CIA memos confirm RFK Jr.’s charge that the agency worked to prevent normalization with Cuba

RFK Jr. speaks out on Cuba

In an important article published by the Inter Press Service news agency Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of President John F. Kennedy, highlights an important point about U.S.-Cuba relations that President Obama normalized last week: The CIA opposed President Kennedy’s efforts to do the same 51 years ago.

“JFK was involved in secret negotiations with Fidel Castro designed to outflank Foggy Bottom [Washington] and the agents at Langley [CIA], but the CIA knew of JFK’s back-channel contacts with Castro and endeavored to sabotage the peace efforts with cloak and dagger mischief,” Kennedy writes.

RFK Jr., an environmental attorney, is right that the CIA knew about JFK’s interest in normalizing relations, and opposed it.

Here’s a May 1, 1963, memo, written by deputy director RIchard Helms, about the agency’s debrief of ABC news reporter Lisa Howard who had just interviewed Castro and found “possible interest in rapprochement with the United States.”


“It appears that Fidel Castro is looking for a way to reach a rapprochement with the United State government, probably because he is aware that Cuba is in a state of economic chaos,” Helms wrote. “… Castro indicated that if a rapprochement was wanted, President John F. Kennedy would have to make the first move. … When Howard pressed Castro for further information on how a rapprochement could be achieved, he said he considered the U.S. limitation on exile raids to be a proper step toward accommodation.”

RFK and John McCone
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy with CIA director John McCone. (Photo credit: CIA)

One month before, JFK had overruled CIA director John McCone and ordered a crackdown on CIA-funded anti-Castro exiles using south Florida to stage attacks on Cuba and Cuban civilians.

Kennedy’s action made Castro more amenable to having a normal relationship with United States — which is what the CIA and the exiles feared the most.

That is what Howard, a frank liberal in her politics, hoped to achieve. She told her CIA interlocutors she was willing to serve as messenger. As Helms wrote, she “definitely wants to impress the U.S. government with two facts: Castro is ready to discuss rapprochement, and she herself is ready to discuss it with him,”

Helms sent his memo to McCone who was alarmed. The CIA director sent a copy to Attorney General Robert Kennedy with whom he had a close personal relationship. McCone urged RFK not to make public or even discuss Howard’s initiative.

“I cannot overemphasize the importance of secrecy in this matter,” McCone wrote. He recommended that “no active steps be taken” in response to Howard’s overture. If RFK did discuss it with anyone, McCone added, he should emphasize “the rapprochement track is being explored as a remote possibility and one of several alternatives involving various levels of dynamic and positive action.”

RFK agreed and the Kennedy White House did not respond to Howard’s overture at that time. But four months later in September, JFK and RFK authorized a U.S. diplomat, WIlliam Attwood, to explore the idea of talks with Castro. On November 5, 1963, Kennedy and his advisers discussed “Cuba’s peace feelers.”

This White House tape recording captures JFK approved the idea of continuing talks — as long he could deny it.

Seventeen days later, he was dead.

Attwood later told author Anthony Summers “If the CIA did find out what we were doing [talks toward normalizing relations with Cuba], this would have trickled down to the lower echelon of activists, and Cuban exiles, and the more gung-ho CIA people who had been involved since the Bay of Pigs. I can understand why they would have reacted so violently. This was the end of their dreams of returning to Cuba, and they might have been impelled to take violent action. Such as assassinating the President.”

RFK Jr. also suggests that his uncle’s interest in normalizing relations may have led to his assassination six months later

“Many exile leaders openly expressed their disgust with the White House ‘treachery,’ accusing JFK of engaging in ‘co-existence’ with Fidel Castro,” RFK Jr. writes. “Some Cubans remained loyal to my father, but a small number of hard, bitter homicidal Castro haters now directed their fury toward JFK and there is credible evidence that these men and their CIA handlers may have been involved in plots to assassinate him.”


89 thoughts on “CIA memos confirm RFK Jr.’s charge that the agency worked to prevent normalization with Cuba”

  1. lysias, to repeat, Jonathan provided an astute observation when he questioned why Angleton would have been tracking Oswald if in fact he was handling Oswald for the purpose of activation in the assassination? Why would Angleton create a paper trail if he intended to use Oswald in the murder of the commander in chief? If you believe Angleton was the orchestrator of the murder, then by inference you think that Oswald was the assassin or at best a well played patsy. If he was only a patsy, who were the mechanics in the operation? Do you believe that Angleton hired contract killers? Why would he do that if agents of Mossad had sufficient skills? And who took orders from Angleton to maintain the lone-assassin story line within hours of the assassination? Henry Luce, Norman Chandler, William Paley? These professionals had skilled reporters on their staffs; would they have silenced them on Angleton’s orders?

    Questioning information that originates from skilled intelligence professionals, active or retired from any agency within any government is not unreasonable. By their nature they are capable of muddying the waters for reasons the average citizen cannot comprehend. If they are indeed whistle-blowers then let them name specific names, not generalize or scapegoat a vulnerable population of that period – Israel – a fledgling state in 1963, barely on its knees after a devastating holocaust. Kennedy was well aware that the Jewish voting block in the US would pressure him on issues of such grave importance as Israel’s security. They did not need to kill him. Wasn’t he arguing against Israel becoming a nuclear power because he was advocating for nuclear non-proliferation on a global scale? How could he do one and not the other? Why would Israel want him dead when he might have advanced their security by arguing to quickly dismantle the nuclear machine?

    I concede it is probable that Israel knew about Operation Paperclip, and if they perceived that Kennedy was not going to expose US complicity with agents of their sworn enemy, they may have determined that he was not a friend to Israel. The question is whether or not Kennedy’s attention had been drawn to the history of the Manhattan Project to the degree he knew about Paperclip and the related operations; and if so, what was his position? Has anyone pursued this line of inquiry?

    1. Paperclip was ancient history. It certainly didn’t prevent Israel from working with the CIA. If Israel held anything against JFK, it was his opposition to their getting nukes. (Although his administration also blocked the tax-exempt status of donations to them. And Ben Gurion probably bore very much in mind what JFK’s father had done.)

    2. By the way, I only mentioned the Dimona reactor going critical in December 1963 as an additional example of a change of U.S. policy after the JFK assassination. I later mentioned my suspicions of Israel when I was questioned on that point. Whether or not Israel was involved in the assassination conspiracy, LBJ certainly changed policy on Israel.

      I lack the technical knowledge to know whether the reactor going critical almost exactly one month after the assassination implies foreknowledge of the assassination plan. I don’t know whether it was technically feasible to get it up and running in a mere month. Perhaps someone with the technical knowledge can comment on this.

