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Michael Collins Piper
Final Judgment
The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy
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Summary, Dedication, and Other Items • 800 Words
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Final Judgment is, beyond question, the most “controversial”—and certainly the most widely denounced—book on what is perhaps the most written about subject in American history…

Yet, most of those who have so hysterically condemned this book have never even read it…

Critics viciously attack the author, but they refuse to debate him…

This is the one book on the JFK assassination that no major publisher dared print…

Despite all this, those open-minded individuals who have dared to read Final Judgment—including some very well-known names—have concluded that this book is the one book that most completely outlines the entirety of the conspiracy that took the life of John F. Kennedy.

Final Judgment presents what the author, Michael Collins Piper, calls “the other side of the jigsaw puzzle”—the long-ignored, but otherwise freely available details (all found in “mainstream” literature), which present a stark new light on the circumstances surrounding JFK’s assassination.

This book demonstrates the strong likelihood Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, collaborated alongside the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate in the JFK assassination because President Kennedy was working to prevent Israel from acquiring nuclear weapons of mass destruction, a fact that remained a dark secret for decades.

However, because it was not until the mid-1980’s that the truth about President Kennedy’s behind-the-scenes war with Israel emerged, many otherwise diligent JFK assassination researchers never considered the possibility Israel did have good reason to align with other powerful forces that wanted to remove JFK from the White House. Once you’ve read Final Judgment you will see the evidence of likely Israeli involvement is there.

Although first published in 1994, only one newspaper, a small Washington-based weekly, even mentioned the book. Despite that, Final Judgment has now sold more than 40,000 copies, achieving he proverbial status of “underground” bestseller. Yet most Americans never heard of this groundbreaking historical bombshell or of its controversial thesis.

However, on August 21, 1997, newspapers across the United States―echoing a report that first appeared in The Los Angeles Times―told the story of an uproar over a scheduled lecture at a small California college by Michael Collins Piper, the author of Final Judgment.

Pro-Israel pressure groups were working overtime to prevent Piper from being heard. They feared college students would be “too impressionable” and might actually take Piper’s thesis seriously.

Piper was being attacked for daring to speak the truth―the little-known fact that JFK had been embroiled in a bitter (then-secret) conflict with Israel over its drive to build a nuclear arsenal, weapons of mass destruction.

What made this so objectionable to the Israeli lobby was that in Final Judgment Piper had documented that there were multiple connections of Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, to many key players often linked (in other widely-known books on the subject) to the JFK conspiracy―a point missed (or deliberately suppressed) by others who had studied the assassination over the years.

Whether the CIA or “the Mafia” or “the right wing” or “the military industrial complex”―you name it―Piper demonstrates that the Mossad connection is there. And that’s why his thesis is so “controversial.”

If you initially have any doubts about the thesis, the author himself suggests you first take a look at the comprehensive photo section which summarizes the book… and then, take it from there, if you dare.

In recent years, as word about the explosive revelations appearing in Final Judgment began to circulate worldwide, demand for the book became so immense that second-hand copies were selling on the Internet for as much as $185 per copy, demonstrating the drastic need for re-publication of a new, easily accessible edition of this important work.

While the major media continues to ignore Final Judgment―as much as is possible―a number of individuals whose expertise cannot be ignored have begun to publicly lend their support to the thesis, one which becomes all the more significant in light of growing global concern about the proliferations of weapons of mass destruction in Middle East.

The author continues to ask other JFK assassination theorist to debate him publicly about the thesis of Final Judgment and begs for his critics to demonstrate where he has misinterpreted facts or distorted the writings of others who have delved into the subject―but thus far no one has come forth to do so. They either ignore his work or call him names.

However, thousands of satisfied readers believe Michael Collins Piper has indeed “pinned the tail on the donkey.”

Once you’ve read FINAL JUDGMENT, you’ll never look at the JFK assassination in the same way again .

The “Big Book” on the JFK Assassination • 400 Words

It just keeps getting bigger and better. The remarkable story of Final Judgment

The data, which follows, demonstrates the remarkable growth of this unusual volume as it has evolved since it was first published.

  • The first edition of Final Judgment, published in January of 1994, was 335 pages in length, featuring an all-black cover, and was documented with 677 footnotes. This edition was not indexed. (Copies printed: 3,000)
  • The second edition of Final Judgment, published in March of 1994, was precisely the same text, but featured a black cover highlighted by a red stripe referring to the book as “the new underground best-seller.” (Copies printed: 5,000)
  • The third edition of Final Judgment, released in 1995, was revised and updated and now included an index, an additional appendix, a “who’s who” of the JFK conspiracy and other data, and was expanded to 385 pages, with 746 footnotes. The gold-tinted cover illustrated an ancient Jewish parchment. (Copies printed: 6,000)
  • The fourth edition of Final Judgment, released in July of 1998, was expanded to a total of 672 pages, including 26 pages of photographs and other new material such as a new introduction by the author and eight additional appendices. This edition was documented with 1069 footnotes and featured an extended new “question and answer” section. The cover of this volume (similar to the covers of the fifth and sixth editions) featured photographs of a number of players in the JFK conspiracy. (Copies printed: two printings totaling 11,000)
  • The fifth edition of Final Judgment—published in July of 2000—was a grand total of 760 pages (657 numbered pages), including a new foreword and a lengthy new afterword as well as ten additional pages of photos and other material, featuring 1114 footnotes. All of the other relevant material incorporated into the third and fourth editions appeared in the 5th edition. (Copies printed: 5,000)
  • The sixth (soft cover) edition of Final Judgment, a slightly enlarged grand total of 768 pages (including photos and introductory pages), incorporates all data from previous editions plus significant new material. Some deletions of subheadings were made to accommodate important factual information added. This volume is the second printing of the 6th edition and includes a number of textual additions not appearing in the first printing of the 6th edition. The author continues to hope this will be his “last word” on the subject. (Copies printed: 15,500)
About the Cover… • 200 Words

This may be the most unusual cover of any book—and there have been many—published about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But then, again, Final Judgment—like its cover—is extraordinary.

The figures shown (left to right) are Meyer Lansky, the head of the global organized crime syndicate, David Ben-Gurion, the Israeli Prime Minister who resigned his post in 1963, disgusted with President John Kennedy’s refusal to support Israel’s drive to build a nuclear arsenal, and James J. Angleton who—in 1963—was the CIA’s director of counterintelligence and head of the CIA’s liaison desk for Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad. Over Angleton’s shoulder is the logo of the Central Intelligence Agency. In the background, of course, is a nuclear explosion. Israel achieved its nuclear weapons capabilities precisely because of the assassination of President Kennedy. And so did Red China. All of the frightening details appear in the pages of Final Judgment.

At the bottom are shown Attorney General Robert Kennedy and President Kennedy and their father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, founder of the Kennedy family’s would-be dynasty. John Kennedy’s assassination ended any possibility of another Kennedy reaching the White House. To the left is the logo of Israel’s Mossad.

Dedication • 100 Words

To my late friend, Lois Petersen.

Without Lois, this book simply would not have been possible.

Thanks, Lois, for everything.

To the remarkable O. W. MacLeod, whose friendship and encouragement were most valued.

To Robert M. Piper, who shared my enthusiasm for seemingly lost causes.

And to the gutsy and inimitable Jim Floyd.

The Myth of Dallas: New Revelations • 1,300 Words

As the second printing of the sixth edition of Final Judgment was being readied for press, a detailed 19-page anonymously written document, cited with 115 footnotes, relying on a wide variety of mainstream sources, arrived in the mailbox of Final Judgment author Michael Collins Piper. The document was in an envelope (with no return address) postmarked “Dallas, Texas.” Entitled “The Kennedy Assassination and Israel: Some Dallas Connections,” the document—apparently the work of a professional journalist—focused on “the specifics of how the Israelis could have influenced the events in Dallas,” filling in details never explored in previous editions of Final Judgment. The data is quite explosive, particularly when contrasted with the mythology regarding “Big D” repeated ad infinitum in JFK literature. However, understanding the real Dallas—not the city of legend and of Hollywood drama—prepares one for the revelations laid forth in Final Judgment.

The document buries the tired old myth that a clique of anti-Semitic White Anglo-Saxon Protestant oil plutocrats ruled Dallas. Instead, the truth is quite the opposite. Not only did Dallas have an immensely powerful Jewish community, but, more importantly, the city (and Texas) had been a major center of fundraising and arms smuggling on behalf of the Zionist cause, going back to the 1940s. Even Jonathan Pollard, the American spy for Israel, said he was inspired to pro-Israel activism by stories he heard (while living in Texas) of gunrunning for the Israeli underground by Jews in Texas. In fact, the official published history of a major Zionist arms smuggling operation, the Sonneborn Institute, reports its agents smuggled aircraft parts out of Texas to Israel. This was happening when a then recently discharged Army Air Corps aircraft mechanic, Jack Ruby, was re-settling in Dallas in 1947, the year prior to Israel’s birth, when Sonneborn’s activities were at a zenith. Ruby bragged of having run arms to Israel and, in 1963, is now known to have part of an arms smuggling operation overseen by an Israeli intelligence officer. So the Israeli connection to Texas was a lot more intimate than many today ever realized.

In 1963, JFK’s primary interest in Dallas was raising money from the Dallas elite, and that meant the wealthy pro-Israel Jewish Democrats who were major financial angels for the ruling Democratic Party there. And since JFK was, at that time, at loggerheads with Israel over its nuclear arms program, it is critical to recognize how JFK was lured to Dallas and who was in charge of the arrangements that actually facilitated his assassination. And while it is well known that the Dallas leg of JFK’s Texas trip was sponsored by the Citizens Council (CC), the elite business group that ruled Dallas, the little-noticed evidence shows that two of the three key figures who dominated the CC were Jewish—not “WASPs,” as the legend of Dallas would have it. These were the folks who really ran Dallas, not the conservatives affiliated with the John Birch Society, as the old myth suggests. In 1963, one of those Jewish power brokers was an outspokenly pro-Israel liquor wholesaler, Julius Schepps, who held the distribution rights in Dallas for the Bronfman family’s Seagram’s products. And as we shall see, there is evidence that Jack Ruby was on the payroll of the Bronfman family, whose fingerprints are to be found all over the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The means by which the Dallas elite gained control of JFK’s Dallas trip agenda is interesting. Since JFK’s Dallas trip was officially designated as “non political”—in contrast to other Texas stops such as Houston and Austin which were designated as “political”— the private entities paying for the Dallas trip gained control of the planning (taking it out of the hands of the JFK-controlled Democratic National Committee). The CC designated a “host committee.” The chairman was Dallas Jewish leader and public relations man, Sam Bloom, the CC’s longtime executive director, and—in retrospect—one of the least known but most pivotal figures in world history.

There was an immediate confrontation between Bloom, representing the Dallas elite, and Jerry Bruno, JFK’s veteran advance man. Bruno wanted the president to speak at the Women’s Building, but the rulers of Dallas insisted JFK speak at the Trade Mart. Although Bruno fought long and hard, after much pressure, the Dallas elite prevailed, causing the JFK loyalist to comment that “this was one of the few fights like this that I had lost. On things like this my judgment was usually taken. This time it wasn’t.”

By forcing JFK to speak at the Trade Mart, the Dallas elite positioned the JFK motorcade to take the now-infamous “dog-leg” turn into what was a classically sniperfriendly “kill zone” on Elm Street just below the Texas School Book Depository (TSBD), from where it later was claimed the alleged assassin, TSBD employee Lee Harvey Oswald, fired the fatal shots. The spot was also in easy range of the “grassy knoll” and the nearby Dal-Tex Building, where assassination researchers believe snipers were located. Had JFK’s advance man prevailed—as he usually did—JFK (on his way to the preferred location) would have traveled two blocks farther away from the TSBD—out of the kill zone—at a greater speed.

Although the Secret Service objected (for security reasons) to the publication of JFK’s motorcade route, Bloom (the point man for the Dallas elite) nonetheless made sure a map of the route was repeatedly published in Dallas papers. Thus, later, when the “patsy” was in custody, there was a plausible explanation as to how he knew JFK would pass by his workplace.

That an assassin quite probably fired on JFK from the Dal-Tex Building is most relevant in the context of an Israeli connection. Co-owned by David Weisblat, a major financial backer of the Israeli lobby’s Anti-Defamation League, Dal-Tex housed, on different floors, a number of firms that utilized the telephone number of Morty Freedman, an attorney, garment manufacturer, and activist in Jewish affairs. Since JFK was working to stop Israel’s nuclear arms program—which received smuggled uranium from U.S. sources—it is notable that one Dal-Tex firm linked to Freedman was the Dallas Uranium & Oil Company. It is also intriguing that one of Freedman’s Dal-Tex business partners was Abe Zapruder, the Jewish dress manufacturer who filmed the assassination and profited immensely. Today there are some who now believe Zapruder had advance knowledge of the assassination.

Once the accused assassin was in custody, it was—you guessed it—Sam Bloom, who had earlier maneuvered JFK into the kill zone, who pressured Elgin Crull, the city manager, to in turn pressure Dallas Police Chief Jesse Curry into making Oswald accessible to the press and to move him publicly from the Dallas police station to the city jail. Thus, the situation was in place for Jack Ruby to move in for the kill. There are several sources, including Dallas FBI agent James Hosty, who stated Bloom and his backers were the forces behind this. When the police searched Ruby’s home, they found a slip of paper with Bloom’s name, address and telephone number on it.

So it is that the Dallas myth comes to an end. This will be painful for those who thought the city an anti-Jewish stronghold, ripe for Nazi revolution. Instead, Dallas was actually an outpost for the advancement of the interests of Israel and today it very much remains so.

Although Walt Brown suggested in Treachery in Dallas that the city’s elite were prime movers behind the events of November 22, 1963, he rushed to write elsewhere that the JFK assassination “wasn’t done by Mossad… as some would have us believe” (referring to Final Judgment). However, in light of the “Big Picture of Big D”— details Brown ignored (or suppressed) in terms of their ultimate (and critical) context— it’s time for real JFK assassination truth seekers to take a new look at Final Judgment.

A Note from the Publisher… • 1,000 Words

“When Final Judgment was temporarily out of print, second-hand book dealers were selling copies over the Internet for as much as $185 each. And this is a book that certain people refuse to acknowledge even exists!”

Few people know it, but it takes as few as 40,000 copies to be sold for a book to reach the New York Times best-seller list. What far fewer people know—but book dealers can attest to it—is that there have actually even been books listed by the Times as “best sellers” even though the books have not yet actually been printed! Advance orders from book dealers—presumably—make this unusual phenomenon possible.

Whatever the case, there’s much more to the story behind the story of “best-sellers” than meets the eye. And it’s a story that most of the major names in the publishing industry probably would prefer left untold.

Nonetheless, a number of books dealing with the JFK assassination have reached the Times’ list. Interestingly enough, though, Mark Lane’s ground-breaking international best-seller, Rush to Judgment—which did reach the Times list—was never once reviewed by the Times, which tells us that it is the source of “all the news that’s fit to print,” until long after the book had become an international cause celebre.

In more recent years, particularly in the wake of the release of Oliver Stone’s Hollywood blockbuster, JFK, several more volumes did reach the Times’ best-seller list. Final Judgment was not one of those volumes. This despite the fact that nearly 8,000 copies of Final Judgment were sold within two weeks of the book’s release in January of 1994—this as a response to a single advertisement in a relatively small national weekly newspaper.

Since then, no more than 300 copies of the book were purchased in bulk by dealers. All other sales were to individual buyers. In one instance, however, an enthusiastic reader purchased 100 additional copies after his favorable reception of the first two copies he ordered. Now, as a result of direct mail promotions, many thousands more copies of Final Judgment are being sold across the country with more than 40,000 copies in circulation.

When the book was temporarily out of print—in the fall of 2003—there was so much demand that second-hand copies were being sold by used book dealers over the Internet for as much—at one point—as $185 a copy. Clearly, there’s obviously a little bit of interest in a book that some people don’t even want to admit exists!

That Final Judgment has already sold so exceedingly well is quite remarkable, considering the general lack of publicity that the book has received. One much-touted JFK assassination work, The Plot to Kill the President, by former House Assassinations Committee director G. Robert Blakey, received widespread national promotion when it was released by a New York Times book publishing affiliate in 1981. Yet, Blakey’s book, according to Blakey himself, sold only some 20,000 copies—far less than Final Judgment which received no mass media promotion whatsoever.

So if you’ve never read anything about the JFK assassination, Final Judgment will be the only book you ever need read on the subject. If, on the other hand, you have read one or more earlier volumes on the subject, you’ll be amazed at the explosive new revelations appearing in Final Judgment.

Don’t look for analysis of “where the shots came from” or “how many shots were fired” or “how many assassins were involved.” None of that appears here. Dissecting the assassination conspiracy in its entirety, Final Judgment ties together little-known details that have been ignored or misunderstood (or even covered up) by other authors—whether by accident or by design. Final Judgment focuses on the most important question of all: Who was ultimately responsible for the assassination of John F. Kennedy?

Once you’ve read Final Judgment, you’ll never look at the JFK assassination the same way again. And you may never again trust the media to tell you all of the facts about any other important event that shaped the course of history. Above all, you’ll understand how the JFK assassination conspiracy evolved as it did and why—at least until the advent of Final Judgment—the truth had never been told.

It is important to note that since the first release of Final Judgment, only a handful of minor errors have been brought to the author’s attention. The errors, however, had nothing whatsoever to do with the thesis of the book and were based on the research of others. Those errors have been corrected. Otherwise the conclusions reached remain unchanged.

Final Judgment stands unchallenged. The only criticism has been ad homenim. Yet, name-calling does not a successful challenge make. If anything, hysterical and malicious defamation—especially considering the sources—lends credence, in its own way, to the thesis of the book.

So there is indeed much more to be learned about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Final Judgment points the direction for those who wish to pursue the matter further. Final Judgment is—at least for the time being— precisely what its title suggests.

Michael Collins Piper has done the work necessary to assemble this volume. Now it is up to the readers to make sure that the message imparted within these pages reaches the widest audience possible. When you’ve finished the book, pass it on to a friend. Order extra copies to donate to libraries and to give to opinion makers in your community. Write letters to the editors of local newspapers about the book. Call radio talk shows.

Let the American people know the truth. It’s all up to you. This book, if read by enough people, could play a major part—just as did the assassination of President Kennedy—in reshaping the course of world affairs. But that can only happen if enough people—who will be mad as Hell when they learn the truth—take action.

Now, prepare for a remarkable journey and learn—at long last—who really killed John F. Kennedy… and why.

Authored by the American Free Press, publisher of the soft cover edition

An Introduction by Robert L. Brock • 900 Words
A Black American’s Perspective on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy

As an American of African slave descent, as a U.S. Army veteran of World War II, and as a long-time laborer within the African-American community, I have a special interest in finding out precisely who killed President John F. Kennedy and why.

John F. Kennedy and his brother, Robert Kennedy, put a great deal on the line when they stepped forward and identified themselves with the cause of justice for Blacks in America. To be sure, Jack and Bobby were savvy politicians, conscious of the growing and increasingly influential Black voting bloc in America. Thus, for reasons of their own, they had made a conscious decision to align themselves politically with Americans of African slave descent. However, at the same time Jack and Bobby also truly believed that it was time that the Black man and Black woman in America deserved an even break.

Through their words and—more significantly—through their actions, the Kennedy brothers were bringing a previously-disenfranchised people under the protection of the Kennedy dynasty. Had John Kennedy lived and been elected to a second term, the Black voting bloc—for years to come—would have ultimately become part of a Kennedy political powerhouse.

Throughout the 20th century the Black political apparatus in America was dominated at the highest levels—particularly in the all-important financial realm—by Jewish influence. Organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, one of the foremost elements in the powerful Israeli lobby, aggressively dictated the internal affairs and the public course and discourse of what were ostensibly “Black”—or, in the parlance of the day, “Negro”—civil rights organizations.

However, with the advent of the Kennedy presidency, Americans of African slave descent now had an effective and eloquent spokesman in the White House itself. This essentially had the effect of moving the ADL, for example, out of the loop. The ADL was no longer the “middleman” divvying up the civil rights crumbs for Blacks in America.

John F. Kennedy, for all intents and purposes, had emerged as a white “mainstream” voice for Black America’s political empowerment. As President of the United States, speaking out on behalf of Black concerns, John F. Kennedy short-circuited the long-time domination of the Black community by Jewish financial interests and placed himself in the center of the civil rights debate. The ADL and other “civil rights” organizations funded by the Jewish financial interests were pushed aside and made irrelevant. A white man of Irish Catholic descent—the grandson of a saloon keeper—became Black America’s unlikely spokesman and co-opted the Jewish overseers of the civil rights movement in America.

As a consequence, I do believe—as do many other Americans of African slave descent—that this is one of the reasons that the powers-thatbe within America’s plutocratic elite determined that John F. Kennedy’s presidency had to be brought to premature closure.

What’s more, all of this came at a time when independent Black voices such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were themselves rising in popularity and influence—much, it seems, to the dismay of the Jewish community. We now know that although we have heard much in the media about J. Edgar Hoover’s war on Dr. King, it was the ADL that was providing the foot soldiers for this war—a fact that the ADL would much prefer be kept under wraps. A former ADL official has admitted (and as Michael Collins Piper documents in Final Judgment) it was the ADL that was actually doing much of the surveillance of Dr. King, the illicit fruits of which, in turn, were channeled by the ADL to J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI.

Dr. King and Malcolm X and others knew the way of the Black ghetto. They understood how Black America was being manipulated. They knew how the drug and gambling and prostitution rackets of Meyer Lansky—a major ADL contributor—were eviscerating Black America. They dared to speak out. For that, both Martin and Malcolm ultimately paid the price. When all is said and done, there’s no question in my mind that we will find that those who slew those dreamers were also behind the murder of John F. Kennedy and his brother Bobby. This is why I take great pleasure in penning this brief introduction to Michael Collins Piper’s remarkable book. I believe that Final Judgment provides the answer to the mystery of who really killed John F. Kennedy—and why.

I will say this for the record: I have nothing but contempt for those cowardly white liberals who portray themselves as admirers of JFK’s stand on civil rights and say that they want to find the real murderers of President Kennedy but who otherwise ignore or suppress the facts put forth in Final Judgment. They are frauds and phonies. They are afraid of the truth. They are profiteers who are trading on the death of President Kennedy but covering up all of the facts that are there before them.

There is no other book ever written that explains the JFK assassination conspiracy so honestly or which makes everything about the JFK assassination conspiracy so crystal clear. Once you’ve read Final Judgment you’ll understand the big picture.

Michael Collins Piper has stepped right up into the footlights of center stage and, like one of those great Broadway impresarios, Piper has presented a spell-binding scenario outlining the entirety of the JFK assassination conspiracy more powerful and more convincing than any before. I think you’ll agree.

ROBERT L. BROCK, Founder The Self-Determination Committee

Acknowledgements—and Intrigue… • 2,000 Words

Having written a book on such a “controversial” topic as the JFK assassination—coupling that subject with a highly “sensational” thesis—has proven quite an adventure. It has been rewarding, if not sometimes frustrating. It’s brought me a lot of new friends—and lots of enemies, too!

Since the first edition was released, I’ve received so many letters of congratulation and appreciated comments of many people I respect who have said—as one put it: “I think you’ve pinned the tail on the donkey.”

Never having styled myself as an “expert” on the JFK assassination, I protest when anyone introduces me as such. In fact, despite what many have assumed, the subject has never been a particular preoccupation of mine. There are others who have devoted much more time to the topic. And I am very familiar with their work.

However, there are many JFK assassination researchers who refuse to admit that there is even any basis for my thesis. There are those who don’t wish to even acknowledge the very existence of this book—it’s that “controversial.”

In the pages that follow, I pull no punches in naming names or pointing out why I believe some “researchers” are disingenuous and perhaps even compromised, bought off by the forces responsible for the JFK assassination. I don’t believe I’m overstating the case at all.

Some fools have suggested Final Judgment is “Arab propaganda.” No Arab government or financial interest—or even any Arab-American source—had any hand in preparing, publishing or distributing this book. Only in later 2001—a full year after the publication of the fifth Englishlanguage edition—did a privately owned Arabic-language publishing house issue a translation of the book.

This work is mine alone.

Some critics pointed out that I was an employee of Liberty Lobby, the populist institution that published the (now-defunct) national weekly newspaper, The Spotlight. These critics note that Liberty Lobby questioned U.S. favoritism toward Israel. All of this is true. However, for this I make no apologies nor, for that matter, are any apologies due.

In fact, as this new edition of Final Judgment is being delivered to the publisher, the global media is focused on Israel and the Middle East… and the publications and voices of the Israeli lobby in America are crying (true or not) that “The Whole World is Against Us.”

So, it was precisely my association with Liberty Lobby that enabled me to gain special insights—particularly vis-à-vis U.S. policy toward Israel— which assisted tremendously in the preparation of this book. Other JFK researchers have not had this unusual advantage.

What’s more, as you’ll see in Final Judgment, Liberty Lobby became embroiled in a heated libel trial after ex-CIA figure E. Howard Hunt brought a lawsuit against Liberty Lobby for publishing an article alleging the CIA intended to frame Hunt for involvement in the JFK assassination.

Handling The Spotlight’s successful defense, appropriately enough, was Mark Lane, dean of the Warren Commission critics. Lane put aside presumed ideological differences with Liberty Lobby and skillfully used the Hunt case to explore the JFK assassination in a legal forum—the first such opportunity since Jim Garrison’s ill-fated prosecution of Clay Shaw.

Thus, following the Hunt case from the “inside”—and later studying Lane’s account of the affair in Plausible Denial—gave me a unique vantage point others haven’t had. I thank Mark Lane—and Willis Carto, the founder of Liberty Lobby—for this opportunity.

Willis Carto’s encouragement and enthusiasm were most important in making this book possible. The title for Final Judgment was his suggestion and right on target.

As for Mark Lane, let it be noted that had he not written one word after Rush to Judgment—the book that proved the Warren Commission Report a fraud—we would still be indebted to Mark for that alone.

Although many books from others came later, Mark’s singular crusade convinced the world there was much more to the story. Mark and his one-ofa-kind wife, Trish, are tremendous human beings and valued friends.

In Final Judgment you will also meet another remarkable individual: a former French intelligence officer who provided me with stunning “inside” information that forced me to rewrite the first draft of Final Judgment, thereby bringing my thesis full circle. Had it not been for his input, this book would not be complete.

The name of my French source, Pierre Neuville, was unveiled for the first time in the fifth edition of Final Judgment, but the Mossad—of course—knew his identity from the beginning.

Although the first draft presented—I think—a compelling indictment of Mossad complicity in the JFK assassination, my French source pointed me in a direction that convinced me—and many readers—that Final Judgment was on the mark.

History owes a debt to the well-known and respected former U.S. congressman, Paul Findley—a liberal, no “right-wing extremist”—who introduced me to this French source and vouched for his credibility. Only recently did I formally identify Findley as the conduit, but, again, it was no mystery to those who make it their business to know these things.

Another former U.S. Congressman—the late John G. Schmitz—told me of his own long-time suspicion of Mossad involvement in the JFK assassination (based on his own inquiries) and encouraged me to write this book, saying it was a book he would have liked to have written.

A rather colorful international businessman intimately associated with several prominent figures mentioned in Final Judgment gave me a rather firm endorsement of this book’s thesis, saying succinctly: “I think that’s pretty much what happened.” Considering this gentleman’s connections, his assessment is very telling indeed.

Although they’ve certainly never endorsed my thesis, several authors upon whose works I relied extensively do confirm the secret war between JFK and Israel and suggest (in my view) that behind-the-scenes intrigue in the U.S.-Israeli relationship is relevant to the events of November 22, 1963.

Stephen Green, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, and Seymour Hersh, in their own studies of U.S. Middle East policy (Taking Sides, Dangerous Liaison, and The Samson Option, respectively), provided the foundation upon which much of my own research was conducted.

In 1998—four years after the first release of Final Judgment—Israeli historian Avner Cohen, author of Israel and the Bomb, came along and his book (certainly unintentionally) has given great credence to my thesis.

Cohen told a mutual acquaintance—I’m sure he’d be shocked to know we even know somebody mutually—that he was horrified to learn (while doing an Internet search for data on his own book) about the existence of Final Judgment and its thesis. Of course, Cohen rushed to assert his view that rejects the idea of Israeli involvement in the JFK assassination, but the genie is out of the bottle and the world now knows that Israel and JFK were not the “special friends” some would have us believe.

A little-noticed—but important—book, There’s a Fish in the Courthouse, by Gary Wean, enriched my own work considerably.

Unfortunately, Gary now claims my book “plagiarized” his and that I was “forced” to acknowledge his work, which, of course, was clearly quoted and cited and prominently acknowledged from the start.

Nobody “forced” me into giving his book the recognition it was due. In fact, Gary’s friend, Wade Frazier, has pointed out that I’m one of the few who has even given any credence or publicity to Gary.

A special “thanks” to a very real friend, Tom Valentine, host of the popular Radio Free America. When no others would, Tom gave me the opportunity to discuss this book and has continually given me much encouragement. (Among other things, by the way, Tom’s also a fabulous source of information on alternative health. Check out carotec.com.)

Several other radio hosts, including Jack Stockwell and Barbara Jean at “KTALK” in Salt Lake City, and “One Eyed Jack” Jackson in Springfield, Illinois, Bill Boshears in Cincinnati, Ron Muhammed in San Diego, Victor Thorn and Lisa “Vicki” Guliani (of babelmagazine.com) and Rick Adams at WALE in Providence, Rhode Island have also dared to have me on.

Ex-CIA official Victor Marchetti’s counsel was appreciated, although my longtime buddy makes me chuckle when he says he still believes “The KGB killed JFK.” As publisher of New American View, Victor and his right hand, Donna McGrath, kept a watch on the Israeli lobby in Washington.

Vince Ryan, John Tiffany, Travis McCoy and Jim Yarbrough, among others, provided helpful suggestions during the writing of Final Judgment. Each, in his own way, contributed to this volume.

Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, the brash and wonderful pioneer American critic of America’s disastrous Middle East policy, was most supportive. A warm nod of appreciation to the late H. Keith Thompson whose support for my work honored me tremendously.

From the start, Van Loman has been a valued confidante, providing sharp insights and remarkable leads that brought the book full circle.

A tremendous, albeit-belated word of thanks to Bill Grimstad for putting me onto Frank Sturgis’ little-noted Mossad connection, a rather relevant point—and that’s putting it lightly—that escaped my own research.

Tom Kerr, Bill W., Reg O., Martin Williams, Tony Blizzard, and others provided editing which improved this book considerably. Bob “H. L.” Diehli’s humor and support has also been encouraging.

Friendly words from the late Ace Hayes, firebrand publisher of the Portland Free Press, and Daniel Brandt of NameBase Newsline proved the point that the JFK assassination is not a matter of “right” or “left,” as some naïve folks still believe. Those old labels are gone with the wind.

God bless Dr. Herbert Calhoun, the former State Department official whose no-holds-barred endorsement of Final Judgment has absolutely floored my critics who do know that there are a lot of others in high places who agree with Calhoun, but just aren’t yet ready to say it publicly.

Counsel from British writer Gordon Thomas was very much appreciated. Thanks also to Gordon’s colleagues at The European for publishing a detailed exposition of my controversial research.

The hearty endorsement from no-nonsense Idaho attorney Edgar Steele (see conspiracypenpal.com) has certainly helped spread the word.

And I would be remiss in failing to mention Sid and Wwoolf at feralnews.com and Russ at playtowinmoney .com and the folks at afrocubaweb.com who have generously promoted Final Judgment.

Alan Jones’ excellent synopsis of Final Judgment in How the World Really Works (see abjpress.com) has really been a boost. And Carol Adler, the courageous maverick publisher of many fascinating “controversial” titles (see dandelionbooks.net) also stands out for her interest in my work.

To Christopher and Helje Bollyn: You’re gutsy people and good friends. The same to Professor Ray Goodwin who put his career on the line by telling his students Final Judgment is the “last word” on the JFK affair.

Thanks to others who provided moral support along the way: Blayne Hutzel, Paul Wolff, Pete Godlove, Dale Crowley, Robert Boody, Mark Lillis, Mary and Mae, the travel agents, Tom McIntyre, Joe Power, Ed Harrington, George Kadar, Joe Fields, Jim Scott, Robert Wolfe, Larry Showell, R. H. Showell, Greg Garnett, Jerry Myers, Donald Malloy, David Lewis, Dan Hinton, James Jakes, Anne Cronin, Julia Foster, Trisha Katson, Ann Brown, Helen Nunley, Marie Zittel, Agi, Mike, Nick, Jim, Judy, Ruby Lee, George, Will, Ricky, DVS, Steve, James the Poet—and last but far from least—that special dog, Brute, and all my other four-legged friends too numerous to mention.

My mother—always my worst critic—read the volume and became convinced, her initial doubts notwithstanding. Too bad my father didn’t live to see the book published. He would have been proud.

All of this having been said, I now leave it up to the reader to determine if I have indeed “pinned the tail on the donkey.”

—MCP

An Apology From the Author… • 900 Words

“I Missed the Missing Link.”

“Michael Collins Piper does much more than convince readers of the multi-layered conspiracy to remove JFK from office: he convinces us that the facts have always been right before our eyes.”

From a review of Final Judgment posted on Amazon.com

One of the problems with writing a book is that no matter how hard an author researches his subject, he’s bound to miss a few significant items the first time around. Since Final Judgment was first released in 1994, I’ve repeatedly kicked myself for having passed by more than a few such details that I believe lend credence to the theory that this book puts forth.

Up through and including the fourth edition of Final Judgment, I repeatedly made the point that former New Orleans Jim Garrison who prosecuted trade executive Clay Shaw for conspiracy in the JFK assassination had no inkling of any Mossad connection to the assassination. But it now seems that I was wrong.

After the fourth edition of Final Judgment was released, I made the somewhat unsettling discovery that Garrison apparently did indeed realize that the Mossad was connected to the conspiracy—and the information had been there for me to find it, if I had looked in the right place. Although I had scanned the quite extensive Internet web site of veteran JFK assassination researcher A. J. Weberman (www.weberman.com) I found something which amazed me, to say the least. On his web site, Weberman made the following remarkable assertion:

This researcher knew Jim Garrison in the mid- 1970′s. Garrison wanted me to find a publisher for a manuscript he had written on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When I read the manuscript I found that it was a fictional work that placed the blame for John Kennedy’s death on the Mossad—the Israeli intelligence service.

Considering all the grief to which I had been subjected over the past several years—even including criticism coming from some defenders of the Garrison investigation—I could barely believe what I had read.

If A. J. Weberman is to be believed, Jim Garrison himself had indeed figured out—somehow, not surprisingly—that there was good reason to believe that the Mossad had been involved in the crime of the century.

But Garrison himself evidently concluded (quite correctly, I might add) that it was not in his interests to say so—at least not publicly and certainly not in any of his non-fiction writings on the subject. So Garrison decided instead to put his thesis in a novel, but it was a novel that obviously was never published. I doubt that Garrison’s family will be attempting to put the unpublished manuscript (if it still exists) on the market any time soon.

Weberman’s revelation is sure to make many defenders of Jim Garrison uncomfortable, but it does provide astounding confirmation that the thesis that has been put forth in Final Judgment does have some genuine support from a figure who has become both a villain and an icon in the lore of the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Garrison’s reported theorizing of Mossad involvement does not, of course, prove that the Mossad was involved in the JFK assassination, but it does lend credence to what has been so widely criticized (but without refutation, I might add) in the pages of Final Judgment.

The question, naturally, arises: was Weberman lying about Garrison’s Mossad theory, and if so, why would Weberman make this allegation? This is not for me to answer. I am only here to tell you that this is what Weberman has said.

If Weberman is not lying, are we then to believe that Garrison was simply having some sort of twisted fun, that he concocted this scenario for his own peculiar purposes? This, of course, seems highly unlikely. Thus we are left with the fact of what Weberman has alleged about Garrison’s apparent suppositions, coupled with the reality that Final Judgment has now come forth documenting the “how” and the “why” of Mossad involvement in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

And as much as it may dismay Israel and its powerful lobby in America, represented by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith and other powerful forces, there are a lot of people—in growing numbers—who do believe that Final Judgment presents a scenario that does make sense, one that makes as much sense or more than many of the other standard theories on the subject, the ADL’s hysterical efforts to silence me (but not refute me) notwithstanding.

So despite the subtitle of my book, in a sense I actually initially missed “the missing link in the JFK assassination conspiracy”—the fact that Jim Garrison had indeed recognized the Mossad connection.

Only now am I finally able to bring this vital detail to my readers. I only wish I had done it earlier.

Keeping all of this in mind, I invite the readers of Final Judgment to read what I have written, and re-written, and revised and up-dated and to determine for themselves if Jim Garrison’s apparent suspicions were indeed on the mark and that Israel and its Mossad were primary players alongside the CIA in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

—Michael Collins Piper Washington, DC

“The Other Side of the Jigsaw Puzzle” • 6,900 Words
A Foreword by the Author…

On August 21, 1997 a front-page article appeared in the Los Angeles Times describing an uproar in Southern California that erupted over my impending lecture at a community college seminar on the JFK assassination. The seminar was being held under the auspices of the South Orange County Community College District. Although four speakers were scheduled, it was my expected presence—my presence alone—that created the controversy. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith was (not surprisingly) upset that I contend in this book, Final Judgment, that Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, played a front-line role in the JFK assassination alongside the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate.

The Times reported that the ADL accused yours truly “of being a proponent of Holocaust denial and labels his claim that Israelis killed Kennedy ridiculous.” The ADL failed to cite any evidence of my being a “proponent of Holocaust denial,” but evidently the ADL considers that the ultimate kiss of death and that such accusations are fair game when trying to silence anyone who runs afoul of its agenda.

That the ADL presumes to label my charge of Israeli involvement in the JFK assassination as being “ridiculous” is downright laughable. Inasmuch as the ADL not only functions as a major force in the Israeli lobby in the United States, but is also an intelligence and propaganda arm of the Mossad, it seems unlikely the ADL would ever endorse my thesis.

In any case, as a direct result of intense and highly hysterical clamor by the ADL, the JFK seminar was canceled, although college officials and others said publicly and forthrightly that they were concerned about the implications and consequences of the ADL’s heavy-handed pressure campaign to restrict freedom of speech, particularly in an academic forum.

Nonetheless, news reports about the affair appeared in newspapers nationwide, even including a Newsweek commentary by George Will, a strident supporter of Israel.

So, as a consequence, I’m pleased to say, there was a positive side to all of this. Now—for the first time since Final Judgment was published in 1994— readers of “mainstream newspapers” across America have been told that there is a theory floating around out there that Israel’s Mossad was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

As I told the Los Angeles Times and which was quoted in a second article on August 22: “The Anti-Defamation League has not heard the last of Final Judgment. The door has been kicked open. There is now going to be a lot of debate about this book” —whether the ADL likes it or not.

Although the Los Angeles Times reporter, Michael Granberry, made some attempt to present my views, I do feel compelled, however, to comment on various aspects of the Los Angeles Times article, inasmuch as the whole story behind the article needs to be told.

The Times quoted one Gerald Posner, the author of Case Closed, as an authority on JFK conspiracies. The fact is that Posner has been widely reviled by serious longtime JFK assassination researchers for having written Case Closed which claims that the Warren Commission Report was correct (despite some flaws) and that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

The cosmopolitan Mr. Posner was said to be “aghast” that the seminar was scheduled and said “This strikes me as being similar to the notion that the Holocaust was a hoax.” This happens to be precisely the propaganda line now promoted by the ADL which has said that if people believe there was a conspiracy behind the JFK assassination, they might also end up believing that there was no Holocaust.

ADL National Director Abe Foxman, writing in Antisemitism in America Today: Outspoken Experts Explode the Myths, stated forthrightly:

“If segments of the population are really willing to believe that President Kennedy was killed by the military-industrial complex because he was too soft on Communism… then it is not hard to imagine some of these same people falling for the lies of Bradley Smith or the fabrications of Louis Farrakhan and Leonard Jeffries.

“All of these conspiracy theories share the core feature that the `research’ which supports them—little more, in fact, than a compendium of anecdotes divorced from their original context—is rigged to arrive at predetermined conclusions, not historical revelations or insights.”

(The aforementioned Smith, by the way, promotes the view, held even by so-called “mainstream” JFK assassination researcher Jim Marrs, that the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust has been over-stated.

(Farrakhan and Jeffries, of course, are outspoken Black figures who have documented a major Jewish role in the slave trade and have given the ADL much distress.)

In short, if you believe in any JFK assassination conspiracy theory, you might actually believe something else about another matter—such as the Holocaust or the slave trade—that the ADL doesn’t want you to believe.

But back to the ADL’s friend, Posner. In fact, Posner’s book is little more than a rehash of the original Warren Commission Report supplemented with an offensive mish-mash of virulent attacks on not only a number of JFK investigators but also citizens who came forth with credible evidence pointing toward a conspiracy behind the assassination of the president. But just who is Posner anyway? Why has he emerged as a sort of fair-haired boy for the ADL and the other critics of Final Judgment (and JFK conspiracy theories in general)?

The aforementioned Jim Marrs, the author of Crossfire, a popular compendium of JFK conspiracy theories, has been fiercely critical of Posner and he’s been pretty public in those criticisms and he has his own opinions (worth citing) about where Posner is coming from.

In the fall 1995 issue of Paranoia magazine, an expose of Posner reveals that Posner had privately admitted to Marrs that Bob Loomis, an executive at Random House, had approached Posner asking him to write a book on the JFK assassination, promising Posner that the CIA would open its own JFK assassination files to Posner so that he could write the book.

As a consequence, Marrs has condemned Posner as a CIA front man. Why did Loomis ask Posner—out of all of the authors in the world—to write the book? According to Mans: “Probably because [Posner] had been used as a CIA tool in his earlier book, Hitler’s Children. In this book he interviewed the children of top Nazi leaders. How do you go about doing that? How do you find who they are? They’ve all changed their names. How do you locate them? Posner had to have been set up by the CIA for that book, too,” says Marrs.

Marrs is (rightly) upset by the way the mainstream media promoted Posner’s book on the 30th anniversary of the JFK assassination. It was then obvious (as it is today) that the media does want the public to believe that the JFK affair is a “case closed.” What is notable is that by far the biggest media push for Posner’s book came in the August 30th 1993 issue of U.S. News & World Report, which gave the book a widely-advertised cover story. I’ll probably upset some people by pointing out that U.S. News is owned by Mort Zuckerman, one of the most outspoken and powerful figures in the Israeli lobby in America.

In an appendix in this edition of Final Judgment, I have analyzed Posner’s book and showed precisely what a pathetic fraud it is. However, for those interested in a comprehensive critique of Posner, I would heartily recommend Case Open by veteran JFK researcher Harold Weisberg.

So much for Gerald Posner. Although he’s not a reliable source (obviously), the Los Angeles Times took great delight in citing his critique of Final Judgment which Posner, the Times said, considers one of the more “outlandish” theories presented to date.

The Los Angeles Times also quoted one Chip Berlet, whom it described as one “who has studied the assassination extensively,” and as a “senior analyst” at a “think tank… that examines authoritarian thinking.” Berlet said that my views represented “the outer limits.”

First of all, I am not aware of anything Berlet has ever written on the JFK assassination (other than random attacks on other JFK conspiracy theorists) so I know of no published evidence of his “extensive study.” This in stark contrast to what was, at that time, the 385-page third edition of Final Judgment which was documented with 746 footnotes.

Furthermore, the so-called “think tank” that employs Berlet has its own axes to grind. The Times failed to point this out when presenting Berlet as some sort of objective “analyst.” What the Times also failed to mention is that Berlet’s “think tank” has been funded by at least two known CIA front companies. So we can see, even now, where Berlet is coming from.

At this juncture I should also note that prominent “New Left” activists of the 1960′s such as (the since-deceased) Ace Hayes, publisher of the Portland Free Press, and Daniel Brandt of the NameBase NewsLine newsletter, had long kept a close watch on Berlet and concluded that:

1) There is no question that Berlet has collaborated closely with the ADL to the point that they consider him little more than a “shill” for the ADL and at worst, possibly one of its paid operatives; and

2) Berlet himself may also have covert connections to the CIA, including involvement with a CIA-financed “student” group of the 1960′s.

There are others who have pointed out that despite his preppy nickname, Berlet’s real name is John Foster Berlet. He was named after former Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who was apparently associated with Berlet’s father. Dulles’ brother, Allen, of course, was not only fired as CIA director by JFK but later went on to serve as a member of the Warren Commission which covered up the truth about the assassination.

So inasmuch as Final Judgment indicts the CIA for collaborating with the Mossad in the JFK assassination we can understand why Berlet (and Posner) are eager to keep Final Judgment under wraps. Obviously, the ADL directed the Los Angeles Times to both Posner and Berlet, knowing that the two CIA-connected “authorities” would come through as they did.

The Times also quoted Roy Bauer, a philosophy instructor, at the Irvine Valley College, as referring to me (and the other scheduled speakers at the conference) as “crackpots.” (It was Bauer, it seems, who originally called the ADL to complain about my impending presence at the seminar.)

I am certain Bauer never read my book, so for him to accuse me of being a “crackpot” is malicious and baseless name-calling of the worst sort. What’s more, although I am not familiar with the “philosophy” espoused in the classroom by the good professor it is clearly not a philosophy in line with the American tradition of freedom of speech.

I made repeated efforts to contact Bauer to speak to him directly but he refused to return my calls. When I finally did reach Bauer, he told me that he had been “advised” not to speak with me and promptly hung up. This advice, I’m sure, came directly from Bauer’s friends at the ADL. For years the ADL has maintained a policy of “refusing to debate” those it otherwise so feverishly attacks through the press. The anguished Bauer, evidently was comfortable throwing brickbats from afar and by calling in the “thought police” at the ADL, but he didn’t have the fortitude to confront me directly.

The Los Angeles Times also reported, incidentally, that college trustee Steve Frogue, the sponsor of the ill-fated college seminar, had claimed some time ago that “the ADL was behind” the Kennedy assassination.

Frogue did not say this. What Frogue, in fact, said was that there was evidence (clearly documented in Final Judgment) that it was possible that Lee Harvey Oswald’s strange activities in New Orleans were part of one of the ADL’s famous (or infamous) “fact finding” operations.

The Times reporter (perhaps) misunderstood Frogue’s remarks about the ADL’s connection to Oswald, but now that misinterpretation has been reported again and again and has taken on a life of its own. But Frogue didn’t say what he was alleged to have said. However, in Final Judgment Oswald’s (surprising) ADL connection(s) are examined for the first time.

Poor Mr. Frogue. As a young admirer of JFK, Frogue was preparing to join the Peace Corps, inspired by Kennedy’s New Frontier. Upon the death of the president, however, Frogue was so frustrated and disillusioned that he instead joined the Marine Corps. A high school teacher and community leader (and a part-time student of JFK conspiracy theories) Frogue thought that an academic forum—through the auspices of the South Orange County Community College District (of which he was elected president)—would be an ideal way to debate the theory presented in Final Judgment, along with other competing theories—including one that “The Nazis Killed JFK.”

But the ADL thought otherwise. They had no desire to allow college students and other interested participants to even hear what I had to say. They considered the thesis of Final Judgment so dangerous that they did all in their immense power to prevent me from being heard. Thus, Steve Frogue’s project was scuttled through a smear campaign against me and against this decent man that he probably never imagined possible.

The Los Angeles Times did correctly report my comment that JFK was involved in a fierce battle with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion over Israel’s efforts to build a nuclear arsenal. The young reporter, Mike Granberry, had asked me specifically (and it was a good question, needless to say): “My editors want to know why you think that Israel would be opposed to John F. Kennedy?” So I told him and he reported my response.

What the Times did not report was that I had additionally noted that upon JFK’s death U.S. policy toward Israel under Lyndon Johnson did a complete and immediate 180-degree turnabout and that—most importantly— Israel’s nuclear bomb program went forward unimpeded.

As I told the Times (but which was not reported): “Although there is some debate about whether or not the U.S. would have remained involved in Vietnam had JFK lived, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever about the drastic reversal in U.S. Middle East policy from which Israel was the prime beneficiary.” I pointed out to the Times that four prominent authors, Seymour Hersh, Stephen Green and Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, wrote extensively about JFK’s policy toward Israel and that I relied almost exclusively upon their findings.

I did not say, as the Times further reported, that I disputed the muchreported figure that “six million Jews” died at the hands of the Nazis, nor did I ever once allude to claims that the figure is actually much lower. What I said was this: “First of all, my book is about the JFK assassination. It has nothing to do with the Holocaust. The JFK assassination took place in 1963. The Holocaust ended in 1945. My views on what did or did not take place during the Holocaust have nothing to do with my book on the JFK assassination. It is another subject altogether.

“As far as the numbers are concerned,” I pointed out, “I have heard the figure of Six Million all of my life. You can’t turn around without reading something about it in the press all of the time. However,” I added, “in recent years, some Jewish historians have claimed that the figure is as high as seven million or even eight million. So I don’t know what the figure is.”

(For an example of such a claim that the figure may be as high as seven million, see the ever-august Washington Post of November 20, 1996, the issue of the highly reputable Jerusalem Post for the week ending November 23, 1996 and the May 23-May 30, 1997 edition of the New York-based Jewish Press—all of which are considered quite “responsible” by the ADL.)

At no time did I ever suggest to the Los Angeles Times that I believed, as the Times falsely reported, “that no Jews were killed in gas chambers.” This was literary license on the part of the reporter who presumed that these were my views based upon what the ADL had already (falsely) told him my views happened to be on this irrelevant issue.

Despite all this, of course, my JFK book had nothing to do with the Holocaust, the ADL’s false and malicious rantings notwithstanding.

And it’s probably worth noting that a handful of characters who are self-styled Holocaust revisionists—”Holocaust deniers” in the parlance of the ADL—have not only tried to stop distribution of Final Judgment and discredit it, but these same intriguers successfully sabotaged a pending Russian-language translation of the book! So much, then, for this nonsense about “the Holocaust.”

