
legendary in the annals of Organized Crime. “Bug and Meyer” were
treacherous killers in those early years. There’s no reason to think that
Lansky mellowed with age.
Believed by Organized Crime’s ruling commission of looting funds
earmarked for the casino network he was establishing in Las Vegas on
behalf of the syndicate, Siegel was slain in retribution for his betrayal. This
was said to be a great personal loss for his friend, Lansky.
LANSKY ORDERS THE HIT
Yet, Lansky himself apparently agreed to the decision that Siegel had to
be executed. Lansky even agreed to handle the arrangements if necessary.
[158] Final Judgment 219
Apparently he did. “I had no choice,” Lansky later said, reflecting upon his
friend’s betrayal and its consequences. 415
(The best accounts of Siegel’s role in the development of the Las Vegas
front for the Lansky Crime Syndicate appear in The Green Felt Jungle by Ed
Reid and Ovid Demaris and We Only Kill Each Other, a biography of Siegel
written by Dean Jennings).
HOOVER SENDS HIS SYMPATHIES
In Chapter 7 we explored the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s seeming
inability to acknowledge the existence of the Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate as well as Hoover’s connections to Israel’s American-based
intelligence and propaganda agency, the Lansky Syndicate-financed Anti-
Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith. (We shall discuss the ADL in
further detail in Chapter 17.)
Michael Milan (whom we first met in Chapter 7 as a mutual associate
of both Hoover and Lansky) says that when the hit was ordered on Ben
Siegel, “Even [J. Edgar Hoover] himself had to concur and told everybody to
stand away. He sent Meyer Lansky his personal condolences, however,
because he had liked Benny, and Benny had showed him a good time
whenever he went to the Coast.”416
Whatever the circumstances, it was, in fact Mickey Cohen who
assumed Siegel’s position as Lansky’s West Coast representative upon
Siegel’s assassination.
LANSKY’S ‘EYES AND EARS’
According to Lansky’s biographer, Hank Messick, it was Cohen who
was Lansky’s real “eyes and ears” in Southern California—not his good
friend Siegel. One of Cohen’s primary responsibilities was keeping an eye
on the free-wheeling and reckless Siegel on Lansky’s behalf.
When Siegel was removed from the scene it was Cohen who stepped in
and took charge of Lansky’s West Coast affairs—quite a fortuitous set of
circumstances for the simian thug who could —by no means—ever have
competed with Siegel in a beauty contest. No wonder then that Cohen
recalled in his memoirs, “I have a great love and respect and a complete high
regard for Meyer Lansky.” 417
COHEN & ISRAEL
Aside, however, from his direct ties to Lansky, and his own intra-mob
machinations, Mickey Cohen was in the State of Israel’s camp from the
very beginning of its existence—even before. By his own admission,
Cohen was engaged in arms smuggling and fund-raising for Israel even
before Israel had become a state.
220 Israel’s California Connection [159]
In his memoirs Cohen recalls his first encounter with an agent of
Israel’s international fund-raising and arms-smuggling operations and how
he came to identify with Israel’s cause.
Speaking of his crony, Mike Howard, Cohen recounted the day that
Howard introduced him to an Israeli operative. (In his memoirs Cohen does
not name the Israeli in question.) Howard, he says, “knew that I would do
anything for a cause that was right, and particularly Jewish causes.” 418
At first, Cohen says, he was hesitant to become involved. He changed
his mind, though. “So they come back,” Cohen recalled, “and we sit down
to talk. And the guy tells me this story about the Haganah, which was
organized by the David Ben-Gurion guy. And he tells me especially about
the Irgun and the type of war they’re fighting against the British, and the
type of guys they are and all this. And I got high on him.
“But you know when you’re kinky [i.e. criminally-oriented] your mind
runs kinky. I still figured this must be a racket thing. So I says to the guy,
Tookit, I don’t know nothing about these things. I didn’t even know there
was a war going on in Israel. Let me think it over.” 419
Cohen made no decision, one way or the other, but after Hollywood
screenwriter, publicist and playwright Ben Hecht—an ardent advocate of the
Zionist cause—came visiting, Cohen began to see the light. Hecht appeared
at Cohen’s headquarters accompanied by a representative of the bloody
terrorist Irgun gang. The individual, once again, Cohen did not name. “I
could see that I was dealing with a real man, no con guy,” 420 remembered
Cohen.
MENACHEM BEGIN COMES TO TOWN
In his own memoirs Jimmy (“the Weasel”) Fratianno, a top West
Coast Mafia figure-turned-government informant, gives us a hint as to who
Cohen’s Irgun friend may have been. Fratianno described a benefit for Israel
at an exclusive Bel Air home:
“After [Cohen’s] little speech, we start moving around the room and
Mickey’s rabbi introduces us to a guy called Menachem Begin, who’s the
boss of the Irgun, an underground outfit in Palestine. This guy’s wearing a
black armband and he tells us he’s wanted back there for bombing a hotel
that killed almost a hundred people. He’s a fucking lamster [i.e. on the run].
“Anyway, he makes a speech, and after him just about everybody made
a speech. It just goes on and on. Afterwards these other guys from the
Haganah, another underground outfit, start arguing with Begin about who’s
going to handle the money. So Mickey chirps in and it’s agreed that his
rabbi will handle the money and Mickey will buy guns and ammo and ship
them over there.”421
[This, as we shall see, would not be the last time that Menachem Begin
would be spotted in the company of Mickey Cohen, however.]
Fratianno frankly doubted Cohen’s sincerity and suspected that Cohen
was in “the cause” for the money to be made. However, in his own
[160] Final Judgment 221
memoirs, Cohen was insistent about his dedication to Israel. In fact, he goes
on at length about his devotion.
“I got engrossed with the goddamn thing pretty strong see. Through my
connections I made everybody throughout the country—the Italians, the Jews,
the Irish—set up whatever positions there were to be helpful to the Israel
cause.” 422
DEDICATED TO ISRAEL
Cohen’s dedication was inestimable. He was so devoted to Israel,
indeed, that he allowed his criminal activities to go by the wayside. Cohen
says:
“Now I got so engrossed with Israel that I actually pushed aside a lot of
my activities and done nothing but what was involved with this Irgun war.
It’s a nature of mine, see. Either I go whole hog or nothing. So I got
involved with this goddamn Israel war for three years. I started to have
relationships with Irgun members back in Israel. They got to understand me
better and I got to understand them better.
“Well, I had raised considerable money, not particularly myself, but
through me, throughout the country. There were dinners held in Boston,
Philadelphia, Miami. And plenty of armament and equipment was collected
that you couldn’t possibly get.
“It was only God’s will that Harry Truman was President. He couldn’t
openly allow it to be known that he was okaying stuff to be shipped back
there or that stuff was being stolen from the ships that were coming back
from the Second World War.
“But it was only with Truman’s looking the other way, or with his
being in favor, that it was done. To me, he was the greatest man in the
world, Harry Truman, because of what he done for Israel and because he
made it available for us to do.
“We were able to get on ships that were being put into mothballs. I had
access to all that stuff on the docks. Some of the stuff and equipment like
machine guns that we got back to Israel had never got a chance to be used in
the Second World War. They weren’t even put together. They were still in
the cases, in the straw, in the oil and everything. We shipped them right
over.” 423
JACK RUBY COMES TO TOWN
It was during this same time that Cohen was also making the
acquaintance of another thug, Jack Rubinstein, who ultimately changed his
last name to Ruby.
Gary Wean—whose business it was to keep an eye on Cohen’s
activities—later put his fascinating experiences down in an informal memoir
entitled There’s a Fish in the Courthouse.
Wean’s contributions to Kennedy assassination research, however, have
not received the widespread recognition they deserve.
222 Israel’s California Connection [161]
A detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department, Wean got to
know Mickey Cohen well. What’s more, as a Criminal Intelligence Investigator
for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, Wean was privy
to much “inside” information about Cohen and his activities in Hollywood.
Later, Wean was chief investigator for the Ventura County Public Defenders
Office until 1970. He is now retired.
In his memoirs, Wean says he saw Ruby twice in Hollywood in 1946 and
in 1947. The first time Ruby was riding with Cohen in Cohen’s big black
limousine, although, on that occasion, they were not introduced.424 The
second time he encountered Ruby was a year later. According to Wean, he and
his partner went to a club known as Harry’s Place. Ruby was there, and Wean
introduced himself and informed Ruby he was a police officer.
In turn, Ruby introduced himself. He said: “My name is Jack Ruby. I
just came out from Chicago to get with Harry. Since the war’s over the
West Coast is dead, so is Chicago, We’re moving ‘everything’ to New
Orleans and Miami. That is where all the action is going to be from now,
between the United States and Cuba.” 425
(A New Orleans chief assistant district attorney has essentially
confirmed Ruby’s claim that the Crescent City had become a hub of
syndicate financing and activity. According to the prosecutor, “There is too much
money here. We feel that it’s flowing in from other Cosa Nostra [Mafia]
organizations in other parts of the country for investment by the local
mobs. This could be their financial center, with a lot of nice safe places
where campaign contributions and outright bribery have pretty well insulated
them from the law.”) 426
In any case, as we shall see, this was just the beginning of Jack Ruby’s
relationship with Mickey Cohen and Cohen’s West Coast associates. It
wasn’t until 1963, however, that the relationship came full circle, as we
shall see in Chapter 14.
COHEN, MARILYN MONROE AND JFK
By 1960, Cohen was an established power in the West Coast syndicate
operations of Meyer Lansky. And Cohen was also a key figure in
Hollywood, nurturing his relationships with the film colony there—for his own
insidious purposes.
As author John Davis notes: “One of Cohen’s rackets was sexually
compromising Hollywood stars for the purpose of blackmail. It had been Cohen
who engineered the torrid affair between his accomplice, Johnny Stompanato,
and [film star] Lana Turner, in the hope of getting pictures of the two in bed
together.” 427 [Miss Turner’s daughter later killed Stompanato in an event
that became a major Hollywood scandal.]
But Cohen’s activities went further. Cohen was also manipulating
beautiful screen star Marilyn Monroe for yet another purpose—one which had
international implications.
Now as the legend goes, it was ostensibly the Frank Sinatra connection that
led to the introduction of Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy.
[162] Final Judgment 223
However, according to Gary Wean, it was in fact the Mickey Cohen
connection that brought the handsome Massachusetts Senator and the
Hollywood sex symbol together.
Wean reveals that Cohen’s close friend, entertainer Joey Bishop—who
also happened to be a member of Sinatra’s famous clique known as “the rat
pack”—was the one who actually set up the circumstances that led to the
initial liaison between JFK and Miss Monroe during the 1960 presidential
campaign.
“It was Joey Bishop that came up with the ‘idea of a wild party’ for
Kennedy. He talked [Peter] Lawford [JFK’s brother-in-law] into it.”428
According to Wean, there was a reason for all of this—beyond satisfying
JFK’s notorious appetite for beautiful women: “Bishop knew Kennedy
would be taken by the Monroe sex appeal. Bishop was a Jew and real tight
with Cohen.
“At that time the rabbis were pushing them hard as hell to squeeze
every bit of dough they could get out of Hollywood for Israel. [Menachem]
Begin was spending more time hanging around Cohen in Hollywood than in
Israel. Begin desperately wanted to know what Kennedy’s plan was for
Israel if he became president.
“Cohen figured if they could duke Marilyn into Kennedy, [Cohen’s
pimp Georgie] Piscitelli would be able to manipulate her and tell them
everything Kennedy told her. Also they’d work a [blackmail] squeeze
[against JFK] if a romance blossomed. Cohen also had something going on
with Jack Ruby. His girl friend, [a stripper by the name of] Candy Barr, was
making a lot of trips between Ruby in Dallas and Cohen in Hollywood.”429
According to Wean, Cohen’s pimp was also sleeping with Miss
Monroe. Wean learned this from a young lady named Mary Mercandante
who was jealous of Piscitelli’s relationship with Miss Monroe. Miss
Mercandante was a prostitute and Piscitelli was her pimp.
JFK’S VIEWS TOWARD ISRAEL?
It was from Miss Mercandante that Wean learned something which he
came to describe as “the really weird stuff.” 430 Miss Mercandante told Wean
that Piscitelli’s job was to pump Miss Monroe for information about JFK’s
views toward Israel. (As we have seen in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, Israel
and its American lobby were uneasy, to say the very least, about Kennedy.)
However, according to Wean, Piscitelli told Miss Mercandante that Marilyn
would get upset when he began pressing her, saying she didn’t know
anything about politics. Wean reports that Miss Mercandante told him
that: “Cohen got mad and told Georgie to stick with Marilyn and pour
drinks or pills down her, whatever it takes and find out what John Kennedy
intended to do about financing Israel.”431
According to Wean’s source: “Cohen and Begin were plenty upset over
Kennedy’s plans to give billions of dollars to the Peace Corps, and the
South American and African countries.” 432
224 Israel’s California Connection [163]
Miss Mercandante began threatening to reveal all she knew about
Cohen’s manipulation of the film actress and the affair with Kennedy.
Wean, however, had already reported his findings to his superiors.
TWO MURDERS?
Miss Mercandante was later murdered. She appears to be yet another of
the many victims of what ultimately evolved into the JFK assassination
conspiracy and cover-up.
Now although there has long been widespread suspicion that Marilyn
Monroe was herself perhaps murdered, the tabloids would have us believe
that she was murdered by the Kennedy family to keep silent about her affair
with the President and—allegedly also—his brother, Attorney General
Robert Kennedy.
The evidence we have seen here, however, suggests that if Miss
Monroe was murdered it indeed was to keep her silent—but for an entirely
different reason.
If Miss Monroe ever revealed that Mickey Cohen had used her to find
out Kennedy’s stance toward Israel, it would have opened a Pandora’s Box
that could have exposed Israel’s uneasy relationship with JFK—something
that Israel and its American lobby could not afford.
What is interesting is that in his memoirs—which are filled with
Cohen’s incessant name-dropping and accounts of his friendships with a
bevy of Hollywood figures—Cohen never once mentions Marilyn Monroe.
Nor does he mention Jack Ruby, for that matter either.
There were evidently certain things that Cohen and his co-author did not
see fit to mention. It is more than interesting to note, at least in passing,
that Meyer Lansky himself had “inside” knowledge on the extra-marital
affairs of Attorney General Robert Kennedy at the very least.
According to J. Edgar Hoover biographer Curt Gentry, Lansky was
overheard on a federal wiretap on August 1, 1962 telling his wife, Teddy,
that Robert Kennedy was carrying on an affair with a woman in El Paso,
Texas. 433
WHATWERE THEY UP TO?
In any event, Mickey Cohen’s strange activities were of continuing
particular interest to GaryWean.
Wean described in his memoirs how he first discovered the close
working relationship between Cohen and Israeli terrorist-turned-roving
diplomat (and later Israeli Prime Minister) Menachem Begin, whose
Hollywood activities we reviewed earlier in this chapter:
“[My partner] and I’d been watching Mickey Cohen from a distance. We
knew he was up to something out of the ordinary. He spent a lot of time
with a weird-looking little guy at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel lunch counter
and drug store area.
[164] Final Judgment 225
“What got our curiosity most was Mickey seemed to be taking orders
from the stranger. We got photos with our telescopic lens of Cohen and his
friend. The office checked it out. We learned his name: Menachem
Begin.”434
To find out further what Cohen and Begin were involved with, Wean
deployed a Yiddish-speaking spy to listen in on Cohen and Begin’s
conversations. Wean notes: “He reported that the two in a deep discussion
were very excitable. There was a lot of talk about Cuba and military
operations and the Kennedys.”435 According to Wean’s operative: “We’ve
really got something going. Mickey sounded like a politician. They were
going on about war and billion dollar appropriations, cursing JFK about his crazy
Peace Corps and wasting money.” 436
MELVIN BELLI
According to Wean, after this coffee shop conference, Cohen and Begin
departed. Wean and his partner followed Cohen to an elegant home in Los
Angeles. There, Wean says, Cohen and Begin met with high-priced lawyer
Melvin Belli, Cohen’s longtime friend and attorney. 437
Belli, we shall see in Chapter 14, came to play an important role in the
tangled web of intrigue surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Belli served
as attorney for Jack Ruby.
Interestingly enough, according to Wean, Cohen, Ruby and Menachem
Begin shared one other thing in common: Cohen was sharing his girlfriend,
stripper Candy Barr, with not only Ruby (then operating in Dallas), but also
with Begin, Israel’s man in Hollywood.438
However, Mickey Cohen had a lot more on his mind than his criminal
activities and his sexual pursuits. Cohen was interested in the survival of
Israel, the nation he had helped establish.
COHEN’S MISSION
Cohen’s peculiar interest in JFK’s Middle East policy, coupled with his
unfortunate manipulation of Marilyn Monroe, along with his longtime
devotion to the Zionist cause, places him squarely in the midst of the
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate’s central part in the JFK assassination
conspiracy.
The simian-like Los Angeles thug was very much privy to the
circumstances of what really took place in the JFK assassination. What
Cohen may have known, however, was lost forever when the Lansky
henchman died suddenly of a heart attack. He had no known history of heart
trouble. In Chapter 14 we shall examine Cohen’s connection with Jack
Ruby in more detail.
Years after his encounter with Cohen and Begin, Gary Wean received
what he described as “a strange call.” It was from a writer named Ed Tivnan
who said he was looking into Begin’s alleged association with American
gangsters.
226 Israel’s Calfornia Connection [165]
COVERING FOR ISRAEL
“My book’s purpose is to deny, dispel and silence the accusations of
Begin’s criminal associations with them,” 439 said Tivnan. Tivnan was not
interested in Wean’s account of Begin’s very real association with the
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. It was something that Israel did not
want told.
There is another interesting sidelight to all of this. When author Anthony
Summers was preparing his book Goddess, a life of Marilyn Monroe, he
contacted Wean for information and Wean provided Summers with all of the
details we’ve reviewed in these pages.
However, when Summers’ biography of Miss Monroe finally hit the
bookstores, the author had nothing to say about Cohen and the Israeli
connection. Instead, the book suggested that Miss Monroe’s death was a
proximate result of her affair with the Kennedy brothers.
Indeed, the book led the reader to believe that it was the Kennedys who
were, one way or the other, responsible—directly or indirectly—for the
young woman’s tragic death. The Mickey Cohen-Israel connection went
unmentioned.
There is something else interesting. This same Anthony Summers is
the Anthony Summers who wrote an exhaustive study of the JFK
assassination entitled Conspiracy. (This was before he met with Wean.)
However, when Summers released an up-dated edition of his
book in 1992, he never reported the information that Wean
provided him about the Israeli connection. It is likely, in all
fairness to Summers, that he probably did not understand the significance of
what he had learned. However, it is very clear, considering everything that
we have already examined in these pages—and what we are about to
examine—that Wean’s discovery was a key to understanding what really
happened on November 22, 1963.
THE COHEN CONNECTION
Today, there are those, as we have seen, who continually cite Jack
Ruby’s connections with organized crime as proof that “The Mafia Killed
JFK.” Some have even pointed out that one of Ruby’s first telephone calls
he made immediately after the JFK assassination (just shortly after Lee
Harvey Oswald had been arrested) was to Al Gruber, a Mickey Cohen
associate in Hollywood.
Gruber, it also turns out—perhaps not surprisingly—was associated
with Lansky’s Mexico City syndicate drug-smuggling connection, “Happy”
Meltzer, with whom, as we shall see in Chapter 14, Ruby had his own
connections. 440
In fact, although Ruby had not seen Gruber in some ten years, Gruber
came to visit Ruby in Dallas in November of 1963, just shortly before the
assassination.
[166] Final Judgment 227
Other than this, the Cohen-Ruby link is given little play—perhaps
precisely because it points not in the direction of the Mafia, but instead,
more directly to Israel and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.
As it stands, ironically enough, Mickey Cohen was already incarcerated in
federal prison by the time of the JFK assassination. Lansky’s West Coast
lieutenant was one of many “big names” snared in the Kennedy war against
the Lansky crime syndicate. There was clearly no love lost between Mickey
Cohen and the Kennedy brothers.
It seems likely—and Gary Wean believes, as he told this author—that
Cohen’s henchman Gruber was the intermediary for the Lansky syndicate in the
delicate matter of how to silence the patsy—Oswald—who had somehow
escaped being killed and was then in the custody of the Dallas police.
Mickey Cohen and Menachem Begin very clearly were involved in the
initial stages of what ultimately evolved into the JFK assassination
conspiracy precisely because of Kennedy’s difficult foreign policy struggle
with Israel which sparked the plot against the American president.
Perhaps this might explain why Jack Ruby—in his final days—was
fearful that if the truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy ever
came out that, as Ruby put it, “the Jews” would be blamed for the crime.441
In the next chapter we will examine Jack Ruby’s role further and
consider his connections with the Lansky syndicate—and with Israel.
Chapter Fourteen
The Errand Boy:
Jack Ruby Was More “Mossad” Than “Mafia”
Jack Ruby’s connections to the criminal underworld are
well-documented. However, what is almost always ignored is
Ruby’s integral link to the Meyer Lansky Crime
Syndicate—not “the Mafia. And while there are occasional
references to Ruby’s CIA connections, his equally profound
ties to Israeli intelligence are strictly ignored.
A complete examination of the real Jack Ruby—not the
Ruby of legend—points further toward the likelihood of
Mossad involvement in the assassination of President
Kennedy.
Organized crime historian Stephen Fox has called Dallas nightclub
operator Jack Ruby “the smoking gun, the stone, the trout in the
milk” in the JFK assassination conspiracy.442
Ironically, not only did Ruby silence Oswald and help perpetuate the
JFK assassination conspiracy and cover-up, but he also added fuel to the fire
of speculation as a consequence. Had Lee Harvey Oswald died of a heart
attack in the Dallas jail, rather than at the hands of a mob-linked thug named
Jack Ruby, suspicion of a conspiracy might not have evolved so quickly.
Yet, when Jack Ruby stepped into the public limelight and eliminated
Oswald, attention was focused on the strange background of the Chicagoborn
underworld figure who had killed the alleged assassin.
Ruby’s criminal ties are legendary. But Jack Ruby was not—repeat not—
“Mafia.” And he was more than just a “Mafia associate.”
Ruby, in fact, was very much a part of the Meyer Lansky Crime
Syndicate and, what’s more—the Warren Commission’s conclusions
notwithstanding—was also working for Lansky’s longtime collaborators in
the CIA and with Israel’s Mossad (documented in detail in Chapter 8.)
The late Bernard Fensterwald, one of the leading JFK assassination
researchers, documented Ruby’s Lansky connection in his encyclopedic
work, Coincidence or Conspiracy:
“Ruby told the Warren Commission on June 7, 1964 about his 1959
visit to [Lewis] McWillie in Havana, and also spoke of knowing
McWillie’s bosses. Interestingly enough, McWillie’s bosses at that time
were Meyer and Jake Lansky. Ruby mysteriously spoke of meeting two
brothers who’d owned the Tropicana Casino which McWillie managed.
Ruby said he was unsure of their last name but thought it had been Fox. It
has long been known that Meyer and Jake Lansky were in fact the two key
Tropicana owners. The Tropicana had been a cornerstone of their Cuban
holdings.
[168] Final Judgment 229
“Ruby also described ‘the Fox brothers’ as ‘the greatest that have been
expelled from Cuba,’ and said they were then living in Miami. Meyer and
Jake Lansky were known as the most prominent Syndicate men expelled by
the Castro government and were in fact then living in Miami. Ruby said he
thought one of the ‘Fox brothers’ first names may have been Martin.
“Ruby further testified that one of the ‘Fox brothers’ had later visited
him in Dallas, accompanied by Lewis McWillie. Ruby claimed that they
had dined at the Dallas airport together. Ruby further testified that Fox and
McWillie had also subsequently dropped by his nightclub, where they posed
for photographs with him. Ruby later took the photos with him when he
visited McWillie in Cuba:
“‘Evidently the Foxes were in exile at that time, because when I went
to visit McWillie . . . [Cuban officials] looked through my luggage and
they saw a photograph of Mr. Fox and his wife.
“‘They didn’t interrogate but they went through everything and held me
up for hours . . . Evidently in my ignorance I didn’t realize I was bringing a
picture [of someone] they knew was a bitter enemy.” 443
There is some question, however, as to whether or not the “Fox
brothers” were, in fact, the Lansky brothers. Ruby biographer Seth Kantor
notes that there were brothers named Martin and Pedro Fox who were Cuban
nationals and involved in the Tropicana. (Nonetheless, the Tropicana was
owned by the Lansky brothers.)
Kantor writes: “The significance of all this marching up and down the
hill about the Fox brothers is that Ruby was a rational man at the time of
the Warren Commission’s June 7, 1964 interview with him. He was telling
them the truth, and begged to be taken out of Texas so he could tell them
more. But no one listened, on one of the sorriest days in the Warren
Commission’s history.” 444
It is interesting to note that at the time of the JFK assassination
Ruby’s good friend McWillie was working at the Thunderbird Hotel in Las
Vegas, owned in part by Meyer Lansky and his brother Jake. As Peter Dale
Scott succinctly summarizes it: “In other words, McWillie was working for
the Lanskys when Ruby made seven phone calls to him in 1963.” 445 These
were among the phone calls made to organized crime-related figures that
authors David Scheim and John W. Davis and G. Robert Blakey have used
to promote the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”
Ruby did indeed call some seven or eight mob-linked individuals in the
period just before the JFK assassination, but, according to Peter Dale Scott,
“only one of these was Italian.”446 Yet, as Scott points out, Blakey’s House
Assassinations Committee preferred to cast Ruby as a “Mafia” figure and to
ignore his positioning in the Lansky sphere. “Only from officials,” Scott
notes wryly, “can logic like this be encountered.”447 In general Scott
describes this as a form of “conscious bias, or what might be called
contrived bias, the purpose of which is to deceive others.” 448
Whatever the direct link between Lansky and Ruby in this regard,
however, JFK assassination researcher JimMarrs states flatly that Ruby had
230 The Errand Boy [169]
a share in a gambling house in Hallandale, Florida along with Meyer and
Jake Lansky, among others, in the early 1950s. 449
There is no doubt that Ruby and Lansky’s world of intrigue intersected
in several arenas, as we shall see—whether the two actually ever were
personally acquainted or not.
RUBY AND THE LANSKY DRUG RACKET
Peter Dale Scott has scored G. Robert Blakey and his House
Assassinations Committee for its dismal failure to explore and to expose
Ruby’s Lansky connections which are very strong indeed. Scott, who has
studied Jack Ruby’s criminal antecedents, has outlined Ruby’s critical
positioning in the Lansky syndicate.
According to Scott: “It is certain that Ruby was investigated [in the
mid-1940’s] for his role in [an] international drug-trafficking syndicate,
involving corruption of government officials in Mexico City.” 450 The top
syndicate representative in Mexico City was one Harold “Happy” Meltzer,
but, in fact, it was Meyer Lansky who was “the key figure in the Meltzer
syndicate.” 451 According to Scott, “Right after World War II this was
probably the biggest drug-smuggling channel into the United States.” 452
The House Assassinations Committee, in Scott’s judgment, failed to
note that “Ruby was in some way an important figure”453 in the linkage
between organized crime and the political arena in Dallas and “on a federal
level.”454 Ruby, in short, was no mere mob hanger-on as some have tried
to suggest and he was not, by any stretch of the imagination, part of “the
Mafia” as G. Robert Blakey and some others have suggested.
RUBY WAS NOT ‘MAFIA’
According to Scott, the House Committee investigation of Ruby and
his underworld associates chose to focus on what Scott describes as an
“ethnic model of organized crime as ‘La Cosa Nostra'”455—that is, focusing
on the so-called “Mafia,” the popularized media sobriquet for Italian
elements in the organized crime underworld, rather than upon the more
substantially predominant Jewish elements personified by Meyer Lansky and
those in his sphere of influence.
According to Scott, these descriptions of organized crime “are
bureaucratically distorted to the point of falsehood . . . [and that] this
distortion involved systematic distortion of the facts, not just about Ruby,
but about other aspects of the Kennedy assassination.” 456
In Scott’s assessment, the House Assassinations Committee
investigation of Jack Ruby omitted any reference to what he delicately
d e sc r ibe s a s ” the o ngo ing, drug- fue l ed, inte l l igenc e -mo b
connection” 457 —what we, in the pages of Final Judgment, more correctly
and precisely call the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.
[170] Final Judgment 231
As Scott has concluded (and rightly so): “The so-called Cosa Nostra has
been systematically misrepresented by law enforcement investigators and
prosecutors. For this active misrepresentation has deformed the two official
investigations into the Kennedy assassination itself, not in marginal ways, but
so as to conceal central truths about the assassination, truths that were
embarrassing to those conducting the investigation.
“In the end one comes to recognize that the history of organized crime
and the history of the investigation and prosecution of organized crime are
closely intertwined processes affecting one another. Processes, one must add,
which mutually affect the truth, but concealed, seats of political power in
this country.” 458
“To sum up: official investigations of the Kennedy assassination have
failed, not because the case is inherently insoluble, but because both the
case and the investigations have been governed by deeper political processes,
which have not yet been discerned.” 459
In short, Jack Ruby was not a “Mafia” hireling, but, instead, a key
point man in Dallas for the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate and, ultimately,
as Stephen Fox has said, “the smoking gun, the Rosetta stone, the trout in
the milk” in the JFK assassination conspiracy. The deeper political
processes of which Peter Dale Scott has noted “have not yet been discerned”
are now, however, in the pages of Final Judgment, being bared for the first
time.
RUBY’S ISRAELI CONNECTIONS
Now although Jack Ruby was long known to be proud of his Jewish
heritage, what is little known is that Ruby himself had an intimate
connection with an individual with deep ties to the world of intelligence and
to the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. This was Ruby’s “longtime
associate and former lawyer,” 460 Luis Kutner of Chicago, who had
represented Ruby when Ruby was called before the staff of the Kefauver
Senate Rackets Committee in 1950 to discuss underworld activities in his
former home base of Chicago. According to Kutner, Ruby’s offer was
contingent upon the condition that the Kefauver Committee stay away from
investigating organized crime in Dallas where Ruby was by then ensconced.
Peter Dale Scott notes that “The performance of the Kefauver Committee
would seem to corroborate Kutner’s claim, for the Committee did give
Dallas a clean bill of health.”461
Although a “mob lawyer,” it seems, Kutner did have additional
interesting connections. According to Scott, “Kutner, by his own account,
had known Ruby since 1936, when he had used Ruby to ‘run errands’ in his
unsuccessful 1936 congressional campaign. Later Kutner had inserted
himself into what can only be described as international intelligence
operations, ranging from Latin American coups to the defense of ousted
Congolese leader Moise Tshombe.”462
But Kutner was himself also active in efforts to advance the interests of
Israel. He was among a host of people who formed the Center for Global
232 Final Judgment [171]
Security, Inc., which he served as “honorary counsel.” Serving as “honorary
chairman” of this pro-Israel lobbying group was General Julius Klein, an
American military figure who not only played a major role in supplying
weapons to the Israeli Haganah underground prior to the establishment of
Israel, but also assisted in the founding and training of the Israeli Mossad.
Clearly, Jack Ruby’s friend and lawyer, Kutner, was a man with
important ties to Israel and its global power networks. So, what Peter Dale
Scott says regarding Ruby’s association with Kutner is not an
overstatement: “[Kutner’s] involvement with Ruby confirms that Ruby
should not just be thought of as a man with local influence with the Dallas
police, but as a player in international deep politics.” 463
Yet, when G. Robert Blakey and the House Assassinations Committee
were looking into Ruby’s connections and when Blakey later wrote about
his findings, Blakey never once mentioned Kutner—a significant Ruby
connection, particularly in light of what we have already outlined—and will
examine further—in the pages of Final Judgment. 464
RUBY AND ISRAELI ARMS SMUGGLING
JFK researcher A. J. Weberman has revealed the little-known fact that
Ruby traveled to Israel in 1955 and that while in San Francisco that year,
Ruby told a friend, “After I leave here I’m going to Florida to buy a load of
contraband to send to Israel.” Ruby’s notebook also contained the phone
number in New York City belonging to a Miss Snyman who told the FBI
she had diplomatic immunity and that she should be contacted through the
South African ambassador to the United Nations. Weberman raised the
question as to whether this suggested Ruby might have been involved in an
arms deal between Israel and South Africa, but noted that the FBI had then
decided the number was JE-8-7475 rather than TE-8-7475. Who that number
belonged to was apparently never resolved. 465
In addition, citing FBI documents, Weberman notes that Lawrence
Meyers, Ruby’s long-time friend with whom he met at the Cabana Motel
the night before the JFK assassination was a salesman for Ero
Manufacturing. The FBI determined that calls were made from Ero to a
corporation investigated for illegal arms shipments to Israel.466
There is, in fact, evidence of other Ruby connections to Israel at the time of
the JFK assassination itself. It is well known that while Ruby was milling
about the Dallas Police Department after the assassination that Ruby
claimed to be translating for Israeli “reporters” who were on the scene.
This is interesting, obviously, in that it seems unlikely that Israeli
correspondents in the United States would have English capabilities so
lacking they required the services of a Dallas strip club operator.
While Ruby’s association with these Israeli reporters may have been
completely innocent, what is interesting is that neither the Warren
Commission nor any enterprising JFK researchers (many of whom look
askance at Final Judgment) never tracked down these reporters. Why not?
[172] FinalJudgment 233
At one conference of JFK assassination researchers one attendee created a
bit of a stir when he asked if anyone had ever determined precisely which Israeli
newspapers Jack Ruby was translating for and whether anyone ever interviewed
those reporters to find out what Ruby may have said to them in those critical
hours while Ruby was stalking Oswald.
The answer that the master of ceremonies, researcher Walt Brown, gave
was revealing in its own fashion. Brown said—in words to this effect—
“That may be the most important question asked at this conference.” 467
What may, in the end, be most telling about Ruby’s Mossad
connections came out as late as 2003 when William F. Pepper, longtime
attorney for Martin Luther King’s alleged assassin, James Earl Ray,
published his book An Act of State.
In that book Pepper asserted that in 1963 Ruby was involved in an
international arms smuggling operation—based in part in Texas—which
involved “a senior Mossad agent working in South America who acted as a
senior liaison to the U.S. military and CIA.”‘ 468
Perhaps not surprisingly, Pepper did not elaborate on the Mossad
connection. However, Pepper’s circumspect reference to the Mossad was a
lightning bolt of recall to anyone who had already read Final Judgment.
Pepper’s assertion involving the Mossad link to the arms smuggling
operation involving Ruby is based on statements made to one of Pepper’s
investigators by former Colonel John Downie of the 902nd Military
Intelligence Group, a unit based inside the Department of Defense.
According to Downie, the mysterious figure “Raul”—whom King’s
accused assassin, James Earl Ray, claimed had helped frame him (Ray) for
King’s murder—was part of a U.S.-based international arms smuggling
operation that Pepper had already determined—through other sources—
involved Jack Ruby.
The link between “Raul” and Ruby was by no means tenuous: “Raul”
and Ruby were placed together by Pepper’s sources on numerous occasions
prior to the JFK assassination—five years before King’s murder. 469
The smuggling operation utilized weapons stolen from U.S. Army
bases and armories which were delivered to the New Orleans-based Carlos
Marcello organized crime organization which, in turn, delivered those arms
for sale in Latin and South America and elsewhere. The proceeds from the
arms deals were reportedly split equally with the U.S. 902nd Military
Intelligence Group using its cut for financing covert, off-budget, operations.
It appears the previously published Final Judgment had almost certainly
already pinpointed the identity of the individual described by Pepper’s
source. In the photo section of Final Judgment, it is pointed out that the
famous “umbrella man” who was photographed in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on
Nov. 22, 1963 bore a remarkable resemblance to no less than the nowinfamous
(but then shadowy) longtime Mossad figure, Michael Harari.
In 1963, Harari was in the field as a top Mossad’s assassinations
specialist and would have assuredly been in Dallas if the Mossad was a
prime player in the JFK conspiracy. In addition, the published record
234 The Errand Boy [173]
documents that—throughout his career—Harari was heavily involved in
Israeli intelligence operations in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean,
culminating in his later more widely-publicized role as the top advisor to
then-Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega who was ultimately topped in a
U.S. invasion. Was Harari, then, the “senior Mossad agent working in
South America” referenced by Pepper’s U.S. military source? If not, it was
certainly someone Harari worked with.
That Jack Ruby—who was part of the Mossad-connected smuggling
operation uncovered by Pepper—had multiple Mossad and Israeli
connections is no surprise to those who had already read Final Judgment
(Later, in the question-and-answer section of Final Judgment, we will
explore further strange Israeli connections to the Martin Luther King affair—
details that have been deliberately otherwise suppressed.)
RUBY AND THE BRONFMAN FAMILY
Jack Ruby’s covert activities were clearly well-established. But
independent researcher Brian Downing Quig came up with a Ruby
connection that had never before been revealed. Exploring the corrupt world
of Arizona mob bagman and political boss Kemper Marley, linked to the
infamous 1976 murder of investigative reporter Don Bolles, Quig learned
from Marley’s longtime publicist Al Lizanetz that not only had the Lanskylinked
Bronfman bootlegging family been Marley’s sponsors, but also that
Jack Ruby himself was also on the Bronfman family’s payroll. 470
So when we consider the Bronfman family’s intimate ties to the
Permindex entity (that, as we shall see in Chapter 15, clearly played a
central role in the JFK conspiracy) the Ruby connection to the Bronfman
family is interesting indeed and does point further to an Israeli connection.