    3. lysias, Unless I am mistaken Paperclip was hardly ancient history in 1963, and was only fully exposed years after Kennedy’s murder. Some would argue that the MKUltra project extended into the 70’s. My question is whether or not President Kennedy was aware of the extent of the collaboration between the Gehlen Org, DCI Dulles and Project Paperclip? I wonder if Kennedy was aware that his advisor on Latin American affairs Adolf Berle (1964 coup, Brazil) – a confidant of the Rockefellers who had endorsed the Human Ecology Fund at Cornell (aka Project MKUltra), directly related to his wife’s studies at Columbia University in the field of social science and engineering under whose umbrella was Youth House where young Lee Oswald’s psychological health was assessed in the ’50’s – said of MK that if the MK experiments were successful, men would be as ants.

      I am looking for references to whether or not President Kennedy had been apprised of the Gehlen Org operation, Dulles’ role in it, or Adolf Berle’s complicity in MK. Richard Helms’ destruction of the files in the early 70’s makes this search all the more difficult for the amateur student of the assassination. If you are not in the latter category and have easy access, perhaps you can expand?

        1. lysias, but do we agree that Paperclip was not ancient history, or is it a relative term not worth pursuing? I happen to think it is important because among the projects included under Paperclip were mind control experiments on unwitting subjects. Adolf Berle’s wife was at Columbia in the early 1950’s at a time when Youth House was functioning as a service to troubled adolescents and YH had ties to the University. Berle himself was the politically correct figurehead behind the Human Ecology experiment.

          I guess I’m missing your point regarding how JFK felt about Adenauer and vice versa and how that dynamic might have related to the assassination. I do know that Adenauer was married to the cousin of Mrs. John McCloy and McCloy was a high profile member of the WC. Other than that, are you suggesting that the post WWII Chancellor of Germany might have been in league with the Israelis in the lead up to the assassination of Kennedy?

          1. No, I’m not suggesting Adenauer would have been involved in the assassination conspiracy. I was just suggesting that, because Adenauer had protected Gehlen, at least until they started having a falling out in 1963, I doubt if JFK would have thought much of Gehlen.

            I quite agree that importing Nazis into the U.S., particularly for the CIA and the military establishment, had disastrous results in the end, and may have played a big role in the CIA’s eagerness to participate in coups and assassinations.

  2. lysias, “Bear in my mind the key role Angleton played in the assassination conspiracy …”

    I’m curious to know what is your evidence that Angleton played a key role? As Jonathan astutely observed recently, (paraphrasing) if Angleton was keeping tabs on Oswald how does that square with the theory he was ‘running’ Oswald even in a role as patsy? Perhaps Angleton was nothing other than a paranoid albeit justifiably concerned observer of events as they unfolded in the lead up to Dallas. With Dulles gone (from his role in the CIA), did Angleton sense he was losing control? Might he have been obsessed with the possibility that those under his command (including some of the more notable suspects in the assassination) were operating as rogue agents on the payroll of and deferring to more powerful entities who had not dared recruit Angleton himself? This is purely hypothetical but no more so than the theory that Israel was involved in the assassination based on the fact they continued to develop a nuclear capability after Kennedy’s murder. Angleton as liaison between the CIA and Israel does not rise to the level of proof that the Israelis were involved in the assassination – afterall, someone in intelligence had to play that role with America’s allies.

    If you want to pursue that line of argument, might you consider the fact that James H. Critchfield was the liaison between Allen Dulles and former Nazi Reinhard Gehlen during the Cold War, and that Critchfield later operated on behalf of the CIA as liaison with the oil industry – an industry that had been in bed with those responsible for the rise of fascism in Germany and by extension the holocaust against the Jews of Europe – and on his retirement landed lucrative contracts in private industry in the Muslim dominated Middle East – his former post with the Central Intelligence Agency? There is no proof that Critchfield was involved in the assassination, but as a powerful, behind-the-scenes member of the military industrial complex, he is as likely a suspect operating in the shadows of ‘deep politics’ as any including JJ Anglegon. Proof? None. Admonition to look beyond the obvious? Yes.

    I look to Adolph Berle’s role in the 1964 coup in Brazil, to those who reported to him while Kennedy was alive, and consider how that takeover rolled out in the immediate aftermath of Kennedy’s murder – what it meant to the Southern Hemisphere in the ensuing decades. Did Berle’s view of democracy for Latin America, which was in direct alignment with that of the Rockefellers, support the true goals of Kennedy while he was alive? I think not.

    1. The evidence for Angleton’s key role in the assassination conspiracy is to be found in the final, added chapter in the paperback edition of John Newman’s Oswald and the CIA.

      For evidence of Israeli involvement, see Col. John Hughes-Wilson’s JFK: An American Coup D’etat: The Truth Behind the Kennedy Assassination.

      1. lysias, Your response does not include citations of “proof”: but rather you direct me to secondary sources who claim to have proof. Do you have your own research or have you relied in good faith on these two authors?

        At least one of them qualifies his accusations against Angleton with the caveat “In My View.” Why would you accept his claims and not consider claims diametrically opposed to them?

        I suspect we share the same side of the isle relating to the assassination – there was a conspiracy – but I don’t understand why you would align with a theory relating to who orchestrated the deed based on these two authors. Surely you have studied the deeper issues around Angleton and those to whom he reported. Surely you have wondered how he could have managed the media in the aftermath of the assassination. It is all about the cover up.

        So can you summarize how Newman in particular ‘proves to you’ that Angleton was the orchestrator of the assassination? I can’t find the text or source material that would persuade you.

        Regarding Col Hughes-Wilson, are you comfortable with his history with British Intelligence?

        1. Newman establishes with what I consider high probability that Angleton was supervising the handling of the false defector Oswald for the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community and therefore that he arranged al the (phony) evidence that emerged after the assassination that Oswald was working for Cuba and/or Russia in supposedly assassinating JFK.

          I have already said that I only suspect Israeli involvement, and cannot prove it. I suspect it partly on the basis of Angleton’s role, partly on the basis of cui bono, how desperate ben Gurion and Peres were to get nukes, and partly on the basis of the sorts of things Israel is known to have done. But Hughes-Wilson’s book provides a great deal more detail.

  3. Here is hoping the Kennedy family will eventually feel vindicated as did MLK’s in 1999:

    US Gov’t Found Guilty In Conspiracy To Assassinate MLK | News One

    I highly recommend reading the King family press conference following the verdict of a Memphis jury:

      1. Grasping at straws with Wikipedia there, Jean.

        How much fame and fortune could Mr. Jowers have expected to come at age 73 and battling lung cancer? He subsequently died in May 2000, just 5 months following the trial.

        As for Posner’s comments, sounds like sour grapes over a swift unanimous verdict and the dismissal of his findings by the King family.