Frankly, I doubt very much that if I happened to be “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion that the Catholic Church would have, on that basis, launched a major smear campaign to stop me from speaking on the unrelated subject of the JFK assassination. So therefore, again, we have to wonder precisely why the ADL was so adamantly opposed to my lecture being heard and then dragged in the irrelevant issue of “the Holocaust.” The answer is obvious. When all is said and done, the ADL’s hysterical reaction to Final Judgment validates the thesis of this book. It’s that simple.

The Los Angeles Times made reference to another proposed speaker at the scuttled seminar, John Judge, and pointed out that he was known for his adherence to “the conspiracies theories of the late New Orleans Dist. Atty. Jim Garrison” and that “those theories had no anti-Semitic overtones.”

What is interesting to note is that Judge refused to permit me to speak at a JFK conference that he organized here in Washington in October of 1996. The diplomatic excuse at the time (in the words of Judge’s associate, Philip Melanson) was that the program at that conference was “attempting to focus on evidentiary issues and questions rather than broad historical themes and theories.” However, Judge’s associates told one attendee, who asked why Final Judgment wasn’t on display at that conference: “Neither Michael Collins Piper nor his book are welcome here.” Ultimately, when Judge’s name was linked with mine in press reports, Judge rushed off a letter to the Orange County Register to assure its readers that he and his colleagues would certainly not have anything to do with an extremist like me. Yet, even Judge is in the soup as far as the ADL is concerned: after all, Judge, too, believes in a conspiracy theory—and that’s baaaaad!

Thus, I find it quite amusing that Judge has now been labeled a “crackpot” alongside me. Likewise with another individual who was scheduled to speak at the seminar in California—one Dave Emory—who contends the Nazis were behind JFK’s assassination. I won’t burden the reader with commentary here on that peculiar notion, although in Chapter 15 of Final Judgment I do provide some interesting information about Emory’s so-called “Nazi connection” which proves it was anything but that.

In fact, the thesis presented in Final Judgment, if anything, vindicates Jim Garrison’s indictment of Clay Shaw for involvement in the JFK assassination conspiracy. Garrison first pinpointed the role of Clay Shaw in the conspiracy and, in Chapter 15, Shaw’s Israeli connections are outlined in sharp detail. However, I must say that the theory presented in Final Judgment does not hinge on Clay Shaw. With or without Shaw there is firm evidence in many, many other areas that points in the direction of Israeli involvement in the JFK assassination. However, Shaw’s complicity in the conspiracy simply brings things full circle, as you’ll see.

As far as the suggestion by the Times that my thesis has “anti-Semitic overtones,” I will say this: I don’t think the book is “anti-Israel” or “antiSemitic.” Period. To criticize the actions of Israel and its lobby in this country is not “anti-Semitic” and common-sense people who have no fanatical religious or political axes to grind realize this.

One reviewer, Kenn Thomas, in his conspiracy theory journal, Steamshovel Press, commented that “the book cannot be read without trying to identify the fine line of an anti-Israel/anti-Zionist critique with oldfashioned anti-Semitism.” I think that’s nonsense. However, to be perfectly honest, I have to think that Thomas made that remark (in the context of a grudgingly friendly review) simply in hopes of avoiding being called an “anti-Semite” himself for suggesting (as he did) that the reader could learn a great deal about JFK’s little-known behind-the-scenes struggle with Israel by reading the book. You see, there are a lot of cowards out there among self-styled conspiracy researchers: “Mossad involvement? Oh no!” they cry, and then add, whispering among themselves: “But, if there was, by all means don’t say it. We’ll be discredited in our research.” Poor folks.

Israel, in my view, is just another foreign country and doesn’t deserve any special treatment any more than Ireland or Iceland. However, there is a very strong pro-Israel lobby in America (which includes some of its strongest backers such very Christian men as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson) and as a consequence, Israel has immense power over U.S. foreign policy making. Because of that “special relationship” Israel does occupy a unique position that has put Israel right there in the line of fire to be pummeled with criticism. Israel is not above reproach and because it wishes to exert its influence it must expect to be criticized.

I firmly believe that the Mossad had a hand in the assassination of JFK and that Israel must be held accountable for its actions. It’s that simple. If there was evidence that Arabs had a hand in the JFK assassination, they, too, would have to be held accountable. However, the evidence does not point in the direction of the Arabs.

At any rate, I do have the right under our good old-fashioned American Constitution (at least at the present) to make my views heard. If someone (wrongly) construes those views to be “anti-Israel” or “anti-Semitic” that is also their right. But being opposed to the misdeeds of Israel is not being “anti-Semitic,” no matter what the ADL says. However, in any event, I don’t frankly care what the ADL thinks.

The evidence presented in Final Judgment stands on its own, no matter what the name-callers at the ADL and their assorted shills might say. Anyone who contends that I believe the JFK assassination was a “Jewish plot” is a liar or a fool or both—or illiterate, at the least. Despite all this, as I’ve said, the frenzy over the college seminar brought an amazing amount of fully-unexpected publicity to the thesis presented in Final Judgment.

Of some 27 different news accounts of the controversy that came to my attention in the days following the initial Los Angeles Times article, fully 21 of those subsequent accounts (based on the Times‘ report and on coverage by the Associated Press) said specifically that the seminar featured a speaker who contended that the Mossad had a hand in the president’s murder. Most of the references, in fact, actually appeared in the opening paragraphs of the articles in question.

Not all of the accounts mentioned Final Judgment by name—although many did—but the thesis herein was definitively referenced and no doubt surprised those who had never heard of the theory before.

Some of the headlines on the articles themselves were quite forthright: “Speakers say Kennedy killed by Israeli plot” read the article in the Bryan College Station Eagle out of Texas. “Guest speaker claims Israel masterminded the killing” announced a sub-headline in the Miami Herald. “Class lecturers blame JFK death on Israelis,” reported the Chicago Sun-Times. “Community college speakers blame JFK death on Israel,” declared the Birmingham News. The Pasadena Star-News, in announcing that an “uproar” had forced the cancellation of the seminar, added (falsely) that “One panelist said Jews behind death of JFK.”

And so it went—all across the country. In the end, what is so ironic is that if the ADL had just ignored the seminar, the role of Israel’s Mossad in the JFK assassination might never have received the widespread national exposure in the daily press that it at long last has.

Ironically, Michael Granberry, the young man who covered the story for the Los Angeles Times—and whose byline appeared in many of the stories across the country—left his post shortly after his story appeared. Did Granberry pay the price for telling too much about the thesis of Final Judgment to his readers? I don’t know, but it’s something to think about.

To his credit, noted commentator Nat Hentoff, who writes a widely read column on First Amendment issues, weighed in on the controversy. Hentoff wrote: “There is no academic freedom unless one has the freedom to speak about any idea no matter how offensive or disgusting” (the suggestion being, obviously, that my thesis is “disgusting” by the very nature of the fact that I have said something less than friendly toward Israel—a unique re-definition of the word “disgusting” indeed!).

Hentoff’s comments were featured in a report entitled “Free speech in academe under fire” published by the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University. It turns out that none other than Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late president, is a member of the center’s advisory board. So evidently Caroline has probably heard about Final Judgment—as have several members of her family and possibly her late brother, as we will see.

In any case, as a direct consequence of its hysterical (and successful) effort to prevent me from appearing at the seminar in Orange County, the ADL suffered a historic (and much-deserved) “double-whammy” within eight days time, stemming directly from the controversy.

First of all, on October 12, 1997 the Orange County Register, the biggest daily newspaper in one of the most densely populated metropolitan regions in the country, published a lengthy commentary in which I responded to the ADL’s attacks and outlined the thesis of the book.

This was the first time since Final Judgment was published in January of 1994 that any “mainstream” newspaper gave any substantial publicity of any kind to the allegations made in the book.

Although a flimsy attempt at a “rebuttal” by an ADL spokesman, Bruno Medwin, was published in conjunction with my commentary, the ADL’s lame response never once attempted to refute any of my specific allegations. The ADL commentary actually misled readers by suggesting that the ADL believes that “mainstream” theories about a possible JFK assassination conspiracy have a right to be heard.

In fact, as noted previously, ADL national director Abe Foxman had said elsewhere that any theory of any kind relating to the assassination is potentially dangerous and has no basis in fact. Evidently, the ADL is ready to shift its position, depending upon the audience—which, of course, says a lot about the basic dishonesty of the ADL to begin with.

Then, just one week later—on October 20, 1997—the ADL suffered an even more critical blow. At a meeting of the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees, the board’s president, Steven Frogue—who had invited me to the JFK seminar in Orange County—was re-elected by a 4-3 vote, much to the ADL’s dismay.

Although the ADL clamored for Frogue’s head and sent its supporters to lobby for his resignation from the board—or his forced removal—that effort failed. Then, another board member, Marcia Milchiker—herself a member of the local ADL chapter’s board of advisors—introduced a resolution for Frogue’s ouster, but her scheme fell flat.

The failed attempt to punish Frogue came following a raucous crowded public meeting in which some forty people from the general public were permitted to speak and most of them—average citizens, teachers, students and others—rose in Frogue’s defense, publicly defying the ADL even though ADL operatives were on hand taking photographs of the meeting’s participants. “This is thought control,” said one speaker, James Scott, denouncing the ADL campaign, saying (to much applause) that “the buck is stopping here tonight.”

When the ADL’s Marcia Milchiker saw that there was such a genuine grassroots outcry against her effort to dislodge Frogue—as opposed to the orchestrated campaign by the ADL—Milchiker could only respond in a rambling, disjointed and rather pathetic fashion that led to other board members asking that she cut her remarks short.

Describing her “research” into the origins of Final Judgment and citing her so-called findings, Milchiker, at one point, referred to me as “William Collins Piper,” showing precisely how adequate her research really is. Milchiker called herself a “scientist” (and is thus presumably able to read) but she didn’t respond when an Orange County taxpayer angrily called out, asking her “Did you read the book?” when Milchiker was attempting to explain (without any documentation whatsoever) why Final Judgment simply could not be believed.

Rolling into the meeting, Milchiker had been confident that Frogue was on his way out. What a surprise she had in store. Ultimately, Milchiker claimed the theory in Final Judgment was “scientifically unprovable” and “outrageous” and “preposterous” but didn’t demonstrate why. Nor could she. In the end, another board member, Dorothy Fortune, speaking in Frogue’s defense, publicly accused Milchiker—who is Jewish—of “playing the religion card for political gain.” So Frogue was re-elected.

Yet, the ADL had another card up its sleeve. Using a retired minister, Buckner Coe, as its front man, the ADL orchestrated a recall drive against Frogue. Although the effort failed to gather the required signatures of 35,000 college district voters by March of 1998, an “anonymous” source came up with a $10,000 donation and the recall drive was reinvigorated

At that juncture, the ADL attempted to forge a “united front” against Frogue, roping a variety of special interest groups, including AsianAmerican, Latino, Black and homosexual rights activists into backing the recall. Although that gimmick likewise failed to generate any further interest, the ADL refused to give up and called on a host of prominent Southern California politicians including two GOP members of Congress— Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Christopher Cox—to demand Frogue’s ouster. Along with other Republican functionaries, the two lawmakers joined with Democratic Party hacks to dip into their own campaign slush accounts to help finance the ADL campaign to dislodge Frogue, generating some $40,000 at a much-ballyhooed fund-raiser.

One Orange County resident, George Kadar, who formed an ad hoc committee to rally support for Frogue was also subjected to media attacks. In one instance, a newspaper reporter proclaimed that Kadar was, according to the ADL, also “anti-immigrant” only to learn to her embarrassment that Kadar was himself an immigrant who had fled the very communist “thought police” of Eastern Europe whose tactics were being mimicked so well—echoed in Orange County by the ADL and its allies.

In the midst of the anti-Frogue petition drive, one ADL member, Harriet Walther, claimed that she was the victim of an “anti-Semitic” attack outside the county registrar’s office. Walther claimed people in the registrar’s office saw the incident but according to even the Orange County Register‘s report on February 4, 1998, a supervisor in the office, Mai Kang, said that, according to the Register, “no one saw the assault.”

For my own part, at the height of the frenzy, I traveled to Orange County to speak at a public meeting of the SOCCCD board of directors in June of 1998. The event was a veritable media circus, with the press and armed guards very much in evidence as hundreds of people crowded into the meeting room and into an adjoining room where the overflow audience was able to watch the proceedings live via the magic of video.

Waiting outside, prior to the meeting, an idealistic young reporter for a local Jewish community newspaper made energetic efforts to pin me down as a “Holocaust denier” and an “anti-Semite” and to challenge the thesis of Final Judgment. However, Bob Ourlian, a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, was overheard whispering to the young lady, “Don’t try to argue with this guy. He’s very articulate and knows what he’s talking about,” and she quickly (and wisely) changed her approach.

One week prior to this, I had actually sent Ourlian a copy of Final Judgment, so he knew full well the book was thoroughly documented and that I was fully in command of the information that I had presented. As far as the Holocaust was concerned, I told the press this:

I’m tired of hearing about the Holocaust. It’s boring. Enough already. It happened more than 50 years ago—long before I was born. My grandmother sent four of her sons—my father and three of his brothers—off to fight in World War II.

They were involved in Holocaust rescue activities as members of the U.S. military. My father spent time in a veteran’s hospital for his efforts on behalf of the Jews. So please: I really don’t want to hear about the Holocaust. I’m here to talk about the JFK assassination.

But if you want to know about a real Holocaust, that’s happening right now, let’s take a look at what’s happening to the American Indians on the concentration camps in the United States that are euphemistically called “reservations. ”

My great-great-grandfather was a full-blooded American Indian and for all I know, I have relatives on the reservations today, suffering malnutrition, alcoholism, high rates of suicide and other tragedies.

Despite all this, the federal government is cutting aid to the reservations, yet billions of American tax dollars are going to Israel. If you want to talk about that Holocaust, I’ll be more than glad to.

Needless to say, the reporters didn’t seem interested in discussing that subject, and frankly, I’m not surprised.

It was quite a drama. The corpulent Professor Roy Bauer also put in an appearance accompanied by a coterie of giggling and notably unattractive women who cooed at his witticisms as he circulated a malicious four-page “report” entitled “Just Who Is Michael Collins Piper?” which purported to detail my crimes against the Jewish people. But what was interesting was that Bauer had backed off in his charge that I was a “Holocaust denier,” now contending that I was only “reportedly” a Holocaust “revisionist.”

Missing, however, was Marcia Milchiker, my foremost critic on the SOCCCD board. Although for an entire year she had much to say about me and about my publisher, including making the patently ridiculous accusation that we were attempting to “bring back the Nazi Party,” she refused (in ADL fashion) to face me when I came to confront her. Although I had been the center of bitter public argument at SOCCCD meetings for almost a year, the board, unfortunately, would not permit me any more than three minutes to speak (the same amount allotted to other speakers).

However, the entire time I was speaking, Irv Rubin, the head of the violent Jewish Defense League (JDL), and two equally-repugnant associates were shouting from the audience, resulting in the police finally expelling one of Rubin’s cronies, a bizarre troll named Barry Krugel.

At one point, in exasperation, I told the board, quite frankly, “There’s been a lot of talk here about ‘anti-Semitism,’ but if ever there was an argument in favor of anti-Semitism, it’s this self-appointed spokesman for the Jewish community right here,” referring to Rubin.

There was a positive side to this most raucous event, however. The day afterward, I was invited by Saddleback College journalism professor Lee Williams to address his class on the college campus. Williams issued the invitation on behalf of the staff of the college newspaper and I met with the staff in the newspaper office on the campus where the students posed thought-provoking questions and exhibited the very type of intellectual curiosity that the ADL was so determined to suppress.

Not only did the students defy the book banners at the ADL by asking me to pose for a picture with them, but later they went even further and, as a group, publicly defied the ADL by coming to the defense of Steve Frogue.

But the ADL-instigated clamor for the destruction of Frogue still continued. The ADL even managed to contrive a short-lived alliance between Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez of Orange County and her bitter foe, former Rep. Bob Dornan, the Republican whom Mrs. Sanchez narrowly defeated in 1996 and then dispatched into oblivion in the 1998 election. Both Mrs. Sanchez and Dornan endorsed the recall campaign at the ADL’s behest. However, Mrs. Sanchez back trailed after many of her Hispanic supporters (who despised Dornan) recoiled at her “deal with the devil.”

Despite all this firepower, the ADL’s recall scheme crashed and burned. In the end, on November 12, 1998 the ADL hate-mongers suffered an embarrassing defeat. The ADL’s media-backed 16-month-long campaign to oust Frogue came to a crashing halt. The Orange County registrar of voters ruled that a two-dozen member team of petition circulators had fallen short, having submitted some 13,000 invalid signatures.

The media’s coverage of the ADL’s Waterloo was interesting. The Orange County Register‘s Kimberly Kindy, who had reported the ADL’s campaign against Frogue with particular relish, failed to mention the ADL’s role in the scuttled recall in her notably brief report on the demise of the recall drive. Instead, Miss Kindy focused on the role of Democratic and Republican politicians in the effort, never once indicating the ADL had been the prime mover behind the bungled effort to eviscerate Frogue.

There was an interesting footnote to this. My old nemesis, Professor Roy Bauer was ordered to seek psychiatric counseling because of the inflammatory writings in his scurrilous campus newsletter in which I had been one of his targets. Bauer sued the SOCCCD board, charging that his First Amendment rights were violated. Bauer’s concern for free speech meant little when he was working to suppress my liberties, but when the tables were turned, he took a second look at the Bill of Rights. Bauer won his suit and I’m glad he did, because, unlike Bauer, I do believe in the First Amendment, even though he and the ADL do not.

Steve Frogue declined to seek reelection to the SOCCCD board in the year 2000, but we can be certain the “Final Judgment Affair” would have come back to haunt him. However, the fact is the ADL suffered a walloping defeat in Orange County and it happened again in Schaumburg, Illinois, as we will see later. The ADL will continue to be defeated over this issue as long as I have anything to say about it—and the ADL knows it.

For his own part, the loathsome Irv Rubin of the JDL is now dead— allegedly having committed suicide while in federal custody after having been arrested in late 2001 on charges of plotting to bomb the office of California GOP Congressman Darrel Issa, an Arab-American. Yet, Rubin was precisely the type of speaker that the ADL and its allies welcomed at the SOCCCD—saying much about what the ADL’s agenda really is.

What is it about Final Judgment that so upsets the ADL? Why indeed does the ADL “protest too much”? Here’s your opportunity to find out. Then, perhaps, you’ll understand why Final Judgment really is on the mark.

Had I not amended Final Judgment after its first edition, I would say— even now—that the book could continue to stand on its merits with no further emendation whatsoever. Now that the book has been substantially expanded, more so than I would have thought possible, I do believe the book will stand the test of time.

The facts speak for themselves. Israel’s Mossad was indeed a primary player alongside the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Ultimately, Final Judgment will prove to be the first-ever comprehensive record of that conspiracy.

I believe I have taken a new look at a very big jigsaw puzzle that displays a remarkably complex and somewhat murky picture. On the puzzle you see before you all of the various groups and individuals implicated in the JFK assassination conspiracy. It is an immensely confusing picture. However, when you turn the puzzle over you find one complete picture—and that’s a great big very clear picture of the Israeli flag. All the other flags on the front of the puzzle are, in intelligence jargon, “false flags,” and Final Judgment proves just that.

MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER

Preface • 5,700 Words
The Unspoken Truth: Israel’s Central Role in the JFK Assassination

Where in the world could anyone come up with the idea that Israel’s Mossad had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? All of the information which, taken together, proves this contention has long been in the public domain. This book, Final Judgment, brings all of these facts together for the first time in a fascinating and frightening scenario that—although controversial—does make sense.

Considering all of the theories about the assassination of John F. Kennedy that have been circulating for years, how could anyone ever suggest that Israel’s Mossad was involved?

This was the reaction of more than a few people when apprised of the thesis presented in the pages of this book. Yet, I believe, that when you read this volume you will reach the same conclusion: that Israel and its spy agency, the Mossad, did indeed play a critical role in the JFK assassination conspiracy and its cover-up. The evidence is there, as you shall see.

It was in 1989, while re-reading A. J. Weberman and Michael Canfield’s Coup d’Etat in America (first published in 1975) that I first stumbled upon a strange reference that ultimately led to my research that is outlined here in the pages of Final Judgment. The reference, simple as it was, appearing on page 41, read as follows:

“After the assassination, an informer for the Secret Service and the FBI who had infiltrated a Cuban exile group and was in the process of selling them machine guns, reported that on November 21, 1963 he was told, ‘We now have plenty of money—our new backers are the Jews—as soon as they take care of JFK.‘ This man had furnished reliable information in the past.” (emphasis added)

I barely noticed the reference, but it did intrigue me. Who did this source mean by “the Jews” and why (of all people) would “they” want to “take care of JFK”? I concluded the source meant Jewish gangsters such as Meyer Lansky who wanted to regain their Cuban gambling interests they lost when Castro came to power. This, I thought, had to be the answer.

Frankly, I laid the speculation aside. It was just one lone detail among millions of words written about the JFK assassination. Nearly a year went by before I came across the reference again—while re-reading the same book. I pondered the quote for a moment, thinking, “This is interesting.”

However, I once again cast it aside. I had long ago already concluded that the CIA, in collusion with elements of “the Mafia” and the anti-Castro Cuban exiles, was responsible for the president’s assassination.

However, an entire year later—sometime in 1991—I came across a variation of the same quotation cited in the book by Weberman and Canfield. This time it appeared in David Scheim’s book, Contract on America, which contends “The Mafia Killed JFK” and which also vehemently dismisses any CIA involvement whatsoever. I had read Scheim’s book when it first came out in 1988, but I had not noticed the reference (or the similarity to the other one) at that time.

What intrigued me, however, was that Scheim’s rendition of the quote deleted the reference to the alleged Jewish backers of the Cuban plotters. My immediate thought was: “What’s Scheim trying to hide?” At that moment I finally began to see that this unusual (seemingly minor) detail might, in fact, point toward something much bigger than I had realized.

The Lansky Connection

It was at this time that a new biography of organized crime figure Meyer Lansky was released. Entitled Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life, the book—prepared in cooperation with Lansky’s family—was little more than a puff piece for Lansky. I realized immediately that the book still somehow seemed to be missing quite a lot.

It was then that I returned to my library and pulled a book off the shelf that I hadn’t re-read in perhaps fifteen years. It was Hank Messick’s biography of Lansky. Re-reading this important book I began to see that Meyer Lansky was not just a Mafia advisor as David Scheim, for example, would have his readers believe. Instead, Lansky was “the chairman of the board” of organized crime. All of the Mafia figures that had been repeatedly implicated in the JFK assassination were, in fact, Lansky’s front men—his subordinates, his underlings. In short, if “the Mafia” had a hand in the killing of JFK, then Lansky had to have been one of the key players.

Yet, as I quickly began to see in reviewing many of the works which allege that “The Mafia Killed JFK,” Lansky’s preeminent role was being ignored or otherwise under-played. I was aware of Lansky’s close ties to Israel. After all, Lansky fled to Israel when the heat was on in the United States. But how deeply did the Lansky-Israeli connection go? My research into that question began to turn up some interesting facts.

The Israeli Connection

At this juncture, however, I had no reason whatsoever to think that Israel would have had any reason to participate in the JFK assassination conspiracy. However, it was just about the time that I had begun to take a second look at the Lansky connection—in 1991—that several new works were released which provided never-before revealed information about the covert relationship between the United States and Israel.

These books, cited extensively in Final Judgment, made it all too clear that John F. Kennedy had become embroiled in a bitter behind-the-scenes battle with Israel. In fact, Kennedy was at war.

JFK’s secret war with Israel was something that even long-time JFK assassination researchers had no reason to know about. Much of the material had long been classified. It was a secret—a deep, dark secret.

Some of JFK’s communications with then-Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion were classified for years, until just recently. Not even top-level intelligence officials with special security clearance were initially allowed access to those explosive documents.

In fact, prior to these more recent revelations, very little about JFK’s relations with Israel and the Arab world had ever actually been published anywhere. As historian David Schoenbaum pointed out quite notably in his book, The United States and the State of Israel:

“Submerged among the high-visibility themes of East-West relations, the nuclear arms race and the early dawn of a test ban and nonproliferation, the Berlin and Cuban missile crisis, the perplexities of the newly decolonized Belgian Congo, buoyant hopes for an Alliance for Progress in Latin America, and the deepening quagmire in Vietnam, the Middle East is scarcely even visible in the standard biographies that followed Kennedy’s assassination. Even by liberal estimates, Ben-Gurion and Nasser, Israel and Egypt appear on only seven each of Theodore Sorensen’s 758, and Arthur M. Schlesinger’s 1,031 pages of text.” (Emphasis added.)

In short, while JFK assassination researchers were busy probing a wide variety of areas, they were missing the big picture—the secret picture on the other side of the jigsaw puzzle.

So it was that the new revelations about Kennedy’s relationship with Israel (and its potential link to the assassination conspiracy) made me realize that there was an unexplored area of research—never before considered—that needed examination.

Israel, Lansky & The CIA

By this time, then, the long and close relationship between Israel and JFK’s foes at the CIA was something that was now being acknowledged. And JFK’s own war with the CIA was already common knowledge. At the time of the JFK assassination, however, the depth and breadth of the CIA’s relationship with Israel’s Mossad, however, was not so commonly known.

The pieces of the puzzle were all there. They simply needed to be put together. With a basic thesis now evolving in my mind, I began re-reading much of the published information about the JFK assassination, his policy toward Israel and the history of organized crime.

And in so doing, I repeatedly found myself stumbling upon new information that continued to verify what was initially in my mind just a theory, but which I now believe to be the truth. By December of 1992 I realized that I had enough material for a book and I began to write it. But even as I was already in the process of writing the book, I was startled by the vast amount of material that I was continually uncovering— and virtually all of it was in the pages of mainstream sources freely available to anyone who cared to do the research. I thus began to realize that I had indeed begun to assemble a remarkable wealth of material that brought my initial thesis full circle.

The Permindex Connection

It is the Permindex connection which is the tie that binds—the final proof that the Mossad was at the center of the assassination conspiracy. In Permindex we find all of the critical elements tying the Mossad, the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate together in close-knit intrigue linked directly to the murder of President Kennedy.

Although researchers have devoted much time and energy to pursuing a wide variety of questions relating to the JFK assassination (focusing on many matters that will never be resolved) most have steered clear of Permindex. Those who have referenced it portray Permindex as some sort of remnant of the Third Reich but nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, understanding the forces behind Permindex is the key to resolving the biggest mystery of this century: the question of not only who killed John F. Kennedy—but why.

Insiders Agree…

Just before I began the book I mentioned my theory to a rather well-known former United States congressman. He surprised me when he said, “I think you are on to something. I’ve believed for years that the Mossad was involved in the Kennedy assassination, but I never really took the time to look into it. I’m glad you’re doing it, though. It will be an important book. It’s a book I would have liked to have written myself.”

Then, just after I finished the first draft, I sent a copy of the manuscript to another former member of Congress, Paul Findley, thinking that he might have some interest in the subject. His response was perhaps a bit astonishing. The ex-Congressman wrote me a surprising letter in which he said, “I will mention that over the past four years I have had lengthy correspondence with a retired diplomat from a western European nation whose family (including himself) has had disastrous experiences with Israel and the Mossad. He has been prodding me all that time to do what you have done.”—that is, write a book exploring Israel’s secret role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Congressman Findley then passed the manuscript on to the Frenchman (whose remarkable story you will learn about in these pages) who in turn provided me additional fascinating leads and inside information that helped make the thesis presented in Final Judgment complete.

One Complete Picture

Israel’s Mossad was indeed a primary force behind the JFK assassination conspiracy. The Israeli connection pulls all of the pieces of the puzzle together into one complete picture. The role of the Mossad in the JFK assassination is indeed the “missing link” in the conspiracy. For the sake of history, it is a story that needs to be told.

—Michael Collins Piper

A Who’s Who of the JFK Assassination Conspiracy and Cover-Up

While the following selection of names in this special “who’s who” is by no means complete, it does provide the reader of Final Judgment with a brief overview of the facts relating to the involvement of the individuals in question with the circumstances surrounding not only the JFK assassination itself, but also the efforts by some to uncover the truth about the assassination—and by others to bury it.

Following each name and description are references to the particular chapters in Final Judgment where details about that individual appear in pertinent part. The inclusion of any name in particular is by no means intended to suggest that the individual—unless specifically stated—had foreknowledge that the murder of President Kennedy was being planned. As we note in these pages, there were many people who were brought into the JFK assassination conspiracy and the subsequent cover-up who had no idea of the actual role that they were playing.

The following “who’s who”—if read in this context—provides the reader a quick glance at the key individuals who ultimately prove central to a complete understanding of the entirety of the conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of President Kennedy.

At Permindex

Clay Shaw - If New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison had been permitted to carry out an unimpeded investigation and prosecution of Shaw, a CIA contract operative and former director of the International Trade Mart in New Orleans implicated in involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald, David Ferrie, Guy Banister and other figures central to the JFK assassination conspiracy, the truth about Shaw’s connections—through a shadowy corporation known as Permindex—to not only Israel’s Mossad, but also the international crime syndicate of Israeli loyalist Meyer Lansky would have been bared to the world. (See Chapter 15)

Louis M. Bloomfield - Based in Montreal, Bloomfield was a long-time intelligence operative and a front man for the powerful Bronfman family interests. The Bronfmans were not only key international backers of Israel but also long-time figures in the Lansky crime syndicate. Bloomfield, one of the foremost figures in the Israeli lobby in Canada and one of Israel’s leading international operatives, not only served as the chief shareholder in the Permindex Corporation on whose board of directors Clay Shaw served, but also had intimate ties to American intelligence. (See Chapter 15)

Tibor Rosenbaum - One of the “godfathers” of the state of Israel and the first director for finance and supply for Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, Rosenbaum was a prime financial angel behind the Permindex corporation and a key figure in the JFK assassination conspiracy. His Swiss bank, the Banque De Credit International, also served as the chief European money laundry for Meyer Lansky, chief of the global crime syndicate. (See Chapter 8, Chapter 15, Appendix Four and Appendix Nine).

John King - A close business associate of Tibor Rosenbaum’s protégé and sometime front man, Bernard Cornfeld, King showed up in New Orleans in the early stages of Jim Garrison’s investigation—before Clay Shaw’s name had come up—and sought to persuade Garrison (through a bribery attempt) to give up the inquiry. Fortunately he failed in his scheme. (See Chapter 15)

The Mossad Connection

David Ben-Gurion - Prime Minister of Israel; resigned his post in disgust with JFK’s stance toward Israel in April of 1963; Said JFK’s position threatened Israel’s very survival. (See Chapter 4 and Chapter 5) Yitzhak Shamir – A long-time Mossad officer (based largely at the Mossad’s chief European office in Paris), Shamir headed the Mossad’s assassination squad at the time of the JFK assassination. A former French intelligence officer has charged that Shamir himself arranged the hiring of JFK’s actual assassins through a close ally in French intelligence. (See Chapter 5 and Chapter 16)

Menachem Begin - In 1963, Begin (later prime minister of Israel) was a roving Israeli diplomat; prior to JFK’s assassination he was overheard conspiring with Meyer Lansky’s California henchman, Mickey Cohen, in a conversation that suggested hostile intentions by Israel against the American president. (See Chapter 13)

Luis Kutner - Although known largely as a “mob lawyer” in Chicago, Kutner—who was long and closely associated with Jack Ruby, a sometime client—Kutner also doubled as an international intelligence operative and functioned as an advisor to an ad hoc pro-Israel lobby group in the United States. (See Chapter 14)

A. L. Botnick - Head of the New Orleans office of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, an intelligence and propaganda arm for Israel’s Mossad; a close associate of New Orleans-based CIA operative Guy Banister who helped create Lee Harvey Oswald’s pre-assassination profile as a “pro-Castro” agitator. Evidence suggests Banister’s manipulation of Oswald may have been carried out under the guise of an ADL “factfinding” operation. (See Chapter 15 and Appendix Three)

Arnon Milchan - Israel’s biggest arms dealer, Milchan was “executive producer” (i.e. chief financial angel) of Oliver Stone’s Hollywood fantasy about the JFK assassination—a fact which may explain Stone’s aversion to exploring the Israeli connection to the affair. (See Chapter 17) Shaul Eisenberg – Israel’s wealthiest industrialist and longtime operative for the Mossad was a prime mover behind Israel’s efforts to build a nuclear arsenal. His covert dealings with Red China played a key role in the JFK assassination conspiracy. (See Appendix Nine)

The CIA Connection

Rudolph Hecht - An owner of the CIA-linked Standard Fruit concern, Hecht was a prominent figure in the New Orleans Jewish community and as chairman of the board of directors of the International Trade Mart was Permindex board member Clay Shaw’s primary sponsor. (See Chapter 15)

James Jesus Angleton - Angleton, the CIA’s long-time chief of counterintelligence, was the CIA’s primary high-level conspirator in the murder of President Kennedy and the subsequent cover-up. Angleton, who had been co-opted by and was totally loyal to the Israeli Mossad, played a major role in the effort to frame Lee Harvey Oswald. Final Judgment is the first JFK assassination study to delve into Angleton’s role in the conspiracy. (See Chapter 8, Chapter 9, and Chapter 16)

David Atlee Phillips - A long-time high-level CIA official, Phillips was the CIA station chief in Mexico City at the time a strange effort was underway to implicate Lee Harvey Oswald as a Soviet KGB collaborator. If anyone in the CIA knew the truth about Oswald, it was Phillips. He confessed publicly that the story about Oswald being in Mexico City was not precisely what the CIA had long claimed. (See Chapter 16)

E. Howard Hunt - Long-time CIA officer and liaison to the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. Testimony by ex-CIA contract operative Marita Lorenz placed Hunt in Dallas, Texas the day before the president’s assassination. The full truth about Hunt’s actual involvement in the affair may never be known, but there is no question that Hunt was deeply involved in the intrigue surrounding the president’s murder. Evidence does indeed indicate that there was a conscious effort to frame Hunt for involvement in the crime. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)

Guy Banister - The former FBI agent-turned-CIA contract operative whose New Orleans office was a central point for intrigue involving the CIA, the anti-Castro Cuban exiles and the anti-DeGaulle forces in the French Secret Army Organization (OAS). Under Banister’s direction, Lee Harvey Oswald established a public profile for himself as a “pro-Castro” agitator in the streets of New Orleans. (See Chapter 15 and Appendix Three)

David Ferrie - An enigmatic CIA contract operative, Ferrie was closely involved with Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, working alongside Oswald out of Guy Banister’s office. The investigation of Ferrie by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison ultimately led to Garrison’s discovery of Permindex board member Clay Shaw’s ties to Ferrie, Oswald and Banister. (See Chapter 15 and Appendix Three)

Marita Lorenz - A former CIA contract operative, she testified under oath that one day prior to the JFK assassination she arrived in Dallas with her CIA handler Frank Sturgis and an armed caravan of Cuban exiles who were met there by not only Jack Ruby, who later killed Lee Harvey Oswald, but also by CIA official E. Howard Hunt. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)

Frank Sturgis – Best remembered as a key CIA player in the war against Castro, Sturgis had worked for the Mossad even prior to his years with the CIA and maintained his Mossad ties well into the 1970s. Sturgis was not only involved in the training of Cuban exiles near New Orleans (the same operation involving Guy Banister and David Ferrie) but he also led the armed caravan (described by Marita Lorenz) that arrived in Dallas the day before the JFK assassination. Sturgis later told Miss Lorenz that his team had played a part in the events in Dealey Plaza. (See Chapter 16)

Guillermo & Ignacio Novo - Two brothers, veterans of the CIA-backed Cuban exile wars against Fidel Castro, the Novos were part of the armed caravan led by CIA and Mossad asset Frank Sturgis that arrived in Dallas on November 21, 1963. Many years after Dallas, the Novos were convicted of participating in the murder of a Chilean dissident in collaboration with another Mossad-connected adventurer, Michael Townley, who in 1963 had been working for high-level Mossad figures implicated in the JFK conspiracy. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)

Victor Marchetti - A high-ranking CIA official who left the agency in disgust, Marchetti later made a career writing about the CIA. In a 1978 article in The Spotlight newspaper, Marchetti charged that the CIA was about to frame its long-time operative, E. Howard Hunt, with involvement in the JFK assassination. A libel suit filed by Hunt as a consequence of Marchetti’s article resulted in a climactic finding by a jury that the CIA had been involved in the assassination of the president. (See Chapter 16)

Robin Moore - A journalist with long-standing close ties to the CIA, Moore co-authored former CIA man Hugh McDonald’s book, LBJ and the JFK Conspiracy which promoted James Jesus Angleton’s false claim that the KGB was behind the president’s murder—another of the disinformation stories that emerged following the assassination. (See Chapter 17)

The Lansky Crime Syndicate

Meyer Lansky - Chief executive officer and de facto “treasurer” of the international crime syndicate; active in gun-running on behalf of the Israeli underground; collaborated closely with American intelligence on a number of fronts; later settled in Israel. Researchers who have claimed that “The Mafia Killed JFK” have pointedly refused to acknowledge Lansky’s preeminent positioning in the underworld. (See Chapter 7) Carlos Marcello - The head of the Mafia in New Orleans, Marcello owed his status to Meyer Lansky who was his chief sponsor in the crime syndicate. Marcello could not have orchestrated the JFK assassination—as some suggest—without Lansky’s explicit approval. (See Chapter 10) Seymour Weiss – Meyer Lansky’s New Orleans bagman and liaison with the Louisiana political establishment served as a director of the CIA-linked Standard Fruit company. He appears to have been a high-ranking CIA asset in New Orleans at the time of the JFK assassination. (See Chapter 15)

Santo Trafficante, Jr. - Although best known as the head of the Mafia in Tampa, Trafficante actually functioned as Meyer Lansky’s chief lieutenant in the crime syndicate and as Lansky’s liaison with the CIA in the Castro assassination plots. (See Chapter 12)

Sam Giancana - Longtime Chicago Mafia leader, Giancana was a player in the CIA-Mafia plots against Castro, working under the direction of the real “boss” of the crime syndicate in Chicago, Mossad-connected Hyman Lamer, a partner of national crime chief Meyer Lansky. (See Chapter 11) Johnny Rosselli – A roving “ambassador” for the Mossad-connected Chicago Mafia, Rosselli was the primary conduit between the CIA and the mob in the plots against Fidel Castro; may have arranged the murder of Sam Giancana and was later murdered himself. (See Chapter 11)

Mickey Cohen - Meyer Lansky’s West Coast henchman; Jack Ruby’s role model and a gun-runner for the Israeli underground, Cohen collaborated closely with Israeli diplomat Menachem Begin prior to the JFK assassination; Cohen arranged for John F. Kennedy to meet actress Marilyn Monroe who was assigned the task of finding out JFK’s private views and intentions toward Israel. (See Chapter 13)

Jack Ruby - A long-time functionary for the Lansky syndicate, Ruby was the Lansky connection man in Dallas and also engaged in CIA-linked gunrunning to the anti-Castro Cuban exiles. Evidence suggests there is more to Ruby’s sudden “death” than meets the eye. (See Chapter 14)

Jim Braden - A veteran personal courier for Meyer Lansky, Braden was almost assuredly in contact in Dallas with Jack Ruby prior to the JFK assassination. He was briefly detained in Dealey Plaza minutes after the president’s murder, but those JFK assassination researchers who have mentioned Braden prefer to cast him as a “Mafia” figure rather than as Lansky’s man on the scene in Dallas. (See Chapter 14)

Al Gruber - A henchman of Meyer Lansky’s West Coast operative, Mickey Cohen, Gruber and Ruby spoke by telephone just shortly before Ruby killed Lee Harvey Oswald. It is believed that Gruber gave Ruby the contract on Oswald on behalf of his superiors. (See Chapter 13)

The French Connection

Charles DeGaulle - Repeatedly targeted for assassination by Israeli-allied forces in French intelligence and in the Secret Army Organization (OAS) who were angry that DeGaulle had granted independence to Arab Algeria. The Mossad-sponsored Permindex operation that also had a hand in the murder of JFK, laundered money used in the assassination attempts on DeGaulle. (See Chapter 9, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16)

Georges deLannurien – High ranking official in the SDECE, the French intelligence agency; pinpointed by a former French intelligence officer as the individual who (at the behest of Mossad assassinations chief Yitzhak Shamir) contracted the hit team who killed JFK in Dallas. (See Chapter 16) Michael Mertz – A former French SDECE officer and the Paris connection for the Lansky-Trafficante heroin syndicate; alleged to have been one of the actual gunmen in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Long believed to be the legendary CIA contract killer, QJ/WIN. (See Chapter 16)

Jean Soutre - A liaison for the French OAS with the CIA’s E. Howard Hunt, Soutre maintained contact with Guy Banister’s CIA- and mob-linked gunrunning headquarters in New Orleans. Soutre may have been in Dallas at the time of the JFK assassination. There is evidence linking Soutre to James Jesus Angleton’s intrigue inside the CIA that affected French intelligence in a dramatic way. (See Chapter 15 and Chapter 16)

Thomas Eli Davis III - A world-traveling mercenary linked to Jack Ruby’s arms dealing activities, Davis was taken into custody in North Africa for his subversive activities alongside Israeli agents in supplying weapons to the French OAS just prior to the JFK assassination. The CIA’s infamous international assassin QJ/WIN has long been said to have secured Davis’s release from prison. (See Chapter 16)

Geoffrey Bocca - A former propagandist for the OAS, Bocca later coauthored former CIA contract agent Hugh McDonald’s book, Appointment in Dallas, which pointed the blame for the JFK assassination away from those who were actually responsible—the first of two suspect books put out by McDonald. (See Chapter 17 and Appendix Eight)

Christian David - A French Corsican criminal associated with reputed JFK assassin Michael Mertz, David has claimed knowledge of a French hit team involved in the JFK assassination. David himself was the chief suspect in the murder of a Moroccan dissident, Mehdi Ben-Barka, whose killing was orchestrated by the Israeli Mossad through anti-DeGaulle forces in French intelligence. (See Chapter 16)

Truth Seekers

Mark Lane - Retained by Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother to represent her son’s interests before the Warren Commission, Lane’s book Rush to Judgment was the first major critique of the Warren Commission Report. In defending a libel suit filed against The Spotlight newspaper by former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt, Lane proved to the satisfaction of a jury that the CIA had indeed been involved in the JFK assassination. His best-selling book Plausible Denial outlined the circumstances of that libel suit and its ultimate conclusion. (See Chapter 9 and Chapter 16)

Gary Wean - A former detective on the Hollywood beat of the Los Angeles Police Department, Wean discovered how Meyer Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, was conspiring against John F. Kennedy on behalf of the Israelis. In a meeting with the former sheriff of Dallas County, Bill Decker, Wean learned a portion of the truth about what really happened in Dallas. (See Chapter 13 and Chapter 16)

News Twisters

Edgar & Edith Stern - Close friends of Clay Shaw and financial backers of the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith, and owners of the WDSU media empire in New Orleans that not only played a major role in giving vast publicity to Lee Harvey Oswald’s profile as a “pro-Castro agitator” but also later sought to undermine Jim Garrison’s investigation of Clay Shaw. (See Chapter 17 and Appendix Three) Johann Rush – As a young WDSU cameraman, Rush was on the scene to record Oswald’s “pro-Castro” activities. He emerged—many years later— as the brains behind a “computer-enhanced” version of the famous Zapruder film of the JFK assassination that author Gerald Posner cited as “proof’ that Oswald acted alone in the president’s murder. (See Chapter 17)

Drew Pearson - Accused by his own mother-in-law of being a “mouthpiece” for the pro-Israel ADL, Pearson had close ties to not only the Israeli lobby, but also the CIA and to President Lyndon Johnson and his cronies. It was Pearson who floated an unlikely story that Fidel Castro was behind the JFK assassination and who also played a major influence in shaping Earl Warren’s perceptions of the tragedy. (See Chapter 17)

Jack Anderson – As protégé of Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson likewise had strange connections that might have biased his own reportage on the JFK affair. Since 1963 Anderson has promoted a number of conflicting versions about “who really killed JFK” ranging from “the Mafia” to Fidel Castro or a combination of both. (See Chapter 17)

Jack Newfield - A liberal columnist and some-time JFK assassination buff, Newfield has been a likewise long-standing devotee of Israel. He made a big splash with a highly fantastic story that missing Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa had “ordered” two Mafia figures to arrange the killing of President Kennedy. Not surprisingly, Newfield’s ridiculous story was given wide play in the Establishment media. (See Chapter 17)

Theorists and/or Propagandists?

Oliver Stone - His Hollywood extravaganza, JFK, gave the public a fullblown, full-color, gory-in-every-detail conspiracy theory on the JFK assassination. Yet, Stone’s presentation of the conspiracy was far from complete and failed to reach any firm conclusions. He deliberately suppressed the “French connection” which, in turn, was the long-hidden Israeli connection. Not only was Stone’s chief financial backer Israel’s leading arms dealer but the company distributing his film had its origins in the Lansky crime syndicate. What’s more, one of the chief shareholders in the film company was none other than Bernard Cornfeld, long-time associate of Permindex figure Tibor Rosenbaum (See Chapter 17).

Frank Mankiewicz - This former publicist for the Israeli Mossad-linked Anti-Defamation League had a peculiar part in the events that took place prior to the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. Then when Oliver Stone began promoting his film JFK, Mankiewicz popped up as his key public relations man. (See Chapter 17 and Chapter 18)

Anthony Summers - Author of one book hinting that the Kennedy family were responsible for the death—maybe the murder—of actress Marilyn Monroe, Summers wrote another book on the JFK conspiracy. In neither book did Summers reveal explosive information (of which he was aware) that could have helped point in the direction of those same forces which played a part in both crimes. (See Chapter 13)

Robert Morrow - A former CIA contract operative who played a major role in activities on the periphery of the JFK assassination conspiracy, Morrow’s book on his experiences is rife with detail, yet suspect in the eyes of many who had looked into his claims. Morrow’s book absolves the key CIA conspirator, James J. Angleton, of involvement in the JFK conspiracy and portrays him as being “out of the loop” when, in fact, precisely the opposite was true. Is it a coincidence that Morrow’s book publisher is an American affiliate of an Israeli publishing company? (See the Afterword)

G. Robert Blakey - An unlikely choice to serve as director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Blakey had, just two years previously, served as a character witness for a long-time close associate of crime boss Meyer Lansky. When pointing the blame in the JFK assassination, Blakey targeted Lansky’s protégé, New Orleans Mafia boss, Carlos Marcello, but looked no further. Blakey, likewise, found no role by the CIA—or any other intelligence agency—in the assassination. Blakey says that if (that’s if) there was a conspiracy—”The Mafia Killed JFK. “(See Chapter 10)

David Scheim - The author of a book that pins the murder of President Kennedy on “the Mafia,” Scheim refuses to acknowledge Permindex board member Clay Shaw’s intelligence connections and paints Israeli loyalist Meyer Lansky as a low-level syndicate figure with no influence of substance. Scheim’s book was published by the American front for an Israeli publishing company. (See Chapter 10)

John Foster “Chip” Berlet - A hit-and-run “journalist” with longstanding covert connections to the CIA and an open collaborator with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)—a conduit for Israel’s Mossad—Berlet played a key role in a major propaganda campaign by the ADL to prevent the facts about the JFK assassination put forth in the pages of Final Judgment from being heard. (See the Foreword)

James DiEugenio - Although a deep admirer of both John F. Kennedy and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, DiEugenio has tread lightly when inquiring into the ties between Clay Shaw and the Permindex operation with its multiple links to the Israeli Mossad and the crime syndicate. (See Appendix Three and the Afterword)

Peter Dale Scott - His years of in-depth research on the JFK assassination have led him directly to the doorstep of the CIA, the Mossad and the Lansky Crime Syndicate, yet he has never been prepared to name names or point in the direction of those very forces, preferring to sidestep the issue. Is he afraid or is he simply ignorant? (See the Afterword.)

And now, for a final judgment…

Chapter One • The Tie That Binds • 5,300 Words
What All of the Most Commonly Accepted JFK Assassination Theories Have in Common—The Never-Mentioned Israeli Connection

Who killed John F. Kennedy? That question has plagued the world for a generation. What is it that we do know about the JFK murder that ties all of the differing theories together? What is it that all of the theories have in common?

The blame for the assassination has been placed on numerous power groups, perhaps working independently or together. Most often named have been the CIA (or rogue elements thereof), organized crime and the anti-Castro Cuban network.

Yet, one power in particular—Israel and its spy agency, the Mossad—links all of these forces together. Israel, however, is the central player whose role has been consistently ignored.

“Everybody on earth on November 22, 1963, it sometimes seems, was involved in a plot to assassinate JFK. If all those alleged conspirators—all of whom have denied the allegations—were there, it’s lucky anyone got out of Dealey Plaza alive.”[1]Entertainment Weekly, January 17, 1992.

These were the words of one journalist, Terry Catchpole, reflecting on the controversy over Oliver Stone’s Hollywood all-star extravaganza JFK and of widespread interest in the JFK assassination in general.

Catchpole cites groups often alleged to have been involved in some way with the JFK assassination—although this summary by no means is complete (ignoring, in particular, the CIA as an institution):

  • Cuban Communists
  • Cuban Anti-Communists
  • Military-Industrial Complex
  • A Renegade CIA Clique
  • Organized Crime
  • Soviet Communists
  • The FBI
  • The Mastermind

This final theory, according to Catchpole, is that “the Mafia had actually taken over the Howard Hughes organization from the bedridden recluse, and it was run by a “Mr. X,” possibly [organized crime syndicate boss] Meyer Lansky.”[2]Ibid.
(Entertainment Weekly, January 17, 1992.)

Each and every one of these theories, of course, has its own advocates. Each and every one of these theories, additionally, has been intertwined with one or more of the others. And now, the advent of Stone’s film, coupled with the subsequent release of several new books on the assassination—most notably Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial, which proved CIA complicity in the president’s murder—has brought new interest in the controversy.

Perhaps some day there will even be a book which places the blame for the assassination on, as New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison used to say, “retired circus clowns.” However, it was not retired circus clowns who killed John F. Kennedy, at least so far as we know.