RUBY AND THE CIA
All of the evidence of Ruby’s gun-running, both to Castro himself and,
ultimately to anti-Castro Cuban exiles, has been explored relentlessly, and
in detail, by JFK assassination researchers. But his Lansky connection has
been repeatedly ignored. Former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow reports
that Ruby’s pro-Castro gun-running was done in conjunction with former
Cuban president Carlos Prio Socarras. (Prio, also, had a long history of
close association with Meyer Lansky, as we saw in Chapter 7 and Chapter
11, having received lucrative Lansky pay-offs.)
According to Morrow: “With the blessing of the syndicate and the
guidance of the CIA, Prio made his deal with Castro, arranging for the
Mafia (which was also supporting Batista) to supply the necessary arms and
finances to make Castro’s revolution successful—on the condition that Fidel
would reinstate him as president once Batista was overthrown. Castro
agreed, and Prio turned into a high-class gun-runner. One of his partners
would be Jack Ruby of Dallas, Texas, then known as Jack Rubinstein. This
is supported by a Miami FBI informant named Blaney Mack Johnson who
[174] Final Judgment 235
claimed Ruby supplied arms for Castro through Prio, that he had seen Ruby
around a private airport, and had known Ruby to run guns by boat. There are
others who confirm that Ruby was in the gunrunning business in Florida
during the late 1950’s. One was Eladio del Valle, a former Cuban
congressman and a good friend of Mario Kohly . . .” 471
The aforementioned Kohly was one of the primary leaders of the Cuban
exiles who turned against Castro after the Cuban dictator turned the tables
on his previous allies in the Lansky Crime Syndicate which helped bring
Castro to power (as we documented in Chapter 7). Kohly himself
subsequently turned to Meyer Lansky for support and offered to return his
casino rights if he, Kohly, were able to assume power in Cuba after Castro
was removed. 472 Thus it was that Jack Ruby was an important errand boy
in the strange pro- and anti-Castro dealings of both the CIA and the Meyer
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. Nonetheless, there is clearly more to
the story of Jack Ruby that needs to be explored.
RUBY, OSWALD AND THE CIA
The late John Henshaw, a crack investigative reporter operating out of
Washington, D.C., did some of his own digging into Ruby’s background.
Henshaw, who worked as an investigator for syndicated columnist Drew
Pearson (about whom we shall see more in Chapter 17) uncovered a link
between Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald, tying them together with the CIA.
According to Henshaw, Dallas police officials were actually in the process
of investigating Ruby and Oswald in the assassination attempt on retired
General Edwin Walker several months before the JFK murder.
A bullet was fired through Walker’s window, although the general, a
dedicated anti-communist and Castro critic, was unharmed. However, there is
some debate among assassination researchers as to what role Oswald did
play—if any—in the shooting at the Walker residence. This is yet another
of the many unanswered questions surrounding the JFK mystery.
At any rate, according to Henshaw’s account, a secret police
investigation of the shooting linked Oswald and Ruby to the incident. Then,
according to Henshaw, a high-ranking FBI official was asked by a top
official in the Justice Department to intervene and stop the impending arrest
of the two Dallas operatives. Henshaw said that it was the CIA itself that
had asked the FBI to intervene. According to Henshaw, the CIA was using
Ruby to recruit Dallas men into the anti-Castro movement. However, the
FBI official refused to intervene, saying it would be obstructing justice.
The FBI official did say, though, that he would make the request only if
he were formally directed to do so in a written communication signed by the
Justice Department official. Shortly thereafter, according to Henshaw’s
account, the FBI official then received a signed directive. He contacted Dallas
police and urged them not to arrest Oswald and Ruby.
But the Dallas police also wanted an official signed communication.
Thereupon the Justice Department sent the communication to Dallas Police
Chief Curry asking that Oswald and Ruby be left strictly alone. Justice
236 The Errand Boy [175]
explained it didn’t want Oswald and Ruby arrested because of “reasons of
state” and that the department was making the request on the CIA’s
behalf.473 Henshaw’s account is yet another of the significant reports which
point in the direction of undisclosed covert activities by both Ruby and
Oswald together, being carried out under the direction of the CIA.
Henshaw also wrote that Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr was
being kept under surveillance by the FBI because he had undisclosed
evidence: “The evidence includes a copy of the missing film taken moments
before Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. The film covers
Ruby’s progress through the FBI and police screens guarding the entrance of
the Dallas Police headquarters. Two cameramen had been assigned by a
Dallas TV station to cover the entrance, but were ordered by federal agents to
knock off film footage which showed a high official of the Justice
Department escorting [Ruby] through the two security screens.”474
According to Henshaw, high-level federal pressure stopped Carr’s
investigation after it was learned that he had an uncut copy of the entire
film. He allegedly kept a copy for himself.
There is evidence of other possible contact between Ruby and Oswald—
even in New Orleans. This evidence has never been published to this author’s
knowledge.
This author received access to a private letter written on February 20,
1967 during the controversy over New Orleans District Attorney Jim
Garrison’s inquiry into the assassination. The author of the letter described
the fears of his aunt, a New Orleans woman, who was a neighbor of Lee
Harvey Oswald’s during his sojourn in the Crescent City. “She is terrified to
the point that she will not cooperate,” he said. “She stated that her fear was
based upon the possibility that ‘Garrison would get me for withholding
evidence’ and the possibility that ‘someone will put a bullet in my back.’
“She made the following points to me: (1) She observed Oswald having
visitors three times (a) two “Cuban looking” men visited him twice and (b) a
man and woman came and picked up Oswald one weekend. ‘This man had the
same profile as pictures of Ruby,’ she said. ‘Every time I see a picture of
Ruby, this visitor of Oswald pops into my mind, but I am afraid to say
anything about it. I could not swear that it was Ruby, but I couldn’t swear
that it wasn’t.'”475 Ruby apparently did visit New Orleans during the time
Oswald was there, ostensibly trying to find a stripper for his club. Could it
be the woman seen with the Ruby-look-alike was one of these strippers?
That Jack Ruby did indeed have ties to both the Lansky Syndicate and
to the CIA involving Cuba is, today, not in doubt. However, during the
period of the Warren Commission investigation, the official government
“investigation” preferred to look the other way. According to Ruby
biographer, Seth Kantor:
“After the Ruby trial ended, Leon Hubert and Burt Griffin, the Warren
Commission’s two Ruby experts, tried to convince Commission members
in memorandums on March 19 and April 1, 1964, that there was
“substantial evidence” showing Jack Ruby had maintained unexplained
[176] Final Judgment 237
Cuban associations. But the efforts of Hubert and Griffin were blocked by
the CIA and discouraged by others on the Commission staff.” 476
Kantor suggests that “Ruby and Oswald probably didn’t know each
other; yet both could have been used as separate parts of a conspiracy to
commit murder in Dallas on the weekend of November 22-24, 1963. Oswald
on Friday. Ruby on Sunday. Two men separately manipulated by the same
power. After they were arrested and jailed, both men said they had been
manipulated. ‘I’m a patsy,’ said Oswald. ‘I’ve been used for a purpose,’ said
Ruby. 477
Despite Kantor’s observations to the contrary, we have seen evidence
(in Chapter 11, for example) that Ruby did almost assuredly know Lee
Harvey Oswald and that Ruby did indeed participate in matters relating to the
assassination. Whether Ruby—and Oswald—did, in fact, know that the
assassination of Kennedy was in planning is another story.
A CONSPIRACY AGAINST CONNALLY?
Michael Milan, who has written of his role in working as part of a
secret U.S. government team collaborating with the Lansky Syndicate says
there were at least several people operating in Dallas who believed that they
were not involved in a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy, but, instead, in a
conspiracy to kill Texas Governor John B. Connally. According to Milan,
he (Milan) played a part in the JFK assassination cover-up. Milan claims
that following the assassination he was dispatched to Dallas by J. Edgar
Hoover himself. Milan’s assignment was to kill a cab driver named
Brinkman. Milan met with Brinkman and began questioning him.
When Milan asked who set up the shooting, Brinkman said, “I never
met the guy before I was introduced to him by this broad at [Jack Ruby’s]
Carousel Club. And I didn’t shoot nobody. There was me and two other
guys. We weren’t even after the president. We were supposed to shoot the
governor, but things happened too fast. They were gone before anybody did
anything. I think there were two other guys doin’ what I was supposed to
do. But I don’t know who they are or where they was when the shooting
started. We was just supposed to shoot at the governor when they passed
and get out of there. That’s all. But nuthin’ happened. I mean, everything
happened and I just got outta there fast.” 478
Milan completed his assignment and killed Brinkman. When he returned
to Washington he was met at the airport, he says, by Hoover who said,
“You already know too much. So I’ll just say: Johnson. No doubt. We
stand away. Do you get it?” 479
Is it conceivable, perhaps, that Jack Ruby was not consciously involved
in a plot that he believed was aimed at John F. Kennedy, but at John B.
Connally instead? Can the same thing be said for Oswald? Is it possible that
the two men were being manipulated as part of an even bigger conspiracy
that they knew nothing about? This is all speculation, but it is something
to consider.
238 The Errand Boy [177]
The Lansky connection to Ruby’s role in the JFK assassination
conspiracy and cover-up goes much deeper than we have explored thus far.
LANSKY’S COURIER IN DALLAS
One day prior to the JFK assassination one of Meyer Lansky’s
longtime personal couriers, one Jim Braden, was visiting in Dallas. He was
also on the scene in Dealey Plaza when JFK was assassinated, actually
being taken into custody by the Dallas police, and then released. Standard
accounts of the role of organized crime in the JFK assassination conspiracy
have frequently pointed out Braden’s strange doings in Dallas. What has
been ignored, however, is his close relationship to Meyer Lansky.
David Scheim, writing in Contract on America, provides his readers a
lengthy discussion of Braden, but never once mentions his connection with
Lansky. Scheim prefers to leave the reader with the impression that Braden
was a “Mafia” courier—not a Lansky courier. 480
Even G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings (Scheim’s chief source)
acknowledge in their own book that Braden was, reportedly, a “personal
courier” for Lansky. “In the end,” say Blakey and Billings, “we reached no
firm judgment on Braden’s mob connections or on whether his activities in
Dallas were in any way related to the assassination.” 481
What Blakey does not mention, however, is that Braden was so much a key
figure in the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate that he was a charter
member of the Lansky Syndicate-financed La Costa Country Club. In
Chapter 10, as we have seen, it was Blakey who was on the payroll of
Lansky associate, Morris Dalitzone of the founders of La Costa, after Dalitz
and his partners sued Penthouse magazine for publicizing the mob links of
the Carlsbad, California resort. Blakey, in fact, served, in effect, as a
character reference for the Lansky Syndicate defending the resort against the
accusations—something Blakey, for obvious reasons, would not be inclined
to brag about when proclaiming himself a crime-buster.
BRADEN, RUBY & FERRIE
The late Bernard Fensterwald supplies us some of the interesting details
about the activities of Lansky’s courier: “Braden also had some other
startling connections which were also never discovered by the Warren
Commission. Jim Braden had visited the same Dallas office of the H. L.
Hunt Oil Company that Jack Ruby visited on November 21, 1963—the
afternoon before the assassination—and at approximately the same time.
“Braden was also staying at the Cabana Motel in Dallas—a reported
“mob hang-out” that was frequented by Jack Ruby and various Ruby
associates. Ruby visited the Cabana Motel sometime around midnight on
the night before the assassination—November 21, 1963—while Jim Braden
was a guest there. Braden also has a possible connection to the late David
Ferrie. According to information documented by Peter Noyes, Braden worked
out of an office suite—Room 1701—in the Pere Marquette Building in New
[178] Final Judgment 239
Orleans in the fall of 1963, in the weeks immediately preceding the
assassination. During this same period in late 1963, David Ferrie was
working for Mafia leader Carlos Marcello on the same floor . . . in the same
building . . . just down the hall from Braden—in Room 1707. 482
[Fensterwald notes further that Noyes has found additional evidence that
Braden once listed his address as Room 1706—right next to Ferrie! In
Chapter 11 we examined the role of CIA contract agent David Ferrie and his
connection to the JFK assassination conspiracy in some detail. The evidence
cited by Fensterwald only draws the circle more closely.)
That one of Meyer Lansky’s chief couriers would be in Dallas and
moving in Ruby’s sphere of operations is evidence that the fine hand of
Meyer Lansky himself was in motion in Dallas and, more than likely, this
is a direct link between Lansky and Ruby.
According to Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen (Ruby’s role
model) couriers such as Braden were very important in the Lansky Syndicate:
“Important messages never came by phone. Anything to do with a hit, a
gambling operation, to go somewhere or to see somebody, was by courier.
See, we worried about wiretaps thirty years ago. Even money was only
transacted person to person. If anybody had money coming or going, you
put a man on a plane.” 483
Another Lansky associate, Michael Milan, has also written of the
importance of mob couriers and the need for secrecy. “Whenever he came to
a sitdown, Mr. Lansky always had his percentage figured out in advance. He
kept it all in his head, too.” 484
There is evidence, however, that Ruby and Braden did indeed have a very
close connection. Lansky’s courier Jim Braden was also a “friend”485 of
Lansky’s Mexico City representative, “Happy” Meltzer,” whom we met
earlier in this chapter as the head of a drug-smuggling operation in which
Ruby was evidently involved.
Obviously, Lansky’s courier, Jim Braden, may have indeed been
bringing a message from Lansky to Ruby. But whatever his role in Dallas,
there’s no question but that he was there for a purpose. This was not a case of
coincidence, but indeed, conspiracy. All of this, taken together, suggests, as
we have said, that the Lansky-Ruby connection is much deeper than might
be perceived and far more than some “crime solvers” would have us realize.
What is especially interesting, further, is an additional Lansky connection to
Ruby that surfaced after the assassination of JFK and after the murder of Lee
Harvey Oswald.
MELVIN BELLI COMES TO TOWN
In Chapter 13 we examined the strange—and little known role—of Meyer
Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, in the JFK assassination
conspiracy. Cohen—himself a longtime Ruby associate and the Dallas
mobster’s role model—was obviously a key figure in the network of
conspiracy. It was Cohen’s longtime friend—and attorney—Melvin Belli who
stepped forward as Jack Ruby’s defense attorney.
240 The Errand Boy [179]
Belli and Cohen had known each other for years. In fact, Belli was a
regular at the Los Angeles nightspot, Rondelli’s, of which Cohen was the
secret owner. And, as we’ve noted, he was also Cohen’s lawyer.
The two were so close that Belli even once had Cohen introduced as
“Professor O’Brien from Harvard who’s going to give you a talk on tax
laws,” 486 to a meeting of the American Bar Association in Miami.
According to Cohen, writing in his memoirs, the Los Angeles mobster
assumed the platform and then began rattling on for some time, essentially
saying nothing. He then concluded, “My advice to all of ya is to be sure to
pay your goddamn taxes right to the letter.”487
Blakey and Billings, in The Plot to Kill the President, addressed the
circumstances in which the Lansky henchman’s attorney came to represent
Jack Ruby:
“How Melvin Belli, a nationally known trial lawyer, was brought in to
handle the Ruby defense was a matter of some dispute. We heard a report
that Seymour Ellison, a lawyer associated with Belli, got a phone call from
`a Las Vegas attorney’ who said, ‘Sy, one of our guys just bumped off the
son of a bitch that gunned down the President. We can’t move in to handle
it, but there’s a million bucks for Mel if he’ll take it.’
“Ellison confirmed to us that he received the phone call, but he said he
did not remember the name of the Las Vegas attorney and nothing developed
from the call. Belli told us a different story. He said Earl Ruby came to
California three days after his brother was arrested; he watched Belli sum up
a murder defense in a Los Angeles courtroom and he asked him to take the
case.
“Belli said he declined at first. He had learned that his fee would be paid
by the sale of Ruby’s story to newspapers, and he did not care to be
involved in that sort of exploitation. Nevertheless, Earl Ruby talked him
into it, Belli told us, and he took the case with five goals in mind: to save
Jack Ruby; to strengthen the law; to show that current legal tests for
insanity were inadequate; to wed modern law to modern science; and to help
Dallas ‘solve its problem.'” 488
Interestingly, Blakey and Billings report further that Ruby’s brother
Earl had told yet another version of the “official” story. They also make
passing reference to the Ruby-Cohen relationship.
Noting that “Ruby liked to tell friends that he knew Mickey Cohen,”
they concluded: “We could not be certain just how well Ruby knew Cohen,
who also grew up in Chicago, but he admired him and tried to emulate
him.” 489 As far as Belli’s decision to defend Ruby, Blakey and Billings
said: “We found it difficult to believe that Belli did not receive a substantial
fee for his defense of Ruby.” 490 The two also noted that “We considered the
possibility that Belli went to Mexico to pick up a fee for the Ruby defense,
but we found no proof that he did.” 491
Whatever the case, Belli’s defense of Ruby failed. Ruby was convicted
and sentenced to death. Ruby’s family formally fired Belli as Ruby’s
attorney. But Ruby’s death was announced just shortly before he was
[180] Final Judgment 241
scheduled to be retried for his murder of the alleged assassin. As a
consequence, any final determination of just what role Ruby played in the
JFK assassination scenario became another mystery in an endless series of
mysteries. Jack Ruby could never tell what he knew.
This was not the end of Melvin Belli’s role in the JFK controversy,
however. As pioneer JFK assassination investigator Mark Lane noted in his
second book on the assassination, A Citizen’s Dissent, Belli emerged as one
of the leading defenders of the official Warren Commission version of the
assassination.
According to Lane, ABC-TV’s Les Crane show wanted to stage a debate
between Lane and Belli. “I was less sanguine, for, although I was confident
in my knowledge of the facts, Belli’s almost legendary oratorical
accomplishments had preceded him to the East coast.”492
Lane points out that he subsequently received a call from the producer
telling him that the debate was canceled. According to the producer: “It’s
the ABC brass. They have just said no. Period. They say you have the facts
and the affidavits and that would just confuse the audience.”493 But the show
itself was not, in fact, canceled—only the debate between the well-informed
Lane and Belli.
“It’s just that we can’t have you on.” Lane was told. There’s going to
be a debate anyway. We’re getting Oswald’s mother.”494 Lane summarized
the situation in this way: “And so it came to pass that the first network
broadcast presenting both sides of the controversy found splendiferous
Melvin Belli, conqueror of a thousand juries, opposed by a poorly educated
widow. Mrs. Oswald’s visceral responses were meritorious, but her lack of
command over the facts, together with Belli’s bully tactics, reduced the
program to the low level of entertainment that the network apparently
sought.” 495
After some negotiations, Belli finally agreed to debate on stage under one
condition–that both wear tuxedoes. There would be three debates. It was during
the first debate, in San Francisco, that Belli came on stage, wearing a cape over
his tuxedo, and in his concluding remarks made his final judgment on the JFK
assassination conspiracy. He declared “If we cannot trust the FBI, the CIA
and Earl Warren, then God pity us.” 496
However, the Establishment media did not see fit to publicize the
circumstances of this debate, despite the fact, as Lane points out, that Belli
himself is somewhat of a celebrity. As Lane noted: “In San Francisco, if
Belli’s office is burglarized or if he agrees to represent a topless dancer, he is
on the front page of the newspapers and may be seen repeatedly on
television screens. Perhaps those assembled that evening constituted the
largest paying audience to witness a debate in many years in San Francisco.
Yet not one word appeared in any of the three daily newspapers the morning
after the debate.” 497
MEDIA COVER-UP
The Errand Boy [181]
The subsequent New York debate between Lane and Belli was jampacked
with the press. However, according to Lane, “Not one daily
newspaper in New York, and possibly in the nation, even mentioned that
the event had occurred.” 498 This despite the fact that there were half a dozen
papers in New York at the time.
Lane commented: “The New York Times refers to itself as a newspaper
of record. That which is not found within its many pages ostensibly did not
happen. For this reason the Belli encounter in New York is known to some
as the debate that never occurred.” 499
That a prominent attorney who represented Mickey Cohen, a key figure
in Meyer Lansky’s international crime operations (and also an important cog
in Israel’s global machinations), later came to represent Jack Ruby is clearly
significant.
A WELL-PLACED ERRAND BOY
Although Jack Ruby’s actual role in the planning stages of the JFK
assassination conspiracy will probably never be fully known, there is no
question that, in the end, Ruby became a critical factor in the cover-up. His
murder of Lee Harvey Oswald silenced the one man who could no doubt fill
in at least some of the missing pieces of the puzzle. Jack Ruby was a wellplaced
errand boy, not only for Meyer Lansky and his global crime
syndicate, but also, it appears, for the covert arm of the CIA as well. Ruby
did his job and he did it well.
Although Ruby sought to speak freely, the Warren Commission refused
his entreaties to be allowed to come to Washington to tell his story. The
story of how Chief Justice Earl Warren refused to give Ruby the
opportunity to leave Dallas and tell his story is a famous part of JFK
assassination folklore. As a consequence, Ruby never did have the chance to
give his version of what really happened.
Jack Ruby was indeed “the smoking gun, the Rosetta stone, the trout in
the milk.” He also may have even been—as even Lee Harvey Oswald
proclaimed himself—a “patsy.” Just one player—albeit, in the end, an
important one—Ruby played a starring role in a drama orchestrated far
beyond his seamy Carousel Club in Dallas. Ruby was an errand boy in a
high-stakes operation—the assassination of an American president—that
was being undertaken by the joint alliance of the Meyer Lansky Crime
Syndicate, the CIA and Israel’s Mossad.
A STRANGE STORY
As this book was being completed, a very strange story about Jack
Ruby came to this author’s attention that bears repeating, if only for the
reason that it should be part of the permanent record, particularly considering
our contention that Israel did indeed have a hand in the assassination of John
F. Kennedy.
[182] FinalJudgment 243
Before relating the story itself, a few words should be mentioned about
the credibility of the source.
The original source was a now deceased Idaho woman named Grace Pratt
who related the story to a friend (now living in Oregon) whose name must
remain anonymous. This author has spoken with the Oregon man, an
elderly retiree, and has concluded that he believes very strongly in the
reliability of Mrs. Pratt. He has provided this author with a written
summary of what Mrs. Pratt told him about her connection with Jack
Ruby. The memorandum reads—in pertinent part—as follows:
“In Idaho in the 1960’s I met George and Grace Pratt, who had moved to
Nampa from California upon retirement. The Pratts became very good friends
of mine. George had worked in the Navy yard and Grace had cooked for many
years in many of the big restaurants in San Francisco.
“For a longtime she had worked for ‘Tiny’s.’ Tiny’s had a side-by-side
restaurant and bar with a door between, opening into the anteroom between
the dining room and the kitchen. The bar was run by Jack Ruby. He also
had charge of the ladies in the basement. The bar was a place for the
`underworld’ to meet. After the dinner rush was over, Grace would fix her
plate and one for Jack Ruby, and they would eat in the anteroom.
“One day she heard a shuffle and looked up just in time to hear the zip
of a gun with a silencer. A man had rushed through the door and fallen dead
on the floor. A big husky man came back, gripped her by the arm until she
thought he would crush it and said, ‘You didn’t see anything, did you. You
didn’t hear anything, did you?’ She answered, ‘No, I was in the back of the
kitchen. I did not see anything. I did not hear anything.’ From then on she
had their confidence. Jack shared a lot of the things that went on in the bar
with her. Anyone who knew Jack Ruby that well would always be able to
recognize him going or coming.
BOUND FOR ISRAEL?
“Six days after Jack Ruby’s funeral was publicized in the press, Grace
called me very excited and said, “I was just now watching the news. They
turned the TV camera on a ramp up to a plane loading for Israel from New
York, and who do you think went up the ramp? I screamed to George in the
other room, calling him and saying, ‘Come quickly! Jack Ruby is boarding
that plane!’
“At the top of the ramp he stopped, turned around, and looking straight
into the camera he tipped his hat and entered the plane. She said she thought
he was giving the message to someone that he had made it and was on his
way. The Pratts were shocked. She said there had already been a number of
JFK assassination witnesses who had mysteriously died. Two years after
seeing him board for Israel, she heard through the underground that Ruby
had gone to Brazil.
“She made me promise not to tell anyone what she told me until after
her death. Grace has been gone about ten years now. Knowing Grace and her
244 The Errand Boy [183]
credibility, I believe every word. If someone had the clout to check the grave
to have the ‘body’ exhumed, this might be very revealing.”500
So ends the strange memorandum received by this author. The words
speak for themselves.
The source who provided the author with this unusual memorandum
firmly believes that Mrs. Pratt did indeed know Jack Ruby well and that
Mrs. Pratt herself was convinced that she had seen Ruby boarding the plane
for Israel.
Another individual who knew Mrs. Pratt told this author that she was a
highly credible individual not given to tale-spinning and that she had indeed
mentioned her acquaintance with Ruby (although she had not told him the
story about having seen Ruby departing for Israel).
Is this story the product of one woman’s imagination? Or did Mrs.
Pratt indeed see just what she believed she saw? Is possible that Mrs.
Pratt has provided us yet another key tying Israel to the most intimate levels of
the JFK assassination conspiracy?
It is worth remembering that even as these words are written, many
leaders in Israel and leaders of the Israeli lobby in the United States are
working tirelessly for the pardon of American-born Israeli spy, Jonathan Jay
Pollard, sentenced to life in prison for passing U.S. defense secrets to Israel.
Is it possible, perhaps, that a similar, secret arrangement was made on Jack
Ruby’s behalf? Is it possible that, on “humanitarian” grounds, Ruby was
quietly released from prison and permitted to go to Israel? (After all, it
could be argued, it was Ruby who had become a hero by killing “the man
who killed President Kennedy.”) Is it possible that the decision was made to
usher Ruby quietly out of the country so that there would be no widely
publicized trial in which Ruby’s connections—would be bared?
SOMEBODY WAS HELPING RUBY
It is interesting to note that on October 6, 1966, at the time Ruby was
granted a new trial, the Washington Daily News carried a story proclaiming
that “It’s Possible for Ruby to Go Free,” as a result of a second trial. The
story quoted his lawyer as saying the case was so simple that “Somebody
just out of law school can handle it.” 501 What’s more, it’s interesting to
note a little-noticed column by veteran crime reporter Dorothy Kilgallen
who had an abiding (and perhaps fatal) interest in the JFK case.
In her column datelined DALLAS, February 21, reporting on the Ruby
trial, Miss Kilgallen reported that “one of the best kept secrets of the Jack
Ruby trial is the extent to which the federal government is cooperating with
the defense. The unprecedented alliance between Ruby’s lawyers and the
Department of Justice in Washington may provide the case with the one
dramatic element it has lacked: MYSTERY.” 502
Miss Kilgallen revealed that a deal between Ruby’s lawyers and the
FBI, “provides Ruby’s side with reams of helpful information that they
would never have been able to get without the G-Men—on the condition
they do not ask for anything at all about Ruby’s alleged victim, Lee Harvey
[184] FinalJudgment 245
Oswald. It appears that Washington knows or suspects something about
Oswald that it does not want Dallas and the rest of the world to know or suspect.
Why is Oswald being kept in the shadows, as dim a figure as they can make
him, while the defense tries to rescue his killer with the help of information
from the FBI? Who was Oswald, anyway?”503
Perhaps Miss Kilgallen found out the answer to the questions. She
reportedly told several friends, shortly before her “accidental” death from a
combined drug overdose and alcohol, that she was about to crack the
Kennedy case wide open. That Ruby’s path to possible freedom was being
assisted by the FBI (during his first trial) does raise questions. Then, coupled with
his reported “death” prior to a second trial—especially considering the story told
by the late Grace Pratt—the mystery deepens.
Did Jack Ruby really die in prison or did he secretly emigrate to the Jewish
homeland of Israel? The answer to that question has no direct
bearing on the thesis of Final Judgment, but it may be a
mystery that deserves further scrutiny. Perhaps some enterprising
researcher may answer the question: “What did happen to the `corpse’ of Jack
Ruby?”
A NOTE FOR THE RECORD: Following the release of the first edition
of Final Judgment, the author came across an obscure volume entitled The
Ruby-Oswald Affair, published in 1988. The author was the late Alan
Adelson who had served as the attorney for Jack Ruby’s family in the probate of
Ruby’s will. Adelson died just shortly before his book was published. At the
beginning of the book Adelson describes how he attended Ruby’s funeral in the
company of Ruby’s brother, Earl:
“The funeral had been a closed-casket affair. I realized immediately that the
closed casket would raise questions. Who was to know if Jack was really in the
casket? I had heard rumors that Kennedy was not really dead, but was hidden
away in South America. ‘Earl,’ I said, let them see. I know it sounds grisly,
but let’s put it to rest.’ The lid of the casket was opened, and for the first time
I saw Jack, the man I would learn to know almost as well as I knew myself.”
504 To the best of my knowledge, this is the only known reference to anyone
actually having seen Jack Ruby in the casket. In this case, the reference came
from someone who had not actually known Jack Ruby in person. Although
photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald (both during his autopsy and in his coffin)
as well as photographs of John F. Kennedy (during his autopsy) have been
widely circulated, there are no known such photographs of Ruby.
Frankly, I do not find Adelson’s posthumously-published proclamation of
having seen “Jack” (a man he never saw alive) as any refutation of the story by
Grace Pratt. For the record, however, it seems appropriate to record the
comments attributed to Adelson.
A FINAL MYSTERY—RUBY AND THE ADL
On June 27, 1964, Stanley Kaufman, Ruby’s lawyer and longtime
friend, testified before the Warren Commission and noted the following:
[246 TheErrandBoy [185]
“About the Anti-Defamation League, although I do say I talked to the FBI agents about
it, but not in connection with a conversation with Jack.” Kaufman continued in a
meandering way and then concluded: “I do want the record to be correct, because I
don’t think that Jack Ruby and I ever discussed the Anti-Defamation League ….”
Obviously, Kaufman very much wanted to keep the ADL—an arm of Israel’s Mossad—
from being associated with Jack Ruby. So then, just what was Ruby’s association with the
ADL? Was he perhaps an ADL informant? Was he an ADL conduit to the Dallas Police
Department? What influence did the ADL have on Ruby, if any? The answers to these
questions would be revealing.
NEW REVELATIONS . . .
As readers may recall from the opening pages of Final Judgment, the author received
an unusual manuscript from Dallas in the opening days of 2005. That document filled in a
vast array of details about intrigues surrounding the pro-Israel Dallas Jewish elite (and of
Texas in general) and laid to rest the myth put forth by many naïve “JFK researchers”
who claim Dallas was ruled by anti-Jewish right-wing John Birchers. The document’s
revelations, taken together with what had already been outlined in this chapter on Jack
Ruby, should give serious researchers more leads to follow.
Ironically, although I had known for years that Dallas Jewish leader Sam Bloom
was in charge of planning JFK’ s Dallas trip, I disregarded the point since—contrary
to what my critics say—I was NOT “looking for Jews under every rock.” Now, thanks to
the Dallas manuscript, I have to confess that my efforts to “be moderate” and not focusing on
someone who happened to be Jewish caused me to miss or ignore distinct Israeli
connections in Dallas to the JFK conspiracy.
Despite all this, evil critics who charged that my book and my motivations were “anti-
Semitic to the core” have been proven wrong, very wrong, and as far as I am concerned
this alone clears me of the charge. Because I was not writing from an “anti-Semitic”
viewpoint, as the liars charged, I missed some very serious points that, thankfully, have
now been covered in this book.
AND ONE LAST ITEM: Although the Grace Pratt story of Jack Ruby’s phony
“death” is controversial, I recently received an item from the Feb. 6, 1978 edition of The
Village Voice, written by Alexander Cockburn and James Ridgeway. The item lends
credence to Mrs. Pratt’s story. In an article focusing on new revelations surrounding
Lee Oswald’s CIA ties, Cockburn and Ridgeway wrote:
“Though already dismissed as a baseless rumor, the allegation that Jack Ruby is still
alive and was given a new identity by the Central Intelligence Agency was not dreamed
up by the veteran conspiracy buffs but was, in fact, advanced by a former employee of the
agency itself.
“The Ruby story—to the effect that the CIA, in cooperation with the KGB, sponsored
Ruby’s murder of Oswald before the latter could disclose damning details of U.S.-Soviet
intelligence links—has been put forward privately in recent weeks by Frank Snepp,
formerly of the CIA. Snepp recently published Decent Interval, a harsh denunciation of
the CIA’s conduct in the last days of the VietnamWar.”
THE TWAIN SHALL MEET
So it is. We have examined the players. We have examined their motives. We have
examined the interplay between the relatively small group of individuals whom we have
linked to the JFK assassination conspiracy. Let us move forward and determine a critical
point of contact that ties together the diverse—yet closely connected—elements behind
the conspiracy that took the life of John F. Kennedy. This is vital to recognizing and
understanding the central role of Israel’s Mossad in the crime of the century.
Chapter Fifteen
The Twain Shall Meet—
The Permindex Mystery:
Israel, the CIA, the Lansky Crime Syndicate
and the Plot to Kill John F. Kennedy
Central to understanding the joint Mossad-CIA-Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate nexus in the plot to assassinate
John F. Kennedy is to recognize the importance of a littleexplored
corporate entity based in Rome and known as
Permindex. New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw, indict ed
by Jim Garrison for conspiracy in the JFK assassination,
served on the Permindex board of directors.
Many assassination researchers have contended that
Permindex was a covert CIA money laundering operation.
Shaw, of course, did have ties with the CIA. Others have put
forth the theory that Permindex was a front for a Nazi
remnant left over from World War II. This theory, exciting
though it may be, falls far off the mark.
All of the f irm evidence indicat es Permindex was an
Israeli operation—with close CIA connections—and tied
inextricably with the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate.
Unraveling the mystery of Permindex explains the web of
intrigue that ties all of the key players in the conspiracy
together. The Permindex connect ion is also the famous
“French connect ion” to the JFK assassinat ion. And as we
shall see, the French connection is, actually, the Israeli
connection.
In Oliver Stone’s film, JFK, actor Kevin Costner (portraying Jim
Garrison) confronts actor Tommy Lee Jones (portraying Clay Shaw) and
displays Italian newspaper articles exposing the activities of a Rome-based
operation known as Permindex. Shaw, an international trade executive,
served on the board of Permindex. The film audience is left with the
impression that Permindex was a covert CIA operation, the purpose of
which—at least in the film—is never defined.
However, as the evidence now shows, Permindex was a Mossad arms
trading and money laundering venture operating in conjunction with the
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. And Clay Shaw, a longtime CIA asset,
serving on the Permindex board, was a prime player in the New Orleans
phase of the JFK assassination conspiracy.
Therein, quite simply, lies the key to the mystery behind the JFK
assassination. Therein lies the explanation as to why Jim Garrison’s
investigation of Clay Shaw, a director of Permindex, had to be scuttled. Not
only had Garrison stumbled upon a definitive CIA link, but he had also
(inadvertently) discovered the Israeli connection. But at the time Garrison
248 The Twain ShallMeet [187]
himself never even suspected how deeply the Permindex nexus went.
Garrison had only come across the tip of the iceberg.
THE SECRET ABOUT PERMINDEX
Israel’s Mossad was the key force behind Permindex. In fact, one of the
chief shareholders in the Permindex holding company was the Banque De
Credit International of Geneva,505 established by Tibor Rosenbaum, the
longtime Director for Finance and Supply of Israel’s Mossad. It was BCI, as
we saw in Chapter 7 and Chapter 12, which served as Meyer Lansky ‘s
chief money laundering bank in Europe.
According to Meyer Lansky’s sympathetic Israeli biographers: “After
Israel became a state, almost 90 percent of its purchases of arms abroad was
channeled through Rosenbaum’s bank. The financing of many of Israel’s
most daring secret operations was carried out through the funds in
[BCI].”506 BCI also served as a depository for the Permindex account.
That Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI was a controlling force
behind the enigmatic Permindex entity places Israel and its
Mossad in the very center of the conspiracy behind the
assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Clay Shaw’s positioning in New Orleans, site of one operational rung
of the conspiracy, resulted in Shaw’s implication in the investigation
conducted by Jim Garrison. But the conspiracy went much deeper.
Ultimately, as we now know, Garrison came to recognize that Israel’s
Mossad was intimately involved in the events in Dallas on November 22,
1963. However, in the beginning, Garrison surely never even suspected it
and certainly had no reason to do so. JFK’s secret war with Israel was an
unknown factor in the geo-political events of the period. Attention instead
was focused on American involvement in Southeast Asia
‘TRANSNATIONAL CONNECTIONS’
In examining the JFK assassination conspiracy, according to researcher
Peter Dale Scott, “a first step is to suggest that one ingredient in the
complex, multi-centered intrigues that climaxed in the Kennedy
assassination was the participation of diverse unaccountable transnational
connections, each transcending the limits of American political society, and
each with distinctive motives for the murder of the president . . .
“To now recognize a transnational dimension to the case is . . . to
recognize that the American political system is of necessity an open one,
and thus increasingly susceptible to the growing influence of money and
intelligence penetration from abroad [our emphasis] . . .
“Transnational connections are common modes of interaction between
intelligence agencies, often in intrigues of which heads of government may
be, at best, only dimly aware. Sometimes they may give rise to more overt,
structured arrangements or forums such as the World Anti-Communist
[188] Final Judgment 249
League, a forum, financed over the years by countries like Nationalist China
and Saudi Arabia, with recurring links to the international drug traffic.”507
Scott notes additionally that “It is well known that in the 1950s and
1960s the Israel Lobby and the Taiwan Lobby were both powerful in
Washington and sometimes collaborated on common projects . . . There was
also a Nicaragua Lobby, or perhaps more accurately, a Somoza Lobby,
which also overlapped with the Israel, China, and Cuba lobbies.”508
(Scott points out, for example, that a Washington lobbyist who was
close to New Orleans Mafia chief Carlos Marcello also served as a registered
lobbyist for both Nicaragua and the Israeli Aircraft Industries.)
