is a good day to read something that would appear to be science
announced that the CIA would be declassifying hundreds of pages
on illegal actions that included plans to eliminate the leaders
of foreign governments. Suddenly the publication is halted and
it is delayed one day. No coherent explanation was given.
Perhaps someone in the White House looked over the material.
The first package
of declassified documents goes by the name of “The Family
Jewels”; it consists of 702 pages on illegal CIA actions between
1959 and 1973. About 100 pages of this part have been deleted.
It deals with actions that were not authorized by any law, plots
to assassinate other leaders, experiments with drugs on human
beings to control their minds, spying on civil activists and
journalists, among other similar activities that were expressly
began to be gathered together 14 years after the first of the
events took place, when then CIA director, James
Schlessinger became alarmed about
what the press was writing, especially all the articles by
Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein published in The
Washington Post, already mentioned in the “Manifesto to the
People of Cuba”. The agency was being accused of promoting
spying in the Watergate Hotel with the participation of its
former agents Howard Hunt and James McCord.
In May 1973,
the Director of the CIA was demanding that "all the main
operative officials of this agency must immediately inform me on
any ongoing or past activity that might be outside of the
constituting charter of this agency”.
Schlessinger, later appointed Head of the Pentagon, had
been replaced by William Colby. Colby was referring to the
documents as “skeletons hiding in a closet". New press
revelations forced Colby to admit the existence of the reports
to interim President Gerald Ford in 1975. The New York Times
was denouncing agency penetration of antiwar groups. The law
that created the CIA prevented it from spying inside the United
just the tip of the iceberg”, said then Secretary of State Henry
himself warned that “blood would flow” if other actions were
known, and he immediately added: “For example, that Robert
Kennedy personally controlled the operation for the
assassination of Fidel Castro”. The President’s brother was then
Attorney General of the United States. He was later murdered as
he was running for President in the 1968 elections, which
facilitated Nixon's election for lack of a strong candidate. The
most dramatic thing about the case is that apparently he had
reached the conviction that John Kennedy had been victim of a
conspiracy. Thorough investigators, after analyzing the wounds,
the caliber of the shots and other circumstances surrounding the
death of the President, reached the conclusion that there had
been at least three shooters. Solitary Oswald, used as an
instrument, could not have been the only shooter. I found that
rather striking. Excuse me for saying this but fate turned me
into a shooting instructor with a telescopic sight for all the
expeditionaries. I spent months practicing and teaching,
every day; even though the target is a stationary one it
disappears from view with each shot and so you need to look for
it all over again in fractions of a second.
to come through Cuba on his trip to the USSR. He had already
been there before. Someone sent him to ask for a visa in our
country’s embassy in Mexico but nobody knew him there so he
wasn’t authorized. They wanted to get us implicated in the
conspiracy. Later, Jack Ruby, --a man openly linked to the
Mafia-- unable to deal with so much pain and sadness, as he
said, assassinated him, of all places, in a precinct full police
in international functions or on visits to Cuba, on more than
one occasion I met with the aggrieved Kennedy relatives, who
would greet me respectfully. The former president’s son, who was
a very small child when his father was killed, visited Cuba 34
years later. We met and I invited him to dinner.
man, in the prime of his life, and well brought up, tragically
died in an airplane accident on a stormy night as he was flying
to Martha’s Vineyard with his wife. I never touched on the
thorny issue with any of those relatives. In contrast, I pointed
out that if the president-elect had then been Nixon instead of
Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs disaster we would have been
attacked by the land and sea forces escorting the mercenary
expedition, and both countries would have paid a high toll in
human lives. Nixon would not have limited himself to saying that
victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan. For the
record, Kennedy was never too enthusiastic about the Bay of Pigs
adventure; he was led there by Eisenhower’s military reputation
and the recklessness of his ambitious vice-president.
that, exactly on the day and minute he was assassinated, I was
speaking in a peaceful spot outside of the capital with French
journalist Jean Daniel. He told me that he was bringing a
message from President Kennedy. He said to me that in essence he
had told him: “You are going to see Castro. I would like to know
what he thinks about the terrible danger we just experienced of
a thermonuclear war. I want to see you again as soon as you get
back.” “Kennedy was very active; he seemed to be a political
machine”, he added, and we were not able to continue talking as
someone rushed in with the news of what had just happened. We
turned on the radio. What Kennedy thought was now pointless.
lived with that danger. Cuba was both the weakest part and the
one that would take the first strike, but we did not agree with
the concessions that were made to the United States. I have
already spoken of this before.
emerged from the crisis with greater authority. He came to
recognize the enormous sacrifices of human lives and material
wealth made by the Soviet people in the struggle against
fascism. The worst of the relations between the United States
and Cuba had not yet occurred by April 1961. When he hadn’t
resigned himself to the outcome of the Bay of Pigs, along came
the Missile Crisis. The blockade, economic asphyxiation, pirate
attacks and assassination plots multiplied. But the
assassination plots and other bloody occurrences began under the
administration of Eisenhower and Nixon.