Israel’s Central Role

This book contends that Israel’s Mossad was a primary player alongside the CIA and the Lansky Crime Syndicate in the JFK assassination conspiracy and that, in fact, the Mossad’s role was probably the driving force behind the conspiracy. It is clearly Israel and its Mossad—as we shall document—which is the one force which ties all of the most frequently mentioned alleged conspirators together: the CIA, the anti-Castro Cuban forces, organized crime and, most specifically—and more significantly than the so-called Mafia—the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate. The connections are far more sinister and go far deeper than most might imagine. In Final Judgment we will examine all of this in detail.

Israel’s Motive

Israel, as we shall see, had a very distinct motive not only to orchestrate Kennedy’s removal from office but also to elevate his successor, Lyndon B. Johnson into the White House. As did, of course, many of those other elements in the conspiracy that resulted in Kennedy’s murder.

Never once, however—at least in standard assassination research—has the suggestion that Israel had a hand in Kennedy’s murder ever been uttered. Yet, the evidence is there—evidence that has lain dormant or has otherwise been ignored or gone unrecognized for its significance.

Indeed, virtually all of the facts brought together in Final Judgment have been drawn from recognized volumes in the field of JFK assassination research and in other standard sources.

One former member of Congress, Rep. Paul Findley (R-Ill.) himself has publicly suggested that Israel indeed may have had a hand in the JFK assassination. In the March 1992 issue of The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, Findley points out:

“It is interesting—but not surprising—to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned. And yet a Mossad motive is obvious.”[3]Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1992.

Findley lays out the motive—a motive that we outline in detail in the pages of this book: “Israeli leaders never trusted the Kennedys. They were aware that when President Kennedy’s father, Joseph Kennedy, was ambassador to Great Britain, he frequently praised Nazi Germany. “During John Kennedy’s campaign for the presidency, a group of New York Jews had privately offered to meet his campaign expenses if he would let them set his Middle East policy. He did not agree… As president, he provided only limited support to Israel.

“On the other hand, Lyndon Johnson had demonstrated his strong support for Israel throughout his political career. The government of Israel, therefore, had every reason to believe that its interests would be better advanced with Johnson as president. And indeed they were. After Kennedy’s death, the United States, for the first time, began large-scale shipments of arms to Israel…

“Certainly, the Mossad possessed the resources to carry out an assassination almost any place on earth.” Findley concludes: “Am I accusing the Mossad of complicity? Absolutely not. I have no evidence of such. My point is simply this: on this question, as on almost all others, American reporters and commentators cannot bring themselves to cast Israel in an unfavorable light—despite the obvious fact that Mossad complicity is as plausible as any of the other theories.”[4]Ibid.
(Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1992.)

In these pages we will provide Congressman Findley and the readers with the evidence. We will let the readers make the final judgment.

‘Some Subterranean Association’

One leading assassination investigator, Carl Oglesby, recently summarized his own decades of personal research. “It was an inside job,” he said, “something on the order of the enterprise which we discovered in the Iran/Contra scandal.

“At the same time,” he added as a caveat, “I cannot bring myself to believe that an institution such as the CIA [for example] could in any formal and regular sense decide to kill the president.

“So what I am talking about is an off-the-shelf, off-the-books kind of action that must have been put together by some subterranean association cutting through not only the CIA, but to a certain extent the FBI the Dallas police and the military-intelligence agencies themselves.”[5]University Reporter, January, 1992.

Final Judgment suggests that it was Israel’s Mossad that was indeed the very “subterranean association” that did cut through the various entities which found themselves brought into the JFK assassination conspiracy.

In a recent interview another respected JFK assassination researcher, Peter Dale Scott, perhaps lends further credence to the theory we are about to present. Scott believes that there were a variety of forces at work behind the JFK assassination. He specifically fingers “Lyndon Johnson’s backers— particularly those who had a stake in the military-industrial complex” and “an intelligence-Mafia connection that included members of the intelligence community who were involved with military-industrial corporate backers of Lyndon Johnson, who in turn were involved with Mafia people. At a minimum,” according to Scott, “you have to consider this triad of forces.” Note Scott’s words: “at a minimum.”[6]Tikkun, March/April 1992.

This, of course, suggests that other forces were indeed involved. Final Judgment not only suggests that it was, in fact, Israel’s Mossad, but also clearly pinpoints the Mossad connection.

‘Other Intelligence Networks’

Scott himself goes one step further, but without naming the Mossad. He says, “In my research, the most suggestive clues have emerged from a relatively restricted circle within what I call the dark quadrant of suppressed relationships or deep politics: a circle within the tripartite world of first, CIA, defense, and other intelligence networks; second, the underworld of organized crime and anti-Castro Cubans; and third, corporate interests with links both to the intelligence and defense communities and also to organized crime.

“The key,” says Scott, “is that all those in this dark quadrant would have resisted its exposure whether or not they were key plotters.”[7]Ibid.
(Tikkun, March/April 1992.)
Final Judgment concurs with Scott’s judgment. Again, note Scott’s words: “CIA, defense, and other intelligence networks.”

As we demonstrate—and which is not really so very secret—it is Israel’s Mossad—above and beyond any other intelligence network—foreign or domestic—that has been unusually close (almost incestuously so) to the CIA in a variety of international ventures.

The Media’s Role

What’s more, we go one step beyond Scott’s conclusions. Final Judgment points out the highly significant role of the American media in its role in the cover-up. The cover-up of the JFK assassination conspiracy could never have succeeded without the support of a willing media. The fact is that Israel and its supporters in the American media have a long and intimate relationship. Until recent years—and even still today—criticism of Israel and its misdeeds have been verboten in the Establishment media, as noted previously in the comments by Congressman Findley.

‘False Flags’

We will illustrate, by several notable examples, how primary friends of Israel in the American media have been key players in floating “false leads” (or “false flags” in intelligence jargon) that have directed attention and suspicion elsewhere. This is a phenomenon never before examined in studying the JFK assassination and which explains, in large part, why the real truth about the assassination conspiracy has remained hidden for so long, all of the research notwithstanding.

(In Chapter 3 we will examine numerous instances wherein Israel’s Mossad itself utilized “false flags” to cover up its own role in a wide variety of assassination conspiracies and crimes around the globe.)

A Change in Middle East Policy

Professor Scott, like many JFK researchers, has long focused on the change of policy toward Vietnam that took place as a result of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He also points out that there was, additionally, a change of policy toward Latin America.

However, in these pages, we demonstrate beyond question that the most profound—and, in retrospect, probably most lasting and unusual—reversal in the conduct of American foreign policy was in the arena of U.S.-Israeli relations. These facts, unfortunately, have been neglected by even the most serious researchers into the JFK assassination.

The Theories Mesh

The purpose of Final Judgment, you see, is not to prove, once and for all, that there was indeed a conspiracy to assassinate President John F. Kennedy and to perpetuate a cover-up of that conspiracy. That has been proven, time and again, in an endless array of books, monographs, magazine articles—even in the pages of several novels.

Instead, Final Judgment takes the commonly accepted theories one step further and binds them all together—all too well—in a frightening scenario that is surely so very close to the truth.

Many desired JFK’s removal from the presidency. However, as we note throughout these pages, research over the years has—for a variety of reasons—ignored the bitter conflict between the State of Israel and John F. Kennedy.

Likewise, researchers have—again, for a variety of reasons, innocent and otherwise—ignored the very close connections between Israel and each of the diverse groups all of whom had a reason to want to end John F. Kennedy’s presidency: the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, the Mafia, the anti-Castro Cubans, and the CIA.

In Final Judgment, we present a theory that, in the free market of ideas, deserves consideration—controversial though it will be.

John F. Kennedy himself put it best: “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

What all of the commonly alleged conspiracies are tied together by is the one strand that has been consistently ignored—and that, of course, is the Israeli connection.

In Final Judgment we will consider this (unfortunately) long-ignored hidden aspect of history.

What Final Judgment proves is not only that Israel had reason to conspire against JFK, but that Israel was in a central position to not only coordinate the assassination scheme (and did) but also the subsequent coverup—all of this in close collaboration with its co-conspirators in the CIA and organized crime—most specifically those elements intimately linked to syndicate boss Meyer Lansky.

Israel—as much as the Mafia or the CIA, for example—stood to benefit greatly from the death of America’s 35th president—and did, JFK’s assassination set the stage for Israel to become a major power. Research into the Kennedy assassination is most difficult, if only because the literature is so immense, the web so tangled, and the surfeit of theories and potential conspirators so seemingly unending. What’s more, some assassination researchers have latched onto their own unique theories and, as a consequence, have failed to look elsewhere—in the direction of Israel, for example. With all of this in mind, let us proceed on the basis that there are certain areas of agreement.

Generally Accepted Conclusions

Our final judgment—outlined in these pages—rests on a foundation composed of the following generally accepted conclusions about the nature of the JFK assassination conspiracy:

  • That there was a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy;
  • That the conspiracy itself involved elements of the U.S. intelligence community, the CIA in particular;
  • That Organized Crime figures played a major part in the conspiracy;
  • That anti-Castro Cubans were actively participating in the conspiracy, at the urging of and/or manipulation by the CIA and elements of Organized Crime;
  • That somehow Lee Harvey Oswald (wittingly or unwittingly) was brought into the conspiracy and that the conspirators planted false evidence to link Oswald with Fidel Castro and the Soviets;
  • That Oswald was involved in some manner of U.S. intelligence activity, even if he was unaware those activities were sponsored or manipulated by some element of the U.S. intelligence community.
  • That Jack Ruby was either an active participant in the assassination conspiracy itself or was used in some fashion to manipulate Oswald prior to the assassination of JFK;
  • That Ruby was actively involved in organized crime activities and that he was, as a consequence of that involvement, also linked with organized crime activities that operated in conjunction (or ran parallel) with U.S. intelligence community activities.
  • That the Central Intelligence Agency was cognizant of the activities of both Oswald and Ruby and certainly manipulated both;
  • That Oswald was executed by Jack Ruby for the purpose of silencing Oswald forever;
  • That a major cover-up of the JFK assassination conspiracy was undertaken following the events in Dallas;
  • That the cover-up involved elements of the federal government (including the CIA);
  • That the Warren Commission and the House Assassinations Committee were deliberate participants in the cover-up;
  • That the cover-up conspiracy was conducted for a wide variety of motivations—both ostensibly “patriotic” and otherwise—including—but not limited to:
  • a) burying intelligence community connections to the assassination conspiracy; b) protecting Organized Crime elements involved; c) preventing hostilities between the United States and foreign nations (whether it be the Soviet Union or Castro’s Cuba); and d) resolving questions about the assassination in the public’s mind, both here and abroad.

  • That the Controlled Media actively encouraged and/or participated in the cover-up due to its links to the CIA, the intelligence community in general, and Organized Crime.
This is the basis upon which the research for this volume was undertaken. Upon this foundation Final Judgment ties together all of the facts and shows how the State of Israel and its spy agency, the Mossad, collaborated with not only the CIA but also key elements in Organized Crime and in the anti-Castro Cuban community in order to orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the cover-up.

The Evidence Is There

Some of the facts presented—while not necessarily “new”—have been available to researchers for decades. However, many researchers, regrettably, have not been looking in the right direction. That, of course, is not their fault. Additional information—particularly in regard to Kennedy’s difficult relations with Israel and how U.S.-Israeli relations changed drastically as a result of JFK’s murder—has really only recently come into the public forum. In Final Judgment we will explore this information in detail. It is this information—long unavailable to even the most dedicated researchers— that ties all of the previous data together.

The remarkable scenario presented in Final Judgment logically incorporates all of the commonly-accepted theories into one broadly encompassing theory that not only makes sense but which brings the diverse elements in the conspiracy together full circle. It is for this reason that Final Judgment truly lives up to its name.

The theory presented in the pages of Final Judgment has been greeted with the charge of “anti-Semitism”—a standard attack directed upon any utterance even vaguely critical of Israel and its misdeeds. However, the author leaves it up to the basic honesty and openmindedness of the readers to determine whether or not the theory presented in this volume makes sense.

What Happened…

Here, in essence, is the basis of the theory presented and documented— sometimes in excruciating detail—in the pages which follow.

  • That during his presidency, John F. Kennedy alienated three major international power blocs: the American CIA, Organized Crime, and Israel and its American lobby.
  • That in each case, Kennedy’s continued tenure in the White House was perceived by each of these power groups as a threat to its very existence.
  • That each of these major international power blocs was closely intertwined with the others, often on several levels.
  • That when Kennedy’s presence in the White House became so intolerable that these forces came together in a wide-ranging conspiracy that resulted in JFK’s murder.
  • That the power of these forces, together, over the American media played a vital role in the assassination conspiracy cover-up.

Final Judgment explores in detail the little-known behind-the-scenes war between John F. Kennedy and Israel and documents how U.S. policy toward Israel and the Arab world underwent a drastic reversal upon JFK’s assassination.

This book also documents not only the intimate collaboration between the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate and the Mossad, but also the similar incestuous relationship between the Lansky syndicate and Israel’s allies in the CIA. We will also focus on the singularly important role of Meyer Lansky’s positioning in the joint Mossad-CIA-Organized Crime nexus that came together in the JFK assassination.

Lansky’s own role in the JFK assassination conspiracy has been continually ignored or otherwise suppressed—even by those very “authorities” who claim that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” As we shall see, Meyer Lansky was, in fact, the real “overlord” of the international crime syndicate; many of the “Mafia bosses” who allegedly masterminded the JFK assassination were, indeed, Lansky henchmen, front-men, underlings.

The basic facts have virtually all been published in previous works on the JFK assassination and in other studies on the subjects of U.S-Israeli relations, international intelligence intrigue, and organized crime.

It is only now, however, that all of the facts have been finally placed together in a neatly-constructed jigsaw puzzle that presents the whole picture in its rather simple entirety. It is not, as we shall see, as complex as it might at first appear. However, the bottom line is this: it is clear that not only did Israel have a motive for participating in the JFK assassination, but that it indeed did play a critical part in the conspiracy.

A Theory of Power Politics at Work

The conspiracy outlined here was a criminal enterprise involving power politics in its highest—and lowest—forms. This volume:

  • Presents international intrigue above and beyond the then-crumbling U.S.-Israel relationship;
  • Examines the tragic reality of American involvement in Southeast Asia—which Kennedy sought to prevent—the final result of which guaranteed:
    (a) Israel’s dominance in Middle East affairs as the United States became bogged down in Asia; (b) Southeast Asian drug profits for Meyer Lansky’s global drug racket (operating in conjunction with the Mossad’s ally, the CIA); and (c) Multi-billion dollar profits in arms production for the backers of Israel’s ally—Lyndon Johnson—in the military-industrial complex;
  • Explains how the CIA—so closely tied to Israel—was able to continue its subterranean covert activities in Southeast Asia and elsewhere after the elimination of JFK;
  • Illustrates how certain special interests (the anti-Castro Cuban movement and Organized Crime) could be manipulated by another special interest—the CIA-Mossad alliance—in pursuit of a mutual goal: ending John F. Kennedy’s presidency;
  • Points out why the various elements involved in the conspiracy were working in conjunction with one another in covering up the facts about the assassination;
  • Details how the Controlled Media—long a primary collaborator with the Lansky-linked pro-Israel lobby in the United States—promoted the Warren Commission’s “lone nut” solution of the JFK murder and sought to silence critics of the “official” explanation;
  • Reveals how the anger and disgust of one powerful man—in this instance, David Ben-Gurion of Israel—could result in a vendetta carried out by means of a far-reaching conspiracy orchestrated through his own sphere of influence;
  • Describes how key American political power brokers—such as J. Edgar Hoover and, most particularly, Lyndon B. Johnson (both connected to the Israeli-linked Lansky Crime Syndicate)—were able to maintain their influence—and expand it correspondingly—upon the death of John F. Kennedy and
  • Demonstrates how low-level operatives such as Lee Harvey Oswald and Jack Ruby—both with a diverse array of strange connections—were utilized by conspirators at the top.

All of this taken together makes the conspiracy outlined here one that is not only logical, but one that ties all of the most prominently mentioned conspirators together in a package that is all too uncomfortably neat.

How This Book Is Organized: A Reader’s Guide

In order to outline the conspiracy described in the pages of Final Judgment, it is necessary, from the beginning, to consider that conspiracy in its historical context. A wide array of players were involved and their integral links with one another and with the diverse forces behind the conspiracy make it prudent, at this juncture, to provide the reader with an overview of the material about to be presented. Here, however, is a summary overview of the chapters which follow and which presents the necessary outline of the approach we take in laying the groundwork upon which we reach our final judgment:

The Mossad

  • Chapter 2 explores the accusation that Israel’s Mossad did indeed consider assassinating an American president perceived hostile to Israel—in this instance, George Bush—and ponders the likelihood that the Mossad did, in fact, previously collaborate in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • Chapter 3 reviews the Mossad’s historic use of so-called “false flags” in its worldwide acts of terrorism and assassination, leaving others (such as the Mafia,” “right wing extremists,” and “Arab terrorists”) to take the blame. The point driven home is that the Mossad could have done likewise in the JFK assassination.

JFK, LBJ and Israel

  • Chapter 4 examines the initial tactical alliance—and then enmity— between John F. Kennedy and his father Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy not only with the Israeli lobby but also the Israeli-linked Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.
  • Chapter 5 reviews, in depth, the growing conflict between President John F. Kennedy and the state of Israel—facts which have never been seriously examined by students of the JFK assassination.
  • Chapter 6 outlines how the assassination of John F. Kennedy permitted the Lansky Crime Syndicate- and Israeli lobby-linked Lyndon B. Johnson (a favorite of Israel’s allies in the CIA) to assume the presidency and begin an incredible reversal of JFK’s Middle East policies, thereby strengthening Israel’s global hand.

This important chapter also demonstrates how Israel, the CIA and the Lansky Syndicate stood to benefit from American involvement in the Vietnam War—a little explored aspect of that unfortunate period.

Meyer Lansky, Israel and the CIA

  • Chapter 7 is a comprehensive overview of organized crime figure Meyer Lansky, covering his preeminent role in global criminal enterprises and his links not only to Israel’s Mossad, but also American intelligence.
  • Chapter 8 explores the close relationship between Israel’s Mossad and the American CIA, and particularly the important role of the Mossad’s chief CIA ally, James Angleton, the CIA’s chief of counterintelligence.
  • Chapter 9 reviews the conflicts between the administration of John F. Kennedy and the CIA, Israel’s primary link in the world of international intelligence. Also considered are the connections of a number of key CIA figures (linked to the JFK assassination) with Israel.
  • Chapter 10 sheds important light upon Meyer Lansky’s ties with New Orleans Mafia chieftain Carlos Marcello (often fingered as a key conspirator in the JFK assassination) and upon Lansky’s preeminence over the Italian Mafia in organized crime activities.
  • Chapter 11 reviews Lansky’s involvement with Mafia figures Johnny Rosselli and Santo Trafficante Jr., and Sam Giancana and explores all-new revelations about the ties between the Chicago “Mafia” and Israel’s intelligence service.
  • Chapter 12 is a detailed exploration of Meyer Lansky’s predominant role in the international drug racket and how his criminal syndicate worked hand-in-glove with the CIA in these international ventures.
  • Chapter 13 considers a little known angle in the JFK assassination conspiracy: the role of Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen. This chapter documents Cohen’s close relationship with Israeli intelligence and connects the murder of actress Marilyn Monroe, with Cohen’s pro-Israel activities.
  • Chapter 14 is a review of the career of Jack Ruby as an errand boy for both the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and his activities connected with the JFK assassination. And yes, there’s even evidence linking Ruby to Israel.

Permindex and the French Connection

  • Chapter 15, aptly entitled, “The Twain Shall Meet,” demonstrates that it was through the little-explored Rome-based intelligence operation known as Permindex that the Israeli Mossad-CIA alliance and the Lansky Crime Syndicate came together and utilized their joint resources to orchestrate the JFK assassination, bringing about the conspiracy documented in previous chapters full circle.
  • Chapter 16 documents a little-known libel trial in which a jury concluded that the CIA had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy and examines the role that James Jesus Angleton, Israel’s ally at the CIA played in the conspiracy. Most importantly, we will examine the oftmentioned (but little-understood) so-called “French connection” to the JFK assassination conspiracy which was, in fact, also the Israeli connection.
  • Chapter 17 dissects the role that CIA and Mossad assets in the media played in distorting the public’s perception of the JFK assassination conspiracy and how they pointed the finger of blame elsewhere.
  • Chapter 18 is a new look at the assassination of Senator Robert F. and how RFK’s murder ties together not only the CIA, Israel’s Mossad, and the Meyer Lansky syndicate, but also the Iranian secret police, SAVAK (itself a creation of the CIA and the Mossad).
  • The concluding chapter constitutes an overview outlining the nature of the conspiracy that resulted in the JFK assassination.

Then, what follows are ten uniquely diverse appendices that shed new light on a wide variety of little-known aspects of the JFK assassination conspiracy and cover-up that have been distorted or misinterpreted or otherwise forgotten.

Some Little-Known Sidelights…

  • Appendix One considers the covert CIA career of George Herbert Walker Bush and examines his integral links with several of the key players in the JFK assassination conspiracy, examining that critical question, “Where Was George?”
  • Appendix Two reviews Lee Harvey Oswald’s little-known link to at least one long-time federal undercover informant who operated in both “right-” and “left-” wing groups.
  • Appendix Three puts to rest, at long last, the theory that “right wing extremists” were the driving force behind the JFK assassination. The primary “right wing” figure linked to the assassination was moving in proIsrael circles all along. (This appendix will surely open up new vistas for argument and discussion among “liberal” JFK assassination researchers.)
  • Appendix Four discusses a hotly controversial subject that no other book on the JFK assassination has ever discussed before: the ethnic and political antecedents of the staff attorneys who handled the day-to-day work of the Warren Commission “investigation” of the JFK assassination. This appendix also examines the little-known facts about the “kingmaker” behind Warren Commission member Gerald R. Ford: a political power broker with ties to both Israel’s Mossad and the Lansky Crime Syndicate.
  • Appendix Five looks into the widely-discussed claim that “The Federal Reserve Killed JFK.” Separating the facts from the myths, this appendix shows that there’s much more to the story than meets the eye.
  • Appendix Six takes a look at the strange death of not only former CIA Director William Colby (himself a critic of Israel) but another highlevel CIA figure who ran afoul of Israel’s Mossad. (Even in both of these cases there may indeed be a JFK assassination connection.)

You Heard It Here First…

  • Appendix Seven is the first-ever exposition of the real link between the JFK assassination and Watergate. Forget anything you’ve ever heard before about the “Dallas-Watergate” connection. What you’ll read here ties the two conspiracies together unlike anything you’ve ever read before.
  • Appendix Eight is a special overview of some of the more pertinent books (along with some of the outrageous ones) that have appeared over the years about the JFK assassination—a reader’s guide to the literature.
  • Appendix Nine examines the long-secret collaboration between Israel and Red China in the arena of nuclear production and addresses the question as to whether the cancellation (by Lyndon Johnson) of JFK’s plans to launch a military attack on Red China’s nuclear facilities was a direct consequence of Israel’s role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.
  • Appendix Ten analyzes the ongoing political crisis in Israel: many Israelis believe that Israeli intelligence had a hand in the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. If that theory is subject to open debate in Israel, why can’t Americans ponder the possibility that Israeli intelligence had a hand in the assassination of an American president?
  • A special supplement to this edition of Final Judgment appears in the form of what was originally published in a separate volume under the title Default Judgment. This is a detailed selection of questions addressed to the author after the initial release of Final Judgment. The answers shed additional light on many matters discussed in Final Judgment as well as upon some things that were not addressed.
  • Our afterword and what may well be our “final word” reflect on the nature of the continuing cover-up and of how the truth may never really be told. A special postscript explains the tragic story of how an honest French diplomat may have died as a result of the release of Final Judgment—another of the strange deaths that came in the wake of the assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

What appears in these pages, many readers now believe, is a logically constructed recitation of the facts that lead us to the conclusion that Israel’s Mossad did play an instrumental role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Reaching a Final Judgment

You be the judge.

You have heard all of the other theories time and again.

This is the one and only book which ties all of those theories together in a comprehensive summary which makes ultimate sense.

Read this book and reach your own final judgment.

Chapter Two • Off With His Head • 2,200 Words
A Mossad Plot to Kill an American President

Would Israel’s Mossad actually consider assassinating an American president perceived hostile to Israel? A former Mossad agent says “yes.” According to ex-Mossad man Victor Ostrovsky, the Israeli spy agency hatched a plan to kill President George Bush.

If President John F. Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy orchestrated—at least in part—by Israel’s spy agency, the Mossad, this evidently not be the last time that the Mossad planned the assassination of an American president. According to former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, elements of the Mossad were plotting an attempt on the life of President George Bush. The reason: according to Ostrovsky, Bush was hated by the Mossad and considered an enemy of Israel.

This amazing revelation was published in the February 1992 edition of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. The author of the report was former Congressman Paul Findley (R-Ill.), himself a prominent critic of Israel. (Findley’s best-selling book, They Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israel’s Lobby, is a classic exposition of the way Israel’s lobby has worked to silence American critics of the foreign nation.) Findley reported that Ostrovsky had learned through his sources in the intelligence community that because of President Bush’s seeming intransigence toward Israel’s demands, the Mossad had begun coordinating plans for the assassination of the American president.

Ostrovsky relayed this information to several members of the Canadian parliament, indicating that the Mossad and not Israel’s elected leadership, is “the real engine of policy in Israel.”[8]Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 1992. One of those attending the meeting with Ostrovsky passed the information on to another former U.S. Representative, Paul N. (Pete) McCloskey (R-Calif.).

Upon learning of the potential threat to President Bush, exCongressman McCloskey himself flew to Canada where he met with Ostrovsky. According to Findley: “Ostrovsky impressed McCloskey as a patriotic Zionist who believes the Mossad is out of control. Ostrovsky told him the present leadership of the Mossad wants ‘to do everything possible to preserve a state of war between Israel and its neighbors, assassinating President Bush, if necessary.”[9]Ibid.
(Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 1992.)

“He said a public relations campaign is already underway in both Israel and the United States to ‘prepare public acceptance of [vice president] Dan Quayle as president.’ After lengthy discussion during which he became convinced that Ostrovsky was ‘real’ and telling the truth, McCloskey took the next flight to Washington.

“There he relayed the information to the Secret Service and State Department, receiving mixed reactions to Ostrovsky’s reliability. An officer of the Navy Department dismissed him simply as a “traitor to Israel.”[10]Ibid.
(Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 1992.)

Americans Killed by Israeli Intrigue

Findley points out that in his controversial book, By Way of Deception, the aforementioned Ostrovsky documented a Mossad action which was “especially shocking to American readers.”[11] In that instance, 241 U.S. Marines were murdered by a terrorist truck bomb that plowed into the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983.

Although Israeli agents learned that the attack was impending, the Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv ordered its agents to ignore the threat and to not alert the American servicemen to the danger. “We are not there [in Beirut] to protect Americans,” the Mossad leaders explained. “They’re a big country. Send only the regular information.” According to Ostrovsky, the “regular information” was “like sending a weather report, unlikely to raise any particular alarm.”[12]Ibid.
(Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 1992.)

“Is it conceivable,” asks Findley, “that Israel’s Mossad might assassinate George Bush in order to put a more sympathetic man in the White House? It is well to remember two earlier occasions when Israeli authorities were willing to sacrifice American lives to serve their own national interests.”[13]Ibid.
(Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 1992.)
Congressman Findley points out two other occasions where Americans died or otherwise faced extinction at the hands of Israel:

  • On June 8, 1967, naval and air forces of Israel deliberately—and without provocation—attacked the American spy ship, the U.S.S. Liberty killing 34 American sailors and wounding 171 others. It was an attempt to destroy the ship and its entire crew.
  • During the October 1973 war, Israeli pilots were ordered to shoot down an unarmed U.S. reconnaissance plane that was overflying Israel’s secret nuclear bomb development site at Dimona. The plane, however, flew too high for Israel’s would-be assassins to reach.

Assessing the potential threat to President George Bush, Congressman Findley concludes, “The U.S. Secret Service will be wise to assume the worst.”[14]Ibid.
(Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, February 1992.)

Incredibly enough, at almost the same time Findley’s provocative report first appeared, several unusual events occurred that seemed to give credence to the allegation that there might indeed be a plot afoot to eliminate George Bush—if not physically, at least politically. Each of these threatening incidents took place during President George Bush’s January 1992 trip to the Far East.

The most notable incident, of course, was the President’s bizarre public seizure while dining in the company of the Japanese premier. More than a few people speculated—privately—that the president might indeed have been poisoned. This, of course, is speculation, but it is based in reality. Interestingly, it was while the president was on his Far Eastern junket that The Washington Post—the daily newspaper of record in the nation’s capitol—inexplicably reversed itself and began publishing a lengthy and glowing seven-part series hailing Vice President Dan Quayle. Obviously this seems to be a confirmation of Victor Ostrovsky’s claim that preparations were being made in the United States to make a Dan Quayle presidency palatable.

The Post‘s unusual flip-flop was made all the more potent when the news arrived that the president had been stricken. Quayle, evidently, already had the Establishment’s support if he had been unexpectedly thrust into the presidency. Oddly, prior to the Post’s turn-about, the Washington daily had been one of Quayle’s most persistent critics. However, something quite alarming also took place during that eventful week.

A Security Breach

For two days, during President George Bush’s visit in Seoul, South Korea, top-secret information regarding the president’s personal arrangements was inexplicably made available to the public. Incredibly enough, this was during a period when terrorist alert status was already high. Security experts believed that if potential presidential assassins had such action in mind, the security breach would have assisted them tremendously. According to Robert Snow, a spokesman for the Secret Service, “It wouldn’t be stretching it”[15]Washington Times, January 14, 1992. to suggest that the security lapse could have put Bush in danger. Blame for the lapse in security was laid at the hands of the U.S. Information Service (USIS), a branch of the State Department. For their own part, officials at the State Department were unable to provide an explanation of the bizarre security breach. The White House refused to comment.

The USIS published a list of the names and hotel room numbers of the president’s traveling party, which numbered 471 people. (The fact that the president was staying at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence was part of the information revealed.) Included on the list were the names and room numbers of 122 Secret Service agents, eight Marine guards, four presidential stewards and six military aides. Also revealed were security control room locations in the hotel where the president was staying as well as the names of the 10 Secret Service agents heading security at the various locations that the president visited while in Korea. The room assignments of top administration officials accompanying the president, as well as those of the thirteen corporate executives along for the trip were also published.[16]Ibid.
(Washington Times, January 14, 1992.)
This incredible revelation caused suspicion that perhaps there were those in positions of power who may not necessarily have been concerned for the president’s safety. The tentacles of Israel’s Mossad do reach far and wide— even into the depths of the U.S. State Department. Was this breach of security a first step in an assassination attempt—perhaps one to be carried out by some obscure Korean terrorist group acting as a “false flag” for the Mossad?

Retired Air Force Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, himself an acknowledged authority on covert operations—including assassination planning—says that one of the primary necessary measures in any assassination plot is the process of removing or otherwise breaching the intended victim’s blanket of security. Prouty, who worked in presidential security with the military, knows whereof he speaks. According to Prouty, “No one has to direct an assassination—it happens. The active role is played secretly by permitting it to happen… This is the greatest single clue… Who has the power to call off or reduce the usual security precautions that are always in effect whenever a president travels?”[17]Jim Mans. Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1989), p. 582.

If in 1991, Why Not in 1963?

In his 1994 book, The Other Side of Deception, Mossad man Victor Ostrovsky finally revealed the specifics of what he had learned of the 1991 Mossad plot against Bush: the Mossad planned to assassinate Bush during an international conference in Madrid. The Mossad had captured three Palestinian “extremists” and leaked word to the Spanish police that the terrorists were on their way to Madrid. The plan was to kill Bush, release the “assassins” in the midst of the confusion—and kill the Palestinians on the spot. The crime would be blamed on the Palestinians—another Mossad “false flag,” more about which we will learn in Chapter Three.[18]Victor Ostrovsky. The Other Side of Deception. New York: HarperCollins, 1994, pp. 277-279.

Some Historical Speculation

Frankly, there have been those who have suggested, in the wake of the publication of the first edition of Final Judgment, that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in fact, may himself have been the first American president to die at the hands of the intelligence network that ultimately evolved into Israel’s Mossad. They point out, based on well-documented historical evidence, that FDR may have been a genuine roadblock in the way of the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine.

It is known that Saudi King Abd al-Aziz Ibn Saud met with FDR on board a U.S. Navy ship on February 14, 1945 when the American president was returning from the famous Yalta Conference. There, according to former American diplomat Richard Curtiss, the Saudi king “exacted assurances from the President that he would ‘do nothing to assist the Jews against the Arabs and would make no move hostile to the Arab people.’”[19]Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image. (Washington, DC: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 24.

After that meeting, according to Curtiss, FDR “told friends that in a few minutes of conversation with the Saudi monarch he learned more about the Palestine situation than he had learned in all of his previous life. His new knowledge did not prevent him, however, from authorizing a U.S. Zionist leader to state that the President still favored a Jewish state and unrestricted Jewish immigration into Palestine.

“Then, as the Arabs reacted with angry questions, he authorized the Department of State to reaffirm his pledge to Ibn Saud and other Arab leaders that there would be prior consultation with the Arabs as well as the Jews before the U.S. took any action related to Palestine.”[20]Ibid.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image. (Washington, DC: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 24.)
One week later FDR was dead.

In fact, two authors known for their devotion to the Zionist cause—John Loftus and Mark Aarons—have stated candidly that many friends of Israel do believe that FDR’s death was quite fortuitous: “Although American public opinion was favorable toward Jews, few Zionists trusted Roosevelt entirely… As several leading Zionists admitted, if Roosevelt had lived, it is unlikely that Israel would ever have been born. They knew what they were talking about.”[21]John Loftus and Mark Aarons. The Secret War Against the Jews. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p. 154.

An Interesting Footnote in History…

We could speculate forever about how FDR really died. However, we do know—based on a very reliable source—that FDR’s successor, Harry Truman, was in fact the target for assassination because he was perceived hostile to Zionist interests. According to Margaret Truman, daughter of the late president, the Jewish underground terrorist movement in Palestine known as the Stern Gang once tried to murder her father.

In a biography of her father Miss Truman discussed the attempt on her father’s life by Puerto Rican nationalists. Then, in a little-noticed, but highly significant aside she commented: “I learned in the course of my research for this book that there had been other attempts on Dad’s life, which he never mentioned… In the summer of 1947, the so-called Stern gang of Palestine terrorists tried to assassinate Dad by mail…”[22]Margaret Truman. Harry S. Truman. (New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc. 1973), p. 489.

The Jewish terrorists, it seems, had sent the president letters that had been tainted with toxic chemicals. Fortunately, the mail was intercepted and no harm was done. Harry Truman, of course, got the message, though, and rushed to recognize the state of Israel upon its founding in 1948, despite his own reservations and those on the part of his diplomatic advisors.

This clumsy attempt to kill Truman is interesting, to say the very least, and points to a proclivity for political violence on the part of the Israeli leaders in the Stern Gang whom, it should be pointed out, were the very individuals who emerged as the leaders of the Mossad following the establishment of the state of Israel.

A Pattern of Evidence…

Very clearly, there is strong evidence—indeed a pattern—to suggest that Israel would indeed consider the assassination of an American president. With this in mind, let us move forward and examine the evidence which will lead us toward a final judgment.

Chapter Three • A Bad Habit • 3,100 Words
Israel’s Use of “False Flags” in Global Terrorism—Pointing the Finger of Guilt Elsewhere

Researchers in the JFK assassination controversy have repeatedly pointed out the false leads that continue to appear. Most believe that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, was indeed what he claimed to be—the patsy—and that false clues had been laid by the real conspirators to make it appear as though Oswald was an agent of Fidel Castro or the Soviets or both. The use of such “false flags” by Israel’s Mossad to cover up its own role in worldwide assassination conspiracies and other criminal activity has been documented time and again. “Arabs,” “the Mafia,” “right-wing extremists,” and others have repeatedly taken the fall for crimes committed by the Mossad or carried out under its coordination.

The use of “false flag” operations by Israel and its Mossad has been documented repeatedly since the Jewish State first came into being. This book contends that Israel and its primary collaborator, the CIA, utilized insidious “false flags” in orchestrating the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the subsequent cover-up: “the Mafia,” “anti-Castro Cubans,” “the Soviets,” “Castro agents” and even “right-wing extremists” have all been fingered as those responsible for the JFK assassination. But the real hard evidence points in another direction entirely.

‘Forged Trails’ And ‘False Flags’

One major JFK assassination researcher, Professor Peter Dale Scott, has described what he called “the brilliance of the assassination plot.”[23]Tikkun, March/April 1992. This was, according to Scott, “that the conspirators had forged trails to induce a cover-up.” Scott cites a number of instances: “There were, for example, trails that potentially linked Oswald to Fidel Castro or to the KGB and Khruschev—a trail that might lead to war.

“Moreover, there was false evidence given to the Secret Service that led to a group of anti-Castro Cubans in Chicago whose operations had been authorized indirectly by Bobby Kennedy himself. This is just one of several trails that might have led in directions that no one wanted to investigate.”[24]Ibid.
(Tikkun, March/April 1992.)
That Israel has had a long and proven record in planting “false flags” is the subject of discussion in this chapter.

In preparation for our consideration of Israel’s role in the JFK assassination conspiracy, it is worthwhile to first review some of the more notable instances in which Israel orchestrated assassinations and pinned those atrocities on innocent parties—”false flags.”

In Chapter 2 we noted how former Congressman Paul Findley had cited two cases in which Israel indicated a willingness to sacrifice American lives for its own interests: (a) the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in June of 1967 and (b) the intended attack on an American reconnaissance plane that was overflying Israel’s secret nuclear bomb development site. These incidents are particularly intriguing in light of what we will ponder in this volume. The attack on the Liberty—it is generally acknowledged by everyone but Israel and its defenders—was a deliberate attempt to destroy the Liberty and its crew and to sink the vessel to the bottom of the Mediterranean. What is most interesting, however, is the reason behind this bizarre and brutal attack.

The U.S.S. Liberty—blaming the Egyptians

Israel, in fact, hoped to pin the responsibility on a “false flag”—Egypt— and draw the United States into the impending 1967 war on the side of Israel. It is only because the Liberty did not sink and instead was rescued that the history books don’t tell us today that “the Arabs” sunk an American spy ship and sparked another “Lusitania incident” that forced America to go to war.

The Nuclear Bomb

The second instance to which Congressman Findley referred is of special interest inasmuch as the intended attack on an American air force reconnaissance plane was designed to protect Israel’s secret development of nuclear weaponry. It was Israel’s nuclear offensive that led President John F. Kennedy into the “secret war” with Israel that he conducted with increasing intensity during the three years of his short-lived presidency.

As we shall see in Chapter 5, it was the very issue of Kennedy’s intransigent opposition to Israel’s nuclear arms development that became a central part of his standoff with Israel and its Mossad. It was this conflict that played a critical part in setting in final motion the assassination conspiracy that ended John Kennedy’s life.

What follows is an overview of some other notable instances in which Israel utilized ‘false flags” in its international criminal endeavors.

The Lavon Affair

Perhaps the best-known instance in which Israel used a “false flag” to cover its own trail was in the infamous Lavon Affair. It was in 1954 that several Israeli-orchestrated acts of terrorism against British targets in Egypt were carried out. Blame for the attacks was placed on the Muslim Brotherhood, which opposed the regime of Egyptian President Gamul

Abdul-Nasser. However, the truth about the wave of terror can now be found in a once-secret cable from Colonel Benjamin Givli, the head of Israel’s military intelligence, who outlined the intended purpose behind the wave of terror:

“[Our goal] is to break the West’s confidence in the existing [Egyptian] regime. The actions should cause arrests, demonstrations, and expressions of revenge. The Israeli origin should be totally covered while attention should be shifted to any other possible factor. The purpose is to prevent economic and military aid from the West to Egypt.”[25]Livia Rokach. Israel’s Sacred Terrorism. (Belmont, Massachusetts: AAUG Press, 1986), p. 34.

Ultimately the truth about Israel’s involvement in the affair became public and Israel was rocked internally in the wake of the scandal. Competing political elements within Israel used the scandal as a bludgeon against their opponents. But the truth about Israel’s use of a “false flag” had come to international attention and demonstrated how Israel was indeed willing to needlessly endanger innocent lives as part of its grand political strategy to expand its influence in the Middle East.

Blaming ‘Right-Wing Extremists’

A shadowy “right wing” group known as “Direct Action” was accused of the attack on Goldenberg’s Deli in Paris on August 9, 1982. Six people died and 22 were injured. The leader of “Direct Action” was one Jean-Marc Rouillan. Rouillan had been operating in the Mediterranean under the cover name of “Sebas” and had been repeatedly linked to the Mossad. All references to Rouillan’s Mossad links were deleted from the official reports issued at the time.

However, the Algerian national news service—which has ties to French intelligence—blamed the Mossad for Rouillan’s activities. Angry French intelligence officers were believed to have leaked this information to the Algerians. Several top French security officials quit in protest over this coverup of Mossad complicity in Rouillan’s crimes.[26]Spotlight, September 6, 1982. However, other Mossadorchestrated false flag operations also took place on French soil.

On October 3, 1980 a synagogue on Copernicus Street was bombed in Paris. Four bystanders were killed. Nine were injured. The media frenzy which followed the incident was worldwide. Reports held that “right wing extremists” were responsible. Yet, of all of the “right wing extremists” held for questioning, none was arrested. In fact, all were released.

In the upper echelons of French intelligence, however, the finger of suspicion was pointed at the Mossad. According to one report: “On April 6, 1979, the same Mossad terror unit now suspected of the Copernicus carnage blew up the heavily guarded plant of CNIM industries at La Seyne-sur-Mer, near Toulon, in southeast France, where a consortium of French firms was building a nuclear reactor for Iraq.

“The Mossad salted the site of the CNIM bomb blast with ‘clues’ followed up with anonymous phone calls to police—suggesting that the sabotage was the work of a ‘conservative’ environmentalist Troup—’the most pacific and harmless people on earth’ as one source put it.”[27]The Spotlight, November 10, 1980

Blaming the Corsican Mafia

  • On June 28, 1978, Israeli agents exploded a bomb under a small passenger car in the Rue Saint Anne, killing Mohammed Boudia, an organizer for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Immediately afterward, Paris police received anonymous phone calls accusing Boudia of involvement in narcotics deals and attributing his murder to the Corsican Mafia. A thorough investigation subsequently established that Mossad special-action agents were responsible for the terrorist killing.

Blaming the Neo-Nazis

  • In October, 1976 the same Mossad unit kidnapped two West German students named Brigette Schulz and Thomas Reuter from their Paris hotel. Planted “clues” and anonymous phone calls made it appear that a Bavarian “neo-nazi” formation had executed the abduction. In fact, French intelligence established that the two German youths had been secretly flown to Israel, drugged, tortured, coerced into a false “confession of complicity” in PLO activities, and then anonymously incarcerated in one of the Israeli government’s notorious political prisons.

Blaming the South Koreans

  • In February 1977 a German-born, naturalized U.S. citizen named William Jahnke arrived in Paris for some secretive business meetings. He soon vanished, leaving no trace. Paris police were anonymously informed that Jahnke had been involved in a high-level South Korean bribery affair and “eliminated” when the deal went sour. A special team of investigators from SDECE, the leading French intelligence agency, eventually determined that Jahnke had been “terminated” by the Mossad, which suspected him of selling secret information to the Libyans. Along with other details of this sordid case, the SDECE learned that Jahnke had been “fingered” to the Mossad by his own former employer, the CIA.[28]Ibid.
    (The Spotlight, November 10, 1980)

Blaming the Libyans

One of Israel’s most outrageous “false flag” operations involved a wild propaganda story aimed at discrediting Libyan leader Muamar Qaddafi—one of Israel’s favorite enemies. In the early months of the administration of President Ronald Reagan, the American media began heavily promoting a story to the effect that a “Libyan hit squad” was in the United States for the express purpose of assassinating Reagan. This inflamed public sentiment against Libya and there were repeated calls for blood.

Suddenly, however, the “hit squad” stories vanished. In fact, it was ultimately discovered that the source of the story was one Manucher Ghorbanifar, a former Iranian SAVAK (secret police) agent with close ties to the Mossad. Even The Washington Post acknowledged that the CIA itself believed that Ghorbanifar was a liar who “had made up the hit-squad story in order to cause problems for one of Israel’s enemies.”[29]Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter. The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era. (Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1987), p. 217.

The Los Angeles Times itself had already blown the whistle on Israel’s scare stories. “Israeli intelligence, not the Reagan administration,” reported the Times, “was a major source of some of the most dramatic published reports about a Libyan assassination team allegedly sent to kill President Reagan and other top U.S. officials… Israel, which informed sources said has ‘wanted an excuse to go in and bash Libya for a longtime,’ may be trying to build American public support for a strike against [Qaddafi], these sources said.”[30]Ibid.
(Jonathan Marshall, Peter Dale Scott and Jane Hunter. The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in the Reagan Era. (Boston, Massachusetts: South End Press, 1987), p. 217.)

In other words, Israel had been promoting the former SAVAK agent, Ghorbanifar, to official Washington as a reliable source. In fact, he was a Mossad disinformation operative waving a “false flag” to mislead America. This was yet another Israeli scheme to blame Libya for its own misdeeds, this time using one “false flag” (Iran’s SAVAK) to lay the blame on another “false flag” (Libya). (In Chapter 18 we shall see yet another SAVAK crime carried out on behalf of Israel and its allies in the CIA.)

Blaming Libya Again

Israel’s Mossad was almost certainly responsible for the bombing of the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin on April 5, 1986. However, claims were made that there was “irrefutable” evidence that the Libyans were responsible. A U.S. serviceman was killed. President Ronald Reagan responded with an attack on Libya.

However, intelligence insiders believed that Israel’s Mossad had concocted the phony “evidence” to “prove” Libyan responsibility. West Berlin police director Manfred Ganschow, who took charge of the investigation, cleared the Libyans, saying, “This is a highly political case. Some of the evidence cited in Washington may not be evidence at all, merely assumptions supplied for political reasons.”[31]The Spotlight, April 21, 1986.

Blaming the Syrians

On April 18, 1986 one Nezar Hindawi, a 32 year old Jordanian was arrested in London after security guards found that one of the passengers boarding an Israeli plane bound for Jerusalem, Ann Murphy, 22, was carrying a square, flat sheet of plastic explosive in the double bottom of her carry-on bag. Miss Murphy told security men that the detonator (disguised as a calculator) had been given to her by her finance, Hindawi. He was charged with attempted sabotage and attempted murder.

Word was leaked that Hindawi had confessed and claimed that he had been hired by Gen. Mohammed Al-Khouli, the intelligence director of the Syrian air force. Also implicated were others including the Syrian Ambassador in London. The French authorities warned the British Prime Minister that there was more to the case than met the eye—that is, Israeli involvement. This was later confirmed in reports in the Western press.[32]The Spotlight., November 10, 1986

Blaming the Plo

In 1970, King Hussein of Jordan was provided with incriminating intelligence that suggested the Palestine Liberation Organization was plotting to murder him and seize power in his nation. Infuriated, Hussein mobilized his forces for what has become known as the ‘Black September’ purge of the PLO. Thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan were rounded up, some of the leaders were tortured, and in the end, masses of refugees were driven from Jordan to Lebanon.

New data, coming to light after the murder of two leading Mossad operatives in Larnaka, Cyprus suggested that the entire operation had been a Mossad covert action, led by one of its key operatives, Sylvia Roxburgh. She contrived an affair with King Hussein and served as the linchpin for a major Mossad coup designed to destabilize the Arabs.[33]Ibid.
(The Spotlight., November 10, 1986)

In 1982, just when the PLO had abandoned the use of terrorism, the Mossad spread disinformation about “terror attacks” on Israeli settlements along the northern border in order to justify a full-scale military invasion of Lebanon. Years later, even leading Israeli spokesmen, such as former Foreign Minister Abba Eban, admitted that the reports of “PLO terrorism” had been contrived by the Mossad.[34]Ibid.
(The Spotlight., November 10, 1986)

It is also worth noting that the attempted assassination—in London—of Israeli Ambassador to England, Shlomo Argov, was initially blamed upon the PLO.

The attempted assassination was cited by Israel as one excuse for its bloody 1982 incursion into Lebanon. In fact, the diplomat in question was considered one of Israel’s “doves” and inclined toward a friendly disposition of Israel’s longtime conflict with the PLO. He was the least likely target of PLO wrath. What’s more, one of the suspects in the crime was found carrying a “hit list” which actually included the name of the head of the PLO office in London.[35]Ibid., September 27, 1982.
(The Spotlight., November 10, 1986)
Thus, it appears that the assassination attempt was carried out by the Mossad—under yet another “false flag”—for two purposes: (a) elimination of a domestic “peacenik” considered friendly toward the Palestinians; and (b) pinning yet another crime on the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Why Frame Oswald as a ‘Pro-Castro Agitator’?

These instances cited here are but a handful of Mossad-orchestrated “false flag” operations blamed on a wide variety of alleged “suspects.” The evidence that we shall be examining in Final Judgment suggests that the assassination of John F. Kennedy was yet another “false flag” conspiracy by Israel’s Mossad and its collaborators in the American CIA. We now know, based upon years of study by numerous JFK assassination researchers, that prior to the JFK assassination, the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was being set up as a patsy. Indeed, Oswald’s activities were presented as proof that a “pro-Castro agitator” had been the “lone nut” behind the president’s assassination.

If anything—we should note at this juncture—Lee Harvey Oswald’s identity as a “pro-Castro agitator”—the role he played prior to the JFK assassination—was tailor-made for (or, perhaps we should say, tailor-made by) the CIA and its allies in the Mossad. What few JFK assassination researchers have noted (or perhaps even understood) was that Fidel Castro’s Cuba had long been hostile to Israel and the cause of Zionism. Thus, both the Mossad and the CIA would find a “pro-Castro agitator” an ideal patsy.

In a lengthy essay the Castro government published in the November 4, 1979 edition of Granma—an official newspaper—the Cuban Marxists critiqued Israel and Zionism. Castro’s newspaper said, in part:

“The Zionists never did, and never will, forgive the Soviet state and its Leninist Party… because the Bolsheviks implemented a correct policy that incorporated the talents and efforts of the Soviet Jews into the tasks of building a new society and thus demonstrated the class origins of discrimination and anti-Semitism, breaking with the past and providing a genuine solution to the Jewish problem, a solution which was not and could never be a massive exodus to Palestine.