  4. A contribution factor could have been In June 1963 Ben-Gurion unexpectedly resigned from leading government of Israel. But the evidence suggest Operation Northwood

  5. With the declassification of files over the years it’s obvious
    RFK Jr’s statements are true. Maybe if they would free a few more we could learn a little more.

  6. As Jim DiEugenio has explained, JFK´s Foreign Policy was a motive for his murder. The aftermath of Six Seconds in Dallas was years and years of Third-World-Policy reversal. Just in the first 18 months, American combat troops landed in Vietnam, Cuban exiles were send to fight against Lumumba´s followers, Sukarno was overthrown and the Indonesian Commies were decimated…

    1. Don’t forget the coup in Brazil in Mar.-Apr. 1964. Also, the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona went critical on Dec. 24, 1963.

      1. And the Kennedy threat to cut the oil depletion allowance…potentially losing big, big money for the Texas oil gang (the Bush & Johnson buddies).

      2. lysias,

        Do you believe Israel was behind JFK’s murder?

        If not, why the reference to Dimona?

        If so, do you believe this is why the U.S. Government continues to cover up the assassination?

        Just trying to understand your thinking.


        1. JFK was attempting to prevent Israel’s program to develop nuclear weapons. After he died, those attempts died with him.

          1. My suspicion — which I cannot prove — is that Israel — or at least elements within Israel — was a junior partner in the assassination conspiracy. The CIA played the greater role, and that’s more than mere suspicion on my part. Bear in my mind the key role Angleton played in the assassination conspiracy, and the fact that he was the liaison between the CIA and the Israelis.

      3. lysias January 8, 2015 at 12:16 pm

        What makes you think JFK wouldn’t have done the same in Brazil? JFK had a history of approving regime changes or attempted regime changes.

        The Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona went critical on Dec. 24, 1963. About a month after the death of JFK but you suggest JFK wouldn’t have allowed it or what?

        1. Read the new book Back Channel to Cuba. Brazilian diplomats (under President Goulart) played a key role in the attempts to open channels of communication between JFK and Castro.

          1. lysias January 9, 2015 at 10:12 am

            lysias. Read the new book Back Channel to Cuba. Brazilian diplomats (under President Goulart) played a key role in the attempts to open channels of communication between JFK and Castro.

            Clarke. I don’t understand how that answers my question; how do you know JFK wouldn’t have done the same thing in Brazil as Johnson did in 1964?

            Are you saying JFK and Goulart were buddies so JFK wouldn’t have acted? The United States, including JFK, never had any trouble dropping an ally when they were no longer useful or became inconvenient. See Ngo Dinh Diem for starters.

          2. If you read the book I recommended, you will see how what the Brazilian diplomats were doing suited JFK’s secret policy on Cuba (and ran very much counter to what the CIA wanted, and what LBJ pursued after the assassination).

          3. lysias, for a perspective of events in Brazil that culminated in the 1964 coup, refer to Chapt 29 of “Thy Will Be Done” Gerard Colby & Charlotte Dennett.

            My argument with you – assuming I am reading your comments with clarity – is your assertion that the Israelis were involved in the assassination of John Kennedy. I would like to see clear evidence to support your claim, not second-hand references.

        2. Bill, I think the preponderance of evidence of JFK international policy would suggest the opposite. He did not support coups in Laos, Congo, Indonesia to name a few. Plus no invasion pledge in Cuba and resisted the push for more raids there in 63.
          And even in Vietnam, while we may differ on how committed he was to that coup there is no doubt he did not support or order the brutal assassinations of the Diem brothers.
          LBJ in office? Indonesia, Dominican, Brazil to name a few. so yes, I think there is evidence to say he wouldn’t have pushed that agenda in Brazil in 1964, a lot more than there is to say he would have.

          1. RJ January 10, 2015 at 3:17 pm

            I wouldn’t argue the point too strongly RJ. You well might be right. But this carrying on about what a peacnik JFK was gets to be a bit much at times.

            I certainly don’t think JFK ordered the hit on Diem, in fact I’m pretty sure it repulsed the president. But the fact remains that he approved the coup that overthrew Diem so he wasn’t shy about overthrowing a government. Same as in Cuba except he couldn’t accomplish it.

            Operation Mongoose was un-American in my book and I believe if not the root cause of the missile crisis then played a part in aggravating Castro and Khrushchev to action. It certainly didn’t help.

          2. Bill, respect your answer but I think your opposition may have as much to do with your avesion to the ‘peacenik JFK’ theme than the available evidence.
            I think JFK tried to ‘split the baby’ a number of times with his foreign policy. Mongoose was big and expensive, and RFK was basically installed at Langley to oversee it. HE avoided conventional wars but was intrigued by some aspects of special ops (he did endorse the creation of the Green Berets if I’m not mistaken.) But JFK never wanted assassination of foreign leaders. And the fact that he shut down Mongoose after the Missile Crisis also speaks volumes about where he was headed. Vietnam was a mistake no doubt, but there is a deeper issue and murkier story there with US involvement than just JFK’s decisions. Who exactly installed the Diem brothers back in the 50’s? Why didn’t they have unification elections in 1956?
            I don’t think very many US presidents would do well on the intervention front, especially if you include ‘domestic’ operations. I do think that JFK was the best we’ve had in the last 50-60 years in terms of avoiding full war and the introduction of combat troops in several places — Laos, Vietnam, Cuba, Berlin in 1961. I also think that, even with his contribution to the Cuban Missile Crisis (yes I agree with you about the provocative actions of Mongoose), we would all be recovering from a nuclear winter if he hadn’t been President during that crisis. So on average I’d put him ahead of his two predecessors, and far ahead of pretty much all that have followed — though to be fair to them, they aren’t allowed to veer too far off script.

          3. I have to agree with you there, RJ. Recent revelations have shown the following:

            – JFK reached out to Castro as early as October 1962, following the Missile Crisis

            – JFK’s Cuban rapproachment efforts ended after his assassination

            – JFK refused a military plan for a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union in 1963

            – JFK and the Soviet Union secretly sought ways to find a diplomatic settlement to the war in Vietnam, starting three years before the United States sent combat troops.

            Check out ‘JFK: BUILDING PEACE FOR ALL TIME’ on Vimeo

            #Vimeo #americanuniveristy #au #jfk #kennedy

          4. RJ January 11, 2015 at 4:41 pm

            I mostly agree with you, RJ. I’d rather have JFK than any that came after him as president. Keeping in mind that this doesn’t set the bar all that high!

            But the peacenik tag doesn’t bother me as much as the people that twist history to appear that JFK wouldn’t have used military power for any reason. In reality JFK spoke softly but he carried a big stick and he didn’t mind placing the military where needed to prevent a war. That is the way it is supposed to work and I like it.

