Central Intelligence Agency operatives have destroyed at least two tapes documenting torture against detainees. The admission has prompted an investigation., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Havana. May 24, 2012
THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION: SOMEONE KNEW IN ADVANCE
A coup d’état
Gabriel Molina Franchossi
ATTEMPTS to implicate Cuba in the Kennedy assassination continue, but in fact it was the consummation of a coup d’état plotted by CIA military chiefs and other U.S. ultra-conservatives.
The assassination not only affected the United States, but to a surprising extent Cuba and the rest of the world. Close to 50 years after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the dramatic event is still present in the contemporary world, and the CIA is attempting to postpone for another 25 years the declassification of certain documents concerning the crime committed November 22, 1963. Part of this strategy of concealment is the book Castro’s Secrets, by Brian Latell, CIA officer for Latin America from 1990-94. After participating in CIA operations against Cuba since the 1960s, he is trying to mask the most scandalous conspiracy of the 20th century.
President Fidel Castro was possibly the first statesman to denounce the assassination as a conspiracy, speaking on Cuban television the following day. "We can state that there are elements within the United States who are defending ultra-reactionary politics in all fields, as much in terms of international politics as in national politics. And these are the elements which stand to benefit from the events that took place yesterday in the United States."
The Cuban leader read one of the first agency cables: "Dallas, November 22 (UPI).—Police agents today arrested Lee H. Oswald, identified as president of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, as the main suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy." Four days later, on November 27, Fidel analyzed the Oswald as lone gunman theory and his alleged pro-Castro sympathies, which nobody was questioning at that point. He quoted Hubert Hammerer, Olympic shooting champion, who stated that it was highly unlikely that anyone firing with a repeater carbine fitted with a telescopic sight could hit a target three times in the space of five seconds, when firing at a moving target at a distance of 180 meters, traveling at 15mph." On the basis of his own experiences in the Sierra Maestra, with weapons fitted with a telescopic sight like the one Oswald was said to have used, Fidel added, "Once you fire at the target it is lost – due to the effect of the shot – and you have to find it again quickly (…) with this kind of weapon it is really very difficult to fire three consecutive shots. But, above all, difficult to hit the target like that. Almost impossible." (1)
The Cuban President analyzed how the most reactionary circles were pushing Kennedy toward war by with heavy campaigns, bills and resolutions in Congress pushing the government, because of what they themselves described in 1961 as the Bay of Pigs debacle, to the point of taking the world to the verge of a nuclear war in the October Missile Crisis. Fidel, then Cuban Prime Minister, also spoke about Kennedy’s stand on civil rights, such as ending segregation and racial discrimination, and the policy of peaceful coexistence he was promoting with Khrushchev. These actions had unleashed unforeseen forces against President Kennedy and made Fidel think that his assassination was the work of certain elements in disagreement with the U.S. leader’s politics, particularly in relation to Cuba, which they considered not sufficiently aggressive, given that Kennedy was resisting direct military intervention.
Fidel observed that it was obvious, "If Oswald was the real killer, clearly those behind the assassination were carefully preparing their alibis. They sent this individual off to Mexico to ask for a visa to Cuba. Just imagine… that the President of the United States was assassinated by this individual after just returning from the Soviet Union via Cuba. It was the ideal alibi (…) to plant the suspicion in the heads of the U.S. public that it was a communist or an agent of Cuba and the Soviet Union, as they would say." (2)
In 1978 it was demonstrated that Fidel was correct. The U.S. Congress Select Committee investigating the assassination concluded, "The committee considered the possibility that an imposter visited the Soviet Embassy or Cuban consulate during one or more of the contacts in which Oswald was identified by the CIA in October of 1963." (3) The Committee report came to the conclusion that it had nothing to do with Oswald, while Oswald was small and slight, "The subject of the photograph was described as approximately 35 years old, 6 feet tall, with an athletic build, a balding top, and receding hairline." (4)
Suspicions were aroused in part when the FBI showed Oswald’s mother the alleged photo of her son. She said that it wasn’t a photo of Lee, but of Jack Ruby, the man who killed him. In fact there was no resemblance, the Committee report added, the man in the photo was neither Oswald nor Ruby. The FBI agreed. In a memo to the Secret Service it recorded, "These special (FBI) agents are of the opinion that the individual of reference in the photo is not Lee Harvey Oswald."