“With the outbreak of the cold war the Zionists collaborated in all the subversive and diversionary activities against the USSR and other socialist countries. The secret services of the Zionist state of Israel coordinated their spy activities with the CIA. And to complete the picture there is the Zionist counter-revolutionary action against the national liberation movements. “The Zionists became a power and succeeded in establishing their own state in 1948. Now their task is to defend oil routes, protect all the interests of U.S. imperialism and block the advance of the Arab revolution. Neither the machinations of Zionist counterrevolution, nor Israeli arms, can hold back the victorious march of the peoples of the world.”[36]Granma, November 4, 1979.

These are fighting words, to say the least, and do explain perhaps why those who were responsible for framing Lee Harvey Oswald would have selected his profile as a “pro-Castro agitator.” The profile would satisfy both the hard-line anti-communists and the Zionists.

In subsequent years, as the initial cover story that Oswald was a proCastro agitator began to unravel and new fallback targets have been named— primarily “the Mafia.” It was the Mossad and its allies in the CIA and in the controlled American media who have been doing all the fingering. Everybody being blamed by the Mossad and its CIA allies were implicated and everybody, as a consequence, had a stake in the cover-up.

JFK and Secret Deals

To achieve the presidency in 1960, John F. Kennedy was forced to cut secret deals—behind the scenes—with a variety of powerful forces intricately linked to Israel. In Chapter 4 we shall examine the history of those deals and how they played a part in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Chapter Four • No Love Lost • 6,100 Words
JFK, Meyer Lansky, The Mafia & The Israeli Lobby

There was a long history of bitter enmity between John F. Kennedy and his powerful father Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy and organized crime boss Meyer Lansky, stemming in part from the senior Kennedy’s deals with the underworld. This, however, did not stop the Kennedy family from cutting deals with the crime syndicate when it came to winning elections.

The Kennedy family’s alleged anti-Semitism didn’t do anything to improve JFK’s relations with Israel and its American lobby either. Kennedy’s intervention in the issue of Algerian independence from France also drew sharp criticism from the Israeli lobby as well. Yet, when John F. Kennedy sought the presidency, he was willing to cut deals with the Israeli lobby—for a price.

By the end of his presidency, however, Kennedy had reneged on his deals, not only with Israel’s Godfather, Meyer Lansky, and his henchmen in the Mafia, but also with the Israeli lobby.

John F. Kennedy was very much a product of his father’s upbringing— much to the dismay, it might be said, of many of even JFK’s most devout disciples. They would, frankly, prefer to forget much of the recorded history of the Kennedy family and present JFK as something just short of being a saint.

That President John F. Kennedy was the son of Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy long perceived to be, at the very least, neutral to the ambitions of Nazi Germany—and, at the worst, an anti-Semite and even an admirer of Adolf Hitler—has been a lot for Kennedy’s admirers to swallow. Ambassador Kennedy, of course, fought U.S. entry into World War II. Several accounts of the period suggest that Kennedy himself returned from Britain, where he served as American ambassador, with the intent of launching a major campaign against President Roosevelt’s war plans. However, after a meeting at the White House between the ambassador and the president, Kennedy backed off. What happened during that meeting is ripe for speculation.

JFK, Hitler and the War in Europe

What is interesting to note (and definitely little known) is that at the same time Ambassador Kennedy was fighting against American involvement in what became the Second World War, his sons Joe, Jr. and John were also promoting the same agenda.

Joe, Jr., as a student at Harvard, served on the Harvard Committee Against Military Intervention in Europe, described as “a reactionary group that petitioned influential government officials and held rallies opposing American entry in the European war effort.”[37]C. David Heymann, A Woman Named Jackie. (New York: New American Library, 1989), p. 151.

More significantly, however, it appears that JFK himself was under steady surveillance by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI because of his anti-war activities. JFK was accused by the FBI of voicing “anti-British and defeatist sentiments and blaming Winston Churchill for getting the United States into the war… It also appears,” charged the FBI, “that Kennedy had prepared for his father at least one of the speeches which his father had made, or was intending to make, in answer to criticism of his alleged appeasement policies… In addition Jack Kennedy stated that in his opinion England was through, and his father’s greatest mistake was not talking enough, that he stopped talking too soon.”[38]Ibid.
(C. David Heymann, A Woman Named Jackie. (New York: New American Library, 1989), p. 151.)

Young Jack Kennedy, as a Harvard student, was more than neutral toward Hitler, it seems. Having visited Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany, JFK recorded in his diary, according to Time magazine, that he had come “to the decision that Facism [sic] is the thing for Germany and Italy, Communism for Russia and Democracy for America and England.”[39]Time, October 19, 1992., p. 28. Youthful musings, but interesting, to say the least.

Kennedy and the ‘Fascist’

After the war was underway, JFK’s father, Ambassador Kennedy, actively considered involvement in a scheme to cut the war short—in opposition to President Roosevelt.

Kennedy’s biographer, Richard Whalen, has written of a secret meeting between Kennedy and a prominent critic of the Roosevelt administration, the controversial publicist, Lawrence Dennis. Often described (inaccurately) as “America’s leading fascist,” Dennis was a former diplomat himself and one of the early leaders in the effort to block American intervention in what evolved into World War II. Consequently, he and Kennedy had much in common.

Kennedy’s biographer outlined the circumstances of that secret meeting—a meeting which says much about Kennedy’s line of thinking: “In October 1943, Lawrence Dennis received a telephone call from his friend, Paul Palmer, then a senior editor of The Reader’s Digest. Before the war, Dennis had contributed to the Digest, but the author of The Coming American Fascism since had become too controversial for his byline to appear in the nation’s largest magazine. Now he received a $500-a-month retainer as an editorial consultant.

“One of his recent efforts had been a memorandum sharply critical of unconditional surrender and the rumored plans to break up Germany. Palmer invited Dennis to lunch in his suite in Manhattan’s St. Regis Hotel, saying he would meet someone there who was thinking along similar lines. “It turned out to be Joe Kennedy. Over lunch, Kennedy said he had been seeing Archbishop Spellman almost daily. He said the Archbishop had returned from Rome with word that Hitler’s generals might attempt to overthrow him if they were offered terms less hopeless than unconditional surrender.

“Kennedy grew emotional and castigated Roosevelt. He talked of his two sons in the service, and declared that the war could be ended within two weeks if the German generals were given encouragement.

“Of course, no Church official could speak out against the folly of Roosevelt’s policy, but Kennedy could, and this had been Palmer’s purpose in arranging the luncheon. The editor asked whether the former Ambassador would write, or at least sign, an article condemning unconditional surrender. The impact of such an article, given Kennedy’s former standing in the administration, could be enormous. But he did not accept the invitation and the war being fought by his sons and so many other young men raged on.”[40]Richard Whalen. The Founding Father: The Story of Joseph P. Kennedy. (New York: New American Library, 1964), pp. 366-367.

Ambassador Kennedy no doubt remembered this meeting for the rest of his days. He was very bitter about the war and particularly bitter at Franklin D. Roosevelt. Kennedy once allegedly referred to FDR as “that crippled son of a bitch that killed my son Joe.”

(Joe Kennedy, Jr., of course, being the ambassador’s eldest son. It was Joe, Jr.’s death that ultimately laid the groundwork for the second son, John, to be groomed for the presidency in his older brother’s place.)

A Business Venture

However, the senior Kennedy’s views most definitely did not change as time went by. But as the retired ambassador grew older, he became more pragmatic. This was evidenced in a meeting—in the mid-1950′s—between Kennedy and an associate of Lawrence Dennis—a New York-based entertainment executive named DeWest Hooker.

In fact, as we shall see, it may have been efforts by Hooker, as a consequence of his meeting with Joe Kennedy, that helped John F. Kennedy win his narrow victory in the 1960 presidential election.

Mr. Hooker hoped to interest Joe Kennedy in a business venture which Hooker believed might be right up the ambassador’s alley. Hooker wanted to establish an independent television network, and he felt that Kennedy, himself a veteran movie mogul, might be interested in backing the enterprise. Hooker’s memory of that meeting is quite interesting, particularly in the context of the thesis presented in these pages. To appreciate just precisely where Hooker was coming from, however, it is appropriate to review Hooker’s remarkable background.

Unabashedly Anti-Jewish

Born to wealth and privilege and a descendent of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Hooker had a varied career. Not only did he act on the Broadway stage, but he also modeled in cigarette advertisements. Hooker also served for a period as a talent agent with the powerful firm MCA and was, at a time during the 1950′s one of the highest-paid talent agents in America. Hooker also dabbled in television production and was equally successful.

However, there was an aspect to Hooker’s persona that made him, to say the least, persona non grata in the entertainment industry: Hooker is unabashedly and frankly anti-Jewish. He will be the first to admit it, no questions asked. A powerfully-built man, Hooker is fearless and not afraid to make his position known.

One of Hooker’s protégés was George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party. In his memoirs, This Time the World, Rockwell credits Hooker as being a major influence on his thinking. In fact, Rockwell dedicated the book to Hooker, along with several others including Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy and General Douglas MacArthur. Hooker, Rockwell declared, was the one “who taught me to know the cunning and evil ways of the enemy.”[41]George Lincoln Rockwell. This Time the World. (Liverpool, West Virginia: White Power Publications, 1963), p. v. According to Rockwell, Hooker was “the nearest thing to a Nazi since the Bund.”[42]Ibid., p. 123.
(George Lincoln Rockwell. This Time the World. (Liverpool, West Virginia: White Power Publications, 1963), p. v.)

The reason for Hooker’s interest in establishing an independent network was highly political: Hooker wanted the new network to be totally divorced from Jewish money and influence. In his judgment, the three existing networks were entirely under the control of Jewish interests. Hooker wanted a network that presented what he called “our way of thinking.”

Joe Kennedy Speaks Frankly

It was in 1956 that Hooker had a private meeting in Palm Beach, Florida with Kennedy. After a game of golf, Kennedy and Hooker got down to business. Hooker was there to solicit Kennedy’s financial, political and personal backing for his proposed network.

(It was during this period that Sen. John F. Kennedy was then actively seeking the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nomination. He lost, but his efforts brought him widespread acclaim within party ranks, and set in place the mechanism for his successful bid for the top spot on the party’s national ticket in 1960.)

After Hooker made his presentation to the retired ambassador, Kennedy’s response was supportive in spirit, but Old Joe made his final position clear during their four-hour conference.

According to Hooker, “Joe admitted that when he was ambassador to England that he had been pro-Hitler. However, in Kennedy’s words, ‘we’ lost the war. By ‘we’ he didn’t mean the United States. When Kennedy said ‘we,’ he meant the non-Jews. Joe Kennedy believed that it was the Jews who had won World War II.

“Kennedy said, ‘I’ve done everything I can to fight the Jewish power over this country. I tried to stop World War II, but I failed. I’ve made all the money I need and now I’m passing everything I’ve learned on to my sons.”

“I don’t go with the ‘loser’,” Kennedy told me. ‘I’ve joined the ‘winners.’ I’m going to work with the Jews. I’m teaching my boys the whole score and they’re going to work with the Jews. I’m going to make Jack the first Irish Catholic President of the United States and if it means working with the Jews, so be it. I’m in sympathy with what you’re doing, Hooker’,” Kennedy said, ‘but I’m not going to do anything that will ruin Jack’s chances to become president.”‘[43]Interview with DeWest Hooker, January 20, 1992.

Hooker was, of course, disappointed by Kennedy’s response and ultimately his “fourth” network failed to get off the ground. However, Hooker at least had the satisfaction of knowing that he and the Kennedy family were on the same wavelength—even if they were willing to compromise those views for political gain.

The Nazis ‘Endorse’ Nixon

As they parted at the end of their Palm Beach meeting, Hooker asked Kennedy if there was anything he could do to help the Kennedy family. “Yes, as a matter of fact, there is something you can do.” responded Joe Kennedy. “I’d like you to use your contacts in the right-wing. Have them start publishing articles accusing Jack of being controlled by the Jews, of being a Jewish puppet. This will have the effect of neutralizing Jewish opposition to Jack (because of me).

“The Jews know my views and naturally they’ll assume that Jack is a chip off the old block. If the right wing starts hitting Jack this will give the Jews second thoughts—at least the ones who do the voting.”[44]Ibid.
(Interview with DeWest Hooker, January 20, 1992.)
Hooker promised Kennedy he would do what he could. And being a man of his word, Hooker did influence his right-wing contacts as Kennedy had asked. Hooker encouraged his friend, Nazi leader Rockwell, and other “right wingers” to smear John F. Kennedy as JFK’s father had suggested. His efforts succeed.

As one chronicle of the 1960 campaign noted: “The American Nazi Party helped too by throwing its support to Richard Nixon—”Nazis for Nixon, Kikes for Kennedy” was one of its slogans. Another of its placards read, “FDR and JFK mean JEW deal.”[45]Edward Tivnan. The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), p. 54.

This, of course, was inspired by JFK’s father and carried out through the good offices of DeWest Hooker and his friend George Lincoln Rockwell, although the historian who penned the description of Rockwell’s sloganeering probably had no idea that it was indirectly the work of Joe Kennedy.

“Frankly,” Hooker says to this day, “As far as I’m concerned, it was my work that got Johnny Kennedy in the White House.”[46]Interview with De West Hooker. (Hooker’s claim is not completely off the mark, inasmuch as American Jewish leaders claimed themselves at the time that it was Jewish support for John F. Kennedy that gave him his narrow victory over Nixon in the 1960 election.)

This interesting—and revealing—episode is not likely to be memorialized at the John F. Kennedy Library at Harvard or in any friendly biographies of the Kennedy family. However, there can be little doubt that Israel and its American lobby had a fairly good idea of what was going on behind the scenes.

Kennedy Riles the Israeli Lobby

In 1957, while serving in his first Senate term, John Kennedy became involved in a festering international issue that was little noticed among the average American voters, but which was of special interest to Israel and its lobby in America: the question of Algerian independence. The giant Arab colossus, long a French colony, was seeking its freedom and in France itself the nation was engaged in a heated debate over the question. Israel, of course, saw the emergence of another independent Arab republic as a threat to its security and anyone favoring Algerian independence was, thus, advocating a policy deemed threatening to Israel’s survival.

Former diplomat Richard Curtiss described Kennedy’s surprise entry into the debate over Algeria: “By 1957, as a freshman member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he thought he recognized [the] tragedy of colonial inflexibility unfolding in Algeria. Already one of the congressional library’s heaviest borrowers, he now spent additional time in conversation with William J. Porter, an Arabist and the director of the State Department’s Office of North African Affairs.

“Porter feared that Washington’s uncritical support of its NATO ally, France, in the increasingly brutal French repression of the Algerian nationalists, threatened the whole future of the United States in North Africa. Kennedy also talked to members of the Algerian FLN delegation at the United Nations.”[47]Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image. [Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.

On July 2, 1957, JFK rose before the Senate and gave his maiden foreign policy address on this controversial question. He said, in part: “No amount of mutual politeness, wishful thinking, nostalgia or regret should blind either France or the United States to the fact that, if France and the West at large are to have a continuing influence in North Africa… the essential first step is the independence of Algeria.”[48]Ibid.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image. [Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.)

According to Curtiss: “The speech prompted more mail than any other he delivered as a senator. The foreign policy establishment in New York, a bastion of Atlantic solidarity, expressed righteous indignation.”[49]Ibid., p. 66.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image. [Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.)
Also, notes Curtiss, “the French were irritated.”[50]Ibid.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image. [Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.)

Some of Kennedy’s critics said that the speech was a political move and that he chose the topic of Algerian independence as the subject of his first major foreign policy address because there was neither a “French” vote nor an “Algerian” vote to contend with in his home state of Massachusetts or in the nation as a whole.

While the latter observation is correct, of course, the fact is that there was one particularly powerful American voting bloc (and source of financial contributions) that did take note of Kennedy’s support for Algerian Arab independence: the powerful American lobby for Israel.

As we shall see, in the end, it may have been JFK’s initiative on the Algerian question that, in fact, played a major part in shaping the entirety of the conspiracy that ended his life in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

This gesture by the young senator also angered many French nationalists who wanted to retain French colonial control of Algeria. Many of these nationalists later banded together in the so-called Secret Army Organization—the Israel-backed OAS—and fought against French President Charles DeGaulle who ultimately granted Algerian independence.

In Chapter 12, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we will learn more about the socalled “French connection” and how, indeed, it ultimately played a role in the JFK murder, manipulated by Israel’s Mossad.

Kennedy and Lansky

Kennedy had other powerful enemies. An ancient enmity also stood between Joseph P. Kennedy and Meyer Lansky, the foremost Jewish mob boss in America. (In Chapter 7 we shall examine Lansky’s history in more detail.) The conflict between JFK and Lansky, however, went back to the days of the president’s father’s own bootlegging activities.

According to JFK assassination expert, Jim Marrs: “In 1927, a shipment of bootleg whiskey on its way from Ireland to Boston was hijacked in southern New England. Almost the entire guard was killed in the resulting shootout. The hijackers were part of the Luciano-Lansky mob, while it was rumored that Joseph P. Kennedy was involved in the shipment. Kennedy reputedly lost a fortune on the deal and was besieged by widows of the guards seeking financial assistance. Lansky later told biographers he was convinced that Kennedy held a grudge against him personally from that time on and, in fact, had passed the hostility on to his sons.”[51]Jim Marrs. Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1989), p. 175.

Long-time Lansky henchman Michael Milan lends support for Marrs’ allegation. According to Milan, “Ask Meyer Lansky about Joe Kennedy and you’d see one of the few times that Mr. L. would actually get conniptions. What they said back during Prohibition was that you can’t trust Joe Kennedy to keep his word. He stole from his friends so much that he had no friends. And right before World War II, the sonovabitch turned around and said that we should all get on Hitler’s side, that the Jews could go to Hell.

“Meyer was ready to bust a blood vessel. His temples were actually throbbing when Sam Koenig told him what Kennedy had said. And then Meyer, almost like he was a born Sicilian, swore a blood revenge on the entire family. ‘The sins of the father,’ he kept on saying to himself, mumbling like an old zeydah vowing revenge. ‘The sins of the father.’”[52]Michael Milan. The Squad: The U.S. Government’s Secret Alliance With Organized Crime. [New York: Shapolski Publishers, 1989], p. 166.

The conflict between Lansky and Joseph P. Kennedy was but one facet of Kennedy’s relationship with organized crime. It was a relationship of many parts, and, in the end, clearly had a significant role in helping shape the conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of Ambassador Kennedy’s son who had, in fact, finally achieved the presidency.

A Double Cross

Commenting on the theory that organized crime killed JFK (a theory with which Fox concurs), historian Stephen Fox noted that “Gangsters did not normally harm honest lawmen,”[53]Stephen Fox. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1989), p. 307. such as a president like Kennedy whose administration had begun cracking down on the national crime syndicate.

However, notes Fox, “For such an extraordinary murder—to kill a president—they must have been extraordinarily provoked. In their terms, it could only have involved a double cross. The Kennedys must have dealt with the underworld in compromising ways. When the Kennedys then turned around and nonetheless went after organized crime, they breached the code and put a contract on the President.”[54]Ibid.
(Stephen Fox. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1989), p. 307.)

Fox notes that while old Joe Kennedy was an inveterate gambler, with many ties to the underworld, “given his vast wealth, no matter how much he lost the underworld could never have ‘owned’ him.”[55]Ibid., pp. 313-314.
(Stephen Fox. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1989), p. 307.)

Joe Kennedy himself was a regular visitor to Meyer Lansky’s Colonial Inn, which Lansky co-owned with New York Mafia boss Frank Costello and an assortment of smaller shareholders including a little-known Dallas nightclub keeper named Jack Ruby. Lansky himself used to brag that among his clients included, “judges, senators, respectable businessmen. Joe Kennedy used to come four or five times a week.”[56]Ibid., p. 314.
(Stephen Fox. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1989), p. 307.)

However, as the senior Kennedy’s son Jack moved upward in the political arena, his father tried to shut out his past relationship with Frank Costello. According to one of Costello’s friends, “The way [Costello] talked about [Joe Kennedy], you had the sense that they were close during Prohibition and then something happened. Frank said that he helped Kennedy become wealthy. What happened between them I don’t know.”[57]Ibid., p. 315.
(Stephen Fox. Blood and Power: Organized Crime in Twentieth Century America. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1989), p. 307.)

Kennedy and Crime

It took the family of Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle. According to Sam Giancana (nephew of the Windy City mobster) and Chuck Giancana (brother of the mobster), JFK— and his father—had indeed double crossed organized crime.

According to the Giancanas, Detroit’s “Jewish Mafia,” the so-called “Purple Gang” had put out a contract on Joe Kennedy’s life for bringing illegal liquor through their territory without their permission during the Prohibition days. However, Kennedy Sr. had gone to Chicago to beg for his life and the Chicago Mafia bosses intervened on his behalf, saving his life. As the Giancana’s put it: “Ever after, Kennedy was in Chicago’s debt.”[58]Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 75.

The relationship went much deeper, however. According to the Giancanas: “Kennedy’s ties to the underworld intersected at a hundred points. Besides making a fortune in bootlegging, Kennedy had made a financial killing in Hollywood in the twenties—with the help of persuasive behindthe-scenes New York and Chicago muscle.

“When Prohibition came to a close, as part of a national agreement between the various bootleggers, Kennedy held on to three of the most lucrative booze distributorships in the country—Gordon’s gin, Dewar’s, and Haig & Haig—through his company, Somerset Imports.”[59]Ibid., p. 227.
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 75.)

The Giancanas also say that it was Sam Giancana who smoothed things over with Frank Costello on Joe Kennedy’s behalf after Ambassador Kennedy had snubbed the New York mobster. According to the Giancanas, Kennedy was concerned about his son’s burgeoning political career and it was at that point that he agreed to cut a deal with organized crime in order to ensure smooth sailing—and in order to get Frank Costello, in Kennedy’s words, “off my back.”[60]Ibid., p. 229.
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 75.)

A Promise to the Mob

After Joe Kennedy begged for Giancana’s assistance at a meeting in Chicago, Giancana reportedly said, “I’ve heard nothing today that leads me to think that you can promise me anything in return for my assistance.”

Kennedy responded: “I can. And I will. You help me now, Sam, and I’ll see to it that Chicago—that you—can sit in the godamned Oval office if you want. That you’ll have the President’s ear. But I just need time.”

Kennedy told Giancana, “He’ll be your man. I swear to that. My son— the President of the United States—will owe you his father’s life. He won’t refuse you, ever. You have my word.”[61]Ibid., p. 230.
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 75.)

JFK, The Mafia and Meyer Lansky

It was during the 1960 Democratic Presidential primary campaign that the Kennedys once again turned to Giancana for critical Mafia support. In fact, according to the Giancanas, the Kennedys—father and son—actually met with Sam Giancana to work out a joint agreement of mutual support, before— and after—the election. As Giancana summarized the agreement: “I help get Jack elected and, in return, he calls off the heat. It’ll be business as usual.”[62]Ibid., p. 280.
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 75.)

Mafia money poured into critical primary states such as West Virginia (where many local political leaders were on the Mafia “pad”) and by convention time, JFK was virtually assured the presidential nomination. Although New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello preferred Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson, an agreement was cut, and a Kennedy-Johnson ticket was set in place. The Democratic ticket was ready for the fall election.[63]Ibid., p. 284
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 75.)

(In Chapter 10 we shall explore the relationship between Carlos Marcello and Meyer Lansky in detail. Marcello, in fact, was a protégé of Lansky—his New Orleans front man, pure and simple.)

It turns out, too, that JFK himself was busy with other mob figures other than Sam Giancana, although the history books have discreetly ignored JFK’s other crime connections, preferring instead to focus on the Italian-American “Mafia” figures.

According to FBI documents and wiretaps, JFK himself had “direct contact”[64]Heymann, p. 234. with Meyer Lansky himself during the 1960 presidential campaign, presumably for the purpose of shoring up mob support for his presidential campaign—a pact that would ultimately prove to have been a proverbial deal with the devil.

Problems with the Israeli Lobby

During this same period JFK was also engaged with critical negotiations with another important power bloc in American political affairs: the proIsrael lobby. For obvious reasons, as we have seen, there was indeed no love lost between JFK, his father, Ambassador Kennedy, and the American Jewish community.

Writing in his book, The Lobby: Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy, Edward Tivnan comments: “Senator Kennedy’s record on Israel was vague, certainly not as staunchly supportive as Hubert Humphrey’s. And unlike Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy did not rush to Israel’s defense during the Suez affair.

“He was also a Catholic. Many Jews associated American Catholics with right-wing, pro-McCarthy, and anti-Semitic causes. Worse, there was the touchy issue of the candidate’s father, Joseph P. Kennedy, who, as ambassador to Great Britain in the late 1930′s, had been a supporter of Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasing the Nazis.”[65]Tivnan, p. 52.

Kennedy’s 1957 speech calling for Algerian independence, as we have seen, had not gone over well with Israel’s American supporters. Angering the Israeli lobby further, Senator Kennedy had once offered an amendment that would have slashed economic assistance to Africa and the Middle East from $175 to $140 million, this despite the fact that pro-Israel senators said that this was harmful to Israel.[66]Victor Lasky. JFK: The Man & The Myth. (New Rochelle, New York, 1966), p. 143.

Abraham Feinberg

However, John F. Kennedy was ready to deal, and he made moves to appease the pro-Israel lobby. JFK, according to Edward Tivnan, “turned out to be a better diplomat than his father.”[67]Tivnan, Ibid.
(Victor Lasky. JFK: The Man & The Myth. (New Rochelle, New York, 1966), p. 143.)
Kennedy’s contact with the Israeli lobby was New York apparel manufacturer and financier, Abraham Feinberg. Feinberg was president of the Israel Bond Organization and was helping raise private money to finance Israel’s secret nuclear development program.

(The financing was done through private, covert means and outside the normal Israeli budget process because the nuclear development program was controversial, in the eyes of not only the Eisenhower administration in Washington but also in the eyes of many Israelis.)

Referring to Kennedy, Feinberg later said, “My path to power was cooperation in terms of what they needed—campaign money.”[68]Seymour M. Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 94. (Feinberg, himself had previously supported JFK’s fellow Senator Stuart Symington, a rival for the 1960 Democratic nomination.)

Recognizing the need for not only critical Jewish money, but also Jewish votes, Kennedy arranged to meet with Feinberg and a host of other wealthy Jewish Americans in Feinberg’s New York apartment. Following a discussion with Kennedy, Feinberg and his associates agreed to come up with $500,000 on Kennedy’s behalf. According to Feinberg: “I called him right away. His voice broke. He got emotional” with gratitude.[69]Ibid., p. 96.
(Seymour M. Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 94.)

Kennedy’s ‘Outrage’

However, there was much more to the story according to author Seymour Hersh who has investigated Kennedy’s relations with Israel and its American lobby:

“Kennedy was anything but grateful the next morning in describing the session to Charles L. Bartlett, a newspaper columnist and close friend. He had driven to Bartlett’s home in northwest Washington and dragged his friend on a walk, where he recounted a much different version of the meeting the night before.

“‘As an American citizen he was outraged,’ Bartlett recalled, “to have a Zionist group come to him and say: ‘We know your campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.’ Kennedy, as a presidential candidate, also resented the crudity with which he’d been approached. ‘They wanted control.’ he angrily told Bartlett.

“Bartlett further recalled Kennedy promising to himself that ‘if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it.’”[70]Ibid., p. 97.
(Seymour M. Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 94.)
—that is, special interest lobbies—particularly foreign pressure groups—dictating American election campaigns and foreign policy through their financial and political clout.

Partiality ‘Dangerous’

In a private letter to Jewish American historian Alfred Lilienthal, himself a vocal critic of Israel, Kennedy did, however, reveal his feelings toward the Middle East conflict. The letter, written on September 30, 1960, read in part: “I wholly agree with you that American partiality in the ArabIsraeli conflict is dangerous both to the U.S. and the Free World”[71]Alfred M. Lilienthal. The Zionist Connection II. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: North American, 1982), p. 548. In Lilienthal’s judgment, Kennedy’s comment was “one of the most significant and perspicacious Middle East statements” ever made by any American political figure.[72]Ibid.
(Alfred M. Lilienthal. The Zionist Connection II. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: North American, 1982), p. 548.)

But Kennedy had already cut his deals. Not only organized crime—but the Israeli lobby (of which Meyer Lansky was a critical supporter)—had their claims on John F. Kennedy.

After the election, they expected Kennedy to pay up. In the general election, it was a narrow Kennedy victory over the Republican candidate, Vice President Richard M. Nixon.

The role of the Chicago Democratic political machine (under the thumb of Mafia boss Sam Giancana) in stealing Illinois votes on behalf of the Kennedy-Johnson ticket is now well known and a widely accepted part of American political history.

Sam Giancana and his allies in organized crime—including Meyer Lansky and the Israeli lobby—were confident that they had themselves a president.

Kennedy & Ben-Gurion—The First Encounter

Shortly after his inauguration as president, Kennedy arranged to meet with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. At this meeting, Kennedy said, “I know I was elected because of the votes of American Jews. I owe them my election. Tell me, is there something that I can do for the Jewish people?”

According to Seymour Hersh, “Ben-Gurion was surprised by the frankness and evaded the question by answering, ‘You must do what is best for the free world.”‘ However, Ben-Gurion’s real reaction to Kennedy was somewhat different. “What a politician!” is how the Israeli leader described the American leader.[73]Hersh, p. 103.

It was the beginning of a bitter and unpleasant relationship between the two men that came to its finish in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. (In Chapter 5 we will examine that unfortunate relationship in detail.)

Kennedy Turns the Tables

It was not much longer afterward that Kennedy’s organized crime friends began to realize that Kennedy was not proving to be the loyal ally that they had expected he would be. Soon after JFK assumed the presidency, an unexpected war on organized crime began. Robert Kennedy, who had cut his teeth prosecuting mobsters as a counsel for the Senate’s “rackets committee,” was named attorney general and it was apparent that he was taking his new job seriously.

According to Sam Giancana, “It’s a brilliant move on Joe [Kennedy]‘s part. He’ll have Bobby wipe us out to cover their own dirty tracks and it’ll all be done in the name of the Kennedy ‘war on organized crime.’ Brilliant. Just fuckin’ brilliant.”[74]Giancana, p. 296.

Meyer Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, reflected in later years upon the Organized Crime-Kennedy alliance and what it meant, particularly after Bobby Kennedy launched his campaign against the underworld.

“I know that certain people in the Chicago organization knew that they had to get John Kennedy in. There was no thought that they were going to get the best of it with John Kennedy. See, there may be different guys running for an office, and none of them may be… what’s best for a combination.

“The choice becomes the best of what you’ve got going. John Kennedy was the best of the selection. But nobody in my line of work had an idea that he was going to name Bobby Kennedy attorney general. That was the last thing anyone thought.”[75]Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 236.

(In Chapter 13 and Chapter 14 we shall examine Cohen’s own strange and critical role in the JFK assassination conspiracy and its ultimate coverup—yet another piece of the puzzle brought together in these pages.) Ultimately, as we shall see, JFK’s war against his former allies in the underworld, would lead him to the very doorsteps of the real brains behind the national—and international—crime syndicate, Meyer Lansky. However, he had already double-crossed his immediate underworld collaborators. That alone was enough to spell JFK’s doom.

JFK Moves Against the Israeli Lobby

However, Kennedy was also engaged in some legislative sleight-of-hand that could also prove dangerous to Israel’s political leverage in American election politics. Angry at his campaign experiences with the Israeli lobby’s fundraisers, Kennedy appointed a bipartisan commission in 1961 to recommend ways to broaden “the financial base of our presidential campaigns.”[76]Hersh, p. 97.

According to Seymour Hersh, “In a statement that was far more heartfelt than the public or the press could perceive, [Kennedy] criticized the current method of financing campaigns as ‘highly undesirable’ and ‘not healthy’ because it made candidates ‘dependent on large financial contributions of those with special interests.’”[77]Ibid.
(Hersh, p. 97.)

In 1962 Kennedy submitted five bills to reform campaign financing to Congress and in 1963 two more such bills. But none of those bills survived, having been beaten back by the very special interests that Kennedy sought to counter.[78]Ibid.
(Hersh, p. 97.)

Secret Wars

However, Kennedy was more deeply engaged with Israel than on this more subtle level. As we shall see in Chapter 5, Kennedy, in fact, was at war with Israel.

Not only had Kennedy double-crossed his allies in organized crime, but he had crossed his pro-Israel financiers. Israel, as we shall see in Chapter 7, was long close to the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. And Israel, as we shall see in Chapter 8, was particularly close to the American CIA. Kennedy, too, by the middle of his presidency, was also at war with the CIA. This we shall discuss in Chapter 9.

All of these powerful special interests had very special reasons to want to see JFK removed from the presidency and replaced with Lyndon Johnson. There was clearly no love lost between John F. Kennedy and the powerful forces which had helped bring him to the presidency.

A reform-minded President Kennedy also had other long-range plans in the works. The scion of an independent and essentially self-made man who “played the game” to gain power and influence—and to get his son elected president—JFK was indeed very much his father’s son. As a consequence, in another important realm, JFK was moving in a direction that could rock the international banking establishment to its core.

There have been widespread rumors, for nearly a generation, that JFK was planning to issue interest-free money—so-called “greenbacks”— independent of the stranglehold of the privately-owned Federal Reserve System. In fact, interest-free United States Notes were issued during JFK’s presidency—some remain in private hands today—but there have been many myths about what some have called “JFK’s Greenbacks” and in Appendix Five we will examine this controversy in detail.

The Money Monopoly

There is no question, however, but that JFK—once firmly established in the presidency—fully intended to move against the Federal Reserve money monopoly. In fact, during his private meeting with DeWest Hooker, described earlier in these pages, JFK’s father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy assured Hooker that an ultimate long-term aim of the Kennedy dynasty would be the destruction of what the senior Kennedy described as “the Rothschild-dominated Federal Reserve.”

This alone could have assured JFK’s removal from the White House. However, there were other more immediate and ultimately dangerous conflicts at work between the forces whose influence JFK sought to dismantle and the hard-driving new Kennedy administration.

Diverse Entities

Let us move forward and examine the strange and intimate connections between all of these Kennedy foes and the dynamics at work between them. However, as we shall see, it is the central thread of Israel and its Mossad that ties all of these diverse entities together.

To begin the process of untangling this hidden web of intrigue, we must first review the long-hidden story of Israel’s secret war with John F. Kennedy.

Chapter Five • Genesis • 8,100 Words
JFK’s Secret War With Israel

The history books have told us of John F. Kennedy’s epic struggles with Fidel Castro and the Soviets in the Bay of Pigs debacle and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Yet, only in recent years have we begun to learn of Kennedy’s secret war with Israel. Much of the conflict stemmed from Israel’s determination to build a nuclear bomb. This is a hidden history that helps explain in part the dynamic forces at work resulting in Kennedy’s assassination.

By mid-1963 Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion hated Kennedy with a passion. In fact, he considered JFK a threat to the very survival of the Jewish State.

One of John F. Kennedy’s first presidential appointments was naming his former campaign aide Myer (Mike) Feldman as his point man for Jewish and Israeli affairs—an important post, especially considering JFK’s tenuous relationship with Israel and its American lobby.

According to author Seymour Hersh, “The President viewed Feldman, whose strong support for Israel was widely known, as a necessary evil whose highly visible White House position was a political debt that had to be paid.”[79]Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 98.

However, the administration was determined to make certain, according to Hersh, that nobody—Feldman in particular—would be able to circumvent any administration policy insofar as the Middle East was concerned. “The President’s most senior advisors, most acutely McGeorge Bundy, the national security advisor, desperately sought to cut Feldman out of the flow of Middle East paperwork.”[80]Ibid., p. 99.
(Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 98.)
Hersh quotes another presidential aide as having said, “It was hard to tell the difference between what Feldman said and what the Israeli ambassador said.”[81]Ibid.
(Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 98.)

‘Zionists in the Cabinet Room’

President Kennedy himself had his own suspicions about Feldman, according to the president’s close friend, Charles Bartlett (to whom Kennedy in 1960 had previously voiced concerns about Israeli influence as noted in Chapter 4).

Bartlett recalls a visit with the new President at his home in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts one Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath). Talk turned to Feldman’s role in the White House bureaucracy. “I imagine Mike’s having a meeting of the Zionists in the cabinet room,” the president said, according to Bartlett.[82]Ibid.
(Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 98.)

The President’s brother, Robert Kennedy, himself said that his brother admired Feldman’s work, but added, “His major interest was Israel rather than the United States.”[83]Ibid. p. 100.
(Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 98.)

However, while Myer Feldman was busy promoting Israel’s interests at the White House, the president was sending out a message to the rest of the foreign policy-making establishment in Washington.

Kennedy was making it clear that he was very much interested in finding a path to peace in the Middle East and was, in particular, looking for ways to solve the problem of finding a home for the Palestinian refugees who had been displaced by Israel in 1948.

Kennedy’s Good Intentions

According to Hersh, “State Department Arabists were pleasantly surprised early in 1961 to get word from the White House, according to [one source], that ‘just because 90 percent of the Jewish vote had gone for Kennedy, it didn’t mean he was in their pocket.’”[84]Ibid., p. 113.
(Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 98.)

Former high-ranking U.S. diplomat Richard H. Curtiss, writing in A Changing Image: American Perceptions of the Arab-Israeli Dispute, elaborated on Kennedy’s attitude toward the Middle East controversy. In a chapter appropriately titled: “President Kennedy and Good Intentions Deferred Too Long,” Curtiss comments:

“It is surprising to realize, with the benefit of hindsight, that from the time Kennedy entered office as the narrowly-elected candidate of a party heavily dependent upon Jewish support, he was planning to take a whole new look at U.S. Mideast policy.

“He obviously could not turn the clock back and undo the work of President Truman, his Democratic predecessor, in making the establishment of Israel possible. Nor, perhaps, would he have wanted to.

“Kennedy was determined, however, to develop good new personal relationships with individual Arab leaders, including those with whom the previous administration’s relations had deteriorated.

“As a result, various leaders of newly independent countries were surprised to find their pro forma messages of congratulations upon Kennedy’s assumption of office answered with personalized letters from the young American President.”[85]Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.

Olive Branch to Nasser

The key Arab leader at the time was Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, the voice of Pan-Arabism. Kennedy was especially intrigued with the possibility of opening up relations with Nasser.

According to Kennedy associate, Theodore Sorensen, “Nasser liked Kennedy’s Ambassador, John Badeau, and he liked Kennedy’s practice of personal correspondence. Kennedy put off, however, an invitation for a Nasser visit until improved relations could enable him to answer the political attacks such a visit would bring from voters more sympathetic to Israel.”[86]Ibid., p. 67.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.)

(Unfortunately, however, as noted by Richard Curtiss, “As with most good intentions deferred, the invitation to Nasser for a personal meeting with Kennedy was never issued.”[87]Ibid.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 65.)
)

Thus, it was that upon assuming office, Kennedy made positive attempts to contact Arab heads of state asking how the U.S. could help each country in its individual disputes with Israel.

Standing by Tradition

However, Kennedy wanted one thing in particular understood by all sides in the conflict: the new U.S. president wanted “to make it crystal clear that the U.S. meant what it said in the Tripartite Declaration of 1950—that we will act promptly and decisively against any nation in the Middle East which attacks its neighbor.”[88]New Outlook Magazine, January, 1964, p. 5. This policy was directed not only to the Arabs, but Israel as well. Kennedy did indeed mean business.

Israel’s Lobby Reacts

Soon after Kennedy assumed office, Israel and its American lobby began to understand the import of Kennedy’s positioning in regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Israel was not happy—to say the very least—and began putting heat on the White House through the egis of its supporters in Congress, many of whom relied upon support from the Israeli lobby for campaign contributions and political leverage.

According to America’s most noted longtime Jewish critic of Israel, Dr. Alfred Lilienthal: “While the President, more often through Vice President Lyndon Johnson, gave much lip service to Israelist aspirations, his administration continued to resist pressures, including a round-robin petition signed by 226 Congressmen of both parties (aided by a large New York Times advertisement on May 28, 1962) to initiate direct Arab-Israeli negotiations. Kennedy had decided to shelve his pledge in the Democratic platform to bring Israeli and Arab leaders together around a peace table in order to settle the Palestine question.”[89]Alfred Lilienthal. The Zionist Connection II. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: North American, 1982), p. 545.

Algeria, Again

It was mid-way into Kennedy’s presidency that he had the satisfaction of seeing French President Charles DeGaulle grant independence to Algeria— something, of course, as we saw in Chapter 4 that was not looked favorably upon by Israel and its American lobby.

Five years and one day after Kennedy’s Senate speech calling for Algerian independence, Algeria became a sovereign state on July 3, 1962. According to former diplomat Richard Curtiss, “Algeria’s [revolutionary] leaders had not forgotten the American senator who had championed their cause and they publicly hailed his election.”[90]Curtiss, p. 66.

“Kennedy in turn sent William Porter, the U.S. Foreign Service officer who had explained to him the Algerian cause, as the first U.S. Ambassador to Algeria. [Algerian leader] Ahmad Ben Bella visited Washington the same year. Afterward, in the words of Ambassador Porter, Ben Bella ‘ascribed to Kennedy everything he thought good in the United States.’”[91]Ibid., p. 66
(Curtiss, p. 66.)

Although pro-Israel propagandists and some American conservatives with close ties to the Israeli lobby said that an independent Algeria would be a “communist” outpost in the Middle East, Algerian Premier Ahmed Ben Bella banned the Communist Party of Algeria on November 29, 1962.[92]Washington Post, November 20, 1962. In fact, Algeria was very much an Islamic state and it was precisely this which created so much concern for Israel.

DeGaulle’s Middle East Turn-About

However, the debate over Algerian independence had sparked a major crisis within France and the French Secret Army Organization (OAS), which fought Algerian freedom, considered John F. Kennedy an enemy only second to Charles DeGaulle.

(In subsequent chapters, in greater detail, we shall see further how JFK’s CIA enemies were, in fact, collaborating with DeGaulle’s enemies in the OAS, and traitors within his regime—along with the Israeli Mossad.) Twenty years after Algerian independence, the Washington Post commented on the effect that Algerian freedom had upon DeGaulle’s Middle East policy and, in turn, upon Israel:

“Diplomatically, France shorn of Algeria, returned under president Charles DeGaulle to its traditional policy of friendship with the Arabs— much to the chagrin of Israel and the 200,000 Algerian Jews who had lived peacefully alongside their Arab neighbors until emigrating to France.”[93]Washington Post, March 20, 1982. Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi notes that “when Algeria, finally independent, joined the United Nations, only Israel voted against its admission.”[94]Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. The Israeli Connection—Who Israel Arms and Why (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987), p. 45. In fact, as we shall see, the Algerian question would ultimately play a part in the events that led to JFK’s assassination. At the same time, JFK was shaping a Middle East policy that put him at loggerheads with Israel. Yet, cognizant of Israel’s political influence in the United States, JFK made overtures to Israel and arranged to meet in Palm Beach, in December of 1962, with Israeli Foreign Minister Golda Meir.

‘A Two-Way Street’

It was during that meeting that Kennedy actually went so far as to emphasize American support for Israel, probably the farthest that any American president had gone since Israel was first established. However, the president tempered that pledge with a hope that Israel recognized that America also had interests in the Middle East. According to President Kennedy, referring to U.S.-Israeli relations, “Our relationship is a two-way street.”[95]Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.

No ‘Exclusive Friends’

Phillips Talbot, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, who was present at the Kennedy-Meir conference prepared a memorandum for the State Department summarizing that meeting. According to the memorandum, summarized by Stephen Green in his monumental study, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel:

“The United States, the President said, has a special relationship with Israel in the Middle East really comparable only to that which it has with Britain over a wide range of world affairs. But for us to play properly the role we are called upon to play, we cannot afford the luxury of identifying Israel, or Pakistan, or certain other countries, as our exclusive friends.”[96]Ibid., p. 181.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

According to Green, the thrust of Kennedy’s message to Israel was this: “The best way for the United States to effectively serve Israel’s national security interests, Kennedy said, was to maintain and develop America’s associations with the other nations of the region. [America's] influence could then be brought to bear as needed in particular disputes to ensure that Israel’s essential interests were not compromised.”[97]Ibid.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

“‘If we pulled out of the Arab Middle East and maintained our ties only with Israel this would not be in Israel’s interest,’ Kennedy said.”[98]Ibid.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

Four Problems with Israel

The American President cited four areas causing a strain in U.S.-Israel relations: 1) Israel’s diversion—from the Arab States—of the Jordan River waters; 2) Israel’s retaliatory raids against Arab forces in border areas; 3) Israel’s pivotal role in the Palestinian refugee problem; and 4) Israel’s insistence that the United States sell advanced Hawk missiles to Israel.[99]Ibid., pp. 181-182.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

The President outlined to Mrs. Meir what has come to be called the Kennedy Doctrine. Kennedy told Meir that U.S. interests and Israel’s interests were not always the same. The Talbot memorandum described Kennedy’s forthright stance:

“We know,” [said Kennedy] “that Israel faces enormous security problems, but we do too. We came almost to a direct confrontation with the Soviet Union last spring and again recently in Cuba… Because we have taken on wide security responsibilities we always have the potential of becoming involved in a major crisis not of our own making…

America’s Needs Important

“Our security problems are, therefore, just as great as Israel’s. We have to concern ourself with the whole Middle East. We would like Israeli recognition that this partnership which we have with it produces strains for the United States in the Middle East… when Israel takes such action as it did last spring [when Israel launched a raid into Syria, resulting in a condemnation by the UN Security Council]. Whether right or wrong, those actions involve not just Israel but also the United States.”[100]Ibid., p. 182.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

america—not Israel—first

Stephen Green believes that Kennedy’s position vis-à-vis Israel was an important stand: “It was a remarkable exchange, and the last time for many, many years in which an American president precisely distinguished for the government of Israel the differences between U.S. and Israeli national security interests.”[101]Ibid., pp. 182-183.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

Thus it was that John F. Kennedy informed Israel, in no uncertain terms, that he intended—first and foremost—to place America’s interests—not Israel’s interests—at the center of U.S. Middle East policy.

Nuclear Expansion

This set the groundwork for further tension between the U.S. and Israel over an even more explosive issue: Israel’s determination to build a nuclear bomb. Israel had been engaged in nuclear development during the past decade but continued to insist that its nuclear programs were strictly peaceful in nature. However, the facts prove otherwise.

In order to thoroughly examine Kennedy’s conflict with Israel over the Zionist State’s nuclear intentions, we once again refer to Stephen Green’s aforementioned work, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel, a treasure trove of little known information relating to U.S.- Israeli relations from the period of 1948 through 1967. Green writes of JFK’s discovery that Israel was engaged in nuclear arms development.

When Kennedy was coming into office in the transition period in December 1960 the Eisenhower administration informed Kennedy of Israel’s secret nuclear weapons development at a site in the desert known as Dimona. Israel had advanced several cover stories to explain its activities at Dimona.

A ‘Highly Distressing’ Situation

Israel had kept the nuclear weapons program as secret as possible, but US intelligence had discovered the project. Kennedy termed the situation “highly distressing.”[102]Ibid., p. 154.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)
Kennedy, upon taking office, determined that he would make efforts to derail Israel’s nuclear weapons development. Nuclear proliferation was to be one of Kennedy’s primary concerns.

Israel’s intended entry into the nuclear arena was, as a consequence, a frightening prospect in JFK’s mind, particularly in light of ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

From the very beginning of his presidency, John F. Kennedy found himself at severe odds with the government of Israel. It was a conflict that would never really be resolved until the day JFK died in Dallas. It was not an auspicious start for the New Frontier.

Kennedy ‘Not Amused’ And de Gaulle ‘Annoyed’

According to Stephen Green: “The next year-1961—was to be an important one in the process of the nuclearization of the Middle East. In January, [Israeli Prime Minister] David Ben-Gurion informed the Israeli Knesset and the rest of the world that the Dimona reactor was in fact not a textile plant or a pumping station, but ‘a scientific institute for research in problems of arid zones and desert flora and fauna.’ A new American president, John Kennedy, was not amused.”[103]Ibid., p. 159-160.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 182.)

In Paris, Charles DeGaulle’s reaction mirrored that of Kennedy’s. His government had been providing nuclear technology assistance to Israel, but with the assurance from Ben-Gurion that the nuclear development was peaceful in nature.

According to Israeli historians Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman: “There was also pressure from President DeGaulle in Paris. The French attitude toward the Middle East began to change just after he took office in 1958… He suspected that the Dimona reactor was destined for military uses and this greatly annoyed the French president.”[104]Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman. Every Spy a Prince. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990), pp. 71-72. (DeGaulle’s later decision to grant Algerian independence, already described, simply exacerbated his own already growing tensions with Israel.)

In Washington, JFK was determined to settle the matter once and for all. Stephen Green described Kennedy’s next step: “In May Kennedy and Ben-Gurion met in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Kennedy had already written to Ben-Gurion expressing his extreme concern about the Dimona project, and suggesting regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. In New York, Ben-Gurion agreed to a compromise—(approximately) annual inspections by U.S. scientists at times and on terms to be determined by the Israeli Defense Ministry. “Later, Myer Feldman, Kennedy’s aide for Middle East matters, would reveal that in return for the periodic U.S. inspections, Ben-Gurion had exacted a promise of provision of advanced Hawk ground-to-air missiles. “There is no reason to doubt Kennedy’s seriousness in wanting to track Israeli nuclear research and forestall weapons development, but whether annual inspections under the terms indicated achieved this result [was, as events unfolded] open to question.”[105]Ibid., pp. 159-160.
(Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman. Every Spy a Prince. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990), pp. 71-72.)

So it was that John F. Kennedy unintentionally found himself already at loggerheads with Israel behind the scenes.

The Secret War

Kennedy’s friendly overtures to the Arab states were only a public aspect of what ultimately developed into an all-out ‘secret war’ between Kennedy and Israel.

According to Seymour Hersh: “Israel’s bomb, and what to do about it, became a White House fixation, part of the secret presidential agenda that would remain hidden for the next thirty years.”[106]Hersh, p. 100.

As Hersh notes, quite profoundly we see in retrospect, this secret war with Israel was never once noted by any of Kennedy’s biographers.[107]Ibid.
(Hersh, p. 100.)
If indeed it had been, as we shall see, the mystery behind the JFK assassination might have been unraveled long, long ago.

