Ultimate Sacrifice

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Introduction

NOVEMBER 22, 1963, 12:29 PM DALLAS, TEXAS: Films show a sunny blue sky on a crisp November day, the sidewalks mobbed with cheering throngs hailing their President and First Lady as they near Dealey Plaza. At that moment—more than a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis—Cuba was far from the minds of those in the crowd. The same was true for the rest of the American public. Yet John F. Kennedy had a secret plan for Cuba in the fall of 1963—nearing a critical juncture on November 22—that would play a key role in his death, and be a major reason so much would be covered up for so long. The hardcover edition of Ultimate Sacrifice revealed this plan for the first time, transforming the history of the Kennedy years and providing crucial new information that cast JFK's assassination in a whole new light. This new, revised edition of Ultimate Sacrifice can now provide the final piece of the JFK puzzle, the rest of the story that America and the world have waited over forty years to hear.

Eighteen years ago, Thom Hartmann and I began writing a book about the battles of President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, against the Mafia and Fidel Castro. In 2005, using new information from almost two dozen people who worked with John and Robert Kennedy—backed up by thousands of files at the National Archives—we exposed for the first time JFK's top-secret plan to overthrow Castro and invade Cuba on December 1, 1963. "The Plan for a Coup in Cuba" (as it was titled in a memo for the Joint Chiefs of Staff) would include a "palace coup" to eliminate Castro, allowing a new Cuban "Provisional Government" to step into the power vacuum. The coup would be supported by a "full-scale invasion" of Cuba by the US military, if necessary.1

However, even as JFK's secret plan was nearing its final stage, he had two emissaries making last-ditch attempts to avoid a potentially bloody coup and invasion by trying to jump-start secret negotiations with Fidel Castro. One long-secret November 1963 memo about those negotiations states that "there was a rift between Castro and the (Che) Guevara...Almeida group on the question of Cuba's future course."2 Che Guevara is still widely known today, perhaps even more than in 1963. But most people in the United States have never heard of Che's ally against Castro, Juan Almeida, even though in 1963 he wielded more power inside Cuba than Che himself. In some ways, Almeida was the third most powerful official in Cuba in 1963, after Fidel and his brother Raul—and even today, in 2006, the CIA lists Juan Almeida as the third-highest official in the current Cuban government.3

In this new edition, we can now reveal for the first time that Almeida wasn't just allied with Che against Castro in November of 1963: Almeida was also allied with President Kennedy. In 1963, Juan Almeida was the powerful Commander of the Cuban Army, one of the most famous heroes of the Revolution—and he was going to lead JFK's "palace coup" against Fidel.4 Commander Almeida had been in direct contact with John and Robert Kennedy's top Cuban exile aide since May of 1963, and both men would be part of Cuba's new, post-coup Provisional Government. By the morning of November 22, 1963, Almeida had even received a large cash payment authorized by the Kennedys, and the CIA had placed his family under US protection in a foreign country.

The "Plan for a Coup in Cuba" was fully authorized by JFK and person- ally run by Robert Kennedy. Only about a dozen people in the US government knew the full scope of the plan, all of whom worked for the military or the CIA, or reported directly to Robert. The Kennedys' plan was prepared primarily by the US military, with the CIA playing a major supporting role. Input was also obtained from key officials in a few other agencies, but most of those who worked on the plan knew only about carefully compartmentalized aspects, believing it to be a theoretical exercise in case a Cuban official volunteered to depose Fidel.

The CIA's code name for their part of the coup plan has never surfaced in any book, article, or government report. Officially declassified in 1999, AMWORLD is the cryptonym the CIA used for the plan in their top-secret, internal documents. Like the rest of the Kennedy coup plan, AMWORLD was withheld from Congress—including at least five Congressional investigations —for decades. Congress was fully informed about AMWORLD only on March 14, 2006, when Rep. Christopher Shays's National Security subcommittee accepted for the record a six-page report from us detailing AMWORLD and JFK's coup plan.