It is clear, based upon the evidence that we shall review in these pages,
that Permindex, which played so central a role in the JFK assassination
conspiracy, was indeed one of these transnational “overt, structured
arrangements or forums” of which Scott speaks.
WHAT WAS PERMINDEX?
What exactly then was Permindex? How did Permindex fit into the
center of the international conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of
John F. Kennedy? Author Paris Flammonde’s 1969 account of the Garrison
investigation, The Kennedy Conspiracy, contains valuable information on
Permindex, although, unfortunately, Flammonde didn’t pursue the matter as
far as he could have. Had he done so he would have unearthed the Israeli-
Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate connection.
Flammonde cites several articles that appeared in the foreign press,
specifically Italy’s Paesa Sera (March 4, 1967) and the Canadian
publication, Le Devoir (March 16, 1967) as his source for much of the
information he provides his readers on Permindex.
These articles appeared just shortly after Clay Shaw’s name first came
to attention as a result of the Garrison investigation and were the articles
highlighted in Oliver Stone’s JFK. These articles provide the unusual
background of Permindex and point toward its real origins.
“There was established in Rome an organization named the Centro
Mondiale Commerciale,” reported Paesa Sera. [Centro Mondiale
Commerciale is Italian for “World Trade Center.”] “Its origins, functions,
rotating presidency, geographical displacements, sub-, subsequent, and
alternate designations were so complex and labyrinthine as to make a
comprehensive and comprehensible description of it in anything less than a
modern-sized book impossible.” 509
The CMC was founded in 1961 by one Giorgio Mantello.510 The
Italian name, however, was an affectation. Mantello was an Eastern
European Jew originally named Georges Mandel. At the time CMC was
established, it was asserted that CMC would function as an international
commercial organization, that it would aid in the establishing of a
permanent worldwide network of trade expositions, and generally assist
concerns involved in trade matters.
250 The Twain ShallMeet [189]
Permindex was a subsidiary of CMC. The name Permindex is an
acronym which stood for PERmanent INDustrial EXpositions.511 Clay
Shaw, of course, was the founder and director of the International Trade Mart
in the key port city of New Orleans. Thus, Shaw’s connection with an
international trade entity seems logical.
However, there was more to the story, as the foreign press revealed:
“Actually it was soon to become evident that the seemingly vast, mighty
structure was not a rock of solidarity, but a shell of superficiality; not
constructed with mass, supporting promise, but composed of channels
through which money flowed back and forth, with no one knowing the
source or the destination of these liquid assets.” reports Paris
Flammonde.512
CLAY SHAW’S LITTLE-KNOWN SPONSORS
What about Clay Shaw? How did this New Orleans socialite come to
become involved in the strange world of the international entity known as
Permindex? Who were Clay Shaw’s sponsors?
What no JFK assassination researchers—even those who cite Clay
Shaw’s now widely-known CIA connections—ever seem to have noted is
yet another Shaw connection that places him further into the net of the CIAMossad-
Lansky Crime Syndicate nexus.
We refer to Shaw’s tie to Seymour Weiss who ran New Orleans,
alongside Carlos Marcello, for the Lansky syndicate and was Lansky’s
contact man with Louisiana’s famed “Kingfish,” Huey P. Long.513
In Chapter 10, as we have seen, it was Lansky who installed Carlos
Marcello as the Mafia boss of New Orleans. It was Weiss, however, who
emerged as the Lansky syndicate bagman and political operative working in
conjunction with Marcello.
In fact, Lansky’s man Weiss was purportedly the prime target of the
IRS investigation of Long—referenced in Chapter 10—that was initiated the
day before Long’s assassination, and, according to Peter Dale Scott, “Long’s
murder in 1935, some say, was arranged to prevent men like Weiss from
going to jail.” 514
Scott has noted additionally that House Assassinations Committee
director G. Robert Blakey has omitted “all reference to the role of Seymour
Weiss”515 in his account of Carlos Marcello’s rise to power in New
Orleans. To do so, of course, as we noted in Chapter 10, would point in the
direction of Meyer Lansky.
SEYMOUR WEISS AND THE CIA
Now although Weiss ultimately did serve time in prison on other
racketeering charges, this did not prevent Weiss from eventually serving on
the board of Standard Fruit and Steamship516 which maintained strong ties
with the CIA in its activities in Latin America.517 In this context it is
[190] Final Judgment 251
interesting to note there have been suggestions that Weiss was a key CIA
contact in New Orleans and his record suggests he would have been perfectly
positioned to be one.
In fact, one New Orleans-based CIA contract agent investigated by Jim
Garrison—the ubiquitous and colorful Gordon Novel—is known to have
written a letter to a “Mr. Weiss” in which Novel discussed the dangers of the
Garrison investigation. The letter surfaced at the time that Garrison’s inquiry
was in full swing and Novel was seeking to avoid giving testimony.
Many have opined that the Mr. Weiss in question was probably Novel’s
CIA superior, although others have suggested the “Mr. Weiss” may have
been another Weiss—and not Seymour. Whatever the case, there is no
question but that Seymour Weiss—a prime figure in the Lansky syndicate—
was tied closely to the intelligence community and undoubtedly worked on its
behalf in the context of his role with Standard Fruit.
The major fruit companies, as numerous works can attest, had extensive
interplay with the CIA inasmuch as their vested interests in the so-called
“Banana Republics” of Latin America were directly affected by the
governments therein. And needless to say, the CIA played a major role in
the affairs of Latin America from almost its very inception.
Where then do we find a tie-in between the erudite Clay Shaw, a
respectable trade executive, and the Lansky syndicate henchman—and CIA
contact—Seymour Weiss? In fact, it is a very close connection indeed.
THE MEN BEHIND SHAW
You see, it was during the time that Weiss served as a director of the
CIA-linked Standard Fruit that the powerful corporation was under the
management of one Rudolph Hecht, a leading figure in the small and tightly
knit but highly influential Jewish community of New Orleans.
Hecht, in fact, had become chairman—by the time of his death in
1956—of the executive committee of the International Trade Mart518 of
which Clay Shaw was managing director. It was Hecht and his associates,
Ted Brent and Herbert 0. Schwartz, who were Shaw’s sponsors.
In short, Hecht was Shaw’s superior. Shaw maintained the high public
profile with the Trade Mart that won him his place in New Orleans society,
while Hecht and his associates were the real powers behind the scenes.
And among those who likewise served on the board of the International
Trade Mart was another powerful figure in the Jewish community, Edgar
Stern, Jr., whose father Edgar and his mother Edith were among the most
prominent financial angels for the Israeli lobby in America. As we shall see
in Chapter 17 and Appendix Three, the Sterns—perhaps Shaw’s closest
friends—were the forces behind the WDSU media empire that played a key
role in portraying Lee Harvey Oswald as a “pro-Castro agitator” prior to the
JFK assassination, setting him up as the patsy.
Thus, there is indeed much more to Clay Shaw than what we have been
told. But it is Shaw’s tie to Permindex that places him in a web of intrigue
252 The Twain ShallMeet [191]
involving Israel’s Mossad and global power politics that the critics of Final
Judgment would certainly prefer that we ignore.
Let us explore the Permindex connection further. As we do, the reality
of what Permindex was—and how it was intimately tied to the JFK
assassination—will become more apparent.
LOUIS BLOOMFIELD—THE BRONFMAN CONNECTION
Above all, the Permindex connection to Israel and its global
intelligence network is best personified by the individual who served as
chairman of the board of Permindex: Major Louis M. Bloomfield of
Montreal, Canada, a devoted and influential supporter of the Israeli cause. It
was Bloomfield who held half the shares of Permindex and its parent
company “for party or parties unknown.”519 In fact, Permindex had its
headquarters in Bloomfield’s base of operations in Montreal until 1961 at
which time it was relocated to Rome. 520
Beyond question, Bloomfield, as we shall see, was a major player in
Israel’s international network. Our first introduction to Bloomfield was in
Chapter 7. There we learned how Bloomfield played a critical role in helping
establish the state of Israel and its Mossad.
In the years that followed, Bloomfield rose high in the ranks of the
Canadian business world, reputed to control Le Credit Suisse [bank] of
Canada, Heineken’s Breweries, Canscot Realty, the Grimaldi Siosa
[shipping] Lines, Ltd—and, interestingly enough—the Israel Continental
Company.521 But the real key to understanding Bloomfield is his role as a
founding partner in the Phillips, Vineberg, Bloomfield and Goodman firm
which represents the Canadian-based Bronfman family interests.522 This
rather intriguing detail suggests that Bloomfield’s wide-ranging financial
interests were, in fact, those of the Bronfman family. Thus Bloomfield was
essentially, a front man for the Bronfman empire.
The Bronfman family, which built its fortune working with the Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate in the illegal liquor trade, have been key backers of
Israel and leaders in the Zionist cause. Edgar Bronfman most recently served
as president of the World Jewish Congress.
But there is yet another intriguing Bronfman family link to the JFK
assassination conspiracy. When a Russian translator was needed for Lee
Harvey Oswald’s Russian wife, Marina, it was Texas oilman Jack Crichton,
a former military intelligence officer who made the arrangements.
According to JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott, Crichton, until
1962, “was also a Vice-President of the Empire Trust Company, a firm
whose leading shareholders, the inter-related families of Loeb, Lehman and
Bronfman, are said by Stephen Birmingham to have maintained ‘something
like a private CIA … around the world’ to protect their other investments
such as in Cuba, in Guatemala, and in General Dynamics.”523
So another Bronfman family intimate was in a key position in the days
following the JFK assassination. And in Appendix Four we’ll see the
Bronfman-Empire Trust connection arise again, this time in relation to a
[192] Final Judgment 253
key figure on the Warren Commission “investigating” the JFK
assassination. The Bronfman fingerprints around the JFK assassination are
everywhere.
Bloomfield also maintained close links with Israel in his own Canadian
business and social affairs. The director of the Israeli-Canadian Maritime
League, Bloomfield also served as Chairman of the Histadrut Campaign in
Canada. 524 The Histadrut, Israel’s national labor federation, at one point
owned over one-third of the gross national product of Israel and controlled
the second largest bank in Israel, the Bank Hapoalim. This bank, as we shall
see, was implicated in Permindex intrigue in Europe that comes full circle
back to New Orleans and the Clay Shaw connection.
In addition, it turns out, in the critical year of 1963, Bloomfield
actually transferred $7.5 million into BCI’s coffers. According to April 9,
1975 report in the New York Times, Bloomfield arranged for the deposit
into BCI from a charitable foundation that Bloomfield had set up on behalf
of a client. This was ostensibly for the purpose of rescuing the Mossadcontrolled
bank after the government of Liberia defaulted on a substantial
loan from BCI, supposedly putting the bank in peril.525 So the Permindex
chief and Rabbi Rosenbaum’s BCI had a serious relationship indeed—
whatever the actual purpose of the $7.5 million deposit in the BCI account.
In light of the critical role that the Permindex chief played in the affairs of
BCI, it is worth noting that the same New York Times article explained precisely
how critical BCI was to the interests of Israel. According to the Times:
“[BCI] did a lot of business with Israel. It helped channel money from
rich investors around the world into Israel and performed any number of
services for the country. Once when Defense Minister Shimon Peres,
when director general in the defense ministry, called Rosenbaum and told
him that Israel needed $7 million within 24 hours for her national security,
Rosenbaum found the money overnight. He did not ask for, but received, a
commission of $500,000 for his services . . .
“The defense ministry maintained an account at the bank to buy arms in
western Europe. Other accounts were held by the Histadrut, the Israeli labor
federation, by Solel Bonhen (the Histadrut-owned supply and construction
company), the Zim Navigation Co. and Israel Corporation, an investment
company.”526 What is particularly interesting is that the Times also added:
“But [BCI] was not an Israeli bank. It was a Jewish bank, showing healthy
balance sheet assets . . . .”527 Clearly, Permindex and BCI were part and
parcel of the same interests—particularly in 1963.
BLOOMFIELD AND U.S. INTELLIGENCE
And, as we have already seen, the intelligence connections of Permindex
chief Bloomfield were impeccable. Although a Canadian by birth,
Bloomfield was hired by J. Edgar Hoover to serve as a recruiting agent for
the FBI’s counterespionage division, Division Five. Through this position
Bloomfield became a working partner of Division Five chief William
254 The Twain ShallMeet [193]
Sullivan, a close friend of James J. Angleton, the Mossad’s CIA ally.
Sullivan was Angleton’s “man inside” the FBI.
Bloomfield was also given an officer’s rank in the U.S. Army during
World War II and assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—just as
had been the American who ultimately became his fellow Permindex
director, Clay Shaw.
(A witness uncovered by Jim Garrison claimed to have seen a meeting
in Winnipeg airport between Clay Shaw and CIA contract agent David
Ferrie with another individual who may have been Bloomfield. 528 It is
known that Shaw and Ferrie journeyed in a plane flown by Ferrie to
Bloomfield’s home base in Montreal at some time in 1961 or 1962.) 529
Obviously, Louis Bloomfield was a key figure in the Permindex
network—a vital link between Clay Shaw’s operation in New Orleans and
other forces operating through Permindex, most especially Israel.
SHAW AND ANGLETON
It is conceivable that not only did Bloomfield first come across Shaw
during his service with the OSS during this same period, but also even
another OSS man, James Jesus Angleton, who later went on to become
Israel’s ally in the CIA. Angleton himself may have had contact with Shaw
at that time, although there is no firm evidence to prove it. However, there
is one intriguing item which points to a possible connection between Shaw
and Angelton during that period.
When Jim Garrison first began investigating Clay Shaw, he only knew
Shaw under the alias “Clay Bertrand.” We can suggest one possible
inspiration for Shaw’s pseudonym. While serving with U.S. intelligence
during World War II, Shaw was stationed for a time in France where he
certainly had contact with the French intelligence.
At that time, one of the highest-ranking French intelligence officers
was one Gustave Bertrand who was, in fact, a close friend (and role model) for
another OSS officer, James J. Angleton. In later years Angleton “singled out
[Bertrand] as one of the people he learned the most from in a substantive
way”530 and who “remained Angleton’s friend until death” 531 and who was
Angleton’s “great Buddha head.” 532
When Shaw later adopted his alias of “Bertrand” it is entirely
conceivable that he was using this name as a salute to a senior intelligence
operative with whom he first made contact in Europe and with whom he
probably maintained contact in the years that followed.
This is speculation, of course, but there is no question, as the evidence
now shows, that Angleton and Shaw were certainly moving in the same
circles during World War II—and much later. And as we shall see in this
chapter and in Chapter 16, the French intelligence connections to Permindex
and to the JFK assassination conspiracy are very strong indeed.
And inasmuch as Shaw later served, without question, as a valued
international contact for the CIA, reporting back to the agency on his
foreign ventures, it is certain that Shaw’s reports would have ultimately
[194] Final Judgment 255
ended upon on the desk of James J. Angleton. Shaw, in effect, was
functioning (at least indirectly) as one of Angleton’s operatives.
However, it is likely their initial relationship was forged during their
joint service with the OSS during World War II.
Yet, there is one definitive Angleton-Shaw connection that has been
documented and it is interesting indeed. When Shaw was later arrested by
Jim Garrison, it was discovered his address book contained the private
telephone number of the Principessa Marcelle Borghese. 533 The principessa
was a relative of Prince Valerio Borghese who was rescued during World
War II by Angleton whose exploits with the OSS in Italy as its station chief
in Rome won him a decoration from the Vatican. 534
It will be recalled, of course, that one facet of the OSS-orchestrated
campaign against the Nazis and the Italian fascists was known as Operation
Underworld. As we saw in Chapter 7, it was Meyer Lansky who was the
middle man between the OSS and organized crime, helping arrange for
Sicilian Mafia support for the invading Allied troops in Italy. Angleton, of
course, was point man in Europe for the project.
(That Permindex was based in Rome, may thus be no coincidence,
considering Angleton’s long-standing connections with the city, where even
his father held the National Cash Register franchise for Italy.) 535
In any event there is no question whatsoever that Clay Shaw and James
Angleton—along with Major Bloomfield of Permindex—had long moved in
the same closely related circles on a wide variety of fronts.
MORE STRANGE CONNECTIONS
That Clay Shaw’s contacts in the Mossad-linked Permindex entity had a
wide-ranging array of international interests in the world of intrigue is
further evidenced by some of the other personalities involved. Among those
who were either investors in Permindex or who shared seats on the board of
Permindex were several interesting characters with equally interesting
connections. Among them were:
• Ferenc Nagy. The former premier of Hungary was a fierce anticommunist
who maintained close connections not only to Israel’s allies in
the America CIA, but also to the anti-Castro Cuban colony in Miami, itself
practically a joint operating subsidiary of both the CIA and the Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate. (Nagy himself later settled in Dallas, Texas and
was residing there at the time of the Kennedy assassination.)536
• Hans Seligman. A member of the family which controlled the
Seligman Bank of Basel and whose extended family were, in America, part
of the famous “Our Crowd” (German Jewish elite) in New York City during
the latter period of the 19th century. Seligman was intimately involved with
the Israel-oriented Zionist agency known as the Jewish Colonization
Association.537
256 The Twain ShallMeet [195]
• Morris Dalitz. The former Cleveland bootlegger-turned-Las Vegas
casino gambling czar. Dalitz was a longtime Lansky intimate who was
Benjamin Siegel’s successor as Lansky’s point man in Las Vegas. 538
As we saw in Chapter 10, Dalitz later employed “racket buster” G.
Robert Blakey as a consultant/character witness in a libel action in which
Dalitz was contesting charges that his La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad,
California was linked to organized crime. It was shortly thereafter that
Blakey was placed in charge of the House Assassinations Committee
investigation of the JFK murder.
Dalitz himself, as noted in Chapter 10, was also a longtime fund-raiser for
the Israeli lobby in the United States and honored by the aforementioned
Anti-Defamation League (ADL ) for his services.
• Carlos Prio Socarras. The President of Cuba from 1948-1952, Prio
Socarras had been a front-man for Meyer Lansky’s partner-in-crime, Cuban
strongman Fulgencio Batista. In fact, it was Lansky who persuaded Batista
with a hefty bribe to “step down” in favor of Prio Socarras. 539 And as we
saw in Chapter 14 Prio was engaged in gun-running with a business partner
whose name is now more than a footnote in history: Dallas nightclub
operator Jack Ruby.
No wonder then, that the Italian journal, Paesa Sera, would be moved to
comment: “It is a fact that the CMC is nevertheless the point of contact for
a number of persons who, in certain respects, have somewhat equivocal ties
whose common denominator is an anti-communism so strong that it would
swallow up all those in the world who have fought for decent relations
between East and West, including Kennedy.” 540
CMC/Permindex—it might also be added even more particularly—is
nevertheless the point of contact for a number of persons who, in certain
respects, have somewhat equivocal ties whose common denominator is a
devotion to the cause of Israel.
ISRAEL’S ROLE COMES FULL CIRCLE
As we have noted, however, it is the Tibor Rosenbaum-BCI connection
with Permindex that points most definitely toward the Israeli Mossad
interest in Permindex. BCI, as we have seen, was very much a creature of
Israel and its Mossad. Among the directors of Rosenbaum’s BCI was Ernest
Israel Japhet, also chairman and president of the Bank Leumi, the largest
bank in Israel. BCI and Bank Leumi were involved in the diamond trade and
tied into Far East drug trafficking.541
(We have already examined, in Chapter 6 and Chapter 12, Lansky’s
central role in global drug-trafficking in Southeast Asia, all of which was
made further possible—under CIA cover—as a consequence of American
involvement in the Vietnam conflict.)
Two other directors of BCI—as we noted in Chapter 7—were Ed
Levinson, front man at the Fremont Casino in Las Vegas for Lansky’s close
friend, Joseph “Doc” Stacher, who died in exile in Israel and John Pullman,
Lansky’s international money courier. Rosenbaum’s other operation, the
[196] Final Judgment 257
Swiss-Israel Trade Bank owned one-third interest in the Paz group, which
had been a Rothschild family entity, maintaining control over Israel’s oil
and petrochemical industry.542
EISENBERG AND FEINBERG—AGAIN
As we noted in Chapter 7, associates of Rosenbaum in the Swiss-Israel
Trade Bank included Shaul Eisenberg, a key figure in Israel’s nuclear bomb
development—the central point of conflict between JFK and Israel—and
New York businessman Abe Feinberg. In Chapter 8 we learned that
Eisenberg later became a business associate of CIA figure Theodore
Shackley. Shackley, as we discovered in Chapter 11, was the CIA’s chief of
station in Miami during the CIA-Lansky Crime Syndicate plots against
Fidel Castro. And, in Chapter 12, we learned, it was Shackley who was CIA
chief of station in Laos during the period of the close working relationship
between the CIA and the Lansky syndicate in the global drug racket.
It was Feinberg, as we saw in Chapter 4, who was the American Jewish
fund-raising contact of the 1960 Kennedy for President campaign.
Feinberg’s heavy-handed tactics so infuriated Kennedy that he privately
told a close friend that, as president, he intended to enforce changes in
campaign fund-raising regulations that would prevent powerful groups such
as the American pro-Israel lobby from wielding so much influence.
Feinberg, additionally, of course, was close to Israeli Prime Minister
David Ben-Gurion and, in fact, helped arrange the bitter meeting between
Kennedy and Ben-Gurion recounted in Chapter 5.
The manager of Rosenbaum and Feinberg’s Swiss-Israel Trade Bank
was Gen. Julius Klein, a U.S. Army officer, who had engaged in illegally
re-routing shiploads of supplies and equipment scheduled to go to post-war
Germany to the Haganah, the military forces of the Jews in Palestine. Klein
conducted this enterprise while chief of the U.S. Army Counterintelligence
Corps in Europe at the end of World War II.
(Later, in Appendix Four, we’ll meet Klein’s protégé who had an
unusually close relationship with a key member of the Warren Commission
cover-up of the JFK assassination. However, Klein’s services on behalf of
the state of Israel were even more significant. It was Klein who had been
involved in setting up Israel’s Mossad and in training its officers. Klein
worked alongside Sir William Stephenson in this particular venture.543
In Chapter 7, we learned of Sir William’s clandestine alliance with
Meyer Lansky and his crime syndicate in the so-called Operation
Underworld apparatus aimed against Axis intelligence duringWorldWar II.
Stephenson, of course, had been the director of Britain’s intelligence
operations in the United States—in the critical years preceding and during
WorldWar II—and was the aforementioned Major Louis M. Bloomfield’s
258 The Twain ShallMeet [197]
operating superior. It was during his days working with the American OSS
and Naval Intelligence—and the Lansky Crime Syndicate—that Stephenson
cemented his ties with the Jewish anti-Nazi underground.
According to intelligence historian Richard Deacon: “Stephenson
received a great deal of intelligence from Jewish scientists. This particular
operation, though seemingly far removed from the story of Palestine, in the
long run greatly helped Israeli Intelligence in the early days of the state of
Israel. Some of these scientists who had become friends with Stephenson
were encouraged to develop their talents in the cause of Allied intelligence
and they not only worked for Britain in World War II, but later assisted the
Israeli Secret Service.”544
What’s more, it might be noted, Stephenson was a close personal
advisor to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Here, almost
certainly, Stephenson had contact, during those early days, with a young
American who became a friend of Churchill—Clay Shaw, that American
Army officer detailed to the Office of Strategic Services.
THE PERMINDEX PLOT
Obviously, the connections (at an intimate level) between Tibor
Rosenbaum’s Israeli Mossad banking operation, the Banque de Credit
International, and a wide-ranging array of figures tied closely to the Lansky
Organized Crime Syndicate and—even—to Clay Shaw, a member of the
Permindex board of directors, brings the conspiracy full circle. That BCI was
one of the primary shareholders of the Permindex entity clearly points
toward a Mossad role in the Permindex plot that ended the life of John F.
Kennedy. However, there is much, much more as we shall see.
LANSKY’S MIAMI-GENEVA COURIER
Research by former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow not only sheds
light on the connections between Lansky’s Miami banks and Mossad officer
Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI, but also provides us evidence of a role by Meyer
Lansky in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Shortly after Morrow had published his first book, Betrayal, in which
he described his own connections through the CIA with a number of the
figures involved in the JFK assassination conspiracy, he was contacted by a
young man with an incredible story he wanted to tell.
According to Morrow, “In our initial conversation, the young man
claimed his father, an ex-Air Force colonel, and others working for the CIA
had prior knowledge that President Kennedy was going to be assassinated in
Dallas on November 22, 1963 . . .
“The intelligence officer’s son then made a wild accusation. He asserted
that his father had been tied into organized crime and had been a bagman for
at least one of the payoffs relating to the presidential assassination,
transporting a large sum of money to Haiti for payoff purposes during the
summer of 1963.” 545
[198] Final Judgment 259
This young man told Morrow that his father was associated with a mob
courier. The courier in question was Mickey Weiner. Pursuing the Weiner
lead further, Morrow learned from another source that tape recordings had
been uncovered in which Weiner had participated in conversations relating to
the circumstances of the Kennedy assassination.
According to Morrow’s source, Albert Moakler, “The tapes were
indicative that there was a conversation going on which was more than idle
gossip. It definitely concerned Jersey and Miami . . . the areas, people in the
areas. Something concerned with the assassination.” 546
(Miami, of course, was Meyer Lansky’s base of operations. New
Jersey, as we saw in Chapter 7, was the base of Lansky’s Mafia associate,
mobster Jerry Catena who was responsible for distribution of “skim” money
from Lansky’s Las Vegas gambling operations to Lansky’s organized crime
associates in the northern states.)
Morrow also determined that Weiner made regular runs between
Switzerland and Miami where he would visit the Bank of Miami Beach. 547
Weiner, obviously, was one of Lansky’s couriers between his banking
operations in Miami and those of the Israeli Mossad’s Tibor Rosenbaum and
the Banque de Credit International in Switzerland.
Thus, it’s clear that Lansky’s courier definitely had “inside” information
about the JFK assassination. We may even go so far as to speculate that it
was Lansky’s courier who was providing funds from Permindex to the
assassination conspirators stateside.
ANOTHER ISRAEL CONNECTION
A “high level financial backer” of the Permindex operation, according to
Paesa Sera, was one Dr. David Biegun, national secretary of the National
Committee for Labor Israel, Inc., based in New York. This committee was
the American affiliate of the Israeli Histadrut for which Permindex board
chairman Louis M. Bloomfield was a chief fundraiser. 548 Flammonde,
despite his excellent research, failed to carry this connection further. And
note also that ex-CIA man Philip Agee has said that the Committee for
Labor Israel is often used as a CIA cover. 549
Biegun’s role in Permindex was explicitly important—even central to
the operation of Permindex.
In fact, it was Biegun who oversaw the liquidation of CMC/Permindex
after the company was expelled from Switzerland and Italy in 1962,
subsequently relocating the operation to Johannesburg, South Africa. 550
(South Africa, it might be noted, has long been engaged in intimate
international intrigues in conjunction with Israel.)
Paesa Sera speculated that [CMC/Permindex] “was a creature of the CIA .
. . set up as a cover for the transfer of CIA . . . funds in Italy for illegal
political-espionage activities.”551 The Italian journal, however, seems to
have missed the multiple Israeli connections that we have explored in these
pages.
260 The Twain ShallMeet [199]
PLOTS TO ASSASSINATE CHARLES DeGAULLE
Public controversy surrounding Permindex, resulting in its expulsion
from Switzerland and Italy, involved the role of Permindex in assassination
plots aimed at French President Charles DeGaulle. And as we shall see, it is
here that we find even more intriguing connections between Permindex and
the JFK assassination.
Earlier in these pages, as we have seen, the rebel Secret Army
Organization—known by its acronym OAS—was bitterly opposed to
DeGaulle’s decision to grant independence to Arab Algeria. (It was, as we
noted in Chapter 4, John F. Kennedy who, as a young senator, riled the
Israeli lobby by calling for Algerian independence in 1957.)
The OAS launched numerous assassination attempts against DeGaulle,
none of which were successful, of course, but they did later inspire Frederick
Forsythe’s famous novel (later turned into a popular motion picture), The
Day of the Jackal.
Following an investigation of one attempt, in 1962, French
intelligence (the SDECE) charged that Permindex laundered money into the
OAS coffers to finance the attempt on DeGaulle’s life. 552
According to DeGaulle’s biographer, Jean Lacouture, “for moral as well
as political reasons, [the OAS leadership] considered it necessary to sacrifice
the Head of State, either physically or politically, so that Algeria would
remain French.”553
SOUSTELLE, THE OAS AND THE IRGUN
One of the harshest French critics of Algerian independence was Jewish-born
convert to Christianity, Jacques Soustelle, former governor-general of Algeria.
Described by Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi as being known as
one of “Israel’s friends in France,”554 Soustelle, as French Atomic Energy
Minister from 1958 to 1959, cooperated closely with Yuval Ne’eman, the
father of Israel’s atomic bomb project, in helping Israel develop the
groundwork for a nuclear arsenal.555 Bitterly condemning Degaulle’s
reversal on Algeria, Soustelle went into self-imposed exile. 556
Although Soustelle himself denied any contacts with the OAS,557 he
was one of its primary supporters, winning the plaudits of OAS partisans
who promulgated the joint Israeli-OAS propaganda myth that Algerian
independence would establish a Soviet foothold in North Africa. In fact,
Israeli intelligence came to Soustelle’s aid when he went into exile. In 1962
Soustelle took up “hiding in Rome in the house of a furniture dealer whose
brother was a representative of the [Israeli] Irgun.”558
Interestingly enough, according to Paesa Sera, the Italian journal which
publicized the role of Permindex in the plots against DeGaulle, former
Hungarian premier and Permindex board member Ferenc Nagy was a
“munificent contributor”559 to Jacques Soustelle and the OAS.
[200] Final Judgment 261
(What’s more, we now know, one of the key bases of financial support for
Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI—the key force behind Permindex and the plots
against DeGaulle—were “clandestine deposits of undeclared funds from French
Jews,”560 not to mention, of course, the criminal funds from the Lansky
crime syndicate.)
One French military leader who emerged as an OAS leader, General
Antoine Argoud said, “the physical elimination of the Head of State poses
no moral problem for any of us . . . We are all convinced . . . that DeGaulle
has deserved the supreme punishment a hundred times over.”561
However, there were other elements that proved supportive of the
French rebels within the OAS. According to historian Alexander Harrison:
“Factors that seemed to favor the success of the [OAS] efforts to keep
Algeria French [included]:
• The complicity of the ‘old boy’ networks within the various
intelligence agencies, most notably the French secret service, [the SDECE]
and the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire [responsible for internal
counterespionage] both of which at times placed loyalty to a former
comrade-in-arms . . . above loyalty to the government; and
• Possible logistical help from countries [such as] the United States
that had been hostile to DeGaulle since the first days of the Resistance in
World War II and viewed his pro-Soviet stance as a threat to Western
hegemony in the Mediterranean.” 562
(Earlier we learned of the CIA’s covert support for the OAS, despite
opposition to the OAS by JFK who had been an ardent advocate for
Algerian independence much to the dismay of Israel’s lobby in America.)
ISRAEL AND THE OAS
Not surprisingly, according to historian Harrison, whose OAS
sympathies are apparent “Some of the most ardent supporters of the OAS
in Algeria were Jews.”563 What’s more, notes Harrison, “a Jewish branch
of the OAS was created.”564
Another historian, Paul Henissart, has also noted an Israeli connection
with the OAS. According to Henissart, “[The OAS] attracted hotheads
including some Jews who belonged to Irgun Zvai Leumi, the Israeli
underground military organization. They were recruited by the OAS as
specialists in clandestine warfare.”565
He notes additionally that while there were Jewish defense groups
established in Algeria, “official Israeli delegations in Algeria to organize
emigration of Jews from the coastal cities were not averse to aiding these
self-defense groups. The Israeli government, however, never confirmed any
connection with them.”566
Nonetheless as Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi has pointed
out, there is evidence of official Israeli support of the OAS: “During 1961
and 1962, there were numerous reports of Israeli support for the French
OAS movement in Algeria.”567
262 The Twain ShallMeet [201]
He notes that the Israelis had assisted the French in the Algerian war of
independence between 1954 and 1962. Then, when Algeria was finally
independent and sought admission to the UN, only Israel voted against it.
Beit Hallahmi quotes another historian, Stewart Steven, as saying, “When
in 1961 the OAS was created, it was a natural development that Israel, as
keen on [French retention of Algeria as a colony] as the OAS themselves,
should lock themselves into the [OAS].”568
So it was that Israeli intelligence—and its allies in the American CIA—
had formed a close working alliance with the very forces that were
attempting to destroy French President Charles DeGaulle. At the same time,
in fact, these same elements were using their Permindex connection in yet
another plot, this one aimed at the life of John F. Kennedy.
THE OAS, PERMINDEX AND NEW ORLEANS
There is, interestingly, a New Orleans connection here. According to a
report later issued by DeGaulle’s secret service, the SDECE, Israel’s Bank
Hapoalim supplied funds to the OAS through the office of former FBI agent
and CIA contract operative, Guy Banister, in New Orleans.569 Banister’s
agent, Maurice Brooks Gatlin, in turn, carried the money to the OAS in
Paris.570 (Several years later Gatlin died in Panama when he fell—or was
pushed—from a hotel balcony.)
Gatlin, evidently, had many interesting international affairs. When a
Latin American regional conference of a global anti-communist
confederation was set in place, organized by CIA operative and Banister
contact, E. Howard Hunt, the chairman of that conference was Antonio
Valladares. This same Valladares, based in Guatemala, also happened to
serve as an attorney for New Orleans Mafia chief Carlos Marcello whom, as
we have seen, was assisting in financing Banister’s anti-communist
activities. In attendance at the conference, which ultimately merged into the
World Anti-Communist League, was Maurice Brooks Gatlin,571 suggesting
that the New Orleans connection to the CIA and other worldwide
intrigue was very strong indeed.
The aforementioned Bank Hapoalim was the bank established by Israel’s
labor bund, the Histadrut, for which Permindex chairman Louis Bloomfield
served as chief fundraiser in Canada. Guy Banister’s activities were explored
earlier in Chapter 10, Chapter 11 and Chapter 14.
According to Gilbert LeCavelier, an associate of the late Bernard
Fensterwald (a leading JFK assassination researcher), Banister’s office also
served as a New Orleans headquarters for OAS-connected mercenaries.
Among those OAS mercenaries was Jean Souetre who, we noted in
Chapter 12, was reported to have been picked up in Dallas on November 22,
1963 and expelled from the United States.572 In Chapter 16 we will explore
Souetre’s activities further.
Banister, the former FBI and Naval intelligence operative, oversaw CIAbacked
anti-Castro gun-running and intelligence operations out of an office
at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans. Closely linked to the anti-Castro
[202] Final Judgment 263
Cuban movement, Banister’s operation functioned with the support of the
CIA. Former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow asserts in his book,
Betrayal, that Permindex board member Clay Shaw was, in fact, Banister’s
immediate superior in coordinating CIA operations out of New Orleans.
Thus, we have CIA asset Clay Shaw, serving on the board of
Permindex, which is in turn operating in conjunction with Banister’s office
in plots against Charles DeGaulle. And in the same period we have Banister
(and Shaw) involved in manipulating the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald in
New Orleans just prior to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Among others, Banister was associated with former CIA pilot and anti-
Castro adventurer David Ferrie (one of the key figures in Jim Garrison’s case
against Clay Shaw). Ferrie, as we have seen, also had a long-standing
connection with Lee Harvey Oswald and, by all accounts, was associating
regularly with Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963. And we now
know for certain that Ferrie and Shaw were intimately acquainted. The
connections between Ferrie, Shaw, Banister and Oswald do come full circle.
Former CIA man Morrow also reports that during his activities with
the CIA, working in conjunction with David Ferrie, he and Ferrie visited a
warehouse in Europe where vast amounts of arms were stored—arms
intended for the anti-Castro Cuban underground. The warehouse was a
Permindex operation. 573
Banister’s secretary, Delphine Roberts, has been quoted as having said
that Oswald was a regular visitor to 544 Camp Street engaged in some sort of
“intelligence” work. 574 In fact, as is now generally acknowledged, it
appears as though Oswald was being set up as a “pro-Castro” patsy.
BANISTER’S ISRAELI CONNECTION
However, interestingly enough, there is yet another Israeli connection
to the New Orleans scenario that set up Lee Harvey Oswald as the fall guy
in the JFK assassination plot. It turns out that one of Banister’s
longstanding friends and fellow anti-communists was one A. I. (Bee)
Botnick. 575 Botnick was a key figure in the New Orleans regional office of
the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, which is now known to
maintain close ties to the Israeli Mossad.
Botnick, who reportedly considered himself “a super communist
hunter,” was obsessed with communism and, like Banister, believed
communism to be a major force behind the civil rights movement. 576
(In 1993 it was reported that the ADL had spied extensively on the late
Dr. Martin Luther King and then turned its findings over to J. Edgar
Hoover, Banister’s former superior at the FBI.) 577 In Chapter 7 and in
Chapter 10 we noted the close links between the ADL and the Lansky
Crime Syndicate, itself tied in turn to the CIA and to Israeli intelligence,
most notably through the Permindex link discussed in this chapter.)