Israel’s Nuclear Agenda

There was an added wrinkle. Although Israel and the American CIA had established a longtime close and ongoing working relationship, the CIA was monitoring Israel’s nuclear weapons development.

In March, 1963, Sherman Kent, the Chairman of the Board of National Estimates at the CIA, wrote an extended memorandum to the CIA’s Director on the highly controversial subject entitled “Consequences of Israeli Acquisition of Nuclear Capability.”

According to Stephen Green, for the purposes of this internal memorandum, Kent defined “acquisition” by Israel as either (a) a detonation of a nuclear device with or without the possession of actual nuclear weapons, or (b) an announcement by Israel that it possessed nuclear weapons, even without testing. Kent’s primary conclusion was that an Israeli bomb would cause ‘substantial damage to the U.S. and Western position in the Arab world.’[108]Green, p. 164.

According to Green’s accurate assessment, “The memorandum was very strong and decidedly negative in its conclusions”[109]Ibid.
(Green, p. 164.)
which were as follows: “Even though Israel already enjoys a clear military superiority over its Arab adversaries, singly or combined, acquisition of a nuclear capability would greatly enhance Israel’s sense of security. In this circumstance, some Israelis might be inclined to adopt a moderate and conciliatory posture… “We believe it much more likely, however, that Israel’s policy toward its neighbors would become more rather than less tough. [Israel would] seek to exploit the psychological advantages of its nuclear capability to intimidate the Arabs and to prevent them from making trouble on the frontiers.”[110]Ibid.
(Green, p. 164.)

In dealing with the United States, the CIA analyst estimated, a nuclear Israel would “make the most of the almost inevitable Arab tendency to look to the Soviet Bloc for assistance against the added Israel threat, arguing that in terms of both strength and reliability Israel was clearly the only worthwhile friend of the U.S. in the area.

“Israel,” in Kent’s analysis, “would use all the means at its command to persuade the U.S. to acquiesce in, and even to support, its possession of nuclear capability.”[111]Ibid., pp. 164-165.
(Green, p. 164.)

In short, Israel would use its immense political power—especially through its lobby in Washington—to force the United States to accede to Israel’s nuclear intentions.

However, the CIA did not make known its concerns about Israel’s determination to produce a nuclear bomb. According to Green, “It is perhaps significant that the memorandum was not drafted as a formal national intelligence estimate (NIE), which would have involved distribution to several other agencies of the government. No formal NIE was issued by CIA on the Israeli nuclear weapons program until 1968.”[112]Ibid. , p. 164.
(Green, p. 164.)

That the CIA—or at the very least, elements within the CIA—would be interested in protecting Israel’s interests is no surprise. As we shall see in Chapter 8, the ties between Israel and the CIA were quite intimate—perhaps too intimate in too many, many ways.

Kennedy and Ben-Gurion

In the meantime, President Kennedy was well aware that Israel’s nuclear project at Dimona would enable Israel to produce at least one bomb per year—and that was enough to start a world war.

Although Israel’s nuclear program was ostensibly “peaceful” in nature, the fact is that the project was entirely controlled by Israel’s Ministry of Defense. This alone made the project controversial, even in Israel. It was for this reason that it was critical for Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to neutralize JFK’s opposition.

There was enough domestic opposition to the program in Israel itself that Kennedy’s own steadfast refusal to support Israeli nuclear development could have killed the project altogether.

In the early months of his administration, Kennedy maintained regular contact with Ben-Gurion in an effort to stop the nuclear development. The two leaders had an ongoing private correspondence over the issue.

A Poisoned Relationship

According to Seymour Hersh, “Israel’s bomb program, and the continuing exchange of letters about it, would complicate, and eventually poison, Kennedy’s relationship with David Ben-Gurion.”[113]Hersh, p. 101.

Ben-Gurion sought to have a private meeting with Kennedy—in the course of an official state visit to Washington—but the president refused to provide a formal invitation.

It was then that, in May 1961, Ben-Gurion pulled his strings at the White House and contrived a meeting with Kennedy through the intervention of New York financier Abe Feinberg.

It was Feinberg, as we have seen in Chapter 4, who had initially smoothed over Kennedy’s relations with the American Jewish community during the 1960 presidential campaign and arranged for a massive infusion of Jewish money into JFK’s campaign.

(It was this experience, as noted previously, that soured Kennedy’s attitude toward Israel and its powerful lobby to a significant extent.)

Feinberg arranged for the American president and the Israeli leader to meet during Ben-Gurion’s unofficial visit to the United States where he was scheduled to be honored at a convocation at Brandeis University, a Jewishoriented center of learning near Boston.

Following the affair at Brandeis, Ben-Gurion journeyed to New York City where he met with Kennedy at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. According to Hersh, “The meeting with Kennedy was a major disappointment for the Israeli prime minister, and not only because of the nuclear issue.”[114]Ibid., p. 102.
(Hersh, p. 101.)

He looked to me like a twenty-five-year-old boy,’ Ben-Gurion later told his biographer. ‘I asked myself: ‘How can a man so young be elected President?’ At first I did not take him seriously.’”[115]Ibid.
(Hersh, p. 101.)

Hatred

Following the meeting, Ben-Gurion complained to Feinberg about his unhappy first meeting with JFK. It was not an auspicious start, and as we shall see, it set a trend. According to Feinberg, “There’s no way of describing the relationship between Jack Kennedy and Ben-Gurion because there’s no way B.G. was dealing with JFK as an equal, at least as far as B.G. was concerned. He had the typical attitude of an old-fashioned Jew toward the young. He disrespected [Kennedy] as a youth.”[116]Ibid., p. 103.
(Hersh, p. 101.)

What’s more, the Israeli Prime Minister had an additional reason to be suspicious of the young American’s motives. According to Feinberg, “B.G. could be vicious, and he had such a hatred of the old man.”[117]Ibid.
(Hersh, p. 101.)
The “old man” in this case was the president’s father, former Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, long considered not only an “anti-Semite” but a Hitler partisan. Ben-Gurion’s contempt for the younger Kennedy was growing by leaps and bounds—almost pathologically. According to Hersh, “The Israeli prime minister, in subsequent private communications to the White House, began to refer to the President as ‘young man.’ Kennedy made clear to associates that he found the letters to be offensive.”[118]Ibid., p. 105.
(Hersh, p. 101.)

Kennedy himself told his close friend, Charles Bartlett, that he was getting fed up with the fact that the Israeli “sons of bitches lie to me constantly about their nuclear capability.”[119]Ibid., p. 118.
(Hersh, p. 101.)

Obviously, to say the very least, there was no love lost between the two leaders. The U.S.-Israeli relationship was at an ever-growing and disastrous impasse, although virtually nothing was known about this to the American public at the time.

‘A More Serious Danger’

President Kennedy’s efforts to resolve the problem of the Palestinian refugees also met with fierce and bitter resistance by Ben-Gurion. The Israeli leader refused to agree to a Kennedy proposal that the Palestinians either be permitted to return to their homes in Israel or to be compensated by Israel and resettled in the Arab countries or elsewhere.

Former Undersecretary of State George Ball notes in his book, The Passionate Attachment, that “In the fall of 1962, Ben-Gurion conveyed his own views in a letter to the Israeli ambassador in Washington, intended to be circulated among Jewish American leaders, in which he stated: ‘Israel will regard this plan as a more serious danger to her existence than all the threats of the Arab dictators and Kings, than all the Arab armies, than all of Nasser’s missiles and his Soviet MIGs… Israel will fight against this implementation down to the last man.”[120]George Ball and Douglas Ball. The Passionate Attachment. [New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1992), p. 51.

Clearly, then, by this point, Ben-Gurion perceived the American president’s policies to be a very threat to Israel’s survival. Ben-Gurion was vowing to fight, as we have seen, “down to the last man.”

Kennedy’s Gesture

Despite all of this, the American president remained determined to find a solution to the potential crisis presented by Ben-Gurion’s obstinacy. Kennedy offered to sell Israel Hawk missiles for defensive purposes—as Israel had been demanding—but Kennedy continued to drag his feet on the sale. The president refused to be pushed to the limit by Israel.

Kennedy finally relented and approved the sale, but only after pressure from Israel and its allies in the American Congress. By then, however, it was probably too late. The twig had been bent.

Israel Relentless

Even the arms sales to Israel did not assuage Israel and its lobby. According to Alfred Lilienthal: “Congress continued to maintain pressures on the White House. The “Israel first” bloc in the Senate attacked the administration for failing to conclude a defense pact to protect Israel and to call an embargo on all arms shipments to the Middle East.

“The legislators reechoed the Ben-Gurion contention that Israel had fallen behind in the arms race. Nasser, they claimed, was ready for a pushbutton war. Israel [was] easy to pinpoint and destroy and [could not] retaliate against four or five Arab states at once.”[121]Lilienthal, p. 547.

By this time—behind the scenes—Kennedy had ordered continuing surveillance of the Israelis and their push for the nuclear bomb. It was a top priority for Kennedy, by all estimations. However, to ensure that Israel’s access to intelligence regarding the American spy operation against Israel was limited, the surveillance was being conducted directly out of then-CIA Director John McCone’s office.[122]Hersh, p. 107.

(This, of course, still did not guarantee that Israel’s friends in the CIA [whom we will consider in Chapter 8] did not tip off the Israelis to the hostile operations being conducted.)

Kennedy was still willing, however, to attempt to settle the matter and requested that Israel permit American inspectors the opportunity to come to Israel’s nuclear operation at Dimona to verify that—as Israel claimed—the program was peaceful in nature. This was the president’s last-ditch effort, apparently, to pacify Israel and, at the same time, find out precisely what was going on at Dimona. But Israel would not permit the inspection.

By this time there was a general understanding at the highest ranks of the Kennedy administration that there was a major problem at hand. The president’s inner circle had begun to realize that Israel deemed Kennedy’s refusal to knuckle under to Israel’s demands as a dire threat to Israel’s survival.

According to then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, speaking in retrospect, “I can understand why Israel wanted a nuclear bomb. There is a basic problem there. The existence of Israel has been a question mark in history, and that’s the essential issue.”[123]Ibid., p. 109.
(Hersh, p. 107.)

The Israelis—and particularly Ben-Gurion—would no doubt agree. In their view, John F. Kennedy himself was emerging as a threat to Israel’s very existence:

JFK would simply not countenance a nuclear Israel and Israel’s leaders believed that a nuclear Israel would ensure the continued survival of the Jewish State.

Threats Against JFK

The American president continued to demand that Israel permit American inspection of Israel’s nuclear development facilities. In response, Israel called on its American lobby to apply pressure on Kennedy behind the scenes.

One of those called into action was Abe Feinberg, the New York businessman who had helped raise critical funds for Kennedy during his presidential campaign. However, even Feinberg was unsuccessful.[124]Ibid., p. 108.
(Hersh, p. 107.)

However, Feinberg did send a message to the president that continued demands for inspection of the plant might “result in less support [from the Israeli lobby] in the 1964 presidential campaign.”[125]Ibid.
(Hersh, p. 107.)

According to Hersh, “In the end Feinberg and Ben-Gurion could not overcome the continued presidential pressure for inspection of Dimona. Ben-Gurion’s categorical public denial of any weapons intent at Dimona had left the Israeli government few options: refusing access would undercut the government’s credibility and also lend credence to the newly emerging antinuclear community inside Israel.[126]Ibid., p. 109.
(Hersh, p. 107.)

Desert Deception

So it was that Ben-Gurion finally agreed to allow American nuclear experts to come to Dimona. However, Ben-Gurion had a clever trick up his sleeve. The Israeli Prime Minister hurriedly ordered the construction of what amounted to a phony nuclear plant—one that didn’t give evidence of the construction of a nuclear bomb. False control rooms were set in place and dummy operations were displayed.

It was all very carefully orchestrated. Even the Israeli guides who took the Americans through the facility were accompanied by translators who gave the Americans fraudulent translations of the remarks made by the Israeli engineers at the plant.

According to Hersh, “Ben-Gurion took no chances: the American inspectors—most of them experts in nuclear reprocessing—would be provided with a Potemkin Village and never know it.”[127]Ibid., p. 111.
(Hersh, p. 107.)

Ben-Gurion’s deception—however successful it may have been—still did not convince JFK that Israel was indeed fully committed to peaceful nuclear development. Kennedy, of course, knew better.

A standoff between Kennedy and Israel was already in place and it did not bode well for the future.

The ‘Last American President’

John Hadden, the former CIA station chief in Tel Aviv at the time believes that John F. Kennedy was the last American president to have really tried to stop the advent of the Israeli atomic bomb. “Kennedy really wanted to stop it,” said Hadden, “and he offered them conventional weapons [for example, the Hawk missiles] as an inducement.

“But the Israelis were way ahead of us. They saw that if we were going to offer them arms to go easy on the bomb, once they had it, we were going to send them a lot more, for fear that they would use it.”[128]Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991), p. 91.

‘The Turbulent Year’

By the fateful year of 1963, John F. Kennedy and Israel were decidedly on two different sides, and not only in the realm of the secret—and critical— nuclear controversy.

In fact, it went much deeper than that. Overall Kennedy administration policy toward the Middle East left Israel and its American lobby most dissatisfied. In his memoirs, I. L. Kenan of the pro-Israel American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, a registered lobby for Israel, described 1963 as “the turbulent year” between John F. Kennedy and Israel. In a chapter in those memoirs, entitled “A Multitude of Promises”—Kennedy presumably the promiser—Kenan scored Kennedy’s Middle East policies:

“Kennedy’s neutralist strategy, his hope to please both sides in every troubled area, plunged him into a multitude of predicaments in the turbulent year of 1963. His pursuit of former enemies whom he sought to befriend alarmed our allies, whose fears he constantly sought to ally by strong but quiet commitments.”[129]I. L. Kenan. Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington. (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1981), p. 166.

The “enemies” whom Kenan referred to were those Arab leaders—Nasser of Egypt most especially—to whom JFK offered peace. Those “allies”—at least in Kenan’s context—really meant just one country—Kenan’s foreign principal, Israel.

Kennedy’s “strong but quiet commitments,” however, were apparently not enough as relations between Israel and the Arab states were strained. War appeared imminent, at least in the eyes of the Israeli leadership. By the end of April, 1963 Israel’s David Ben-Gurion sensed that the Arabs were going to attack the Jewish State, but John F. Kennedy did not share that pessimistic view. Kennedy still hoped for peace in the region and he continued his efforts.[130]Ibid., pp. 166-167.
(I. L. Kenan. Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington. (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1981), p. 166.)

The Algerian Problem

Although then-Senator John F. Kennedy’s 1957 speech calling for independence for Algeria from France had helped pave the way for that end result, newly-won Algerian freedom came at great cost. Israel was actively seeking to undermine the new regime.

On August 14, 1963 the government of Algerian premier Ben Bella accused Israel of plotting to topple the new Arab regime. The Algerian authorities captured 20 Algerians and 10 foreigners who were engaged in a conspiracy to bring down the government.

“Those foreigners are nearly all Israelites,” declared the Algerian information minister. “We are led to believe that we are facing a plot with far-flung ramifications and that behind it is the hand of Israel which is trying to oppose the march of our revolution.

“Ben Bella has made clear the Algerian position on the enclave of imperialism called Israel but which is really Palestine. It is not strange that they are trying to interfere in our internal affairs.”[131]Washington Post, August 13, 1963.

Israel and its allies in the French Secret Army Organization (OAS)—now officially disbanded, but effectively still functioning—were determined to reverse the course of history.

This, however, is not the last time in these pages that we will find the fine hand of Israel and the OAS interfering in the life and work of John F. Kennedy.

The Last Press Conference

Kennedy’s efforts to conduct a balanced U.S. Middle East policy were being frustrated at each and every turn. The bitterness was apparent—on both sides. As a result of Israel’s manipulation of Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate voted in late 1963 to cut off aid to Egypt, a country central to Kennedy’s drive for peace.

This, in effect, temporarily—at least—scuttled JFK’s peace efforts. His hand of friendship to the Arab world and its leaders, Nasser of Egypt in particular, was being cut off—at the shoulder.

Israel’s chief (registered) lobbyist in Washington—I. L. Kenan—described John F. Kennedy’s final Washington press conference.

“Kennedy ruefully surveyed the debris of his Nasser policy at a press conference on November 14, 1963. He was sharply critical. The Senate amendment required him “to make a finding which is extremely complicated,” and he did not believe that this language would strengthen our hand or our flexibility in dealing with the UAR.

“[Kennedy] went on: ‘In fact, it would have an opposite effect. I think it’s a very dangerous, untidy world, but we’re going to have to live with it; and I think one of the ways to live with it is to permit us to function.’

“If the Administration did not function, the voters would throw it out. Kennedy asked Congress not to make it impossible to function by means of ‘legislative restraints and inadequate appropriations.’

“These words,” Kenan notes, “were uttered at his last White House press conference.”[132]Ibid., p. 187.
(Washington Post, August 13, 1963.)

On many fronts, indeed, JFK’s Middle East policy was angering the Israelis, including—perhaps especially—JFK’s determination to solve the problem of the Palestinian refugees.

JFK’s ‘Good Faith’ In Doubt

On November 20, 1963, Kennedy’s delegation at the United Nations called for continuing movement toward the implementation of the 1948 UN resolution which called for the right of displaced Palestinian Arabs to return to their homes (in Israel) and for those who chose not to return to their homes to be compensated.

The London Jewish Chronicle reported the reaction of the Israelis: “Prime Minister Levi Eshkol summoned the U.S. ambassador… and told him that Israel was ‘shocked’ by the pro-Arab attitude adopted by the U.S. delegation.” Golda Meir, the Chronicle reported, “expressed Israel’s ‘astonishment and anger’ at the attitude of the U.S.”[133]London Jewish Chronicle, Nov. 22, 1963.

For its own part, the Chronicle noted editorially, “Israel, which has neither been consulted nor informed about the American intention, is not surprisingly questioning the good faith of the United States.”[134]Ibid.
(London Jewish Chronicle, Nov. 22, 1963.)
It is not likely that JFK ever got to read the defamatory comments about his Middle East policy published by the London Jewish Chronicle. They were printed on November 22, 1963.

So it was that even as John F. Kennedy was preparing to leave Washington for his final journey as president, he was plagued with the problem of Israel and its powerful influence in Washington.

As it turned out, it was during Kennedy’s trip to Dallas that one last memorandum was prepared on his behalf relating to the touchy issue of global nuclear arms development.

Although JFK had forcefully opposed French production of nuclear weapons—much as he opposed that of Israel—the American president had, however, begun taking a new look at his stance vis-à-vis the French.

Thus it was that while John F. Kennedy was triumphantly touring downtown Dallas, there was being prepared a “Top Secret, Eyes Only” memorandum from JFK’s advisor, McGeorge Bundy, outlining the new, perhaps more lenient, Kennedy policy toward France, which, as we have seen, had itself played a major role in Israel’s nuclear development and, unwittingly (much to the disgust of French President DeGaulle) in the drive for atomic weaponry. The memorandum regarding the new policy toward France was also dated November 22, 1963.[135]Hersh, pp. 125-126.

By this time, however, John F. Kennedy’s fate was sealed. He had pushed Israel and its leaders to the brink.

Ben-Gurion: ‘Signs of Paranoia’

The straw that broke the camel’s back, had actually taken place some six months earlier. By spring of 1963, Kennedy and Ben-Gurion were at loggerheads, more seriously than ever before. What’s more, Ben-Gurion was suffering a deep personal crisis (part of which, we now see, stemmed from his unhappy relationship with John F. Kennedy).

According to the Israeli prime minister’s biographer, Dan Kurzman: “Lonely and depressed, Ben-Gurion felt strangely helpless. Leadership of Israel was slipping from his withered hands… Ben-Gurion began to show signs of paranoia. Enemies were closing in on him from all sides. A mere declaration by Egypt, Syria and Iraq in April 1963 that they would unite and demolish the “Zionist threat” threw him into near-panic.”[136]Dan Kurzman. Ben-Gurion: Prophet of Fire. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), pp. 440-441.

Secret Correspondence ‘Increasingly Sour’

All of this, of course, contributed immensely to the problems between Kennedy and Ben-Gurion. Seymour Hersh writes: “Kennedy’s relationship with Ben-Gurion remained at an impasse over Dimona, and the correspondence between the two became increasingly sour. None of those letters has been made public.”[137]Hersh, pp. 120-121.

Kennedy a ‘Bully’

(Like much of the secret government files on the JFK assassination, the Kennedy exchanges with Ben-Gurion also have not been released—not even to U.S. government officials with full security clearances who have attempted to write classified histories of the period.)[138]Ibid., p. 120.
(Hersh, pp. 120-121.)

“It was not a friendly exchange,” according to Ben-Gurion’s writer, Yuval Neeman. “Kennedy was writing like a bully. It was brutal.”[139]Ibid., p. 121.
(Hersh, pp. 120-121.)
Ben-Gurion’ s response was not passive either.

All of this exacerbated tensions—fierce tensions—between the American President and the Israeli leader. Kennedy’s impatience was building. Relations between the United States and Israel were unlike they had ever been before. According to Hersh, “The president made sure that the Israeli prime minister paid for his defiance.”[140]Ibid.
(Hersh, pp. 120-121.)
When Ben-Gurion once again sought the opportunity for a formal, ballyhooed state visit to Washington, Kennedy rebuffed him.

Israel’s ‘Existence Is in Danger’

It was then that Ben-Gurion made his position all too clear. He was convinced that what he perceived to be Kennedy’s intransigence was an all-out threat to the continued survival of the Jewish State. JFK was perceived as an enemy of the Jewish people.

In one of his final communications with Kennedy, Ben-Gurion wrote: “Mr. President, my people have the right to exist… and this existence is in danger.”[141]Ibid.
(Hersh, pp. 120-121.)
(emphasis added) It was at this time that Ben-Gurion demanded that Kennedy sign a security treaty with Israel. Kennedy refused. On June 16, 1963 Ben-Gurion abruptly resigned as prime minister and defense minister. Thus, the “prophet of fire” ended his fifteen-year career as grand old man of Israel. At the time, the Israeli press—and indeed the world press—told the world that Ben-Gurion’s sudden resignation was a result of his dissatisfaction with domestic political scandals and turmoil that were rocking Israel.[142]Ibid., pp. 121-122.
(Hersh, pp. 120-121.)

A Bitter Impasse

However, the primary reason behind Ben-Gurion’s departure was the Israeli leader’s inability to pressure JFK into accepting Israel’s demands. According to Hersh: “There was no way for the Israeli public… to suspect that there was yet another factor in Ben-Gurion’s demise: his increasingly bitter impasse with Kennedy over a nuclear-armed Israel.”[143]Ibid., p. 124.
(Hersh, pp. 120-121.)
Ben-Gurion had failed. The battle had been lost, but the war between the two men was still to be won.

A Modern-Day Haman?

What was on Ben-Gurion’s mind as he turned over the reins of government to his successor? What was David Ben-Gurion’s final act as Prime Minister of the Jewish State? In light of Ben-Gurion’s explicit comment to John F. Kennedy that “my people have the right to exist . . and this existence is in danger,” we can certainly make a good presumption.

In Ben-Gurion’s eyes, John F. Kennedy was clearly a modern-day Haman—an enemy of the Jewish people. In Jewish folklore, Haman was a descendant of the Amalekites who served as prime minister to King Ahasueros of Persia. It was Haman who sought to convince the king that all of the Jews of his empire should be exterminated forever.

However, according to legend, a beautiful Jewish temptress named Esther used her feminine wiles on Ahasueros and, in the end, it was Haman who was instead put to death. The important Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s intended holocaust.

In the Bible—Deut 25:19, I Sam. 15:8—the ancient Hebrews were urged to “blot out the memory of the Amalekites” from whom Haman descended.

In Israel—in 1963—David Ben-Gurion certainly looked upon John F. Kennedy as a modern-day Haman, a son of the Amalekites. As he pondered the brutal conflict with JFK, Ben-Gurion no doubt remembered the meditation that is read on Purim:

“A wicked man, an arrogant offshoot of the seed of Amalek, rose up against us. Insolent in his riches, he digged himself a pit, and his own greatness laid him a snare. In his mind he thought to entrap, but was himself entrapped; he sought to destroy, but was himself speedily destroyed …he made him a gallows, and was himself hanged thereon.”

A Final Order?

The Israeli leader could not help but ponder further how he might deliver his people from what he perceived to be certain destruction. Ben-Gurion had devoted a lifetime creating a Jewish State and guiding it into the world arena. And, in Ben-Gurion’s eyes, John F. Kennedy was an enemy of the Jewish people and of his beloved state of Israel.

Andrew and Leslie Cockburn have summarized it well: “Ben-Gurion is the father of Israel. He really steered the state to independence, steered his people to independence, wrote the Israeli declaration of independence, was prime minister all the way through, with a brief interval, until 1963. The Israel you see today is really the creation of David Ben-Gurion.”[144]Interview on C-SPAN’s Booknotes, September 1, 1991. We can thus see why Ben-Gurion was indeed so frustrated by his failure to back down John F. Kennedy. It was a time of crisis and a time for action.

It is the thesis of this volume that Ben-Gurion, in his final days as Prime Minister, ordered the Mossad to participate in the JFK assassination conspiracy. Based upon evidence that we will outline in Final Judgment, we believe that the Mossad carried out Ben-Gurion’s order.

On November 22, 1963, the American president whom Ben-Gurion considered a threat to Israel’s very survival came to an inglorious end in Dealey Plaza in Dallas.

That Israel and its leaders believed that drastic measures might be needed to influence the course of history and to ensure the survival of Israel cannot be doubted.

Isser Harrel, who was head of the Mossad until mid-1963, has been quoted as saying that “The government of Israel must act to root out the evil of racism and the monster of anti-Semitism . .” and that if it could not be done diplomatically, it was to be done in other ways, including, according to Harel, “the secret services, as was the case in my times.”[145]Quoted by Yossi Melman in the Los Angeles Times, Nov. 28, 1993. In short, by means of murder, if necessary.

Former Undersecretary of State George Ball summarizes the impact of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on U.S.-Israeli relations quite succinctly, if somewhat cryptically: “However Kennedy would have succeeded in his relations with Israel must remain one of the many intriguing questions for which his assassination precludes any answer.”[146]Ball, pp. 51-52.

A Mossad Hit Squad

We know precisely who would have coordinated Mossad participation in the assassination on John F. Kennedy, working in concert with Israel’s allies in the CIA and in Organized Crime (about more of which we shall discuss in these pages.)

Israel’s respected Ha’aretz newspaper reported on July 3, 1992 that it was former Jewish underground terrorist-turned-Mossad operative Yitzhak Shamir (later Israeli Prime Minister) who headed a special Mossad hit squad during his service in the Mossad.

The Israeli newspaper reported that Shamir headed the assassination unit from 1955 until 1964—the year after JFK’ s assassination. “The unit carried out attacks on perceived enemies and suspected Nazi War criminals,”[147]Washington Times, July 4, 1992. according to an account of the newspaper’s report.

“In February 1963 Mr. Shamir dispatched squads on two unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Hans Kleinwachter, a German scientist suspected of helping Egypt develop missiles. Another German scientist working for the Egyptians, Heinz Krug, disappeared mysteriously in September 1962.”[148]Ibid.
(Washington Times, July 4, 1992.)
Shamir’s operatives were suspected of having been responsible.

According to the Israeli newspaper, Shamir had recruited members for his Mossad hit squad from former members of the Stern Gang, the underground terrorist group that Shamir led during Israel’s fight for independence. The Stern Gang was responsible for the murder, in 1944, of Lord Moyne, Britain’s resident Mideast minister, and for the slaying of U.N. mediator Count Folke Bernadotte in 1948.[149]Ibid.
(Washington Times, July 4, 1992.)

We have already seen that Kennedy—like Moyne and Bernadotte—was a “perceived enemy” of Israel and its embittered Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion. And now we know of the existence of the Mossad hit squad that played a major role in the conspiracy that brought about the death of John F. Kennedy. In Chapter 16 we shall learn precisely how this Mossad-orchestrated conspiracy came about.

The Enemies Come Together

With Israel’s intimate ties to not only the American CIA but also the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—which we will examine in much further detail—the Israeli prime minister and his Mossad operatives had in place a network of allies with whom they could easily collaborate in orchestrating the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Each of these powerful forces had good reason to take drastic action to put an end to the threat posed by JFK. That they undoubtedly came together in a joint conspiracy we shall document in this volume.

The Coming of the Messiah

With John F. Kennedy lying in a grave in Arlington National Cemetery, Israel was safe—for the time being at least. The modern-day heir of Haman’s legacy had been destroyed. That Lyndon Johnson—a man with a steadfast history of loyalty to Israel and its American lobby—was in line to assume the American presidency was a fact not gone unnoticed. Israel’s messiah had come.

Chapter Six • The Coming of the Messiah • 5,700 Words
Lyndon Johnson Rushes to Israel’s Rescue; U.S. Middle East Policy Is Reversed

Within weeks of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Israel was perhaps the most immediate primary beneficiary of Kennedy’s death—although this was not something that the controlled media told the American people.

The most immediate individual beneficiary of JFK’s death was, of course, Lyndon Johnson who was a political favorite of Israel and its allies in Meyer Lansky’s Organized Crime Syndicate.

It was Johnson who promptly reversed Kennedy’s Middle East policy and who, for all intents and purposes, according to one historian, established Israel as America’s 51st state.

There can be no question but that the assassination of John F. Kennedy accomplished several very specific things insofar as the U.S.-Israeli relationship was concerned:

1) It removed from the White House a president—John F. Kennedy— who had reached a bitter impasse with Israel over its steadfast determination to assemble a nuclear arsenal;

2) It placed in the Oval Office a president—Lyndon Johnson—who completely reversed long-standing U.S. Middle East policy and placed the United States firmly in Israel’s camp—with a vengeance.

3) It allowed Lyndon Johnson to reverse JFK’s Vietnam policy and begin escalating U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia. This permitted Israel to advance its own geo-political stance in the Middle East; and

4) It enabled Israel’s allies in the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate to gain a lock on drug trafficking in Southeast Asia as a proximate result of U.S. involvement in the region.

Israel was clearly—and beyond doubt—the primary international beneficiary of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency which only became possible through the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Israel’s Survival

If protection of its national security interests and its very survival can be considered a motive—and surely it can be—then Israel, perhaps above all, obviously had a major interest—and motivation—in helping orchestrate the assassination of President Kennedy. Indeed, the very survival of Israel has been a cornerstone of its foreign policy from that nation’s earliest beginnings. Thus, elimination of a perceived enemy to Israel’s survival—that is, John F. Kennedy—would only be a logical course of action.

This especially, of course, in light of the fact that the man who succeeded Kennedy—Lyndon Johnson—had long and often proven a history of personal affinity for Israel and its international interests.

Johnson’s Lansky Connection

Johnson, too, had a long and sordid record of involvement in criminal activities—including murder—that have finally begun to surface. The record is far too complex to examine here—besides which, popular literature on the subject is quite complete.

Nonetheless, it is certainly worth noting that one major Johnson backer was Meyer Lansky’s Louisiana henchman, Carlos Marcello. According to John W. Davis, Lansky’s man Marcello funneled at least $50,000 a year in payoffs to then-Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson who, in turn, helped kill in committee all rackets-related legislation that might have been harmful to the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.[150]John Davis. Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Company, 1989), p. 159.

There are indications, however, that Johnson’s ties to Lansky and his associates go even deeper. When Lansky himself was living in Israel, one of his American cronies, Benjamin Sigelbaum, came visiting.[151]Robert Lacey. Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life. (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1991), pp. 332-333.

It was Mr. Sigelbaum (not to be confused with Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel whom Lansky had ordered killed in 1947) who was involved with longtime Johnson intimate Bobby Baker in two major dealings: the purchase of a bank in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in Baker’s controversial Serv-U Vending Machine Company.[152]Ed Reid and Ovid Demaris. The Green Felt Jungle. (New York: Pocket Books edition, 1964), pp. 217-219.

Another of Baker’s business collaborators, was Edward Levinson, who operated the Fremont Casino in Las Vegas as a front man for longtime Lansky friend and business partner, Joseph (Doc) Stacher (who ultimately died in exile in Israel).[153]Ibid.
(Ed Reid and Ovid Demaris. The Green Felt Jungle. (New York: Pocket Books edition, 1964), pp. 217-219.)

What’s more, author Robert Morrow, a former CIA contract agent, has revealed that one of Baker’s closest associates, with whom he was reportedly “thick as thieves,” was a mob courier named Mickey Weiner who was “a complete user of [Baker's] office, of all the [Baker] facilities on [Capitol] Hill.”[154]Robert Morrow. The Senator Must Die (Santa Monica, California: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 126. Needless to say, Baker’s office and Baker’s “facilities” were one and the same with those of Lyndon B. Johnson.

It was this same Mickey Weiner who, as we shall see in Chapter 7, was one of Meyer Lansky’s chief couriers between his Miami banking operations and his European money-laundering center at the Banque de Credit International (BCI) in Geneva, Switzerland.

(BCI, as we shall see in detail in Chapter 7, Chapter 12 and Chapter 15, was operated by an Israeli banker, Tibor Rosenbaum, former Director for Finances and Supply for Israel’s Mossad.)

Mr. Baker, who served time in federal prison for his criminal activities during his time as Johnson’s protégé (and as his reputed bagman), would have been the one person who could have sent Lyndon Johnson to prison if he had revealed all.

Indeed, it was Johnson’s involvement with Bobby Baker that had led John F. Kennedy to begin laying the groundwork for dropping Johnson from the Democratic ticket in 1964. But even with Kennedy’s death, the stench of corruption surrounding the Lansky-linked Baker still threatened Johnson.

Johnson Faces Prison?

Washington lobbyist Robert N. Winter-Berger recalls a visit by thenPresident Johnson to the office of House Speaker John McCormack while Winter-Berger was there. Johnson burst in unexpectedly. Unconscious of Winter-Berger’s presence, Johnson began shrieking and shouting and condemning his longtime friend and protégé, Bobby Baker. “John, that son of a bitch is going to ruin me. If that cocksucker talks, I’m gonna land in jail,” Johnson roared. “I practically raised that motherfucker and now he’s gonna make me the first President of the United States to spend the last days of his life behind bars.”[155]Robert N. Winter-Berger. The Washington Pay-Off (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1972), pp. 65-66.

According to Winter-Berger Johnson suddenly realized that he was present. Speaker McCormack assured the president that Winter-Berger was “all right” and that Winter-Berger was close to one of Baker’s other associates, Nat Voloshen.

Johnson asked Winter-Berger to have this message relayed to Baker. “Tell Nat to tell Bobby that I will give him a million dollars if he takes this rap. Bobby must not talk.”[156]Ibid., p. 66.
(Robert N. Winter-Berger. The Washington Pay-Off (New York: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1972), pp. 65-66.)
Baker did not talk. Baker went to jail. Johnson did not.

Obviously, Johnson’s Lansky connection is far more complex than we might even be able to determine—but the interplay between Johnson and his intimates and those of the Lansky syndicate is indisputable, to say the least.

Sudden Policy Changes

Needless to say, when Lyndon Johnson became president, the Kennedy war against organized crime came to a sudden halt. There were other important policy reversals as well, including, of course, the change in Vietnam policy (about which we will explore further in this chapter and in Chapter 9.)

What, of course, however, is most significant about Lyndon Johnson’s assumption of the Oval Office were the profound—and immediate—changes in U.S. policy toward Israel and the Arab world that came rapidly upon LBJ’s sudden succession to the presidency.

‘Good News’ From Dallas

The earliest evidence we can find that Israel and its lobby in America were delighted by Lyndon’s elevation to the presidency comes in a memo that I. L. Kenan, director of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sent out to top-ranking figures in AIPAC and others in the Israel lobby in Washington.

Hailing Johnson’s “front-rank pro-Israel position”[157]Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 186. during his Senate career, the memo was dated November 26, 1963, just one day after John F. Kennedy was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The memo, incidentally, was formally noted “Not for Publication or Circulation.”[158]Ibid.
(Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 186.)

Clearly, those in the Israeli camp didn’t want their seeming delight in Kennedy’s passing—and Johnson’s sudden good luck—to be in the public record.

What is additionally interesting are Kenan’s memoirs of his service as one of the Israeli lobby’s top men in Washington. The memoirs contain, as we have seen, a chapter about John F. Kennedy cryptically—perhaps critically—entitled—”A Multitude of Promises” along with the intriguing— and accurate—reference to 1963 as “The Turbulent Year,” (for U.S.-Israeli relations).[159]I. L. Kenan. Israel’s Defense Line: Her Friends and Foes in Washington. (Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1981), p. 173.

The very next chapter—about Lyndon Johnson—is warmly entitled “Israel’s Texas Friend.” Johnson—who was, in Kenan’s words, the “New Man in the White House”—proved to be a very loyal friend of Israel. Seymour Hersh points out that one of Johnson’s first symbolic acts as president was to dedicate a synagogue in Austin, Texas—less than six weeks after assuming the presidency. In fact, Hersh notes, Johnson was the first American president in history to dedicate a synagogue. It was, we shall see, a very symbolic act indeed.[160]Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 127.

Lady Bird Johnson, the new president’s wife, later tried to explain why her husband was so fond of Israel and its friends in the American pro-Israel lobby. “Jews have been woven into the warp and woof of all his [Johnson's] years,” she said.[161]Ibid., p. 128.
(Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy. (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 127.)

Israel’s Interests First

In Israel, Johnson’s presidency was greeted with pleasure. The Israeli newspaper Yedio Ahoronot said that in a Johnson presidency the issue of “U.S. interests” would not be as much of a problem in U.S.-Israeli relations as they had been under Kennedy.[162]Green, p. 185. In other words, Johnson—unlike Kennedy—would be willing to set aside American interests in favor of Israel’s. The Israeli journal added, “There is no doubt that, with the accession of Lyndon Johnson, we shall have more opportunity to approach the President directly if we should feel that U.S. policy militates against our vital interests.”[163]Ibid., p. 186.
(Green, p. 185.)

Mourning in Islam

In the Arab world, however, the response was far different. According to former diplomat Richard Curtiss, who spent much time in the region, “The mourning stretched across the Arab world, where to this day faded photographs on humble walls depict the young hero.”[164]Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 68.

In Algeria, the new Arab republic that had achieved independence with help from John F. Kennedy, Premier Ahmad Ben Bella telephoned the U.S. ambassador to say, “Believe me, I’d rather it had happened to me than to him.”[165]Ibid.
(Richard Curtiss. A Changing Image (Washington, D.C.: American Educational Trust, 1986), p. 68.)
Kennedy’s friendly gestures for peace were being remembered.

In Egypt President Nasser realized that the death of John F. Kennedy would have a profound impact upon the Arab world. With Kennedy’s departure, Nasser later said that “[French President Charles] DeGaulle is the only Western Head of State on whose friendship the Arabs can depend.”[166]Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.

However, according to DeGaulle’s biographer, Jean Lacouture, DeGaulle was “a friend neither of the Arabs, nor of Israel, but only of France.”[167]Ibid.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)
One might say that similar words could likewise be applied to John F. Kennedy: “a friend neither of the Arabs, nor of Israel, but only of America.” And Israel certainly did not consider JFK a friend.

Mourning in Paris

In Paris, DeGaulle—who had granted Algerian independence and who had suffered numerous attempts on his own life in retaliation—was thoroughly stunned by the murder of the American president. He interrupted a Cabinet meeting to announce: “John Fitzgerald Kennedy has been assassinated. He was one of the very few leaders of whom it may be said that they are statesmen. He had courage and he loved his country.”[168]Ibid., p. 378.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)
According to DeGaulle’s biographer, “It was a tribute without precedent and one that was never repeated.”[169]Ibid.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)

In fact, as we shall see, the very same elements that had conspired against the life of DeGaulle were indeed those same elements who had brought about the assassination of John F. Kennedy. And if DeGaulle did not know it then, he ultimately would.

Suspicions

There was additional fall-out in the Arab world as a consequence of Kennedy’s assassination. According to Curtiss, the fact that Kennedy’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald was promptly murdered by Jack Ruby—in Curtiss’ words—“an American Jew with gangster connections,”[170]Curtiss, Ibid.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)
suspicions about Israel’s complicity in the crime were widespread.

According to Curtiss: “The circumstances gave rise to many conspiracy theories, including one believed by virtually all Arabs that the assassination was to prevent an impending U.S. policy change in the Middle East.”[171]Ibid.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)

Curtiss’ next comment, however, has proven wrong in the light of what we are about to explore in the pages of Final Judgment: “No Middle East connection of any sort has ever been discovered, however.”[172]Ibid.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)

Curtiss notes that, “Instead, ironically, the assassination five years later by an Arab-American in California of President Kennedy’s younger brother, an outspoken supporter of Israel, made Robert Kennedy the first American victim of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute to be killed on U.S. soil.”[173]Ibid.
(Jean Lacouture. DeGaulle: The Ruler. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1993), p. 446.)
(However, as we shall see in Chapter 18, there is—as in the assassination of John F. Kennedy—a lot more about the murder of his younger brother than really meets the eye.)

Nonetheless, as Alfred Lilienthal, the veteran critic of U.S. Middle East policy, has written, “There is little question that Kennedy intended to move decisively in his second term. The assassination of President Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, shattered the possibility that his second term might see Washington start to free itself from the grave burdens of U.S. partisanship on the Arab-Israeli conflict and of continuous politicking for domestic votes.”[174]Alfred Lilienthal. The Zionist Connection II. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: North American, 1982), p. 549.

Moving Fast

Arab hopes for peace had been shattered and a new American president in Washington was—in the meantime—busy ingratiating himself with Israel’s representatives in the American capital.

“You have lost a very great friend, but you have found a better one,” the new president told one Israeli official.[175]Kenan, p. 173. Although Johnson’s quote has been oft repeated, it is not quite certain just who that official was. The quote, indeed, may have been apocryphal—another legend in the Lyndon Johnson legacy.

However, most sources believe that Johnson’s comment was probably made to Ephraim Evron, the number two man in Israel’s embassy in Washington. It was Evron who ultimately became a very close friend of Lyndon Johnson.

At the time of the Kennedy assassination—interestingly enough—Evron was in Washington in charge of Israeli intelligence operations, working closely with James Jesus Angleton, Israel’s man at the CIA. Thus, it seems likely, that whatever Angleton knew about JFK’s assassination, Evron likely knew—and vice versa. And perhaps, we might speculate, Johnson also thus knew as well. (In Chapter 8 and in Chapter 16 we will consider Angleton’s peculiar part in the JFK assassination conspiracy in full detail.) According to Johnson aide Harry McPherson, “I think [Evron] felt what I’ve always felt, that some place in Lyndon Johnson’s blood there are a great many Jewish corpuscles.”[176]Curtiss, p. 75.

The aforementioned McPherson, speaking on tape for the LBJ Library Oral History Project, interestingly described himself as the Johnson White House’s “staff anti-Semite,”[177]Green, p. 246. McPherson explained that this meant that he had to maintain “a continuing relationship with B’nai B’rith, the Anti-Defamation League, to some extent the Zionist organization, and others who want various things,”[178]Ibid.
(Green, p. 246.)
presumably a difficult task. As a consequence, McPherson was especially tuned in to Johnson’s relationship with Israel and its lobby in Washington.

In fact, as the record shows, Johnson had a long and close relationship with Israel and its partisans. Israel knew that it had a loyal devotee of its interests in the White House now that John F. Kennedy was out of the way.

A Long-Time Favorite of Israel

Israel, of course, had been keeping a close watch on Lyndon Johnson for a long time. About Johnson, Israeli intelligence man Evron said as follows: “Johnson’s feeling about Israel came out very early in the [Suez] crisis in 1957 when he was [Senate] majority leader. When at that time President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles wanted to force us to withdraw from Sinai, they threatened us with economic sanctions. Johnson persuaded Senator William Knowland of California, who was then minority leader, to come with him to the White House and tell the President that it just wouldn’t do.”[179]Curtiss, p. 75.

The Arab States were also watching Johnson closely, particularly after he assumed the presidency. Particularly concerned was Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser with whom JFK had hoped to build bridges. In fact, as we have seen, it was during his last White House press conference that JFK bemoaned the efforts by Israel and its partisans to sabotage his Middle East peace initiatives, especially in regard to relations with Nasser.

The Change in Policy Begins

According to author Stephen Green, as early as March 5, 1964 Nasser told Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Phillips Talbot that “The U.S. had shifted its policy into more active support of Israel.”[180]Green, p. 186.

This was just little more than three months after John F. Kennedy had been assassinated and Lyndon B. Johnson was catapulted into the presidency. Nasser’s assessment was on target. According to intelligence historian Richard Deacon, Johnson’s new policy was keeping in line not only with Israel’s demands, but those of Israel’s friends at the CIA:

“President Johnson had already swung away from the tentative pro-Arab stance of the Kennedy administration which had always been frowned upon by the CIA.”[181]Richard Deacon. The Israeli Secret Service. (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., 1978), p. 179.

Deacon reports that Walt Rostow, the president’s national security advisor believed that US policy towards Israel would serve as an effective check on Soviet support for Arab countries. “Thus,” according to Deacon, “Rostow reflected almost totally the views of the CIA hierarchy.”[182]Ibid.
(Richard Deacon. The Israeli Secret Service. (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., 1978), p. 179.)

Johnson, himself, also had long-standing ties to Israel’s friends in the CIA from his years of service in the Senate.

As Senate Majority Leader, Johnson worked closely with the CIA on a regular basis and was considered a “CIA friend” in Congress.

Unquestionably, however, Lyndon Johnson did indeed begin a major shift in U.S. Middle East policy—keeping in line with his joint devotion to not only the CIA’s interests, but those of Israel’s as well.

This, of course, had a momentous impact on the course of American foreign policy and was an immediate and absolute turn-about of the policy that had been pursued by the late President Kennedy.

The Nuclear Bomb

Interestingly enough, Israel’s initial primary benefit from the death of JFK was, in fact, the removal from the White House of a president who vehemently opposed Israel’s nuclear weapons development.

According to historian Stephen Green: “Perhaps the most significant development of 1963 for the Israeli nuclear weapons program, however, occurred on November 22 on a plane flying from Dallas to Washington, D.C., Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn in as the 36th President of the United States, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

“In the early years of the Johnson administration the Israeli nuclear weapons program was referred to in Washington as ‘the delicate topic.’ Lyndon Johnson’s White House saw no Dimona, heard no Dimona, and spoke no Dimona when the reactor went critical in early 1964.”[183]Green, pp. 165-166.

Thus it was that the critical point of dispute between John F. Kennedy and the Mossad-dominated government of Israel was no longer an issue. The new American president—so long a partisan of Israel—allowed the nuclear development to continue. This was just the beginning.

Hubert Humphrey & The Lansky Syndicate

Johnson was also cementing his long-standing ties to Meyer Lansky’s Organized Crime Syndicate. In 1964—seeking his first full term in the White House—Johnson selected Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey as his vice-presidential running mate.

As the Washington Observer newsletter noted: “Humphrey was first catapulted into public office as Mayor of Minneapolis in 1945 via the machinations and campaign slush funds raised by the notorious Kid Cann, king of the Minneapolis underworld.

“Cann, whose real name was Isadore Blumenfeld, along with his brothers (who were known by their aliases, Harry and Yiddy Bloom) were partners with Meyer Lansky in the ownership of many of the plush resorts in Miami, along with Humphrey’s chief advisor, Max Kampelman, a top figure in the Israeli lobby in Washington.”

“Blumenfeld and Lansky were partners in the syndicate that owned the Sands and Fremont Hotels—gambling operations in Las Vegas—until they sold their interest in the Sands to Howard Hughes. When Humphrey and his top aides are in Miami,” the Observer reported, “they enjoy[ed] free accommodations at the syndicate’s plush hotels.”[184]Washington Observer, September 15, 1968.

(Alan H. Ryskind, writing in his critical biography of Humphrey, demonstrated how then-Minneapolis Mayor Humphrey managed to look the other way when Blumenfeld got himself into a widely-publicized set of difficulties[185]Alan H. Ryskind. Hubert. (New York: Arlington House, 1968), pp. 79-84.—just one of HRH’s favors for the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.

Thus, in the 1964 presidential election—which was Johnson’s to lose— Lansky and his partners in Israel were assured a dream ticket come November. Both Johnson and his vice president were bought and paid for. Lansky and Israel made sure there wouldn’t be any problems with any independent upstart second-generation multi-millionaire Irishmen like John F. Kennedy who was not only the son of a notorious anti-Semite but a bullheaded proponent of America’s interests to boot.

Thus, having become ensconced in the presidency, Lyndon Johnson was in a position to do many favors for Israel.

The Foreign Aid Pork Barrel

Perhaps his most drastic efforts in service to Israel involved massive increases in U.S. taxpayer-financed foreign aid giveaways. Although John F. Kennedy himself had been generous to Israel in that regard, Johnson made Kennedy look like a piker.

Former Undersecretary of State George Ball comments that in the foreign aid realm: “The Israelis were proved right in their assumption that Johnson would be more friendly than Kennedy.”[186]Ball, p. 52.

According to author Stephen Green, citing U.S. Agency for International Development data: “Over the next few years—the first three years of the Johnson administration—[the level of foreign aid] support [to Israel] would change both qualitatively and quantitatively. U.S. government assistance to Israel in FY 1964, the last budget year of the Kennedy administration, stood at $40 million. This was substantially reduced from the levels of assistance in previous years. In FY 1965, this figure rose to $71 million, and in FY 1966, to $130 million.”[187]Green, pp. 186-187.

Arming Israel’s War Machine

Green notes further that under Lyndon Johnson, United States military aid to Israel also saw a drastic increase:

“More significant, however, was the change in the composition of that assistance. In [JFK's] FY 1964, virtually none of the official U.S. assistance for Israel was military assistance; it was split almost equally between development loans and food assistance under the PL 480 program. In [LBJ's} FY 1965, however, 20 percent of U.S. aid was military in nature, and in FY 1966, fully 71 percent of all official assistance to Israel came in the form of credits for purchase of military equipment.