            I think the best examples of this is the naval barricade of Cuba to prevent a war. Thank god Khrushchev blinked or that would have been a terrible thing. JFK had strike Armored Units in Berlin which helped bluff the communist from a ground attack. He didn’t mind using the military but he wanted it kept under control.

            JFK didn’t create the Special Forces but he brought them out of the darkness. We had Special Forces for some time although the name varied from time to time. I believe the “Special Forces” name appeared in the early 1950s and they wore the Green beret.

            The regular military do not care for these elite units and treated them like 2nd class citizens. You’d never make general in the SF and for much of the 50s the Army wouldn’t allow them to wear the green beret. I don’t doubt JFK was’t behind the directive in 1961 that they would wear the green beret and he forced the Army to be fair with the SF personnel. JFK sent 400 SF troops to Vietnam in 1962 and the SF school at Fort Bragg is named after John Kennedy.

        3. “What makes you think JFK wouldn’t have done the same in Brazil? JFK had a history of approving regime changes or attempted regime changes.”~Bill Clark

          Kennedy was intent on stopping covert activities. All the documented evidence from that time proves this beyond a reasonable doubt.

          Also: The Taylor McNamara Report

          The “Bay of Pigs” plan did not originate during the Kennedy administration. It had been inherited, full-blown. During the last few months of 1958, it had become clear that the Cuban President/Dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldivar, was being forced to flee; and that Fidel Castro was leading his band of well financed rebels out of the Sierra Maestra mountains into Havana, unchecked. By late December 1958, Castro was close to Havana. The country was his to take.
          After the Bay of Pigs fiasco Kennedy was determined to put an end to clandestine activities throughout the globe and was seeking an end to the Cold War.
          This is precisely why the Military Industrial Complex perpetrated the coup d’etat in Dallas.

          1. Yes Mr Regan,
            I find Prouty one of the most important commentators on the issue of Military and Intelligence policy in that era.
            However some here have bought into the smear campaign waged against Prouty. A shame as Fletcher Prouty is a great resource.

          2. Willy Whitten January 10, 2015 at 4:45 pm

            Willy says; After the Bay of Pigs fiasco Kennedy was determined to put an end to clandestine activities throughout the globe.

            Bill. If this is true Willy JFK chose a very funny way of showing it. After the Bay of Pigs JFK launched the CIA on one of its largest, expensive and useless operations in their history; Operation Mongoose in Cuba. Used the CIA to over throw Diem in 1963. Hardly a way to cut out covert operations don’t you think?

          3. “Used the CIA to over throw Diem in 1963. Hardly a way to cut out covert operations don’t you think?”~Bill Clarke

            I might think so if it were true. It isn’t.
            In Haldeman’s book THE ENDS OF POWER he admits that the cables to Vietnam supposedly linking Kennedy to the coup against Diem were forged during the Nixon administration, and that he himself had personal knowledge of this.

          4. Willy Whitten January 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

            Willy, I don’t believe anyone will be taking this statement serious. Lord I hope not.

            I have a picture of Lt. Col. Lucien “lulu” Conien standing with some of the Vietnamese generals that had Ngo Dinh Diem murdered. Do you know who lulu worked for? You think the photo is “forged” or what?

            The “Saturday Night Memo” will stand on it’s own I think. Many good accounts of what happened here and Nixon certainly wasn’t signing JFK’s signature to it.

    2. Mayra Solloa January 8, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Solla. As Jim DiEugenio has explained, JFK´s Foreign Policy was a motive for his murder.

      Clarke. Did Mr. DiEugenio explain that while the foreign policy of JFK might have been a possible motive for the assassination there is no credible evidence that it was in fact the reason JFK was killed? Many motives to kill JFK. It doesn’t prove guilt.

      Solla. The aftermath of Six Seconds in Dallas was years and years of Third-World-Policy reversal.

      Clarke. How do you know this? How do you know JFK wouldn’t have done the same?

      Solla. Just in the first 18 months, American combat troops landed in Vietnam,

      Clarke. JFK had troops engaged in combat on the ground, in the air and on the water since 1962 in SVN. LBJ sent combat UNITS to SVN in Marsh 1965.

      Solla. Cuban exiles were send to fight against Lumumba´s followers,

      Clarke. Lumumba was killed by firing squad in January 1961. I don’t think he was a threat after that.

      Solla. Sukarno was overthrown and the Indonesian Commies were decimated…

      Clarke. Er… this supposed to be a bad thing?

      1. Clarke:
        Nobody is talking about THE REASON and much less about PROOF OF GUILT, but the JFK approach to the Third World was on the opposite side of those who blamed him for Bay of Pigs, the way he solved the Missile Crisis, and the attempt to accommodate with Castro.
        JFK approach in foreign policy can be tracked to his days as Senator and it was very different from the Ike-Dulles approach. That´s why it´s more plausible he would not have done what LBJ did.
        Before the JFK assassination, there were only U.S. military advisers in Vietnam and JFK even planned to withdraw them. On February 9, 1965, a U.S. Marine Corps Hawk air defense missile battalion was deployed to Da Nang. My mistake: U.S. combat troops landed in Vietnam just in the first 15 months after Dallas´ tragedy.
        The Cuban exiles fought against the Lumumba´s followers during the so-called “simba” rebellion (1963-65).
        Overthrowing a foreign government is a bad thing by definition. About the decimation of Indonesian Commies, please see Joshua Oppenheimer´s documentary The Act of Killing, and tell me whether it was bad or not.

        1. The Kennedy administration took office believing that previous U.S. policy toward Indonesia (hostility, going as far as CIA efforts to overthrow Sukarno) had been a mistake. Sukarno was warmly received during an official visit to Washington in April 1961. The JFK administration supported Indonesia’s claim to West Irian (West New Guinea) and succeeded in pressuring the Dutch into surrendering the province to Indonesia. On Nov. 19, 1963, the U.S. amabassador gave Indonesia a commitment that JFK would soon visit that country. We know what prevented the visit.

        2. Mayra Solloa January 9, 2015 at 11:45 am

          Part 1.

          Mayra Solloa. Nobody is talking about THE REASON and much less about PROOF OF GUILT,

          Clarke. Oh, I’m sorry. I thought that was exactly what we were talking about. My apologies.

          Mayra Solloa. JFK approach in foreign policy can be tracked to his days as Senator and it was very different from the Ike-Dulles approach. That´s why it´s more plausible he would not have done what LBJ did.

          Clarke. No doubt you have heard the speech JFK made on Vietnam while he was a Senator. Did you know that he was also a member of the American Friends of Vietnam (AFV) while he was a Senator, the Vietnam Lobby in the U.S.? The AFV “offered full-throated support of American’s mission in Vietnam-and by extension for Diems rule”. “Embers of War; The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America’s Vietnam, Fredrik Logevall, page 664. And by extension the approach of Ike and Dulles. Any crystal ball reading of what JFK would or would not have done had he lived is pure speculation.