Not only is JFK's coup plan/AMWORLD different from any previously disclosed US operation to eliminate Castro, it was far more advanced. As head of the Cuban Army, Commander Almeida controlled thousands of troops and was far more powerful than any other Cuban official the CIA had managed to enlist. The CIA had only recruited a disgruntled mid-level official named Rolando Cubela (codenamed AMLASH), while the CIA's AMTRUNK program tried without much success to recruit from the ranks of the Cuban military. Those plans were still in their early stages and having little success—unlike the Kennedy's coup plan, which was beginning the ten-day countdown to its December 1, 1963 coup on the day JFK died.

The Kennedys coup plan/AMWORLD was undoubtedly one of the most secret covert operations in United States history. In its secrecy, however, lay tragedy. Even though the Kennedys' coup plan never came to fruition, three powerful Mafia dons—Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante, and Johnny Rosselli—learned of AMWORLD though their work for the CIA in other anti-Castro plots. The Mafia bosses realized that high government officials would go to any lengths to avoid revealing it to the public. With that knowledge, the three mob bosses were able to assassinate JFK in a way that forced the truth to be buried for over forty years.

They did so by infiltrating key parts of AMWORLD, even though the Kennedys had barred the Mafia from any involvement in the coup plan or in post-coup Cuba (where the Mafia would not be allowed to reopen their casinos). The Mafia chiefs linked aspects of JFK's death to AMWORLD, while planting evidence to make it appear as if Castro had been behind the assassination. They knew this would prevent a full investigation of JFK's murder—in order to protect the coup plan—and might even prompt a US invasion of Cuba. But their main goal was the death of JFK, so they had to act before December 1, 1963 in order to use the extreme secrecy surrounding the coup to shield their actions.

Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli undertook this extraordinary act of vengeance in order to halt the Kennedy administration's unrelenting prosecution of them and their allies. The Kennedy Justice Department had vigorously pursued Marcello, even subjecting him to a brief, nightmarish deportation. Once he returned, Marcello hated the Kennedy brothers with a deep and vengeful passion. The two other Mafia bosses suffered similar pursuit, and eventually Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli decided their only way to avoid prison or deportation was to kill JFK. Our investigation has produced clear evidence that the crime bosses arranged the assassination so that any thorough investigation would expose the Kennedys' coup plan. They were confident that any such exposure could push America to the brink of war with Cuba and the Soviet Union, meaning that they could assassinate JFK with relative impunity.

Each of the three Mafia chiefs later confessed their roles in JFK's death to close associates, as did several of their men who had infiltrated the Kennedys' coup plan. The Mob bosses did not carry out the murder of JFK themselves, but used trusted associates and unwitting proxies. The most widely known are Jack Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald, who were both in contact with associates of Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli in the months before the assassination. Reports in government files show that Oswald and Ruby knew about parts of the Kennedys' plan and even discussed it with others.

Robert Kennedy eventually told several close associates that Carlos Marcello was behind JFK's death—but he couldn't reveal what he knew to the public or to the Warren Commission without exposing the coup plan and his ally high in the Cuban government, Commander Almeida. As this book shows, RFK and other key government officials worried that exposure of the plan could trigger another nuclear confrontation with the Soviets, just one year after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

While Robert Kennedy and other key US officials struggled to protect Almeida, Che Guevara was placed under house arrest by Castro for attempting to stage a coup. A CIA memo says that Che was arrested on November 30, 1963—the day before the coup was originally scheduled to start. As for Almeida, a December 3, 1963 CIA memo talks about the "despair expressed by Major Juan Almeida," no doubt because of the death of his ally JFK, the arrest of his old comrade Che, and worries the new US President might launch a retaliatory attack against Cuba even without a coup.5

However, unlike Che—eventually forced into exile from Cuba, leading to his death—Almeida evaded suspicion for decades and continued his high role in the Cuban government. In 1978, Almeida even met with UN Ambassador Andrew Young in New York.6 Young's superior in the Carter Administration at the time was Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who had played a major role in JFK's "Plan for a Coup in Cuba." As of July 2006, the CIA's Web site still lists "Juan Almeida" as the number 3 official in Cuba (after Fidel and Raul), with the official title Vice-Minister of State.7 Castro likes to promote Commander Almeida to Latin America and Africa as the leading figure of the "Afro-Cuban" movement, and features him prominently at official ceremonies.

