Ever since President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas 50 years ago, various theories have swirled around what was a key event in American—and world—history. Despite the conclusions of the Warren Report—that the President had been assassinated by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald—many people doubt that to be true. Indeed, President Nixon later admitted on tape that the report was "a hoax committed on the American people." John Hughes-Wilson, a former colonel in British Intelligence, set out in 2007 to go through the millions of words and thousands of pieces of evidence, to put together an intelligence jigsaw of what really happened that dreadful high noon in Dallas in 1963. The result is a dramatic exposure of what actually took place and a clear indication that, while some of the pieces of that jigsaw may be missing, the truth is emerging. While the U.S. Federal Archive still keeps a million documents relating to the case under lock and key, it is beyond reasonable doubt that Jack Kennedy was the victim of a plot to remove the President of the United States. John Hughes-Wilson highlights the facts behind why Marilyn Monroe had to be silenced, LBJ’s corrupt secrets, the Kennedys’ secret Cuban coup plans, how the mafia manipulated politicians and the CIA, and how the assassination was covered up. Reading this book no one can be in any doubt that JFK’s death was not at the hands of a lone deranged gunman, but a deadly plot to remove a President who threatened vested interests at home and abroad.
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About the Author
Colonel John Hughes-Wilson served in the British Army's Intelligence Corps for 30 years and is a specialist consultant to the UN and the European Union. He is the author of A Brief History of the Cold War, Military Intelligence Blunders, and The Pupper Masters.
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JFK An American Coup D'etat
The Truth Behind the Kennedy Assassination
By John Hughes-Wilson
John Blake Publishing LtdCopyright © 2013 John Hughes-Wilson
All rights reserved.
PROLOGUE: WASHINGTON DC, 21 JANUARY 1961
WHAT DANGERS THREATEN A GREAT REPUTATION!
The group of worthies that gathered in the freezing cold on Capitol Hill on 21 January 1961 was arguably one of the biggest public assemblies of crooks seen in years. Even by Washington DC's standards.
From highest to lowest, the huddled cluster of black suits marshalled to inaugurate the new President reeked not just of intrigue and double-dealing but of deep criminal corruption. Hardly a man among them had clean hands. The new Vice President was deeply implicated in ballot-rigging, theft, bribery and misappropriation of federal funds, and employed his own tame murderer to eliminate political foes and embarrassing family members. He was also in the pay of big business and the Mafia.
The head of the FBI had openly misused federal funds for his own private purposes and had been secretly bugging and blackmailing politicians for years. In his turn, he was being blackmailed by the Mafia and simultaneously receiving payment for keeping his mouth shut about their very existence.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the man who would administer the oath, was effectively in the pockets of both the Leader of the Senate and the head of the FBI. They knew all the judge's dark and dirty secrets.
Even the crestfallen leader of the opposition, the man who was supposed to win the election, was bank-rolled by the Mafia, who had been paying his political campaign contributions for years, as well as providing him with free holidays and paying off their man's gambling debts.
And finally, there was the new President himself, elected by the smallest margin in American political history. Even some of those final winning votes had been paid for and rigged by the Chicago Mafia, delighted at last to see the son of one of their own criminal associates now elevated to the highest office in the land. For the rich and dangerous fat cats of organised crime, federal protection and rich pickings beckoned under the new President's regime.
As the TV cameras and the crowd inspected their new young president, now uttering the usual pious political promises of peace, hope, and prosperity, little did they realise that they had sold their birth right to a desperately ill, womanising drug taker and a man who had relied on the Mafia to place him in power. Despite the cosy TV images, the admiring PR puffs and the spin, Camelot it most certainly was not.
The stench of corruption hovered over the marshalled American power elite that cold January day, competing with the whiff of their mothballed morning suits and tailcoats. All were in hock one way or another to big business, crooks, organised crime, or blackmailers. Most had committed some kind of illegal act: from bribery to stealing the taxpayers' money; from taking money from the Mob to outright murder. But then, for Washington DC it was business as usual.
President John F. Kennedy raised his right hand.CHAPTER 2
THE FLAWED PRESIDENT
BEHIND EVERY GREAT FORTUNE IS A GREAT CRIME.
