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For The Record  

FTR #1032 Interview #2 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: The sec­ond of a planned long series of inter­views with Jim DiEu­ge­nio about his tri­umphal analy­sis of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s assas­si­na­tion and New Orleans DA Jim Gar­rison’s hero­ic inves­ti­ga­tion of the killing, this pro­gram begins with dis­cus­sion of Pres­i­dent Kennedy’s pre­co­cious polit­i­cal vision. Pos­sessed of a deep under­stand­ing of how the strug­gle for, and desire for, nation­al inde­pen­dence by colo­nial pos­ses­sions of Amer­i­ca’s World War II allies under­cut the cast­ing of these nations’ affairs in a stark “East vs. West” Cold War con­text, Kennedy put his polit­i­cal vision into play in many instances. It was his attempts at real­iz­ing his polit­i­cal vision through con­crete pol­i­cy that pre­cip­i­tat­ed his mur­der.

(Lis­ten­ers can order Des­tiny Betrayed and Jim’s oth­er books, as well as sup­ple­ment­ing those vol­umes with arti­cles about this coun­try’s polit­i­cal assas­si­na­tions at his web­site Kennedys and KingJim is also a reg­u­lar guest and expert com­men­ta­tor on Black Op Radio.)

When the Unit­ed States reneged on its com­mit­ment to pur­sue inde­pen­dence for the colo­nial ter­ri­to­ries of its Euro­pean allies at the end of the Sec­ond World War, the stage was set for those nations’ desire for free­dom to be cast as incip­i­ent Marxists/Communists. This devel­op­ment was the foun­da­tion for epic blood­shed and calami­ty.

The pro­gram begins with review of Kennedy’s stance on Alge­ria. A French colony in North Africa, Alger­ian inde­pen­dence forces waged a fierce guer­ril­la war in an attempt at becom­ing free from France. Once again, Kennedy opposed the West­ern con­sen­sus on Alge­ria, which sought to retain that prop­er­ty as a French pos­ses­sion.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 25–26.

. . . . On July 2, 1957, Sen­a­tor Kennedy rose to speak in the Sen­ate cham­ber and deliv­ered what the New York Times was to call the next day, “the most com­pre­hen­sive and out­spo­ken arraign­ment of West­ern pol­i­cy toward Alge­ria yet pre­sent­ed by an Amer­i­can in pub­lic office.” As his­to­ri­an Alan Nevins lat­er wrote, “No speech on for­eign affairs by Mr. Kennedy attract­ed more atten­tion at home and abroad.” It was the mature fruition of all the ideas that Kennedy had been col­lect­ing and refin­ing since his  1951 trip into  the  nooks  and cor­ners of Saigon,  It was pas­sion­ate yet sophis­ti­cat­ed, hard-hit­ting but con­trolled, ide­al­is­tic yet, in a fresh and unique way, also prag­mat­ic. Kennedy assailed the admin­is­tra­tion, espe­cial­ly John Fos­ter Dulles and Nixon, for not urg­ing France into nego­ti­a­tions, and there­fore not being its true friend. He began the speech by say­ing  that the most pow­er­ful  force inter­na­tion­al  affairs at the time  was not the H‑bomb, but the  desire  for  inde­pen­dence from impe­ri­al­ism. He then  said it was a test of  Amer­i­can for­eign pol­i­cy to meet the chal­lenge of impe­ri­al­ism. If not, Amer­i­ca would lose the trust of mil­lions in Asia and Africa. . . . He lat­er added that, “The time has come for the Unit­ed States to face the harsh real­i­ties of the  sit­u­a­tion  and to ful­fill its respon­si­bil­i­ties as leader of the free world . . . in shap­ing a course toward polit­i­cal inde­pen­dence for Alge­ria.” He con­clud­ed by say­ing that Amer­i­ca could not win in the Third World by sim­ply dol­ing  out for­eign aid  dol­lars, or sell­ing free enter­prise, or describ­ing the evils of  com­mu­nism, or lim­it­ing its  approach  to mil­i­tary pacts. . . .” 

