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The Men Who Killed Kennedy Who? & Why? Large & Complex Conspiracy Federal Govt., Mafia, Big Business
John Roselli: Las Vegas Crime Boss. Sam Giancana: Chicago Crime Boss. Carlos Marcello: New Orleans Crime Boss. Santo Trafficante: Florida Crime Boss. Jimmy Hoffa: Head of the Teamsters Union All worked for the CIA (Except Hoffa). Cuba: Gambling, Prostitution, & Narcotics Trafficking. Worked to kill Fidel Castro Establish working relationship with Federal Govt. to avoid prosecution. Organized Crime
Mafia: Motive • Why did Robert Kennedy target the Mafia, specifically Carlos Marcello? • 1960: Booby Kennedy was managing JFK’s presidential campaign. • Bobby sent a representative to Louisiana to enquire if Marcelo would use his influence to swing the Louisiana delegation for Kennedy. • Marcelo turned down the request, he was already supporting a Democratic candidate: Lyndon B. Johnson. • The Louisiana delegation went for Johnson.
Mafia: Motive • Robert Kennedy: U.S. Attorney General (1960). • RFK, Chief Council, Senate’s Subcommittee on Investigations, Sept. 2, 1958: • “Picture this power, then, and the chaos that could result in these officials were to gain control over sea and other transportation outlets. Such a force could conceivably cause anyone- management and labor alike- to capitulate to its every whim. With Hoffa at the controls of the union that will dominate the transport alliance, this power would certainly be in the wrong hands.” • Hoffa and Teamsters expelled from the AFL-CIO, accused of misappropriating $9.5 million in funds.
Mafia: Motive • March 1961 Kennedy’s took steps to have Marcelo deported to Guatemala, April 4, 1961 this order was executed. • Subsequently FBI investigated Marcelo and found that he was not a significant figure within the world of organized crime. Earned his living “as a tomato salesman and real estate investor.” • Readmitted into the U.S. • House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee, June 11, 1970: “Marcelo and his growing organization developed their capital or bankroll through extensive gambling, including casinos, slot machines, pinball, handbooks, layoff, football pools, dice, card games, roulette and bingo; also narcotics, prostitution, extortion, clip-joint operations, B-drinking, marketing stolen goods, robberies, burglaries, thefts, and corruption of public officials.
Mafia: Motive • Marcello told associate Edward Becker: “That a dog will continue to bite you if you cut of its tail. Whereas if you cut off the dog’s head, it would cease to cause you trouble.” • Any killer of the Attorney General would be hunted down by his brother; the death of the President would seal the fate of his Attorney General (position of political patronage).. • Kennedy killed 2 months after Attorney General Robert Kennedy announced to the McClellan Committee that he was going to expand the war on organized crime.
Central Intelligence Agency • Executive Action Program: A plan to remove unfriendly foreign leaders from power (1947). • Guatemala: Jacob Arbenz, 1954, introduced land reforms and nationalized United Fruit Company. • Partrice Lumumba: Congo (murdered January 1961, Mining interests). • Dominican Republic: Rafael Trujillo. • Iraq: General Abd al-Karim Kassem (murdered February 1963, replaced by Ba’ath Party). • South Vietnam: Ngo Dinh Diem. • Cuba: Fidel Castro, (Eisenhower, approved in March 1960, $13 million to train a paramilitary force outside Cuba for guerrilla action). • September 1960 Richard Bissell and Allen W. Dulles, director of the CIA, initiated talks with two leading figures of the Mafia, Johnny Roselli and Sam Giancana. • FBI brought into plan because part of the deal involved protection against investigations against the Mafia in the U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency • Understood that in a post-Castro Cuba CIA would restore the tyranny of the U.S. Mafia in Cuba, whose presence had been one of the chief factors mobilizing the Cuban middle-class revulsion against President Fulgencio Batista. • The mob prior to the Cuban revolution had functioned as enforcers of U.S. interests since the repeal of the 1934 Platt Amendment which had legalized U.S. intervention in Cuba. Their corruption of Cuban politicians like Batista helped reduce these men to the role of docile feeders at the U.S. capitalistic trough. • CIA, in March of 1961, wanted to take Castro out of power and replace him with Tony Varona. • Varona was in favor of restoring the land, banks, and industries that had been nationalized under Castro to their original owners.