JFK's top secret coup plan—and Almeida's role in it—was responsible for much of the secrecy surrounding JFK's assassination in the ensuing decades. However, withholding information about JFK's coup plan from the Warren Commission and Congress also allowed various agencies to hide their own intelligence failures which had allowed JFK to be assassinated. This includes the likely involvement in the assassination of at least two CIA employees and the definite involvement of three acknowledged CIA assets. Two of the CIA men later confessed to associates, and all five have documented ties to Mafia bosses Santo Trafficante and Johnny Rosselli—whom the CIA also admits were CIA assets.

None of the seven governmental committees that investigated aspects of JFK's assassination, including the Warren Commission, were officially told about the Kennedy's coup plan.8 However, over the decades, each successive committee came increasingly close to discovering both the plan and the associates of Marcello who assassinated JFK. We were able to piece together the underlying story by building on the work of those committees, former government investigators, and revelations in four million documents that were declassified in the 1990s. Key to our efforts were new and often exclusive interviews with many Kennedy insiders who worked on the coup plan or dealt with its consequences, some of whom revealed aspects of JFK's assassination and the coup plan for the first time. They include Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Press Secretary Pierre Salinger, and the Kennedys' top Cuban- exile aide, Enrique "Harry" Ruiz-Williams. Their inside information allows us to tell the story, even though a report about the JFK Assassinations Records Review Board confirms that "well over a million CIA records" related to JFK's murder have not yet been released.9 NBC News' Tom Brokaw confirmed on his September 29, 1998 broadcast that "millions" of pages remain secret and won't be released until the year 2017.10

Despite all that secrecy, in November 2005 the National Archives—presumably in conjunction with the CIA—decided that Almeida's identity as a US asset in JFK's coup plan would no longer be withheld from the public. We assumed the US government would only make his identity public after his death or in 2017 (when the rest of the JFK files are supposed to be released). So, we had taken great pains—and many additional months—to write the original version of Ultimate Sacrifice so the story could be told without revealing Almeida's identity as the leader of JFK's planned coup. It's ironic that the National Archive's letter to us with their final decision regarding Almeida's identity was dated November 21, 2005—just three days after the first edition of this book went on sale. As documented in Chapter 61, we want to make it abundantly clear that it was the US government's decision—not ours—to make available to the public Almeida's identity as JFK's ally. Their decision left us no choice but to tell the full, accurate story, so that it didn't come out piecemeal or in a way that was subject to misinterpretation or distortion.

However, as we detail in Chapter 61, Castro has known about Commander Almeida's role in JFK's coup plan since approximately 1990. Although the CIA apparently attempted an outreach to Almeida in the mid-to-late 1990s, the CIA learned in 2001 that Castro knew about Almeida's work to overthrow him. The CIA's knowledge that Almeida could no longer stage a coup for them is probably one reason the US government confirmed in writing (twice) in November 2005 they would no longer protect Almeida's identity as JFK's coup leader.

So, in finally revealing Almeida's part of the story, we are not exposing anything Castro doesn't already know, or that the CIA wants to protect. Almeida's family is safe, because they never returned to live in Cuba, after a Kennedy aide and the CIA helped them leave in the fall of 1963, prior to the scheduled coup. Though Almeida is still one of the highest officials in Communist Cuba, today his two sons are successful capitalist businessmen in Madrid and Cancun.11

Detailing Almeida's role in the Kennedy's coup plan can also remove one barrier that has prevented any change in the relationship between the US and Cuba since 1963. One reason the US hasn't normalized relations with Cuba—as it has with other former enemies like Vietnam and China—is that Cabinet officials in several administrations have felt that Castro was behind JFK's assassination. Among those are Alexander Haig and Joseph Califano, whose roles as aides to Cyrus Vance in 1963 are detailed in Chapter 5. However, because of all the secrecy surrounding the coup plan, those officials never realized that the evidence pointing to Castro had originated with associates of Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli.