HONORÉ DE BALZAC
In the end it was the Chicago Mafia who effectively bought the 1960 presidential election of the United States for the Kennedy clan. The crucial votes of the Districts of Illinois and Chicago were bought by the Mafia bribes paid out by Sam Giancana and Santos Trafficante's mobsters at the direct request of the new President's father, ex-Mafia associate and one-time criminal, Joseph Kennedy. Out of a record-breaking 69 million voters who went to the polls, fewer than 12,000 people actually determined which man won the presidency. If only 4,500 voters in Illinois and 24,000 voters in Texas had changed their minds, Richard Milhouse Nixon would have been president.
Thanks to the Mob's help with the votes, a margin of 0.01 per cent – the smallest margin in American history – won JFK and his family their seat in the White House. The Mafia expected the new President to be suitably grateful.
* * *
The Kennedys' links with the Mafia were both deep and old. Old Joe Kennedy was a crook. He had made a fortune out of smuggling illegal liquor to the Mafia gangs to supply their 'speakeasy' drinking dens during Prohibition back in the 1920s. The Volstead Act, barring the sale of alcohol from 1919 until its repeal in 1933, had the effect of spreading and consolidating the Mafia's networks of Italian-style family criminal gangs across America. Prohibition reinforced the iron rule of economics: demand will always find a supply. A thriving trade in banned bootleg liquor grew and flourished in the 1920s and suppliers of illegal alcohol flourished and prospered along with it. None prospered more than Joseph Kennedy.
A third generation Irish Catholic immigrant, 'Old Joe' Kennedy had done well for himself. He was obsessed by money. 'If you want to make money, then go where the money is,' was one of his favourite sayings. Like Al Capone, Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky and thousands of other crooks, 'Old Joe' Kennedy joined the highly profitable world of the bootlegging gangsters and the Mafia.
Joe Kennedy already understood the business. His father had originally made his money from a string of legal liquor outlets, shops and bars in Massachusetts. Joe Kennedy now turned to the lucrative underground market spawned by Prohibition and offered his expertise – for a price. By the end of the 1920s Joe Kennedy was deeply involved with the big names of the criminal fraternity of the day: Lansky, Siegel and Frank Costello were all either customers, business rivals or – literally – his partners in crime. A notorious mobster, Sam Giancana, later recalled the heady days of Prohibition by saying: 'Joe Kennedy was the biggest crook I ever met.' Coming from the Chicago Don who had spent a lifetime in organised crime, this was a remarkable tribute to a man who would one day be appointed US ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Kennedy Senior's genius lay in his ability to link business and crime seamlessly in pursuit of profit. Sometimes his business methods were straight out of a gangster movie. As the 'talkies' swept American cinemas, the new movie business offered rich pickings for those with money to invest. Swiftly spotting the potential of the rapidly expanding market for cinema and films, Joe Kennedy bought up undervalued movie companies to form RKO Pictures.
His criminal business methods were exposed by the Pantages affair. In 1929 Kennedy bid for a string of West Coast cinemas owned by a Greek called Alexander Pantages. To Old Joe's astonishment and fury, Pantages refused to sell. Kennedy Sr was outraged. No one refused Joe Kennedy. He resorted to tried and trusted Mafia methods: he framed him. A young Vaudeville dancer called Eunice Pringle was hired to visit Pantages' office, hide in a cupboard, rip off her underwear and rush into the street shouting 'Rape!' to the first passing cop. Loudly protesting his innocence, Pantages was hauled off to the County jail.
Pantages got 50 years for rape; Eunice Pringle got her movie contract and Joe Kennedy got his way. Although the rape conviction was later dismissed on appeal (he hired an army of private detectives who uncovered the true story of greed, amateur prostitution and string of sexual partners behind his 'sweet little' accuser), Pantages' reputation and finances suffered and when he died in 1936 of a heart attack, Kennedy bought his business at a knock down price. The final confirmation came years later when Eunice Pringle made a death-bed confession admitting that she had been hired for $10,000.
By 1932 everyone knew that the 'noble experiment' of banning alcohol was doomed. It had served only to criminalise normal folk and to encourage a new army of well-heeled and increasingly powerful crooks. Kennedy began to stockpile whisky and gin secretly against the day that it could legally be released onto the market. He even bribed a Sheriff of Palm Beach to open a secret warehouse inside his Florida jailhouse in order to hide part of the illegal hoard.