          Mayra Solloa. Before the JFK assassination, there were only U.S. military advisers in Vietnam and JFK even planned to withdraw them.

          Clarke. No and no, not all of them. This “only advisers” is an old joke and a bad one at that. In 1962 with the formation of the MACV Command our advisers were assigned down to the ARVN Battalion level. The American infantry and armor advisers began going on ground combat missions with ARVN. Our pilots flew bombing and close in fire support in South Vietnam and the 7th Fleet patrolled the China Sea. See “Bright Shining Lie” by Neil Sheehan. These “only advisers” began to die in combat. Sixteen in 1961, fifty two in 1962 and one hundred and eighteen in 1963. Call them what you like, they were dead.

        3. Mayra Solloa January 9, 2015 at 11:45 am

          Part 2.

          Mayra Solloa. Before the JFK assassination, there were only U.S. military advisers in Vietnam and JFK even planned to withdraw them.

          Clarke. Clarke. There is a lot of crap out there about the Vietnam policy of JFK. Some is from ignorance and lack of knowledge and some is a flat lie to promote an agenda. You have to be very careful here. NSAM 263 is the last written order on Vietnam approved by JFK. It is a program to drawdown American forces in Vietnam as we train the Vietnamese to take over the mission. It is not a program for a complete U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam; it does not set 1965 as a deadline for doing this. It does not say we will withdraw all the troops, it says “hopefully” “the bulk of personnel”. The tapes from the NSA for the drafting of NSAM 263 is very revealing. We learn that JFK and McNamara planned on leaving 3,500 “advisers” in country after we have “won” (by winning they meant the ARVN could take over). The famous 1,000 man withdrawal would be brought home by normal rotation and other interesting tidbits. A must read if you want to be informed on JFK’s Vietnam policy.

          Here is the withdrawal part of NSAM 263. “2. A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time.” I’ve had some trouble with the Lancer link but NSAM 263 is easy to find on the net.

          For these people that tell you Jack had ordered all U.S. troops out of Vietnam by 1965 simply ask them to tell you where you might find this “order”.

          Mayra Solloa. Overthrowing a foreign government is a bad thing by definition. About the decimation of Indonesian Commies, please see Joshua Oppenheimer´s documentary The Act of Killing, and tell me whether it was bad or not.

          Clarke. I’m not of the opinion that overthrowing a communist government is a bad thing. We may differ on this one.

          I’m not sure where we are headed with this documentary, “The Act of Killing”. Not sure if you speak of the immorality of war itself or the horrors of the killing. I don’t have to watch the documentary to discuss either one with you.

          1. Bill Clarke – Part 3
            Richard Mahoney: Ordeal in Africa (1991), with all the Kennedy Library has on the immense Congo crisis, including the origins and design of JFK foreign policy.
            John Newman: JFK and Vietnam (1992), the most detailed and convincing account on Kennedy’s intent to withdraw from Vietnam.
            More recently, two sound researches deals with Kennedy’s approach to the Third World: Betting on the Africans, by Philip Muehlenbeck, and Kennedy, Johnson and the Nonaligned World, by Robert Rakove, dealing among others with Indonesia and clearly demonstrating how after Kennedy’s death his Third World policies were reversed. Thus, one of the motive to kill JFK was his foreign policy, and the plotters couldn´t be others than those strongly opposed to it.

          2. Mayra Solloa January 10, 2015 at 12:44 pm

            Mr. DiEugenio also expresses great admiration for John Newman’s book so I understand the problem you both have here. Newman’s book is long on speculation and short on evidence. He was roundly booed by leading Vietnam historians when he presented the book at a seminar in Austin back in the 90s when he was peddling the book. As far as I can tell the only ones accepting the book is those of the Camelot crowd.

            I’ll give you an example from Newman’s book, page322. This is the basis of the book.
            “Kennedy decided to use Taylor’s and Harkin’ reports of battlefield success to justify the beginning of the withdrawal he was planning.” Italics by Newman.

            “Kennedy kept his plan a closely guarded secret, but by March he was determined not only to withdraw—come what may—after 1964, but, if possible, to take a clear step in that direction….”

            “Withdraw come what may”. How grand! Total BS. You wonder why there isn’t supporting evidence for this blooper? There is none and none is listed in the book. Not even a Kenny O’Donnell said Jack told him this, no senator saying Jack told him this. Nothing. Newman pulled it straight out of the air. Pure junk.

            I can think of two instances in which JFK’s foreign policy was reversed after his death.
            1. We stopped trying to overthrow Castro with Operation Mongoose.
            2. We didn’t support anymore overthrows of the Vietnamese government.

          3. Bill, let’s be serious. Are you trying to argue that LBJ’s Vietnam policy was less aggressive than JFK’s? Advisors — even if they are special forces — are not as aggressive as hundreds of thousands of combat troops. And let’s not forget , with the false flag operation w/the USS Maddox.

            Another point: JFK stopped Mongoose earlier in ’63, and never sanctioned assassination attempts on Castro. He ordered those stopped as well.
            Assassination attempts on Castro resumed under LBJ, with or without his knowledge. But LBJ didn’t seem that interested in slowing them down.

          4. Bill, with all due respect under LBJ, all rapproachment efforts with Castro ceased (not for want of trying on Castro’s part), as well accommodation with the Soviets was snubbed out (JFK’s proposal for joint lunar mission died with him).

            I appreciate that you discount statements from the Camelot crowd, but unless you think RFK Jr. is outright lying, see following excerpt from ‘JFK’s Vision of Peace” article:

            “By the summer of 1963, JFK was quietly telling trusted friends and advisers he intended to get out following the 1964 election. These included Rep. Tip O’Neill, McNamara, National Security adviser McGeorge Bundy, Sen. Wayne Morse, Washington columnist Charles Bartlett, Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson, confidant Larry Newman, Gen. Taylor and Marine Commandant Gen. David M. Shoup, who, besides Taylor, was the only other member of the Joint Chiefs that JFK trusted. Both McNamara and Bundy acknowledged in their respective memoirs that JFK meant to get out – which were jarring admissions against self-interest, since these two would remain in the Johnson administration and orchestrate the war’s escalation”.

            Tip O’Neill went on the record in a recorded interview that in his last conversation with JFK, he stated that he intended to bring the boys home from Vietnam and “we never would have had the tragic loss of life there had he lived”.

          5. RJ January 15, 2015 at 12:47 am

            Bill, let’s be serious. Are you trying to argue that LBJ’s Vietnam policy was less aggressive than JFK’s?

            Gracious no and I hope I didn’t imply that. If I did I apologize for not being more clear in my writing. Of course LBJ was by far the most aggressive.