At the national level, and under Botnick in New Orleans, the ADL had a
history of deploying agents into left-wing groups in order to spy on their
activities. This, of course, fits precisely into the profile of Lee Harvey
264 The Twain ShallMeet [203]
Oswald’s “leftist” and “pro-Castro” activities in New Orleans during the
summer of 1963, operating a “Fair Play for Cuba Committee” out of
Banister’s intelligence operation at 544 Camp Street.
What is additionally intriguing is that, according to former ADL general
counsel and intelligence chief Arnold Forster, much of the ADL’s “fact
finding” (i.e. spying) utilized agents “employed by an outside investigative
agency operating as an independent contractor.” 578 So, in light of the close
association between Botnick and Banister, it seems quite likely Botnick
contracted out ADL work out to his fellow anti-communist.
What’s more, according to the ADL’s Forster, many of the ADL’s factfinders
were “retired local or federal government investigators”579—such as,
perhaps, a likely former American intelligence agent named Oswald who had
once done covert work in the Soviet Union.
We can only wonder if, in fact, Lee Harvey Oswald’s “left wing”
activities were actually being financed by the ADL. Was Oswald, indeed,
being utilized to infiltrate left-wing groups by Banister ostensibly as part of
what appeared to be a fact-finding mission for the ADL but which actually
was an intelligence operation with an ulterior motive?
It is thus not so extraordinary to suggest that perhaps Oswald was being
“sheep-dipped” as a “pro-Castro” agitator by the ADL (under the guise of ADL
“fact finding”) which was functioning as a conduit for the Mossad and its
CIA allies. Quite convenient indeed.
A ‘THIRD FORCE’?
Although he does not pinpoint the ADL as a force behind Banister’s
activities, respected JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott has lent
credence to the possibility that there was much more to Banister’s
operations than would seem to meet the eye. According to Scott:
“Disagreement arises . . . as to who was paying for Banister’s anti-
Communist activities: governmental intelligence, the New Orleans Mafia,
or some third force allied with both together.” [emphasis added]
Those stressing the intelligence angle, notes Scott, point to Banister’s
FBI and CIA and Office of Naval Intelligence connections while those
stressing the “Mafia” point to Banister’s connections, through David Ferrie
and others, to New Orleans Mafia chief Carlos Marcello.
As Scott notes, however, “a third and more likely possibility is that
both Oswald and Banister were working for what was in effect a third force:
an intelligence-Mafia gray alliance, rooted in the deep political economy of
New Orleans.”580 And as we have seen in this chapter and elsewhere, the
ADL did indeed have a strong root in the deep political economy of New
Orleans, even indeed in the Clay Shaw connection.
“As to the story that Oswald was an FBI informant,” writes Scott, “I
doubt that Oswald was directly on the FBI payroll. A more likely
possibility is that he worked for a private security agency which in
turn reported to the FBI, the way that ex-FBI and ex-Official of Naval
[204] Final Judgment 265
Intelligence agent Guy Banister, according to a CIA document, reported to
the FBI in New Orleans.”581 [emphasis added]
That the ADL did, in fact, report back to the FBI, a long-standing
relationship cemented by J. Edgar Hoover himself, is now common
knowledge, a fact that we shall examine further in Chapter 17.
The FBI files of another prominent Black civil rights leader of the
1960’s, Dick Gregory, demonstrate conclusively that the ADL which was
actually monitoring his public lectures and then turning the information
over to the FBI as part of its COINTELPRO operations.
And as we saw in Chapter 7, it was COINTELPRO, carried out by the
FBI’s Division Five, that was under the direct control of William Sullivan,
who was effectively a CIA “mole” inside the FBI for his close friend, the
Mossad’s CIA ally, James J. Angleton.
(In Chapter 17 we will explore the activities of the ADL further, paying
particular attention to the apparent manipulation of media coverage of the
controversy over the JFK assassination by the ADL and by ADL-linked
sources in New Orleans. Furthermore, in Appendix Two we shall examine a
little-explored link between Lee Harvey Oswald and at least one covert
government informant who almost certainly had connections with the ADL.
And in Appendix Three we will learn much more about Guy Banister’s
strange “right wing” connections that actually point toward the ADL.)
Whatever the case, it is very clear that the Mossad and the CIA had a
direct hand in the strange activities of Clay Shaw, Guy Banister, David
Ferrie and Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans during the summer of 1963.
Both the Mossad and the CIA were intimately tied with the Permindex
plot against French President Charles DeGaulle and with the Permindex plot
against John F. Kennedy. In the bloody conflict over Algerian Arab
independence both Kennedy and DeGaulle found themselves on the same side
of the issue—and in opposition to the Mossad and its allies in the CIA.
A VISIT FROM PERMINDEX
That New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was indeed on the
right track is illustrated by a strange visit that Garrison got during the early
days of his investigation. A Denver oilman, later identified by investigators
as John King, appeared in Garrison’s office and offered to arrange the district
attorney’s appointment to a federal judgeship in return for Garrison’s
abandonment of his investigation.
King very clearly had inside information about the nature of Garrison’s
inquiry and was obviously interested in shutting it down before it went any
further. Garrison would not be bribed, however, and promptly showed the
gentleman to the door.
It just so happens that during the very period of King’s mysterious visit
to New Orleans, the “Denver oilman” was engaged in lucrative international
business dealings with Bernie Cornfeld, the Geneva-based head of the
Investors Overseas Service (IOS). King’s other interests included oil drilling
offshore of the Sinai peninsula, Arab territory seized by the Israelis in
266 The Twain ShallMeet [205]
1967.582 King’s partner Cornfeld, as we saw in Chapter 7 and in Chapter 9,
was, in fact, the protégé and front man of Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum, founder
of the Banque De Credit International (BCI) and a central financial figure
behind Permindex.
King’s visit was very clearly a friendly offer from Permindex. They
hoped to silence Garrison before his inquiry went further—before he made
the Clay Shaw connection, before he discovered the real origins of the
Permindex plot that led to the murder of John F. Kennedy. Permindex and
its backers were determined to stop the investigation in its tracks. John
King’s visit to New Orleans is very clear evidence, indeed, that the role of
Clay Shaw and Permindex is the key to the JFK assassination mystery.
An interesting footnote: By 1967, a key player in the Permindex
network of Tibor Rosenbaum and John King was the super-lawyer who
represented IOS interests in Washington: Myer Feldman.583 Feldman,
whom we first met in Chapter 5 as JFK’s liaison to the American
Jewish community, after leaving the White House, signed on as a well-paid
henchman for the very interests behind the JFK assassination and cover-up.
And today, it just so happens, Feldman apparently serves as an attorney for
the Kennedy family itself, overseeing the most private legal matters of the
family of the slain American president. A small world indeed.
THE STRANGE WORLD OF CLAY SHAW
Those who have been most strident in their denunciations of Jim
Garrison for his indictment of Clay Shaw are among those who push the
myth that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” They suggest that Clay Shaw was some
innocent figure who was only rehabilitating French Quarter carriage houses.
Yet, despite the link between Permindex and the Lansky Syndicate
money laundering Banque De Credit International, those who say that “The
Mafia Killed JFK” say absolutely nothing about Shaw’s very firm ties—
through Permindex—to this criminal banking entity, very much linked
to “the Mafia” through Lansky.
To disregard the Israeli linkage to Permindex is to avoid the truth
altogether. This is why those who seek to point the finger of blame toward
“the Mafia,” for example, are so determined to vindicate Clay Shaw. To
look Shaw’s direction is to look in the direction of Israel—and that is why it
was so vital that Garrison’s investigation had to be scuttled at all costs.
Obviously, there’s much more to the Permindex controversy than many
people would like to admit. And in this author’s judgment it is because of
the Permindex link to Israel and its Mossad that some JFK assassination
researchers have chosen to ignore the truth before them.
WHAT ABOUT THE ‘NAZI’ CONNECTION?
There have been those who have proclaimed Permindex to have been
some sort of “Nazi” remnant that survived World War II. The leading
promoter of this theory was Mae Brussell, an eccentric researcher who
[206] Final Judgment 267
became an icon for many obsessed with the JFK assassination, among them
one Dave Emory who insists to this day that “The Nazis Killed JFK.”
Yet, there is something about Miss Brussell’s background that is
significant in light of the Israeli role in the JFK assassination as dissected
here. Brussell was the daughter of Rabbi Edgar Magnin, the spiritual leader
of Hollywood’s Jewish community—next to the New York Jewish
community the most significant force in the pro-Israel lobby in America.
For this reason alone Mrs. Brussell would not be inclined to follow
Permindex to its Israeli antecedents.
Mrs. Brussell and her acolyte, Dave Emory, contended that high-ranking
former Nazis such as General Reinhard Gehlen who were brought under the
wing of American intelligence following World War II were ultimately
responsible for the Kennedy assassination—through Permindex.
However, the fact is that Israeli intelligence was working closely with
the Gehlen organization in the post-World War II period. John Loftus and
Mark Aarons have written of how Israeli operatives—although they found
the new relationship distasteful—did indeed work with reputed former Nazi
war criminals in Gehlen’s operation.
What’s more, the Israelis had completely infiltrated the Gehlen
organization. According to Loftus and Aarons: “They knew exactly what
General Gehlen was doing . . . After Israel was born, sections of the Mossad
arrived inside Gehlen’s base to receive special training . . . Even he had no
idea how many of his staff also were reporting to Tel Aviv . . . Whatever
Gehlen saw, the Israelis saw.”584
So if indeed (as some say) it was a “Nazi” plot that killed JFK, it seems
highly unlikely that the plot somehow got by the intrepid Israelis. But, as
we know now, it was not a Nazi plot—the fantasies of Dave Emory and
Mae Brussell notwithstanding. Permindex was an Israeli front—not a Nazi
front.
It is probably worth noting, for the record, that the first nationwide
publicity that Mrs. Brussell’s theory that “the Nazis Killed JFK” received
was when it appeared in the pages of the short-lived magazine, The Rebel,
published by highly controversial pornographer Larry Flynt.585
Although Flynt had indeed funded legitimate independent research into
the JFK assassination some time earlier (which some suggest may have led
to the later attempt on Flynt’s life), the Brussell article was not part of that
earlier effort that came out of the Flynt publishing empire.
It is hard to say precisely what motivates Flynt, a complex individual
indeed, but we do know one thing: according to George magazine, published
by no less than John F. Kennedy, Jr., Flynt, at least recently, has emerged
as a substantial contributor to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai
B’rith.586 So in light of what we do know about the ADL and its multiple
links to those intimately involved in the JFK assassination conspiracy, this
is interesting indeed.
Despite all of Mae Brussell’s ruminations, there is ironically, a genuine
and bizarre “Nazi” connection to Permindex that is either misunderstood or
has been deliberately obscured but which does further toward our
268 The Twain ShallMeet [207]
understanding of Permindex as a transnational point of contact for the
Mossad and its allies in the CIA and organized crime.
THE ‘FASCIST JEWS’
The fact is that not only Mossad figure Tibor Rosenbaum but also
Permindex figures Georges and Ernst Mandel were part of a Zionist
operation that had its origins in a multi-layered intelligence venture that laid
the groundwork for not only the establishment of the state of Israel but the
escape of former Nazi leaders out of Europe and into the Gehlen organization
(and elsewhere) following the close of World War II. According to the
aforementioned Loftus and Aarons, writing in The Secret War Against the
Jews:
“During World War II Soviet intelligence used a network of supposedly
“fascist Jews,” code named Max, to penetrate the inner circles of the Third
Reich and to destroy the German army on the Eastern front. The Nazis
believed that the Max network was their secret intelligence source inside the
Kremlin, and it did in fact give ‘good’ intelligence to the Germans but it
was strictly controlled by the Communists.
“The Jews of the Max network were mostly Communist double agents,
but they also were Jews who defected to the Zionist cause toward the end of
the war and revealed [future CIA director] Allen Dulles’ [pre-war and wartime]
secret [financial and intelligence] deals with the Nazis.
“The Zionists,” according to Loftus and Aarons, “blackmailed Dulles’
[CIA] protégé, James Angleton, into setting up a parallel smuggling
system for Jews and fugitive Nazis.”587 It was in Chapter 8 that we learned
of Angleton’s role in the Jewish refugee network that ultimately evolved
into the modern-day Mossad.
That the Israelis were blackmailing Angleton, according to Loftus and
Aarons, who are undoubtedly pro-Israeli partisans, explains much about
Angleton’s behavior throughout his CIA career and in the events which
involved Angleton in the circumstances of the JFK assassination, more
about which we shall discuss in Chapter 16.
A TRANSNATIONAL ARRANGEMENT
In light of all this, we now understand why Zionist operatives
collaborated with so-called “Nazi” forces in the strange transnational entity
known as Permindex. There were—as Peter Dale Scott said—common
modes of interaction between a variety of interests involved in complex,
multi-centered intrigues where these diverse elements, each with distinctive
motives, worked together on common projects, each for their own ends.
There is indeed much more to Permindex than we have been told by
some JFK assassination researchers, but ultimately the truth is that
Permindex was, more than anything, predominantly a transnational
arrangement with Israel’s intrigues as its driving force.
[208] Final Judgment 269
Israel’s worldwide connections—particularly with the anti-Kennedy
forces within the CIA and the CIA-linked Lansky crime empire, along with
the French OAS rebels and Charles DeGaulle’s enemies within his own
intelligence service—made possible the network through which the plan to
kill JFK was carried out. Permindex was in the center of it all.
Through the so-called “false flag” technique in which the Mossad is so
skilled (as we saw in Chapter 3), “Mafia” figures, anti-Castro Cubans, lowlevel
CIA operatives and an assortment of other strange figures were drawn
into the Permindex web behind the JFK assassination conspiracy.
In the end, however, it was Permindex board member Clay Shaw who
became the one person (aside from the hapless Lee Harvey Oswald) to be
charged with having participated in the conspiracy. Whether Shaw knew of
the impending assassination will probably never be known. That Shaw was
trafficking with the likes of David Ferrie and Guy Banister—Oswald’s
immediate handlers—has now been firmly established. Whether Shaw knew
that Oswald, ultimately, would be the patsy is another mystery.
Nonetheless, the Clay Shaw link to the assassination—and to Permindex—
points directly toward the Mossad role in the conspiracy.
Permindex is the key to understanding the full nature o f
the JFK assassination conspiracy. To ignore the Permindex
connection is to ignore the reality about the origins of the
plot that led to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The
tentacles of Permindex reached far and wide, inextricably
intertwining the Mossad, the CIA and the Lansky Crime
Syndicate.
Although, recently, Warren Commission enthusiast Max Holland
penned an essay in the spring 2001 issue of The Wilson Quarterly
purporting to “prove” that the Soviet KGB was responsible for effectively
sponsoring “disinformation”—namely the Paese Sera articles that linked
Clay Shaw to Permindex—Holland’s opus does no more than to prove that
Permindex was the subject of controversy in the first place. But, more
pointedly, Holland’s essay fails to address the real question: if Permindex
was NOT a CIA front, was it instead an Israeli operation? Final Judgment
answers the question beyond any shadow of a doubt, but it’s not likely
Holland will respond to that.
In our next chapter we will review, at last, the most recent, startling
and definitive evidence which proves that it was Israel’s ally at the CIA
headquarters, James Jesus Angleton, who played a key role in the
assassination conspiracy and cover-up. What’s more, we will examine
important new information which suggests that there was much more
happening in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963 than otherwise might
meet the eye. We will also discover that the so-called “French connection”
to the JFK assassination is, in fact, the Israeli connection.
Chapter Sixteen
Double Cross in Dallas?
Wha t Rea l l y Happened in De a l ey Pla z a ? James Jesus
Angleton, E. Howard Hunt and the JFK Assassination.
The Truth About the “French Connection”
It was in a little publicized libel t rial conduct ed in
Mi ami in 1 9 8 5 tha t v e t e ran Kennedy a s s a s s ina t i on
investigator Mark Lane proved to the satisfaction of a jury
that the CIA played a part in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Lane’s groundbreaking best seller, Plausible Denial, published in
1991, told the whole incredible story.
Evidence from that trial also points toward Israel’s
connect ion to the assassination through the off ices of
Israel’s CIA ally, James Jesus Angleton. It was Angleton
who assisted in the cover-up of his favorite foreign nation’s
central role alongside the CIA in the murder of JFK.
There is also strange new evidence that there was much
more happening in Dealey Plaza in Dallas than even many o f
those involved in the events surrounding the JFK
assassination really knew.
Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial proved conclusively that the CIA had a
hand in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
As we saw in Chapter 9, Lane’s book told how the Washington-based
Spotlight newspaper’s libel trial with ex-CIA man E. Howard Hunt brought
into a Florida courtroom the first hard evidence linking the CIA to the
Kennedy assassination.
As noted previously, Lane agreed to serve as The Spotlight’s defense
attorney after Hunt won a $650,000 libel judgment against the populist
weekly. It was Lane who successfully handled The Spotlight’s defense after
the case again went to trial after the initial libel verdict was overturned.
The libel action stemmed from an article published in the pages of The
Spotlight in 1978.
The article was written by Victor Marchetti, an ex-CIA executive officer
who had become internationally famous after he published his best-selling
critique, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, the first book ever censored
prior to publication by the CIA.
After leaving the CIA, Marchetti became a journalist, specializing in
matters relating to the CIA and the intelligence community in general. As
such he was a recognized authority in his field and had done a number of
intelligence-related articles for The Spotlight, among numerous other
publications, both here in the United States and abroad.
As a consequence, when Marchetti approached The Spotlight with a
rather intriguing article which gave an interesting new slant on the JFK
[210] Final Judgment 271
assassination furor (in the midst of the House Assassinations Committee
investigation), the editors of the weekly newspaper were interested.
CIA TO FRAME HUNT?
Marchetti’s article suggested that upper echelon executives of the CIA
had decided to frame E. Howard Hunt for involvement in the Kennedy
assassination. Not that Hunt was involved in the crime—simply that the
CIA had decided to frame Hunt for the deed. This distinction is important.
Over the years, several assassination buffs had claimed that the famous
photographs taken in Dealey Plaza of three so-called “tramps” being led
away from the scene by police officers revealed Hunt as one of those tramps.
This story was picked up the tabloids and given wide play.
A CIA-MOSSAD CONCOCTION?
However, there are those who believe that the “Hunt as a tramp” story
was, in fact, deliberately trumped up as part of the CIA’s scheme to frame
Hunt for involvement in the assassination. It was the CIA’s plan to
implicate Hunt that Victor Marchetti exposed in The Spotlight.
The leading promoter of the theory that Hunt was one of the “tramps”
in Dallas is A. J. Weberman who maintains very close ties to the Jewish
Defense League.
Weberman has also been closely associated with Mordechai Levi, a
known agent provocateur of the Israeli Mossad’s propaganda and intelligence
arm, the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, which we examine in
further detail in Chapter 17.
(Levi was also active in the Jewish Defense League (JDL), created by
militant Rabbi Meir Kahane. In Chapter 8 we saw that Kahane was a CIA
asset and protégé of Jay Lovestone who handled CIA liaison with the Meyer
Lansky-linked French Corsican and Sicilian Mafias. Lovestone’s operation
was directed out of James J. Angleton’s Israeli desk at the CIA.)
It may very well be that the “Hunt as a tramp” story being touted by
Weberman was indeed a CIA-Mossad concoction to further muddy the
waters.
What is interesting is that in 1975—precisely at the time when
Weberman was publishing and promoting a book that named Hunt as one of
the tramps—a strange letter appeared, anonymously, in the mailbox of
another (and more reliable) assassination researcher, Penn Jones, Jr.
The letter was written in Spanish and its envelope earned a Mexico
City postmark. The letter accompanied another letter which read as follows:
“Dear Mr. Hunt,
I would like information concerding [sic] my position.
I am asking only for information. I am suggest ing that
we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me
or anyone else.
Thank you,
272 Double Cross in Dallas? [211]
Lee Harvy [sic] Oswald.”588
Subsequent analyses suggested that the letter may or may not have been
Oswald’s handwriting (although he was known to misspell even his own
middle name as it was misspelled in the letter. When word of the letter’s
existence gained circulation, the reference to a “Mr. Hunt” created immediate
speculation that the Hunt in question was either Texas oilman H. L. Hunt
or, more than likely, E. Howard Hunt.
In light of the then-current rumors about Hunt’s alleged role in the JFK
affair, coupled with his known connections to the CIA and, in particular,
Mexico City, where he had been active during his CIA career, the suspicions
about E. Howard Hunt were quite natural.
It is interesting, though, that the letter was sent from Mexico City,
Hunt’s former base of operations. Whether the letter was real or not, it is
obvious that someone wanted to throw further suspicion on E. Howard
Hunt—and succeeded.
That the Weberman story of “Hunt as a tramp” and the “Dear Mr. Hunt”
letter appeared at the same time are particularly intriguing in light of another
matter we are about to consider.
Both the “Hunt as a tramp” story and the “Dear Mr. Hunt” letter appear
to be part and parcel of a CIA black propaganda operation run by the
Mossad’s man at the CIA, James J. Angleton.
HUNT WAS IN DALLAS
Ironically, as we shall see, the evidence suggests that E. Howard Hunt
was indeed in Dallas—on, at the very least, November 21, 1963—and very
much involved in strange activities in league with key players in the JFK
assassination scenario.
According to Marchetti, widespread public suspicion of CIA
involvement in the president’s murder was forcing the CIA to play its hand
and “admit” that, in fact, one of its more notorious longtime operatives,
Hunt, had indeed been in Dallas on the day that Kennedy was killed.
Obviously, Hunt—with his well-known ties to the anti-Castro Cubans,
often considered prime suspects in the JFK assassination—would have a
difficult time explaining why he had been in Big D on that fateful day—if
indeed he had been.
Interesting, Marchetti’s article never said that Hunt had, in fact, been
involved in the assassination conspiracy. Marchetti’s article said only that
top-ranking CIA officials had decided to frame Hunt for the crime. Hunt,
according to Marchetti’s sources, was deemed expendable.
Marchetti’s article r eported that a strange in-house CIA
memo—allegedly written some years previously—had somehow ended up
in the hands of investigators for the House Assassinations Committee and
that Hunt, as a consequence, would ultimately be forced to explain his
reported presence in Dallas (as described in the memo) on November 22,
1963.
[212] Final Judgment 273
The editors of The Spotlight felt Marchetti’s article served, if anything,
as an advance warning to Hunt of what his former employers had in mind.
The Spotlight’s editors didn’t, in fact, feel that the article implicated Hunt in
the president’s murder.
Inexplicably, however, the ex-CIA man decided to sue, even though he
ultimately admitted under oath that when he first read The Spotlight’s story
that Marchetti’s contentions seemed plausible indeed. In short, that Hunt did
believe that his former colleagues would be willing to throw him to the
wolves—for their own nefarious reasons.
Hunt’s lawsuit against The Spotlight did go to trial. However, The
Spotlight’s management did not take the lawsuit seriously. They did not
believe either that the article damaged Hunt’s reputation or that Hunt’s
attorneys could prove that the newspaper had published the article
maliciously.
(In fact, The Spotlight had invited Hunt to visit the newspaper’s
editorial offices for an interview to rebut the claims made in Marchetti’s
article or to even write an article rebutting Marchetti’s article.)
During that trial, The Spotlight’s attorney unexpectedly stipulated that
the newspaper did not believe that Hunt had been in Dallas on November
22, 1963. The trial, however, resulted in a massive $650,000 libel judgment
against the newspaper. The Spotlight appealed the judgment and the appeals
court granted a new trial on the basis that the trial judge’s instructions to the
jury had been faulty .
LANE ENTERS THE CASE
It was at this point that famed JFK assassination investigator Mark
Lane, an attorney, entered into the case—almost purely by chance, having
been introduced to the publisher of The Spotlight by a mutual acquaintance
shortly before the case was heard on appeal.
Based upon his own decades of intensive research, Lane had long been
convinced that the CIA had been instrumental in orchestrating the JFK
assassination, but he had never had a legal forum in which to conduct an
investigation of this sort.
The new trial—which took place in 1985 (some seven years after the
controversial article had first been published) gave him that opportunity.
Lane launched The Spotlight’s defense with a very different approach.
He contended that Hunt had indeed been in Dallas just prior to the
president’s murder and that he would be able to prove it. This took Hunt’s
lawyers by surprise, to say the least, but despite their efforts to derail Lane’s
new approach, they were unsuccessful.
The key witness in the second libel trial (conducted in Miami) was
Marita Lorenz, a former CIA operative who had testified before the House
Assassinations Committee in 1978, relating what information she had in
connection with the president’s assassination.
Yet, despite the inflammatory nature of what Miss Lorenz had told the
committee, her testimony was discounted by the House Committee director
274 Double Cross in Dallas? [213]
G. Robert Blakey (about whose own connections with the CIA and the
Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate we learned in Chapter 10).
Miss Lorenz, a German-born beauty, had, in fact, been the one-time
mistress of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, but she had ultimately turned on
the Cuban leader and had become involved in anti-Castro activities under the
CIA’s tutelage. Among her key contacts in the CIA during this period was
the CIA’s chief liaison with the anti-Castro Cuban operatives, E. Howard
Hunt, as well as veteran CIA contract agent Frank Sturgis who essentially
functioned as her handler. Mark Lane asked Miss Lorenz to testify in the
Hunt trial in The Spotlight’s defense, restating—again under oath—what she
had told the House Assassinations Committee and what she had told Lane
himself years previously.
HUNT & RUBY IN DALLAS
So it was that during the Hunt libel trial, Miss Lorenz testified in a
deposition that just one day prior to Kennedy’s assassination, she, along
with Sturgis and several anti-Castro Cuban exiles, met in Dallas with not
only E. Howard Hunt, but also nightclub operator Jack Ruby who later
killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the president’s alleged assassin.
According to Miss Lorenz, Hunt was the CIA paymaster for a top-secret
operation, the purpose of which she did not know. Miss Lorenz said that she
had been told by Sturgis that she was to serve as a “decoy.”
However, feeling uneasy, Miss Lorenz left Dallas on November 22 and
never participated in the operation. It was later she learned that President
Kennedy had been assassinated and that, of course Jack Ruby had killed Lee
Harvey Oswald, the president’s alleged assassin. 589
As for Hunt himself, his contradictory stories about where he was
situated both the day before the Kennedy assassination and the day of the
assassination itself were suspicious. Lane took excellent advantage of
Hunt’s sworn statements (in deposition and during the two trials, as well as
several other forums) to show those contradictions. These contradictions
alone could have spelled Hunt’s courtroom demise.
What’s more, the witnesses called in Hunt’s defense by the ex-CIA
man’s attorneys only ended up suggesting Hunt had more to hide than he
had to admit. Many of these witnesses, in fact, were an assortment of
Hunt’s former CIA colleagues, a number of whom were represented during
their testimony in deposition by CIA-dispatched lawyers.
However, it was the testimony of Marita Lorenz that convinced the
jury, once and for all, that The Spotlight (and Lane himself) had a much
more plausible story than Hunt. Thus, the stunning courtroom victory for
The Spotlight, vanquishing Hunt’s libel action.
Leslie Armstrong, a Miami resident who was jury forewoman in the
case, issued a statement in conjunction with the release of Lane’s written
account of the trial:
“Mr. Lane was asking us [the jury] to do something very difficult. He
was asking us to believe John Kennedy had been killed by our own
[214] Final Judgment 275
government. Yet when we examined the evidence closely, we were
compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.” 590
Despite this stunning conclusion, the media remained silent. Very little
about Hunt’s courtroom defeat appeared in the media, particularly the sum
and substance of Miss Lorenz’s amazing allegations. This, of course, was
real news in every sense but the media chose to ignore what had taken place
in that Miami courtroom.
Interestingly, however, as we shall see, there was yet another newspaper
report (similar in content to that of Victor Marchetti’s disputed article)
which—like Marchetti’s—suggests that there was a lot more to the story
than meets the eye.
THE ANGLETON CONNECTION
In fact, the in-house CIA memorandum linking Hunt to the JFK
assassination was the work of Israel’s ally at the CIA, James Jesus
Angleton, whose own history we examined in Chapter 8 and whom we
have met repeatedly throughout these pages.
This is not to suggest, though, that Hunt was not in Dallas on either
November 21 or November 22, 1963.
On the contrary, the evidence we are about to relate suggests that Hunt’s
presence in Dallas—for whatever purpose—was indeed linked in some
fashion to the circumstances surrounding the JFK assassination
conspiracy.
This evidence suggests, as we shall see, that it was Angleton—who
was also responsible for leaking the memo he drafted that linked Hunt to the
JFK assassination.
Before proceeding further with our exploration of Angleton’s deeds and
misdeeds, particularly in relation to Hunt, it is important to review Victor
Marchetti’s article (printed in The Spotlight on August 14, 1978) which is
published here in pertinent part:
A few months ago, in March, there was a meeting at CIA
headquarters in Langley, Va., the plush home of America’s
super spooks overlooking the Potomac River. It was attended
by several high-level clandestine officers and some former
top officials of the agency.
The topic of the discussion was: What to do about recent
revelations associating President Kennedy’s accused assassin,
Lee Harvey Oswald, with the spy game played between the
U.S. and the USSR? A decision was made, and a course o f
action determined. They were calculated to both fascinate and
confuse the public by staging a clever ‘limit ed hangout’
when the Hous e Spe c ia l Commi t t e e on As sa s s ina t ions
(HSCA) holds its open hearings, beginning later this month.
A “limit ed hangout” is spy jargon for a favorit e and
frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals.
276 Double Cross in Dallas? [215]
When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer
r e ly on a phony co v e r s to ry to mi s info rm the publ i c , they
resort to admitting—sometimes even volunteering—some o f
the t ruth whi l e s t i l l mana g ing to wi thho ld the key and
dama g ing f a c t s in the ca s e . The publ i c , howev e r , i s
usua l ly so intrigued by the new informat ion that it never
thinks t o pursue the matter further.
We will probably never f ind out who mast erminded the
assassination of JFK—or why. There are too many powerful
spe c ia l int er e st s conne ct ed with the conspiracy f or the
t ruth to come out even now, 15 years after the murder.
But during the next two months, according to sensit ive
s our c e s in the CIA and on HSCA, we a r e g o ing t o l e a rn
much more about the crime. The new disclosures will be
sensat ional, but only superf icially so. A f ew of the lesser
villains involved in the conspiracy and it s subsequent
cover-up will be identified for the first time—and allowed to
twist s l owly in the wind on l i v e ne two rk TV. Mo s t o f the
o the r s to be fingered are already dead.
But once again, the good folks of middle America will be
h o o d w i n k e d b y t h e g o v e r nme n t a n d i t s a l l i e s i n
t h e establishment news media. In fact, we are being set up
to wi tne s s y e t ano the r co v e r -up, a lbe i t a sophi s t i ca t ed
one , designed by the CIA with the assistance of the FBI and
the blessing of the Carter administration.
A c l a s s i c e x amp l e o f a l imi t e d h a n g o u t i s h ow t h e
CIA has handled and manipulated the Church Committee’s
invest igat ion [of the CIA] two years ago. The commi t t ee
learned nothing more about the assassinations of foreign
leaders, illicit drug programs, or the penet ration of the
news media than the CIA a l lowed i t to di s co v e r . And thi s
i s precisely what the CIA is out to accomplish through
HSCA with regard to JFK’s murder.
Chief among those to be exposed by the new investigation
will be E. Howard Hunt, of Watergate fame. His luck has run
out, and the CIA has decided to sacrifice him to protect its
clandest ine services. The agency is furious with Hunt for
h a v i n g d r a g g e d i t p u b l i c l y i n t o t h e Ni x o n me s s a n d f o r
having blackmailed it after he was arrested.
Besides, Hunt is vulnerable—an easy target as they say
in the spy business. His reputat ion and int egrity have been
destroyed. The death of his wife, Dorothy, in a mysterious
plane crash in Chicago still disturbs many people, especially
since there were rumors from informed sources that she
was about to leave him and perhaps even turn on him.
I n a d d i t i o n i t i s we l l k n own t h a t Hu n t h a t e d JFK
a n d blamed him for the Bay of Pigs disaster. And now, in recent
[216] Final Judgment 277
months, his alibi for his whereabout s on the day of the
shooting has come unstuck.
In the public hearings, the CIA will ‘admit’ that Hunt was
involved in the conspiracy to kill Kennedy. The CIA may go so
far as to ‘admit’ that there were three gunmen shooting at
Kennedy. The FBI, while publicly embracing the Warren
Commission’s ‘one man acting alone’ conclusion, has always
p r i v a t e l y kn own t h a t t h e r e we r e t hr e e g u nme n . Th e
conspiracy involved many more people than the ones who
actually fired at Kennedy, both agencies may now admit . . .
Now, the CIA moved to finger Hunt and t ie him to the
JFK assassination. HSCA unexpectedly received an internal
CIA memorandum a f ew weeks ago that the agency just
happened to stumble across in its old files. It was dated 1966
and said in essence: Some day we will have to explain Hunt’s
presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963—the day President
Kennedy was killed. Hunt is going to be hard put to explain
this memo, and other things, before the TV cameras at the
HSCA hearings.
Hunt’s reputation as a strident fanatical anti-communist
w i l l c o u n t a g a i n s t h im. S o w i l l h i s l o n g a n d c l o s e
relat ionship with the ant i-Cast ro Cubans, as well as his
penchant for clandestine dirty tricks and his various capers
while one of Nixon’s plumbers. E. Howard Hunt will be
implicated in the conspiracy and he will not dare to speak out—
the CIA will see to that.
[Marchetti noted, at this juncture, that Fidel Castro’s former mistress, Marita
Lorenz had alleged that Hunt was part of a CIA hit squad aiming for President
Kennedy.]
Who else will be identified as having been part of the
conspiracy and/or co ver -up remains to be seen. But a
disturbing pattern is already beginning to emerge. All the
v i llains ha ve be en prev ious ly di sg ra ced in one wa y or
another. They all have ‘right wing’ reputations. Or they will
have after the hearings.
The fact that some may have had connections with
organized crime will prove to be only incidental in the long
run. Those with provable t ies to the CIA or FBI will be
pres ent ed as renegade s who act ed on their own without
approval or knowledge of their superiors.
As for covering up the deed, that will be blamed on past
Presidents, either dead or disgraced. Thus, Carter will emerge
as a truth seeker, and the CIA and FBI will have neatly
covered their institutional behinds. 591
278 Double Cross In Dallas? [217]
Marchetti’s article is very interesting in many respects. First of all, as
noted previously, Hunt himself initially admitted that he believed that the
story had a basis in truth—that it was plausible, that indeed his former
colleagues in the CIA did consider framing him for involvement in the JFK
assassination.
The origin of the memorandum linking Hunt to the JFK assassination
is interesting as it is presented by Marchetti. He describes it as a
memorandum that “the agency just happened to stumble across in its old
files.” In other words, one might presume from Marchetti’s flippant
reference, the CIA had, instead, perhaps concocted the memo. That the
agency “just happened to stumble across” the memo at a time when public
suspicion of CIA involvement in the JFK assassination was growing is, of
course, interesting, to say the least.
If Hunt were indeed in Dallas either on the day JFK was killed—or even
the day prior—it would look suspicious. Hunt’s long-standing involvement
with anti-Castro Cubans through the aegis of his CIA activities—would
make Hunt a likely suspect were he, in fact, proved to have been in Dallas
at the critical time.
As Marchetti points out, linking Hunt to the JFK assassination would
be a cover story that the public would easily accept. The CIA, as an
institution, would absolve itself of any responsibility, having thrown Hunt
to the wolves as an independent operator out of the CIA’s control. Indeed,
the CIA could then lay claim to having “solved” the JFK assassination at
last. Hunt’s alleged involvement would also draw in a number of other false
flags—not only the anti-Castro Cubans, but also “right wingers” in general.
What’s more, considering Hunt’s involvement in Watergate (and with
Richard Nixon having left the presidency in shame), Nixon himself may
have taken some of the heat with many of the public suspecting the very
worst—that perhaps Nixon might have had a hand in arranging the JFK
assassination.
Not only had Nixon been involved in the earliest high-level anti-Castro
planning, alongside Hunt and the CIA, but Nixon himself had been
vanquished in the 1960 presidential campaign by Kennedy. That one of
Nixon’s Watergate burglars was being implicated in the JFK assassination
would do no service to Nixon’s already tarnished image.
Marchetti also pointed out that “The fact that some [of Hunt’s to-bealleged
co-conspirators] may have had connections with organized crime will
prove to be only incidental in the long run.”
This “limited hangout” by the CIA would have, as a consequence,
covered up the role of the Israeli-linked Meyer Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate. To delve too deeply into the real origins and linkage of the crime
network would have dragged the Israeli connection into the open—if pursued
to its logical conclusion.
Now, obviously, the scenario presented in Marchetti’s article—the
framing of Hunt by the CIA—never, in fact, took place. That it had a basis
in truth—that Hunt was being pondered as a “fall guy”—however, seems
apparent.
[218] Final Judgment 279
This is supported by the fact that a similar article, based on relatively the
same fact situation, appeared during the same period in another newspaper.
While the claims made in the second article are somewhat different than those
which appeared in Marchetti’s article, it is clear that the similarities, in general,
are what are most significant.
The article appeared in the Wilmington, Delaware Sunday News Journal
on August 20, 1978. The authors were Joe Trento and Jacquie Powers. The article
reads [in pertinent part] as follows:
WASHINGTON—A secret CIA memorandum says that E.
Howard Hunt wa s in Da l la s the day Pre s ident John F.
Kennedy was murdered and that top agency officials plotted
to cover up Hunt’s presence there.