How one of the highest Cuban officials like Commander Almeida came to work with the Kennedys is a major part of the new material in this edition. Other new material shows even more clearly how the three Mafia bosses infiltrated JFK's top secret coup plan, and used parts of it to assassinate JFK in a way that forced key officials—including Robert Kennedy—to cover up crucial information to protect Almeida and other US assets.


By necessity, Ultimate Sacrifice examines this complex story from several angles. Part One documents every aspect of the Kennedys' coup plan and how it developed, beginning with the Cuban Missile Crisis. Though it is widely believed that JFK agreed not to invade Cuba in order to end the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962, Secretary of State Rusk told us that the "no-invasion" pledge was conditional upon Castro's agreement to onsite UN inspections for nuclear weapons of mass destruction (a term that JFK first used). Historians at the National Security Archive confirmed that because Castro refused such inspections, JFK and his advisors didn't con- sider the pledge against invasion binding.12 Consequently, in the spring of 1963, John and Robert Kennedy started laying the groundwork for a coup against Fidel Castro that would eventually be set for December 1, 1963.

Robert Kennedy put the invasion under the control of the US military because of the CIA's handling of 1961's Bay of Pigs disaster. The "Plan for a Coup in Cuba," as written by JFK's Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance with the help of the State Department and the CIA, called for the coup leader to "neutralize" Cuban leader "Fidel Castro and . . . [his brother] Raul" in a "palace coup." Then, the coup leader would "declare martial law" and "proclaim a Provisional Government" that would include previously "selected Cuban exile leaders" who would enter from their bases in Latin America.13 Then, at the invitation of the new government, after "publicly announcing US intent to support the Provisional Government, the US would initiate overt logistical and air support to the insurgents" including destroying "those air defenses which might endanger the air movement of US troops into the area." After the "initial air attacks" would come "the rapid, incremental introduction of balanced forces, to include full-scale invasion" if necessary. The first US military forces into Cuba would be a multiracial group of "US military-trained free Cubans," all veterans of the Bay of Pigs.14 Upon presidential authorization, the US would "recognize [the] Provisional Government...warn [the] Soviets not to intervene" and "assist the Provisional Government in preparing for...free elections."15

This "palace coup" would be led by Commander Juan Almeida, the leader of the Cuban Army and one of the most powerful men in Cuba after Fidel and his brother, Raul Castro.16 As the plan was described to us by the Kennedys' closest Cuban exile aide—Enrique "Harry" Ruiz-Williams—Almeida would cause Castro's death, but without taking the credit or blame for doing so. During the coup, Almeida would ask for help from US forces to help maintain order and prevent a Soviet takeover. Almeida's high position would allow him to know the exact placement of the thousands of Russians still in Cuba. After the coup, Almeida would be part of the new Provisional Government in Cuba, along with a select group of Cuban exiles—approved by the Kennedys—who ranged from conservative to progressive.17

Kennedy exile aide "Harry" Ruiz-Williams told us in 1992 that Commander Almeida was the Kennedys' coup leader. That was prior to the release of any of the files about AMWORLD, the "Plan for a Coup in Cuba," or files naming Almeida. Also in 1992, we independently confirmed Almeida's identity with an exile leader who worked on the coup plan and knew Almeida, as well as with a later Defense source who had excellent CIA contacts.18 As hundreds of pages of files about the coup plan began to be declassified in the mid-to-late 1990s, a few slipped through that actually mentioned Almeida. These include a November 14, 1963 memo to the CIA Director which talks about the "operation including Juan Almeida" being designed to "overthrow" Castro on behalf of JFK. The memo also discusses another part of the operation that involved Ruiz-Williams.19 A CIA dispatch shortly after that describes a plan for "an internal uprising" in Cuba involving "certain Cuban military figures who are conspiring against Fidel Castro. Among the key figures in the plot are Juan Almeida." The dispatch links the plot to one of Robert Kennedy's other Cuban exile leaders.20