            But the point need to be made that there was aggression under JFK’s policy. So many people will tell you that “Jack only sent advisers” like that made it all like a nice game of county club tennis in SVN. That wasn’t the case.

            In 1962 JFK sent helicopter units, Jet fighters and bombers, M-113s and people to SVN. He also sent Americans with this equipment. Now call them what you wish, these men were involved in combat in the air, on the water and on the ground. These were combat trained people with a combat MOS. They were not the First Cav Division but they were engaged in combat.

            Dr. Edwin Moise of Clemson University wrote what I consider the best book on the Tonkin Gulf. Dr. Moise belonged to and was a moderator for a Vietnam War group so I was in so we got a lot of answers about the Tonkin Gulf incident. I have his book of course. The first attack on the Maddox did in fact happen. The second attack on the Turner Joy was not a fact. The commander, within the hour, notified HQ that more investigation need to be done before reporting the incident. LBJ and McNamara both knew this but McNamara took it to congress anyway. I never saw the big deal here since if not the Tonkin Gulf then something else a little later would have served the same purpose. LBJ and his crew had been considering a retaliation for other communist trouble making when the TG popped up. Dr. Moise doesn’t agree with my thinking on this however.

            I wouldn’t bet the farm JFK didn’t know about the assassination attempts on Castro but that is my opinion. Certainly can’t prove it but Helms said, “you won’t find it on paper” but he was pretty sure JFK knew.

            I wasn’t aware the assassination attempts on Castro continued under LBJ. You know where I can find this?

          6. David Regan January 15, 2015 at 9:58 am

            No David, I’m afraid LBJ gets an F in foreign affairs. I would have liked to have the foreign policy of JFK and the domestic policy of LBJ.

            I don’t think Junior is lying, I think he is repeating what he has been told. He is, after all, a member of the Camelot crowd. His article is a fluff piece with nothing negative about any Kennedy. No balance. I would expect nothing less.

            I must say that his statements about the generals being in almost open revolt is a bit much. Except for LeMay JFK had appointed everyone of them. He could have fired everyone of them just as well. I’ve lost count of the generals Obama has fired.

            The article has not one reference I believe and this really cramps us in reading the reference you posted her.

            In other words, I don’t think JFK told all those people he would withdraw after the elections and I don’t think asking for a few references here should be out of the question.

            For the lying McNamara (see Tokin Gulf for starters) I don’t think he ever said JFK “told him”. He made some comment that JFK was thinking about withdrawal or something like that. Halberstam calls his book “shockingly dishonest”. It is.

            Mac Bundy died before he finished his book. The fellow helping him write it finished it.I have his and McNamara’s book. Bundy did not say “JFK told me”. He said something like he was pretty sure JFK would not have done what LBJ did.

            I don’t remember Taylor or Shoup making a comment about the question but again a reference is called for. The same for the other folks. Let us see some evidence that Jack “told them”.

            What about Rusk? Nobody told the Secretary of State. I’ve always wondered why these people never told Johnson that Kennedy was pulling out! Surely McNamara and Bundy should have done that!

            David, you have done a good job of finding evidence that JFK would have pulled out of Vietnam.

            For every JFK quote to that end a quote can be found to support JFK staying in Vietnam. The question can’t be answered.

          7. Bill, RFK Jr. makes reference to this in this article:

            “The CIA would continue its efforts to try to assassinate Castro during the first two years of the LBJ administration. Johnson never knew it. Castro provided Senator George McGovern with evidence of at least ten assassination plots during this period”.
            OPINION: Sabotaging U.S.-Cuba Détente in the Kennedy Era via @sharethis

          8. David Regan January 16, 2015 at 10:15 am

            Thanks David but I mean a reference to this, not just Junior saying so. Junior or anyone else “just saying so” doesn’t carry much weight.

            Your reference here is another unreferenced piece by Junior.

          9. Bill, I knew it appeared elsewhere but just didn’t have it handy last posting.

            See bottom excerpt from Church Committe:

            But an attempt to deal with Castro in a very different way was also underway on the very day of the Kennedy assassination. William Atwood and Lisa Howard were contacting Cuban officials at the President’s personal request to initiate discussions aimed at normalizing relations.

            We are forced to one of two conclusions:

            1) Desmond Fitzgerald continued in the tradition of Bissell and Harvey to promote plans for the assassination of Fidel Castro without the approval or knowledge of the Kennedy administration.


            2) Even as John F. Kennedy was holding out the olive branch to Castro, he was actively trying to have him killed.
            Tomnln contributed very important information taken from the Church Report that appears to decide this issue conclusively in favor of conclusion

            (1): CHURCH COMMITTEE BOOK V……(page 72)
            “In late July 1964, an FBI informant again reported that the CIA had meetings with the Cuban official (AMLASH). This report indicates that that the purpose of those meetings had been to plan the assassination of Castro. The informant reported that the Cuban official had been unhappy with the CIA response that Attorney General Kennedy had refused to support the plan. Because the informant requested that the bureau not inform the CIA or the White House about this report, it was not disseminated outside the FBI. Headquarters advised the field office in contact with the informant, to keep them advised. The FBI supervisor involved noted on his copy of the communication to the field office, that the bureau, acting on orders from the Attorney General, was investigating a reported underworld plot against Castro, and that this might be the same as the alleged plot involving the Cuban (AMLASH).”

      2. I am incredulous that anyone could defend the overthrow of Sukarno (who was not a Communist) and the subsequent massacre of more than 500,000 people (many of whom were not Communists).

  7. Is the May message from McCone to RFK the only evidence that the “agency worked to prevent normalization with Cuba”?

    In the minutes of November 5 meeting linked to above, the next-to-last paragraph says:

    “Mr. McCone stated that it might be possible to use again Mr. James Donovan who is known to have excellent relationships with Dr. Vallejo. Vallejo might be flown to the UN for such talks or better still Donovan could go to Cuba.”

    Could it be that his objection was to using Lisa Howard as the intermediary?

    The same memo shows that sabotage missions were still being carried out in Cuba.

    1. Still looking for evidence that the CIA tried to block negotiations with Cuba. (It’s quite possible they did, I’d just like to know what the basis is, if it’s true.)

      In the May 1, 1963 memo linked to above, I don’t see Helms saying anything about opposing the idea. He suggested that “James B. Donovan would probably be acceptable to the Cubans as negotiator.” Donovan had negotiated with the Cuban government before:

      McCone also recommended Donovan as negotiator in the Nov. 5 meeting. Other than the quotes from a McCone message to RFK (which I can’t find online), is there anything else on record?

      Jeff or anyone, please?

      1. Lawrence Schnapf

        CIA and Helms were opposed in May and in September. Indeed, it appears the exile commmunity was informed of the effort by CIA. Perhaps to light a fuse?