Some CIA sources speculate that Hunt thought he was
assigned by higher-ups to arrange the murder of Lee Harvey
Oswald.
Sources say Hunt, convicted in the Watergate conspiracy
in 1974, was act ing chief of the CIA stat ion in Mexico City
in the weeks prior to the Kennedy assassination. Oswald was
in Mexico City, and met with two Soviet KGB agents at the
Russian Embassy there immediately before leaving for
Dallas, according to the official Warren Commission report.
The 1966 secret memo, now in the hands of the House
assassinat ion commit t ee, places Hunt in Dallas Nov. 22,
1963.
Richard M. Helms, former CIA director, and James J.
Angleton, former count erintelligence chief , init ialed the
memo according to investigators who made the information
available to the Sunday News Journal.
According to sources close to the Select Committee on
Assassinations, the document reveals:
• Three years after Kennedy’s murder, and shortly after
Helms and Angleton were elevated to their highest positions
in the CIA, they discussed the fact that Hunt was in Dallas
on the day of the assassination and that his presence there
had to be kept secret.
• Helms and Angleton thought that news of Hunt’s
presence in Dallas would be damaging to the agency should it
leak out.
• Helms and Angleton felt that a cover story, giving Hunt
an alibi for being elsewhere the day of the assassination
“ought to be considered.” . . .
. . . Helms could not be reached for comment. A secretary
said that he was out of town and would not be available.
When Angleton was questioned by committee staffers, he was
280 Double Cross in Dallas? [219]
“evasive,” according to a source who was present.
Angleton could not be reached for comment.
Asked t o e xpla in why a po t ent ia l l y dama g ing co v e r –
up plot would be put out on paper, one high-level CIA
source said, “The memo is very odd. It was almo st as if
Angleton wa s info rming He lms , who had jus t be come
di r e c t o r , tha t there was a skeleton in the family closet that
had to be taken care of and this was his response.”
One commi t t e e sour c e sa y s the memo “shows the CIA
involvement in the Kennedy case could run into the CIA
hierarchy. We are trying not to get ahead of ourselves but
the mind boggles.” . . .
. . . Hunt ‘s appearance on the scene in Dallas and
Mexico Ci t y a t the t ime o f the mu r de r ad ds s t r e ng th t o
a the o r y shared by some int ernal CIA inve st igators. They
believe Oswa ld wa s wo rking fo r U.S. int e l l ig enc e , tha t he
wa s ordered to infiltrate the KGB, and that this explains his life
in Russ ia. They al so believe that Oswald proved to be
so unstable that he was “handled” by the KGB into
becoming a triple agent, and assigned for the Dallas job.
The same invest igators theorize that Hunt was in Dallas
that day on the o rde r s o f a high- l eve l CIA o f f i cial who in
reality was a KGB mole. Hunt allegedly thought he was t o
a r rang e tha t Oswa ld be murde r ed be caus e he had turned
traitor. Actually he was to kill Oswald to prevent him from
ever testifying and revealing the Russians had ordered him t
o kill Kennedy, the CIA sources speculate.
CIA investigators are most concerned that either Helms or
Angleton might be that mole.
Hunt first detailed the existence of a small CIA
assassination team in an interview with the New York Times while
in prison in December 1975 for his role in Watergate. The
a s sa s s ina t ion squad, a l l eg edly headed by Co l . Bo r i s Pash,
was ordered to eliminate suspected double agent s and lowranking
officials.
Pash’s assassination unit was assigned to Angleton, other
CIA sources say . . . It was also learned from CIA and committee
sources that during the time that the Warren Commission was
investigating the Kennedy assassination, A n g l e t o n me t
r e g u l a r l y w i t h a me mb e r o f t h e commission—the late
Allen Dulles, then head of the CIA and Angleton’s boss.
Dulles, on a weekly basis, briefed Angleton about the
direction of the investigation. Angleton, according to sources,
in turn briefed Raymond Rocca, his closest aide and the CIA’s
official liaison with the commission. 592
[220] Final Judgment 281
This article is interesting in many ways. First of all, one of the coauthors,
Joseph Trento, admitted under oath during the E. Howard Hunt-
Spotlight libel trial that he had actually seen the controversial memo in
question. Trento also noted that he knew James Jesus Angleton of the CIA
and had utilized him as a source on occasion.
In fact, we know, as a consequence of the Hunt libel case against The
Spotlight that intelligence writer, William R. Corson—a longtime
Angleton asset in the media—was actually the immediate source of both the
Marchetti and Trento stories. Corson was obviously working as Angleton’s
“cutout” passing on the information that appeared in the two stories.
(And it’s probably no accident that one of Corson’s associates, in later
years before Corson died, engaged in a longtime and determined covert effort
to undermine the distribution of Final Judgment and to personally destroy
this writer, but to also undermine Mark Lane, whose courtroom victory over
Hunt [and effectively over Angleton and Corson] left the intelligence
community reeling. But that’s another story for another time—but
significant still indeed.)
That Angleton was the author of the memo addressed to his CIA
superior (and longtime patron) Richard Helms is also of interest, considering
Angleton’s close working relationship with Israel’s Mossad (documented in
Chapter 8).
While the Trento story claims that the CIA memo was ostensibly
drafted in 1966, the actual date the memo first appeared is subject, of course,
to question, as is the actual intent of the memo itself. The article itself
notes that a “high-level CIA source” considered the memo to be “very odd”
in that it recorded—in writing—the alleged presence in Dallas of longtime
CIA operative, Hunt, at the time of JFK’s murder.
The evidence suggests that the reason why Angleton’s memo was put
on paper—and then subsequently released—was that Angleton wanted the
story to be leaked to the press—as part of a continuing cover-up of the real
origins of the JFK assassination. Hunt—a lower level CIA operative
(already tarnished by Watergate)—was being hung out to dry and the real
conspirators at the top were washing their hands of the matter.
WAS THE MEMO LEAKED DELIBERATELY?
Did Angleton and Helms really worry, as the article suggests, that the
agency would be damaged by the revelations, or did they, instead, arrange for
the memo to be leaked so that there would be, as Victor Marchetti’s
aforementioned article suggested, a “limited hangout” which would absolve
the CIA as an institution of any involvement in the crime?
Joe Trento has subsequently revealed that Angleton did in fact leak the
memo to the House Assassinations Committee. However, according to
Trento, ”It was all handled in such a way that Angleton was not the
source.”593
282 Double Cross in Dallas? [221]
That the Trento article suggests that Hunt was in fact in Dallas and that
he was there on an assignment involving Lee Harvey Oswald is significant
as well.
WAS HUNT ORDERED TO DALLAS?
Could it be that Hunt had somehow been manipulated into involvement
in the JFK assassination conspiracy, not knowing that there were bigger and
more insidious things going on in the strange world of Lee Harvey Oswald?
Was Hunt indeed sent to Dallas on a CIA-sponsored pretext,
orchestrated by one of his superiors—namely James Jesus Angleton—only
to discover, after the fact, that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was in
the works?
According to Trento, Angleton told him that Hunt had been sent to
Dallas by a high-level Soviet KGB mole working in the CIA. However,
says Trento, “I later came to conclude that the mole-sent-Hunt idea was, to
use his phrase, disinformation; that Angleton was trying to protect his own
connections to Hunt’s being in Dallas . . . My guess is, it was Angleton
himself who sent Hunt to Dallas, because he didn’t want to use anybody
from his own shop.”594
All of this is interesting, to say the least, and pinpoints Angleton as a
key player in the events linking the CIA and Hunt to Dallas. Yet, as we
shall see, there is much more to the story of the role played by the CIA’s
Mossad ally James J. Angleton in the JFK assassination and cover-up.
In fact, Angleton had a hand in the very part of the assassination
conspiracy that involved the frame-up of Lee Harvey Oswald as a “pro-
Castro agitator” guilty of associating with the Soviet KGB.
THE CIA & THE MEXICO CITY SCENARIO
The Trento article accepts, as its basis, the story that Lee Harvey
Oswald had been in Mexico City meeting with the Soviets and the Castro
Cubans.
However, as Mark Lane demonstrated in Plausible Denial, the story that
Oswald had been in Mexico City meeting with the communists was an
outright fraud—a concoction of the CIA itself.
Lane summarized the situation: “At the outset it should be understood
that almost all of the information regarding Oswald’s alleged visit to
Mexico and his contact with the Soviets and Cubans while there had been
fabricated by the Central Intelligence Agency. In its report, the [Warren]
commission cited the CIA as the primary source for the Mexico City
scenario, declining to seek independent corroboration for the CIA’s version
of events.
“Nevertheless, the Mexico City scenario constitutes the conventional
wisdom as promulgated by the CIA and accepted by the Warren
Commission. It remains an article of faith for those who subsequently
endorsed theWarren Report, including journalists and official investigating
[222] Final Judgment 283
committees. One of the central tenets of the lone assassin theory is Lee
Harvey Oswald’s presence in Mexico City.
“Soon after the commission was created, the CIA informed Earl Warren
that Oswald had been in Mexico from September 26 to October 3, 1963 and
that he had spent most of that time in Mexico City.
“According to the CIA, Oswald had visited the Cuban Embassy in
Mexico City on September 27 and the Soviet Embassy on October 1. Proof
that Oswald had been in the Cuban Embassy, the CIA reported, came from
Senora Silvia Duran, a Mexican employed at the Cuban Embassy. Proof
that Oswald had been to the Soviet Embassy, the CIA claimed, came from
the observations of its own agents.”595
OSWALD AND THE KGB?
The CIA told the Warren Commission that Oswald had met with a
Soviet KGB officer named Valeriy Kostikov who was a specialist in
assassination and sabotage; that Kostikov was in charge of Sovietorchestrated
assassinations in the United States. Clearly, the CIA’s
implication was that Oswald had been meeting with the KGB officer to plan
JFK’s murder.
However, even the Warren Commission was suspicious and asked for
evidence of Oswald’s activities in Mexico City. Some four months went by
before the CIA could provide anything other than the testimony of the
aforementioned Miss Duran.
Yet, as the evidence shows, Miss Duran only identified Oswald as a
visitor to the Cuban Embassy after she had been arrested by the Mexican
police at the direction (unknown to her) of the CIA. She was forced into
making the statement that the CIA wanted: that Oswald had been to the
Cuban Embassy.
After she was released from custody, she spoke out about her experience
and the CIA cabled the Mexican police to re-arrest the young lady, but
cautioned the police to make sure that Miss Duran knew nothing about the
CIA’s involvement in her imbroglio.
Finally, under pressure to provide further corroboration of Oswald’s
activities, the CIA managed to come up with recordings of a telephone
conversation between someone alleged to be Lee Harvey Oswald and
someone at the Soviet Embassy.
However, even the FBI, having reviewed the recording, concluded that
its agents were of the opinion, that it “was NOT Lee Harvey Oswald.”596
Despite this provocative conclusion, the FBI report never reached the
Warren Commission. Warren and company had only to rely upon the reports
from the CIA. (The FBI report only became public some years later when
Mark Lane obtained it through the Freedom of Information Act.)
In 1977 David Atlee Phillips, former head of the Western Hemisphere
for the CIA, admitted publicly that Oswald had not been to the Soviet
Embassy in Mexico City.
284 Double Cross in Dallas? [223]
Phillips, if anybody, should have known inasmuch as he had been CIA
station chief in Mexico City at the time of Oswald’s alleged visit.
(There have been allegations also, incidentally, that Oswald may have
been spotted in Dallas with a CIA operative known as “Maurice Bishop”
whom many believe, in fact, was Phillips.)
In a rather fierce debate with Mark Lane at the University of Southern
California, a somewhat distressed Phillips confessed: “I am not in a position
today to talk to you about the inner workings of the CIA station in Mexico
City . . . but I will tell you this, that when the record comes out, we will
find that there . . . is no evidence to show that Lee Harvey Oswald visited
the Soviet Embassy.”597
WARREN ‘HELD HOSTAGE’
According to Mark Lane: The magnitude of this CIA misconduct can
be fully understood only when its conspiracy to cover up is traced to its
origin. For the CIA charade, which evidently included employing an
imposter for Oswald, began no later than October 1, 1963.
“One month and twenty-two days before President Kennedy was
assassinated, the CIA had set into motion a series of events apparently
designed to prevent any American institution from ever daring to learn the
truth about the assassination, an assassination that had not yet taken place.
“More than seven weeks before President Kennedy was murdered, the
CIA was dramatically and falsely establishing a link between Lee Harvey
Oswald and a Soviet diplomat, whom the CIA would later designate as the
KGB authority on assassinations in the United States.” 598
As a consequence, the Warren Commission, confronted by the CIA
with what appeared to be possible Soviet involvement in the Kennedy
assassination, moved to suppress what it mistakenly believed to be “the
truth.”
The fate of the world was in the hands of Chief Justice Earl Warren and
his fellow commission members. If the public learned that Oswald was a
pawn of the Soviets, a nuclear war could break out. As Mark Lane
commented, Warren was “held hostage”599 by the CIA’s provocative lie.
During his debate with David Atlee Phillips, Mark Lane exposed all of
this before the audience. When confronted and following his confession that
Oswald had not been at the Soviet Embassy, Phillips suggested essentially
that he didn’t want either the CIA or himself to be held responsible for “some
CIA guy that I never saw [who] did something that I never heard of.” 600
Now while Phillips was being disingenuous at best, the fact is that it
was indeed someone whom he certainly knew who was behind the Mexico
City scenario. It was none other than his CIA colleague, James J. Angleton.
ANGLETON &MEXICO CITY
[224] Final Judgment 285
Assassination researcher Bernard Fensterwald reported in 1977 that,
“Angleton had handled several controversial CIA matters relating to the
assassination, such as the mysterious series of CIA photographs taken in
Mexico City in September and October, 1963, in which a man identified by
the CIA as Lee Harvey Oswald turned out not to be Oswald at all.” 601
What’s more, as pointed out by Peter Dale Scott, a report by the House
Assassinations Committee “established that, on the death of Win Scott, the
by-then retired Mexico City station chief who had sent out the Kostikov
cable, CIA counterintelligence chief Angleton flew immediately to Mexico
City, retrieved a photograph of ‘Oswald’ from the family safe, and destroyed
it . . . .” 602
What is particularly interesting, in light of all that we have seen in
relation to Angleton’s ties to the Mossad, Scott adds further: “Angleton may
have undertaken this mission on behalf of the agency. Another possibility is
that he undertook it on behalf of a cabal within the government who had
conspired to create the `Oswald’-Kostikov story.” 603
The Mexico City-Oswald scenario was clearly part of the groundwork for
the ultimate framing of Lee Harvey Oswald as a communist sympathizer—
perhaps even a KGB operative—who had killed the American president.
And in light of the mysterious appearance of the “Dear Mr. Hunt” letter
(ostensibly from Lee Harvey Oswald) mailed from Mexico City, we can
only speculate as to whether Angleton himself may have been the
mastermind behind the leak of that hitherto unknown document as well.
Was the “Dear Mr. Hunt” letter also part of Angleton’s tangled web of
intrigue?
It was Angleton who was so determined to bury any evidence that
proved that Oswald was not, in fact, a KGB operative (as we have already
seen in Chapter 8.)
It was Angleton who most vociferously accused Soviet defector Yuri
Nosenko of being a KGB plant. Nosenko had come to the United States
following the JFK assassination and claimed insistently that Oswald had not
worked for the Soviet KGB, that the KGB had vetoed any idea of attempting
to recruit Oswald after the young American had “defected” to the USSR
(whether Oswald’s “defection” was genuine or not).
The story told by Nosenko disproved Angleton’s thesis entirely—which
perhaps explains why Angleton dealt so harshly with Nosenko. That
Trento’s story—leaking the Angleton memo on Hunt—would incorporate a
major portion of Angleton’s JFK cover story is interesting, to say the least.
WHAT MOTIVATED ANGLETON?
Pointing toward the intra-CIA turmoil which, in fact, had resulted in
Angleton’s ouster from the CIA, is the interesting suggestion in Trento’s
story that sources within the CIA had suggested that Angleton was
suspected by some of being a KGB mole.
286 Double Cross in Dallas? [225]
This, of course, is part of the great irony of Angleton’s complex life in
that it was Angleton who was the prime mover behind long-term internal
CIA inquiries into possible infiltration of the agency at the highest levels.
However, Angleton’s fiercest critics, as we have seen, have suggested
that Angleton was indeed a mole—but not for the Soviets; that instead,
Angleton was a full-fledged co-opted agent for Israel.
In the context in which we have examined Angleton’s role in the CIA,
working for—Israel and its Mossad, this appears to be the real driving force
behind Angleton’s dealings insofar as the JFK assassination was concerned.
That Trento’s story notes Angleton’s interest in the Warren
Commission investigation only displays part of the picture, however. JFK
assassination investigator Bernard Fensterwald detailed how very much
interested Angleton was in the JFK assassination.
“The extent of Angleton’s involvement in the CIA’s end of the
assassination investigation first became underscored in 1974, when Senator
Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) released some information that he had originally
secured while serving on the Senate Watergate Committee.
“Senator Baker disclosed that he had come across at least two CIA
`dossiers’ indicating that the Agency may have been involved in domestic
affairs. He disclosed that one of these CIA files, on Warren Commission
critic Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., contained copies of several high-level internal
CIA memos which clearly showed that James Angleton was the key CIA
official in dealing with matters related to the Kennedy assassination.
“In a memo dated January 13, 1969 to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover,
Angleton noted that Fensterwald was setting up a Washington-based
Committee to Investigate Assassinations. In this confidential memo,
Angleton . . . went on to request that Hoover run some kind of vaguely
defined identification check on Fensterwald and three other Warren
Commission critics associated with him. In June, 1976, new information
became available regarding Angleton’s key role in dealing with the Warren
Commission investigation.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee reported that at a meeting in late
December of 1963, Angleton had requested that he be allowed to take over
CIA responsibility for dealing with the Warren Commission probe.
“The Senate Committee’s Final Report noted that, ‘Angleton suggested
that his own Counterintelligence Division take over the investigation and
[Richard] Helms acceded to this suggestion.’ Thereafter, Angleton’s staff
became responsible for all CIA dealings with the Commission.” 604
So it was that Israel’s chief advocate at the CIA became that agency’s
number one in-house handler for JFK assassination investigation—some
would call it a “cover-up”—during the Warren Commission’s controversial
inquiry into the president’s murder.
What’s more, Angleton’s close friend (and FBI source), William
Sullivan, number three man at the FBI, was detailed as the FBI’s liaison
with the Warren Commission.
(In Chapter 17 we shall learn more about how another prominent friend
of Israel helped shape Chief Justice Earl Warren’s views about the JFK
[226] Final Judgment 287
assassination—pointing the finger, like Angleton, in the direction of the
communists.”)
THE MURDERED MISTRESS
Angleton’s interest in the affairs of John F. Kennedy were evidently
broad-ranging. For example, The Washington Post reported on February 23,
1976 that after Washington socialite Mary Pinchot Meyer was shot to death
(in what was said to be a robbery) on October 12, 1964, it was Angleton
who obtained Mrs. Meyer’s diary and destroyed it at CIA headquarters.
Mrs. Meyer, in fact, had been a longtime lover of President Kennedy’s—
one of many, apparently, and her diary contained much information about
her relationship with the president. It was her sister, Toni Bradlee, wife of
Post editor Ben Bradlee (himself a reported former CIA asset) who provided
Angleton Mrs. Meyer’s diary for his disposal. 605
What the diary contained is anyone’s guess, but it does suggest that
Angleton was very much involved in intrigue involving the late president.
There have been those who have speculated that the diary may have
contained secrets about the CIA-Organized Crime plots to assassinate Castro
that JFK may have told Mrs. Meyer about. However, of course, it is just as
easy to speculate that perhaps the diary also contained Mrs. Meyer’s written
memories of President Kennedy’s musings about his most unpleasant
relationship with the state of Israel.
Angleton’s own relationship with Hunt is also quite mysterious to say
the least. If indeed Angleton did sign off on a 1966 memo pinpointing
Hunt as having been in Dallas, the CIA’s shadowy counterintelligence chief
seemed to have forgotten by 1972 at the time of the Watergate break-in.
WHAT DID HE KNOW AND WHEN DID HE KNOW IT?
According to investigative reporter Jim Hougan, Angleton, on June 19,
1972 denied ever having seen Hunt, following revelations that Hunt had
been involved in the Watergate burglary. Hougan quotes Angleton as having
said, “I’d never seen [Hunt] before in my life.” 606
This suggests that Angleton was proclaiming ignorance of Hunt’s
existence, although this, of course, is highly unlikely, especially since we
now know of the existence of the memo from Angleton which was
evidently drafted in 1966—six years before the Watergate affair.
Or, logically, we could also suggest that the memorandum itself was
not, in fact, drafted in 1966 as we have been told. It could, instead, have
been drafted at a much later time and then given the earlier date.
What’s more, of course, Angleton was knee-deep in the Bay of Pigs
invasion planning and it is inconceivable that he would not be aware of the
existence of Hunt, the chief political liaison to the anti-Castro Cuban exiles
involved in that operation.
Whichever the case, it strongly suggests that there was a lot more to
the Angleton-Hunt relationship than meets the eye.
288 Double Cross in Dallas? [227]
ANGLETON, HUNT & THE JFK ASSASSINATION
What we can glean from all of that which we have considered thus far is
this: • That it was James Jesus Angleton, Israel’s ally at the CIA, who was
particularly interested—from the very beginning—in overseeing any
investigation of the CIA’s links to the JFK assassination.
• That Angleton’s interest in the furor over the JFK assassination was
long-standing and continued well into the years beyond the Warren
Commission investigation.
• That Hunt was, in some way, connected to events linked to the
assassination and that he was, in fact, in Dallas—if not on the day of the
murder, at least one day prior.
• That when public attention began focusing on the CIA’s presumed
complicity in the president’s murder (during the period of the House Select
Committee on Assassinations investigation), a memo (written by Angleton
and linking Hunt to the JFK murder) was leaked by Angleton to the House
Assassinations Committee.
• That Angleton’s relationship with Hunt was murky, to say the least,
and subject to some suspicion.
• That Victor Marchetti’s disputed article (subject of E. Howard Hunt’s
libel suit) was acknowledged by Hunt himself to have some apparent
plausibility.
• That despite his admission that Marchetti’s article might have a basis
in truth, Hunt did not choose to challenge his former colleagues in the CIA
who may have been intent on implicating him in the assassination
conspiracy.
• That Joe Trento’s similar article shed unusual light on internal CIA
intrigue involving Lee Harvey Oswald, E. Howard Hunt and the
circumstances surrounding the JFK assassination.
• That Hunt insisted that he was not guilty of complicity in the
president’s murder and chose to use a libel suit against The Spotlight to
prove his innocence, however unsuccessful he may have been.
• That when Hunt prepared his case against The Spotlight he turned to
the CIA for help, which kindly supplied no less than Newton Miler,
Angleton’s longtime deputy, generally characterized as an “Angleton
loyalist,”607 as the chief witness called in Hunt’s defense.608
This final point is interesting, especially in light of Hunt’s initial
suspicion that the CIA intended to frame him as he admitted in testimony.
Could it be that somehow Hunt and his CIA colleagues reached a
private accord following the publication of The Spotlight article by Victor
Marchetti—the publication of which, in effect, frustrated the until-then
secret, internal CIA plot against Hunt?
Could it be that both Hunt and the CIA determined that, whatever really
happened in Dallas involving Hunt, Oswald and any other CIA-connected
figures, was better left alone?
[228] Final Judgment 289
We can only speculate as to the motivation of Hunt and the CIA in this
regard. What we do know, however, is that it was Israel’s friend at the CIA,
the enigmatic James Jesus Angleton, who was the prime mover behind the
memorandum that would have been used to frame Hunt for involvement in
the assassination.
Was Angleton simply looking out for the interests of the CIA? Or was
he also looking out for his own interests? And if so, what were those
interests? What did Angleton know about the JFK assassination?
Angleton sent E. Howard Hunt to Dallas just prior to the assassination.
What was Angleton’s purpose in doing so?
And why was Angleton involved in the sensitive, top-secret CIA
Mexico City intrigue which took place over a month prior to the JFK
assassination, linking Lee Harvey Oswald to the Soviets and Castro’s Cuba?
Angleton’s link to Israel and its Mossad is the key to understanding
Angleton’s unusual behavior that we have outlined.
The Mossad loyalist, James J. Angleton, was the central player in the
intrigue between the CIA and the Mossad in the JFK assassination.
Never-before-published information that we will be reviewing later in
this chapter confirms our contention that Angleton was indeed the primary
high-level CIA collaborator in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
Angleton was the CIA figure involved with the Mossad—if not in the
actual planning of the JFK assassination itself—then certainly in key
aspects of the subsequent cover-up. E. Howard Hunt, indeed, may have been
Angleton’s fall guy—another patsy—from the beginning.
HUNT’S SILENCE
What role did E. Howard Hunt play in Angleton’s game of intrigue?
Hunt himself is not saying. He has, instead, chosen to deny any
responsibility or involvement—for whatever reasons—and bitterly contests
any suggestions of his connection to the events in Dallas.
Perhaps he does so for several reasons. One reason may be that Hunt—
like many of his colleagues in the CIA—did not necessarily regret the
assassination of JFK. Hunt was bitter toward Kennedy for the president’s moves
against the CIA and Hunt himself probably felt then (as perhaps he does
today) that Kennedy was getting a taste of his own medicine.
What’s more—and perhaps most importantly, in a personal sense for
Hunt—the ex-CIA man cannot fail to note that many of the key JFK
assassination witnesses over the years have met early—and violent—deaths.
And like all people Hunt wants to live.
Whatever Hunt does know, we will probably never find out—and Hunt
intends to keep it that way.
In the February 1, 1992 edition of his newsletter, New American View,
a monthly critique of the Israeli lobby and its power in America, Marchetti
recently commented on the renewed furor over the JFK assassination.
Marchetti’s words speak for themselves:
290 Double Cross in Dallas? [229]
“As for my personal views on the CIA’s involvement in JFK’s
assassination, I do not (repeat do not) believe that the CIA had anything to
do with the young president’s murder.
“But it was and still is involved with the government’s cover-up of the
conspiracy . . .
“Finally, E. Howard Hunt had nothing to do with JFK’s assassination.
Hunt was in Dallas that day by accident. He was working on another case.
But his presence there was an embarrassment to the CIA and a potential
threat to the government’s cover-up of the conspiracy.” 609
Marchetti’s earlier controversial article in The Spotlight, as we have
pointed out, never suggested that Hunt had actually been in Dallas or that he
played a part in the assassination—only that the CIA was considering the
option of framing Hunt for the president’s murder.
And, as we have seen, it was Israel’s contact at the CIA, James J.
Angleton who was behind the impending operation against Hunt. However,
Marchetti’s final comment about Hunt’s possible appearance in Dallas is
interesting, particularly in light of what we are about to consider.
WAS HUNT A FALL GUY?
There is evidence that Hunt, in fact, may have been inadvertently caught
up in intrigue involving the JFK assassination conspiracy—intrigue beyond
his own control. There have been suggestions that perhaps Hunt was not
actively involved in a genuine assassination plot against Kennedy—as
indeed as suggested in Trento’s aforementioned article—and that he was in
Dallas for another purpose entirely.
Our source for this little-known information is Gary Wean, formerly of
the Los Angeles Police Department’s criminal intelligence squad. It was in
Chapter 13 that we first became acquainted with Wean who detailed his own
dealings and surveillance of Meyer Lansky’s Hollywood henchman, Mickey
Cohen.
(Wean, it will be recalled, learned that Cohen, along with his Israeli
contact, Menachem Begin, later prime minister of Israel, was especially
concerned with JFK’s Middle East policy and that, in fact, Cohen was using
JFK’s mistress, actress Marilyn Monroe, as a conduit in an attempt to learn
the president’s intentions toward Israel.)
THE COP, THE MOVIE STAR & THE SHERIFF
It was shortly after the JFK assassination that Wean stumbled upon
information relating to the president’s murder—information that sheds new—
and interesting—light on how E. Howard Hunt may have come to be implicated
in the crime of the century.
According to Wean, it was just several weeks after the president’s
murder that he (Wean) happened to become acquainted with Dallas Sheriff
Bill Decker through their mutual friend, Audie Murphy, the ex-war heroturned-
film star. Decker was visiting in Los Angeles and the three men got
[230] Final Judgment 291
together along with another friend of Wean’s and the talk turned to the JFK
assassination.
(Decker, it might be noted, appears to be one Dallas law enforcement
official who is definitely in the clear as far as any involvement in the
assassination is concerned. It was Decker, in fact, who had ordered his men
to investigate the railroad yard behind the picket fence on the grassy knoll
from where shots at the president’s motorcade appeared to have
originated.610 Were Decker a co-conspirator he certainly would not have
assisted in the capture of the president’s assassins.)
Decker told Wean that he was certain that Lee Harvey Oswald was
innocent of the president’s murder. The three gentlemen, all of whom were
familiar with firearms, didn’t believe that Oswald could have carried out the
crime with the weapon he was alleged to have used.
`A TERRIBLE DOUBLE CROSS SOMEWHERE’
However, Wean reports that Sheriff Decker proceeded to elaborate
further, saying, “I have another reason, much stronger, for knowing Oswald
never shot JFK. There’s a man in Dallas I’ve known a longtime. He knows
the entire truth about Oswald’s involvement.
“He’s scared to death to go to the Dallas P.D. or FBI. There has been a
terrible double cross somewhere and everybody is scared shitless of
everybody else. You wouldn’t believe the crazy suspicions and accusations
heaped on all law enforcement in the south by the imbeciles in D.C. and the
chaos it has created.”
“There was no conspiracy in my sheriff’s department involving the
assassination nor in the Dallas P.D. I’ve known all these people too long. I
would have known it. Believe me, something as ‘crazy’ as this I’d feel it in
my bones.” 611
Wean remembered this conversation and later, during a trip to Ruidoso,
New Mexico in the company of Audie Murphy, Wean was introduced to
Decker’s source from Dallas, whomWean says was named “John.”
According to Wean’s source, CIA man E. Howard Hunt was indeed
involved with Lee Harvey Oswald—but not in planning the president’s
assassination. Wean reports that John told him that Hunt had something
else in mind altogether.
Essentially, according to Wean’s source, Hunt—like other leaders in the
anti-Castro movement—was becoming frustrated with the Kennedy’
administration’s moves to achieve at least an informal detente with Castro.
Hunt, of course, had devoted much energy to the drive to undermine Castro
and now all of his work was being undone.
Wean quoted his source as describing what happened: “Hunt’s festering
frustration conceived what’s become the most bizarre political assassination
intrigue of all time. His scheme was to inflame American people against
Castro and stirring patriotism to a boiling point not felt since Pearl Harbor.
Enraged Americans would demand that our military invade Cuba wiping out
292 Double Cross in Dallas? [231]
the two-bit dictator for his barbarous attempt to ‘assassinate’ President
Kennedy.” 612
FOOTPRINTS TO CASTRO’S DOORSTEP
“There was to be an attempt on the life of President Kennedy so
`realistic’ that it’s failure would be looked upon as nothing less than a
miracle. Footprints would lead right to Castro’s doorstep, a trail that the
rankest amateur could not lose. Unfortunately for Oswald he fit the bill
perfect for Hunt’s operation.” 613
“At first Hunt did not tell Oswald what his exact mission was, except it
was of the highest National Security priority . . . It was only two months
before the ‘fake assassination’ when Hunt gave Oswald the rifle, explaining
his part in the plan. Oswald was to fire three shots from his rifle ‘in the air.’
He was to abandon it and empty cartridges at the scene and quickly leave the
building for a rendezvous with agents who’d transport him to a secret
destination.” He’d remain in hiding until after Cuba was invaded by the U.S.
A fake trail to Mexico City ending at the Cuban Embassy would lead
investigators to think he’d fled to Cuba, the belief that ‘Castro planned the
assassination’ of President Kennedy [which failed] and [that] the
[attempted] ‘assassin’ was being harbored under [Castro’s] protection in
Cuba would stir the Americans to a feverish pitch of anger . . .” 614
According to Wean’s source, Hunt told Oswald that President Kennedy
himself was not aware of the plan, but high-ranking cabinet officers were in
on the deal. Oswald would be free to come back and live as a free man after
Castro was dealt with. 615
Wean was also told that the famous “attempted assassination” of
General Edwin Walker, the outspoken anti-Castro leader in Dallas, was also
part of the plan to establish a pattern of violent activity by a suspected “pro-
Castro activist.” 616
However, Wean reports, John told him that in the course of the
planning for the fraudulent assassination attempt, something went wrong—
there was interference from outside—from a power beyond E. Howard
Hunt’s immediate influence.
John noted: “Of course, all covert operations have inherent dangers and
are subject to break-downs. By my God, this was no break-down or neglect
of performance, or even bad luck.What happened is incomprehensible. ” 617
In short, according to the source in Dallas, Hunt’s plan backfired. Shots
were actually fired at JFK’s motorcade and the president was indeed killed.
However, John did not believe that the blame lay at the hands of either the
Mafia or the anti-Castro Cubans. He believed that another force had
intervened.
“It can’t be that the Mafia or Cuban exiles [did] it,” noted John. “They
had no motive, as they’d already been given inside tips an operation was
underway that would return them to Cuba. It would have been totally stupid for
them to interfere . . .
[232] Final Judgment 293
According to John: “Only a few of Hunt’s most trusted men knew all of
his plans down to the last detail. It is impossible to believe any of them is a
traitor. Still it’s clear, whoever shot Kennedy had to know all these minute
details to pull it off the way they did. Something frightening, horribly
sinister had interposed Hunt’s mission.”618
Wean and Audie Murphy listened in shock at what they had been told
and, at the time, John gave Murphy a packet of what he described as
evidence which backed up his story. However, it was just several days later
that John asked that they forget what they had been told.
According to Wean, Murphy informed him that he had been advised
from Dallas that “Hunt and his agents have regrouped from their horrified
panic and sprung back into action. Hunt’s machinations and connection with
Oswald had to be covered up at all costs.” According to Murphy, military
intelligence, the FBI and the CIA were all in a panic.
“If their secrets were to be exposed they’d be rooted out in an eruption
of calamitous national anger. In their nightmares all they can see is a firing
squad. In fact they have solemnly determined that national security is at
stake. That’s their justification for a cover-up.” 619
To assuage the fears of John in Dallas, he assured John that the
documents he had received from him had been destroyed.
Murphy himself may well be one other on the long list of additional
victims of the JFK assassination conspiracy. The actor died in a plane crash
in 1971. Gary Wean, however, has lived to tell the story of what he was
told.Quite accurately, Wean himself has described how Hunt and Oswald
both must have reacted if the story that John told Wean and Murphy was
indeed true.
`A DOUBLE CROSS OF FANTASTIC DIMENSIONS’?
According to Wean’s assessment of what may have then happened,
“Hunt and Oswald salvaging their senses from the paralyzing shock of
Kennedy being murdered most certainly had identical thoughts: ‘I have been
framed.’
“A double-cross of fantastic dimensions. The consequences were too
devastating, and terrifying to grasp. It was the end for them. Regardless of
Hunt’s convictions that his closest men were beyond suspicion, one of them
was a spy—a mole in deep, deep cover.” 620
It is up to E. Howard Hunt to provide us the missing pieces of the
puzzle. It does not seem likely that he will.
JOHN’S IDENTITY?
There is additional documentation about the activities of an individual
named “John” who was active in the Dallas area and in Miami (Hunt’s base
of operations with the anti-Castro Cuban exiles) immediately before and after
the JFK assassination.
294 Double Cross in Dallas? [233]
In his book Conspiracy, Anthony Summers describes one John Martino
who was known to have connections to both the Mafia, Meyer Lansky’s
lieutenant, Santo Trafficante, Jr., in particular, and the Central Intelligence
Agency. In fact, Martino admitted in 1975 that he had been a CIA contract
agent and that he had inside knowledge about the circumstances surrounding the
JFK assassination.
Summers quotes Martino as having said, “The anti-Castro people put
Oswald together. Oswald didn’t know who he was working for—he was just
ignorant of who was really putting him together.” 621
After Martino died in 1978, Summers notes, his widow claimed that
“the Company” (i.e. the CIA) picked up his body to determine the cause of
death, which was established to have been a heart attack. 622
Martino and film star Audie Murphy unquestionably had at least one
connection, indirect, at the least, that can be documented.
Murphy was employed for a period during the mid-1960s by New
Orleans businessman, D’Alton Smith.623 Smith was an intimate personal
associate of Meyer Lansky’s Louisiana front man, Carlos Marcello.
The story told by John Martino, at the very least, has a ring similar to
the story told by the “John” whom Gary Wean met in Dallas. However,
shortly before Final Judgment went to press, Wean revealed to this
author the identity of the gentleman named John who told him what had
really happened in Dallas.
According to Wean when he wrote his book describing his meeting
with John, he deliberately did not reveal John’s last name, although he knew
exactly who John was. What’s more, according to Wean, he slightly altered
his physical description of John in order to protect his identity.
At the time Wean’s book was written, John was alive. However, on
April 5, 1991 John died, like Audie Murphy, in a bizarre airplane explosion
that made national headlines. He was John Tower who, in 1961 had been the
first Republican in this century to win a Senate seat from Texas.
A stalwart ally of the CIA throughout his career, it was Tower who
took many of the secrets of the Iran-Contra scandal to his grave, having
headed the commission which critics contend was a CIA whitewash of the
events, particularly those involving Israel’s role in the affair.
A ‘THIRD FORCE’?