The French peo­ple were divid­ed over the Alger­ian strug­gle, and those divi­sions led to the fall of the Fourth Repub­lic and the rise of Charles De Gaulle. De Gaulle grant­ed Alge­ria its inde­pen­dence and then faced down the lethal oppo­si­tion of the OAS, a group of mil­i­tary offi­cers ground­ed in the fas­cist col­lab­o­ra­tionist pol­i­tics of Vichy France. De Gaulle sur­vived sev­er­al assas­si­na­tion attempts against him and there are a num­ber of evi­den­tiary trib­u­taries lead­ing between those attempts and the forces that killed Kennedy.

Mau­rice Brooks Gatlin–one of Guy Ban­is­ter’s investigators–boasted of hav­ing trans­ferred a large sum of mon­ey from the CIA to the OAS offi­cers plot­ting against De Gaulle. In addi­tion, Rene Souetre–a French OAS-linked assas­sin was in the Dal­las Fort Worth area on 11/22/1963.

After dis­cus­sion of Alge­ria, the pro­gram begins analy­sis of Cuba, a major focal point of Jim’s book and one of the deci­sive fac­tors in pre­cip­i­tat­ing JFK’s assas­si­na­tion and one of the prin­ci­pal inves­tiga­tive ele­ments in Jim Gar­rison’s pros­e­cu­tion of the mur­der.

A for­mer Span­ish colony, Cuba was drawn into the Amer­i­can sphere of influ­ence after the Span­ish-Amer­i­can war. Cuba bore the yoke of a suc­ces­sion of dic­ta­tors in the 1920’s and 1930’s, ulti­mate­ly giv­ing way to the dic­ta­to­r­i­al reigns of Ful­gen­cio Batista. As Batista cement­ed his domin­ion over the island nation, he insti­tu­tion­al­ized the sup­pres­sion of pro-labor and pro-democ­ra­cy forces, as well as cre­at­ing the BRAC, an explic­it­ly anti-com­mu­nist secret police–a Cuban gestapo if you will.

Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is Batis­ta’s role as a cor­po­rate satrap for U.S. com­mer­cial inter­ests. Cuba’s agri­cul­tur­al wealth, cof­fee, tobac­co and sug­ar in par­tic­u­lar, as well as the coun­try’s min­er­al resources were dom­i­nat­ed by Amer­i­can cor­po­rate inter­ests, who enjoyed what was, in essence, a cor­po­rate state under Batista. For all intents and pur­pos­es, Cuba was free of any sub­stan­tive imped­i­ments to U.S. invest­ment. In turn, Bat­tista prof­it­ed enor­mous­ly from his role as point man for U.S. cor­po­rate devel­op­ment of Cuba.

In addi­tion, Amer­i­can orga­nized crime inter­ests were deeply involved in Cuba, deriv­ing great wealth from dom­i­na­tion of the coun­try’s gam­bling, hotel and pros­ti­tu­tion indus­tries. Ulti­mate­ly, both cor­po­rate inter­ests, man­i­fest­ing through the CIA and the Mafia would join forces in an effort to oust Fidel Cas­tro.

Inter­est­ing­ly, as Batis­ta’s dic­ta­tor­ship was top­pling amidst grow­ing crit­i­cism from U.S. politi­cians and the forces sup­port­ive of Fidel Cas­tro’s guer­ril­las, CIA offi­cer and even­tu­al Water­gate bur­glar E. Howard Hunt was among those who attempt­ed to ease him from pow­er.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; p. 11.

. . . . In the face of this obsti­na­cy, the CIA began to devise des­per­ate tac­tics to save off a Cas­tro vic­to­ry. One alter­na­tive was to arrange a meet­ing between wealthy U.S. indus­tri­al­ist William Paw­ley and Batista. The goal, with Howard Hunt as the medi­a­tor, was to release from jail a for­mer Batista oppo­nent, Gen­er­al Ramon Bar­quin, in hopes that he could dis­place Batista and pro­vide a viable pop­u­lar alter­na­tive to Cas­tro. Nei­ther of these tac­tics came off as planned. After Ambas­sador Smith informed him that the U.S. could no longer sup­port his gov­ern­ment, Batista decid­ed to leave the coun­try on New Year’s Eve, 1958. No one knows how much mon­ey Batista embez­zled and took with him. But esti­mates range well into the nine fig­ures. On Jan­u­ary 8, 1959, Cas­tro and Che Gue­vara rolled their army into a jubi­lant Havana. . . .