Missile Crisis we would have not refused to talk with Kennedy,
nor would we have ceased being revolutionaries and radical in
our struggle for socialism. Cuba would have never severed
relations with the USSR as it had been asked to do. Perhaps if
the American leaders had been aware of what a war could be using
weapons of mass destruction they would have ended the Cold War
earlier and differently. At least that’s how we felt then, when
there was still no talk of global warming, broken imbalances,
the enormous consumption of hydrocarbons and the sophisticated
weaponry created by technology, as I have already said to the
youth of Cuba. We would have had much more time to reach,
through science and conscience, what we are today forced to
realize in haste.
Ford decided to appoint a Commission to investigate the Central
Intelligence Agency. “We do not want to destroy the CIA but to
preserve it”, he said.
As a result
of the Commission’s investigations that were led by Senator
Frank Church, President Ford signed an executive order which
expressly prohibited the participation of American officials in
the assassinations of foreign leaders.
published now disclose information about the CIA-Mafia links for
also revealed about Operation Chaos, carrying on from 1969 for
at least seven years, for which the CIA created a special
squadron with the mission to infiltrate pacifist groups and to
investigate “the international activities of radicals and black
militants”. The Agency compiled more than 300,000 names of
American citizens and organizations and extensive files on 7,200
The New York Times, President Johnson was convinced that
the American anti-War movement was controlled and funded by
Communist governments and he ordered the CIA to produce
recognize, furthermore, that the CIA spied on various
journalists like Jack Anderson, performers such as Jane Fonda
and John Lennon, and the student movements at Columbia
University. It also searched homes and carried out tests on
American citizens to determine the reactions of human beings to
memorandum sent to Colby in 1973, Walter Elder who had been
executive assistant to John McCone, CIA Director in the early
1970s, gives information about discussions in the CIA
headquarters that were taped and transcribed: “I know that
whoever worked in the offices of the director were worried about
the fact that these conversations in the office and on the phone
were transcribed. During the McCone years there were microphones
in his regular offices, the inner office, the dining room, the
office in the East building, and in the study of his home on
White Haven Street. I don’t know if anyone is ready to talk
about this, but the information tends to be leaked, and
certainly the Agency is vulnerable in this case”.
transcripts of the CIA directors could contain a great number of
“jewels”. The National Security Archive is already requesting
clarifies that the CIA had a project called OFTEN which would
collect “information about dangerous drugs in American
companies”, until the program was terminated in the fall of
1972. In another memo there are reports that manufacturers of
commercial drugs "had passed” drugs to the CIA which had been
“refused due to adverse secondary effects”.
As part of
the MKULTRA program, the CIA had given LSD and other
psycho-active drugs to people without their knowledge.
According to another document in the archive, Sydney Gottlieb, a
psychiatrist and head of chemistry of the Agency Mind Control
Program, is supposedly the person responsible for having made
available the poison that was going to be used in the
assassination attempt on Patrice Lumumba.
assigned to MHCHAOS –the operation that carried out surveillance
on American opposition to the war in Vietnam and other political
dissidents –expressed “a high level of resentment” for having
been ordered to carry out such missions.
there is a series of interesting matters revealed in these
documents, such as the high level at which the decisions for
actions against our country were taken.
used today by the CIA to avoid giving any details is not the
unpleasant crossed out bits but the blank spaces, coming from
the use of computers.
For The New
York Times, large censored sections reveal that the CIA
still cannot expose all the skeletons in its closets, and many
activities developed in operations abroad, checked over years
ago by journalists, congressional investigators and a
presidential commission, are not in the documents.
Osborn, then CIA Director of Security, makes a summary of the
“jewels” compiled by his office. He lists eight cases –including
the recruiting of the gangster Johnny
Roselli for the coup against Fidel Castro –but they
crossed out the document that is in the number 1 place on
Osborn’s initial list: two and a half pages.
“The No. 1
Jewel of the CIA Security Offices must be very good, especially
since the second one is the list for the program concerning the
assassination of Castro by Roselli,”
said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive
who requested the declassification of “The Family Jewels” 15
years ago under the Freedom of Information Act.