Veteran JFK assassination researcher, Dick Russell himself has
pondered the possibility that the CIA’s relationship with Lee Harvey
Oswald—whatever the nature of that relationship—was “usurped by another
group.” 624
As Russell notes, “Many people in the CIA had reasons to cover up
their own relationship to Oswald, even if this had nothing to do with an
assassination conspiracy. In considering this plethora of possibilities . . .
what cannot be overlooked is that a ‘third force’ was aware of the counterspy
web [surrounding Oswald] and seized on it to their own advantage.” 625
[234] Final Judgment 295
Russell has also pointed out that the anti-Castro Cuban exiles now
believe that there was much more going on behind the scenes than even they
realized at the time.
According to Russell, “[Legendary longtime CIA contract agent] Gerry
Patrick Hemming, who still keeps his ear to the ground in Miami’s Little
Havana, maintains that some of the exiles who thought they knew the score
in 1963 have today become convinced that they were being used.
“They were incited to an anti-Kennedy fervor by being let in on the
secret knowledge that Kennedy was seriously exploring accommodation with
Castro. They were told that their dream of retaking their homeland was
dead—unless something drastic was done. They took the bait.
“Should it have become necessary in the design of the behind-the-scenes
planners, the exiles were also expendable. Implicating a few Cuban refugees
in the assassination was not desirable, but it would not come at a high cost,
especially if . . . they had worked diligently to build a cover as Castro
agents.
“Small cogs in the wheel, they could also be made to disappear. So
Cuban exiles were merely the base of the pyramid. They had no power to
initiate the cover-up that followed. And neither did organized crime.”626
WHO HAD THE POWER?
Hemming himself has spoken of at least one faction of anti-Castro
Cuban exiles who seemed to be out of the conventional loop. According to
Hemming: “It’s hard to say exactly who this select group of Cuban exiles
was really working for. For a while they were reporting to Bill Harvey’s ex-FBI
CIA guys. Some were reporting back to [J. Edgar] Hoover, or the new [Defense
Intelligence Agency].
‘There was a third force—pretty much outside CIA channels, outside our
own private operation down in the [Florida] Keys—that was doing all kinds
of shit, and had been all through 1963. [emphasis added]
“Then after the assassination, a lot of us presumed that somewhere down
the line, the KGB was orchestrating with Fidel to do the Dallas job. Not
until later did we figure out that most of the exiles being approached were
being set up as patsies themselves.
“And not by Castro or the Russians. It was domestic. Somebody like J.
Edgar Hoover. Who else had the power?” 627
Dare we suggest an answer to Hemming’s question—”Who else had the
power?” Obviously, the answer is this: Israel, its Mossad and Israel’s
powerful domestic American lobby and its contacts at all levels.
In fact, there have been several widely-read works relating to the JFK
assassination which have indeed suggested that Oswald, at least, was roped
into some sort of “dummy assassination” type of operation which he was
led to believe was of the nature described by GaryWean’s source in Dallas.
Executive Action, the book loosely based on the film of the same
name, presents Oswald as being manipulated in this fashion. Likewise with
former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow’s work, Betrayal, which Morrow
296 Double Cross in Dallas? [235]
based on his own “inside” information from his involvement with figures
involved in the conspiracy.
More recently, Don DeLillo’s novel, Libra, presents Oswald at the
center of a “dummy assassination” attempt which was manipulated by others
and went awry. (One CIA character in the novel bears a striking
resemblance, in several ways, to E. Howard Hunt.)
However, there is yet one quite extraordinary piece of the puzzle which
actually implicates a known longtime Mossad asset with direct
involvement in the events in Dealey Plaza. It involves the apparent role by
longtime CIA contract operative Frank Sturgis in the actual assassination
itself.
MOSSAD OPERATIVE IN DEALEY PLAZA
In the course of her testimony in the case of E. Howard Hunt’s libel
suit against The Spotlight, CIA asset Marita Lorenz testified that Sturgis
told her afterward that, “We killed the president that day . . . Everything was
covered in advance. No arrests, no real newspaper investigation. It was all
covered, very professional.” 628
Although some JFK researchers express doubts about Miss Lorenz’
story, Cuba’s chief of counterintelligence, General Fabian Escalante,
vouches for her, based on his own extensive study of the JFK assassination.
Escalante told journalist Claudia Furiati that Cuban intelligence had
determined that, in fact, “Sturgis was in charge of
communications—receiving and transmitting information on the movement
at Dealey Plaza and the motorcade to the shooters and others.” 629
If we are to believe that Sturgis was, in fact, involved in the actual
mechanics of the assassination, the historical evidence suggests that Sturgis
could have been functioning as a knowing Mossad tool in the conspiracy,
or, at the very least, have been indirectly working on behalf of the Mossad.
While this assertion will at first astound even the most seasoned reader of
JFK assassination literature the following factor must be considered:
What few people know is that Sturgis had ties to Israel’s Mossad,
going back fifteen years prior to the JFK assassination. Writing in the July
1975 issue of Argosy magazine, F. Peter Model reported that Sturgis was a
“Hagannah mercenary during the first (1948) Israeli-Arab war,” 630 and that
Sturgis also had a girlfriend in Europe in the 1950s who worked for Israeli
intelligence and with whom he worked.
Sturgis himself is quoted by JFK assassination researcher A. J.
Weberman as having said that he assisted his girlfriend as a courier in
Europe in a number of her endeavors on behalf of the Mossad. 631
In addition, former Time-Life correspondent Andrew St. George—who
knew Sturgis quite well and spent time with Sturgis alongside Castro in the
hills of Cuba during the Cuban revolution—has also reported that it was
well known among anti-Castro Cuban exiles that Sturgis had also worked for
the Mossad and had done so for a long period of time. 632
[236] Final Judgment 297
In fact, as St. George has also revealed, during the heyday of the CIA’s
anti-Castro operations in Miami with which Sturgis and E. Howard Hunt
were so closely associated, some 12 to 16 Mossad agents worked out of
Miami under the command of Mossad Deputy Director Yehuda S. Sipper,
their influence reaching throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Citing a 1976 CIA memo, Professor John Newman who has
investigated CIA knowledge of Lee Harvey Oswald’s activities says that
Sturgis founded the International Anti-Communist Brigade and that “the
backers of Sturgis’ group have never been fully established.” 633
JFK writers Warren Hinckle and William Turner have said that “most of
[Sturgis’] funding came from dispossessed casino owners and was funneled
through Norman Roughouse’ Rothman,”634 who was, according to author
Gus Russo, not only “the partner of Meyer Lansky”635 but also the original
“mobster middleman”636 between the CIA and the Lansky syndicate in the
Castro assassination plots. Russo, however, says that Rothman’s support
for Sturgis came “from unknown sources” yet cites Hinckle and Turner as
his source. So the question remains: just who really was funding Sturgis?
Could the Sturgis brigade have been part of the Mossad’s Miami-based
operations, intertwined with Sturgis’ own CIA-sponsored intrigue in the
same sphere of influence during the same period?
STURGIS, BANISTER, FERRIE AND OSWALD
As we shall see, this speculation may not be far off the mark. Newman
adds that a reported “sub-unit” 637 of Sturgis’ Brigade was CIA contract agent
Gerry Patrick Hemming’s Intercontinental Penetration Force (known as
“Interpen”). Citing a February 1, 1977 CIA Security Office memo, Newman
says the anti-Castro Cuban training grounds around Lake Ponchartrain
outside New Orleans were run by Hemming as part of Interpen and that
Sturgis was connected with those Interpen operations. 638
Those activities around Lake Ponchartrain are known to have involved
two of the key players surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald prior to the JFK
assassination: CIA contract agents Guy Banister and David Ferrie.
In fact, there is an Israeli connection to Interpen. According to
Hemming himself, Interpen’s “most important contact in the United
States” 639 was New York financier, Theodore Racoosin, whom Hemming
described as “one of the key founders of the state of Israel.” 640
After having read Final Judgment, Hemming frankly told the author
that although he personally has seen no evidence that convinces him the
Mossad participated directly in the JFK assassination, he did say that “I have
known since the late 1960s that the Mossad was aware of the JFK murder
even before it happened, and they later did a full investigation on the matter
and have since retained all such files.” 641 [Emphasis added.]
MOSSAD TENTACLES SURROUND OSWALD
298 Double Cross in Dallas? [237]
In any case, we not only find CIA asset Clay Shaw of New Orleans tied
to the Mossad through his association with the Permindex operation (as
were Banister and Ferrie), but we also find two other CIA-connected players
in the anti-Castro operations out of New Orleans (Sturgis and Hemming)
were in the Mossad’s sphere of influence. And Lee Harvey Oswald is tied to
all of the key players involved.
In light of all of this, we would not be venturing into the world of
fantasy to suggest that the operation involving Sturgis, Marita Lorenz and
the anti-Castro Cubans who traveled to Dallas, arriving there on November
21, 1963 to meet with E. Howard Hunt (and then with Jack Ruby) was
actually a Mossad “false flag” operation, deliberately involving a clique of
anti-Castro Cubans manipulated by their Mossad-connected CIA handler.
Since, according to Miss Lorenz, Sturgis later admitted that his team in
Dallas did actually participate in the assassination, it is conceivable that
although Sturgis and his group did meet up with Hunt in Dallas that Hunt
himself did not know that the Sturgis team was going to be involved in an
actual assassination attempt or thought they were only involved in a
“dummy” assassination attempt—if he even knew that much.
As we have said, Hunt’s knowledge—or lack thereof—remains a
mystery and his actual culpability in any assassination conspiracy per se
cannot be pinned down. But the circumstances do suggest that Hunt does
know a lot more about what happened in Dallas than he has admitted.
In any event, there is no question that, based on the facts about Sturgis
that we now do know that at least one person who has reportedly confessed
to actual involvement in the JFK assassination—Frank Sturgis—did have
multiple longtime links to the Mossad for many years prior to (and after)
the time of the JFK assassination.
This, in itself, is a major revelation and one that is quite relevant when
considering the thesis put forth in Final Judgment.
A character named Chauncey Holt, who claims to have been in Dallas and
involved in the circumstances surrounding the assassination summarized things
quite well. According to Holt:
“Dallas that day was flooded with all kinds of people who ended up
there for some reason. It’s always been my theory that whoever was the
architect of this thing—and no one will ever know who was behind it,
manipulating all these people. I believe that they flooded this area with so
many characters with nefarious reputations because they thought, ‘Well, if
all these people get scooped up it’ll muddy the waters so much that they’ll never
straighten it out.” 642
That there were people in Dallas on the day JFK was killed who may not
have known the real reason they were there is also buttressed by other
sources. Michael Milan, whose book The Squad outlines his role in
working as part of a secret U.S. government team collaborating with the
Lansky Syndicate says that there were at least several people operating in
Dallas who believed that they were not involved in a conspiracy to kill John
F. Kennedy, but, instead, in a conspiracy to kill Texas Governor John B.
Connally. (We first considered Milan’s claims in Chapter 14.) 643
[238] Final Judgment 299
Could some of those involved in the JFK assassination been
manipulated into believing that they were involved in a plot against
Connally (when in fact the ultimate target was Kennedy)?
Under such a scenario—without delving into the mechanics of the JFK
assassination that have been considered time and again by those fascinated by
the subject—it is possible that one of the assassins in Dealey Plaza did, in
fact, take deliberate aim at Connally, perhaps not knowing that, at the same
time, other assassins of whom he was unaware, were, from another location,
taking aim at JFK. The Connally shooter was, in effect, a decoy.
In his biography of Connally, James Reston, Jr. suggests that Oswald had
been recruited by Jack Ruby as part of an organized crime plan to kill
Connally, rather than Kennedy. Reston suggests that Kennedy was the
victim, purely by chance.
THE MOSSAD’S JFK COVER STORY . . .
The unusual contention that Connally was the target and that Kennedy
was an unintended victim has some very interesting support.
Former Mossad operative Victor Ostrovsky writes in his book By Way
of Deception that part of his Mossad training included an in-depth review of
the JFK assassination which was part of the required course of study for all
new Mossad recruits.
According to Ostrovsky: “One particularly intriguing aspect of the
course was a movie called, “A President on the Crosshairs,” a detailed study
of the November 22, 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy.
“The Mossad theory was that the killers—Mafiosa hit men, not Lee
Harvey Oswald—actually wanted to murder then Texas Governor John
Connally, who was in the car with JFK but was only wounded.
“Oswald was seen as a dupe in the whole thing and Connally as the
target of mobsters trying to muscle their way into the oil business.
“The Mossad believed that the official version of the assassination was
pure, unadulterated hokum. To test their theory, they did a simulation
exercise of the presidential cavalcade to see if expert marksmen with far
better equipment than Oswald’s could hit a moving target from the recorded
distance of 88 yards. They couldn’t. It would have been the perfect cover. If
Connally had been killed, everyone would have assumed it was an attempt
on JFK. If they’d wanted to get Kennedy, they could have got him
anywhere.”
He writes: “According to what we found, the rifle was probably aimed
at the back of Connally’s head, and JFK gestured or moved just at the wrong
moment—or possibly the assassin hesitated.” 644
Now what Ostrovsky notes further is of particular interest, especially in
light of the theory presented in Final Judgment. According to Ostrovsky,
the Mossad had every film taken of the Dallas assassination, pictures of the
area, the topography, aerial photographs—everything.
300 Double Cross in Dallas? [239]
Is it possible that the reason that the Mossad had so much information
about Dealey Plaza was not because the Mossad studied the area AFTER the
Kennedy assassination but BEFORE the assassination?
That the Mossad would go to the length of calculating an extensive
cover story (presented to its own recruits) is interesting in itself and perhaps
further evidence that the Mossad had a very particular interest in the JFK
assassination.
There were clearly many forces at work in Dealey Plaza, perhaps beyond
the comprehension of any one conspirator—including Oswald, Ruby or even
Hunt or Sturgis or any of the others involved. Some of the conspirators
may have indeed been led to believe this was a Mafia hit on Connally and
that it, in fact, turned out to be a hit on Kennedy.
The Mossad story that it was a botched operation aimed at Connally and
resulting in the accidental killing of Kennedy sounds like nothing less than—
to borrow a phrase from Ostrovsky—”pure, unadulterated hokum” coming
from the Mossad itself.
And then there is the question of the manner in which Lee Harvey
Oswald was being made to appear as though he were a pro-Castro/pro-Soviet
agitator through the Mexico City Scenario (orchestrated by the CIA) and of
his manipulation in New Orleans by the Clay Shaw-Guy Banister apparatus,
which, in turn was directly involved in the activities of CIA and Mossad
asset Frank Sturgis in the affairs at Lake Ponchartrain. Did Oswald think
that he was, in fact, operating on behalf of the CIA—even on behalf of John
F. Kennedy himself—setting up a “phony” assassination attempt that could
be blamed on Castro, igniting international fury at the Cuban leader? We’ll
probably never know the truth.
The bottom line is this: at all critical times when Oswald was being set
up as the patsy—and following the assassination itself—the fine hand of
Israel’s Mossad and its allies in the CIA is evident.
FALSE FLAGS IN DEALEY PLAZA?
Is it possible that some of the other conspirators at the lowest levels
were led to believe that the whole operation was designed to kill the two
proverbial birds with one stone: that is
(1) To eliminate Connally, who was allegedly perceived to be a
roadblock in the way of the mob, and, in turn
(2) To force Kennedy—or otherwise give him the excuse—to finally
take action against Fidel Castro who had shut down organized crime
operations in Cuba?
Could, for example, some of the conspirators been told that the plan
was to kill Connally and make it appear as though it were a Castrosponsored
bullet intended for the president which missed—and thereby force
Kennedy into retaliating against Castro?
One can only imagine, for example, the surprise of a hidden gunman
firing at John Connally when he realized that another gunman was firing at
John F. Kennedy.
[240] Final Judgment 301
Or, dare we suggest the most frightening possibility of all: did John F.
Kennedy and his brother Robert concoct some anti-Castro
provocation—even a “dummy assassination”—that was ultimately infiltrated
and manipulated by hostile forces within the CIA and its allies in the
Mossad?
One could spend hours concocting a variety of scenarios. However, all of
the evidence we have seen suggests that the JFK assassination conspiracy
was multi-leveled and ranging out in a variety of directions.
Were all of these “characters with nefarious reputations” simply “false
flags” being utilized by what Chauncey Holt called “the architect of this
thing”? Were these JFK assassination “suspects” brought there by a force
which wanted to “muddy the waters”? If so, we cannot help but be reminded
of the Mossad’s famous use of false flags in its criminal endeavors. Was
there a “dummy assassination” attempt, and if so, who—or what—was the
force that intervened?
One investigator, Scott Thompson, who believes in the “dummy
assassination” theory, has gone so far as to charge that the provocation
against Castro was being carried out with the full knowledge of Attorney
General Robert F. Kennedy. Thompson alleges that E. Howard Hunt was, in
fact, in charge of coordinating the fraudulent assassination attempt.
Thompson notes, however, that “it remains unclear to this day who
intervened into the dummy assassination set-up and turned it into the real
thing.” 645
Former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow has lent credence to the
“dummy assassination attempt” scenario. Morrow has reported that he had
been told that CIA operatives, working with Cuban exiles, “had some kind
of test they were doing, a fake assassination attempt against Kennedy.”646
Writing in Farewell America under the pseudonym “James Hepburn,”
veteran French intelligence officer Herve LaMarre suggests: “Oswald was
probably told that he had been chosen to participate in a new anti-
Communist operation together with [David] Ferrie and several other agents.
“The plan consisted of influencing public opinion by simulating an
attack against President Kennedy, whose policy of coexistence with the
Communists deserved a reprimand. Another assassination attempt, also
designed to arouse public feeling, had been simulated on April 10 against
General [Edwin A.] Walker.”647
MORE CIA-MOSSAD DISINFORMATION?
Although Farewell America has been an oft-quoted “underground”
classic among JFK researchers, its origins are murky, to say the least.
While the book contains much intriguing information, there is a very good
possibility that the book is classic CIA-Mossad disinformation.
According to JFK researchers Warren Hinckle and William Turner,
Farewell America was prepared under the direction and imprimatur of French
President Charles DeGaulle, who was, as we noted in Chapter 15, a victim
of assassination attempts financed by the Permindex operation that played
302 Double Cross in Dallas? [241]
the central part in the JFK assassination conspiracy.648 However, according
to JFK writer Gus Russo, the book’s origins are a little more complicated
than that.
Russo claims that shortly after the JFK assassination—when Robert
Kennedy launched a private inquiry into his brother’s murder, utilizing a
British intelligence asset who was a long-time Kennedy family friend (an
inquiry which we referenced at the beginning of Chapter 9)—the British
investigator hired two former French intelligence operatives to conduct the
investigation. Russo says that one was Andre Ducret, former head of the
French intelligence agency, and that the other was known only as
“Philippe,” but believed to be Philippe deVosjoli, former head of French
intelligence in Washington.
The French investigators then spent several years conducting the
investigation, finally providing RFK a report that alleged, generally, that
Texas oil barons in league with Lyndon Johnson had been behind the
assassination. Although RFK was killed shortly after receiving the report,
the British agent who sponsored the investigation asked the surviving
brother, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, what should be done with the report.
Kennedy said his family was not interested, according to Russo, and at that
point the report was turned over to Herve LaMarre who then fashioned the
report into the book Farewell America. While never published in the United
States, the book nonetheless received “underground” distribution here.649
However, while the book (and the report on which it was based) may
have contained grains of truth, there is good reason to believe that it was
largely CIA-Mossad disinformation. Here’s why:
If indeed Philippe deVosjoli was one of those who handled the
“investigation” for the Kennedy friend in British intelligence, the fact is that
Vosjoli had a “long friendship [and] special relationship” with the Mossad’s
CIA loyalist James J. Angleton 650 to the point that deVosjoli not only
refused French orders to spy on the United States, but instead apparently
helped Angleton conduct espionage against France.651
Considering this, we can understand why Farewell America was so
vague and so inconclusive and steered the finger of blame away from both
the CIA and the Mossad, and, for that matter, suppressed the little-known
“French connection” to the JFK assassination that has been long discussed,
but which, if dissected as we shall now do here, points directly toward not
only Angleton at the CIA, but the manipulations of disloyal elements in
French intelligence by both Angleton and his Mossad allies.
It’s an amazing story that has never been told before, but which we will
outline here for the first time ever.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION . . .
In a private communication to this author after he read the first draft of
Final Judgment—sent to him by no less than former U.S. Congressman
Paul Findley (R-Ill.)—former French intelligence officer Pierre Neuville
stated (based on his own inside knowledge) that a French team—professional
[242] Final Judgment 303
assassins—were among the actual shooters in Dealey Plaza, committing the
crime at the behest of the Israeli Mossad. (In the Postscript to this volume
we review the remarkable story of this Frenchman and his own astounding
experiences with the Mossad.)
In Neuville’s judgment: “Never the Prime Minister of Israel would have
involved Mossad people, American Jews or CIA personnel in the execution
part of the conspiracy. Even the CIA contract the services of other members
of the intelligence community (they like the French style) to wash dirty
linens. The right hand does not know what the left did. The cover-up team
doesn’t know who execute. And the executioners are not interested in the
aftermath of their mission. They don’t care less.”652
According to Neuville’s sources, then-Mossad assassination chief
Yitzhak Shamir (later prime minister of Israel) arranged the hiring of at least
one of the assassins through the deputy chief of the French intelligence
service (the SDECE), Colonel Georges deLannurien.
“It was no coincidence,” Neuville wrote, “that on the very day of the
execution of the president by the French team that [deLannurien] was at
Langley meeting with James Jesus Angleton, the Mossad mole.”
According to Neuville, “There are no coincidences in the suspicion
business—just cover-ups. The case of communist infiltration of the French
secret service was an appropriate cover-up to justify the presence of Colonel
deLannurien at Langley, Virginia.” 653
It seems obvious that Angleton and deLannurien were together for a
very specific purpose: damage control—making sure that the assassination
cover-up fell into place after the crime itself had been committed.
Angleton himself told the House Assassinations Committee that de
Lannurien had come to his office for just that purpose: seeking assistance in
routing out communist moles in the SDECE. 654
This controversy—alleged KGB infiltration into French intelligence—
was a direct result of Angleton’s machinations. It was Angleton (often
prodded by his Mossad allies) who had a history of fingering alleged
Soviet infiltrators in other nations’ intelligence services, creating mass
disarray, confusion, bitterness and resentment in their ranks.
Following World War II Angleton served as American intelligence
liaison with the SDECE and maintained close friendships with a number of
French intelligence officials throughout his career. And undoubtedly these
were Frenchmen who shared Angleton’s devotion to Israel.
One particularly embittered high-ranking SDECE officer, Leonard
Houneau, who had been caught in Angleton’s web and was ultimately
cleared of the slander that he was a Soviet mole, later said, “The whole story
was invented. Angleton was a madman and an alcoholic. He was trying to
set us against one another.” 655
THE OAS MERCENARY
Interestingly enough, it was OAS mercenary, Jean Souetre, who
approached the CIA in June of 1963 with information on alleged
304 Double Cross in Dallas? [243]
communists in the DeGaulle government and in French intelligence—one of
Angleton’s widely-documented preoccupations.656 Angleton would have
been very much “in the know” as to Souetre’s activities (and, indeed, may
have been actively collaborating with Souetre).
In Chapter 12 we noted that it was Souetre who was picked up in
Dallas on November 22, 1963 and expelled from the United States and who
was also CIA man E. Howard Hunt’s OAS liaison.
It was Souetre who also maintained an informal OAS outpost at Guy
Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans. What’s more, Souetre
maintained ties with Meyer Lansky’s allies in the Corsican Mafia. All of
this, certainly, suggests a very clear pattern which spells more than
coincidence. The plot thickens, however. As we saw in Chapter 12, there is
some question as to whether the individual picked up in Dallas was, in fact,
Souetre or someone using his name.
Souetre has suggested that it was another Frenchman, one Michael
Mertz, who may have been the guilty party who was actually in Dallas and
using Souetre’s name. What makes this allegation most provocative is that
Mertz was a former French SDECE officer who had infiltrated the anti-
DeGaulle OAS and foiled a plot against DeGaulle’s life. 657
(There is firm evidence that in at least one instance Israeli Prime
Minister David Ben-Gurion “foiled” an OAS “plot” against DeGaulle,
bringing the conspiracy to DeGaulle’s attention. As a consequence,
according to Ben-Gurion’s biographer, “Ben-Gurion now received
[DeGaulle’s] gratitude.” 658
(In this particular instance, however, the alleged conspirator was
released since there was not enough evidence to keep him in custody.659
Was this “plot” perhaps—in reality—an Israeli operation designed to bring
Israel back into DeGaulle’s good graces? We can only speculate. We can
only speculate, likewise, that perhaps Mertz’s rescue of DeGaulle from yet
another “plot” may have also been a similar Israeli-orchestrated operation.)
In any case, Mertz’s connections went much further. Mertz was also
engaged in the illegal drug racket, said to be Paris connection man for the
Lansky-Trafficante-Corsican Mafia network examined in Chapter 12. 660
Just shortly after the JFK assassination, Dr. Lawrence Alderson, a
Houston dentist, was questioned by the FBI. Alderson, who had struck up a
friendship with the real Jean Souetre while both were in their respective
country’s armed services, said that he was told that “The FBI felt Souetre
had either killed JFK or knew who had done it.”661 And that could have
included the aforementioned Mertz.
Former CIA insider Robert Morrow, enmeshed in much of the intrigue
surrounding the activities of the Clay Shaw-Guy Banister operation in New
Orleans, contends it was Mertz who was on one of the assassination teams
that struck down John F. Kennedy in Dallas.662 According to Morrow, Mertz
was on the Angleton-supervised CIA ZR/Rifle Team of foreign mercenaries
which included the mysterious assassin code-named QJ/WIN. Aside from
Mertz, among others put forth as possible French-connected
[244] Final Judgment 305
assassins in the events in Dealey Plaza include Robert Blemant, a narcotics
trafficker and intermediary between the Corsican Mafia and the CIA; and Joe
Attia, a heroin financier and assassin for the SDECE. 663
According to JFK researcher Steve Revele, “Recently released top-secret
CIA documents indicate that CIA assassin QJ/WIN was a Luxembourgbased
smuggler named Jose Mankel, and the other, WI/ROGUE, was a
Soviet-born Paris bank robber David Dzitzichvili (also spelled Tzitzichvili;
alias David Dato).” 664
The bottom line, though, is that all of those mentioned have precisely
the kind of connections that link them to not only the CIA, but also French
intrigue and thence to Israel and its Mossad.
ISRAEL’S FRENCH CONNECTIONS
Although the SDECE was DeGaulle’s own service, the agency was as
much apparently out of DeGaulle’s actual hands-on control as the CIA was
out of JFK’s control. As DeGaulle’s biographer said of the fight between
DeGaulle and the OAS, the conflict was “within the State itself.” 665 In fact,
at least one assassination attempt against DeGaulle by the Permindex-and
Israeli-backed OAS came as a direct result of “inside” information.666 What’s
more, there was one high-ranking SDECE official, Louis Betholini, later
discovered to be “an OAS sleeper [secret agent].” 667
And according to historian Paul Henissart, there was—within the
SDECE—a high percentage of anti-DeGaulle officers who were, in fact,
sympathetic to the OAS. Like its self-centered American counterpart, the
CIA, “the SDECE’s main worry, according to well-informed sources, was to
protect its own personnel and interests during [the] difficult period [of
conflict between DeGaulle and the OAS]. 668
Intelligence historian Richard Deacon has noted, for his own part, that in
France, during this difficult period, there was “a good deal of unofficial
support for Israel, notably in the [SDECE]”669 pointing further toward the
role of SDECE officers in arranging the assassination of John F. Kennedy
on behalf of its allies in the Israeli Mossad.
According to Stewart Steven, an authority on the history of the
Mossad, “Brilliant in many respects, the SDECE had the reputation
internationally of being the rogue elephant of the world’s intelligence circus.
The CIA regarded it as being ‘leaky as a sieve,’ and probably with some
justification, for few services had so many departmental heads constantly at
loggerheads with one another, all serving different masters, either within
France itself or in some cases abroad.
“The Israelis, however, had always got along with the French service
very well. As an ally in the tricky world in which the Mossad was obliged
to operate, the SDECE had proved itself extremely useful, principally
because its officers did not feel obliged to necessarily receive political
authority for its operations. This gave the service a freebooting quality very
much like the Israelis themselves but without Israeli discipline and order.
306 Double Cross in Dallas? [245]
“Mossad’s contacts within the service,” said Steven, “tended to be with
the ex-OAS elements, those opposed to DeGaulle for what they believed to
be his sell-out of French interests in the Algerian war of independence.” 670
JACKAL OR JACL?
To complicate matters, DeGaulle himself had reached a truce with the
OAS in early 1963 and had helped arrange for its members to set up
operations elsewhere. 671 One or more of these “former” enemies of
DeGaulle, now operating under the auspices of his own intelligence service,
or at least within its sphere of influence, may have been brought into the
JFK assassination conspiracy. The likelihood that an Israeli-linked faction of
DeGaulle’s intelligence service, the SDECE, might have recruited an
assassin—particularly a Corsican—for the hit against JFK is very strong.
The SDECE was divided into five “services.” Service Five was known
as “Action” and was dominated by Corsicans. According to Frederick
Forsyth’s background account of the conflict between DeGaulle and the
OAS (the subject of his novel, The Day of the Jackal) these Corsicans, “had
been professional thugs from the underworld before being enlisted, kept up
their old contacts, and on more than one occasion enlisted the aid of their
former underworld friends to do a particularly dirty job for the government.
“It was these activities that gave rise to talk in France of a ‘parallel’
(unofficial) police, supposedly at the orders of one of President de Gaulle’s
right-hand men, M. Jacques Foccart. In truth no ‘parallel’ police existed;
the activities attributed to them were carried out by the Action Service
strong-arms or temporarily enlisted gang-bosses from the `milieu.’” 672
In light of Forsyth’s famous “Jackal,” it might be noted that active in
Europe during the period of the joint plots against JFK and Charles
DeGaulle was a Jewish terrorist group known as the Jewish Anti-
Communist League—or JACL. This JACL in fact, collaborated with the
OAS. So it seems Frederick Forsyth knew whereof he spoke when he
described a fictional OAS-sponsored “Jackal” seeking to destroy DeGaulle.
THE INTRIGUE COMES FULL CIRCLE
However, there is even more evidence suggesting that the so-called
“French connection” to the JFK assassination is indeed, instead, the Israeli
connection reaching all the way to Dallas.
In 1965 a bizarre crime took place which exposed the close ties between
certain elements in DeGaulle’s intelligence agency, the Israeli Mossad and
the French Corsican Mafia underworld. And, incredibly enough, this same
crime implicated individuals whose names have been linked with the JFK
assassination as a consequence of subsequent revelations. The crime in
question was the murder of a Moroccan political figure, one Mehdi Ben-
Barka who was a critic of the ruling regime in his native country. (Although
an Arab regime, the Moroccan government maintained covert cooperation
with the Mossad.)
[246] Final Judgment 307
Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi assessed the parameters of
Ben-Barka’s demise as follows: “The Mossad became involved in the
kidnapping of Ben-Barka in Paris. He was later murdered in cold blood.
Since the affair took place on French soil, and involved collaboration with
right-wing [i.e. pro-OAS] elements in the [SDECE], it led to a major political
crisis, to a purge of the service by DeGaulle.” 673
The irony for DeGaulle was immense. According to historian Stewart
Steven, “As always . . . one arm of the SDECE didn’t know what the other
was doing. As one department [of the SDECE] was arranging for Ben
Barka’s assassination, another [arm of the French intelligence agency] was
organizing a regular monthly paycheck paid [Ben Barka] through a French
scientific research center, one of the covers for the extensive SDECE
operation in Africa.” 674
Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman, Israeli historians, commented on the
crisis as follows: “De Gaulle, who suspected that his secret agency might be
plotting against him, was absolutely furious. He immediately ordered that
the secret service’s house be put in order. He also directed his anger at
Israel.” 675 The French president “ordered that the Mossad’s European
command be removed from Paris, and he also ordered a cessation of all
intelligence cooperation between the two nations.” 676
According to historian Stewart Steven, “As far as President DeGaulle was
concerned, the implications were that Israel was dealing with the OAS in
France, which was still active, still bent on revenge, and indubitably involved
through its supporters in the SDECE in the killing of Ben Barka. It meant
that Israel was involved in illegal activities on French soil, an affront to
French nationalism, and it meant that he himself, whose support for Israel
had never been challenged, had been dealt with treacherously.” 677 According to
Steven, the Mossad expulsion from Paris was “a severe blow, perhaps the most
severe the Israeli secret service has ever suffered . . . DeGaulle was never to
forgive Israel.” 678
CHRISTIAN DAVID
It just so happens that a chief suspect in the Ben-Barka murder was one
Christian David, a French gangster who was a known associate of the
aforementioned Michael Mertz, alleged participant in the JFK murder.
Ex-Army intelligence officer William Spector told JFK assassination
researcher Jim Marrs that David was part of the CIA’s ZR/Rifle Team which
was under Angleton’s supervision and which included the aforementioned
assassin, QJ/WIN.
What makes this all the more intriguing is that David has claimed
knowledge of a French team of assassins being involved in the JFK
murder.679 David himself claims to have been offered a contract to kill JFK
by the Lansky-connected Guerini brothers, the leaders of the CIA-backed
French Corsican Mafia in Marseille. 680
308 Double Cross in Dallas? [247]
Incredibly, the French connections come full circle. It was the CIA’s
QJ/WIN who used his influence to secure the release of one Thomas Eli
Davis III from a Moroccan jail after Davis was arrested in North Africa for
supplying arms to the OAS. And it was Jack Ruby (who killed Lee
Harvey Oswald) who mentioned to his lawyers his connection with Davis.
Ruby said that he and Davis had run guns and jeeps to Cuba. 681
THE CIRCLES INTERSECT IN DALLAS
That Charles DeGaulle would have had an interest in getting to the
bottom of the JFK assassination is evident, inasmuch as there were multiple
French connections to key players in the conspiracy.
DeGaulle clearly discovered that elements of French intelligence and/or
agents of his sworn enemies in the OAS had been brought into the JFK
assassination conspiracy by the Mossad.
It seems apparent that one or more of the French assassins who played a
role in the events in Dallas were recruited by the Mossad through its allies
within DeGaulle’s intelligence service.
In addition, those in the CIA-connected New Orleans faction of the
assassination conspiracy—those framing Lee Harvey Oswald as a pro-Castro
agitator—were tied directly the OAS network and the Mossad’s Permindex
operation that had conspired against DeGaulle.
And at CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia there was the Mossad’s
devoted friend and longtime associate of top SDECE officials, James J.
Angleton, engaged in intrigue that clearly points to his own involvement in
the conspiracy and the subsequent cover-up.
Even the CIA’s E. Howard Hunt was tied directly to the French
connection as CIA liaison to the OAS. In the end, Hunt’s apparent visit to
Dallas just prior to the assassination—evidently at Angleton’s
orders—where he met with longtime Mossad asset Frank Sturgis, put Hunt
squarely in the middle of the intrigue. The later attempt to publicly link
Hunt to the assassination reaches directly back to Angleton.
These details, taken together with all that we have
examined in the pages of Final Judgment, explain the so –
called “French connection” to the JFK assassination,
although, as we have seen, the origin of the conspiracy to
kill the American president was not, in fact, French.
There were, very clearly, many, many people involved in the periphery
of the assassination conspiracy—whether as active conspirators or not.
French President DeGaulle had a direct interest in finding out how his own
intelligence service and/or individuals connected thereto had been
manipulated by the Mossad and a direct interest in covering it up.
DeGAULLE STRIKES BACK
[248] Final Judgment 309
DeGaulle’s inquiries into the activities of the SDECE in the year
following the JFK assassination had an interesting consequence. The
Mossad’s CIA man James J. Angleton’s own machinations—his purported
discovery of KGB “moles” in the SDECE’s ranks—had created havoc in
French intelligence forcing the French president to take action.
According to Angleton’s biographer, Tom Mangold: “Within the year,
DeGaulle finally lost his patience with the CIA. The French president,
quietly, without any publicity, issued an order terminating all joint
operations between SDECE and the CIA. For the next three years the two
services remained estranged, a break without precedent between the two
friendly countries.” 682
This, of course, recalls DeGaulle’s decision during the same time frame—
as noted previously—to expel the Mossad from France. In light of all that
we have considered here, it is likely that a large part of DeGaulle’s move
against Angleton’s CIA and Angleton’s Mossad allies arose directly from
his discovery that his own intelligence service had been directly
compromised through the involvement of SDECE officer Georges
deLannurien in helping facilitate the JFK assassination.
PERMINDEX AND THE FRENCH CONNECTION
As we saw in Chapter 15, the Permindex connection (through Clay
Shaw in New Orleans) did indeed tie together not only the CIA and the
Lansky Syndicate and the Mossad—but also the French connection to the
assassination conspiracy. Unfortunately, however, although New Orleans
District Attorney Jim Garrison knew about Permindex, Garrison—at least at
the time of the Shaw trial—according to Paris Flammonde, felt that
Permindex “did not touch directly” 683 on the conspiracy.