"Moreover, the nature of the weapons systems we provided had changed. In FY 1963, the Kennedy administration agreed to sell five batteries of Hawk missiles valued at $21.5 million. This however was an air defense system. The Johnson administration, in FY 1965-1966, provided Israel with 250 modern (modified M-48) tanks, 48 A-1 Skyhawk attack aircraft, communications and electronics equipment, artillery, and recoilless rifles. Given the configuration of the [Israel Defense Forces], these were anything but defensive weapons.

“The $92 million in military assistance provided in FY 1966 was greater than the total of all official military aid provided to Israel cumulatively, in all the years going back to the foundation of that nation in 1948.”[188]Ibid.
(Green, pp. 186-187.)
Green summarizes the massive extent of Johnson’s giveaways: “Seventy percent of all U.S. official assistance to Israel has been military. America has given Israel over $17 billion in military aid since 1946, virtually all of which—over 99 percent—has been provided since 1965.”[189]Ibid., p. 251.
(Green, pp. 186-187.)

Israel’s Interests First

It was clearly Lyndon B. Johnson who set the precedent for unlimited aid to Israel. All told, however, the death of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson’s assumption of the Oval Office marked a major change in overall U.S. policy. As Stephen Green writes, in all too clarifying detail in Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With A Militant Israel:

“In the years 1948-1963, America was perceived by all of the governments in the Middle East as a major power that acted upon the basis of its own, clearly defined national self-interest. Moreover, U.S. Middle East policy was just that—Middle East policy; it was not an Israeli policy in which Arab countries were subordinate actors.

“In the years 1948-1963, Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy firmly guaranteed Israeli national security and territorial integrity, but just as firmly guaranteed those of Jordan, Lebanon, and the other nations of the region. That was what the Tripartite Declaration of 1950 was all about.

“For successive Israel governments in this period, the boundary line between U.S. and Israeli national security interests was drawn frequently, and usually decisively. Truman’s policies on arms exports to the middle East, Eisenhower’s stands on regional water development and on territorial integrity during the Suez Crisis, and Kennedy’s candor with Mrs. Meir—all of these were markers on this boundary line.

“Nevertheless, during this time U.S. financial support for Israel far exceeded that given any other nation in the world, on a per capita basis. And U.S. diplomatic support for Israel in the UN and elsewhere was no less generous.

“But the limits to U.S. support for Israel were generally understood by all of the countries of the region, and it was precisely these limits that preserved America’s ability to mediate the various issues that composed the Arab-Israeli dispute.

“Then, in the early years of the Johnson administration, 1964-1967, U.S. policy on Middle Eastern matters abruptly changed. It would perhaps be more accurate to say that it disintegrated. America had a public policy on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, but suddenly had a covert policy of abetting Israel’s nuclear weapons program. We had a public policy on arms balance in the region, but secretly agreed, by the end of 1967, to become Israel’s major arms supplier.

“Officially, the United States was “firmly committed to the support of the political independence and territorial integrity of all the [Middle Eastern] nations,” while consciously, covertly, the Johnson “Middle East team” set about enabling Israel to redraw to her advantage virtually every one of her borders with neighboring Arab states.

“It was, of course, a policy without principle, without integrity. But it was also ineffective, in the sense that Israel steadily continued to act in ways that ignored U.S. national security interests.”[190]Ibid., pp. 243-244.
(Green, pp. 186-187.)

Vietnam—Israel Benefits

These incredible facts about the sudden reversal of traditional U.S. policy have gone too long ignored in the context of considering the question of who stood most to benefit by the assassination of John F. Kennedy.Israel clearly stood most to benefit—and did.

All of this is most ironic when one considers the fact that Israel repeatedly and pointedly refused to support Johnson’s Vietnam policy, much to the dismay of “Israel’s Texas Friend.” “Dammit,” Johnson once complained to his “staff anti-Semite” Harry McPherson, “they want me to protect Israel, but they don’t want me to do anything in Vietnam.”[191]Ibid., p. 249.
(Green, pp. 186-187.)
Clearly, Israel’s allies in the CIA now had a free hand to conduct their own private war in Vietnam—one CIA benefit resulting from Kennedy’s removal from the presidency. (In Chapter 9 we will examine Kennedy’s war with the CIA in further detail.)

Johnson’s reversal of JFK’s decision to begin withdrawing U.S. forces (and CIA personnel) from Southeast Asia was, in its own sense, a CIA coup. The CIA also expanded its own power during the Vietnam conflict. Likewise with Johnson’s many friends in the defense industry both at home in Texas and elsewhere. The defense contractors reaped untold billions in profits from Johnson’s dirty little war in Southeast Asia—a war that probably spelled the end of Johnson’s popular chances for a second term.

Vietnam—Israel’s Dirty Little Secret

However, what has been unfortunately ignored is that Israel, too, had much to gain from U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

As Stephen Green points out, a direct and proximate result of U.S. military adventurism in Southeast Asia was Israel’s ability to advance its own military muscle and political influence in the Middle East. After all, Israel could now argue, with the United States bogged down in Southeast Asia, Uncle Sam needed its close, reliable, democratic ally in the Middle East looking out for America’s interests in the region. According to Green: “In a period in which the Johnson White House was becoming increasingly obsessed with the war in Vietnam, Israel’s military leaders offered to impose stability upon the peoples and countries of the Middle East—it was to be a ‘Pax Hebraeca.’

“There were, of course, costs involved for America. The United States would have to take the initial steps toward becoming what three previous Presidents had said we never would be—Israel’s major arms supplier. We would also at least temporarily forfeit our role as primary mediator of the multifaceted Arab-Israeli dispute.

“The new arrangement would necessitate throwing our long-standing nuclear nonproliferation treaty to the winds, the 1968 treaty to the contrary notwithstanding.

“Perhaps most important, U.S. national security interests in the region would become merged with Israel’s to a degree that was, and is to this day, unique in the history of U.S. foreign relations.”[192]Ibid., p. 180.
(Green, pp. 186-187.)

Israel—above all—stood to benefit immensely from U.S. involvement in Vietnam, something which would not have occurred had JFK lived.

There is yet an additional irony in the relationship of the United States and Israel vis-à-vis the Vietnam conflict that is very much worth noting,

After the war in Vietnam was underway, dragging Lyndon Johnson deeper and deeper into the muck of public discontent, Israel was beginning to encounter its own difficulties as it flexed its muscle in the Middle East.

Although America’s entry in Southeast Asia had given Israel a free hand in its own sphere of geographic influence, the tiny Jewish state found that it now needed the United States—perhaps more so than ever. Israel’s aggression against its Arab neighbors had rallied the Arab world against Israel.

With the United States in too deep in Southeast Asia, Israel and its American lobby perceived U.S. energy to be focused in the wrong direction. Thus it was that many of the very voices urging U.S. withdrawal from the arena of Vietnam were those who were most stridently demanding that the U.S. re-insert itself into the Middle East cauldron.

Where Should America Fight?

It was on the eve of the 1967 War—a war that could have been the end for Israel—that the Washington Star (in its June 4 lead editorial) pointed out the strange paradox.

“Many of those, both at home and abroad, who most loudly condemn the American presence in Vietnam, were the first to urge total American involvement in the Middle East.

“And having made the leap from isolation to intervention, they have gone on to argue that our commitment in the Middle East is additional justification for disengagement in Asia. The nation, so this line of reasoning goes, cannot afford involvement in both areas.

“A choice must be made. And the Middle East is the logical place for the United States to intervene,”[193]Washington Star, June 4, 1967. according to the Star‘s assessment of the attitude of the pro-Israel advocates of withdrawal from Vietnam who were urging U.S. intervention in the Middle East.

So it was that Israel, which initially reaped benefits from U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, ultimately began banging the drum for U.S. withdrawal—but it was only well after the damage of the Vietnam War had already been done. Israel was placing its own interests—not America’s interests—first.

Lansky, The CIA & Vietnam

It should be noted, too, that Israel’s friends in the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate also stood to benefit from the Vietnam conflict. In Chapter 12 we shall examine in detail the little-known collaboration between the Lansky syndicate, its Mossad-linked banking money launderers, and the CIA in the drug pipeline out of Southeast Asia.

The Lansky crime empire began operating major global drug trafficking, largely under CIA cover, throughout Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, during which time the drug problem began escalating to a major degree in the United States and elsewhere.

Now, many years later, the CIA’s role in the global drug market is only now just coming to the surface. The Iran-contra scandal, for example, shed some light on this little known aspect of the underbelly of world affairs. Thus, the joint Israel-Lansky-CIA combine shared a major benefit from American involvement in Vietnam. They had Lyndon Johnson to thank.

A Passionate Attachment

Israel and its covert allies did indeed have a messiah in Lyndon Baines Johnson. In his book, The Passionate Attachment, former Undersecretary of State George Ball summarized the results of Johnson’s Middle East policies: “First, the administration put America in the position of being Israel’s principal arms supplier and sole unqualified backer.

“Second, by assuring the Israelis that the United States would always provide them with a military edge over the Arabs, Johnson guaranteed the escalation of an arms race… Third, by refusing to follow the advice of his aides that America make its delivery of nuclear-capable F-4 Phantoms conditional on Israel’s signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Johnson gave the Israelis the impression that America had no fundamental objection to Israel’s nuclear program.

“Fourth, by permitting a cover-up of Israel’s attack on the Liberty [see Chapter 2], President Johnson told the Israelis in effect that nothing they did would induce American politicians to refuse their bidding. From that time forth, the Israelis began to act as if they had an inalienable right to American aid and backing.”[194]Ball, pp. 65-66.

As Stephen Green concluded in his discussion of the incredible changes in U.S. policy toward Israel that took place during the Johnson era: “By June of 1967, for a variety of reasons that prominently included ‘domestic political considerations,’ Lyndon Johnson and his team of foreignpolicy advisors had completely revised U.S.-Israeli relations. To all intents and purposes, Israel had become the 51st state.”[195]Green, p. 250.

Chapter Seven • Israel’s Godfather: The Man in the Middle • 10,000 Words
Meyer Lansky, The CIA, The FBI & The Israeli Mossad

If it had not been for international crime boss Meyer Lansky there might not be a state of Israel today. This is something that Israel would rather be forgotten.

Israel was established as a state, in major part, through the political, financial and moral support of Meyer Lansky and his associates and henchmen in Organized Crime. Lansky’s interests and Israel’s interests were almost incestuous. In fact, Lansky’s chief European money laundering bank was an operation run under the auspices of a high-ranking, longtime officer of Israel’s Mossad.

Lansky’s intimate ties with not only American intelligence (including both the CIA and the FBI) made the Jewish mobster the “untouchable” leader of the global organized crime syndicate.

During John F. Kennedy’s short-lived presidency, he was not only at odds with Israel and its powerful lobby in America. Kennedy, as we saw in Chapter 4, had also double-crossed his secret allies in the criminal underworld who had helped him achieve the presidency. The president’s brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, was waging a relentless war against organized crime.

In the years prior to Kennedy’s ascendency to the presidency, a littleknown, but immensely powerful underworld figure by the name of Meyer Lansky had schemed and shot his way to the top of the crime syndicate. That syndicate was not just national—it was international—and the uncrowned king of crime was Meyer Lansky—the so-called “chairman of the board” of that incredible criminal empire which spanned the globe.

It was Meyer Lansky, early in his criminal career, who had emerged as one of the leading sponsors of the state of Israel and whose most intimate associates were among the chief financial patrons of the influential Israeli lobby in America.

What’s more, as we shall see, Lansky had also forged close ties with Israel’s allies in the American CIA—an agency that, in itself, had entered into a bitter war with John F. Kennedy. Thus, when JFK came to blows with not only Israel and its allies in the Lansky Organized Crime empire, but also with the CIA, the American president had unwittingly forged a deadly alliance among his fiercest foes.

It is the Meyer Lansky connection which explains how Israel’s Mossad was able to utilize and manipulate, among other elements, the anti-Castro Cuban community—itself working with not only the CIA but also the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—in the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy.

To begin our investigation of the shadowy crevices of the underworld where Israel’s Mossad, Organized Crime and the CIA came together in the Kennedy murder, it is most appropriate to begin with Lansky.

It is Lansky (individually) and his crime syndicate which tie all of these diverse strands together, pointing the finger toward the until-now undisclosed role of Israel in the JFK assassination.

A spokesman for the Bahamas Commission of Inquiry which was investigating organized crime in the islands, once said, “At one stage, we began to wonder whether the name of Meyer Lansky was not some vast journalistic piece of fiction, so ghostly and mythical a figure did he appear.”[196]Marvin Miller. The Breaking of a President: The Nixon Connection. (Covina, California: Classic Publications, 1975), p. 336. But exist he did.

Meyer Lansky, in fact, is a pivotal player in the international conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy—all of the literature propagating the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK” notwithstanding.

Who Was Meyer Lansky?

The most concise summary of the origins and rise to power of Meyer Lansky appeared in a lengthy profile of Lansky that appeared on the front page of The Wall Street Journal in 1969. It reads, in pertinent part:

“Born Maier Suchowjansky in Grodno, Russia, Lansky arrived in the U.S. at age nine. His family settled in New York’s immigrant slums. By the time he was 27, young Maier had five arrests on his record, on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to suspicion of murder, but he was never convicted. He had begun his painstaking climb up the underworld ladder.

“It was during the 1920’s that Lansky became a pal and partner of Bugsy Siegel. The two became a formidable pair, first as hired gunmen for Legs Diamond, soon as leaders of their own gang, called the ‘Bugs and Meyer Mob.’

A Member of the Board

“Their specialty was protecting liquor in transit from hijackers to East Coast gangs. They were good at it, and when an alliance called the Eastern Syndicate was formed to coordinate rum-running Lansky and Siegel were named to the board. Lansky was put in charge of handling the syndicate’s finances.

“By the early 1930’s, the Eastern syndicate began to form a loose alliance with other regional mobs. Thus was the national syndicate born. Each gang retained its own identity and pursued its own activities, with the federation coming together occasionally to discuss matters of common interest. Final decisions rested with individual gang leaders, with one acting as federation chairman. The first chairman was Lucky Luciano, head of the Mafia in the East.

Ties to U.S. Intelligence

“During World War II, Lansky played a part in an incredible alliance between the underworld and the U.S. Navy… Apparently, the Navy decided East Coast piers could be protected from sabotage only with the aid of the Mafia.

“Lucky Luciano was [by then in prison], but he still held power and the loyalty of Mafia members. Luciano’s attorney and Meyer Lansky were recruited to persuade Luciano to give the arrangement his blessing. After several months of prison visits, Luciano agreed… After the war, Lucky was paroled and sent home to Italy on promise he would never again enter the U.S.

Chairman of the Board

“With Luciano gone, a triumvirate of Lansky, Joe Adonis and Frank Costello took over leadership of the syndicate. By the late 1950′s, Costello had been ousted from power by his colleagues and Adonis had been deported. Lansky sat alone at the top.”[197]The Wall Street Journal, November 19, 1969, p. 1.

In the meantime, Lansky had already cemented his ties with the Washington establishment. In fact, those ties were long-standing.

Lansky & Cuba

(In Chapter 10, we shall discuss Lansky’s critical role in helping win President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the Democratic presidential nomination in 1932.)

Roosevelt himself sent Lansky as a personal emissary to Cuba to meet with Cuban strongman Fulgencio Batista. FDR believed that Batista’s authoritarian rule was stirring popular discontent which could be exploited by a growing communist movement in Cuba. Through Lansky FDR hoped to influence Batista to institute reforms that would quell the communist threat. It was during this period that Lansky had begun establishing his lucrative gambling empire in the tropical paradise and a long and profitable personal and business relationship with Batista and other Cuban leaders who made millions in kickbacks from Lansky’s casino operations.

(Among those on the receiving end of Lansky’s pay-offs was Carlos Prio Soccaras, whom, we shall see in Chapter 14, ultimately became a business partner in gunrunning activities with Dallas nightclub operator and Lansky Syndicate henchman, Jack Ruby.)[198]Miller, p. 327.

(In Chapter 11, we shall examine Lansky’s Cuban gambling activities and his Israeli Mossad-linked European money laundering operations. In Chapter 12 we shall examine Lansky’s international narcotics trafficking, and his consequent connections with the CIA, in detail.)

Although Batista was in and out of office several times during the next two decades, the Cuban strongman remained the de facto leader of the island through successive puppet regimes until the advent of Fidel Castro on New Years Day, 1960.

However, Lansky also had extensive contacts much farther away from American shores. Lansky—as we shall see here—was a key force in establishing the State of Israel.

Alliance & Rivalry

To understand Lansky’s preeminent leadership position in organized crime, however, we must first look at the strange and complex alliance—and rivalry—between the Italian and Jewish elements in the organized crime world.

The Wall Street Journal‘s account of Lansky’s rise to power hints at these contradictions, but doesn’t explore them in the fashion needed. Two interesting things left out of the Journal summary of Lansky’s career should be mentioned.

It is generally known that Lansky launched his criminal career working in conjunction with the famed Mafia figure Charles “Lucky” Luciano. Their alliance is noted in the Journal account and a recent Hollywood extravaganza entitled Mobsters highlighted the youthful exploits of Lansky, Luciano, Benjamin Siegel and Frank Costello.

Luciano Gets Framed

However, it may have been Lansky, through his political contacts, who arranged the criminal indictment and subsequent imprisonment of Luciano. It was Luciano’s imprisonment—and ultimate deportation—that smoothed Lansky’s further advancement in organized crime.

In his own memoirs Luciano provides a detailed account of how he was, in fact, framed on the white slavery and prostitution charges that resulted in his imprisonment. Luciano does not blame Lansky, by any means, although, as we shall see, he may have had his suspicions.

Luciano doesn’t ask the reader to believe that he (Luciano) wasn’t engaged in extensive criminal activity. He does present a very cogent case, however, that he was not guilty of the crimes for which he was convicted. Indeed, Luciano was never brought to trial for any of the crimes in which he was engaged with Lansky.

In any case, it is quite possible that Lansky, in fact, did have some role in framing Luciano on the prostitution charges. Tom Dewey’s war against Lucky Luciano, the Mafia chieftain’s imprisonment, and his subsequent deportation smoothed the way for Lansky’s rise to the top.

It was upon Luciano’s deportation, that Luciano actually named Lansky as his official spokesman. According to Luciano, “I worked it all out with Lansky, and that’s the point where Meyer became the real treasurer of the outfit. I put him in charge of my money and later on he started to take care of the finances of quite a few guys.”[199]Martin Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), p. 229.

Lansky was—despite his Jewish origins—the capo di tuti capi (“boss of all bosses”) in Luciano’s absence. Theoretically, Lansky could never be a “member” of the Mafia, but he certainly ranked higher than even “made” members who had been inducted into the so-called “honored society.”

Lansky, Dewey & The CIA

Both Dewey and Lansky did, of course, stand to benefit from Luciano’s imprisonment. The case of Dewey and his Lansky connection is most interesting.

As a consequence of his prosecution of Luciano, Dewey won widespread political fame and in 1938 ran, unsuccessfully, for governor of New York. In fact, at that time, Lansky reportedly donated fully $250,000 (in 1938 dollars) to Dewey’s campaign.

Dewey did not win that race, but during the remaining period of his service as New York’s “racket-busting” prosecutor he did obtain a conviction of one of Lansky’s Jewish rivals in organized crime, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, who eventually died in the electric chair.

Then, in 1942 when Dewey once again—this time, successfully—sought the governorship, Lansky provided additional financial support and political muscle. Dewey, as governor, commuted Luciano’s sentence. In return for his freedom, Luciano agreed to go into exile to his homeland of Italy. Thus, Lansky’s influence widened in Luciano’s absence abroad.

This would not be, however, the end of the Dewey-Lansky relationship. Dewey later became a major stockholder in the Mary Carter Paint Company in the late 1950′s.

According to former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow, “Carter Paint was originally an active corporation set up by Thomas Dewey [and CIA director] Allen Dulles to use as a CIA front. In 1958, Dewey and some friends had bought controlling interest in the Crosby Miller Corporation, with two million dollars in CIA money—authorized by Allen Dulles. Then, in 1959, the Crosby Miller Corporation was merged with the CIA-owned paint company. As an example of one of its early activities, it provided laundered CIA money for the Bay of Pigs army. In 1963, Mary Carter Paint spun off its paint division, after a Florida land scandal, and became Resorts International.”[200]Robert D. Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. (Santa Monica, California: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 238.

Resorts International, Inc. controlled virtually all of the resorts in the Bahamas and throughout the Caribbean where Lansky reorganized his gambling operations after being forced out of Cuba in 1960.

Resorts International ultimately set up a subsidiary known as International Intelligence, Inc. (Intertel) ostensibly designed to curtail organized crime involvement in the casino industry. However, in reality, this was a myth.

There are those who suspect that Intertel—like Resorts International and Mary Carter Paint before it—was not simply a CIA operation, but a joint CIALansky operation—an intelligence network interacting with Israel’s Mossad.[201]The Spotlight, September 25, 1978.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Dewey’s admiring biographer, Richard Norton Smith, writing in Thomas E. Dewey and His Times, never mentions Dewey’s Mary Carter Paint Company—or Lansky’s support for Dewey’s political endeavors. Another Lansky connection gone unmentioned. All of this illustrates the depth of Lansky’s political influence and his wide range of connections.

Frank Costello ‘Retires’

There is also the question as to whether Lansky may have had a hand in the unsuccessful assassination attempt against his other boyhood friend, the aforementioned Frank Costello, who was often called “the Prime Minister of the Mafia.” Whatever the truth, the attempt on Costello forced the “prime minister” into early retirement and gave Lansky further influence in organized crime.

Luciano Remembers…

“Lucky” Luciano, who had initially smoothed Meyer Lansky’s way to the top, later rued the day that he had placed so much trust in his early gangland associate. In 1961, well after his influence in the international crime syndicate had begun to dwindle, Luciano reflected upon his relationship with Lansky. “In [Shakespeare's] Julius Caesar, you remember a guy by the name of Cassius? He was a pain in the ass. It seems like everybody’s got a Cassius in his life.”

According to Luciano, his Mafia associate Vito Genovese was his own Cassius. However, upon further thought he added, “Come to think of it, I even had two Cassiuses in my life, the other one bein’ a guy by the name of Meyer Lansky. But I didn’t get on to him for a long time.”[202]Gosch & Hammer, p. 381.

In his waning days Luciano considered offers from Hollywood producers who wanted to film his life story. However, Luciano—in exile in Italy—got word from home that there were “orders” that he not participate in any such venture. It was then that Luciano saw the whole picture—the whole truth about what “the Mafia” had really become.

‘The Boss of Everything’

“When I realized that Meyer Lansky was right in the middle of this, that’s when I knew he had us all by a string. Why should Lansky, bein’ a Jew, give a shit whether or not some fuckin’ movie had a bunch of Italian names in it? Because he was pullin’ the wires and everybody was dancin’ to his tune on the other end, like a bunch of puppets.

“Lansky held the purse strings, too; he was the treasurer and he was really tryin’ to be the boss of everythin’. He was so hungry for power behind the scenes he’d kiss anybody’s ass and do anythin’ he had to do so that in the end, he—Meyer Lansky, my old partner and a Jew—would wind up the real boss of bosses of all the Italians and the Jews—and without a single fuckin’ vote on the [organized crime syndicate] council.

“I never really knew what it meant when we was kids and I used to call him the Genius. But at the age of sixty-four, I finally got wise.”[203]Ibid., p. 431.
(Gosch & Hammer, p. 381.)

The Guiding Hand

So it was that Meyer Lansky—though not an Italian—did, indeed, become, as he was to be called, “the chairman of the board” of the organized crime syndicate, even more powerful than the “Mafia” itself.

If, as some claim, “The Mafia Killed JFK,” it couldn’t have been done without the foreknowledge—and guiding hand—of Meyer Lansky. And as we shall see in this chapter—and further throughout the pages of this work—Lansky’s connections with Israel and its Mossad (as well as Israel’s allies in the CIA), demonstrates that Israeli loyalist Meyer Lansky is an integral player who bound together the diverse elements which came together in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Hiding Behind ‘The Mafia’

In Little Man, his recent friendly biography of Meyer Lansky, Robert Lacey dismissed rumors of Lansky’s role in the JFK assassination when he wrote that: “Meyer was mentioned most frequently of all in that happiest of hunting grounds for conspiracy theorists, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”[204]Robert Lacey. Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life. (Boston: Little, Brown & Company, 1991), p. 386.

This is the only reference in Lacey’s book to even the most tenuous link between Lansky and the JFK murder. However, as we shall see, the connections are very deep indeed. Yet, contrary to what Lacey contends, Lansky’s name seldom appears in any significant fashion in most standard accounts which contend that organized crime played a role in the assassination.

The fact is that Lansky’s name has been continuously and conveniently buried behind a host of Italian Organized Crime (“Mafia”) figures. In Chapter 10 and Chapter 11 we review, extensively, Lansky’s connections with the more famous—perhaps infamous—Italian-surnamed underworld figures linked to the Kennedy assassination.

As we shall see, in fact, those individuals in question were, practically to a man, Lansky’s underlings. However, Lansky’s name is hardly mentioned at all in standard accounts which suggest that organized crime— particularly “the Mafia”—played a part in the president’s murder.

‘The Real Leaders of Crime’

Lansky’s most authoritative biographer, organized crime writer Hank Messick pinpoints the tendency of the media—and the law enforcement community—to overlook the broad and penetrating reach of the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, focusing instead on the media’s hype of “the Mafia”—the Italian wing of the criminal underworld.

Says Messick: “The real leaders of crime have remained hidden while the nation’s law enforcement agencies have chased minor punks. And naive is he who believes this development is accidental. Research reveals that nonMafia leaders of crime have been hiding behind the vendetta-ridden society [the Italian Mafia] for decades…Attempts to frame me have been made, and I’ve been smeared as anti-Semitic from coast to coast by gangsters who used religion as a cloak.”[205]Hank Messick. Lansky. (New York: Berkley Medallion Books, 1971), pp. 8-10.

In his own memoirs, Lansky’s crony, Charles “Lucky” Luciano revealed one rather interesting fact. According to Luciano, it was Lansky himself who suggested that the newly-assembled national crime syndicate dub itself “the Union Siciliano”—a sobriquet which gave the criminal underworld a decidedly “Sicilian” imagery.[206]Gosch & Hammer, p. 146.

‘Kosher Nostra’

According to veteran JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott, “It is relevant that [then-Senate rackets committee counsel Robert F.] Kennedy did not use the word ‘Mafia’ when presenting, in his 1960 book The Enemy Within, his model of organized crime as an endemic, multi-ethnic, partially institutionalized syndicate.”[207]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 192.

According to Scott: “What Robert Kennedy had meant by the ‘syndicate’ was very different from what [Mafia experts meant by the term] La Cosa Nostra.”[208]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 187. According to Scott, “anyone speaking about organized crime… does so under conditions of great political restraint.”[209]Ibid.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 187.)
To put it bluntly: the term “Mafia” does not account for the substantial— and indeed predominant—role of Meyer Lansky and his Jewish associates in the national crime syndicate.

Because of political constraints and fear of being accused of “antiSemitism,” many have been afraid to point out the important role of Jewish criminals in the world of crime.

One Jewish gangster, Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, discussed the Italian-Jewish conflict in organized crime in his memoirs. He said, frankly: “See, I don’t want to pull any wool over anybody’s eyes because I’m writing a true autobiography, right? And I certainly don’t want to mince any words, but I really don’t consider the Mafia or anything of that type the only strength [in organized crime].”[210]Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 35.

Cohen differentiated between the Italian elements in organized crime, popularly known as “the Mafia” and “La Cosa Nostra” and the Jewish forces sometimes satirically called, “the Kosher Nostra.”

“It’s an organization. It’s more what I would refer to as a syndicate.. . So it was an organization, but it wasn’t the Mafia. Being Jews, Benny and me and even Meyer couldn’t be a real part and parcel of that [the Mafia].”[211]Ibid.
(Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 35.)
(The “Benny” to whom Cohen referred was the aforementioned Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, the lifelong friend and crime partner of Lansky’s. It was Lansky who ultimately ordered Siegel’s assassination.

(We will learn much more about the Lansky-Siegel-Cohen connection in Chapter 13 where we uncover Cohen’s own pivotal role in the JFK assassination conspiracy.)

It was not, in fact, until the infamous Mafia conclave at Appalachian, New York, in 1957 when the media began hyping “the Mafia” as a major force in organized crime.

Americans had long been aware of legendary mobsters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, but general awareness that a national crime syndicate did indeed exist was not commonplace.

Following a police raid of the Appalachian conference—attended exclusively by top Italian-surnamed Mafia figures from around the country— public attention began focusing on “the Mafia”—thanks to the media.

Mafia in Turmoil/Lansky on Top

The official story has always been that a local policeman just happened to stumble upon the Mafia conclave at the home of Mafia figure Joseph Barbara. He called in reinforcements and a major “bust” took place. However, according to Hank Messick, the police had been tipped off by a Lansky associate that the meeting was about to take place. Messick described the consequences of the Appalachian raid:

“The delegates were scattered before any alliance could be reached. And the publicity caused the greatest heat since the 1930′s. It focused not only on the men who attended the session but on the entire Mafia. What’s more, it continued for well over a year as state and federal officials tried to find some charge to stick against the delegates they had captured or identified.

“Not only were Mafia leaders immobilized by the continuing publicity, but also they were demoralized. Almost instinctively they rallied to Lansky and other non-Mafia syndicate leaders for advice and assistance.”[212]Messick, p. 215.

Perhaps not coincidentally, one of the young attorneys who played a key role in the Appalachian raid was one Justin Finger. It was Finger who later went on to become chief of the “civil rights division” of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the primary intelligence and propaganda arm of Israel’s Mossad in the United States.[213]Executive Intelligence Review. Dope, Inc. (New York: New Benjamin Franklin House, 1986), p. 587. In subsequent chapters, Chapter 17 in particular, we will examine the role of the ADL in the JFK assassination cover-up in more explicit detail.

Obviously, the Appalachian raid was a critical event in Lansky’s continuing rise to power. It solidified Lansky’s hold over the crime syndicate.

Michael Milan, a low-level Jewish organized crime figure who grew up in Lansky’s sphere of influence claims to have, in fact, been ritually inducted into the Mafia—by Lansky himself. It was to Lansky that Milan swore his allegiance. Writing in his memoirs, Milan remembers the event fondly: “’Omerta’ whispered Meyer Lansky, only half believing in the ritual itself, but not wanting to show the slightest sign of disrespect to… [Mafia] traditions.”[214]Michael Milan. The Squad: The U.S. Government’s Secret Alliance With Organized Crime. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, 1989), p. 194.

In any case, as we have seen, Meyer Lansky’s predominant role in the criminal underworld was already well in place.

The Hoover-Lansky Connection

Lansky’s role in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS)-Naval Intelligence operations during World War II and his work on behalf of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in handling Batista may account for the fact that Lansky seldom faced harassment from the federal authorities.

Writing in Secret File, Hank Messick comments: “Was Lansky rewarded? No final answer is possible, but he has been strangely immune to prosecution on the Federal level. Twice the IRS Intelligence Division has recommended prosecution, and twice the Justice Department has declined. Lansky remains the only top man in the national crime syndicate to escape untouched. Because of his brains and the troubles of his colleagues, he rules as undisputed chairman of the board.”[215]Hank Messick. Secret File. (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1969), p. 185.

Lansky himself acknowledged his role in the so-called “Operation Underworld.” “Sure, I’m the one who put Lucky and Naval Intelligence together,” he told his Israeli friend, Israeli newsman Uri Dan. Lansky’s reasons were interesting: “The reason I cooperated was because of strong personal feelings. I wanted the Nazis beaten. I was a Jew and I felt for those Jews in Europe who were suffering. They were my brothers.”[216]Interview with Ma’ariv, July 5, 1971.

Former Lansky associate (and covert FBI operative) Michael Milan also points toward another critical Lansky connection that may have accounted for his immunity from federal harassment.

“I also knew that [J. Edgar Hoover] and Meyer Lansky sometimes broke bread together. Mr. L. was never rousted, was rarely served with federal subpoenas, and was generally left alone to conduct his business. Mr. L., on the other hand, didn’t go around shooting anybody like people in some of the other [Mafia] Families, and making life embarrassing for the cops and the feds.

“So in this way everybody got along. Mr. H. could worry about his fifth column [the communists]. Mr. [Costello] could worry about keeping peace among the different Families and looking forward to retirement, and Mr. L. could worry about the cash flow in his Las Vegas casinos. “[217]Milan, p. 206.

J. Edgar Hoover’s own connections to the Lansky Crime Syndicate and to the pro-Israel lobby have been the subject of rumors and controversy for many years.

It was the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith that was largely responsible for the establishment of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation in 1947. (Top Lansky associates have long been generous financial backers of the ADL.) The Hoover Foundation’s first president was Rabbi Paul Richman, Washington director of the ADL.

Hoover’s longtime associate, Louis B. Nichols, the FBI’s Assistant Director in charge of the Records and Communications Division of the Bureau, was the FBI’s key contact with the ADL when the ADL helped orchestrate mass sedition trials against key critics of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s foreign policy.

Nichols went on to serve as president of the J. Edgar Hoover Foundation, but only after he left the FBI. Upon retirement from the bureau he signed on as Executive Vice President of Schenley Industries, a major liquor firm run by ex-bootlegger and Lansky associate Lewis R. Rosenstie1.[218]Washington Observer, May 15, 1969. Rosenstiel himself was a very close friend of the FBI director in spite of, or perhaps precisely because of, his ties to Lansky.

The ADL and Organized Crime

The liquor industry, largely controlled by Jewish families such as the Bronfman family, and others, have been major contributors to the ADL, financing a large portion of its budget over the years.[219]Twin Circle, September 29, 1968. These same liquor interests—obviously, as we have seen—had longtime contacts with Lansky from his earliest years in the bootlegging and rum-running rackets. The origins of Hoover’s sponsor—the ADL—is quite interesting. The organization’s initial impetus came not so much out of a desire to defend members of the Jewish faith, but, more so, in particular, Jewish mobsters. In the early part of this century New York City Police Commissioner Thomas Bingham had begun a dedicated investigation of organized crime in his city. By 1908 Bingham was under fire and being accused of being “anti-Semitic” for pointing out the role of certain Jewish gangsters in organized crime.

Ultimately, Bingham was forced out of office and organized crime took hold in New York City. One of the immediate beneficiaries of Bingham’s departure was mobster Arnold Rothstein, Lansky’s mentor and the undisputed Jewish underworld leader prior to the younger Lansky’s rise to power.

The source of the attacks on Bingham was a public relations committee formed by a corporate attorney by the name of Sigmund Livingston. By 1913 Livingston’s committee had formally incorporated as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.[220]Executive Intelligence Review. (Dope, Inc.), pp. 578-579.

So it was that “crime buster” J. Edgar Hoover was himself a beneficiary of ADL largesse (a large portion of which, as we have seen, came from the coffers of Lansky and his criminal syndicate.)

Looking the Other Way

Critical J. Edgar Hoover biographer Curt Gentry notes that Hoover’s FBI was never strongly concerned with Lansky’s activities. According to Gentry, “The Dallas and Miami field offices [of the FBI] had blind spots. As a result, there were no taps or bugs on [Lansky's protégé, New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos] Marcello, [Lansky's Tampa Mafia underling Santo] Trafficante, and, except for a brief period, Meyer Lansky.”[221]Curt Gentry. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), p. 530.

(In Chapter 10, Chapter 11, and Chapter 12 we will explore Lansky’s relationships with Marcello, Trafficante and other “Mafia” figures further.)

Gentry adds: “There was a rumor, often heard in the underworld, that Meyer Lansky had his own man very high up in the FBI. William Sullivan had his own suspect, someone close to both the director and [Hoover's close friend and second in command, Clyde] Tolson, who was reputedly living far above his means. This was one case the FBI never solved.”[222]Ibid., p. 531.
(Curt Gentry. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), p. 530.)

This same Sullivan happened to be the number three man at the FBI behind Hoover and Tolson. As head of the Bureau’s highly secretive Division Five, Sullivan was in charge of domestic counterintelligence. Also in charge of the FBI’s participation in the Warren Commission investigation, Sullivan was not only a close friend of James Angleton, head of the Mossad desk at the CIA, but also—incredibly enough—a CIA conduit within the FBI itself.[223]Tom Mangold. Cold Warrior. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 235. (We will examine Angleton’s role in the JFK assassination in much further detail in Chapter 8 and in Chapter 16).

As head of the FBI’s Domestic Intelligence, Sullivan was in charge of the infamous COINTELPRO operations against, among others, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and a bevy of left-wing (and right-wing) political groups.[224]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 64. COINTELPRO relied heavily on the Israeli lobby’s Anti-Defamation League for continuing and ongoing intelligence reports as it had since at least before World War II.

A Dead Witness

Clearly a man with much inside knowledge, Sullivan was shot to death in a strange hunting accident on November 9, 1977 just prior to the time that he was to be called to testify before the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

Sullivan, who had resigned from the FBI, having broken with Hoover, had told investigators that he had become disenchanted when Hoover told him personally, “I am most concerned about having something issued so we can convince the public that Lee Harvey Oswald is the real assassin.”[225]Morrow, p. 98. Whatever Sullivan did know about Hoover—and perhaps Hoover’s relationship with Meyer Lansky—will never be known.

Hoover’s Deal

According to Sam and Chuck Giancana, in their biography of Chicago Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, “Hoover himself had been on the [organized crime] pad for years.”[226]Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 255.

The Giancanas say that Hoover had worked out a deal with Lansky’s boyhood friend and criminal associate Frank Costello. The New York mobster would pass horse race betting tips to columnist Walter Winchell, a Hoover intimate. Winchell, in turn, would pass the information on fixed races to Hoover. Hoover would arrange his real bets through his associates while making minimal bets on his own ticket at the horse races. According to the Giancanas, “Hoover won every time.”[227]Ibid., p. 256.
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 255.)

That Hoover was well versed in Lansky’s criminal activities there is no question. His intelligence sources were legendary.

What Hoover Knew

Gentry sums it up well, noting that Hoover, although an inveterate gambler, knew all about what was happening in Lansky’s Las Vegas casinos even though he, Hoover, avoided Las Vegas like the plague: “[Hoover] knew who was skimming from the casino profits—and how much they were taking in. He knew where the money went and how it made its way to the top bosses.

“He also knew that some people, well connected with this place, were very unhappy with the Kennedys, John and Robert, unhappy to the point they were talking about killing them.”

“Eventually the FBI discovered that most of the ‘skim’ loot went to Meyer Lansky in Miami. In a typical month in 1963, the skim from one casino amounted to $123,500, of which Lansky kept $71,000, then transmitted the rest to the New Jersey mobster Gerald Catena. Catena distributed in the north and Lansky in Florida. Each recipient would have a small percentage of his share deducted for casino employees who kept mum about the operation. There were also couriers, $300,000 to a Swiss bank, $100,000 to the Bahamas.”[228]Gentry, p. 495.

(Later in this chapter and in Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 15 we shall discuss Lansky’s Swiss bank connections. They are central to the joint Lansky-CIA-Israeli Mossad operation that resulted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.)

Even in the late 1960′s, according to Gentry , “Hoover still had a blind spot so far as [Lansky] was concerned.”[229]Ibid., p. 628.
(Gentry, p. 495.)

The Angleton Connection

However, in 1993 author Anthony Summers provided what may be a critical missing piece of the puzzle. Summers created a media sensation when he alleged in his new biography of Hoover, Official and Confidential, and on the PBS series “Frontline,” that Lansky blackmailed Hoover with supposed photos of Hoover engaged in homosexual activity. Although such rumors about Hoover had been commonplace for years, no well-known author had affixed his own name to the charge.

Citing numerous sources—some suspect and virtually all of them unsavory—Summers claimed that not only Lansky, but also several others had access to similar photos (which Summers is apparently unable to produce). Summers reports that former OSS man and later longtime CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton also had control of the Hoover photos, as did former OSS chief William Donovan.

The question, though, is whether Angleton, Donovan and company gave the photos to Lansky—or vice-versa–either option being possible in light of Lansky’s own longtime association with American intelligence.[230]Antony Summers. Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1993), pp. 244-245. That both Lansky and Angleton were in possession of such evidence is quite interesting in light of their joint interest in the welfare of the state of Israel, a subject we will be examining shortly. Angleton, as we shall see in Chapter 8 and Chapter 12, had been directly involved with the Lansky crime syndicate through the CIA’s dealings with Lansky’s drug-smuggling allies in the Corsican and Sicilian Mafias. He was also Israel’s chief CIA patron.

The Godfather

Clearly, Meyer Lansky was very much a “godfather” in organized crime, far more influential than even the most powerful Mafia boss in any city in America. All of this, then, accounts for Lansky’s preeminent role in the underworld. It is for this reason, then, that when we refer to the “Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate” we are referring to not only the “Mafia” but also to the powerful Jewish interests that are inter-connected here. It was the Lansky Syndicate that played a pivotal role in the establishment of Israel. Lansky, you see, was Israel’s modern-day “Godfather.” Lansky was with Israel from the beginning.

Gun-Running for Israel

According to Hank Messick, “Certainly Jewish gangsters have long and openly supported Jewish causes and the State of Israel. On the night Lansky’s ex-partner, Bugsy Siegel, was executed, the Flamingo was taken over by Moe Sedway [a Lansky henchman]. When asked how he so conveniently happened to be in Las Vegas, [Sedway] explained that he was there to arrange a United Jewish Appeal fund drive.”[231]Messick, p. 276.

Robert Lacey points out in his biography of Lansky that Israeli agents were introduced to Lansky in the summer of 1948, the year that Israel became a state. Lansky permitted the Haganah (Jewish terrorist underground) fund-raiser, Joseph Baum, to hold a $10,000 benefit at (Lansky’s gambling house), the Colonial Inn. He gave a donation himself. Lansky told them: “I’m at your service.”[232]Lacey, p. 163. (As we noted in Chapter 4, one of the smaller shareholders in the Colonial Inn—at least at one point—was a Dallas nightclub keeper named Jack Ruby.)

Lansky also provided other “technical assistance” to the Israeli gunrunning operations in the United States. In one instance, a Pittsburgh arms dealer’s shipment of weapons to the Arabs who were fighting the Jews in Palestine was tossed overboard after Lansky talked to his friends at the New York docks. On other occasions, arms intended for the Arabs were, instead, hijacked by Lansky’s henchman and shipped to Israel.

Lansky also wasn’t above putting the squeeze on rackets buddies—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—to buy Israel bonds. “Hey, these are a great investment,” he would say.[233]Ibid., p. 164.
(Lacey, p. 163.)
In fact, according to journalist Robert Friedman, Lansky was later a major contributor to radical New York-born Rabbi Meir Kahane who founded the militant Jewish Defense League. Kahane, who was ultimately assassinated, actually served, at one point, in the Israeli parliament.[234]Robert I. Friedman. The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane: From FBI Informant to Knesset Member. (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1990), p. 144. And, as we shall see in Chapter 8, Kahane himself had unusual connections to American intelligence that bring his Lansky connection full circle.

Operation Underworld

It was Lansky’s connection with the OSS-Naval Intelligence enterprise known as “Operation Underworld” that brought him into a strange global network that ultimately paved the way for the establishment of the state of Israel. Operation Underworld was stationed at Rockefeller Center in New York and supervised by a British intelligence operative named William Stephenson (who was said to be Ian Fleming’s inspiration for the fictional character, James Bond.) It was Stephenson who worked closely with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith as well as the FBI in coordinating anti-Nazi intelligence operations in the United States.[235]Intelligence Review. Moscow’s Secret Weapon: Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Mafia. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, March 1, 1986), p. 14.

(In later years, following the establishment of Israel, the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate-financed ADL emerged as an unregistered foreign agent for Israel, handling intelligence and propaganda operations for the Jewish State, in collaboration with the FBI and the CIA. In Chapter 17 we will examine the ADL’s role more fully, particularly in regard to its manipulation of the media.)

In any case, as we shall see in Chapter 15, it was Operation Underworld’s William Stephenson who became a critical player in the establishment of Israel’s Mossad. Stephenson’s top aide was Louis Bloomfield, later an attorney for the Lansky-linked Bronfman bootlegging family and himself a key player in the conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy. (We shall examine Bloomfield in detail in Chapter 15.) There is little question but that Stephenson and Bloomfield were in close contact with Lansky and his henchmen during this period. Lansky himself, as we have seen, acknowledged his own role in Operation Underworld.[236]Ibid.
(Intelligence Review. Moscow’s Secret Weapon: Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Mafia. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, March 1, 1986), p. 14.)
Following World War II, the activities of Operation Underworld and many of the key players shifted to a new front: the establishment of Israel.

Both Stephenson and Bloomfield were integral to gunrunning operations on behalf of the Jewish terrorist underground that later emerged as the government of the new Jewish State in 1948. It was in 1947 that Rudolph Sonneborn (husband of New York publisher Dorothy Schiff) set up an entity known as the Sonneborn Institute. It was this institute that provided the Jewish Haganah, and later the Irgun, in Palestine with arms and money. The Institute’s coordinator for arms smuggling to the Jewish underground was Louis Bloomfield. Working with Bloomfield were liquor baron Samuel Bronfman, one Hank Greenspun (about whom we shall see much more later in Chapter 17) and Lansky himself.[237]Ibid., pp. 14-15.
(Intelligence Review. Moscow’s Secret Weapon: Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Mafia. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, March 1, 1986), p. 14.)

It was during the 1947-1948 period that Teddy Kollek, later mayor of Jerusalem, was in charge of the Haganah station in Lansky’s then-base of operations, New York City. He was said to be the formal liaison with American organized crime.[238]Ibid.
(Intelligence Review. Moscow’s Secret Weapon: Ariel Sharon and the Israeli Mafia. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, March 1, 1986), p. 14.)
Kollek worked with the Lansky Syndicate and ultimately had contact with yet another key player in our story, one James Jesus Angleton—a controversial figure indeed.[239]Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991), pp. 41-42.

It was Angleton, an OSS man, who later became a top-ranking figure in the American CIA and Israel’s chief contact—some would say co-opted agent and loyalist—within CIA ranks. Angleton worked closely with Jewish underground activities both in London and in Italy and was instrumental in orchestrating U.S. intelligence collaboration with the Corsican Mafia and the Sicilian Mafia in intelligence operations during these same years and thereafter.

(In Chapter 8 and Chapter 16 we shall examine Angleton’s CIA activities, working closely with Israel and of his pivotal role in the JFK assassination and cover-up conspiracy in detail.)

Clearly, during the period of the establishment of Israel, Meyer Lansky was directly and intimately involved with all of the major players. Many of these same people would later be involved with Lansky in what some call “the crime of the century.” The Russian-born Jewish immigrant had come a long way from the slums of Brooklyn to a singular and pre-eminent role in global power politics. Indeed, Lansky was emerging as the “godfather” of a newly born nation: Israel.

Israel: A Base of Operations

The real key to the Lansky connection with Israel is money. The newly-established State of Israel not only needed money to exist, but the organization of a new government was an ideal opportunity for Lansky and his confederates to establish their own worldwide financial—and criminal— network. In its early years Israel was “untouchable.” The emotional memories of the experiences of the Jewish people during World War II— indeed throughout history—were the foundations upon which Israel had been established. Criticism of Israel was verboten. The new Jewish

State was an ideal cover under which Lansky and his criminal syndicate could operate unfettered.

Money Laundering

Lansky’s status as organized crime’s chief financier and grand wizard of money laundering put Lansky in a particularly central position. Organized crime writer Ed Reid’s description of Lansky pinpoints Lansky’s role precisely: “With his brother Jake, [Lansky] rules the gambling roost of the crime syndicate and may be the direct link between unknown moneyed nabobs who stash away mob dollars in foreign banks and the cash vaults of the U.S. criminal cartel.”[240]Ed Reid. The Grim Reapers: The Anatomy of Organized Crime in America, City by City. (New York: Pocket Books edition, 1964), p. 293.

It was Lansky’s foreign banking connection that draws him into the web of Israel’s international intrigue to the utmost.

Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum

Lansky’s primary link with Israeli intelligence and financial operations came through the entity of the Banque de Credit International in Geneva Switzerland. This bank emerged as Lansky’s primary European moneylaundering operation.[241]Messick, pp. 248-249. This bank was the brainchild of one Tibor Rosenbaum.

An Orthodox rabbi, Rosenbaum served for a period as international vice president of the World Jewish Congress (of which Lansky-connected Bronfman family member Edgar Bronfman has served as president). Rosenbaum also was a co-founder of the World Zionist Congress and a director of the Jewish Agency in Geneva, Switzerland.[242]Executive Intelligence Review (Moscow), p. 17

However, and most importantly, Rosenbaum had served as Director General for Finance and Supply for Israel’s secret intelligence agency, the Mossad. Rosenbaum was, very clearly, a key figure in Israel’s international intrigue and a critical player in the world of organized crime syndicate boss Meyer Lansky.

Rosenbaum, among other things, also served on the board of the SwissIsrael Trade Bank, established by Pinchas Sapir, Israel’s Finance Minister and a Mossad officer.[243]Ibid., p. 16.
(Executive Intelligence Review (Moscow), p. 17)
It was during the time he served on the SwissIsrael Trade Bank that Rosenbaum created the Banque de Credit International (BCI).

The Banque de Credit International

BCI—Meyer Lansky’s European money laundering bank—was very much an Israeli government/Mossad operation, critical to the survival of the Jewish State.

Indeed, one of the board members of BCI was Zwi Recheter, director of the Bank Hapoalim, one of Israel’s largest banks and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israel’s Histadrut, the national labor confederation.[244]Ibid., p. 18.
(Executive Intelligence Review (Moscow), p. 17)
What’s more, BCI held the bulk of funds for the World Jewish Congress and the Jewish Agency, no minor deposits by any means.

BCI was to become Meyer Lansky’s primary overseas money laundering bank—sharing those money laundering services that the bank provided to Israel’s Mossad. In fact, during its heyday, BCI included among its board of directors two longtime Lansky associates, Edward Levinson and John Pullman.[245]Life, September 16, 1967.

As we noted in Chapter 6, Levinson was one of the operators of the Fremont Casino in Las Vegas, a front man for Lansky’s close friend, Joseph “Doc” Stacher, and a frequent business partner of Bobby Baker, reputed “bagman” for Lyndon Johnson. John Pullman, about whom we shall learn more later in this chapter and in Chapter 12 and Chapter 15, was Lansky’s key international money handler.