Cas­tro reversed the cor­po­ratist dynam­ic that had obtained under Batista, with the nation­al­iza­tion of key indus­tries (includ­ing Amer­i­can-owned cor­po­rate inter­ests). Cas­tro and Che Gue­vara also liq­ui­dat­ed BARC, exe­cut­ing key oper­a­tives, includ­ing some who had been trained in the Unit­ed States.

This pre­cip­i­tat­ed the CIA’s well known attempts to remove him from pow­er, the best known episode of which is the Bay of Pigs inva­sion.

Allen Dulles

Begun under the Eisen­how­er admin­is­tra­tion and with then Vice-Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon in charge of the devel­op­ment of the oper­a­tion, the evolv­ing plans for the inva­sion were nev­er to Kennedy’s lik­ing. JFK’s atti­tude toward the plans was described as the atti­tude a par­ent might have to an adopt­ed orphan.

The inva­sion plan went through a num­ber of iter­a­tions, cul­mi­nat­ing in a blue­print that called for some 1,400 Cuban exile invaders to “go gueril­la” by mak­ing their way to the hills where, sup­pos­ed­ly, a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the Cuban pop­u­lace would rise up to join them against Cas­tro.

There were many fun­da­men­tal and, ulti­mate­ly, fatal, flaws in the oper­a­tional plan, includ­ing:

  1. The inva­sion force would have had to cross 70 miles of swamp to make it to the moun­tains from which they were sup­posed to mount their vic­to­ri­ous resis­tance.
  2. The bulk of the Cuban pop­u­lace was sup­port­ive of Cas­tro and would not have joined an attempt to oust him.
  3. The one Anti-Cas­tro Cuban polit­i­cal ele­ment that had sup­port among por­tions of the Cuban pop­u­la­tion were the back­ers of Manolo Ray. Favored by JFK, Ray was viewed with dis­dain by Allen Dulles and the Bay of Pigs plan­ners, who mar­gin­al­ized Ray and may well have been prepar­ing to assas­si­nate his fol­low­ers in Cuba had the inva­sion plan been suc­cess­ful.
  4. There was no way that the inva­sion force, as con­sti­tut­ed, could have pos­si­bly defeat­ed the Cas­tro mil­i­tary and mili­tia, who out­num­bered the invaders by rough­ly 100 to 1.
  5. Any pos­si­ble suc­cess for the inva­sion would have depend­ed on autho­riza­tion of the use of Amer­i­can air pow­er by Pres­i­dent Kennedy. Such autho­riza­tion was not forth­com­ing and the blame for the oper­a­tion’s fail­ure was laid at Kennedy’s doorstep.
  6. Bit­ter­ness over the fail­ure of the Bay of Pigs oper­a­tion con­tributed sig­nif­i­cant­ly to the ani­mos­i­ty toward Kennedy on the part of CIA, their anti-Cas­tro Cuban pro­teges and the Amer­i­can right. This ani­mos­i­ty ulti­mate­ly con­tributed to the momen­tum to kill Kennedy.

An ana­lyt­i­cal report on the inva­sion by Gen­er­al Maxwell Tay­lor high­light­ed the fun­da­men­tal flaws in the inva­sion plan.

Fol­low­ing the Bay of Pigs dis­as­ter, JFK pub­licly took respon­si­bil­i­ty for the oper­a­tion’s fail­ure, while pri­vate­ly tak­ing steps to fun­da­men­tal­ly alter the covert oper­a­tion oper­a­tional tem­plate for the future.

This alter­ation crys­tal­lized in the form of three Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Action Mem­o­ran­da, NSAM’s 55, 56, and 57:

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 52–53.