Evidently Garrison perceived Permindex as only an indication of Shaw’s
intelligence connections and nothing more. However, as assassination
researcher James DiEugenio, in one of his more perceptive comments,
points out: “This is questionable, but even so, Shaw’s European
connections would have had some effect on his carefully constructed
image”684 as some sort of “Wilsonian-FDR-Kennedy liberal.” 685
Garrison’s own words suggest that he may have had some direction
from French intelligence. At one point Garrison said that he had learned that
the conspirators plotting the JFK assassination had been penetrated by a
foreign intelligence service, but that it had “been for reasons wholly
unrelated to an investigation of the president’s murder.” 686
In fact, this “unrelated” matter could have been (and this is speculation, of
course) an investigation by DeGaulle into Shaw and the New Orleans
conspirators because of their collaboration with the OAS in plots against
DeGaulle. Unfortunately, at least at first, the “French connection” (which is
actually the Israeli connection) seems to have gone right by Garrison and
perhaps led in part to his failure to convict Shaw in the JFK conspiracy.
We do know that by the late 1970s, the House Assassinations
Committee inquiry was looking into the “French connection.” However,
310 Double Cross in Dallas? [249]
according to Dick Russell, one committee investigator, Mike Ewing, said
the committee “was working on the ‘French connection’ angle when it
closed up shop” in 1978. 687 Thus, as a consequence, the official
“investigation” never went as far as it could have and the Israeli
connection—through the so-called “French Connection”—remained under
wraps (as the conspirators certainly intended).
ISRAEL, AGAIN
In fact, there is an Israeli connection to evidence linking OAS elements
to a plot against President Kennedy. In The Man Who Knew Too Much,
Dick Russell describes the strange story of US Army Private Eugene
Dinkin, a military code-breaker in Europe who—just prior to JFK’s
assassination—was monitoring and decoding telegraphic traffic that
originated within the French OAS.
Russell says that (as known by the CIA and the Warren Commission in
1964) Dinkin had discovered OAS foreknowledge of an assassination plot
against President Kennedy supposed to take place in Texas. Unfortunately,
for Dinkin, according to Russell, “nobody would give him the time of day
except the Israeli ambassador to Luxembourg who . . . advised him how
best to present his case at the American embassy there.” 688
Poor Dinkin, obviously, had no idea that the Israelis (whom he
perceived to be American allies) were, in fact, working closely behind the
scenes with the OAS-connected plotters in the JFK assassination
conspiracy. Thus, by taking his story to the Israelis, Dinkin was effectively
alerting the OAS (and the conspirators) that he had stumbled upon their
connections to the impending assassination of the president. This is just
another of those fascinating details—somehow missed by the JFK
assassination researchers—that points further toward the Israeli connection.
THE DRIVING FORCE
There clearly is much more to the so-called “French” connection to the
assassination of President Kennedy than meets the eye. Here in Final
Judgment, however, we have outlined the parameters of the French
connection as it has never been done.
Pinning down the truth of precisely what happened in Dealey Plaza will
never be possible, but we believe that in the pages of Final Judgment we
have come closer to the truth than ever before.
The information supplied by the former French intelligence officer
relative to Israeli Mossad orchestration of the JFK assassination through the
aegis of other intelligence networks, specifically James J. Angleton’s CIA,
and with pro-Israel forces in the SDECE, meshes with other facts assembled
in this chapter and through the pages of this volume.
The final judgment is inescapable . . .
[250] Final Judgment 311
Israel was indeed the driving force behind the a s s a s s ina t ion
o f Pr e s id ent J ohn F. Kenned y . The ro l e o f Israel was the
unsuspected but ever-present “missing link” in the JFK
assassination conspiracy.
Let us now move forward and examine the manner in which the media
maneuvered and/or was manipulated by the CIA and the Mossad in covering
up the truth about the president’s murder. We will also examine the murder of
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. His death was indeed a critical part of the cover-up
of his brother’s assassination in Dallas.
Chapter Seventeen
They Dare Not Speak Out:
The Media’s Silence—
Why Israel’s Role in the JFK Assassination Could Not
Be Exposed
The influence of Israel and its lobby over the American
media would have made it difficult for anyone who even
suspected that Israel had a hand in the JFK assassination to
get the word out. The media promoted the conclusions of the
Warren Commission and savaged its critics. And when the
media did place the blame it was on Fidel Castro.
The reporting of syndicated columnist Drew Pearson and
the sensat ional Olive r Stone f ilm JFK ar e class ic cas e
studies of how Israeli-linked media sources have manipulated
public perception of the murder of President Kennedy.
“The Kennedy assassination cover-up has survived so long only because
the press, confronted with the choice of believing what it was told or
examining the facts independently, chose the former. Unless and until the
press repudiates that choice, it is unlikely that we shall ever know the
truth.” 689
These are the words of longtime JFK assassination researcher Jerry
Pollicoff summarizing the attitude of the Establishment media toward its
coverage of the crime of the century.
The media was content to churn up virtually every theory
imaginable—up to a point—except one: that Israel was behind the
assassination, a theory widely held in the Arab world at least.
However, as we have seen, in Chapter 5, in particular, very little was in
fact known about JFK’s secret war with Israel and the major Middle East
foreign policy turn-about that came on the heels of JFK’s assassination.
Thus, even the harshest critics of the Warren Commission which
ostensibly “investigated”—most would say “covered up”—the assassination
conspiracy had no reason to suspect that there might be an Israeli connection
to JFK’s murder. The final conclusions of the Warren Commission hardly
satisfied anybody—except, of course, for the friends of Israel and the CIA in
the Establishment media who gave the Report’s conclusions wholehearted
support.
A CITIZEN’S DISSENT
New York attorney Mark Lane made great headway with his clinical
dissection of the Warren Report in his best-selling Rush to Judgment. A
flurry of other books followed. Lane’s second book on the subject of the
JFK assassination, A Citizen’s Dissent, is most illuminating, however, on
[252] Final Judgment 313
the Establishment’s reaction—particularly the media—to the furor caused by
the publication of Rush to Judgment.
Without question—and this is significant—the media almost
unanimously sided with the Warren Report, despite all of the evidence
which proved the report a fraud. The media would not tolerate dissent. As
far as the media was concerned, the JFK controversy was closed. Period.
GARRISON AND THE CIA-MOSSAD LINK
The media certainly went into a frenzy with its hysterical coverage of
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s 1967-1969 inquiry into the
JFK murder and his prosecution of Crescent City businessman Clay Shaw.
At the time Garrison began pursuing Shaw, the facts that we now know
today about Shaw and his connections with the Lansky-Mossad-CIA-linked
Permindex operation based in Rome, were not so obvious.
It wasn’t, in fact, until 1975 that former CIA official Victor Marchetti
acknowledged publicly that Shaw had ties to the CIA and that the CIA was
very much interested in assisting Shaw during the period of his prosecution
in New Orleans. 690
Former CIA Director Richard Helms himself subsequently admitted
under oath that Shaw had CIA connections. If Jim Garrison had had that
proof at the time of Shaw’s trial, the verdict indeed may have been
different.691
ANGELTON’S INTERVENTION
There is yet additional evidence of attempts by the CIA to undermine
Garrison’s investigation. This evidence directly implicates the CIA’s director
of counterintelligence, James J. Angleton, whose own unique ties to the
Mossad and whose central role in the JFK conspiracy cover-up we examined
in Chapter 8, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16.
Author Anthony Summers, in his recently-released biography of former
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, described how the alleged compromising
photos of Hoover engaged in homosexual activities (described in Chapter 7)
managed to surface in relation to the Garrison investigation.
According to Summers, he was told by former CIA contract operative
Gordon Novel that he (Novel) was shown such photos by James J.
Angleton.
Novel, who operated out of New Orleans, had popped up in Jim
Garrison’s investigation as a possible suspect and, as a direct consequence,
he (Novel) had filed a lawsuit against Garrison.
Novel said that he was being urged to pursue his lawsuit against the
New Orleans district attorney by his associates in the CIA, but that Hoover
was opposed to the lawsuit. It was then that Angleton contacted Novel,
displayed the compromising photos, and suggested that Novel discreetly
advise Hoover that he had seen the photos which Novel says he did, much to
the FBI director’s dismay. 692
314 They Dare Not Speak Out [253]
Clearly, Garrison was on the right track. When he launched his
investigation of Shaw, Garrison thought he was doing his patriotic duty. He
was trying to prosecute a man he believed was connected to the JFK
assassination conspiracy. Garrison was trying to bring our president’s killers to
justice. However, the New Orleans district attorney was greeted with a
hurricane onslaught by the media—and, in particular, a media outlet with close
ties to elements in the pro-Israel lobby.
THE ‘STERN GANG’
The evidence indicates, in fact, that the fine hand of pro-Israel
propagandists were at work, orchestrating the attack on Garrison. Leading the
assault on the district attorney was NBC’s New Orleans television (and radio)
affiliate, WDSU.
The owner of WDSU was Edgar Stern, of the powerful New Orleans Stern
family, major contributors to not only the American Jewish Committee and
the American Jewish Appeal, but also the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of
B’nai B’rith. 693Additionally, a close friend of Clay Shaw was Edgar Stern’s
wife, Edith Stern, whose support for Shaw in the face of his prosecution was
prominently noted in James Kirkwood’s account of the Shaw trial, American
Grotesque. 694
As we shall see in this chapter, the ADL not only functions as a foreign
intelligence operation for Israel, but it also works closely with American
intelligence. More importantly—the ADL uses its influence to play a major
role in shaping American media news coverage. This was critical to covering
up the truth about the JFK assassination.
WDSU’s malicious attack on Garrison, however, was a much bigger project
than it might have appeared. In fact, NBC national news in New York was
the prime mover behind the propaganda campaign against the district attorney.
NBC’s coordinator for the project was a former Justice Department
official, Walter Sheridan, who had also previously worked for the National
Security Agency. According to Sheridan, Edgar Stern was “a courageous,
liberal man who shared our views concerning Garrison and his probe.
WDSU was the only voice in the Louisiana wilderness speaking out against what
Garrison was doing” 695
However, how courageous and liberal the Stern family may have been is
subject to question, in light not only of their attack on Garrison, but also in
light of their widely known support of the ADL and its activities, particularly in
New Orleans.
In 1968, during the midst of the Garrison-Shaw controversy, it was the
ADL’s New Orleans office that provided $36,500 of its own funds toward an
FBI operation designed to entrap Ku Klux Klansman Tommy Tarrants and a
young woman named Kathy Ainsworth. In a shoot-out which erupted, Miss
Ainsworth was slain. 696
Interestingly enough, the ADL official in New Orleans who was the prime
player in this bizarre conspiracy was A. L. (Bee) Botnick. It was in
[254] Final Judgment 315
Chapter 15 that we noted Botnick’s close relationship to Guy Banister, the
ex-FBI official-turned-CIA coordinator of anti-Castro Cuban exile activities
in New Orleans.
It was, of course, out of Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street that Lee
Harvey Oswald carried out apparent intelligence activities at Banister’s
instruction and portrayed himself as a pro-Castro agitator.
SABOTAGE
The aforementioned Walter Sheridan’s involvement in the Garrison case
went far beyond being a reporter who was simply out to do a hatchet job.
Instead, Sheridan was actually trying to sabotage Garrison’s investigation by
interfering in the actual course of the inquiry.
As Garrison pointed out, Sheridan and his associates were “going far
beyond word games. They were engaged in an organized effort to derail an
official investigation of a major city’s district attorney’s office. They were
attempting to persuade witnesses to alter their testimony, even attempting
to move major witnesses permanently to another part of the country.” 697
MORE FROM ‘THE STERN GANG’
What is additionally interesting is that the ADL-linked Stern family-run
WDSU media had actually played a primary part in helping promote Lee
Harvey Oswald’s image as a “pro-Castro” activist both before—and after—
the assassination of President Kennedy.
It was on August 16, 1963 that Oswald and a colleague appeared outside
Clay Shaw’s International Trade Mart distributing pro-Castro leaflets.
Researcher Dick Russell points out two intriguing facts: “The leafleteers
were there for only a few minutes, yet the demonstration was filmed by
WDSU-TV, which happened to be on hand—apparently alerted in advance.
Jessie R. Core III, the public relations man for the International Trade Mart,
also attended the leafleting and alerted the FBI immediately afterward.”698
So it was that not only did the Stern family’s television cameras just
happen to be there to capture Oswald, the “pro-Castro” activist, but
Permindex board member Clay Shaw’s Trade Mart associate took the effort
to report the young “communist” to the FBI, thus cementing Oswald’s
leftist image further.
This, however, was not the end of WDSU’s involvement in promoting
Oswald’s public image as a pro-communist agitator prior to the
assassination of President Kennedy.
On August 17 William Stuckey of WDSU Radio arranged for a radio
interview with Oswald in which the young man proclaimed his leftist
views. Then WDSU turned a copy of the tape over to the FBI.
There’s more. On August 19 WDSU’s Stuckey again contacted Oswald
and arranged for Oswald to appear in a debate with an anti-Castro activist
over his radio station. It was at this time that Oswald proclaimed himself a
316 They Dare Not Speak Out [255]
Marxist. The next day WDSU turned a copy of the debate transcript over to
the FBI office in New Orleans.699
In fact, then, on a second occasion—on August 30—WDSU Radio
again made the transcript of the Oswald radio debate available to the FBI.700
WDSU was very public spirited indeed.
OSWALD’S ‘FREE PUBLICITY’
The ADL-connected WDSU television and radio had thus provided “one
lone nut”—Lee Harvey Oswald—with more free publicity than any other
single leftist in the city of New Orleans could have dreamed about.
But WDSU wasn’t finished with Oswald. Immediately after Oswald was
arrested in Dallas on November 22, it was—once again—WDSU that played
a part in portraying Oswald, now to a national television audience, as a pro-
Castro agitator.
According to Warren Hinckle and William Turner: “The NBC Network
scored a coup, thanks to its New Orleans affiliate WDSU. Early in the
evening it played a tape of Oswald’s voice professing admiration for Fidel
Castro and declaring, ‘I am a Marxist.'” 701
An interesting footnote. The young WDSU cameraman who filmed
Oswald’s demonstration, Johann Rush, emerged some thirty years later—in
1993—as an “expert” whose “enhancement” of the Zapruder film of the JFK
assassination was hailed as the final proof that Oswald acted alone.
Rush collaborated with author Gerald Posner in the publication of a
volume entitled Case Closed which was widely hailed in the Establishment
media as the ultimate refutation of JFK assassination conspiracy theorists.
U.S. News & World Report, published by outspoken Israeli enthusiast
Mortimer Zuckerman, devoted an extended special issue promoting the book
in its cover story
However, the Posner-Rush book is rife with errors, contradictions,
misstatements and distortions of fact. The book is quite disingenuous in its
thesis that while the Warren Commission was wrong on some points—thus
sparking criticism—its basic thesis (that Oswald acted alone) was correct.
The authors ignore critical evidence of CIA and other intelligence
connections to Oswald and Ruby and suggest that virtually all of the many
witnesses who were able to provide information which pointed toward a
conspiracy were either mentally unstable or outright liars or both.
So it is that Johann Rush, a veteran of WDSU’s conspiracy to frame
Lee Harvey Oswald as a pro-Castro agitator, has once again returned to the
center of the media’s cover-up of what really happened in Dallas on
November 22, 1963.
SHERIDAN’S ISRAEL CONNECTION
It was later, of course, that Walter Sheridan, on the payroll of NBC
news, came to New Orleans and, aided by WDSU, launched the effort to
undermine Jim Garrison to a national television audience,WDSU already
[256] Final Judgment 317
having done so much to lay the groundwork for the portrayal of Lee Harvey
Oswald as a lone communist agitator.
In later years, it should be noted, it was Sheridan who set up shop—
although he was not a lawyer—at the law firm of Miller, Cassidy, Larroca
and Lewin in Washington, D.C. This was the firm of a former Justice
Department colleague of Sheridan’s named Nathan Lewin who, by this
time, had emerged as one of the Israeli lobby’s most prominent legmen in
the city of Washington.
It was from his office in Lewin’s firm that Sheridan laid the
groundwork for the establishment of a security firm that provided exclusive
services to the Caribbean resort empire known as Resorts International:702
As we noted in Chapter 7, Resorts International is generally perceived as a
joint intelligence operation linking the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Crime
Syndicate alongside the Israeli Mossad.
It is fitting, in this context, to note that JFK assassination researcher
Peter Dale Scott has pointed out that Walter Sheridan’s account of his work in
fighting organized crime in the Kennedy Justice Department “omits such
obviously relevant names as those of Meyer Lansky.”703 This is not
surprising, of course, in light of all that we have seen regarding Sheridan
and the forces behind the effort to destroy Jim Garrison’s investigation of
Clay Shaw and the JFK assassination conspiracy.
GARRISON PILLORIED
In any case, it is very clear that forces with close ties to the Israeli
lobby were among those leading the assault on Garrison. Garrison was
pilloried on national television time and again. He was ruthlessly savaged in
the press. His integrity was questioned and his methods of inquiry were
called into judgment.
So it was with anyone who questioned the “official” word on the JFK
assassination. The CIA even went to the trouble of preparing a review of
Warren Commission critic Mark Lane’s best-selling Rush to Judgment that
was distributed to CIA friends and assets in the media
This was all part and parcel of the campaign to discredit those who were
on the brink of uncovering the real truth about the JFK assassination,
something that neither Israel nor its allies at the CIA could permit.
SABOTAGE FROM WITHIN
In his own memoirs, Garrison notes how, time and again, he and his
fellow investigators in the New Orleans District Attorneys office discovered
evidence that their work was being sabotaged from within. Government
infiltrators and others were not only spying on Garrison’s activities, but
they were attempting to undermine the whole investigation. To Garrison’s
dismay, even some seemingly dedicated volunteers who had offered to help
the professional investigators turned out to be saboteurs.
318 They Dare Not Speak Out [257]
One “volunteer” helper was a chap whom Garrison describes as “a
young Englishman.”704 This young Englishman, in fact, was one Tom
Bethell, who later “broke” with Garrison—if he had ever really been
working on the same side as Garrison to begin with—and became a source
for Garrison’s critics. Perhaps we now know what Bethell’s reward was,
now that time has passed.
Former CIA man William F. Buckley, Jr. later hired on young Bethell
as an editor for his National Review magazine, touting him as one of the
great young conservative writers of the era. Thanks to Buckley’s patronage,
Bethell’s career as a journalist moved along quite nicely.
(In Chapter 9, of course, we reviewed the extensive and repeated
connections of Buckley and his family to a wide variety of key players in
the JFK assassination conspiracy—in particular to E. Howard Hunt whose
own role we discussed in further detail in Chapter 17.)
MORE CIA INTERVENTION?
There is other evidence of apparent CIA meddling in the Garrison
investigation. When, in 1968, Garrison critic, author James Kirkwood,
published his book American Grotesque, he inadvertently let the cat out of
the bag regarding an intelligence community-linked effort to sandbag
Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw.
Describing how journalist James Phelan had provided him (Kirkwood)
with his own account of how he (Phelan) was trying to disprove Garrison’s
case against Shaw, Kirkwood published a transcript of a taped interview he
conducted with Phelan.
Phelan described how he had arranged to meet with Garrison in Las
Vegas (during a vacation interlude by the tired and worn district attorney). At
this point Garrison was unaware that Phelan was hostile. Phelan told
Kirkwood how Garrison provided him a number of key documents, in
confidence, which he was supposed to return the next morning.
According to Kirkwood’s transcription, here is what Phelan said: “When
[Garrison] gave them [the documents] to me he did not put any restrictions
on them. He knew I was writing a piece. He said, ‘You’ll now understand
my case when you read them.” So I got up early and made a call to Bob
Mayhew at the Desert Inn and told him I needed a Xerox and needed it fast. I
had to have two documents Xeroxed and I did not want anyone else reading
them or knowing they were being copied. They Xeroxed the copies for me
and I returned the originals to Garrison and made no comment about the
thing. I wanted to wait for the trial.” 705
What is significant, particularly in the context of the time in which
Kirkwood first published this interview (1968) is this: it was not until
some years later that it first came to light that it was former FBI manturned-
CIA contract agent Robert Maheu who was the primary intermediary
between the CIA and organized crime in the joint plotting against Fidel
Castro. When Kirkwood first revealed the Phelan-Maheu machinations,
Maheu’s behind-the-scenes activities were still a deep, dark secret.
[258] Final Judgment 319
It was this same Robert Maheu (misspelled as “Mayhew” by Kirkwood)
who was assisting Phelan in the attempt to scuttle the Garrison
investigation—an investigation that would, if pursued to the ultimate, have
exposed the very CIA-organized crime conspiracy against Castro that also
implicated many of those involved in the JFK assassination itself.
In Chapter 11 we examined Maheu’s involvement with the CIA and such
organized crime figures as Johnny Rosselli, Sam Giancana and Meyer Lansky
lieutenant Santo Trafficante in detail.
It will also be recalled that the aforementioned Desert Inn (by this time the
property of billionaire Howard Hughes) was initially established by
Meyer Lansky’s trusted associate, Morris Dalitz, whose activities and
strange connections we examined in Chapter 10 and Chapter 15.
So it was that the CIA did have its collaborators in key positions to
undermine the Jim Garrison investigation.
GARRISON & MARCELLO
Some of Garrison’s more creative foes in the media cleverly came up with
a new way to discredit the New Orleans prosecutor. Instead of really seeking
the truth about the JFK murder, they said, Garrison was, in fact, trying to
cover it up. Garrison—so they said—was a willing tool of Mafia chieftain
Carlos Marcello.
By pointing his finger in the direction of the CIA, the Garrison critics
claimed, the D.A. was trying to take the heat of suspicion off Carlos
Marcello who, they said, was the more likely suspect.
This claim is illogical at best. If Garrison were deliberately trying to
cover up any Marcello connections—if any—to the assassination
conspiracy, he was going about it in the wrong way.
(It was in Chapter 10 where we learned of the campaign against
Garrison led by Life magazine’s Richard Billings, who promoted the
Garrison-Marcello scenario. It was Billings, of course, who later served as a
top advisor to the House Assassinations Committee which pointed the
finger of blame for the JFK assassination on “The Mafia,”—and Marcello
in particular. )
If Garrison was trying to protect Marcello, the last person that he
should have picked on was David Ferrie, the Mafia kingpin’s sometimepersonal
pilot and occasional legal researcher. Ferrie himself was standing
alongside Marcello in a federal courtroom in New Orleans at the very
moment JFK was shot.
By first inquiring into Ferrie’s activities, Garrison was practically
walking right into Marcello’s office itself. This fact alone nullifies the
creative (but very much flawed) “Mafia cover-up” critique of Garrison that
continues to hang over Garrison’s memory to this day. Yet, those who
push the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK” ignore this fact.
Evidently the people of New Orleans didn’t buy the Establishment’s
heavy-handed assault on Garrison. He won re-election to the district
attorney’s office, despite—or perhaps precisely because of—the media
320 They Dare Not Speak Out [259]
barrage. This is all the more remarkable in that it was the very newspapers
of New Orleans who were Garrison’s fiercest at-home critics.
Garrison clearly was on the right track. He was looking in the right
places. It was Garrison who linked Clay Shaw to the JFK assassination
conspiracy and it was Shaw who sat on the board of Permindex, the
shadowy Israeli Mossad-linked entity that played so central a role in the
murder of the American president. How much Shaw knew about the
impending murder of the president will never be known, but there is no
question that Shaw was tied to the core of the conspiracy.
THE FEDS VERSUS GARRISON
No wonder then that the full force of the federal government came down
on Garrison’s head. He was hit with a wholly-concocted indictment on
bribery charges but subsequently—and rightly—was acquitted. The key
witness against him, a former friend named Pershing Gervais, admitted in a
press interview (with journalist Rosemary James, herself a Garrison critic)
that the charges against Garrison were a Justice Department concoction.
Gervais said, “They wanted to silence Jim Garrison. That was their primary
objective . . .” It was, according to Gervais, “a total, complete political
frame-up, absolutely.” He said “the entire thing” was a whole lie.706
Despite the vindication, the Internal Revenue Service jumped into the
picture and brought a tax evasion indictment against Garrison for not paying
taxes on the alleged bribes that he had been acquitted of having accepted.
This, of course, seems incredible, but it is absolutely true. Garrison beat
that charge, but his Establishment critics continue to allege (in a last
desperate effort to pummel Garrison) that the jurors in that case—as in the
previous case—may have been bribed to bring in a not guilty verdict.
THE MEDIA TRASHES THE KENNEDY IMAGE
What’s more, thanks to the media, the image of John F. Kennedy
likewise has been repeatedly savaged in the years following the
assassination. It virtually became a form of ritual defamation.
Kennedy’s reputed sex life became the subject matter not of just the
tabloids, but of the Establishment press itself. Kennedy, we were told, was
not all that he was cracked up to be. His affair with Marilyn Monroe became
the subject of conversation at every dinner table. (The strange role of Meyer
Lansky’s man in Hollywood, Mickey Cohen, in the Kennedy-Monroe
liaison—which we examined in Chapter 13—however, was not a staple of
the continuing coverage.)
The antics of John Kennedy’s brother Edward did little to help things.
The media eagerly pounced on the Massachusetts senator’s every mistake
and—as the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination approached in 1993—
began hyping several malicious books attacking Ted Kennedy with what many
people might accurately assume was the purpose of preventing the youngest
Kennedy brother from ever reaching the White House.
[260] Final Judgment 321
Even the late Jacqueline Kennedy—subsequently married to Greek
billionaire Aristotle Onassis—was held up to ridicule by the media in
subsequent years. Not even she was free from the media’s defamation.
THE HUNT-CIA CONNECTION SUPPRESSED
Despite all the media’s fascination with the Kennedy family, the media
was strangely silent about the astounding revelations that came forth in the
E. Howard Hunt-Spotlight newspaper libel trial in Miami in 1985. It was
then, as we saw in Chapter 16, that the jury concluded that the CIA had
indeed played a part in John F. Kennedy’s assassination. However, the
CIA’s friends at The Washington Post had barely a word to say about
Hunt’s stunning loss during the trial. Was this by accident—or by design?
At this juncture the conclusion is all too obvious.
THE CIA AND THE MEDIA
That the CIA, of course, has had a major role in subverting the First
Amendment and influencing the American media is now a widely accepted
truth. According to David Wise, writing in The American Police State,
which examined, in part, the role of the CIA in manipulating the media:
“The CIA’s contacts with the publishing world were not confined to
attempts to suppress books. Through the U.S. Information Agency as a
`cut-out,’ the CIA subsidized major publishers to produce books, some of
which were then sold in the United States bearing no government imprint to
warn the unsuspecting purchaser.
“In 1967 publisher Frederick A. Praeger conceded he had published
`fifteen or sixteen’ books for the CIA. By the mid-sixties, more than $1
million had been spent by the government on its ‘book development’
program. The Senate intelligence committee estimated that by 1967, the
CIA had produced, sponsored, or subsidized ‘well over 1,000′ books’ here
and abroad.” 707
(One of Praeger’s volumes is interesting in light of the “French
connection” to the JFK case. In 1989 Praeger issued Challenging DeGaulle:
The OAS and the Counterrevolution in Algeria. Former CIA Director
William Colby wrote the introduction to Harrison’s book which was
described as the first fully documented history of the OAS.)
Wise continues: “The CIA also planted stories in the foreign press,
some of which were played back to American audiences. [CIA Director
William] Colby assured the House intelligence committee that the CIA
would never manipulate [the Associated Press], since it was an American
wire service. In addition, the CIA operated two news services of its own in
Europe. These ‘proprietaries,’ or CIA cover companies, serviced American
newspapers; one had more than thirty U.S. subscribers.” 708
However, there is one other significant force in American life which
plays an even bigger part in shaping the media.
322 They Dare Not Speak Out [261]
ISRAEL AND THE AMERICAN MEDIA
The real key to understanding the media’s part in the JFK assassination
cover-up is to recognize the incredible influence of the Israeli lobby in the
United States on the American media. It is a subject that deserves far more
consideration than we can provide in these pages.
However, there are four volumes in particular which give the reader an
in-depth look at the way Israel and its lobby in this country have had such a
powerful impact on the way news relating to Israel is reported. Each volume
deserves careful study:
• Split Vision: The Portrayal of Arabs in the American Media, edited
by Edmund Ghareeb, published in 1983 by the American-Arab Affairs
Council;
• They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s
Lobby by former Congressman Paul Findley, published in 1985 by
Lawrence Hill & Company.
• A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute
by former diplomat Richard H. Curtiss, published in 1986 by the American
Educational Trust;
• Conspiracy Against Freedom, issued in 1986 by Liberty Lobby, the
Washington-based populist institution which publishes The Spotlight, the
newspaper that sparked the lawsuit by E. Howard Hunt (described in Chapter
16) which resulted in a jury’s finding that the CIA had been complicit in the
JFK assassination conspiracy.
This volume is of particular interest in that it displays documents from
ADL files which prove the role of the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) of B’nai B’rith in seeking to silence critics of Israel through wideranging
techniques including threats, economic boycott and other unsavory
and illegal measures contrary to American tradition.
It is the activity of the ADL, in particular, which seems to have had a
recurring role in the JFK assassination conspiracy cover-up by the media.
THE MOSSAD’S TENTACLES
Intelligence historian Richard Deacon, writing in his history of Israel’s
Mossad, has commented on the pervasive role of the Israeli lobby and the
manner in which it has exercised its influence:
“For years the tentacles of the Israeli Secret Service had reached out into
all walks of American life, not in any sinister way, as was sometimes
alleged by her enemies, but in a quietly persistent manner which embraced
making friends and influencing people, establishing opinion lobbies and
gathering intelligence.
Deacon continued: “This influence extended into the U.S. [House] and the
Senate, the Pentagon, the defense and electronic industries, the research
laboratories and such Jewish-oriented organizations as the Anti-Defamation
League, the Jewish Defense Committee, Bonds for Israel and the Federation
of Jewish Philanthropies.
[262] Final Judgment 323
“Some of these bodies have served as fronts for intelligence-gathering
and there are few of the important congressional committees which do not
possess one member or staff-assistant who does not feed the Israeli network
relevant material.” 709
THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE
It is significant that Deacon has made specific reference to the Anti-
Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith. Perhaps above any other
organization, it is the ADL which has consistently had a major impact on
the America media. And in the case of the media’s coverage of the JFK
assassination, the Warren Commission investigation, and the subsequent
critiques of the commission, the ADL’s fine hand is, as we shall see, quite
visible.
That the ADL, as a voice for Israel, would have an interest in stifling
any suggestion that Israel—and for that matter, Israel’s allies at the CIA—
had a hand in the JFK assassination cannot be disputed.
After all, the ADL has adopted as its mission the defense of Israel and
the defamation of its critics—both real and perceived.
THE ADL AND THE LANSKY SYNDICATE
What’s more, the ADL has—to this day—very close ties to the
remnants of the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and has
throughout its history. Many top Lansky associates were longtime high-level
financial backers of the ADL.
According to a 1968 study by Father Dan Lyons, a Jesuit priest, at that
time fully $5,500,000 of the ADL’s total budget of $6,183,000 came from
contributions from the liquor industry. The liquor industry was a virtual
fiefdom of powerful Jewish families known for their devotion to Israel,
most notably the family of ex-bootlegger Samuel Bronfman. 710
(As we saw in Chapters 7 and 15, the Bronfman family—along with
liquor baron Sam Rothberg, head of the U.S. Israel Bonds campaign, were
key backers of Israel and tied closely with the Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate.)
In fact, as we noted in Chapter 10, the ADL is so close to the Lansky
Syndicate that in 1983 Lansky’s longtime associate, Morris Dalitz, was
honored by the ADL with its prestigious annual “Torch of Liberty Award.”
(Dalitz’s service to the cause of Israel was apparently deemed more
significant than his activities in the underworld.)
All of this is, of course, significant when we consider the ADL’s
activities in the context of the media’s assault on those who ponder the
possibility of a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination.
However, the ADL has—as we shall see—connections above and
beyond the organized crime interests that stood to benefit from the JFK
assassination. The ADL has long-standing ties to American intelligence.
324 They Dare Not Speak Out [263]
THE ADL & AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE
Writing in American Jewish Organizations and Israel, Lee O’Brien
provides an informative capsule study of the ADL’s method of operation:
“In its early decades, the ADL would approach persons or institutions
considered to be anti-Semitic and privately attempt to persuade or reason
them into retracting abusive statements and correcting offensive behavior.
“In later years, ADL has turned to more public and aggressive measures,
which it classifies as “Educational,” “Vigilance Work,” and “Legislation.” In
fact, “Vigilance Work” has become outright surveillance of individuals and
groups, the results of which are fed into both the Israeli intelligencegathering
apparatus, via their consulates and embassy, and American
domestic intelligence, via the FBI. To ADL officials have admitted the use
of clandestine surveillance techniques.” 711
THE ADL AND THE MEDIA
O’Brien’s summary of the ADL’s method of operation is quite
interesting in that it pinpoints the ADL’s influence on the media and on
public debate over the role of Israel vis-à-vis American Middle East policy
making:
“Today the ADL is much more active than other community relations
organizations in the use of its regional offices and constituency for
information gathering, and dissemination.
“The central headquarters in New York City provides regional offices
with analysis sheets, sample letters to the editor to be placed in local media,
biographies of Israeli leaders and anti-Zionist speakers, and directives on
how to deal with topical issues.
“The regional offices in turn monitor all Israel-related or Middle Eastrelated
activities in their areas, such as the media, campus speakers, and
films. By bringing the local events to the attention of the central
headquarters, they play a pivotal role in ADL’s overall supervision of the
national scene.” 712
OPERATING AGAINST ISRAEL’S CRITICS
O’Brien describes one instance which is typical of the ADL’s activities
in defense of Israel: “One Jewish activist critical of Israeli policies
discovered in 1983 that the ADL maintained a file on him going back to
1970; it included information on the subject gathered from local newspapers,
talks on campuses, interoffice memos (from the institution where the
subject teaches), business meetings, talk on radio and TV, and press and
other miscellaneous materials.
“As the file revealed, specific individuals had been assigned to monitor
this person’s lectures, either by tape recordings and verbatim transcriptions,
or by detailed summaries of what the subject spoke about, the context of the
[264] Final Judgment 325
lecture, other participants, size of audience, questions from the floor, mood
of the audience, and so forth.
“In some cases, these observers successfully penetrated closed meetings
in which the subject participated. Subsequently, the ADL prepared and
disseminated a short primer on this person, following the ‘myth” and “fact’
format, and distributed it to their agents for use at future speaking
engagements.” 713
This, of course, is but one example (of many) which demonstrates the
pervasive influence of Israel’s ADL and its clandestine efforts to control
public discussion of U.S. Middle East policy on all fronts—particularly in
the American media.
SPY SCANDAL
At the beginning of 1993, however, the ADL’s history of covert—and
illegal—domestic spying finally became the topic of widespread public
controversy.
A spy scandal erupted in San Francisco, enveloping the ADL, one of its
longtime paid informants, and a San Francisco police officer who had been
selling classified police intelligence information to the ADL.
A raid by the San Francisco Police Department on the offices of the
ADL in both San Francisco and Los Angeles revealed that those offices of
the ADL were maintaining surveillance on some 12,000 individual
Americans and on the activities of some 950 social and political
organizations of all political persuasions.
It was subsequently revealed that the ADL was conducting similar
spying operations in other major cities around the country, utilizing a
network of paid informants who were charged with the responsibility of
infiltrating organizations targeted by the ADL.
(In Chapter 15 we considered the likelihood that the ADL’s New
Orleans spymaster, A. L. (Bee) Botnick, had utilized the good offices of his
fellow anti-communist extremist, ex-FBI man, private detective and CIA
asset Guy Banister, to spy upon left wing groups in New Orleans, taking
advantage of the talents of a young man named Lee Harvey Oswald.)
Ironically, among the targets of the ADL’s spying included
organizations that had, over the years, cooperated with the ADL in a number
of joint ventures, including the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union.
SPYING ON EVERYBODY
Contrary to popular perception, the ADL was not spying only on socalled
“right wing” or “anti-Semitic” groups. Instead, the ADL appears to
have maintained constant surveillance of a wide variety of groups and
individuals.
Although the ADL sought to maintain silence about the ongoing
investigation, hard-hitting and fact-filled investigative reports by the San
326 They Dare Not Speak Out [265]
Francisco Examiner and the Los Angeles Times, in particular, received
nationwide distribution, doing immense damage to the ADL’s long-standing
pose as a “civil rights” organization.
THE ANGLETON CONNECTION
The longtime chief of the ADL’s spy network (euphemistically called
its “fact finding division”) was one Irwin Suall who operated out of ADL
headquarters in Manhattan. Formerly active in the labor movement, Suall
was a protégé of Jay Lovestone, whom we first met in Chapter 8.
Suall’s mentor, it will be recalled, was Mossad-allied CIA spymaster
James J. Angleton’s point man in the CIA’s dealings with the Lansky
Syndicate-linked Corsican and Sicilian crime organizations.
These foreign crime elements (which handled the Lansky-run drug racket
in Europe) were also utilized by the CIA in its campaign against left-wing
labor movements in the Mediterranean during the post-war period.
Since James J. Angleton was dismissed from his CIA post after
revelations of his involvement in illegal domestic spying by the CIA, we
cannot help but speculate that, in light of revelations about ADL spying,
Angleton almost certainly relied upon the good offices of his friends at the
Mossad-linked ADL for much information.
(In Chapter 15 we pointed out that the FBI also utilized the ADL as a
spy asset, noting, in particular the ADL’s spying operations aimed at civil
rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.)
THE ADL AND THE JFK ASSASSINATION
That the ADL would have a hand in shaping JFK assassination news
coverage was inevitable, particularly in light of the revelations we have put
forth in the pages of this volume.