The rewards were spectacular. By 1935 Joe Kennedy had effectively cornered a new market in legal whisky and made another fortune. By 1936 he was a multi-millionaire and turned his acquisitive eye on Wall Street, where the real money was, while at the same time raising vast sums for Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Dealers of the Democratic Party in an open attempt to buy political influence in Washington.
This, then, was the business tycoon whom Roosevelt appointed as the first Head of Wall Street's Securities and Exchange Commission in 1934. Wall Street's new overseer and first regulator of US financial probity was an insider dealer; an associate and partner of Mafia members; a trader in illegal goods; a tax fraudster; a ruthless crook and a greedy millionaire of stunning ambition. The effect was to make John Fitzgerald Kennedy's father believe he was untouchable and above the law. It was a set of values that he would bequeath to his large and close-knit Catholic family.
To such an individual, founding a dynasty was secondary to his ultimate ambition, which he touted quite openly: getting the Kennedys to actually run the country. For Joe Kennedy even high political office and influence was regarded as just another commodity.
Old Joe's downfall came, ironically, at the hands of the British. Roosevelt's appointment of his fund-raising tycoon as Ambassador to the UK in 1938 surprised many. In the end it was old Joe's dislike of 'the English', his inability to recognise Britain's determination to fight Hitler, and his pessimistic – and poorly judged – reporting on Britain's prospects in the war against Nazi Germany that forced FDR to recall him at the end of 1940.
This was the family background that nurtured the sprawling Catholic Kennedy family and especially the boys, Joe Jr, John, Robert and Edward. It was an amoral world of big money, a place where anything – and anyone – could be bought, and where crime, crooks and big business openly rubbed shoulders with the world of Wall Street, politics and power. All you needed was money, ambition and the right contacts. Old Joe – now insisting on being addressed as 'Mr Ambassador' – made it quite clear that the presidency was his family's ultimate goal.
So when his heir, Joe Jr, was blown up and killed in a bomber over the English Channel in 1944, second son John automatically moved up to take his place. Old Joe Kennedy had a dream, and his sons were going to fulfil it for him. He had powerful friends, no shortage of money, and was owed many favours. He would effectively buy the presidency for his boy. From the moment the Chicago Mafia bought the Illinois vote for the Senator from Massachusetts in 1960, sleaze and the taint of the Mob would haunt John F. Kennedy to the end of his days.
The truth was that from its very birth, Camelot was built on a landfill of crime, corruption and conspiracy.CHAPTER 3
CROOKS AND CUBA
IF EVER THERE WAS IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY AN ENEMY WHO WAS TRULY UNIVERSAL ... THAT ENEMY IS YANKEE IMPERIALISM.
Even as he sat down for the first time in the Oval Office, the flawed President had other problems besides the usual domestic political sleaze and the paybacks expected by his backers, criminal or otherwise. A fearful American public, raised on Cold War notions of anti-Communism and the Red Menace, watched for any sign of weakness from their new young President, as did the hard-line generals in the Pentagon.
For American big business too, the Cold War arms race was an important source of profit and thus a major preoccupation. Preparing for Armageddon might be frightening, but the fear of the 'Red Threat' provided a lucrative – and guaranteed – source of steady sales and huge profits for US Corporations and their shareholders.
The experienced and world-weary Dwight Eisenhower had seen the dangers of power being concentrated in a group dedicated to, and with a vested interest in, continued spending on arms. The 1961 speech is remembered mainly for the phrase 'US military-industrial complex', but Ike said much more than just that.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we ... have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions ... This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience ... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.
Although Eisenhower had been advised not to link members of Congress with this 'military-industrial complex' when he made his famous speech, he believed that certain members of Congress and the Administration had been bought and were being paid by the armaments industry to maintain high levels of defence spending. For cigar-chomping generals like the hawkish Curtis LeMay, late of Strategic Air Command, this was entirely proper. (LeMay was mercilessly parodied by Peter Sellers as 'General Jack D. Ripper' in Stanley Kubrick's film, Dr Strangelove.) For LeMay, fighting – and winning – a nuclear war seemed a genuinely viable strategic option. As far as LeMay was concerned, US Strategic Air Command was ready to do just that and the President's main job was to keep the cash flowing to arm the US Air Force and the US arms manufacturers who built the airplanes for them.