Central Intelligence Agency • CIA wished to return Cuban politics to the status quo ante. • CIA-Mafia collaboration to kill Castro, was not just insensitive to Kennedy’s political directives but consciously and actively opposed to them (Right-wing Reactionaries). • John Birch Society, established by Robert Welch in 1958: Welch made it clear he wanted a “secret monolithic organization that would operate under complete authoritative control at all levels.” • Welch explained that “democracy is merely a deceptive phrase, a weapon of demagoguery and a perennial fraud.” • Members: Major General Edwin Walker, Haroldson L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, Ron Paul (Texas Congressman), Lawrence P. McDonald (Georgia Congressman)
John F. Kennedy • Social Democracy: Democratic govt. achieved organically through evolutionary rather than revolutionary means. • Egalitarian Society: Free, democratic, classless, equal, open, unrestrictive. • Emphasizes a program of gradual legislative reform, rather than rash reactionary means (Cuban Missile Crisis). • Supported peaceful coexistence and mutual disarmament. • John Birch Society: One of the societies major missions was to “prepare young people for the struggle ahead with Liberalism, Socialism, and Communism.” • Liberalism: moderation, freethinking, and laissez-faire (tolerant). • Socialism: collectivism. • Capitalism: free enterprise, private enterprise, entrepreneurship.
Anti-Castro Cubans • March 1963, Kennedy prevents Anti-Castro groups from launching operations from U.S. soil. • CIA continues to target Cuba late into 1963 (Operation GOULASH). • This is a hostile revolt against Presidential authority and policy. • As a result Kennedy cuts CIA and State Department out of secret talks with Cuba. • President planned after his return from Dallas to begin the “Clean Up” of the intelligence services. • He intended to change the top echelon of the CIA and to place it under the control of the Attorney General.
Piecing the Puzzle Together • Kennedy reversed Hawkish Cuban Policy: Bay of Pigs (April 1961) and Cuban Missile Crisis (October 1962), pushed world to the brink of nuclear war. • Instead Kennedy pursued a policy of Détente towards Castro’s Cuba. • June 10,1963 JFK pledged to dedicate his efforts to “the most important topic on earth: PEACE.” • JFK ordered William Attwood, part of the American United Nation’s Delegation, to contact the Cuban delegation in the U.N. and to sound out the possibility of talks with Havana. • November 18, 1963 Attwood met with Cuban U.N. Ambassador Carlos Lechuga. Kennedy was scheduled to be briefed on the “Attwood accommodation initiative” after a brief trip to Dallas, Texas. • Cuban’s reply favorably on November 23, 1963. • With the President’s death, the project for normalization lapsed.
Piecing the Puzzle Together • Militant Cubans would no longer have financial and logistical support of the U.S. Government. • Mafia no chance of getting back into Cuba • Mafia no longer has guarantied federal protection from prosecution. • JFK about to take away CIA’s carte blanche (free rein) in U.S. foreign affairs (particularly Executive Action). • Right-wing Reactionaries?
Anti-Imperialist League: Called on those who believe in the Republic against Empire (1898). • Charles Sumner (1898): Predicted ominously that adventurous policies of conquest and ambition would transform the American experiment in democracy into another empire just after the fashion of all the old ones. Empire he charged would enlarge the power of the state, concentrate power in Washington, and produce factions that would vie for state favors. • Others feared that imperialism abroad would erode freedom at home. The acquisition of new lands would burden the U.S., requiring a large defense buildup to protect far-flung, vulnerable possessions. Besides the Constitution did not give the federal govt. the power to acquire foreign territory.