        McCone’s response in Nov makes sense. JFK had decided to explore this avenue and if he wanted CIA to exercise any influence, MCCone had to go along with the idea so he proposed Donovan who had good track record with Castro and was sophisticated in these matters.

  8. The plot to assassinate JFK was but in place well befor Rapprochment with Cuba. Starting with the rush to get LHO working for Jaggars-Chiles-Stovall just days befor announcement that Russia had nucular missels in Cuba

  9. There’s no doubt that the anti-Castro Cubans and Cuban-exiles had learned to hate Kennedy. JFK had made promises that the US would re-take control of Cuba during his administration. Instead, after Kruschev doubled-down on Kennedy by giving Castro nuclear missiles, JFK backed off on his commitment; He promised Kruschev that the US would never invade Cuba AND committed to removing certain European based US nukes that threatened Russia; A nice bonus for Nikita. Could the Cuban-Exile community, even if they were in league with the CIA, have killed Kennedy and firmly fixed the blame on a “lone nut”; Could they have convinced Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to infiltrate the Bethesda Naval Hospital and take control of the JFK autopsy: Could the Cubans have convinced the Secret Service to manipulate the motorcade route in defiance of all protocol; Could they have convinced the Mafia to slip one of their button men into the Dallas Police Station in order to kill the designated “lone nut”; Could Cuban exiles have sweet-talked President Johnson into phoning the Dallas DA and the Dallas Police Chief to tell them that: “Oswald is your man, stop investigating”; Could Cuban Exiles have convinced J. Edgar Hoover to sacrifice a 40 year career and a sterling reputation in order to feed the Warren Commission nothing but pro “lone nut” evidence? I’m afraid not. Only the President of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, had the position, power and panache necessary to pull all those elements together. This job required the top guy’s involvement. The Secret Service, FBI, CIA, Chiefs of Staff, et al were just not the kind of lightweights who would have thrown-in with a band of disgruntled exiles. It was simply too big a job for any single entity to make work. We’re talking about the murder of the leader of the Free World here. The Cubans simply didn’t have the gravitas necessary to convince Hoover’s FBI, the CIA, Secret Service, the Warren Commission, the Dallas PD and DA, etc., etc. to go to work for them. If they were that powerful they would have knocked off Castro themselves – a much more direct route to achieving their goals. I’m afraid we have to face the fact that our very own Vice President, Lyndon Johnson is the only one who could have pulled all the strings necessary to quickly and surreptitiously get Kennedy out of the way; Thus putting Johnson in position to deftly cover up his foul deed and advance the agendas of those who had helped him achieve his long sought prize.

    1. Lawrence Schnapf

      Brother Bruce,

      The exiles who killed JFK didnt count on a coverup. They were willing to die to get rid of the man they thought had betrayed them. This killing in broad dayight had all the earmarks of a passionate killing.

      There may have been others in the intelligence coummunity who learned of the plan and used it to setup LHO in the hopes it would cause LBJ to invade CUba. Indeed, it was DRE that released the LHO bio as a Castro sympathizer w/i an hour. How woudl they know this without inside info?

      The intelligence operatives probably also counted on the fact that the gov machinery would operate to hide the truth to avoid exposing Mongoose, etc.

      The involvement of the exiles is the most plausible and logical of all explanations.

  10. “It was terrible to wake up after that cruel and shocking act.” While I was only 6 at the time, I remember the assassination very vividly because I liked JFK and have the same last name. More importantly, I have an avid interests in this heinous action because I believe that a group of FBI and CIA agents, working with both mobsters and anti-Castro Cubans pulled off the murder of JFK. There is ample proof that the FBI and the CIA collaborated to cover up certain aspects of the assassination, particularly the Oswald-Ferrie-Marcello connection, and how the mob essentially took over funding of some of the anti-Castro Cuban loyal to them. This funding caused these groups to answer to the mob and to turn their guns on Kennedy to solve mob prosecutions stemming from RFK’s war against organized crime. Some posit that the mob would not have done such a deed. I ask why not – after all, they have a history of killing the opposition. With CIA and FBI implicit approval, the mob and some anti-Castro Cubans could stage an assassination. With JFK removed, everyone who stood to benefit profited:Johnson got the presidency, Hoover remained titular head of domestic intelligence, Marcello was acquitted, CIA/Military got Vietnam (along with the mob’s takeover of the “Golden Triangle” drug traffic), the mob’s prosecution decreased by 70%; and, the most virulent anti-Castro Cubans got revenge for Bay of Pigs fiasco, peaceful settlement of the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK’s anti-Castro groups crackdown, and attempt of rapprochement with Fidel Castro.JFK’s murder was nothing short of treasonous collusion, by silent assent, among strategically placed individuals acting, both before and after the fact, to accomplish the nefarious deed.

    1. I agree that the implicit approval of the FBI (Hoover mainly), CIA, and Lyndon Johnson made the deed possible. Their “hands were clean” and it’s hard to prove their direct involvement, which works great for them, but their power provided cover that made the whole thing possible.

  11. Lisa Howard was a very tragic figure. She had a successful acting career doing off-Broadway theatre and soap operas, then decided to try reporting, and got a job with the Mutual Radio Network. She made a big splash by getting an interview with Nikita Khruschev (the first American reporter to do so), and was hired by ABC, getting her own network show. It has been rumored she was also remantically involved with Castro, and perhaps Che Guevara. After JFK’s murder, and the collapse of the US/Cuban reconciliation, she got involved in organizing an attempt to get NY State Democrats to vote for incumbent Senator Kenneth Keating in his reelection bid against Bobby Kennedy with her friend Gore Vidal. Ironically, Keating was known for his outspoken criticism of Castro, and had even claimed in the summer of 1962 that JFK was ignoring the possibility that the USSR was building missile sites in Cuba. This effort too was a failure, and ABC fired her for such blatant involvement in polical matters (she’d been warned to cut it out beforehand). She apparently suffered some kind of mental breakdown after a miscarriage in the spring of 1965, and died of a drug overdose (barbiturates) on the fourth of July that summer. She was only 35 years old.

    1. Nathaniel Heidenheimer

      Very interesting for several reasons. Why would Gore Vidal, celebrated “leftist?” be trying to get Keating, an arch cold warrior in over Bobby? Was it entirely a personal animus with things Kennedy or was Vidal playing a role similar to Corlis Lamont’s and the Straights’a s House “”leftist??”” from J.P. Morgan or for elite, strategic interests relating to communications strategies, new strategies shaped by the newly ascendant Walter Lippman after WWI?

      Some historians have Keating playing a key role with CIA in intelligence leaks designed to pressure JFK during the summer of 1962. Why would the CIA be sharing intel with a Senator and not their NOMINAL boss, the president?