What was Che Guevara's role, if any, in the coup plan and the new Provisional Government? Almeida had saved Che's life in the very first battle Che fought, the type of feat that eventually made Almeida a hero of the Revolution and "Chief of Fidel's army," according to a CIA memo. By the fall of 1963, Commander Almeida wielded far more power than Che, who was by then a struggling economic bureaucrat on the outs with both Castro and the Russians. Almeida, on the other hand controlled hundreds of officers and thousands of troops, many of whom were personally loyal to Almeida. In addition, unlike the Argentinean Che, Almeida was a native Cuban. He was also the highest ranking black official in Cuba, an important consideration in a country where some estimate that 70 percent of the population is of African descent.

As briefly mentioned earlier, a long-secret cable sent to the CIA Director said that on November 30, 1963, "Che Guevara was alleged to be under house arrest for plotting to overthrow Castro," according to "a Western diplomat."21 Recently declassified documents, and other research we will present, cast Che's growing disenchantment with Fidel Castro in a new light. While far less has been written by historians and journalists about Almeida, many of the well-documented problems Che had with Castro, the Russians, and Cuba's old-line Communist party no doubt mirror similar problems faced by Almeida. Was Che a willing participant in the "Plan for a Coup in Cuba," a passive observer waiting to see who came out on top, or someone set up to take the blame if Castro found out about the coup plan? Information we present later will allow you to form your own opinion. But the important point is that Castro apparently thought Che was the leader of the coup, both in late November 1963 and just over a year later. That's when Che was placed under house arrest again—and eventually exiled to his death— after Che had secret meetings with three people close to the Kennedys, around the time one of the Kennedys' exile leaders for the coup plan/AMWORLD was captured in Cuba.

The overall "Plan for a coup in Cuba"/AMWORLD was under the personal control of Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who did not use a codename for it, according to two of his aides we interviewed. It would not be accurate to always refer to the overall plan as AMWORLD, since that term technically applies only to the CIA's supporting role in it and the term was not used outside the CIA. So, to avoid hundreds of uses in the book of "the Plan for a Coup in Cuba" or "coup plan/AMWORLD"—or other potentially confusing variations, especially when other coup plans are discussed—we will begin referring to the Kennedys' actual coup plan with Almeida in 1963 as "C-Day." We stress that C-Day is a name of our own creation, simply for the sake of brevity and accuracy when discussing the Cuban coup plan to topple Castro. Its evocation of D-Day is intentional, since the Kennedys' plan included the possibility of a full-scale US military invasion. Just days after commander Almeida agreed to lead a coup against Castro for JFK, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Maxwell Taylor wrote a May 29, 1963 memo requesting "an examination of the pros and cons of an invasion of Cuba" including "a proposed date for D-day."

The Kennedys did not see C-Day as an assassination operation, but rather as an effort to help Cubans overthrow a Cuban dictator. A June 1963 CIA memo from one of Robert Kennedy's Cuban subcommittees of the National Security Council explains the Kennedy policy as "Cubans inside Cuba and outside Cuba, working" together to free their own country.22 Nor was C-Day an attempt to install another US-backed dictator in Cuba, like the corrupt Batista regime that had been overthrown by Castro and many others on January 1, 1959. The Kennedys' goal in 1963 was a free and democratic Cuba.