Suite 8F Group • Group gets its name from the hotel suite it would regularly meet in (Lamar Hotel, Houston, Texas). • Used to coordinate the political activities of other right-wing politicians and businessmen based in the south. • Major concern of this group was to protect the interests of Texas oil industry. • Oil men decided to join together to keep profits high. Including strategies for keeping the price of oil as high as possible (Pro-rationing: Limit Production). • Texas oilmen also fought hard to maintain tax concessions (Oil Depletion Allowance: 27.5% tax break) • Brown & Root: won contracts to build Marshall Ford Dam ($2 million), 1940 $90 million contract to build Naval Air Station at Corpus Christi, and $357 million in 1942 to build Navy Destroyers (Company never built a ship before).
Suite 8F Group • Members included: Morgan J. Davis (Humble Oil), Albert Thomas (chairman of the House Appropriations Committee), John Connally (Texas politician), James Abercrombie (Cameron Iron Works), George & Herman Brown (Brown & Root), Jesse H. Jones (chairman of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation) Hugh R. Cullen (Quintana Petroleum), Lyndon B. Johnson (Majority Leader of the Senate), Edward Clark (Firm of Clark, Thomas & Winters), Haroldson L. Hunt (Placid Oil), Clint Murchison (Delhi Oil), Robert Anderson (Secretary of the Navy and Secretary of the Treasury), Sid Richardson (Texas Oil Millionaire), Billie Sol Estes (entrepreneur in the cotton industry), Earl E. T. Smith (U.S. Sugar Corporation), Fred Korth (Continental National Bank & Navy Secretary), Lawrence D. Bell (Bell Helicopters), Richard Russell (chairman of the Committee of Manufactures, Committee on Armed Forces and Committee of Appropriations, James Eastland (chairman Judiciary Committee), Benjamin Everett Jordan (chairman of the Senate Rules Committee), and Fred Black political lobbyist and Serve-U-Corporation.
Suite 8F Group: MVP • Lyndon B. Johnson • 1948 Johnson member of the Naval Affairs Committee, brokered deal between U.S. Military and Lawrence D. Bell (Bell Helicopters). • Johnson blocks unfavorable political appointments. In 1954 Paul Douglas began making speeches in the Senate about the need for tax reforms in order to eliminate special privileges such as the oil depletion allowance. Douglas attempted to join the Finance Committee, but Johnson blocked his appointment by exerting pressure on Harry Byrd the chairman of the Finance Committee. • By 1955 Suite 8F Group had complete control of the Senate Committee’s that dealt with the oil and armament industries. • John Connally: “large sums of money was given to Johnson throughout the 1950s for distribution to his political friends. I handled inordinate amounts of cash.” a great deal came from oilmen. • On the advice of Johnson Kennedy appointed John Connally Secretary of the Navy. This was an important post as it controlled a great deal of federal spending, including the contract to provide oil to the U.S. Navy.
Suite 8F Group: MVP • 1950s Brown & Root constructed air and naval air stations in France, Spain, and Guam • 1961 Johnson head of the Space Council: Brown & Young won $200 million contract to build the NASA space center in Houston Texas. Despite the major NASA base already in Florida (Houston we have a problem). • Halliburton took over Brown & Root in 1962. Formed new company called RMK-BRJ. • With the escalation of Vietnam RMK-BRJ won contracts to build jet runways, dredging channels for ships, hospitals, prisons, communications facilities, and building American bases from Da Nang to Saigon. • RMK-BRJ did 97% of the construction work in Vietnam worth an estimated $380 million in revenues between 1965-1972. • General Accounting Office discovered that by 1967 RMK-BRJ, had “lost” $120 million. However the GOA never managed to identify the people obtaining these kickbacks. • 1969 Bell Helicopter Corp. was selling nearly $600 million worth of helicopters to the U.S. Military. Vietnam made Bell Helicopters.