It is notable
that the administration which has declassified the least
information in the history of the United States, and which has
even started a process of reclassifying information that was
previously declassified, now makes the decision to make these
that such an action could be an attempt to present an image of
transparency when the government is at an all time low rate of
acceptance and popularity, and to show that those methods belong
to another era and are no longer in use. When he announced the
decision, General Hayden, current CIA Director, said: “The
documents offer a look at very different times and at a very
say that everything described here is still being done, only in
a more brutal manner and all around the planet, including a
growing number of illegal actions within the very United
York Times wrote that intelligence experts consulted
expressed that the revelation of the documents is an attempt to
distract attention from recent controversies and scandals
plaguing the CIA and an Administration that is living through
some of its worst moments of unpopularity.
declassification could also be an attempt at showing, in the
early stages of the electoral process that the Democratic
administrations were as bad, or worse, than Mr. Bush’s.
In pages 11
to 15 of the Memo for the Director of the Central Intelligence
Agency, we can read:
1960, Mr. Richard M. Bissell approached Colonel Sheffield
Edwards with the objective of determining whether the Security
Office had agents who could help in a confidential mission that
required gangster-style action. The target of the mission was
extreme confidentiality of the mission, the project was known
only to a small group of people. The Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency was informed and he gave it his approval.
Colonel J. C. King, Head of the Western Hemisphere Division, was
also informed, but all the details were deliberately concealed
from officials of Operation JMWAVE. Even though some officials
of Communications (Commo) and the
Technical Services Division (TSD) took part in initial planning
phases, they were not aware of the mission's purpose.
Maheu was contacted, he was informed
in general terms about the project, and he was asked to evaluate
whether he could get access to gangster-type elements as a first
step for achieving the desired goal.
Maheu informed that he had met with
a certain Johnny Roselli on several
occasions while he was visiting Las Vegas. He had only met him
informally through clients, but he had been told that he was a
member of the upper echelons of the 'syndicate' and that he was
controlling all the ice machines on the Strip. In
Maheu's opinion, if
Roselli was in effect a member of
the Clan, he undoubtedly had connections that would lead to the
gambling racket in Cuba.
was asked to get close to Roselli,
who knew that Maheu was a public
relations executive looking after national and foreign accounts,
and tell him that recently he had been contracted by a client
who represented several international business companies, which
were suffering enormous financial losses in Cuba due to Castro.
They were convinced that the elimination of Castro would be a
solution to their problem and they were ready to pay $ 150,000
for a successful outcome. Roselli
had to be made perfectly aware of the fact that the U.S.
government knew nothing, nor could it know anything, about this
presented to Roselli on September
14, 1960 in the Hilton Plaza Hotel of New York City. His
initial reaction was to avoid getting involved but after
Maheu’s persuasive efforts he agreed
to present the idea to a friend, Sam Gold, who knew “some
Cubans”. Roselli made it clear that
he didn’t want any money for his part in all this, and he
believed that Sam would do likewise. Neither of these people was
ever paid with Agency money.
week of September 25, Maheu was
introduced to Sam who was living at the Fontainebleau Hotel in
Miami Beach. It was not until several weeks after meeting Sam
and Joe –who was introduced as courier operating between Havana
and Miami –that he saw photos of these two individuals in the
Sunday section of Parade. They were identified as
Giancana and Santos Trafficante,
respectively. Both were on the Attorney General’s list of the
ten most wanted. The former was described as the boss of the
Cosa Nostra in Chicago and Al
Capone's heir, and the latter was the boss of Cuban operations
of the Cosa Nostra.
Maheu immediately called this office
upon learning this information.
analyzing the possible methods to carry out this mission, Sam
suggested that they not resort to firearms but that, if they
could get hold of some kind of deadly pill, something to be put
into Castro’s food or drink, this would be a much more effective
operation. Sam indicated that he had a possible candidate in the
person of Juan Orta, a Cuban
official who had been receiving bribery payments in the gambling
racket, and who still had access to Castro and was in a
(Technical Services Division) was requested to produce 6 highly
delivered the pills to Orta. After
several weeks of attempts, Orta
appears to have chickened out and he asked to be taken off the
mission. He suggested another candidate who made several
that was said in the numerous paragraphs above is in quotes.
Observe well, dear readers, the methods that were already being
used by the United States to rule the world.
that during the early years of the Revolution, in the offices of
the National Institute for Agrarian Reform, there was a man
working there with me whose name was Orta,
who had been linked to the anti-Batista political forces. He was
a respectful and serious man. But, it could only be him. The
decades have gone by and I see his name once more in the CIA
report. I can’t lay my hands on information to immediately prove
what happened to him. Accept my apologies if I involuntarily
have offended a relative or a descendent, whether the person I
have mentioned is guilty or not.
has created a veritable killing machine that is made up not only
of the CIA and its methods. Bush has established powerful and
expensive intelligence and security super-structures, and he has
transformed all the air, sea and land forces into instruments of
world power that take war, injustice, hunger and death to any
part of the globe, in order to educate its inhabitants in the
exercise of democracy and freedom. The American people are
gradually waking up to this reality.
fool all of the people all of the time”, said Lincoln.
June 30, 2007