      1. Nathaniel, will you expound a bit on Corliss Lamont? His brother was entrenched in the financial world and could hardly be considered a “leftist.” I have them married into the Noyes family as well, more banking interests. I’m sure you know that the pamphlets in possession of Richard Nagell were Corliss’ writings. In fact Nagell’s son was named (his middle name if memory serves) Lamont, presumably after this family. Do you think Corliss was genuine in his political leanings, or?

      1. Lisa Howard’s boss at ABC was James Hagerty, who had served as Eisenhower’s Press Secretary before becoming news chief for the then new ABC News. On the day of the assassination, Hagerty appeared at the anchor desk for a time to theorize a conspiracy was at work – in terms very close to a Phase One version of the assassination.

        See the following –
        a good representative sampling [following the live appearance by Zapruder] starts at 1:44:30. At 1:47:20 a paper is handed to the anchor, who reads its content moments later: hot off the ticker, it is one of the earliest mentions of Oswald in the electronic media that day, certainly the first on television.

  12. I encourage everyone to read the full article by RFK Jr. in Interpress Service. Very powerful. Here is someone that is awfully brave to share what he knows to see JUSTICE is served in JFK’S MURDER. It is not just anyone …….it is a member of the Kennedy Family.
    It is really a no brainer at this point to say there was a lot more information known in 1963 to the Government, Warren Commission, CIA, FBI and the Kennedy Family.
    There is really a great deal of information out now…..more and more mainstream media and best selling books. RFK Jr has been saying alot.
    Is the Answer to Who Killed Kennedy so terrible that we could not know in 1963 or now?
    Those involved deserve to have their names besmeerched in shame for all time.
    The United States of America was robbed of a Great President. It was terrible to wake up after that cruel and shocking act.

    1. Hello Diane, thanks for the comments. I’ve always been amazed by the Kennedy family stance ever since the killing of JFK and RFK. Why no fight for justice!? You can only imagine the obvious I guess.Indeed America but the world also lost an exceptional leader of men.
      As for those involved need to be besmirched, that will never happen. Many have this belief that the truth is near, that those involved are all nearly dead so somewhere in the world a vault will unlock unleashing all this secret intelligence when the last man dies. I don’t agree, I have a different belief. I believe that those involved are very much a part of the furniture still, running through the walls and policy of the dirty secret agency. The CIA still murder people, torture people and act freely without any form of governance or consequence to their actions. One man intended to stop the monster that is the CIA and both he and his brother and ultimately all of us paid that price. Whilst the CIA is still in existence so will the wall of silence, denial and lies.

      1. James January 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm

        Well James, JFK didn’t destroy the monster and I know of no evidence that he attempted to do so. Dulles was “retired” due to incompetence at the Bay of Pigs, not for any monster actions by his CIA.

        In fact JFK was to intrust the CIA with one of his most important and largest missions, Operation Mongoose in Cuba. He also used the CIA heavily in Vietnam and god only knows where else.

        Like every other president, JFK used the CIA and it wasn’t always pretty.

        1. “Dulles was “retired” due to incompetence at the Bay of Pigs, not for any monster actions by his CIA.”~Bill Clarke

          The more of your commentary I read here Bill, the more I simply cannot take you serious. Kennedy felt he was misled by CIA, Dulles wasn’t “retired” he was fired, and anyone studying the matter knows this. This parsing the language by you here is like dealing with Orwellian Newspeak.

          You say, “In fact JFK was to intrust the CIA with one of his most important and largest missions, Operation Mongoose in Cuba.”

          Kennedy inherited the Bay of Pigs project from the Eisenhower administration. Until he was stung by the fiasco these idiots in CIA were pushing, he treated them as serious people. They were not and are not, they are frat-boys that never grew out of their juvenile delinquency.

          1. Willy Whitten January 11, 2015 at 7:01 pm

            Well see Willy, the reason JFK thought the CIA had misled him at the BOP is simple; they did.

            Dulles was NOT fired, he resigned. Yes, he was forced to resign but that is not the same as being fired. When I fired someone I fired him on the spot and sent him to the office to pick up his check. JFK let Dulles remain in his job from April 61 (BOP) until November of 61 when JFK pinned the National Security Medal on Dulles on the 28th of November.

            I am familiar with the BOP history, I know it was hatched under Ike’s term and JFK inherited it. But you know what JFK didn’t inherit? Operation Mongoose, that is what. And he used CIA, under Bobby’s directions)to do these operations. He used the CIA heavily in Vietnam and no doubt elsewhere.

            Now Willy, take that seriously. You can’t refute a word of it.

          2. Bill, don’t forget that During the Kennedy Administration, Dulles faced increasing criticism. The pro-American but unpopular regimes in Iran and Guatemala that Dulles had helped put in place were widely regarded as brutal and corrupt.

            In autumn 1961, following the Bay of Pigs debacle, Dulles and his entourage, including Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell, Jr. and Deputy Director Charles Cabell (brother to Earle Cabell – Dallas mayor), were forced to resign. On November 28, 1961, Kennedy presented Dulles with the National Security Medal at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The next day, November 29, the White House released a resignation letter signed by Dulles.

            The Taylor Commission and CIA’s Inspector General Report was presented in October 1961 and was highly critical of the invasion planning. I can’t imagine this, coupled with the dismissal of the top three men, creating anything but a bitter mood at Langley.


          3. David Regan January 16, 2015 at 6:46 pm

            Oh yes, our actions in Latin America are terrible. It seems the right wing dictators we put in power were much worse than the left leaning people we disposed. Nixon and Kissinger should have gone to jail over some of their moves. No wonder our southern neighbors don’t like us.

            JFK was nice enough to let Dulles stay on until November and save some face. Plus JFK gave him the medal. I don’t remember if he fired the others on the spot or not.

            I have read the Taylor report and that of the IG. Right, they were highly critical and had a right to be. That was a damn fool operation.

          4. Not to mention the “Thanksgiving Day Massacre” in November 1961, when JFK put in place a big State Department shake-up and broad bureaucratic reshuffle(affecting Bowles, Harriman, Rostow etc)

            Interesting to note, LBJ later named Rostow his top military advisor and chief spokeman for the war effort in 1966.

          5. “Dulles was NOT fired, he resigned. Yes, he was forced to resign but that is not the same as being fired.”~Bill Clarke

            The only difference between the two is purely rhetorical and you know it Bill.

            Dulles remained on his “job” which was being diminished by presidential orders moving responsibilities from CIA to the Joint Chiefs.

            We know also that Mongoose had no contingencies for another “invasion scenario” as well. The whole effort seemed to be to kill, or humiliate Castro.

            Remember the context of all of this the impetus to remove Kennedy who was clearly moving forward to establish a peace paradigm which would tank the military industrial complex.
            Take that seriously Bill because it is historically proven.\\][//

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