The extent of Lansky’s Israeli connection—through Rosenbaum’s BCI— first became part of the public record in 1970 during the criminal trial of Alvin Malnik, one of Lansky’s lieutenants.

Testimony in the trial revealed that one of the main money laundering channels for the illegal proceeds of the Lansky Crime Syndicate’s narcotics, vice and gambling rackets in the United States was Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI. Rosenbaum’s bank received its Lansky Crime Syndicate cash flow mainly through the Lansky-dominated Bank of World Commerce in Nassau, Bahamas.

The middleman was a Swiss national, Sylvain Ferdmann, a courier for Lansky. Ferdmann was an official of Rosenbaum’s bank, an associate of the Bank of World Commerce (controlled by Lansky’s longtime crony, John Pullman) and a legman for Investors Overseas Services (IOS), the fiefdom of financier Bernard Cornfeld.

Cornfeld, in fact, was sponsored by Rosenbaum, and had emerged as a major money launderer for Lansky’s global drug trafficking. Millions in small bills were transferred from Lansky’s casinos, often masked as Israeli Bond sales and contributions to Jewish philanthropies.[246]Messick, Ibid.
(Life, September 16, 1967.)
This, of course, an outrageous betrayal of honest supporters of the Zionist cause. (In Chapter 12 we shall examine in detail how as a result of active U.S. involvement in the region, the Lansky Syndicate used the cover of CIA covert activities in Southeast Asia to carry out multi-billion dollar drug smuggling operations.)

Investigative reporter Jim Hougan focused on the Lansky-Rosenbaum connection and its central link to Israel’s international operations—particularly those of the Mossad:

“During the Second World War [Rosenbaum had become] a hero of the resistance through his underground activities on behalf of the Jews. “After the war he became a delegate to the World Zionist Congress in Basel, where plans were made for the creation of Israel, and worked in various European capitals for the Palestine Liberation office (forerunner of the Jewish Agency). This was at the height of Zionist terrorist attacks in Palestine. A superb clandestine operator, Rosenbaum is said to have been instrumental in providing weapons to the Haganah and Stern Gang. That would tend to explain why the International Credit Bank [i.e. Banque de Credit International or BCI], ‘Rosenbaum’s Baby,” became gambling czar Meyer Lansky’s Number One conduit abroad.

“Rosenbaum was more than a friend to the Jews, however. When his bank was rocked with scandal after the collapse of [Bernard Cornfeld's] IOS, the newspaper Ha’aretz solemnly declared, ‘Tibor Rosenbaum is Israel.’ And the paper wasn’t far from wrong. While Rosenbaum’s bank facilitated the flight-capital schemes worked by IOS, it also served as a source of secret funds for the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence service, and as one of the country’s primary weapons brokers. At one point ‘as much as ninety percent of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s external budget flowed… through Rosenbaum’s bank on the Rue de Conseil General.’

“In economic matters he was equally important, founding the Israel Corporation with the help of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, a French aristocrat committed to the Zionist cause. The raison d’etre of the Israel Corporation was to raise money among the world’s Jews, money to be invested in a variety of public and semi-public Israeli enterprises. By finding money abroad to fund development projects in “the homeland,” Rosenbaum and Rothschild freed Israeli tax monies to be spent on the country’s critical military needs. Accordingly, [Rosenbaum] became the “Mr. Fixit” of Israeli finance, cementing friendships with the country’s most important military and political leaders.

“The mix of Mob, Mossad, IOS, and Rothschild monies was an intoxicating one in which the common denominator appears to have been a love of Israel. Certainly Rosenbaum and Cornfeld shared that affection with Lansky and the French baron.”[247]Jim Hougan. Spooks: The Haunting of America—The Private Use of Secret Agents. (New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1985), p. 172.

The Israel Corporation

There is yet another interesting Lansky-BCI-Israel link in the aforementioned Israel Corporation. It was Rosenbaum’s BCI that held the bulk of funds for the Israel Corporation, a $200 million investment trust. The founders of the Israel Corporation included a host of longtime figures who moved in Lansky’s sphere of influence.

Prominent among them was Sam Rothberg of the National Distilleries. Rothberg, in fact, was one of the initial investors in Lansky’s first Las Vegas casino, established by Benjamin Siegel, the Flamingo Hotel. Rothberg was one of the leading lights in the American Jewish community and the U.S. director of the Israeli Bonds drive. Rothberg later came to Lansky’s aid and fought against Lansky’s forced return to the United States to face criminal charges following Lansky’s flight to Israel (more about which later in this chapter.)

Others included two interesting figures in particular:

  • Shaul Eisenberg, Israel’s wealthiest industrialist and longtime Mossad operative—a key figure in Israel’s nuclear bomb project; and
  • Philip M. Klutznick, a top-ranking figure in the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith.[248]Executive Intelligence Review (Moscow,), p. 13.

The ADL connection here is interesting in that it further backtracks to Lansky’s BCI-Rosenbaum linkage. Klutznick, who had been associated with the Lansky-linked Sonneborn Institute gunrunning operations coordinated by Louis M. Bloomfield (mentioned earlier), had become chairman of the board of the American Bank and Trust Company.

American Bank and Trust was a subsidiary of the Swiss-Israel Trade Bank, a Mossad financial operation of which Rosenbaum and his long-time associate, Shaul Eisenberg, had been directors. By coincidence—maybe not—Swiss-Israel Trade Bank assumed management of American Bank and Trust on a very memorable day: November 22, 1963.[249]Ibid., p. 16.
(Executive Intelligence Review (Moscow,), p. 13.)

Installed as one of the new directors of the company was New York businessman Abe Feinberg. It was Feinberg, whom we first met in Chapter 4, who was instrumental in arranging highly critical American Jewish financial support for the 1960 presidential campaign of then-Senator John F. Kennedy.

American Bank and Trust had an unhappy ending. The company was looted in 1975-76 by financier David Gravier who subsequently was supposed to have died in an airplane crash in Mexico. Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI also, incidentally, had a similarly unhappy ending. The bank collapsed in 1974 resulting in a scandal that shook Israel to its core. In his book, Jews and Money: The Myths and the Reality, author Gerald Krefetz details the collapse of the Lansky-Mossad banking operation.

The ADL Banks

The Bank of Miami Beach and the City National Bank of Miami were Lansky’s chief money laundering banks in the United States and both included several Lansky associates, most notably one Max Orovitz, as directors. In 1963, in fact Lansky began planning the installation of his gambling casinos in the Bahamas in Orovitz’ office. Finally, when Lansky himself ultimately settled in Israel, he initially took up residence in the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv, owned by Lansky’s Miami banker friend, Orovitz.

Lansky’s Miami banks were central to Lansky’s gambling operations in the Caribbean. According to former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow, the Bank of Miami Beach “was originally set up to service Cuban casinos operated by organized crime and continued to perform laundering services through the 1960s—and was still considered mob-connected. It was considered a sister bank of the Miami National Bank in the 1960s, sharing many of the same directors and performing many of the same services.”[250]Morrow, p . 1 5 2 .

These Miami banks, additionally, have close ties to the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, Israel’s intelligence and propaganda arm in this country. For example, Leonard Abess was chairman and founder of City National Bank of Miami. His bank managed ADL Foundation funds and Abess himself served as ADL national vice chairman.[251]Executive Intelligence Review. Project Democracy: The ‘Parallel Government’ Behind the Iran-Contra Affair. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, April 1987), pp. 271-272.

City National’s chairman, beginning in 1982, was Donald Beazley, who was a former director of the mysterious Australian Nugan Hand Bank.[252]Ibid., p. 272.
(Executive Intelligence Review. Project Democracy: The ‘Parallel Government’ Behind the Iran-Contra Affair. (Washington, D.C.: Executive Intelligence Review, April 1987), pp. 271-272.)
The Nugan Hand Bank, the subject of an interesting study by Jonathan Kwitny entitled The Crimes of Patriots, has been repeatedly linked to international drug money trafficking out of Southeast Asia conducted through the conduit of CIA operations in the region.

(And as we shall see in Chapter 12, Lansky utilized the CIA’s activities in Southeast Asia as a cover for his drug-running operations which were, in fact, carried out hand-in-hand with the CIA. In Chapter 15, however, we shall see the Lansky-Rosenbaum connection once again, and in further detail. Their linkage is critical to recognizing the important role that Israel played in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The Godfather Goes Home

It was in 1970, finally, that Meyer Lansky pulled up stakes and settled in Israel. Under Israel’s unique “Law of Return” any Jew from anywhere in the world could claim Israeli citizenship. That is what Lansky did.

At home in the United States, Lansky was under criminal investigation. Exile in Israel seemed a likely way of escaping the trouble. Israel was an ideal location for Lansky to relocate his operations and he set about plans for setting up the Jewish State as the new, formal headquarters for his global crime syndicate. As Hank Messick put it: “As chairman of the board of the Syndicate International, [Lansky] could operate just as easily—perhaps more easily—from Tel Aviv as Miami Beach.”[253]Hank Messick and Burt Goldblatt. The Mobs and the Mafia. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1972), p. 204. Lansky’s longtime associate Joseph (Doc) Stacher had already gone to Israel to live. So had a wide-ranging assortment of other American Jewish mobsters, including Lansky’s good friend Phil “The Stick” Kovolick.

The Mossad-dominated government of Israel seemed to welcome these criminals as new countryman. Israel, according to Newsweek, “appeared to be motivated by self-interest. Each year, Lansky and his underworld associates pour vast sums into Israeli bonds and Israeli philanthropies.

Mob Money in Israel

“As the daily Ha’aretz saw it, the government seemed afraid of losing the millions of dollars in illicit money first ‘laundered’ in mob-controlled institutions and then funneled into Israeli business and industry.„[254]Newsweek, November 29, 1971. Lansky’s initial entree to Israel was quietly orchestrated. Word leaked out that a wealthy “Miami philanthropist” had taken up residence in the Jewish State. However, circumstances beyond Lansky’s control made matters difficult for the grand wizard of the underworld.

During his stay in Israel, two American grand juries (in March of 1971 and in June of 1972) handed down indictments against Lansky and several of his associates. The first indictment charged—correctly, of course—that Lansky had been skimming millions from the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The second indictment charged Lansky with income tax evasion.

There were more than a few honest, law-abiding Israelis who objected to the “chairman of the board” staking his future in Israel, and the political pressure was such that there was widespread clamor for his deportation. It didn’t help matters that fearless crime reporter Hank Messick’s biography of Lansky appeared during that same period and portions of it appeared in the Israeli press. Lansky himself made his own loyalties clear, however. In a friendly series of interviews with Ma’ariv, an Israeli daily, Lansky said, “I don’t care what they wrote and write about me in America. I care what they think of me in Israel.”[255]Lacey, p. 333.

Between the public outcry in Israel and pressure from American authorities, the Israel government buckled and agreed to expel Lansky. However, the “boss of all bosses” appealed his expulsion all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court. The emotional issue of a Jew who had made “aliyah” and settled in Israel under the Law of Return—and who was then being expelled to face possible punishment in a criminal court in another country—played heavily in Lansky’s favor. However, despite Lansky’s best efforts—including an offer of $10,000,000 if he was permitted to remain—he was forced to return to the United States.

Lansky in Decline

By this time, Lansky was in ill health and even underwent open-heart surgery. However, as the Wall Street Journal noted: “Whenever the heat [was] on—an investigation made public, a grand jury inquiry, a new task force of federal crime fighters on his trail—stories suddenly abound that Meyer Lansky is dying of cancer or some other terminal illness. In the files of the New York State Police, there exists a report made out in the 1920′s that says Meyer Lansky is a bad guy, all right, but there’s no need to worry because he’s a sickly man who won’t live out the year.”[256]Wall Street Journal, Ibid.
(Lacey, p. 333.)

But Lansky’s traditional magical powers over the American criminal justice system were still with him. First of all, a jury in his home base of Miami acquitted him on the income tax evasion charges. Then, in mobcontrolled Nevada, the criminal charges against Lansky were thrown out of court on the basis that Lansky was in ill health. And in Washington, U.S. Solicitor General Robert Bork decided that going after Lansky—the ruling boss of international organized crime—was not in the nation’s best interests. Bork decided that the Justice Department just didn’t have a case against Lansky. The case was dropped.[257]Lacey, pp. 383-384. Lansky had once again prevailed—to nobody’s surprise.

(Bork later suffered an ignominious rejection by the Senate when nominated for the Supreme Court. However, it was not Bork’s pandering to Lansky that weighed against him—although it probably should have.) Lansky’s remaining years were quiet ones spent with his wife and dog and an assortment of other aging racketeers. He still maintained some oversight over his business operations but increasing health problems continued to plague him. The mastermind behind the global crime syndicate finally died on January 15, 1983.

In his final years—and posthumously—Lansky (with the willing help of Hollywood and the rest of the media) became a folk hero of sorts. Gangsterism was being made fashionable—even as the glory days of John F. Kennedy and Camelot were being trashed by that same media. Lansky’s days with Benjamin Siegel were glamorized in films such as The Gangster Chronicles, The Neon Empire, and in Mobsters, where a host of teen idols played Lansky, Siegel, Costello and Luciano in their early years.

Author Robert Lacey—who had previously written a glowing profile of the British royal family—turned his attention to the royal family of the international crime syndicate and produced—with the help of the Lansky family—a Lansky biography, Little Man: Meyer Lansky and the Gangster Life. Lacey’s epic tells much—but ignores a lot. He would have us believe that Lansky was, more than anything, a devoted family man, and not the ruthless thug that he truly was. Even as Lacey’s Lansky biography was hitting the bookstores, yet another Hollywood production brought Lansky to the screen. This film, Bugsy, starring heart-throb Warren Beatty as Benjamin Siegel, cast the highly-regarded actor Ben Kingsley (who had even played Mahatma Gandhi) as a wise and all-knowing Meyer Lansky.

However, the Hollywood versions of the life and times of Meyer Lansky were far from the truth, no matter how colorful a story they told about the evil genius they portrayed.

Thus, even in death, Meyer Lansky prevailed. Lansky’s central role As a virtual middleman between the high-level forces that conspired in the assassination of John F. Kennedy has been cleverly buried by a willing media. “Israel’s Godfather” was lionized almost as a misunderstood statesman. Meyer Lansky, however, was not that.

Instead, Lansky was a cynical, cold-blooded killer who had ordered the death of his closest friend—Benjamin Siegel—and who certainly had no qualms about helping orchestrate the murder of an American president who threatened not only his own survival, but that of his beloved State of Israel.

Chapter Eight • Thick as Thieves • 6,800 Words
A Dangerous Liaison—James Jesus Angleton and the Unholy Alliance Between Israel, The CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate

By 1963 John F. Kennedy was not only at war with Israel and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, but he was also at war with their close ally in the international intelligence underworld—the CIA. That was a deadly combination.

The CIA and Israel had forged a close-working strategic alliance in the previous decade. Their joint enterprises around the globe tied the CIA and Israel together inextricably. Israel’s interests—and the CIA’s interests—were often one and the same, perhaps too often. Likewise with the Meyer Lansky crime network.

What’s more, Israel’s chief contact at the CIA in Washington, James Jesus Angleton, ultimately played a pivotal role in the JFK assassination conspiracy cover-up. Angleton, too, had close links with the same forces in the Lansky Syndicate.

At the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters at Langley, Virginia there was one man who knew perhaps better than any other American, Israel’s intentions and attitudes toward President John F. Kennedy. This was the enigmatic James Jesus Angleton. Angleton was so close to the Israelis during his tenure at the CIA that, following his death in 1987, a monument was unveiled in Israel by its government in his honor. This is one of the few known public monuments to any American CIA official anywhere in the entire world but actually one of several memorials to Angleton in Israel.

According to Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, co-authors of Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship, Angleton was “a man who for nearly a quarter of a century was one of the most powerful and mysterious figures in the CIA.”[258]Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991), p. 16.

According to the Cockburns, “Angleton was involved in many strange and secret dealings in the world of intelligence, but the Israelis like to talk of him as having been especially close to them, which is why they paid public homage to his memory.”[259]Ibid.
(Andrew Cockburn and Leslie Cockburn. Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the U.S.-Israeli Covert Relationship. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991), p. 16.)

Recruited into the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) while at Yale University, Angleton was a fast-rising star in the world of clandestine activities, and following the abolition of the OSS after World War II, Angleton entered into service with the Central Intelligence Agency after the

CIA was established in 1947. By 1954 Angleton assumed the highly sensitive post of chief of CIA counterintelligence.

What’s more, Angleton’s influence within the CIA itself was of a greater magnitude than what otherwise might be expected. Angleton was a very powerful—and secretive—man.

Powerful Patrons

According to Angleton’s biographer, Tom Mangold, CIA Director Allen Dulles and his deputy, Richard Helms, who later went on to become CIA director under Lyndon Johnson, were Angleton’s mentors. However, Mangold says, Helms was Angleton’s “chief patron.”[260]Tom Mangold. Cold Warrier—James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 307. Dulles, of course, was later fired as CIA director by JFK and then, in a twist of fate—or by someone’s design—served on the Warren Commission which ostensibly investigated JFK’s murder. And it would be Helms, along with Angleton, who would later be implicated in a strange series of events—examined in Chapter 16 in detail—that would ultimately and apparently unwittingly blow the lid off the CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination.

A Power Unto Himself

According to the CIA spymaster’s biographer, “Angleton’s longstanding friendships with Dulles and Helms were to become the most important factor in giving him freedom of movement within the CIA. [Angleton] was extended such trust by his superiors that there was often a significant failure of executive control over his activities. The result was that his subsequent actions were performed without bureaucratic interference. The simple fact was that if Angleton wanted something done, it was done. He had the experience, the patronage, and the clout.

“In the sixties the Counterintelligence Staff, for example, had its very own secret slush fund, which Angleton tightly controlled. This fund gave him easy access to a large amount of money that was never audited (as other such funds were). Angleton argued that he would have to be trusted, without outside accountability, because it would have been difficult to allow mere clerks to go through his accounts—if only because sources would have to be revealed. The [directors of central intelligence] (including Helms) agreed to this unusual arrangement, which gave Angleton a unique authority to run his own little operations without undue supervision.”[261]Ibid., p. 52.
(Tom Mangold. Cold Warrier—James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), p. 307.)

In short, according to Peter Dale Scott, Angleton “managed a ‘second CIA’ within the CIA”[262]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 54. and one, as we shall see, that was collaborating all too comfortably close with Israel’s Mossad.

International Intelligence Boss

However, Angleton’s influence went even further. Angleton, in fact, was the CIA liaison for all Allied foreign intelligence agencies”[263]Cockburn, p. 42.—in particular, and most especially, the Mossad. Through these

connections, Angleton was able to manipulate intelligence activities around the globe. A friend of Angleton recalls: “That’s the job that was so sensitive and that’s the one that you don’t read about. While he was liaising with everyone, he was getting them to do favors for either the CIA—things the CIA didn’t want to carry out directly; like they’ve never killed anyone, right?—or for his own agenda.

“Even on a more mundane level, he could use his contacts with Israeli intelligence, which he kept to himself, as authority for whatever line he was trying to push at the CIA. You know, ‘My Israeli sources tell me such and such,’ and no one was going to contradict him, since no one else was allowed to talk to Israeli intelligence.

“I always had the impression that he used the Israelis in this way, getting them to say that the Russians had not really broken with the Chinese or whatever. They would be perfectly happy to do him the favor. On top of all that he felt that he was getting the benefit of Israeli networks and connections all over the place, not just in the Communist bloc.”[264]Ibid., pp. 42-43.
(Cockburn, p. 42.)
One friend of Angleton’s (who didn’t necessarily share the counterintelligence chief’s infatuation with Israel) commented: “You have to understand that Jim’s central dominating obsession was communism, something that for him was the essence of absolute and profound evil. For him nothing else really mattered, but he would use anyone and anything to combat it. Sure he liked Israelis… but he was not a ‘co-opted Israeli agent,’ as some people in Washington used to call him.”[265]Ibid., p. 43.
(Cockburn, p. 42.)

Ben-Gurion’s Man in Washington

Most important to Angleton, however, was his relationship with the Mossad. In fact, he was the CIA’s longtime, self-appointed man at the agency’s Israel desk. Angleton’s biographer, Tom Mangold, points out that “The legends alone surrounding his twenty years as head of the Israeli Desk would fill another book, as indeed would the truth.”[266]Mangold, p. 362.

And although Mangold’s account of Angleton’s career devoted hardly any attention to Angleton’s intimate ties with Israel and its Mossad, Mangold does state flatly: “I would like to place on the record, however, that Angleton’s closest professional friends overseas, then and subsequently, came from the Mossad and that he was held in immense esteem by his Israeli colleagues and by the state of Israel, which was to award him profound honors after his death.”[267]Ibid.
(Mangold, p. 362.)

Angleton, in fact, had long-standing direct ties with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion himself, dealing with the Israeli leader on an intimate basis. If there was anyone in the CIA who knew of Ben-Gurion’s distaste for JFK, it was Angleton. As a devoted friend of Israel—and chief liaison with the Mossad—Angleton had to be fully aware of the raging conflict between the Israeli prime minister and the American president who refused to bow to Israel’s demands.

And considering President Kennedy’s efforts to build bridges with the Soviet Union and his efforts to wind down the Cold War, one knows, beyond question, that Angleton—hard-line, even fanatical anti-communist that he was—viewed Kennedy’s overtures with outrage and disgust. All of this not to mention Kennedy’s own conflicts with the CIA which we will review in Chapter 9.

Kennedy a Threat

Clearly, John F. Kennedy was not only a threat to Israel and the CIA and their allies in the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, but also to James Jesus Angleton himself. Kennedy’s war with the CIA could spell an end to Angleton’s career and the world-wide intelligence empire that the strange and calculating counterintelligence boss had assembled. The ties between Angleton’s CIA and the Mossad were such, according to historian Steven Stewart, that they “had the effect of ensuring that virtually every CIA man in the Middle East was also working at second hand for the Israelis …as the CIA’s policy changed almost overnight, in an extraordinary volteface, from being largely pro-Arab to becoming almost totally pro-Israeli”[268]Steven Stewart. The Spymasters of Israel. (New York: Ballantine Books, 1980, p. 119.—a close relationship indeed.

The CIA and Israel: Early Days

It is the CIA’s relationship with Israel that is most significant in terms of that agency’s global intrigue—and, of course, in light of the CIA’s documented role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy (which we examine in more detail in subsequent chapters). And it was Angleton who was, as we have seen, the prime mover behind the CIA-Israeli Mossad’s close working relationship—in fact, from its very beginnings.

The late Wilbur Crane Eveland, a former advisor to the CIA and former member of the policy-planning staffs of the White House and Pentagon, had written extensively on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. In his book, Ropes of Sand, Eveland reviewed the beginnings of what Andrew and Leslie Cockburn call the “dangerous liaison”—America’s covert relationship with Israel.

This covert relationship was conducted primarily through the aegis of Angleton’s Israeli desk at the CIA. Eveland writes of its origins: “CIA operations had started before Allen Dulles became director that had longrange implications from which the United States might find it difficult to disengage. Stemming from his wartime OSS liaison with Jewish resistance groups based in London, James Angleton had arranged an operationalintelligence exchange agreement with Israel’s Mossad, upon which the CIA relied for much of its intelligence about the Arab states.”[269]Wilbur Crane Eveland. Ropes of Sand: America’s Failure in the Middle East. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1980), p. 95.

This relationship, however, was not necessarily initially based on mutual trust. According to Wolf Blitzer, longtime Washington correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, the CIA-Mossad relationship began on a basis of mutual distrust. Blitzer notes that after Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran (sparking the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981), the militants seized CIA documents which they later released.

“The documents,” says Blitzer, “showed that Israeli intelligence agencies, mostly in the 1950′s, had blackmailed, bugged, wire-tapped, and offered bribes to U.S. government officials in an effort to gain sensitive intelligence and technical information.”[270]Wolf Blitzer. Between Washington and Jerusalem. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 96.

The U.S. was apparently also spying on Israel, although this didn’t appear in the report. However, when it was necessary for the CIA and the Mossad to reach a joint accord, it was James Jesus Angleton who stepped in, and, according to Blitzer, “was said to have been largely responsible for arranging the deal.”[271]Ibid.
(Wolf Blitzer. Between Washington and Jerusalem. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 96.)

Assassination Plots

The CIA and the Mossad had many joint ventures over the years, all conducted under Angleton’s watchful eye. Some of those ventures, of course, included assassination plots. In fact, after President Eisenhower commented that he hoped that “the Nasser problem could be eliminated”[272]Cockburn, p. 69.—(referring to what he perceived to be an intransigence by the Egyptian)—CIA Director Allen Dulles and Angleton launched a plan to kill Nasser. However, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles (brother of the CIA director) intervened and called off the CIA dogs.

The CIA was also engaging in covert actions against Israel’s enemies in Syria. One CIA conspiracy in 1958 to overthrow the nationalist government of Syria—which anti-communist fanatics such as Angleton considered to be “leftist”—fell apart when the CIA’s paid henchmen, Syrian nationals (who evidently were patriots), turned themselves in and exposed the CIA’s plot to the Syrian government. At the time, CIA director Dulles commented, “I guess that leaves Israel’s intelligence service as the only one on which we can count, doesn’t it?”[273]Ibid.
(Cockburn, p. 69.)

Angelton’s ZR/Rifle Team

The CIA’s now-best known assassination plot, of course, was the agency’s collaboration with organized crime in a scheme to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro. (We will examine the Castro assassination plot in much further detail in Chapter 11.) It is interesting to note, however, at this juncture, that as part of the plot against Castro the CIA established its now infamous ZR/Rifle Team, incorporating a wide array of foreign assassins and mercenaries—skilled and dangerous men who were trained in murder. The ZR/Rifle Team, in fact, was one of Angleton’s pet in-house CIA projects which he ran in conjunction with his CIA colleague, William Harvey.[274]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), p. 173. Citing David Martin. Wilderness of Mirrors. (New York: Harper & Row, 1980), see pp. 120-124 in particular. This, in the long run, as we shall see in Chapter 16, gave Angleton and his Israeli allies access to the “talent” necessary to achieve a successful operation in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

A Firm Alliance

According to intelligence historian Richard Deacon, Israel’s relationship with the CIA (and Angleton, in particular) had been firmly cemented: “On the American side the Israelis had won a certain amount of unofficial support from the CIA even during the Eisenhower era. The CIA had been realistic enough to realize that the Eisenhower appeasement policy towards the Arab world would ultimately be disastrous for every American interest, military or economic.

“For this reason they had maintained a policy of allowing all intelligence operations in Israel to be carried out entirely by the Mossad. In short, what this meant was that the CIA had no office or station chief in Tel Aviv, but that certain officers in the US Embassy there co-operated with the Mossad. In theory this entailed an exchange of intelligence between the two sides and in practice this worked rather better than one could have expected normally.

“The key figures in this arrangement were originally [Mossad chief] Isser Harel, Ephraim Evron, who later became deputy Israeli ambassador in Washington, and James Angleton, chief of the CIA Counter-Intelligence.”[275]Richard Deacon. The Israeli Secret Service. (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., 1978), pp. 170-171. (Evron, as we saw in Chapter 6, also became particularly close to John F. Kennedy’s successor, Lyndon Johnson, who reversed U.S. policy toward Israel— and in favor of the CIA’s interventionist policies in Southeast Asia— immediately upon assuming office.)

According to intelligence historian Deacon, Angleton exploited the new intimate relationship between the CIA and the Mossad for use internationally: “Angleton, having seen the folly of U.S. foreign policy during the abortive Suez operation, decided to counteract the State Department’s bias towards the Arabs by close cooperation with Israel. It was he who first saw the need for a new policy in the Middle East and safeguards against increasing Russian influence.

A Reversal of Policy

“He and Evron worked well together and, as a result, the CIA helped Israel with technical assistance in the nuclear field. Evron was eager to grasp this opportunity for he had been one of the prime instigators of the aggressive challenge to [John F. Kennedy's] policy of friendship for Nasser [and] was instrumental in paving the way to a reversal of the pro-Arab policy which for a while dominated American thinking, not only under Eisenhower, but also the Kennedy administration.”[276]Ibid., p. 171.
(Richard Deacon. The Israeli Secret Service. (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., 1978), pp. 170-171.)
According to Deacon, Evron was Israel’s most powerful figure in Washington, more highly regarded than even the Israeli ambassador and was welcomed as a Mossad liaison officer to Angleton at the Central Intelligence Agency.[277]Ibid.
(Richard Deacon. The Israeli Secret Service. (New York: Taplinger Publishing Co., Inc., 1978), pp. 170-171.)

Angleton and Israel’s Nuclear Bomb

There is, in fact, evidence that Angleton was covertly assisting Israel’s nuclear bomb program which, of course, was the primary source of conflict between JFK and Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion.

Tad Szulc, the noted foreign correspondent, “quoted sources close to Angleton as saying that he had indeed secretly aided Israel with technical nuclear information during the late 1950′s.”[278]Wolf Blitzer. Between Washington and Jerusalem. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 89. Additionally, Seymour Hersh reported that Szulc’s report “fits in with something [Hersh] had been told by a high-level CIA official—that Angleton gave the Israelis similar technical information in the mid-1960s.”[279]Ibid.
(Wolf Blitzer. Between Washington and Jerusalem. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), p. 89.)

We do know that one of Angleton’s “closest colleagues” from his days in the OSS in Italy was a former leader of the Jewish underground, Meir Deshalit, the older brother of Amos Deshalit, a physicist who was one of the leaders in Israel’s drive to build a nuclear bomb.[280]Seymour Hersh. The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (New York: Random House, 1991), p. 144.

The evidence also suggests that Angleton was a key player in attempts within the CIA itself to cover up Israel’s secret nuclear weapons development.

John Hadden, who was the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv before his retirement in 1960, is evidently the CIA officer who first reported (perhaps incorrectly) that an Apollo, Pennsylvania company, the Nuclear Materials & Equipment Corporation (NUMEC), was illegally providing bomb-grade uranium for Israel’s nuclear weapons development.

Theodore Shackley

However, Hadden faced much opposition from within the CIA. One individual in particular, the assistant to the deputy director for covert operations, was constantly attacking Hadden, belittling his claims. This was the ubiquitous Theodore Shackley, nicknamed “the Blonde Ghost.”

Shackley, as we’ll see in Chapter 11, was a key CIA player in CIA-Lansky Syndicate plots against Fidel Castro. And it was also Shackley, as we shall see in Chapter 12, who was a key CIA player in Southeast Asia during the joint CIA-Lansky drug-trafficking operations in the region.

Later, following his retirement from the CIA, Shackley entered into lucrative international arms dealing ventures with Shaul Eisenberg, a key Mossad operative and a major figure in Israel’s nuclear development program. And later in these pages we will learn much more about the connections of both Shackley and his future business partner Eisenberg. Here, however, we see Shackley engaged in covering up Israeli operations in the nuclear development arena—along with Angleton.

According to Hadden, Angleton “had no interest in stopping”[281]Cockburn, p. 80. the NUMEC operation, and did not. Hadden comments: “Why would someone whose whole life was dedicated to fighting communism have any interest in preventing a fiercely anti-communist nation from getting the means to defend itself?”[282]Ibid.
(Cockburn, p. 80.)
However, as we will see in Appendix Nine there is much more to the NUMEC story than meets the eye.

Secret Memorandum

As we noted, in Chapter 5, an internal CIA memorandum issued during the presidency of John F. Kennedy cast negative light on Israel’s nuclear development program. However, according to historian Stephen Green, “It is perhaps significant that the memorandum was not drafted as a formal national intelligence estimate, which would have involved distribution to several other agencies of the government. No formal NIE was issued by CIA on the Israeli nuclear weapons program until 1968.”[283]Stephen Green. Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1984), p. 164.

There is no question, of course, considering Angleton’s close ties with Israel and its Mossad, that Angleton (and perhaps the aforementioned Shackley) were instrumental in burying this memorandum.

The CIA-Mossad joint operations relating to Israel’s nuclear development continued for a generation. Many years later, the CIA and Israel jointly arranged the kidnapping of Mordechai Vanunu, a nuclear technician who blew the whistle on Israel’s nuclear weapons development. A woman used to lure Vanunu in the kidnapping conspiracy was a CIA covert action operative who also did occasional work for the Mossad.

Angleton’s Power Increases

With the advent of the Lyndon Johnson administration and the amazing reversal of U.S. policy toward Israel, outlined in detail in Chapter 6, and with the close relationship between Angleton’s Mossad liaison, Evron, and Lyndon Johnson, Angleton’s influence in Middle East policy-making became even greater.

According to Andrew and Leslie Cockburn: “One long-serving official at the CIA’s ancient rival, the code-breaking National Security Agency, states flatly that ‘Jim Angleton and the Israelis spent a year cooking up the ’67 war. It was a CIA operation, designed to get Nasser [of Egypt].’ Such a verdict, from a source inside an agency that had the inclination and the facilities to monitor both the CIA and the Israelis, must carry some weight.”[284]Cockburn, p. 147.

Now all of the aforementioned is particularly relevant when one considers Angleton’s preeminent role in the CIA-Mossad alliance. However, much new additional information has come to light which ties Angleton even further into the international web of conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Angleton, Lansky & The OSS

Angleton, in fact, had intimate ties to Meyer Lansky-linked organized crime operations in Europe stemming back from his service in the OSS in England (working with British intelligence) and in Italy. And it was during this same period that Meyer Lansky himself was engaged in joint covert operations with the OSS, as noted in Chapter 7. It is also very likely that during this time Angleton came in contact with a young American officer detailed to the OSS—one Clay Shaw. As we shall see in Chapter 15, Shaw is the focal point of contact in the JFK assassination conspiracy between not only the CIA and low-level elements in the intelligence community—Lee Harvey Oswald among them—but also between Meyer Lansky’s European money laundering operation based at Mossad officer Tibor Rosenbaum’s Banque de Credit International (first examined in Chapter 7).

The Jewish Underground

At the tender age of 27, Angleton—then stationed in Rome—was the youngest counterintelligence branch chief in the entire OSS and the only non-Briton in Italy cleared to share intelligence secrets of the top-secret Ultra program which was cracking Nazi codes. Italy, indeed, became a central point of contact for Angleton and his international intelligence connections, and particularly for his work on behalf of the state of Israel.

By 1951 Angleton was engaged in “the underground Jewish network that ran down from Eastern Europe through Italy to the ports where shiploads of immigrants were loaded for Palestine.”[285]Cockburn, pp. 42-43. It was this refugee network, according to Richard Deacon, writing in The Israeli Secret Service, a history of the Mossad, that was “paving the way for an ultimate intelligence network for the future state of Israel.”[286]Deacon, p. 35.

One of Angleton’s Israeli contacts in the Jewish underground in Europe was Teddy Kollek (later to become mayor of Jerusalem). Kollek, in fact, emerged to become “a close personal friend.”[287]Cockburn, p. 42. Kollek, as we saw in Chapter 7, was the Haganah station chief in New York during the 1947-1948 period, engaged in arms smuggling to Palestine in conjunction with Meyer Lansky and Major Louis M. Bloomfield—whom we shall see in Chapter 15, was associated with not only the aforementioned Clay Shaw, but also with Tibor Rosenbaum’s Banque De Credit International.

Tibor Rosenbaum, Again

But there is an even more pivotal contact between Angleton, Major Bloomfield, Shaw and Lansky: the same Tibor Rosenbaum. In Chapter 7 we met Rabbi Tibor Rosenbaum of the Banque De Credit International. It was Rosenbaum, who went on to serve as Director General for Finance and Supply for the Mossad, who was one of the prime movers in the refugeeturned-intelligence network with which Angleton worked so closely.

It was also during this same period that the terrorist Menachem Begin (who later became prime minister of Israel) was coordinating Israel’s Irgun operations in Europe. In Chapter 13, we shall find, Begin was also operating in the United States in conjunction with a key figure in the Lansky Crime Syndicate in joint efforts on behalf of Israel—and against John F. Kennedy.

The Corsican Mafia Connection

Angleton’s connections with the Lansky operations, however, go even deeper. It was through a secret CIA asset, one Jay Lovestone, that Angleton manipulated what his biographer called “an odd little operation that Angleton had been quietly running all on his own since 1955.”[288]Mangold, p. 314-315. Through an aide, Stephen Millet, who was the counterintelligence officer who handled the Israeli desk for Angleton, the CIA spymaster was maintaining close links with the criminal underworld in Italy and France.

For details on the activities of Angleton and his Lansky-linked organized crime associates we turn to the work of Robert I. Friedman. In his biography of militant New York-born Rabbi Meyer Kahane (later a member of the Israeli parliament), we learn that it was the aforementioned Lovestone who provided Kahane and his closest associate and fellow rabbi, Dr. Joseph Churba, with financing and support. (Lansky, himself, as we saw in Chapter 7, was a contributor to Kahane’s later activities in support of Israel.) In the 1960’s Churba and Kahane functioned as CIA assets in churning up Jewish support—and otherwise—for the war in Vietnam, a venture, we have seen, which proved fruitful for not only the CIA, but its allies in Israel and their allies in the Lansky Syndicate.

The CIA’s Hired Guns

According to Friedman, “Churba and Kahane also received support from legendary cold warriors Jay Lovestone and Irving Brown, who had been top officials of the American Communist Party in the 1920s before undergoing a ‘Damascus Road’ conversion and who subsequently ran the AFL-CIO’s powerful International Affairs Department under the tutelage of the CIA. It was under the CIA’s direction that Lovestone and Brown—using Corsican and Italian mafiosos—set up right-wing death squads in Marseilles and other European cities after the Second World War to break the burgeoning leftwing labor movement. Thanks to Brown, by 1953 his key contact in the Marseilles underworld, Pierre Ferri-Pisain, had control of the city’s port, where he built an international heroin trafficking empire.

“This was not the first time that American intelligence purchased the services of the Mafia. Prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily in the Second World War, the OSS established contacts with the Sicilian Mafia through the same Lucky Luciano who allowed [the Jewish underground] to smuggle weapons from Hoboken to the Irgun in Palestine. The Sicilian Mafia provided intelligence on the Germans, and after the war assassinated hundreds of Italian left-wing political activists.”[289]Robert I. Friedman. The False Prophet: Rabbi Meir Kahane—From FBI Informant to Knesset Member. (New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1990), pp. 34-35.

According to historian Alfred McCoy, “After the CIA withdrew from active involvement] Marseille’s Corsicans won political protection from France’s intelligence service, the SDECE, which allowed their heroin laboratories to operate undisturbed for nearly 20 years. In partnership with Italy’s Mafia syndicates, the Corsicans smuggled raw opium from Turkey and refined it into no. 4 heroin for export. Their biggest customer was the United States…[290]Alfred W. McCoy. The Politics of Heroin. (Brooklyn, New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991), p. 25.

(In Chapter 7 we examined Lansky’s pivotal role in arranging the accommodation between the OSS and the Sicilian Mafia in the famed “Operation Underworld.” In Chapter 12 we will examine the Lansky-CIA manipulation of the Corsican and Sicilian organized crime elements in the drug trade. In Chapter 12 , Chapter 15 and Chapter 16, we will also examine the role of French Corsican gangsters and French intelligence operatives in the JFK assassination—linking Angleton further to the events in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Here, now, we see that it was Israeli Mossad ally James J. Angleton who was, in fact, the prime mover behind the CIA operations utilizing the Corsican and Sicilian organized crime elements in Angleton’s “anticommunist” ventures. That all of this was run through the Angleton’s Israeli desk at the CIA is quite interesting, to say the least. This, of course, ties Angleton and the CIA and their collaborators in the Mossad even further into the Lansky network—and into the nexus revolving around the conspiracy that led to the murder of John F. Kennedy.

Angleton, The CIA & The French Connection

However, Angleton’s French intrigue went beyond his connections with the Corsican crime syndicate. He and the CIA were also dabbling in internal French politics, interfering with the political aims of French leader Charles DeGaulle and his political alliance. The CIA, in fact, was backing the Socialist Party.

Historian Alfred McCoy notes that: “On the surface it may have seemed a bit out of character for the CIA to be backing so far left [a party] as a Socialist Party. However, there were only three major political parties in France—Socialist, Communist and Gaullist—and by a simple process of elimination the CIA wound up allying itself with the Socialists. “While General DeGaulle was too independent for American tastes, Socialist leaders were rapidly losing political ground to the Communists and thus were willing to collaborate with the CIA.”[291]Alfred W. McCoy. The Politics of Heroin. (Brooklyn, New York: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991), p. 58.

That Angleton and the CIA would be actively working against DeGaulle is intriguing, particularly in light of further evidence we shall examine in Chapter 12, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 which ties the CIA and its allies in Israel to joint operations against DeGaulle. It was from this same sphere of intrigue, as we shall see, that the JFK assassination evolved.

Manipulating the Warren Commission

After John F. Kennedy was killed, it was Angleton who emerged as the CIA’s “overseer” of the Warren Commission investigation into the assassination of Kennedy. In fact, as we shall see, Angleton maneuvered himself into this position. JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott has written of what he called “the recurring presence of Angleton in the background of the Warren Commission investigation.”[292]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 196.

In 1996 new information about Angleton’s peculiar role emerged when the government’s JFK Assassination Records Review Board released 192 pages of heretofore-classified testimony given to the House Assassinations Committee in 1978 by a witness who was “chief of a CIA branch responsible for operations in Mexico and Central America.”[293]Newsday report published in the Baltimore Sun, October 6, 1996. The actual identity of the witness was considered so sensitive that the CIA insisted on withholding his real name so he testified under the alias “John Scelso.”

According to Scelso’s story, it was he, “Scelso,” who had initially been placed in charge of the CIA’s end of the assassination investigation, but— according to Scelso—Angleton “immediately went into action to do all the investigating.”[294]Ibid.
(Newsday report published in the Baltimore Sun, October 6, 1996.)
(This suggests, of course, that Angleton did have a very specific interest in controlling any evidence which did emerge.)

The testimony by Scelso also brought forth some interesting revelations about Angleton’s organized crime connections. At one point in his testimony, a committee attorney, Michael Goldsmith, asked Scelso the intriguing question, “Do you have any reason to believe that Angleton might have had ties to organized crime?”[295]Ibid.
(Newsday report published in the Baltimore Sun, October 6, 1996.)
to which Scelso responded in the affirmative.

Scelso went on to explain that the Justice Department had once asked the CIA to determine the true names of people holding numbered bank accounts in Panama because the mob was hiding Las Vegas “skim” money there. Scelso commented that “We were in an excellent position to do this and told them so—whereupon Angleton vetoed it and said, ‘That is the [FBI's] business.”[296]Ibid.
(Newsday report published in the Baltimore Sun, October 6, 1996.)

When Scelso discussed this with another CIA officer, the other officer “smiled a foxy smile and said, ‘Well, that’s Angleton’s excuse. The real reason is that Angleton himself has ties to the Mafia and he would not want to double-cross them.”[297]Ibid.
(Newsday report published in the Baltimore Sun, October 6, 1996.)

Indeed, Angleton, Israel’s point man at the CIA, was well-placed to help cover up the real truth about Israel’s role—along with that of the CIA and the Lansky syndicate—and ultimately he did.

The Nosenko Affair: Placing Blame

It was Angleton who emerged in the period of the Warren Commission investigation as the leading CIA critic of Russian Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko. Nosenko, who defected to the United States in 1964, claimed to have been the KGB’s case officer who handled Lee Harvey Oswald during his sojourn in Russia (presumably as a defector.)

Nosenko’s most provocative claim was that, contrary to some suspicions—and allegations—the Soviet KGB had absolutely nothing to do with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Thus, those such as Israel’s man at the CIA, Angleton, who wanted to hang the blame on the KGB for the president’s murder, had what appeared to be a bona fide Soviet defector on their hands whose claims ran contrary to the propaganda line they sought to promote. Angleton was Nosenko’s loudest and most vociferous accuser, determined to prove Nosenko a liar. Angleton subjected Nosenko to 1,277 days of torture, questioning and deprivation, but Nosenko stuck to his story. Angleton was clearly determined to disprove the one man who was clearly well-informed enough about the Soviet KGB to dispute the claim that the Soviets were behind the JFK assassination. Eliminating the Soviets as a suspect would, of course, shift suspicion elsewhere. Looking elsewhere for those with not only the means and the opportunity—but also the motive— to kill John F. Kennedy would have, of course, pointed in the direction of Angleton’s own CIA and its allies in the Israeli Mossad. In Chapter 16 we shall see how Angleton did indeed play a key role in the JFK assassination cover-up.

Revelation of either a CIA role or an Israeli role in the murder of JFK would have inevitably destroyed not only America’s relationship with Israel, but it would have brought the international house of joint CIA-MossadLansky Crime Syndicate conspiracies tumbling down. And James Jesus Angleton, as the CIA’s intimate liaison with Israel, would have been destroyed in the process. Likewise with his CIA patrons, Allen Dulles and Richard Helms.

(In Chapter 16 we shall review the activities of Angleton and Richard Helms further, particularly as they relate to the cover-up of the truth about the JFK assassination conspiracy. In Chapter 18 we shall see how Helms’ close relationship with the Iranian secret police, SAVAK—created jointly by the CIA and the Mossad—tie Helms himself even further into the realm of conspiracy in the continuing cover-up of the JFK assassination.)

Angleton’s “chief patron” Richard Helms left the CIA in 1973. This was the beginning of the end of his days at the CIA. Angleton was fired by the new CIA director, William Colby, on December 20, 1974. And, as we shall see in Appendix Six, Angleton’s firing not only had precisely to do with his unusually close affiliation with Israel, but ultimately may have played a part in the strange demise—years later—of William Colby.

Fantasy in Book Form

In his remaining years, Angleton habitually met with Washington reporters, feeding them tidbits, stroking them with information, convincing them all that they were getting “the inside story”—particularly in regard to the matter of the JFK assassination.

The ultimate parlay of Angleton’s Kennedy assassination disinformation appeared in Edward Jay Epstein’s book, Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald (published in 1978). Epstein, a Warren Commission “critic,” first came to prominence as the author of Inquest, a book-length study of the commission, originally written as his master’s thesis at Yale University, long a recruiting ground for the CIA. It was some years later, however, that Epstein came forth with Legend. As pointed out, however, by assassination researcher, Carl Oglesby, it was Angleton who was “Epstein’s chief source for the narrative unfolded”[298]Carl Oglesby. The JFK Assassination: The Facts and the Theories. (New York: Signet Books, 1992), p. 145. in Legend. Epstein’s book presented the thesis that Oswald had been recruited by the Soviet KGB during his Marine service. Later KGB asset Oswald killed JFK, but not necessarily on the Kremlin’s orders. Evidently, we are led to assume, Oswald got out of control.

Oswald’s KGB connection, according to Epstein, was subsequently covered up by a Soviet mole in the CIA and then the FBI’s legendary communist hunter, J. Edgar Hoover, helped in the cover-up, for reasons of his own—a fanciful story indeed. Whatever the case, it was Angleton who was Epstein’s most important source of “inside” information in the weaving of this particular “legend.” And interestingly enough, it was the controlled media which had otherwise scoffed at JFK conspiracy allegations that responded so favorably to this “new” conspiracy story.

As Carl Oglesby noted at the time Legend was published: “Time called Epstein ‘a careful, academic researcher’ and said his evidence that Oswald was a Soviet spy was ‘strong.’ The New York Times Review of Books called it “fascinating, alarming and perhaps enormously significant’ and praised its ‘explosive qualities.’ The normally chaste Wilfred Sheed swallowed the whole Angleton kaboodle and chimed in on his own that ‘Cuba itself seems the most likely conspirator’ with Oswald. ‘This one,” he concluded, ‘is a beauty.’”[299]Ibid., 149.
(Carl Oglesby. The JFK Assassination: The Facts and the Theories. (New York: Signet Books, 1992), p. 145.)

(And as we shall see in Chapter 17, the controlled media’s own extensive links with Israel and its lobby in America, particularly the Lansky Syndicate-funded Anti-Defamation League [ADL] of B’nai B’rith, accounts for the media’s desire to place the blame for the JFK assassination elsewhere, other than on Angleton’s CIA and his allies in Israel.)

Fooled by a False Flag

Interestingly, many American conservatives (who were certainly no admirers of the Kennedy administration) fell for the Angleton-sponsored fantasy that the KGB was behind the JFK assassination.

They wanted, more than anything perhaps, to believe that a communist had killed JFK. It was wholly in line with their anti-communist worldview and tailor-made for those who wanted to wave the proverbial “red flag.” (This red flag, as we shall see in these pages, however, was, in fact, yet another Israeli false flag.)

Noting the conservative outcry that “a communist killed JFK,” Peter Dale Scott has written of “the loud and irresponsible campaign of the American Security Council, the largest p.r. lobby for the military-industrial complex, to support the intelligence-fed claim that a KGB assassin ‘had been trained at an assassin’s school in the USSR for assignment later on the North American continent.’”[300]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 55.

Since the publication of the second edition of Final Judgment, a former publicist for the American Security Council. William J. Gill, acknowledged to this author his own sincere belief (at the time) that there had been a communist role in the JFK assassination. He acknowledged that, for political reasons, he had indeed been a part of the effort to pin the assassination on the Soviets.

However, having read Final Judgment Gill concluded that, as he put it, “I think you have pinned the tail on the donkey.” In other words, that he now believed that the Israeli Mossad was indeed the prime mover behind the JFK assassination. “It was an angle that I never even conceived possible— until now,” he said. Gill described Final Judgment as “the most important book of the 20th century.”

There is no question but that conservative elements did indeed stress the “communist” angle in the JFK assassination following the president’s murder—for very obvious political motivations.

One prominent “right wing” journalist of the time, Revilo P. Oliver— then a key figure in the John Birch Society—was actually called before the Warren Commission to elaborate on his controversial and widely-publicized theory that the Soviets had JFK executed because he [JFK] was not doing enough to advance international communism. However, shortly before his death in 1994 Oliver told associates that had he not been so ill, he would have relished the opportunity to write a favorable review of Final Judgment which had just been released earlier in the year. Oliver himself evidently realized that he, too, had been taken in by the Angleton-inspired myth. Needless to say, however, the myth the Soviets were somehow involved in the JFK assassination was an ideal cover story and one that James J. Angleton was very much the prime mover behind.