Fidel had every reason to be alarmed by the insinuations and accusations, a typical CIA strategy. Even now, Latell is trying to banish suspicions about those really responsible for the crime, attempting to revive CIA lies implicating Cuba. He denies that there was any conspiracy on the part of those defending ultra-reactionary politics. The lone gunman theory is not only wielded in the case of Oswald in 1963, but also in relation to Sirhan H. Sirhan, the alleged killer of Robert Kennedy in 1968, at the very moment when the latter was elected to run against Richard Nixon, already a suspect in the Kennedy assassination. The truth has been slowly disclosed since then. The most recent details came to light in 2005, through the book by journalist David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, with its sensational revelation that Robert was probably assassinated after he stated that, if he were elected President, which he was close to achieving, he would reopen the case.
Latell takes refuge in the discredited lone gunman theory of the Warren Commission, set up by Lyndon Johnson to investigate the assassination, when he succeeded Kennedy as President. One of the most recent and convincing refutations of this theory is a note sent by Oswald to Howard Hunt, also suspected of taking part in the assassination and the famous organizer of the Watergate break-in. Sent November 8, 1963, 14 days before the Kennedy assassination, it reads, "Dear Mr. Hunt: I would like information concerning my position. I am asking only for information. I am suggesting that we discuss the matter fully before any steps are taken by me or anyone else. Thank you. Lee
Harvey Oswald". (5)
Researcher Paul Kangas explains that Oswald’s note was obtained by writer and journalist Jack Anderson in New Orleans, where the "lone gunman" was living with Clay Shaw and Cubans Félix Rodríguez, Bernard Barker and Frank Sturgis, also investigated by the House Select Committee and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. Anderson affirms on video that Hunt and Shaw asked Oswald to meet with them to plan the position he would take up in Dallas for the attack. When he received no answer from Hunt, Oswald told James Hosty, his FBI agent, that Hunt and a bunch of Cubans from the Miami CIA office were plotting to kill Kennedy in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. According to Kangas, Hosty sent a telex to FBI Director Hoover informing him about the assassination attempt and he passed it on to all Special Agents in Charge.
Judge Garrison states that Waggoner Carr, Attorney General of Texas, presented evidence in a secret session of the Warren Commission on January 22, 1964, revealing that Oswald was FBI secret informant No. 179 and had received a salary of $200 a month from the Bureau starting 1962. The evidence was given to Carr by Allan Sweat, head of the criminal division of the Dallas sheriff’s office and published by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Houston Post, and The Nation, but the Warren Commission did not call Sweat or the journalists who wrote the articles. Garrison admits that if Oswald was an FBI informant in Dallas and New Orleans, one could believe that his work consisted of penetrating organizations like Fair Play for Cuba and Guy Bannister’s group involved in the conspiracy to kill the President. "The question which tormented me and maybe tormented Oswald was: if the Dallas police, the sheriff’s office, the Secret Service, the FBI and the CIA were potentially implicated in the conspiracy, who were the authorities behind it all?" (6)
When Robert Blakey, chief counsel of the House Select Committee, discovered to his rage in 1990 that the recently deceased George Joannides (a CIA officer assigned by the agency to inform him about the Kennedy assassination) had concealed from him that he (Joannides) had worked closely with Oswald and the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil terrorist group in New Orleans, he called it an obstruction of justice. Now, he no longer believes anything the CIA told the Committee.
It is no surprise that the Warren Commission evaded discovering the truth; it was no coincidence that that it was headed by Congressman Ed Ford, one of Nixon’s men, Nixon also being a suspect. Allen Dulles, the omnipotent CIA director, manipulated the members appointed by Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded to the presidency after Kennedy’s death, thanks to the effective coup d’état which was the assassination of the Kennedy brothers.
(1) Revolución newspaper, November 28, 1963.
(3) The Final Report of the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations, Bantam Books, New York. 1979, P.320
(5) Granma, April 13, 2012, P. 9.
(6) Jim Garrison. JFK: Tras la pista de los asesinos, Ediciones B. Barcelona, 1988, Pp. 296-301.