During Kennedy's first year in power General Lyman Lemnitzer and the other Joint Chiefs bombarded their new President with crazy schemes to attack Fidel Castro's Cuba, and in the 1962 plan for 'Operation Northwoods' Lemnitzer even approved a memo suggesting that an American ship be blown up off Cuba so that the list of US casualties would get public opinion on the Government's side. Kennedy is on record as thinking that his Pentagon advisers were 'mad'.
From the other side of the Iron Curtain, America's communist opponents had moved swiftly to test the mettle of their young and untried adversary. Kennedy himself wanted to establish personal links with Khrushchev, the Soviet leader. An east-west dialogue was a priority for both sides. Unfortunately, for the first and not the last time, the problem of Cuba derailed Kennedy's plans almost before he had settled in the presidential chair. Cuba would come to haunt – and ultimately help end – his term of office.
* * *
In 1959 a young Cuban lawyer called Fidel Castro had led a popular army of 'Revolutionary Socialists' into Havana. The corrupt President Batista and his fellow racketeers fled, leaving Castro to clean up an island that had effectively been run as a very profitable business by organised American criminal gangs. Among the groups to be eventually eased out of Havana were the fat cats of the Mafia. Men like Meyer Lansky and Santo Trafficante saw their casinos closed down as their rich pickings from drugs, girls and gambling ended for good.
The disgruntled Mafia families retired to New York and Florida to mourn their lost cash cows and to try and build a new criminal capital in the desert at Las Vegas. But there was also a strong desire for revenge.
The problem was that the Mafia were not the only group determined to get their revenge on Castro. From the day Castro took over in 1959, the American government had been obsessed by the notion of a Communist safe haven only 90 miles from Florida's shores. The anti-Communist crusaders of the CIA were given strict instructions to bring the revolutionary Communist regime down, by fair means or foul. The result was that Cuba brought together a deadly conjunction of the Mafia and American governmental agencies, both united in their determination to get rid of Castro.
Excerpted from JFK An American Coup D'etat by John Hughes-Wilson. Copyright © 2013 John Hughes-Wilson. Excerpted by permission of John Blake Publishing Ltd.
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Table of Contents
A Note on the Sources ix
1 Prologue: Washington Dc, 21 January 1961 1
2 The Flawed President 4
Part 1 JFK'S Problems
3 Crooks and Cuba 10
4 The Bay of Pigs and Other Crises 14
5 All the President's Women 23
6 Marilyn Monroe - Anatomy of a Cover-Up 34
Part 2 Kennedy's Enemies
7 Brothers in Arms - the Cuban Exiles and the CIA 46
8 JFK Versus the Mafia 55
9 JFK Versus Big Oil 62
10 JFK Versus the Government of Money 66
11 The Problem of LBJ 77
12 Israel and Her Friends 86
Part 3 The Plot Is Hatched
13 The Anti-Kennedy Coalition 100
14 The Widening Circle 110
15 Planning the Ambush 119
16 The Kennedys' Coup in Cuba 125
Part 4 To Kill a President
17 The Road to Dallas 134
18 Dallas on the Day 152
19 Aftershocks 162
20 Silent Witnesses - The Wounds 178
21 The Voice of the Guns 187
22 The Camera Cannot Lie - Can It? 195
23 Another Shot Heard Round the World' 205
24 Officer Tippit 209
25 Dead Men Tell No Tales - Lee Harvey Oswald 219
26 The Spy Who Came In From the Cold - The Curious Career of Lee Harvey Oswald 228
27 From a View to a Kill - Jack Ruby and Oswald's Murder 242
Part 5 The Great Cover-Up
28 Covering the Tracks 254
29 Warren - and a Whitewash 270
30 Dead Silent? 284
31 The Story Unravels and the Truth Emerges 297
32 Who Killed JFK? 304
33 How the Deed Was Done 319
34 Conclusion 331
Appendix: CIA Instructions to Media Assets, 1 April 1967 336