Suite 8F Group: MVP • Herman Brown: “Listen you get a doctor, you want a doctor who does his job. You get a lawyer, you want a lawyer who does his job, you want a Governor who does his job.” • Doctor, lawyer, Governor, Congressman when Herman “got” somebody, he wanted his money’s worth.
Edward A. Clark • 1938 opened his own private law practice: Clark, Thomas, & Winters, one of the most influential and successful firms in Texas • Also worked as a political lobbyist for the oil industry: Primary client, Big Oil owned by Clint Murchison. • 1948 became LBJ’s legal council. Controlled Johnson’s financial, legal, and political fortunes.
Clint Murchison • Made fortune on processing manure. He named his method the Calorific Reclamation Anaerobic Process (C.R.A.P.) • 1955 Senate committee discovered that 20% of Murchison Oil was owned by Vito Genovese. The committee also discovered Murchison had close ties with Carlos Marcello. • Murchison also had close ties to J. Edger Hoover (Director of FBI). “Rich people always try to put their money with the sheriff, because they’re looking for protection. • “Money” the millionaire said “is like manure. If you spread it around, it does a lot of good.” • November 22, 1963: FBI received a tip on Nov. 26, 1963 that Murchison and Tom Webb, the FBI veteran the millionaire had hired at Hoover’s suggestion were both acquainted with Jack Ruby. While they denied it. Ruby had met one of Murchinson’s best friends, Humble Oil millionaire Billy Byars. The phone log from the FBI Directors office shows that aside from calls to RFK and the head of the Secret Service, Edgar called only one man on the afternoon the President was shot, Billy Byars.
Haroldson L. Hunt • Financer of LBJ, member of the John Birch Society, owner of Placid Oil Company. • A strong opponent of Fidel Castro, Hunt helped to finance the Cuban Revolutionary Council, a group that worked with the Mafia and the CIA in an effort to remove Castro from power. • Hunt, Dallas 1961: “there seemed to be no way left to get those traitors out of our govt. except by shooting them out.” • Hunt on the Warren Commission's findings: “It’s a very honest document.”
Billie Sol Estes • In 1958 Estes made contact with LBJ. Over the next couple of years he ran a vast scam getting federal agricultural subsidies. According to Estes he obtained $21 million a year for growing and storing non-existent crops of cotton. • 1960 Henry Marshall appointed to investigate Billie Sol Enterprises, murdered. (Suicide, carbon monoxide and bolt-action 22”). • A.B. Foster wrote to Clifton C. Carter, a close aide to LBJ telling him the problems that Marshall was causing the Company. • 3 other men who could have provided evidence against Estes was George Krutilek, Harold Orr, and Howard Pratt, all died of carbon monoxide poisoning from car engines. • Leading suspect Malcolm Wallace. (Johnson aide, spotted at no less than 3 official functions with LBJ. • Estes eventually went to prison • August 9, 1984: Estes’ lawyer Douglas Caddy wrote Stephen S. Trott at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the letter Caddy claimed that Estes, LBJ, Mac Wallace, and Clifton C. Carter had been involved in the murders of Henry Marshall, George Krutilek, Harold Orr, Ike Rogers, Coleman Wade, Josefa Johnson, John Kinser, and John F. Kennedy.
Bobby Baker • LBJ’s loyal secretary • Baker involved in the International Hotel Corporation which established casino’s in the Dominican Republic. • Casino’s run by Meyer Lansky and Sam Giancana, and Ben Siegelbaum (Associate of Jimmy Hoffa) opened first casino’s in 1955, Baker and LBJ invited as honored guests. • Baker argued that the Dominican Republic could be a Mafia replacement for Cuba. However these plans came to an end when the military dictator, Rafael Trujillo was murdered on the orders of the CIA. President Kennedy gave support to Juan Bosch in December 1962.