As several Kennedy associates told us, the only man who knew every- thing about C-Day was Robert Kennedy, the plan's guiding force.23 Secretary of the Army Cyrus Vance was one of the few military leaders who knew the full scope of C-Day while the plan was active. The others were generals the Kennedys especially trusted, such as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell Taylor and General Joseph Carroll, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). High CIA officials involved in C-Day included CIA Director John McCone, Deputy Director for Plans Richard Helms, Desmond FitzGerald, and key field operatives like David Morales and David Atlee Phillips. Most high US officials didn't know about C-Day prior to JFK's assassination. There is no evidence that Lyndon Johnson was officially informed about Almeida and the actual C-Day plan prior to JFK's death, and the same is true for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Dean Rusk told us he did not learn about the actual C-Day plan until soon after JFK's death.24 There is no evidence that Edward Kennedy was told about the plan. Documents and sources indicate that FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had no active role in C-Day, although he may have learned a great deal about it from field reports. The Secret Service was even less informed about C-Day, which no doubt hindered their actions when serious threats seemingly related to Cuba surfaced against JFK in the weeks before C-Day.

However, officials ranging from Dean Rusk to hawkish Air Force Chief of Staff General Curtis LeMay were needed for the planning of C-Day, so the Kennedys used a shrewd technique that let those officials participate in planning for C-Day while keeping them in the dark about Almeida. Rusk, LeMay, and others were simply told that all the planning was needed "just in case" they found someone willing to stage a coup in Cuba. Officials like Rusk and LeMay were generally aware of other CIA efforts against Castro in the fall of 1963, such as the CIA's AMTRUNK operation, which looked for disaffected Cuban military officers. Some US officials also knew about a CIA asset named Rolando Cubela, a disgruntled mid-level Cuban official who the CIA code-named AMLASH. However, unlike AMWORLD—the CIA's portion of C-Day—neither of those operations reached high in the Cuban government or was close to producing results in the fall of 1963. The Kennedys' "just in case" technique allowed extensive planning to be done for all facets of the military invasion and the post-coup Provisional Government without revealing C-Day or Commander Almeida's identity to most of those doing the planning. If the C-Day coup had actually occurred, officials like Rusk not privy to the full plan would nonetheless have been fully prepared for its aftermath, with plans they had already approved and helped create.25

As we detail in Chapter 57, Robert Kennedy planned to hold an important meeting about Cuba with Rusk, McNamara, and other high officials around November 25 or 26, 1963, after JFK's trip to Dallas. Assuming there was no last-minute breakthrough in the secret negotiations with Castro, it's likely that officials like Rusk and McNamara would have been told at that meeting that a very high Cuban official was ready to overthrow Castro—and since all the plans were ready, the coup had been set for December 1, 1963. That would limit to just a few days the amount of time high profile officials like Rusk and McNamara—who often met with the press—could be put in an awkward situation or forced to lie to reporters or subordinates.

Even currently retired officials who may have known about the real C-Day plan—or who learned of it after JFK's death, like Rusk—would likely never have admitted that to a journalist, for reasons of National Security. Rusk and other Kennedy associates who told us about C-Day or Commander Almeida did so in the early 1990s, when Almeida had temporarily vanished from the scene in Cuba and was assumed to be dead. (Even then, we had to agree to protect Almeida's identity.) Once Almeida reappeared in the mid-1990s, National Security constraints would have prevented former officials from talking about him or the C-Day plan. It's possible there are retired officials and officers alive today—who knew or learned about Almeida and C-Day—who will not realize until the publication of this book that the US government is no longer protecting Almeida's identity and that numerous files about C-Day have been declassified.

While such tightly compartmentalized secrecy kept C-Day from becoming widely known within the government and protected C-Day from public exposure, it also contributed to JFK's death. In 1963, the public would have been shocked to learn that two months before JFK was shot in Dallas, US officials under the direction of Robert Kennedy began making contingency plans to deal with the "assassination of American officials."26 In the event of an assassination (expected to happen only outside the US), these contingency plans would have mandated certain security measures—and, as this book documents, such principles would be responsible for much of the secrecy surrounding the JFK assassination.

