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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:53 PM

Torture and Assassination as Policy

Weekend Edition December 19-21, 2014

Torture and Assassination as Policy

The CIA’s Secret Killers

by ALEXANDER COCKBURN and JEFFREY ST. CLAIR


Some time in early or mid-1949 a CIA officer named Bill (his surname is blacked out in the file, which was surfaced by our friend John Kelly back in the early 1990s) asked an outside contractor for input on how to kill people. Requirements included the appearance of an accidental or purely fortuitous terminal experience suffered by the Agency’s victim.

Bill’s contact – internal evidence suggests he was a doctor – offered practical advice: “Tetraethyl lead, as you know, could be dropped on the skin in very small quantities, producing no local lesion, and after a quick death, no specific evidence would be present.” Another possibility was “the exposure of the entire individual to X-ray.” (In fact these two methods were already being inflicted on a very large number of Americans in lethal doses, in the form of leaded gasoline and radioactive fallout from the atmospheric nuclear test program in Nevada.) “There are two other techniques,” Bill’s friend concluded bluffly, which “require no special equipment beside a strong arm and the will to do such a job. These would be either to smother the victim with a pillow or to strangle him with a wide piece of cloth, such as a bath towel.”

As regular as congressmen being taken in adultery or receiving cash bribes, every year or two the Central Intelligence Agency has go into damage-control mode to deal with embarrassing documents like the memo to Bill, and has to square up to the question – does it, did it ever, have its in-house assassins, a Double O team.

It just happened. In mid-July the news headlines were suddenly full of allegations that in the wake of the 9/11/2001 attacks, vice president Dick Cheney had ordered the formation of a CIA kill squad and expressly ordered the Agency not to disclose the program even to congressional overseers with top security clearances, as required by law. As soon as CIA offials disclosed the program to CIA director Leon Panetta, he ordered it to be halted.

And regular as the congressmen taken in adultery seeking forgiveness from God and spouse, the CIA rolled out the familiar KillingTrayvons1 response that yes, such a program had been mooted, but there had been practical impediments. “It sounds great in the movies, but when you try to do it, it’s not that easy,” one former intelligence official told the New York Times. “Where do you base them? What do they look like? Are they going to be sitting around at headquarters on 24-hour alert waiting to be called?” The C.I.A. insisted it had never proposed a specific operation to the White House for approval.

With these pious denials we enter the Theater of the Absurd. We’re talking about a US Agency that ran the Phoenix Program, that supervised executive actions across Latin America, that …

More:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/19/the-cias-secret-killers/

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Reply Torture and Assassination as Policy (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2014 OP
Octafish Dec 2014 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:01 PM

1. Cockburn and St. Clair are wrong re JFK and Cuba.

For some reason, the people at CounterPunch ALWAYS fail to mention that Ike was president when Dulles hired the Mafia to kill Castro -- 1960.



AUG 1960: Richard Bissell meets with Colonel Sheffield Edwards, director of the CIA's Office of Security, and discusses with him ways to eliminate or assassinate Fidel Castro. Edwards proposes that the job be done by assassins hand-picked by the American underworld, specifically syndicate interests who have been driven out of their Havana gambling casinos by the Castro regime. Bissell gives Edwards the go-ahead to proceed. Between August 1960, and April 1961, the CIA with the help of the Mafia pursues a series of plots to poison or shot Castro. The CIA’s own internal report on these efforts states that these plots "were viewed by at least some of the participants as being merely one aspect of the over-all active effort to overthrow the regime that culminated in the Bay of Pigs." (CIA, Inspector General's Report on Efforts to Assassinate Fidel Castro, p. 3, 14)

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/bayofpigs/chron.html



Details on the actual sit-down:



Ever wonder about the sanity of America's leaders? Take a close look at perhaps the most bizarre plot in U.S. intelligence history

By Bryan Smith
Chicago Magazine
November 2007
(page 4 of 6)

EXCERPT...