Bobby Baker • Started Serve-U-Corporation in 1962 with friend Fred Black who also had mob ties. • The company was to provide vending machines for companies working on federally granted programs. • The machines manufactured by a company secretly owned by Sam Giancana. • Baker investigated by RFK, discovered links to Murchison, several Mafia bosses, and also found evidence of political corruption involving LBJ. • $7 Billion contract for a fighter plane, the TFX, to General Dynamics, a company based in Texas.
Don B. Reynolds • 1963 Senator John Williams (Delaware) began investigating the activities of Bobby Baker. • Williams persuaded Reynolds, an insurance salesman, to secretly testify in front of the Senate Rules Committee. • November 22, 1963: Reynolds told the committee that Johnson had demanded kickbacks in return for him agreeing to this life insurance policy. • Included a $585 Magnavox Stereo (delivery note), buy $1,200 worth of advertising on KTBC, Reynolds also told of seeing a suitcase full of money which Bobby Baker described a a $100,000 payoff to Johnson for his role in securing the TFX Contract. • His testimony came to an end when word reached the Committee of Kennedy’s assassination. (investigation dropped). • As a result of this scandal JFK was going to take LBJ off the 1964 ticket. • According to Evelyn Lincoln, secretary to the President, Kennedy told her that because of the Baker and TFX Scandal, Johnson would not be his 1964 running mate (conversation took place on Nov. 19, 1963). • Bobby Kennedy told the press it was know open season on LBJ.
Barr McClellan • 1972 McClellan became a full partner in the firm of Clark, Thomas, & Winters. • Once a full-partner became aware of firm’s illegal activities. • In short we helped plan crimes and keep the clients out of trouble. • Claims that JFK murder financed by oil millionaires Murchison and Haroldson, Clark was paid $2 million for his part in the planning and cover up. • According to McClellan it was now decided by Edward Clark that the investigation into Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker had to be brought to an end. McClellan claims that Clark recruited Wallace to organize the assassination of JFK. • When Johnson became President he managed to bring an end to the Senate investigations into Estes and Baker.
Malcolm Wallace • 1950 began working for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, introduced by Edward Clark to LBJ. • Began having affair with Josefa Johnson (Love triangle) • Murdered John Kinser in cold blood: Wallace found guilty of murder sentenced to death by 11 of 12 jurors, 12th juror argued for life imprisonment. • Judge Charles O. Betts overruled the jury and announced a sentence of 5 years imprisonment. He suspended the sentence and Wallace was immediately freed. • Jurors called and apologized to the victims parents, they claimed that threats had been made against them and their families.
Malcolm Wallace • Edward Clark and LBJ arranged for Wallace to obtain a job with the Luscombe Aircraft Company. • 1961: Murdered Henry Marshall (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) • Eyewitness Nolan Griffin placed Wallace at a gas station asking for direction to Marshall’s farm. • Physical evidence of crime destroyed by local sheriff. • 1984 grand jury determined that Henry Marshall was murdered as a result of a conspiracy involving the Vice President, his aide Clifton Carter, and Malcolm Wallace. • No charges were possible since all 3 men were deceased. • Prime suspect in 11-18 murders. • Murdered himself in January 1971. • According to Barr McClellan Edward Clark recruited Wallace to take part in the JFK assassination.
Nathan A. Darby • Expert in fingerprint identification (55 years of experience). • Certified Latent Fingerprint Examiner • Latent Fingerprint: the production of ridges when the finger has been placed on a surface. The ridges of the finger leave a residue, body fluids, and chemicals on the surface touched. The latent prints are recovered and compared to the ink prints. • The ridge lines between the matched formation are then counted. • November 22, 1963 an “unknown” print of a left little finger was found in the sniper’s nest on the 6th floor Texas Book Depository.