Robert Kennedy and the others making the contingency plans were concerned only about possible retaliation by Castro for C-Day. They failed to consider the threat from others the Attorney General had targeted, especially Mafia bosses Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante, and Johnny Rosselli. The Kennedys and their key aides had gone to great lengths to keep the Mafia out of C-Day. The CIA's earlier efforts with the Mafia to assassinate Castro— which began in 1959 under Vice President Richard Nixon—had complicated the Kennedys' intense prosecution of the Mafia. Without telling the Kennedys, the CIA was continuing to work with the Mafia on plots against Castro in the fall of 1963, which helped associates of Marcello, Trafficante, and Rosselli infiltrate the plans for C-Day.

In Part Two, we will show how—and why—mob bosses Carlos Marcello, Santo Trafficante, and Johnny Rosselli worked together to penetrate the Kennedys' C-Day plan and assassinate JFK. In 1963, Carlos Marcello was America's most ruthless and secretive Mafia boss, completely free of FBI wiretaps. From his New Orleans headquarters, he ruled a territory that included Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Texas and Alabama.27 Marcello's Mafia family was the oldest in North America, able to stage major "hits" without needing the approval of the national Mafia organization, and his associates had a long history of targeting government officials who got in their way.28 The Kennedys had pursued Marcello since 1959, even before JFK was elected president. Recently declassified FBI documents confirm that just a few years before his own death, Carlos Marcello confessed on three occasions to informants that he had JFK killed.29

Tampa godfather Santo Trafficante was Marcello's closest Mafia ally. Trafficante's territory included much of Florida, as well as parts of Alabama, and his organization provided a major conduit for the French Connection heroin trade, whose primary routes included New York City, Texas, New Orleans, Georgia's Fort Benning, Montreal, Chicago, and Mexico City. The Internet magazine Salonnoted that Trafficante "had been driven out of the lucrative Havana casino business by Castro and" that he "had been recruited in the CIA" plots with the Mafia to kill Castro months before JFK became president.30 Like Marcello, Trafficante later confessed his involvement in JFK's assassination.31

Johnny Rosselli, according to his biographers, also claimed to know what had really happened in Dallas, and he had worked with both Trafficante and Marcello. Rosselli was the Chicago Mafia's point man in Hollywood and Las Vegas, and his close friends included Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe. Internal CIA reports admit that they recruited Rosselli and Trafficante for their own plots to assassinate Castro prior to JFK's election in 1960. Unknown to the Kennedys, Rosselli was continuing in that role in the fall of 1963, working with David Morales, the Operations Chief for the Miami CIA station. Morales later confessed his role in JFK's assassination to a close associate, as did CIA asset John Martino, who also worked with Rosselli in 1963.32 Jack Ruby met with Rosselli just weeks before JFK's assassination, had met much earlier with Santo Trafficante, and had numerous ties to Carlos Marcello, according to government investigators.33 Ultimate Sacrifice reveals...

