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Interview #3 With Jim DiEugenio about "Destiny Betrayed"

 

FTR #1033

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The third of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program continues with discussion of Cuba and JFK’s policy with regard to Castro.

(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.)

After reviewing discussion from FTR #1032, the program highlights the Cuban Missile Crisis. The best known of JFK’s actions with regard to Cuba, the “Thirteen Days” exemplifies how Kennedy stood against the Cold War political establishment and what President Eisenhower called “The Military-Industrial Complex,” earning the hatred of key players on the U.S. political stage at the time.

Once it became clear that the Soviets had placed offensive intermediate range ballistic missiles in Cuba, plans were drawn up for both air strikes to take out the missiles and a military invasion of Cuba as a whole. Kennedy was excoriated for taking a more thoughtful tack.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 63.

. . . . On October 9, Kennedy had a meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Kennedy got into a back and forth with the hawkish Air Force General Curtis LeMay. . . . LeMay frowned upon the blockade option. . . . “If we don’t do anything in Cuba, then they’re going to push on Berlin and push real hard because they’ve got us on the run.” LeMay, who was never one to mince words, then went even further. To  show his utter  disdain for the blockade concept, the World War II veteran actually brought up something rather bizarre. He said, “The blockade and political action, I see leading into war. . . . This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich.” LeMay was now comparing Kennedy’s preference for the blockade with Neville Chamberlain’s giving away the Sudetenland to the Nazis, which encouraged Hitler to invade Poland. Although not expressing themselves in such extreme figures of speech, the rest of the chiefs of staff agreed with LeMay. . . .  

Thinking that the Soviet buildup may have been a gambit to oblige the U.S. to forgo support for West Berlin in exchange for withdrawal of the nuclear forces in Cuba, Kennedy sought other alternatives. (Younger listeners should bear in mind that West Berlin was the Western-aligned half of Berlin, which was itself located deep in East Germany.)

Ultimately, Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khruschev drew down hostilities, after Kennedy instituted a naval blockade of Soviet maritime shipments of military materiel to Cuba. Jim presents the altogether formidable order of battle in Cuba, indicating the strong possibility that, had the more aggressive U.S. contingency plans been implemented, it would have led to a Third World War and the end of our  civilization.

As the elder Von Moltke observed: “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Something would not have gone according to plan in the proposed military adventures against the Soviet presence in Cuba. When that happened, there would have been World War III.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 66.

. . . . The deployment included 40 land based ballistic launchers, including 60 missiles in five missile regiments. The medium range missiles had a range of 1,200 miles, the long-range ones, 2,400 miles. In addition, there were to be 140 air-defense missile launchers to protect the sites. Accompanying then would be a Russian army of 45,000 men with four motorized rifle regiments and over 250 units of armor. There would also be a wing of MIG-21 fighters, with 40 nuclear armed IL-28 bombers. Finally, there was to be a submarine missile base with an initial deployment of eleven submarines, seven of them capable of launching one megaton nuclear warheads. In addition, there were low-yield tactical nuclear weapons for coastal defense in case of an invasion. . . . 

Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy sought to woo Castro away from the Soviet Union with a diplomatic rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S.

Using U.S. diplomat William Atwood, French journalist Jean Daniel and American journalist Lisa Howard as intermediaries, JFK was seeking to normalize U.S./Cuban relations.

The CIA and its anti-Castro Cuban contingent learned of the negotiations, and undertook a number of covert operations, such as the Pawley/Bayo/Martino raid to break up the negotiations.

In addition, the program also sets forth the relatively well-known use by the CIA of Mafia elements to kill Castro.

Program Highlights Include:

The roles of many of the “Dramatis Personae” who figure in Jim Garrison’s investigation into the JFK assassination in anti-Castro Cuban intrigue, including:

  1. David Ferrie’s work as a paramilitary trainer at camps used to train anti-Castro guerrillas and as a pilot on various “ops” against Castro.
  2. Clay Shaw’s work organizing CIA anti-Castro Cuban activities, particularly in the New Orleans area.
  3. Guy Banister’s “detective agency,” which served as a front for paramilitary operations against Castro’s Cuba and also as a cover for Lee Harvey Oswald’s role as a faux Castro supporter and Fair Play For Cuba member.
  4. Bernardo de Torres’ participation in the Bay of Pigs and subsequent anti-Castro activities, as well as his work with silenced weapons developer Mitchell WerBell and as an infiltrator into Garrison’s office.
  5. Eladio Del Valle’s work with David Ferrie, among others, and his brutal murder.
  6. Sergio Arcacha Smith’s role as a key official of the CIA front organization CRC and his links to many other figures in Garrison’s investigation.
  7. CIA officer David Atlee Phillips and his work against Castro, as well as against the U.S. Castro support group Fair Play For Cuba. In a 1988 conversation with his estranged brother shortly before his death, Phillips admitted having been in Dallas when Kennedy was killed.
  8. Future Watergate burglar James McCord’s work with Phillips against the FPCC.
  9. Antonio Veciana’s work with Alpha 66, arguably the most militant of the anti-Castro exile groups and his mysterious control officer “Maurice Bishop,” who appears to have been David Atlee Phillips.
  10. Future Watergate Burglar E. Howard Hunt’s collaboration with Allen Dulles and Charles Murphy on the anti-Kennedy Fortune Magazine article, as well as his work on the Bay of Pigs operation.
  11. E. Howard Hunt was also present in Dallas, Texas on 11/22/1863, as revealed in a memo crafted by James Angleton.
  12. Anti-Castro Cuban activist Carlos Bringuier, the DRE to which he belonged, his apparently staged argument with Oswald; CIA liaison to the House Select Committee George Joannides’ stewardship of the DRE.
  13. Electronics expert Gordon Novel and his work on the Bay of Pigs invasion. (Novel subsequently was an infiltrator into Jim Garrison’s investigation.)

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