Nathan A. Darby • On March 12, 1998, a 1951 fingerprint of Malcolm Wallace was positively matched with a copy of a fingerprint labeled “Unknown” a fresh print lifted on Nov. 22, 1963 from a carton by the southeast 6th floor window. • This carton was labeled “Box A” and also had several fingerprints of Lee Harvey Oswald. • 12 point match needed for legal identification • Darby made a 14 point match. • Darby signed a sworn notarized affidavit stating that he was able to affirm a 14 point match between the “Unknown” fingerprint and the “blind print card submitted to him, which was the 1951 print of Malcolm Wallace. • Generally a 14 point match in a U.S. court will clinch a case. • Upon further study Darby made a 34 point match.
Soft on Communism • 1961 Bay of Pigs, Berlin Crisis • 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis • Refused to invade Cuba. (Barbara Tuchman: The Guns of August, 1962). • November 1963 attempting to normalize U.S.-Cuban relations. • June 10, 1963 (American University): “I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men.” • “Today the expenditure of billions every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles which can only destroy and never create—is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.” • Soviet Union: “So let us not be blind to our differences but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.” • July 26, 1963 (TV Address): “Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension.”
Soft on Communism • July 25, 1963: Nuclear Test Ban Treaty: Banned all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, outer space, and under water (first step in march towards global disarmament). • Kenneth O’Donnell, JFK’s most trusted advisor: “Kennedy told me in the spring of 1963 that he could not pull out of Vietnam until he was reelected, so we had better make damned sure I am reelected.” • At a White House reception on Christmas eve, a month after he succeeded to the presidency, LBJ told the Joint Chiefs: “Just get me elected, and then you can have your war.” • 1965 LBJ orders first regular combat troops into Vietnam.
Oil Depletion Allowance • Compromise made in 1923 between IRS and oil industry. Specifically this was an expense deduction for depletion of resources and was allowed as a reduction of taxable income. • October 16, 1962: Kennedy took on the oil industry. Kennedy was able to persuade Congress to pass an act that removed the distinction between repatriated profits and profits invested abroad. While this law applied to industry as a whole, it especially affected oil companies. It was estimated that as a result of this legislation, wealthy oilmen saw a fall in their earnings on foreign investment from 30% to 15%. • Removal of depletion allowance would result in a loss of around $300 million a year to Texas oilmen. • After assassination of JFK, President Johnson dropped the govt. plans to remove the oil depletion allowance.
CIA • Simple going to loose power • JFK, June 10, 1963: “Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace– based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions– on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned.” • Simply put CIA will no longer have Carte Blanche in fomenting revolutions around the world, when U.S. interests are threatened. • Kennedy’s death ushered in a decade of unprecedented violence and lawlessness on the part of the U.S. Intelligence Services.
CIA • 1970, Chile: Salvador Allende and his Socialist Workers’ Party won the general election. Various multinational companies including International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT, owned by George R. Brown) feared Allende would natinalize their assets in Chile. • Companies supported right-wing political party (secure interests in Chile). • Allende won the election • Nixon ordered CIA to help Chilean military over through Allende • On September 11, 1973, a military coup removed Allende’s govt. and Augusto Pinochet ascended to power.
Mafia • Robert Kennedy removed as Attorney General. • Interests abroad secured. • Avoid Prosecution. • Carlos Marcello: “Take the stone out of my shoe.” • Stone removed on November 22, 1963.
November 21, 1963 • Madeleine Brown (LBJ’s mistress) was at the home of Clint Murchison. Others at Murchinson’s home were J. Edgar Hoover, Clyde Tolson, John J. McCloy, Richard Nixon, Harvey Bright, Haroldson L. Hunt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. • Meeting called upon the arrival of LBJ. • After closed door meeting Johnson reappeared and told his mistress • “After tomorrow those goddamn Kennedy’s will never embarrass me again- that’s no threat that’s a promise.”
Coup D’ E’tat • “But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.” • Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.