. . . . NSAM 55 was direct­ly deliv­ered to Chair­man of the Joint Chiefs Lyman Lem­nitzer. JFK was angry that the Pen­ta­gon had not deliv­ered a tren­chant cri­tique of the Dulles-Bis­sell inva­sion plan. So from here on in he want­ed their input into mil­i­tary and para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions of the Cold War. As both John New­man and Fletch­er Prouty have not­ed, this was a real can­non shot across the bow of the CIA. Allen Dulles had insti­tut­ed these types of para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions pre­vi­ous­ly, and the CIA had run them almost exclu­sive­ly. As New­man describes it, NSAM 55 was “The open­ing shot in Kennedy’s cam­paign to cur­tail the CIA’s con­trol over covert para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions.” The oth­er two nation­al secu­ri­ty mem­o­ran­da flowed form the first one. NSAM 56 was an order to make an inven­to­ry of para­mil­i­tary assets and equip­ment the Pen­ta­gon had on hand and then to mea­sure that against the pro­ject­ed require­ments across the world and make up any deficit. NSAM 57 stat­ed that all para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions were to be pre­sent­ed to the Strate­gic Resources Group. that group would then assign a per­son and depart­ment to run it. The CIA was only to be involved in para­mil­i­tary oper­a­tions “whol­ly covert or dis­avow­able,” and then only with­in the Agen­cy’s “nor­mal capa­bil­i­ties.” . . . . The con­se­quence of these pres­i­den­tial direc­tives was the first sig­nif­i­cant chink in the CIA’s covert armor since its cre­ation. . . .

In stark con­trast to the Tay­lor report is a For­tune mag­a­zine arti­cle writ­ten by Charles Mur­phy, act­ing in tan­dem with Allen Dulles and future Water­gate bur­glar E. Howard Hunt.  This piece laid the blame for the Bay of Pigs fail­ure on JFK, feed­ing the vir­u­lent hatred of Kennedy in the cor­ri­dors of pow­er and the pub­lic at large.

Des­tiny Betrayed by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; Sky­horse pub­lish­ing [SC]; Copy­right 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEu­ge­nio; ISBN 978–1‑62087–056‑3; pp. 54–55.

. . . . Hunt went so far as to admit that he and Dulles reviewed the proofs of the above men­tioned For­tune arti­cle by Charles Mur­phy on the Bay of Pigs before it was pub­lished. And fur­ther, that Hunt actu­al­ly worked on the arti­cle for two days and fur­nished Mur­phy with clas­si­fied back­ground infor­ma­tion for the piece. And what an arti­cle it was.

The Murphy/Hunt/Dulles piece begins by stat­ing that Kennedy has been an inef­fec­tive pres­i­dent so far. The rea­son being because, unlike Eisen­how­er, he did not know how to manip­u­late the levers of pow­er. Although the arti­cle is sup­posed to be about the Bay of Pigs, Mur­phy and his (secret) co-authors spend the first few pages dis­cussing Laos. . . . The arti­cle now goes on to strike at two tar­gets. First, quite nat­u­ral­ly, it states that Kennedy reneged on the D‑Day air strikes. . . .

. . . . The sec­ond tar­get of the piece is the lib­er­al coterie around Kennedy–Richard Good­win, William Ful­bright, Adlai Steven­son, and Arthur Schlesinger. In oth­er words, the bunch that made Hunt swal­low Manolo Ray. In fact, what the trio does here is insin­u­ate that the orig­i­nal Dulles-Bis­sell plan was tac­ti­cal­ly sound and approved by the Pen­ta­gon. . . . . And at the very end, when they quote Kennedy say­ing that there were sober­ing lessons to be learned from the episode, they clear­ly insin­u­ate that the pres­i­dent should not have let his “polit­i­cal advis­ers” influ­ence oper­a­tional deci­sions. Since Dulles lat­er con­fessed that he nev­er thought theop0eration could suc­ceed on its own, but he thought Kennedy would save it when he saw it fail­ing, this appears to be noth­ing but pure decep­tion on his part, deliv­ered his instru­ments Mur­phy and Hunt. . . .

After the Bay of Pigs, JFK fired Allen Dulles (who lat­er served on the War­ren Com­mis­sion), Richard Bis­sell and Charles Cabell, whose broth­er Earl Cabell was the may­or of Dal­las when Kennedy was killed and, as Jim reveals, a CIA asset.

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