By September 1960, the project was proceeding apace. Roselli would report directly to Maheu. The first step was a meeting in New York. There, at the Plaza Hotel, Maheu introduced Roselli to O'Connell. The agent wanted to cover up the participation of the CIA, so he pretended to be a man named Jim Olds who represented a group of wealthy industrialists eager to get rid of Castro so they could get back in business.

"We may know some people," Roselli said. Several weeks later, they all met at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. For years, the luxurious facility had served as the unofficial headquarters for Mafioso leaders seeking a base close to their gambling interests in Cuba. Now, it would be the staging area for the assassination plots.

At a meeting in one of the suites, Roselli introduced Maheu to two men: Sam Gold and a man Roselli referred to as Joe, who could serve as a courier to Cuba. By this time, Roselli was on to O'Connell. "I'm not kidding," Roselli told the agent one day. "I know who you work for. But I'm not going to ask you to confirm it."

Roselli may have figured out that he was dealing with the CIA, but neither Maheu nor O'Connell realized the rank of mobsters with whom they were dealing. That changed when Maheu picked up a copy of the Sunday newspaper supplement Parade, which carried an article laying out the FBI's ten most wanted criminals. Leading the list was Sam Giancana, a.k.a. "Mooney," a.k.a. "Momo," a.k.a. "Sam the Cigar," a Chicago godfather who was one of the most feared dons in the country—and the man who called himself Sam Gold. "Joe" was also on the list. His real name, however, was Santos Trafficante—the outfit's Florida and Cuba chieftain.

Maheu alerted O'Connell. "My God, look what we're involved with," Maheu said. O'Connell told his superiors. Questioned later before the 1975 U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (later nicknamed the Church Committee after its chairman, Frank Church, the Democratic senator from Idaho), O'Connell was asked whether there had ever been any discussion about asking two men on the FBI's most wanted list to carry out a hit on a foreign leader.

"Not with me there wasn't," O'Connell answered.

"And obviously no one said stop—and you went ahead."

"Yes."

"Did it bother you at all?"

"No," O'Connell answered, "it didn't."


CONTINUED...

http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/November-2007/How-the-CIA-Enlisted-the-Chicago-Mob-to-Put-a-Hit-on-Castro/index.php?cparticle=4&siarticle=3



Yet, the Mighty Wurlitzer plays the false tune that Kennedy was the guy who wanted Castro dead.



Spies: Ex-CIA Agent In Raleigh Says Castro Knew About JFK Assassination Ahead Of Time

Former CIA agent and author Brian Latell in Raleigh

By The Raleigh Telegram

RALEIGH – A noted former Central Intelligence Agency officer, author, and scholar who is intimately knowledgeable about Cuba and Fidel Castro, says he believes there is evidence that Castro’s government knew about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 ahead of time.

SNIP...

Robert Kennedy, as the Attorney General of the United States, was in charge of the operation, said Latell. Despite the United States’ best efforts, the operation was nonetheless penetrated by Cuban intelligence agents, said Latell.

Latell said there were two serious assassination attempts by the United States against Castro that even used members of the mafia to help, but both of them were obviously unsuccessful.

He also said that there was a plot by the United States to have Castro jabbed with a pen containing a syringe filled with a very effective poison. Latell said that he believes the experienced assassin who worked for Castro who originally agreed to the plan may have been a double agent. After meeting with a personal representative of Robert Kennedy in Paris, the man knew that the plan to assassinate Castro came from the highest levels of the government, including John F. and Robert Kennedy.

The plan was never carried out, as the man later defected to the United States, but with so many double agents working for Castro also pledging allegiance to the CIA, Latell said it was likely that the information got back to Havana that the Kennedy brothers endorsed that plot with the pen.

CONTINUED...

http://raleightelegram.com/201209123311



Which to an amateur detective interested in justice would seem like a lead worth pursuing, especially considering who worked to keep the peace.

DUer Jim DiEugenio has studied the question about the Left and the assassination of President Kennedy. Perhaps the President wasn't sufficiently radical, economically speaking, for their tastes.

IMFO, If things had gone according to plan, Nixon would've been president during the Bay of Pigs and would've sent in the Marines, along with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, making Allen Dulles and Meyer Lansky and all their rich and corrupt friends very, very happy.

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