Continued in the book

  1. Army copy of Department of State document, 1963, Record Number 198-10004-10072, Califano Papers, Declassified 7-24- 97. CIA memo, AMWORLD 11-22-63, #84804, declassified 1993.
  2. Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume XI, Department of State, #374.
  3. CIA website: http://cia.gov/cia/publications/chiefs/index.html
  4. CIA memo 2-20-61, page 28 of CIA Sensitive Study, 1978, CIA 104-10400-10200, declassified 10-31-98; Classified Message to Director from JMWAVE, NARA 1994.03.08.09:46:690007 CIA/DCD File on Bernard Barker, declassified 3-8-94; Interview with Harry Williams 4-92; interview with confidential C-Day Defense source 7-6-92.
  5. CIA 104-10400-10200, declassified 10-31-98, page 39 citing information from 12-3-63.
  6. Jane Franklin, The Cuban Revolution and the United States (Melbourne, Australia, Ocean Press, 1992), p. 131.
  7. CIA website: http://cia.gov/cia/publications/chiefs/index.html
  8. The last government committee, The Assassinations Records Review Board, was finally unofficially informed of the Coup Plan by one of the authors, via written testimony sent on 11-9-94 for the Review Board's 11-18-94 public hearing in Dallas, as noted in the Board's FY 1995 Report. The earlier committees were the Warren Commission, the Watergate Committee, the Rockefeller Commission, the Pike Committee (and its predecessor, the Nedzi Committee), the Church Committee, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations.
  9. "A Presumption of Disclosure: Lessons from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board," by OMB Watch, available at ombwatch.com.
  10. NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw 9-29-98.
  11. Maria C. Werlau, "Fidel Castro, Inc. A Global Conglomerate" Cuba in Transition ASCE 2005, citing Pablo Alfonso, "Espana, un paraiso para la jerarquia castrista," El Nuevo Herald, June 9, 2002; Interview with Harry Williams 2-24-92.
  12. John F. Kennedy address at Rice University, 9-12-62, from Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, v. 1, 1962, pp. 669–670.
  13. Army document, Summary of plan dated 9-26-63, Califano Papers, Record Number 198-10004-10001, declassified 10-7-97.
  14. Army copy of Department of State document, 1963, Record Number 198-10004-10072, Califano Papers, Declassified 7-24-97.
  15. Army document, Summary of plan dated 9-26-63, Califano Papers, Record Number 198-10004-10001, declassified 10-7-97.
  16. Harry Williams interview 7-24-93; Confidential C-Day Defense Dept. source interview 7-6-92; Classified Message to Director from JMWAVE, NARA 1994.03.08.09:46:690007 CIA/DCD File on Bernard Barker, declassified 3-8-94.
  17. The following is just one of many: Joint Chiefs of Staff document, dated 12-4-63 with 11-30-63 report from Cyrus Vance, Record Number 202-10002-101116, declassified 10-7-97.
  18. Interview with Harry Williams 4-92; names and dates of other interviews withheld to protect sources.
  19. NARA 1994.03.08.09:46:690007 CIA/DCD File on Bernard Barker, declassified 3-8-94.
  20. CIA Dispatch from Chief of Station Caracas to Chief, SAS, 2-28-64.
  21. CIA cable to Director, 12-10-63, CIA 104-10076-10252, declassified 8-95; David Corn, Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994), p. 110.
  22. House Select Committee on Assassinations vol. X, p. 77.
  23. Interview with Harry Williams 2-24-92; interview with confidential Kennedy C-Day aide source 3-17-92; interview with confidential C-Day Defense Dept. source 7-6-92.
  24. Interview with Dean Rusk 1-8-90.
  25. Foreign Relations of the United States, Volume XI, Department of State, #370, 10-8-63; 12-6-63 CIA Document, from JMWAVE to Director, released during the 1993 CIA Historical Review Program.
  26. From the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, NLK 78-473, declassified 5-6-80.
  27. John H. Davis, Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989), pp. 49, 64, many others.
  28. Ibid.
  29. FBI DL 183A-1f035-Sub L 3.6.86 and FBI Dallas 175-109 3.3.89, cited by A. J. Weberman; CR 137A-5467-69, 6-9-88, cited by Brad O'Leary and L. E. Seymour, Triangle of Death(Nashville: WND Books, 2003).
  30. David Talbot, "The man who solved the Kennedy assassination," Salon.com, 11-22-03.
  31. Jack Newfield, "I want Kennedy killed," Penthouse 5-92; Frank Ragano and Selwyn Raab, Mob Lawyer(New York: Scribners, 1994), pp. 346–54, 361; "Truth or Fiction?" St. Petersburg Times, 4-18-94. Charles Rappleye and Ed Becker, All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story (New York: Barricade, 1995).
  32. William Scott Malone, "The Secret Life of Jack Ruby," New Times 1-23-78; Bradley Ayers, The War that Never Was: An Insider's Account of CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba(Canoga Park, CA: Major Books, 1979), pp. 59, 129; The CIA's Inspector General's Report on the CIA-Mafia plots; Gaeton Fonzi, The Last Investigation(New York: Thunders Mouth, 1994), pp. 389–90.
  33. Malone, op. cit.; HSCA Final Report and volumes, many passages.

 


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