In fact, on the first occasion when the Establishment media put forth a
theory that perhaps Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed part of a much bigger
conspiracy, it was in a news story leaked by two major columnists who
were very close to not only the ADL but also to key figures in the Meyer
Lansky Crime Syndicate. The case study we are about to examine is highly
significant and illustrates the point all too well.
THE PEARSON/ANDERSON COVER STORY
On March 3, 1967, syndicated columnist Drew Pearson and his
understudy, Jack Anderson, floated a story which suggested that Fidel Castro
had been behind the JFK murder. (This column appeared during the time
that New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison was in the earliest stages
of his own controversial assassination inquiry.)
Interestingly, Pearson and Anderson even slanted their column to
suggest that somehow then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, the
president’s younger brother who was elected to the Senate from New York in
[266] Final Judgment 327
1964, had a hand in setting what became the alleged Castro-sponsored
assassination plot in motion.
Pearson and Anderson claimed that: “President Johnson is sitting on a
political H-bomb, an unconfirmed report that Sen. Robert Kennedy may
have approved an assassination plot which then possibly backfired against
his late brother.” The assassination plot alleged was one of those hatched
between the CIA and “the Mafia.” 714
According to what can most charitably be described as the fanciful
account by Pearson and Anderson, Castro had captured a number of CIAMafia
hit men who were gunning for him and then “turned” them; in short,
that the anti-Castro hit men then had a change of heart and returned to the
United States and killed Kennedy.
It was some years later that Anderson revealed that Mafia figure Johnny
Rosselli had, in fact, been the alleged initial source of the story which
Anderson said had been told to CIA-linked Washington lawyer, Edward P.
Morgan.
(In Chapter 11 we reviewed Rosselli’s involvement in the Castro
assassination plots upon which the Pearson/Anderson story relied, in part,
as a basis for its theory.)
WHY THE COVER STORY DOESN’T WASH . . .
With good reasons which they cite, Rosselli’s biographers, Charles
Rappleye and Ed Becker, don’t believe the Pearson/Anderson story in the
least. They write:
“Not mentioned in the column was the simple, powerful argument
against Cuban sponsorship of the Kennedy assassination—the powerful risk
Castro would run if a plot against the American president was discovered.
As the [U.S. Senate’s] Church Committee [investigating CIA assassination
plots] noted, such a blunder would have ‘exposed Cuba to invasion and
destruction.’
“Later, it was learned that Castro had opened new channels of
diplomacy, at the time of the shooting in Dallas, showing himself, in the
words of one diplomat, ‘anxious to establish communications with the
United States.’ Finally, with the benefit of hindsight, Rosselli’s story of
CIA marksmen being ‘turned’ seems highly implausible, a product of
Korean War recruiting films.
“Nor did Anderson note his own close relationship to his source; that
Morgan had no evidence, beyond Rosselli’s statements, to back up the
Castro retaliation theory; nor that Rosselli may have been pursuing his
own, independent agenda.” 715
Mafia enforcer and one-time “acting boss” of the Mafia families in
California, Jimmy Fratianno, told of a meeting with Rosselli in 1976,
around the time that Rosselli was providing congressional investigators
with details of CIA-Organized Crime assassination plots aimed at Fidel
Castro.
328 They Dare Not Speak Out [267]
Fratianno’s memory of the event suggests that Rosselli himself was
never being straightforward about the events as they had really unfolded.
Fratianno recalls Rosselli’s words as follows:
“They had me up at the Carroll Arms Hotel . . . for a secret session and
I really fixed their fucking wagon. All hot, you know, about who killed
Kennedy. Sometimes I’d like to tell them the mob did it, just to see the
expression on their stupid faces. You know, we’re supposed to be idiots,
right?
“We hire a psycho like Oswald to kill the President and then we get a
blabbermouth, two-bit punk like Ruby to shut him up. We wouldn’t trust
those jerks to hit a fucking dog.
“Anyway, they start questioning me about this bullshit I’d told Morgan
years ago. You know, Castro retaliating against Kennedy because of our
attempts on his life. I said, ‘I have no recollection of receiving or passing
on such information.’
“Well, Jimmy, it’s not my fault if Morgan has a vivid imagination.
I’ve also been dropping by Jack Anderson’s office and we’re getting pretty
chummy, having lunch and dinner together. Nice guy, but he’s always
trying to pump me, but he’s cool about it.” 716
THE CIA CONNECTION
Rosselli’s biographers believe that “more intriguing than Rosselli’s
motivation [in creating the story told by Pearson and Anderson] is the
question of who actually sponsored the bogus lead that Castro killed
Kennedy.” 717
According to Rappleye and Becker, “Santo Trafficante seems the most
likely party.” 718 They go even further, however. They believe that the CIA
was behind Trafficante’s actions in this regard:
“Might the CIA have floated the Castro theory, again to deflect the
[Jim] Garrison investigation [in New Orleans]? If the CIA were actually
involved in the Kennedy assassination, as some leading researchers believe,
the scenario would fit.
“Considering his intimate association with the Agency, Rosselli would
have accepted their directive as well as Trafficante’s. And Ed Morgan
himself had close ties to the Agency, both through [CIA contract operative
Robert] Maheu and from a prior stint as counsel to the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee.” 719
(As we saw, particularly in Chapter 12, Trafficante was not the major
crime boss he has been portrayed by the Establishment media. Instead, he
was the immediate deputy of the CIA’s longtime collaborator—and Israel’s
loyalist—Meyer Lansky.)
PEARSON, JOHNSON & THE LANSKY SYNDICATE
Warren Commission critic, Peter Dale Scott notes, additionally, that
Pearson, himself, was close to then-President Lyndon B. Johnson and that
[268] Final Judgment 329
Pearson was backing Johnson’s CIA-backed plans to expand the war in
Vietnam (the issue over which JFK and the CIA had been at loggerheads
leading to a final showdown). 720
Floating an anti-communist story (i.e. linking a communist dictator to
the murder of the martyred president) then, would also have the side effect of
whipping up anti-communist hysteria which would have been helpful to the
“anti-communist” offensive in Vietnam that proved so beneficial, as we
have seen, not only to the CIA, but also to the Meyer Lansky Crime
Syndicate and its allies in Israel.
The Pearson-Johnson relationship had other implications as well.
According to Scott, Pearson had used his column to leak government
information about a key witness, one Don Reynolds, who was providing
evidence against Johnson’s longtime crony and reputed bag-man, Bobby
Baker.” 721
(Baker, as we saw, in Chapter 6, was not only an independent operator
on his own, but a front man for a variety of LBJ’s corrupt business
ventures. Baker conducted more than a few deals with close associates of
Meyer Lansky, most notably Ed Levinson, a director of Mossad operative
Tibor Rosenbaum’s Banque de Credit International (BCI).
(As we noted in Chapter 15, Rosenbaum’s BCI, of course, was one of
the chief shareholders in Permindex, the shadowy entity that played so
central a role in the CIA-Mossad conspiracy against John F. Kennedy.)
EARL WARREN CONNED
Drew Pearson’s own interest in JFK assassination cover stories was of
long standing. In fact, according to Scott’s research, it was Pearson himself
who told Chief Justice Earl Warren, early in the Warren Commission
investigation, that the CIA-Organized Crime plots against Castro had
backfired and that Castro had retaliated and ordered the assassination of
Kennedy? 722
According to Pearson’s own longtime legman, John Henshaw, Warren
and Pearson had traveled together to the USSR shortly after the JFK
assassination. There Pearson was introduced to Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev. Apparently one of the subjects discussed by Pearson and
Khrushchev was the assassination of John F. Kennedy. 723
Henshaw noted that a “top secret” classified document buried in the
National Archives in Washington (signed by CIA Director Richard Helms)
was designated, “Discussion between Chairman Khrushchev and Mr. Drew
Pearson regarding Lee Harvey Oswald.” 724
This was one of the documents that Chief Justice Warren ordered sealed
for 75 years. The secret talks between Pearson and the Soviet dictator were
never recorded in Pearson’s gossip column. It was apparently during this
period that Pearson first promoted the Castro conspiracy theory which later
came to the public’s attention in 1967.
However, at the time of the Warren Commission investigation, the
chief justice evidently believed there was a basis for Pearson’s story, and
330 They Dare Not Speak Out [269]
thus a consequent need to cover up the truth to prevent the outbreak of war.
This apparently was the ruse needed to convince Warren to hide what he
mistakenly believed to be the troublesome truth. Pearson’s biographer
charitably described the columnist’s actions: “The purpose of the columnistturned-
diplomat was to reduce hysteria, which might upset the delicate
balance between the [United States and the USSR].” 725
Whatever the case, the Pearson-Anderson story about the alleged Castro
conspiracy against JFK created a sensation and muddied the waters at a time
when JFK assassination conspiracy allegations were gaining widespread
credibility. However rational the story may have sounded at the time, the
evidence was flimsy at best as we have seen. The fact is that the Pearson-
Anderson “revelations” are nothing more than deliberate disinformation.
SHIFTING THE FOCUS OF CONTROVERSY
The Pearson-Anderson columns, in effect, “cleared” the CIA of
involvement in JFK’s murder and pointed the finger at Castro.
The Pearson-Anderson columns, likewise, shifted focus away from the
Garrison investigation in New Orleans which was focusing on likely CIA
involvement and which had stumbled upon the Clay Shaw-Permindex
connection bringing the inquiry right onto Israel’s doorstep.
That Drew Pearson, in particular, would have an interest in shielding
any Israeli involvement as well is beyond doubt.
ISRAEL’S FAVORITE COLUMNIST
Of Jewish extraction, Pearson was a devoted friend of Israel—from the
beginning. In fact, in the period leading up to the establishment of the state
of Israel, Pearson functioned as a hit man for the Israeli lobby in the United
States, pounding away in his column at those perceived inimical to Israeli
interests.
One of Pearson’s favorite targets was then-Secretary of Defense James
Forrestal. According to Pearson’s biographer, “When Forrestal persuaded
[President Harry] Truman to take the Arab side against the Jews in Palestine
for military reasons, Pearson saw his opportunity. He lathered and shaved
Forrestal as a bureaucratic voice for American oil companies with enormous
stakes in the Mideast. Walter Winchell and other opinion-makers supported
his position.” 726
Pearson’s hysterical media attack on Forrestal, some believed, led to the
Cabinet secretary’s mental instability, resulting in Forrestal’s suicide. There
are many, though, who believe that Forr estal was in fact
murdered—precisely because of his powerful opposition to the Israeli lobby.
Pearson himself had cemented his ties with the Israeli lobby and had
engaged in behind-the-scenes intrigue with Israel’s intelligence and
propaganda arm, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith for
decades.
[270] Final Judgment 331
PEARSON AND THE ADL
According to Pearson’s biographer, “Over the years the ADL had helped
Pearson enormously. It had provided information he could not obtain
elsewhere, backed his lecture tours, even assisted in the circulation of his
weekly newsletter.” 727
Pearson’s own former mother-in-law, Washington Times-Herald
publisher Cissy Patterson, was less charitable in her description of Pearson.
In a fiery editorial attack on Pearson she called him “both undercover agent
and mouthpiece for the Anti-Defamation League.” 728
What’s more, Pearson had a long-standing arrangement with the ADL in
which the ADL paid the expenses of his legmen, such as the aforementioned
John Henshaw, in return for Pearson floating ADL propaganda in his
columns. 729
PEARSON’S MOSSAD CONNECTION
Pearson, likewise, had acquainted himself over the years with a number
of top-level intelligence operatives close to Israel, in particular, Canadianborn
British intelligence wizard, Sir William Stephenson.
Stephenson, as we saw in Chapter 7 and Chapter 15 was not only the
guiding force behind the assembly of Israel’s Mossad, but also the brains behind
the Allied intelligence operations during World War II which utilized the
resources of Meyer Lansky and his organized crime network. He was also
a close associate and mentor of Louis M. Bloomfield, president of the
Mossad-backed Permindex entity that was central to the JFK assassination
conspiracy.
According to Pearson’s biographer, “Stephenson had become acquainted
during the war with Pearson as a responsible publicist with the largest serious
following in the United States.” 730 In at least one instance, Pearson
published a story that, according to his biographer, “was spoon-fed to him”
731 by Stephenson.
Pearson’s other connections were equally interesting and point further
toward his interest in covering for Israel and its allies in the JFK
assassination conspiracy—both the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized
Crime Syndicate.
THE ISRAELI LOBBY AND PEARSON
According to Pearson’s associate, John Henshaw, Pearson was engaged
in sharp business practices with his partner, attorney Max M. Kampelman,
a key figure in the Israel lobby in Washington and a longtime top-level
Anti-Defamation League (ADL) director.
Kampelman, the personal attorney for then-Vice President Hubert
Humphrey, and Pearson were trying to wrest control of television channel
14 away from a Black-owned station, WOOK, in Washington. 732
332 They Dare Not Speak Out [271]
(In Chapter 6, as we have seen, Humphrey was a product of a
Minnesota political machine funded, in part, by the notorious Isadore
Blumenfeld, a major cog in the Lansky Crime Syndicate.)
The connections between Pearson and the Israeli lobby in Washington
were even more intimate. Pearson’s stepson (and the editor of his “diaries”),
Tyler Abell, an attorney, had been employed by the law firm of David
Ginsburg, a registered foreign agent for Israel.
Ginsburg, like several other top figures known for their interest in
promoting Israel’s interests in Washington, were among those close to
Hubert Humphrey. (Ginsburg himself took a leave of absence from his own
firm to work on behalf of Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey’s
unsuccessful 1968 presidential campaign.)733 In Chapter 6, of course, we
examined the vice president’s early political successes in Lansky Syndicatedominated
Minneapolis.
THE MICKEY COHEN DEAL
In 1968 Pearson worked hand-in-glove with Meyer Lansky’s West
Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, in an effort to wreck Richard Nixon’s
presidential campaign in favor of his Democratic opponent, Humphrey. (It
was in Chapter 13 where we explored Cohen’s connection to the JFK
assassination conspiracy in some detail.)
According to Cohen, writing in his memoirs, President Johnson
arranged for Pearson to call Cohen who was, by then, in jail. Pearson
wanted to uncover dirt about Nixon from the former Vice President’s days in
California when, according to Cohen, he had provided underworld financial
backing for Nixon.
“We’re going for Humphrey for president,” Pearson told Cohen, “And I
assure you that if he becomes our president, you’re going to be given a
medical parole,” in return for providing muck against Nixon.
According to Cohen, “I consented to everything that Pearson wanted to
do against Nixon.” 734 However, Nixon won the election and Cohen never
received his medical parole.
Pearson’s relationship with the publishers of the National Enquirer
newspaper (which has made a specialty out of trashing the Kennedy family and
likewise publishing often loony JFK assassination conspiracy stories) is also
interesting, particularly in light of the Enquirer’s CIA and Israeli lobby
connections.
PEARSON AND THE NATIONAL ENQUIRER
As reported by Pearson’s legman, John Henshaw, in the July 1, 1969
issue of the Washington Observer newsletter, the company which published
the Enquirer, World Wide Features, Inc. had interesting origins.
It was owned by the three brothers, Anthony, Fortune and Generoso
Pope. They were the sons of Generoso Pope, Sr., an Italian leader of New
[272] Final Judgment 333
York City’s Tammany Hall political machine which was itself inextricably
tied to the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.
The Pope family were longtime contributors—through the Generoso
Pope Foundation—to pro-Israel causes. The foundation was also widely
suspected of being a secret conduit for CIA funds.
Generoso Pope, Jr. owned the National Enquirer. Pope, Jr. had worked for
the CIA during the Korean war and was himself famously friendly with Lansky’s
longtime partner, Frank Costello. In fact, Costello helped finance the
Enquirer in its infancy. 735
Pearson had given highly favorable publicity to Generoso Pope, Sr. as
the first “prominent Italian American” to oppose Mussolini. In return, Pope
promptly gave Pearson a contract to write a weekly column for his El
Progresso, the leading Italian language newspaper in the country. The $150-aweek
contract was more than any other newspaper paid for just one weekly
column.
In the mid-1960’s Pearson and Fortune Pope, along with Lyndon
Johnson’s TV-and-radio advisor, Leonard Marks, went into partnership and
acquired the Bell-McClure Syndicate and the North American Newspaper
Alliance. (Marks was later appointed head of the U.S. Information Agency
by Johnson.) 736
Pearson’s biographer dismisses the relationship between Pearson and
the controversial Pope family as “puzzling.” 737 This relationship, however,
further cements Pearson’s ties to the Israeli lobby and its allies in the CIA.
THE JOE TRENTO CONNECTION
It is of more than passing interest to note that for a period, Generoso
Pope’s Washington bureau chief was journalist Joe Trento, who emerged as
an authority on the intelligence community.
It was Trento, as we saw in Chapter 16, who co-wrote a controversial
article alleging that former CIA man E. Howard Hunt may have been in
Dallas on the day JFK was shot.
Trento, as noted, had excellent CIA connections—James Jesus
Angleton, in particular, and we know for a fact that Trento was being used
as a media conduit by Angleton for whatever insidious purposes of his own.
This, of course, we discussed in some detail in Chapter 16.
JACK ANDERSON’S CONNECTIONS
Drew Pearson’s partner and protégé, Jack Anderson, himself had notable
ties to not only the Israeli lobby, but also the Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate. Not only did Anderson once share his offices with at least one
registered lobbyist for Israel, who was also close to Lansky’s protégé,
Carlos Marcello, 738 but he also maintained a close working relationship
with Herman (Hank) Greenspun, a longtime Lansky syndicate associate and
arms-smuggler for Israel.
334 They Dare Not Speak Out [273]
Greenspun was a protégé of Lansky crony Joseph “Doc” Stacher, a New
Jersey mobster who was one of the prime American backers of the Jewish
underground in Palestine in the late 1940’s. 739 Stacher was later permitted
to go into exile in Israel following his conviction in the United States on
income tax evasion charges. According to Lansky’s friendly biographer,
Robert Lacey, Stacher’s death affected Lansky greatly. They were very close
friends and longtime associates.) 740
Greenspun also functioned as a public relations man for Lansky’s
boyhood friend—later killed at Lansky’s direction—Benjamin Siegel.
According to The Washington Observer, “Early in the Palestine War,
Hank Greenspun was dispatched by the Jewish underground to Hawaii to
buy surplus U.S. Army arms and equipment. By bribing security guards at
the U.S. Naval Air Station on Oahu, he raided a stockpile of armaments and
stole 15 tons of .30- and .50- caliber aircraft machine guns. The contraband
machine guns were packed in 58 crates marked ‘engine parts’ and shipped to
Los Angeles, then transshipped to Mexico and on to Israel. Greenspun ran
the British blockade in a ship delivering arms to Israel. Later he pleaded
guilty to violating the U.S. Neutrality Act, and was given a 3-year suspended
sentence. He was never prosecuted for theft of Federal government property.” 741
Greenspun, who became a major figure in Las Vegas, went on to
establish a chain of newspapers in Nevada and Colorado, publishing The Las
Vegas Sun.
As we saw in Chapter 7, the Israeli arms-smuggling underworld of
which Greenspun was a part, was a very tightly knit little clique. It was, of
course, Louis Bloomfield (later chief executive officer of the Permindex
entity) who was once a key coordinator for Israeli arms smuggling working
with the Lansky Syndicate and, Anderson’s associate, Greenspun.
Anderson and Greenspun were themselves involved in yet another
venture linked to the Lansky Syndicate. The two, along with CIA-linked
attorney Edward Morgan (the alleged conduit for the Castro conspiracy story
floated by Pearson and Anderson) were middlemen in the sale of Lansky
associate and ADL “Torch of Liberty” winner, Morris Dalitz’s Las Vegas
gambling palace, the Desert Inn, to Howard Hughes. 742
AND ONE LAST INTERESTING POINT: Jack Anderson was also a
very public and longtime “close friend”743 of Mossad and CIA asset Frank
Sturgis, beginning as early as 1960—three years before Sturgis, by his own
reported later admission, played a part in the events in Dealey Plaza.
A CASE STUDY IN DISINFORMATION
That Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson maintained such intimate ties
with all of the prime movers behind the JFK assassination—Israel, the CIA
and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—not only casts real
doubt about the Castro assassination plot story that the two columnists
sensationalized, but it points toward the real motivation behind the release
of the tale: to cover for the real conspirators.
[274] Final Judgment 335
The case of Pearson and Anderson exemplifies, above all, the insidious
nature of Israel’s influence over the American media and provides a clear-cut
case study of how the media has been manipulated to distort the truth about
the JFK assassination conspiracy.
Although the media in general had initially backed the Warren
Commission cover-up, public dissent about the conclusions—stirred on
largely by the work of pioneer commission critic Mark Lane and his friend,
New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison—forced Israel’s friends in the
media to play their hand.
Stories that “The Mafia Killed JFK” and about “Castro” plots against
JFK suddenly began emerging. Pearson and Anderson were just two players
in the continuing cover-up. And Pearson himself (as we have seen) actually
had a hand in convincing Earl Warren that there had been a conspiracy
(plotted by Castro) that made it necessary, for the public good, to cover up
the truth. In fact, Pearson and his Israeli and CIA allies were seeking to keep
the real truth hidden.
MORE DISINFORMATION
One rather interesting JFK assassination story appeared in the form of a
book by former CIA contract agent Hugh McDonald, co-written with
prolific author Geoffrey Bocca. The McDonald-Bocca book, Appointment in
Dallas, received wide distribution.
The book featured an interview with an international hit man named
“Saul” who confessed to McDonald that he was the real murderer of
President Kennedy. The hit man said that he was hired by a private group,
and not by the CIA for whom he had done contract work in the past.
While many JFK assassination critics were highly skeptical about the
book, looking upon it as some form of disinformation (perhaps from the
CIA itself)—although not necessarily questioning McDonald’s sincerity—it
would have been more instructive to consider Geoffrey Bocca’s role in the
writing of the book. Bocca, in fact, was a propagandist for the CIA-backed
and Israeli-financed French Secret Army Organization (OAS) and was known to
have “translated some OAS tracts into English at a time when the organization
was thinking of appealing to the United Nations for help.” 744 Bocca also
wrote a heroic account of the OAS entitled The Secret Army.
Needless to say, in light of the “French connection” to the JFK
assassination conspiracy, the appearance of an OAS propagandist as the coauthor
of a book which effectively “cleared” the CIA of involvement in the
crime is interesting, to say the least.
An odd footnote: several years after publishing Appointment in Dallas,
McDonald wrote another JFK assassination book. His co-author, who had
solid links to the CIA, Robin Moore, was best known, interestingly
enough, for his famous book, The French Connection—on the French
intelligence- and Lansky Syndicate-linked international heroin racket.
McDonald and Moore’s book was entitled LBJ and the JFK Conspiracy.
This volume elaborated on the theme of McDonald’s first book, saying that
336 They Dare Not Speak Out [275]
the alleged hit man, Saul, had been hired by the Soviet Union to kill
President Kennedy.
The theory that the Soviets were behind the assassination conspiracy, of
course, falls right in line with the CIA’s initial scheme, through its Mexico
City Scenario, concocted by James J. Angleton, to pin the crime on the
KGB. Whatever the case, McDonald’s second book received little, if any,
recognition, although it did muddy the waters further.
A PRO-ISRAEL ‘CRITIC’
The tell-tale hand of Israeli sympathizers within even the ranks of the
“critics” of the Warren Commission’s conclusions has also now become
apparent. When a group of self-styled Warren Commission “critics” formed
an organization known as the Assassination Information Bureau, one of
them included liberal journalist Jack Newfield, a devout and outspoken
supporter of Israel.
THE `HOFFA KILLED JFK’ COVER STORY
In 1992, when public interest in the JFK assassination conspiracy was
at a fever pitch as a result of the concurrent release of Mark Lane’s bestseller,
Plausible Denial, and Oliver Stone’s film, JFK, it was Newfield who floated
yet another ridiculous JFK assassination conspiracy story—a new angle on
the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”
“Hoffa had JKF killed” screamed the headline on the front page of the
January 14 edition of the sensationalist New York Post.
It was the New York tabloid that “broke” the story that Teamster boss
Jimmy Hoffa had arranged the JFK murder through his Mafia contacts. Not
surprisingly, the author of the Post article was Jack Newfield.
The Post, of course, has been one of the media’s primary pro-Israel
voices—almost to the point of obsession. Any conspiracy that might
somehow link Israel—or its allies in the CIA—could not be tolerated.
Almost immediately, the rest of the Establishment media picked up the
scandal sheet’s “exclusive” and began hyping it. The purpose was to
discredit the conspiracy that was finally being exposed to millions of
Americans.
In response to Newfield’s concoction, even Dan Rather, on CBS, felt
compelled to tell the world that the evidence was in: longtime Teamsters’
Union leader Jimmy Hoffa had ordered “the Mafia” to kill John F. Kennedy.
The Washington Post, long a CIA disinformation source, also
published the story. As did the staunchly pro-Israel conservative weekly,
Human Events which consistently maintained, otherwise, that any
conspiracy in the JFK assassination—particularly involving the CIA—was a
madman’s fantasy.
Newfield’s article quoted a longtime alleged associate of organized
crime, attorney Frank Ragano, as having claimed that Teamster boss Jimmy
[276] Final Judgment 337
Hoffa told him to order “the Mafia” to assassinate President John F.
Kennedy.
According to Ragano’s unlikely story, Ragano took the message to New
Orleans rackets boss Carlos Marcello and to Tampa mob chieftain Santos
Trafficante, both of whom, we have seen, were immediate underlings of Meyer
Lansky.
Presumably they complied with Hoffa’s order, in Ragano’s version of
the story, because, after all, Kennedy was indeed shot dead.745 However, as
Mark Lane has commented, “Hoffa didn’t give orders to the Mafia. The
Mafia gave orders to Hoffa.” 746
WHY THE HOFFA STORY DOESN’T WASH
Ragano’s primary “evidence” that Trafficante was involved in JFK’s
murder was a comment made by Trafficante to the effect that “We should
have killed Bobby,” referring to then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
Not that Trafficante admitted that “we” killed JFK—only that “we should have
killed Bobby.”
Now all of this is most peculiar in that Ragano says that he—a toplevel
criminal lawyer with high-ranking connections—managed to
“suppress” these memories until just recently.
Ragano said he was “guilty and ashamed” because of his association
with organized crime; according to Ragano, his guilt feelings caused him to
suppress those memories. However, he might also have been interested in
adding some spice to his memoirs which were later published.
What’s more, Ragano, who was appealing a second federal income tax
evasion conviction, might also have had something else in mind by telling
this story which clears the CIA and any other federal agencies that may have
been involved in the assassination and its cover-up.
WHO KILLED HOFFA?
Hoffa biographer Dan Moldea shed some interesting “inside”
information regarding the truth about Hoffa—and his murder. Moldea
reports: “Ironically enough, attorney William Bufalino . . . may have
inadvertently pointed a finger in the right direction. He was attempting to
suggest that the mob had nothing to do with Hoffa’s murder, preferring to
shift the blame on the government, but he put it this way:
`Tell the FBI to look into the CIA. And tell the CIA to look into the
FBI. Then you’ll have the answer [to the Hoffa case.]’ And he added that it
was his belief that Hoffa’s murder was related to those of [Sam] Giancana
and Johnny] Rosselli. 747
(In Chapter 11, of course, we examined the strange deaths of Sam
Giancana and Johnny Rosselli and concluded, contrary to popular myth, that
the two Mafia figures were not, in fact, the victims of “Mafia” hits at all—
but were, instead, snuffed out if not by the CIA itself, certainly at its behest.)
338 They Dare Not Speak Out [277]
Interestingly enough, it was yet another dedicated pro-Israel polemicist,
Max Lerner, writing in The Washington Times, who also came to the
defense of the Hoffa-Mafia cover story. According to Lerner, “The Mafia
has always figured among the major possible scenarios for the killing, along
with the KGB and Cuba’s Fidel Castro. But not until the Ragano account
had the pieces of the puzzle begun to fall together. Marcello headed the
Mafia operation in New Orleans, Trafficante in Tampa and Cuba. They had
time to work out their plan. They had an army of skilled killers to draw
on.”748
Lerner, of course, was playing fast and loose with the facts. He ignored
the central part Meyer Lansky played in manipulating the activities of both
Marcello and Trafficante.
SUN MYUNG MOON, ISRAEL & THE CIA
That The Washington Times would have an interest in promoting the
Hoffa-Mafia story is no surprise. After all, the Times itself has close links
to the intelligence community and is a strident editorial supporter of Israel.
The Washington Times is funded by the bizarre global conglomerate of
Korean cult figure Sun Myung Moon.
Moon himself has been repeatedly linked to the Korean CIA which is,
of course, intimately tied with its American counterpart. Additionally,
Moon has forged a close working alliance with Israel and its American
lobby and has pushed a pro-Israel agenda on the so-called “conservative
movement” in the United States.
Moon’s editor at The Washington Times at that time was Arnaud
deBorchgrave, a former top correspondent for the CIA-linked Newsweek
(owned by the Washington Post Company) and a reputed “former”
intelligence operative. What’s more, deBorchgrave himself is closely
connected by marriage to the Rothschild family. The Rothschilds, as we
have seen, have been longtime financial backers of the state of Israel.
THE CONSERVATIVE COVER-UP
The response to JFK conspiracy allegations from another “conservative”
source is equally interesting. The organization, quaintly named Accuracy in
Media, a self-styled conservative “media watchdog,” took great umbrage
with suggestions that there might have been a conspiracy behind the
president’s assassination.
At the time Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial and Oliver Stone’s JFK were
released, AIM chairman Reed Irvine, seemingly inexplicably, signed on with
the rest of the media in denouncing the conspiracy theories presented in the
book and the motion picture.
Writing in the pages of the conservative weekly, Human Events, media
critic Irvine paid tribute to the Establishment media for its attack on the
theories. According to Irvine, “The mainstream media, to their credit, have
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been nearly unanimous in denouncing Stone as a lying charlatan.” 749
(Although, of course, Stone did not, in fact, tell the whole truth.)
Irvine went on to dismiss Lane as a “leftist” and announced
emphatically that anyone who believes that there was any kind of domestic
conspiracy behind the JFK murder was being taken in by Soviet propaganda.
The AIM response was interesting, particularly in the context of the
background of some of AIM’s leading lights.
WHO’S BEHIND AIM?
Irvine himself was a former economist for the big bank-controlled
Federal Reserve System. Irvine’s AIM co-founder, Bernard Yoh, was a
Vietnam-era underling of CIA asset, General Edward Lansdale.750 It was
Lansdale, as we saw in Chapter 11, who was in charge of the anti-Castro
operations being conducted under the name Operation Mongoose in league
with the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate.
It was during his service in Vietnam, as we noted in Chapter 12, that
Lansdale worked closely with the Corsican Mafia—an integral part of the
Lansky drug smuggling operations conducted in league with the CIA. That
Lansdale’s former Vietnam era associate would come out swinging against
JFK conspiracy theories, then, is no big surprise.
AIM’S ISRAELI CONNECTION
The aforementioned Yoh is also affiliated with the International
Security Council (ISC), a think tank notable for its central devotion to the
advancement of Israel’s interests in U.S. foreign policy-making.
The founder of the ISC was the ubiquitous Dr. Joseph Churba, an
ordained rabbi whom we first encountered in Chapter 8 as a protégé of Jay
Lovestone who coordinated CIA contacts with the Corsican and Sicilian
Mafias on behalf of the CIA’s James J. Angleton.
Interestingly enough, Churba (now deceased) was also a key figure in
the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and in an entity known as
Americans for a Safe Israel (ASI) established in the United States as an
outgrowth of the Israeli underground terrorist group, the Irgun.
Among those intimately collaborating with the forerunners of ASI was
the Romanian Jewish émigré, Ernst Mantello, whose brother Giorgio, along
with Major Louis M. Bloomfield, was one of the founders of the shadowy
Permindex entity examined in detail in Chapter 15.751
ANOTHER CIA-LANSKY CONNECTION
Another AIM figure is equally interesting in light of the organization’s
critique of JFK assassination conspiracy theories. AIM’s president is Murray
Baron, not only a former official with the Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate-dominated International Brotherhood of Teamsters, but also a
340 They Dare Not Speak Out [279]
member of the CIA-funded Citizens Committee for a Free Cuba and the cofounder
of the Citizens Committee for Peace With Freedom in Vietnam.752
It might be added, in passing, that AIM has consistently also been a
strident defender of Israel and its interests. To even hint at any conspiracy
which might involve Israel and its allies in the CIA would be an outrage,
insofar as AIM would be concerned. So much, then, for accuracy in media
from Accuracy in Media.
OLIVER STONE
What about Oliver Stone’s JFK? Where does this controversial film fit
in the lore of JFK assassination conspiracy theories? What of the media’s
hysterical response to the film (which actually brought it greater publicity)?
Writing in the New York Times on December 20, 1991, Stone asked a
rather simple question: “When a leader of any country is assassinated, the
media normally ask: ‘What political forces were opposed to this leader and
would benefit from his assassination?”
The irony, as we shall see, is that although Oliver Stone himself
seemed to have asked that very question in a big, big way—through the aegis
of his controversial film JFK—the fact is that Stone himself has, in a
sense, proven in the end to have become a major factor in the continuing
cover-up of the real truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
It is ironic indeed that although Stone’s film JFK has focused
widespread international attention on the JFK assassination conspiracy, there
has been quiet speculation that the media’s furor might be part of a highlevel
plan to further cover up the truth about the conspiracy.
Many JFK assassination researchers, Mark Lane in particular, are deeply
concerned that Stone’s film presents a strange mixture of both fact and
fiction. The facts about the assassination conspiracy are sensational enough
without fictional details being added, he and others have pointed out. Lane
summarized it best: “It was good that Stone called the attention of
teenagers and others to the unsolved murder. It was bad that he did so by
falsifying the record.” 753
POINTING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION
Although Stone’s film referenced, in passing, the CIA connections of
David Ferrie and Clay Shaw—and actually mentioned Permindex—the film’s
primary thrust was that the conspiracy originated in the so-called “militaryindustrial”
complex.
The primary conspirators were presented as high-level military men and
their allies among the multi-billion-dollar defense contracting companies.
The intelligence community’s role was understated, to say the very least.
This, in itself, lead some of Stone’s critics to suggest that perhaps the
ultimate purpose behind the film was not, in fact, to pinpoint those truly
responsible for the JFK assassination, but to point the finger in another
[280] Final Judgment 341
direction. The evidence for this, as we shall see, is compelling
indeed.
STONE’S LANSKY-ISRAEL CONNECTION
That distribution for Stone’s film was handled by Warner Brothers is
somewhat unsettling in light of the conclusions reached in Final
Judgment. In fact, Warner Brothers, a subsidiary of the giant Time-Warner
media empire, evolved from a film production company established by
longtime Meyer Lansky associate, Louis Chesler, a Canadian of somewhat
dubious reputation.
It was in 1956 that Chesler, a Lansky front man, established Seven
Arts Productions in Montreal, Canada. Although ostensibly a film
production company, Seven Arts functioned as a money-laundering facility for
Lansky and others among his associates. 754
By 1955, Seven Arts had gone into partnership with a New York-based
banking consortium and was flush with money within a decade.
In 1967 Seven Arts shook Wall Street and stunned Hollywood when it
gained control of the famous Warner Brothers Studios—in short, a Lansky
take-over. The move was a mystery to many at the time, but little did they
know of the behind-the-scenes Lansky Syndicate dealings which made the
wheeling and dealing possible.
The new operation was dubbed Warner-Seven Arts Studios and, by
1968, was known as Warner Communications.755 Not surprisingly, it just
so happens, it was Bernie Cornfeld’s Investors Overseas Service (JOS)
which “owned major blocks of stock”756 in Warner-Seven Arts.
Cornfeld of IOS, as we saw in Chapter 15, was a front man for Tibor
Rosenbaum, former Mossad official and the prime mover behind the
Lanksy-linked Permindex operation that was so central to the JFK
assassination conspiracy.
THE ‘ISRAELI MAFIA’
In 1981 a major scandal rocked Warner Communications. Several of its
top figures—Solomon Weiss, Stephen Ross and Jay Emmett—were caught
up in tax fraud, bribery, and assorted other racketeering charges brought by
the Justice Department. Warner’s links to organized crime were being
investigated.757
However, what is particularly significant about the case is that much of
the evidence against the aforementioned Weiss, who was senior assistant
treasurer of Warner Communications, emerged from records gleaned from the
files of the United Jewish Appeal and other pro-Israel philanthropies that
were seized by the Justice Department.758
What’s more, the Warner Communications investigation repeatedly
stumbled upon links to the so-called “Israeli mafia,”—the domestic elements
of organized criminal activity operating in Israel.
342 They Dare Not Speak Out [281]
And, to draw the circle even tighter, the Warner investigation of the
aforementioned Stephen Ross by Justice uncovered close links between the
media giant and the American Bank and Trust (ABT) scandal.759
TIBOR ROSENBAUM, AGAIN
In Chapter 7 we first learned that the New York-based ABT was an
American subsidiary of the Swiss-Israel Trade Bank, upon whose board
served none other than the Israeli Mossad’s Tibor Rosenbaum, sponsor of
the aforementioned Bernie Cornfeld of IOS.
It was, as we have seen, ironically enough, on November 22, 1963,
that Swiss Israel assumed management of American Bank and Trust. The
latter firm, however, ultimately went belly up, having been looted by
financier David Graiver, himself a longtime Mossad operative.
One of those tarnished by the ABT scandal—and ultimately linked to
the Warner Communications affair—was New York financier Abraham
Fe