‘A Mansion Has Many Rooms’

All of this is interesting and illustrates the lengths to which Angleton would go in order to fabricate a story targeting his enemies for the blame— and clearing his friends. However, Angleton’s most provocative and widely known statement, often presumed to be in reference to the JFK assassination—came when he was quoted in The New York Times—two days after he was fired from the CIA by then-Director William Colby. Angleton’s cryptic remark was as follows: “A mansion has many rooms. I’m not privy to who struck John.”[301]The New York Times, December 24, 1974. Angleton, however, insisted that the reference had nothing to do with the JFK assassination.

Angleton died a broken man on May 11, 1987—driven out of the CIA to which he had devoted his lifetime. Angleton was correct: “A mansion has many rooms.” There was yet another secret room—so to speak—a shadowy intelligence operation working closely with Organized Crime and the CIA in a wide variety of ventures both in the United States and around the globe: James Jesus Angleton’s beloved allies in Israel’s Mossad.

A FINAL NOTE: Since the first release of Final Judgment—which was the first JFK assassination book to seriously focus on James Angleton (based upon leads provided by Mark Lane’s Plausible Denial)—JFK researcher Lisa Pease (who received a copy of Final Judgment from the author) has written two excellent articles examining Angleton’s critical role in the JFK affair. They appear in the book The Assassinations (Los Angeles, Feral House Press, 2003) edited by Miss Pease and James DiEugenio. Unfortunately, although Miss Pease referenced Final Judgment, in passing in earlier renditions of her essays (when they were first published on the Internet), she has since deleted those references, perhaps out of fear of being associated with yours truly. In any case, Miss Pease also rushes to assure her readers that she has found no evidence to support the theory that Angleton was “controlled” by the Mossad, despite her suggestion that other un-named writers have asserted as much. In fact, as readers of Final Judgment know well, no such assertion is made in this book. Quite the contrary, Angleton was a Mossad loyalist. No “control” was necessary.

Chapter Nine • A Little Unpleasantness • 6,300 Words
JFK’s War With Israel’s Allies at the CIA

JFK’s battle with the CIA over the Bay of Pigs debacle was just the beginning. By November of 1963, JFK was not only fighting the CIA’s Israeli allies over the nuclear bomb, but he was also resisting efforts by the CIA to involve the United States more deeply in Southeast Asia. In fact, JFK planned to dismantle the CIA entirely—a move that would threaten Israel’s power base in official Washington.

At the same time, the CIA and the Mossad were also engaged in efforts to undermine French President Charles DeGaulle. In the end, the intrigue against DeGaulle would prove to play a little-known but critical part in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

In 1972 the Washington Observer newsletter published perhaps what was one of the first hints—in print—that the Kennedy family itself suspected that the CIA had a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. According to the Observer, “Back in 1963, shortly after President Kennedy’s assassination, Robert F. Kennedy while he was still Attorney General, conducted his own private investigation, which ran parallel with the official inquiry into the assassination conducted by the Warren Commission. Kennedy’s investigation featured trips to this country by an Inspector Hamilton, former Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard. Hamilton, an old friend of Joseph P. Kennedy, had been retained by the attorney general to help unravel the real truth about the murder of JFK.

“After long conferring with the members of the Kennedy family and making a few discreet soundings with his own contacts, Hamilton zeroed on the fact that the assassination of John Kennedy had occurred very shortly after his brother Bobby had made some preliminary moves for direct personal control of the CIA, whose leadership he blamed for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

“Hamilton, following the cui Bono (“whom does it benefit?”) reasoning, reached the conclusion that Bobby’s move to seize control of the CIA had something to do with the murder of his elder brother.”[302]Washington Observer, April 15, 1972.

The Bay of Pigs

That the Bay of Pigs debacle was a major bone of contention between the Kennedy brothers and the CIA is now very much a recognized part of history. The bittnerness that developed between JFK and the CIA over the failed attempt to invade Castro’s Cuba was a serious point of conflict between the president and the intelligence agency. The Bay of Pigs and its aftermath was a sore spot between Kennedy and the CIA, but not the last. It did, however, set in motion events leading to the final showdown between

JFK and the CIA, what, in fact, was ultimately the assassination of the American president.

The family biographers of Chicago Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, who participated in the infamous CIA-Organized Crime plots against Fidel Castro (which we will examine in more detail in Chapter 11) report that Giancana was very much aware that the CIA was unhappy with the Kennedys. “Within the CIA, the dismay at having been betrayed by both the President and attorney general, as well as the President’s open promise to dismantle the intelligence agency’s power, soon turned to hatred, creating a ripple effect that would blacken the moods of the men [Giancana] dealt with in his covert operations. These men expressed their outrage at the Bay of Pigs operation along with their fear that Kennedy now posed a very real threat to the CIA’s continued autonomy, perhaps its very existence.”[303]Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 301.

Kennedy Moves Against the CIA

In his best-selling, Plausible Denial, in which he pinpoints the CIA’s role in the JFK assassination conspiracy, veteran JFK assassination investigator Mark Lane commented on the CIA’s move against the president:

“If the CIA operatives, officers, and former officers believed that the defense of their Agency and their nation required the elimination of President Kennedy because he was about to dismantle their organization, one could comprehend, while neither accepting nor condoning their viewpoint, that their concept of self-defense required them to use deadly force. Most relevant, therefore, is not what Kennedy was or was not about to do vis-à-vis the CIA, but what the leaders of the Agency believed he might do.

“John F. Kennedy made it clear that he planned to destroy the CIA. The New York Times reported on April 25, 1966, under a subheadline, ‘Kennedy’s Bitterness,’ that ‘as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, [Kennedy] said to one of the highest officials of his Administration that he wanted ‘to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.’

“He clearly was not suggesting a modest legislative proposal or executive order to modify or reform the organization. The total destruction of the Agency was his apparent objective.”[304]Mark Lane. Plausible Denial. (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992), p.93.

Controlling the CIA

Lane points out that Kennedy’s preliminary actions against the CIA had already been set in motion and that the president was very clearly moving toward ultimate evisceration of the agency.

“[Kennedy] dealt with the CIA through the implementation of a threepoint emergency program designed to control the agency. He fired its most culpable and powerful leaders, he appointed a high-level committee, the Cuban study group, to investigate the misdeeds of the organization so that he might determine what additional short-range limitations were required and, in the interim, he dramatically reduced the powers and jurisdiction of the Agency and established strict limits as to its future actions through National Security Action memoranda.”

“Kennedy then sought to control the Agency by sharply reducing its ability to act in the future through National Security Action Memoranda 55, 56 and 57. These documents, in theory, eliminated the ability of the CIA to wage war. The CIA would not be permitted to initiate any operation requiring greater firepower than that generated by handguns.”[305]Ibid., pp. 99-100.
(Mark Lane. Plausible Denial. (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992), p.93.)

That all of these actions upset the CIA and its allies is undoubted. One man on the scene at the time was Col. L. Fletcher Prouty, who served as liaison between the Defense Department and the CIA during the relevant period.

According to Prouty, “Nothing I had ever been involved in my entire career had created such an uproar. NSAM 55 stripped the CIA of its cherished covert operations role, except for small actions. It was an explosive document. The military-industrial complex was not pleased.”[306]Ibid., p. 100.
(Mark Lane. Plausible Denial. (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992), p.93.)

The CIA and Vietnam

However, Kennedy’s conflict with the CIA went well beyond the issue of Cuba. The burgeoning issue of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia had positioned the president at odds with the CIA even further.

By late 1963 JFK’s conflict with the CIA was in full force and although it was not the subject of heated public discussion, the word was leaking out through official and un-official channels that there was something afoot at the highest levels.

On October 3, 1963, the dean of America’s newspaper columnists, Arthur Krock, was writing frankly in the New York Times of Kennedy’s war with the CIA—a war which was intensifying over the issue of Vietnam. Krock’s front-page article, in fact, was entitled, “The Intra-Administration War in Vietnam.”

Kennedy’s Trusted Conduit

But what is so astounding about the column is that Krock quoted a high-level administration source as having suggested that if there were ever a coup d’etat in the United States, one might expect that it would be the CIA which was responsible—this just weeks before JFK was murdered.

The significance of this astounding column is that it was Arthur Krock who affixed his name to this explosive report: Krock was a longtime close friend and confidant of the Kennedy family and had even ghost-written several published works on behalf of the president’s father, Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy.

The columnist was a key Kennedy link in press circles and would have been the first and foremost choice of President Kennedy if JFK had wished to utilize the press to bring his conflict with the CIA into the public arena. As Mark Lane so aptly described the column: “This was John F. Kennedy sending out a message to the American people through his trusted conduit Arthur Krock.”[307]The Spotlight, February 17, 1992.

This column remained forgotten in the wake of the president’s assassination, but it was in 1992 that Lane surfaced the prophetic warning and began bringing it to the attention of American audiences who now had a renewed interest in the Kennedy assassination.

Out of Control

Lane described the column: “Krock pointed out that John F. Kennedy had gone to war against the CIA. He concluded that Kennedy no longer could control the CIA.

The columnist stated that President Kennedy sent Henry Cabot Lodge, his Ambassador to Vietnam, with orders to the CIA on two separate occasions and in both cases the CIA ignored those orders, saying that it was different from what the agency thought should be done. In other words, the CIA had decided that it—not the president—would make the decisions as to how American foreign policy should be conducted.”[308]Ibid.
(The Spotlight, February 17, 1992.)

Lane pointed out that a source for Krock’s column was a report filed for the Scripps-Howard newspapers by foreign correspondent Richard Starnes who had interviewed a number of high-ranking administration officials and others who expressed their concern about the CIA’s intransigence.

A CIA-Sponsored Coup D’Etat?

According to Krock’s column: “Among the views attributed to United States officials on the scene, including one described as a “very high American official… who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy… are the following:

The CIA’s growth was “likened to a malignancy” which the “very high official was not sure even the White House could control… any longer.” “If the United States ever experiences [an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the CIA and not the Pentagon.” The agency “represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.”

“Whatever else these passages disclose, they most certainly establish that representatives of other Executive branches have expanded their war against the CIA from the inner government councils to the American people via the press.

And published simultaneously are details of the agency’s operations in Vietnam that can come only from the same critical official sources. This is disorderly government. And the longer the President tolerates it—the period already is considerable—the greater the real war against the Vietcong and the impression of a very indecisive Administration in Washington.

“The CIA may be guilty as charged. Since it cannot, or at any rate will not, openly defend its record in Vietnam or defend it by the same confidential press ‘briefings’ employed by its critics, the public is not in a position to judge. Nor to this department, which sought and failed to get even the outlines of the agency’s case in rebuttal.

“But Mr. Kennedy will have to make a judgment if the spectacle of war within the Executive branch is to be ended and the effective functioning of the CIA preserved. And when he makes this judgment, hopefully he also will make it public, as well as the appraisal of fault on which it is based.

“Doubtless recommendations as to what his judgment should be were made to him today by Secretary of Defense McNamara and General Taylor on their return from their fact-finding expedition into the embattled official jungle in Saigon.”[309]Ibid.
(The Spotlight, February 17, 1992.)

It is ironic, indeed, that Krock’s column concluded with its reference to the trip by McNamara and Taylor to Southeast Asia.

For, as Col. Fletcher Prouty points out, upon their return they “reported to the President that it looked to them, after their visit to Saigon, as though things could be put under control and that we would be able to withdraw all personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1965.

“Now we can see why they chose that date,” comments Prouty. “This was the date the President had used in his own discussions with his closest advisers. They all knew that he planned to announce a pullout once he had been re-elected.”[310]L. Fletcher Prouty. The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the United States and the World. (Costa Mesa, Calif.: Institute for Historical Review, 1990), p. 416.

It was soon thereafter, however, that John F. Kennedy was indeed gone from the scene and the president’s plans for withdrawal from Vietnam, so carefully drawn, were now being reversed by the new President.

The CIA Prevails

In his book Plausible Denial, Mark Lane summarizes the events which occurred: “Just four days after the death of President Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson signed NSAM 273 that began to reverse the policy of withdrawal from Vietnam and signified the beginning of the escalation of the conflict. The CIA had prevailed. The effort in Southeast Asia was to become a massive land-based war.”

“During March, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM 288 that repudiated Kennedy’s plan to end the U.S. military participation in the war that year. In the months that followed, Johnson increased the military commitment from under 20,000 troops to approximately a quarter of a million.”[311]Lane, pp. 107-108.

“Years later… after the deaths of more than 50,000 Americans and more than a million Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians, the war finally ended with the military defeat of the United States.”[312]Ibid.
(Lane, pp. 107-108.)

However, as we have seen in Chapter 6, the war in Vietnam proved a boon to the CIA’s allies in Israel, allowing the Middle East state to flex its muscles in the region.

And in Chapter 12 we shall see that a joint CIA-Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate venture in the international drug racket out of Southeast Asia proved so very profitable, conducted under military cover in the midst of U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

The CIA and the JFK Assassination

It was not until the release of Plausible Denial that the extent of the CIA’s involvement in the JFK assassination was fully outlined. Suspicion of the CIA’s complicity was commonplace over the years, but Lane’s book proved the matter once and for all. And, significantly, his book was a written summation of a libel trial in Miami some years previously in which the jury had concluded that the CIA had indeed been involved in the JFK assassination conspiracy and cover-up.

The circumstances of how the trial came about are interesting. It was in 1978, that a Washington-based weekly newspaper, The Spotlight, published an article by former high-ranking CIA official Victor Marchetti which alleged the CIA intended to frame longtime CIA operative E. Howard Hunt for involvement in the Kennedy assassination.

Hunt, of course, was the CIA’s chief political liaison with the antiCastro Cuban community during the period leading up to the JFK assassination and who had, subsequently, over the years, been mentioned as a suspect in the assassination conspiracy.

(Hunt had organized, on the CIA’s behalf, several anti-Castro Cuban groups, including the Revolutionary Democratic Front. Hunt’s Cuban point man in the RDF, Antonio de Varona, in fact, personally received funding for the RDF from Meyer Lansky himself.)[313]Anthony Summers. Conspiracy. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980), p. 193.

Marchetti’s article suggested that there was then so much growing suspicion that the CIA had been involved in the JFK assassination that the CIA had decided that it would sacrifice Hunt and say that Hunt was a “renegade” operative involved in the president’s assassination.

Hunt a Free-Lance Operative?

However, according to Marchetti, the CIA intended to say that Hunt and his co-conspirators had been operating independently—that the CIA as an institution had not been part of the conspiracy.

Although the editors of The Spotlight felt Marchetti’s article served, if anything, as an advance warning to Hunt about what his former employers had in mind, the ex-CIA man decided to sue, even though he ultimately admitted under oath that he believed The Spotlight’s story seemed plausible. When the case finally went to trial in federal court in Miami, the newspaper suffered a devastating loss. The jury found in favor of Hunt and ordered The Spotlight to pay $650,000 in damages.

Fortunately—for The Spotlight—an error in the trial judge’s instructions to the jury gave the populist weekly grounds for an appeal. When the case was successfully appealed and ordered for retrial, Mark Lane—an attorney—stepped in for the defense.

Among the big names deposed during the Hunt case were: former CIA Director Richard Helms; former CIA Director Stansfield Turner; former CIA chief for the Western Hemisphere David Phillips; and former CIA and FBI man (and Watergate celebrity) G. Gordon Liddy. The most damning

evidence against Hunt came, however, when attorney Lane presented the deposition of former CIA operative Marita Lorenz.

Hunt, Sturgis and Ruby in Dallas

Miss Lorenz testified that one day prior to the president’s assassination she arrived in Dallas (traveling from a CIA “safe house” in Miami) in a twocar caravan. Accompanying Miss Lorenz on what she described as a secret mission were several CIA operatives, led by Miss Lorenz’ CIA “handler,” Frank Sturgis, armed with telescopic rifles. According to Miss Lorenz she had not been apprised of the purpose of the mission.

Upon arrival in Dallas, according to Miss Lorenz, they met with not only E. Howard Hunt, who was functioning as the CIA operatives’ paymaster, but also nightclub operator Jack Ruby who later executed the president’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

When Hunt himself took the stand, attorney Lane, while questioning Hunt, pointed out numerous inconsistencies in Hunt’s testimony. Hunt himself had told several stories, over the years, about where he had been on the day the president was assassinated.

It was Miss Lorenz’ testimony, however, that convinced the jury that the CIA had been involved in the Kennedy assassination. The jury found in favor of The Spotlight and dismissed Hunt’s claim.

Leslie Armstrong, a Miami resident who was jury forewoman in the case, issued a statement in conjunction with the release of Lane’s written account of the trial:

“Mr. Lane was asking us [the jury] to do something very difficult. He was asking us to believe John Kennedy had been killed by our own government. Yet when we examined the evidence closely, we were compelled to conclude that the CIA had indeed killed President Kennedy.”[314]The Spotlight, October 28, 1991. In his best-selling Plausible Denial Lane recounted this exciting trial and demonstrated other compelling evidence that he uncovered which proves that the CIA did indeed have a hand in the president’s assassination But in Chapter 16 of Final Judgment we will look more closely at the activities of both E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis, examining remarkable evidence which points further toward the involvement of the Mossad—alongside the CIA—in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The Novo Brothers

But there are other interesting connections, in the meantime, that should be explored. Lane has described how Miss Lorenz had gone even further in her testimony, naming other CIA operatives who had been in the two-car caravan organized by Frank Sturgis in which Lorenz traveled from Miami to Dallas. According to Lane, “Before Miss Lorenz testified, I asked her, Will you tell me the names of the people who traveled with you in that two-car caravan?’

“She said that she wouldn’t name names. ‘That could get me killed,’ she said. ‘Don’t ask me that question. I want you to promise me that you won’t ask me that question.’ However, ” according to Lane, “Mr. Hunt’s lawyer asked her that question and she answered it, to my surprise. She said that it was the Novo brothers.”

According to Lane, “The Novo brothers—Guillermo and Ignacio—are very interesting characters. I’ve done some research on them. I can assure you,” said Lane, “that the first time I heard their name connected with the Kennedy assassination was when Miss Lorenz gave their names to Hunt’s lawyer. She had not told me anything before that.

“After her testimony to Hunt’s lawyer, I asked Miss Lorenz, ‘Why did you tell them?’ She said—referring to Hunt, the CIA and his lawyers—’If they are so dumb as to ask me that question, then it is not my fault if I give them the answer. It’s on their heads,’ said Miss Lorenz. ‘If you had asked me, it would have been a different story. However, if the CIA—through Hunt and his lawyers—asked that question, then it’s on the record and it’s their fault, not mine.’”

The Hunt-Buckley Connection

“These Novo brothers that Miss Lorenz named have been involved in a series of intelligence related crimes. They were involved in the murder in Washington, D.C. in 1976 of former Chilean government official Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffit, a woman who was with him. A man named Michael Townley who was connected with the Chilean secret police was involved in planning the Letelier murder with the Novo brothers. When Townley was indicted, he testified against the Novos.

“Townley was questioned by the FBI who asked Townley to show them where in New York City he had his first meeting with the Novos. Townley pointed out a building at 500 Fifth Avenue and showed the FBI the office on the 41st floor where the first meeting was held.”[315]The Spotlight, February 17, 1992. According to Lane, research indicated that the meeting was held in the office of then-U.S. Sen. James Buckley (C-N.Y.). Now a federal judge on the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Buckley is the brother of former CIA operative and conservative fortnightly National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr.

(E. Howard Hunt was William F. Buckley’s immediate superior in the CIA during the period that the two served together in the CIA in Mexico for nine months in the period of 1951-52.)

According to Lane, “The testimony by Townley made reference to a William Sampol who worked in James Buckley’s office. Sampol was a cousin of the Novo brothers.”[316]Ibid.
(The Spotlight, February 17, 1992.)

Lane points out that the murder of Letelier took place during the time that George Bush was director of the CIA: “There is evidence that Bush was given information that indicated that the Chilean government was responsible for the murder of Letelier. However, Bush gave information to selected friends in the news media the story that Letelier was killed by his own supporters who wanted to make him [Letelier] a martyr.

According to Lane, “It was William F. Buckley, Jr. who took that story from Bush and ran with it. The media followed Buckley’s lead, but the story turned out not to be true.” (In Chapter 20, as we shall see, it was George Bush who, in many ways, had very close connections to a number of the key players in the strange netherworld of international intelligence as it is linked to the JFK assassination.)

As Lane points out: “The Novos were both convicted of the Letelier murder and sentenced to prison. These are the brothers that Marita Lorenz testified were in the two-car caravan of killers traveling from Miami to Dallas for the purpose of assassinating President Kennedy.”[317]Ibid.
(The Spotlight, February 17, 1992.)

Multiple Mossad Connections

Evidence now available from former Mossad operative Victor Ostrovsky suggests that Israel’s Mossad, in fact, was indirectly connected with the Letelier assassination for which the Novo brothers (implicated in the JFK assassination) were later convicted.

(It was Ostrovsky, coincidentally enough, whom we learned in Chapter 2, had exposed a Mossad plot to assassinate the former director of the CIA, George Bush, after Bush, serving as U.S. President, ran afoul of Israel.) According to Ostrovsky, commenting on the Letelier murder: “Nobody pointed the finger at the Mossad. And while the Mossad had no direct involvement in the hit ordered by Chilean DINA [secret police] Chief Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, it had played a significant indirect role in the execution through a secret deal with Contreras to buy a French-made Exocet surface-to-surface naval missile from Chile.

“The death squad didn’t use Mossad personnel in killing Letelier but they certainly used Mossad know-how, taught to them as part of the deal Contreras made to supply the missile.”[318]Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy. By Way of Deception: The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer. (New York: St. Martin’s press, 1990), pp. 217-218. It was the Novo brothers, however, who took the fall and served time in prison. No Mossad agents, however, were charged with the crime.

It is interesting to note, nonetheless, that Michael Townley himself had very interesting further connections with Israel. His wife, Ines, although a Chilean Christian, had spent time on an Israeli Kibbutz with her first husband, and maintained a long-standing “devotion to the cause of Israel.”[319]John Dinges and Saul Landau. Assassination on Embassy Row. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), pp. 98-99. Part of Townley’s deal with the federal prosecutors, in the case of the Novo brothers, involved a plea bargain in which his wife received immunity from prosecution, although she had been implicated in various terrorist enterprises alongside her husband.[320]Ibid., p. 396.
(John Dinges and Saul Landau. Assassination on Embassy Row. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), pp. 98-99.)

However, Townley’s other connection with Israel is far more significant, particularly in the context of our discussion of his connection with the Cuban Americans who have been implicated in the JFK assassination. During Townley’s long career as an international adventurer, he served—apparently during the period from 1961-1966—as a mutual funds salesman for financier Bernard Cornfeld’s Investors’ Overseas Service (JOS)[321]Ibid., pp. 96-97.
(John Dinges and Saul Landau. Assassination on Embassy Row. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), pp. 98-99.)
It was in Chapter 7 that we first came across the IOS, in examining the relationship of Meyer Lansky’s Organized Crime Syndicate to the Israeli Mossad-linked Banque De Credit International (BCI).

Tibor Rosenbaum’s Protege

During the criminal trial in 1970 of one of Lansky’s Florida lieutenants, Alvin Malnik, it was publicly revealed that one of the key money laundering channels for the illegal proceeds of Lansky’s narcotics, vice and gambling rackets was BCI, the brainchild of the Israeli Mossad’s former Director-General for Finance and Supply, Tibor Rosenbaum Rosenbaum’s BCI received its Lansky Crime Syndicate cash flow mainly through the Lansky-controlled Bank of World Commerce in Nassau, Bahamas. The middleman was a young Swiss, Sylvain Ferdmann, a courier for Lansky.

Ferdmann was not only an official of Rosenbaum’s bank, and an associate of the Bank of World Commerce (controlled by Lansky’s longtime crony, John Pullman) but—like Michael Townley himself—also a legman for Investors Overseas Services (IOS).

Townley’s employer, Cornfeld, in fact, was initially sponsored by Rosenbaum who had emerged as a major money launderer for Lansky’s global drug trafficking. Millions in small bills were transferred from Lansky’s casinos, often masked as Israeli Bond sales and contributions to Jewish philanthropies through BCI and the IOS.

It is thus interesting, to say the least, that Michael Townley, with his Israeli Mossad connections during not only the period of the JFK assassination but also during his participation in the Letelier murder, should be associated with the Novo brothers who have been implicated in both crimes themselves.

That former New York Senator James Buckley’s office should have, perhaps by coincidence, served as the meeting place where the Letelier assassination was planned is also interesting. As we’ve noted already, E. Howard Hunt (himself implicated in the JFK assassination) and Buckley’s brother, publisher (and Hunt’s ex-CIA support staffer) William F. Buckley, Jr. were longtime friends stemming from their CIA days.

Hunt’s own longtime intrigue with the Cuban American community in anti-Castro activities as the CIA’s chief liaison with the Cubans, of course, has long been widely noted.

The Buckley-Israel Connection

However, what is not so widely known is that the Buckley family— including brothers James and William—had substantive links to Israel through their various family oil enterprises. In 1971 the Washington Observer newsletter shed some interesting light on the Buckley family oil concessions in Israel, established by Buckley’s father.

Buckley, Sr. incorporated Pan-Israel Oil Co (headquartered in Jerusalem) with Buckley, Sr. as president. Directors of the company included several Israelis. Simultaneously, Israel-Mediterranean Petroleum, Inc. was incorporated under the laws of Panama. The principal offices of the firm were in Jerusalem at the same address where Pan-Israel Oil Co. was located. James L. Buckley was one of the vice presidents. All of the voting stock for the two companies was held in the voting trust. No members of the Buckley family, however, held votes. The voting trustees had Jewish names.

Pan-Israel and Israel-Mediterranean jointly owned eight petroleum licenses, all located in Israel. The two companies also owned Mana Oil Distributors and Tri-Continent Drilling Co., a subsidiary of the Pantepec Oil Company (later absorbed by Pantepec International Petroleum, Ltd.).

President of PIP, Ltd. was John W. Buckley who, with his brother James L. Buckley, served on the board of directors. These companies, together conducted global operations with oil properties in Australia, South America, Canada, Libya, Spanish Sahara, the Philippines and Israel.[322]Washington Observer, November 1, 1971.

That the Hunt- and CIA-linked Buckley family should also be so closely tied to the Novo brothers, implicated in both the JFK and Orlando Letelier assassinations is intriguing.

More so, perhaps, because the Novo brothers’ associate in the Letelier assassination—at least—was himself intimately tied to the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and an Israeli Mossad-sponsored money laundering operation.

Incredibly enough, however, there is yet another bizarre Buckley family link to a key player in the strange world of JFK’s alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The Buckley-DeMohrenschildt Connection

This link came in the person of the colorful Russian nobleman, George DeMohrenschildt, who befriended Oswald upon the young American’s return from exile (some would say “CIA service”) in the Soviet Union. DeMohrenschildt, who is reputed to have worked for various international intelligence agencies, had a long-standing relationship with the CIA, dating back to the days of the CIA’s predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), in which, incidentally, E. Howard Hunt himself had served.[323]Jim Marrs. Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy. (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1989), p. 200.

The European nobleman, however, traveled around the globe primarily in his capacity as an oil engineer. It was in this guise that he came into contact with the Buckley family. As early as 1945 DeMohrenschildt worked directly under Warren Smith, then the president of the Pantepec Oil Co., the Buckley family’s Mexican oil company, established in 1914. DeMohrenschildt and Smith eventually formed the Cuban-Venezuelan Oil Trust Co. The Buckley Family’s Pantepec, interestingly enough, had, by that time, already shifted its focus to Venezuela.[324]Michael Canfield and Alan J. Weberman. Coup d’etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. (New York: The Third Press, 1975), p. 29.

Despite all these more tenuous Buckley links, there is, however, firm evidence of a link between the Buckleys and DeMohrenschildt. It turns out that in DeMohrenschildt’s address book is listed one “Buckley, W.F.”[325]John Loftus and Mark Aarons. The Secret War Against the Jews. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p. 599.

DeMohrenschildt and Hunt

DeMohrenschildt’s career also seems to have intersected on a regular basis with that of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s friend and CIA mentor, E. Howard Hunt. Both Hunt and DeMohrenschildt had worked for the Agency for International Development (AID); Hunt for the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA), a subsidiary of AID and DeMohrenschildt in the late 1950′s for the International Cooperation Administration, the AID subsidiary which was the successor to the ECA.

Hunt and DeMohrenschildt also both popped up in Cuba in 1956 in the stormy period before Fidel Castro pushed the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate off the island. While DeMohrenschildt said later that he was there on oil business, Hunt was attending a meeting of CIA station chiefs from the Caribbean and Central American regions.

In 1960 both Hunt and DeMohrenschildt also appeared in Guatemala when troops were being trained there for what was ultimately to be the Bay of Pigs debacle, initially intended for the purpose of toppling Castro. DeMohrenschildt said that he and his wife were on a walking tour of Central America. Hunt, however, was serving as the CIA’s liaison with anti-Castro Cuban groups.[326]Ibid., pp. 29-30.
(John Loftus and Mark Aarons. The Secret War Against the Jews. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), p. 599.)

By 1963, however, DeMohrenschildt had settled in Dallas and had befriended Lee Harvey Oswald who by this time, was mixing easily with the anti-Castro Cuban elements that were directly under the thumb of the CIA’s chief liaison with those forces—E. Howard Hunt.

The role of DeMohrenschildt in the JFK assassination conspiracy will probably never be known. In the end, the globe-hopping nobleman died (ostensibly by his own hand) on the morning of March 29, 1977 just shortly before he was scheduled to meet with an investigator of the House Select Committee on Assassinations. DeMohrenschildt’s wife believed her husband’s suicide had somehow been induced.

Whatever the case, there is yet another bizarre coincidence, DeMohrenschildt had just met—before his death—with author Edward Jay Epstein. In Chapter 8, as we saw, it was Epstein who was the primary literary promoter of the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald was under Soviet influence when he assassinated John F. Kennedy. The primary source for Epstein’s theory was Israel’s CIA ally, James Jesus Angleton.

The CIA and the OAS

It was during the same period of JFK’ s war with the CIA that the CIA was actively engaged in an effort to topple French President Charles DeGaulle, lending aid and support to the Israeli-backed French Secret Army Organization (OAS) that was fighting DeGaulle’s decision to grant independence to Algeria.

Although the Church Senate Committee hearings on clandestine CIA activities later concluded that there had been no CIA involvement with the OAS,[327]Alistair Horne. A Savage War of Peace. (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 498. there is very strong evidence to the contrary.

General Maurice Challe, former commander in chief of French forces in Algeria and leader of the military revolt against DeGaulle in April of 1961, emerged as one of the key figures in the OAS. Although Challe insisted that he “‘had no contact personally with any foreign countries’ and that in fact he had deliberately avoided all such contacts so as not to incur any possible charge of having been brought in on foreign bayonets.

“Nevertheless,” according to historian Alistair Horne, “some of [Challe's] subordinates appear to have made informal, and highly tentative, soundings with representatives of various countries that might be considered sympathetic, among them Portugal, Spain, Israel and South Africa.”[328]Ibid., p. 445.
(Alistair Horne. A Savage War of Peace. (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 498.)

“Rumors of clandestine United States involvement ran extremely strong in France. Undeniably, during his time at NATO headquarters the popular Challe did make firm friends of a number of high-ranking United States generals who made no secret of their aversion to what DeGaulle was doing to NATO, going so far—over a plethora of Scotch—as to express enthusiasm for anyone who might rid France of her turbulent president, or, at least, force him to change his tune.”[329]Ibid., pp. 445-446.
(Alistair Horne. A Savage War of Peace. (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 498.)

“There were also rumors that the CIA had promised Challe United States recognition if they succeeded—in order to keep the communists out of North Africa. Any hopes, however, that all this may have engendered in the bosom of the conspiracy were to be swiftly dashed when [John F. Kennedy's] Ambassador to Paris, General James M. Gavin, firmly assured DeGaulle that if any rebels attempted to land on French bases where there were American troops, these would at once open fire.”[330]Ibid., p. 447.
(Alistair Horne. A Savage War of Peace. (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 498.)

There is further evidence that the CIA was engaged in intrigue with the OAS. According to historian Alexander Harrison, “In early December 1961, a ‘Colonel Brown’ of the CIA station in France requested a meeting with [OAS leader General Raoul] Salan. Brown offered Salan enough weaponry to equip an army of 50,000 men.”[331]Alexander Harrison. Challenging DeGaulle: The OAS and the Counterrevolution in Algeria. (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1989), p. 70.

Although some have speculated that the purported CIA operatives were not, in fact, really with the CIA, General Salan himself said, “I was sure they were serious, because they knew all the right people, and their credentials were perfect.” In fact, in the end, some arms were indeed delivered.[332]Alistair Horne. A Savage War of Peace. (Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1977), p. 498. So there really is no question, really, that the CIA was indeed covertly supporting the OAS in its war against DeGaulle.

We do know that during this same time frame, the CIA did have one liaison, at least, to the OAS. He was E. Howard Hunt, the agency’s political handler for the anti-Castro Cuban exiles.

In Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we will examine Hunt’s OAS connections further, particularly as they relate to the key players involved in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The OAS and ‘Israel’s Friends in France’

One of the few American conservatives to recognize the strange dynamics between DeGaulle and the CIA was Dan Smoot, who commented perceptively as early as 1958 that: “In the current liberal-internationalist smear of DeGaulle, the lefties hammer that DeGaulle is anti-American; but they never tell why.”[333]Dan Smoot. “DeGaulle and the CIA.” The American Mercury. October 1958. He pointed out that DeGaulle was angry about CIA support for the anti-DeGaulle left in France, and commented that largely DeGaulle was more, instead “anti-CIA, which is something else again.”[334]Ibid.
(Dan Smoot. “DeGaulle and the CIA.” The American Mercury. October 1958.)
He added, “The New York Times was almost hysterical about DeGaulle coming to power—You can understand why.”[335]Ibid.
(Dan Smoot. “DeGaulle and the CIA.” The American Mercury. October 1958.)

In fact, during this time of CIA intrigue against DeGaulle, it is worth noting that the aforementioned OAS leaders—Salan and Challe—among many others “were known as Israel’s friends in France,”[336]Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. The Israeli Connection—Who Israel Arms and Why. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987), p. 220. according to Israeli historian Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi.

Ultimately, Israel rewarded Challe for his efforts. After Challe was released from prison in 1967, having been convicted of his involvement in attempting to topple DeGaulle, Challe was hired by Zim, the Israeli shipping concern,[337]Ibid.
(Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. The Israeli Connection—Who Israel Arms and Why. (New York: Pantheon Books, 1987), p. 220.)
part of the international corporate empire of one of the Mossad’s most valued assets, billionaire Shaul Eisenberg, whose enterprises were an integral part of the economy of the state of Israel itself.

We first met Eisenberg in Chapter 7 where we learned of his partnership, along with Mossad officer Tibor Rosenbaum, in the SwissIsrael Trade Bank. But we will learn much more about Eisenberg and his ventures on behalf of Israel’s drive for a nuclear arsenal later in these pages. More importantly, however, we will see how Eisenberg’s activities tie directly into the JFK assassination—a story that has never been told before.

That Israel and its allies in the CIA would be conspiring against Charles DeGaulle during the same period when they were likewise conspiring against John F. Kennedy, as we shall see, is quite significant indeed.

Three Powerful Forces

All of these connections illustrate the cycle which continually links key players in the international intrigue between not only the CIA and the Israeli Mossad, but also the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate—three powerful forces all of which desired the removal of John F. Kennedy from the White House.

Chapter Ten • Little Man’s Little Man • 5,700 Words
Meyer Lansky & Carlos Marcello—Did the Mafia Kill JFK?

Meyer Lansky’s Louisiana front-man, Carlos Marcello, has become a favorite target for JFK assassination researchers who like to claim that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”

The fact is that Marcello’s most formidable chief accuser, G. Robert Blakey, staff director of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, had been on the payroll of a key figure in the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.

Marcello was only one cog in the Lansky Syndicate. His key placement in New Orleans—scene of much of the preassassination planning—makes him the perfect fall guy. Marcello also had ties to Israel’s allies in the CIA. There’s a lot more to the Marcello story than meets the eye.

It was Lee Harvard Oswald’s pathetic cry, “I’m just a patsy,” that has become immortalized. Ironically, though, one of the most widely alleged JFK assassination masterminds—New Orleans’ widely-publicized supposed “crime boss”—might himself be able to make that same claim. We are speaking, of course, of the colorful Carlos Marcello—nicknamed “Little Man”—a sobriquet he happened to share with Meyer Lansky.

Blaming Marcello

One book, John W. Davis’s Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, names Marcello as the likely mastermind of the JFK murder. Standing alone, with no further evidence such as that we have cited in the pages of Final Judgment, in this chapter and elsewhere, Davis’ contention seems reasonable. But, as we’ve said, his conclusions are not based on the totality of all the evidence available to those who are interested in the big picture.

Distorting the Truth

David Scheim, writing in Contract on America: The Mafia Murder of President John F. Kennedy, likewise blames “the Mafia” for the JFK assassination and also points the finger at Carlos Marcello in particular. For whatever reason, however, Scheim is devoted to underplaying (even ignoring) the critical role of Meyer Lansky in the underworld.

In Scheim’s view, Lansky was little more than a bit player—this in direct contradiction to even standard histories of organized crime which, by virtue of reality, are forced to recognize Lansky’s particular influence.

Scheim, in fact, goes to great lengths to suggest that Lansky was of little consequence in the whole scheme of things. He writes: “The late syndicate financier Meyer Lansky could take no action without the approval of Mafia superiors.”[338]David E. Scheim. Contract on America: The Mafia Murder of President John F. Kennedy. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., 1988), p. 120. This is simply not true in any sense whatsoever. That Scheim even suggests this indicates that he is determined to ignore the entire picture.

Scheim notes, incorrectly, that Lansky’s alleged “Mafia superiors” kept him under constant surveillance through one Jimmy “Blue Eyes” Alo whom Scheim describes as a “caporegime” in the Genovese Mafia family out of New York.[339]Ibid.
(David E. Scheim. Contract on America: The Mafia Murder of President John F. Kennedy. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., 1988), p. 120.)
Alo was indeed closely associated with Lansky, but, in fact, was not only a close personal friend, but also a working partner. He was not, contrary to Scheim’s bizarre concoction, a Mafia handler of Meyer Lansky.

Clay Shaw and the CIA

Scheim’s own determination to ignore the role of the intelligence community in the JFK assassination conspiracy—particularly that of the CIA—is also interesting. In his book Scheim goes to great lengths to portray New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison as a tool of the Mafia and an associate of Carlos Marcello. He also comes down hard on Garrison’s investigation of international businessman Clay Shaw.

According to Scheim, “Equally bizarre was Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw, who became his prime culprit. A retired director of the New Orleans International Trade Mart, Shaw was a soft-spoken liberal who devoted most of his time to restoring homes in the Old French Quarter.”[340]Ibid. , p.48.
(David E. Scheim. Contract on America: The Mafia Murder of President John F. Kennedy. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., 1988), p. 120.)

What Scheim fails to note—and what he could not miss inasmuch as he is self-portrayed as a longtime JFK assassination researcher—is that Shaw was, indeed, involved with the CIA.

Ignoring the Facts

This was a fact well known among JFK assassination researchers at the time Scheim’s book went to press. There is simply no rational excuse for Scheim’s deliberate deletion of this critical fact.

Be that as it may, in Chapter 15 we shall examine Shaw’s central positioning in the conspiracy that involved not only the CIA and the Mafia and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate, but also Israel’s Mossad.

Obviously, in order to perpetuate the myth that “The Mafia Killed JFK,” Scheim is forced to avoid the facts that damage his thesis. And this is precisely what he has done.

Scheim’s own book (and the aforementioned work by John W. Davis) both rely heavily on a previously-released work, The Plot to Kill the President: Organized Crime Assassinated JFK by G. Robert Blakey and Richard N. Billings.

(Scheim’s book, in fact, is hardly more than a re-write of much of the same material and, actually, constitutes little more than a history of the Mafia, available in many standard sources. Scheim’s book, all in all, fails miserably in its attempt to lay the blame anywhere for that matter.

(And in light of the facts that we are uncovering in the pages of Final Judgment it is probably worth noting that Scheim’s publisher, Shapolsky Publishers, is an affiliate of an Israeli-owned company—a fact that could perhaps have something to do with the decision to promote a book pinning the assassination of JFK on “the Mafia.”)

That Scheim and Davis relied upon the Blakey/Billings work is unfortunate, particularly since this book comes from what can only be charitably described as suspect sources.

Blakey, of course, was director of the House Assassinations Committee which concluded that there had probably been a conspiracy behind the president’s assassination and that, more than likely, elements of the “Mafia” may have been been involved.

Sabotaging Garrison

Richard Billings, who served alongside Blakey in the House Committee investigation, was no stranger to the JFK assassination conspiracy. In fact, Billings had been the Life magazine editor who led a team from his magazine to New Orleans ostensibly to collaborate with then District Attorney Jim Garrison in his investigation into the JFK murder.

Garrison notes, however, that Life, instead, did just the opposite. Life ran several major articles which linked Garrison to organized crime—to the Mafia—to Carlos Marcello, specifically, thereby discrediting Garrison to many who believed the tales.[341]Jim Garrison. On the Trail of the Assassins (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1988), p. 163-164.

As a consequence when Blakey and Billings teamed up to write the book based on their experiences with the House Assassinations Committee, they reserved harsh criticism for Garrison and suggested that he was pointing the finger, wrongly, at the intelligence community and, in effect covering up for Marcello’s involvement in the crime.

Billings, it also just happens, was an in-law of C. D. Jackson, the publisher of Life magazine whom investigative journalist Carl Bernstein has described as “[Life owner] Henry Luce’s personal emissary to the CIA.”[342]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 55. Billings also—perhaps not coincidentally—played a recurring role in Life‘s coverage of CIA-backed Cuban exile raids on Castro’s Cuba.

Organized Crime ‘Expert’

So it was that Blakey and Billings’ work put much emphasis on Marcello as having been one of the prime movers in the conspiracy. Yet, Blakey’s allegations about the role of “the Mafia” can only be described as suspect, to say the very least. There’s much more to the story as we will see.

A professor of law and the director of the Notre Dame University Institute on Organized Crime, Blakey is often loudly trumpeted by the media as one of the nation’s leading authorities on “the Mafia.” Previously a special prosecutor in the Justice Department under then-Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Blakey is the author of the famous Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) statute that has become a major tool in federal organized crime prosecutions.

Thus it is that Blakey’s conclusions about the role of “the Mafia” (and specifically Carlos Marcello) in the JFK assassination conspiracy have received widespread recognition and credibility. However, just two years before he was named director of the House Assassinations Committee, Blakey had a different relationship with organized crime: he had been on the payroll of a top figure in the Lansky Syndicate.

Blakey’s Lansky Connection

After Penthouse magazine had published an article alleging that the La Costa Country Club in Carlsbad, California was linked to the underworld, several of La Costa’s founders filed a lawsuit against Penthouse. One of the plaintiffs in the La Costa case was Morris “Moe” Dalitz, a former Detroit and Cleveland bootlegger-turned-Las Vegas casino boss, who had longstanding and close personal and business ties with Meyer Lansky.

Brought in as part of Dalitz’s legal team was Robert Blakey himself. This was certainly an unusual position for a self-promoted “crime fighter” such as Blakey. The longtime crime fighter, in fact, provided an affidavit on Dalitz’s behalf against Penthouse.[343]Mark Lane. Plausible Denial. (New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1991), p. 34.

Blakey’s employer Dalitz was very much an integral part of the Lansky Syndicate. In Chapter 4 we learned that it was the notorious “Purple Gang” in Detroit that had put out a contract on the life of Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, father of the future president, during Prohibition for interfering in their “territory.” Kennedy, as we saw, made contact with Chicago Mafia chieftain Sam Giancana who intervened on the elder Kennedy’s behalf, convincing the Purple Gang to cancel the proposed “hit.” At that time, in fact, one of the key leaders of the Purple Gang was none other than Moe Dalitz, an up-and-coming mob figure.

Dalitz, Siegel and Lansky

According to FBI organized crime expert William Roemer, “Moe Dalitz started his criminal career way back in the Prohibition Era. He had been one of the admirals in ‘the Little Jewish Navy’ in Detroit when, as a rumrunner, he ferried booze across the Detroit River from Canada to quench the thirst of the many Motor City citizens who were eager to taste the whiskey, wine, and beer forbidden by the ‘Noble Experiment.’”[344]William Roemer. War of the Godfathers.(New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1990), p. 53. This was the beginning of a long, lasting, close working relationship between Lansky, “the chairman of the board of organized crime” and Morris Dalitz.

In fact, according to Roemer, it was Dalitz who was the prime mover behind the Syndicate’s move against Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel, Lansky’s boyhood friend and fellow racketeer who was shot dead in 1947.

According to Roemer, it was Lansky who sent Dalitz to Las Vegas to inquire into the activities of Ben Siegel. Dalitz, reports Roemer, “was the main contributor to the growing opinion that everything was not on the up and up. His report was the major reason why Lansky, [Frank] Costello, et al, made their report to the [organized crime] assembly in Havana in December 1946 and later in June when it was finally decided to chop Bugsy.”[345]Ibid., p. 55.
(William Roemer. War of the Godfathers.(New York: Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1990), p. 53.)

In Chapter 13 we shall review the Lansky-Siegel connection further and examine the bizarre role that the colorful thug, Mickey Cohen, Siegel’s successor as Lansky’s West Coast henchman, played in Israel’s intrigues against JFK and in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

In fact, as a direct consequence of Seigel’s assassination, Dalitz stepped in as Lansky’s official liaison in Las Vegas, becoming the so-called “godfather of Las Vegas.” However, it would be nearly thirty years later that Robert Blakey, the chief proponent of the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK” would end up on Morris Dalitz’s team, proclaiming Dalitz innocent of any mob connections and directing attention away from any direct Lansky connections to the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Unfortunately for Blakey, Dalitz and La Costa, Penthouse prevailed and beat back their libel suit and, in effect, repudiated Blakey’s character reference on behalf of Dalitz and his associates.

So it was that the chief proponent of the theory that “the Mafia Killed JFK” had lined up in defense of one of Meyer Lansky’s closest associates— Moe Dalitz, a legendary figure in the underworld himself.

Some seven months after Blakey and the House Assassinations Committee issued their report that “The Mafia Killed JFK”—a report that carefully and studiously ignored Lansky’s high-level influence over “the Mafia”—the Wall Street Journal reported in September of 1979 that Dalitz had long been identified by federal authorities as an ongoing senior advisor to organized crime.[346]Wm. Pepper. Orders to Kill. (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1995), p. 63. This time Dalitz did not bring a libel suit.

Israel Honors Dalitz

Dalitz’ public image, however, did not suffer as a consequence of the Penthouse victory in the libel suit or as a result of the report in the Wall Street Journal. Instead, in 1983 the aging mob figure and Las Vegas “philanthropist” was honored by the pro-Israel Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith with its prestigious “Torch of Liberty Award.”

Evidently the ADL did not see any problem with giving its highest honor to one of the top leaders of organized crime. Dalitz’s service to the cause of Israel was apparently deemed more significant than his activities in the underworld. And Dalitz was indeed an active supporter of Israel’s cause.

In fact, Dalitz himself was the key mid-West contact for the Sonneborn Institute—the Israeli arms smuggling entity—that we first encountered in Chapter 7 where we examined the long-standing ties of the Lansky Syndicate to Israel. So we can certainly understand why the ADL would be so eager to award Dalitz for his services.

In Chapter 17 we shall examine the immense influence that the ADL itself has on the American news media. We shall also see one instance of how a longtime ADL collaborator floated a “new” theory about the JFK assassination—a widely-publicized cover story that seems to have been orchestrated by Israel’s friends at the CIA.

For his own part, Dalitz’s defender, Robert Blakey, clearly prefers to look at the Italian elements of the underworld, but no further. As we saw in Chapter 7 (and which we will discuss further in this chapter and elsewhere) the differences between “the Mafia” and organized crime as a whole are far more profound that Blakey would allow us to imagine.

Blakey and the CIA

Blakey, likewise, has refused to acknowledge the role of American intelligence, specifically the CIA, in the JFK assassination. No wonder then that prominent JFK assassination researchers such as Mark Lane, writing in Plausible Denial, and Jim Marrs, writing in Crossfire—among many others—have commented critically on Blakey’s close relationship with the CIA during the period of the House Assassinations Committee investigation. In his own book, Conspiracy, Anthony Summers documents—in frightening detail—the CIA’s subversion of the House investigation which, it appears, was aided and abetted by Blakey himself

Blakey himself did nothing to allay the suspicions of his critics by first clearing his own book with the CIA. The concluding paragraph of Blakey’s book—which another JFK assassination researcher, Carl Oglesby, caustically remarked should have appeared on the opening pages rather than buried at the end of the book—read as follows:

“Pursuant to agreement with the Select Committee on Assassinations, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation reviewed this book in manuscript form to determine that the classified information it contained had been properly released for publication and that no informant was identified. Neither the CIA nor the FBI warrants the factual material or endorses the views expressed.”[347]G. Robert Blakey & Richard N. Billings. The Plot to Kill the President: Organized Crime Assassinated JFK—The Definitive Story. (New York: Times Books, 1981), p. 401.

Thus, while Blakey was busy pointing the finger at Carlos Marcello and away from the CIA and its allies in the Israeli Mossad, the facts about the Lansky-Marcello relationship belie Blakey’s claim that “the Mafia” was the driving force in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Louisiana Front Man

The fact remains that whatever role Carlos Marcello or any of his underlings played in either the JFK assassination or the cover-up, Marcello was nothing more than a front-man for the “boss of all bosses”—Israel’s longtime patron, Meyer Lansky himself. Marcello was indeed, Little Man’s Little Man. Lansky was, in fact, much, much bigger—in terms of power and influence—than Carlos Marcello would ever be, Marcello’s fame and reputation notwithstanding.

To understand the fatal flaws in the Davis, Scheim, Blakey-Billings theories—and to underscore the thesis of Final Judgment—it is vital to remember this all-important fact.

Interestingly, Davis himself makes clear that Marcello was, in fact, a protégé of Lansky. The author does not, however, place the significant emphasis on Lansky’s superiority over Marcello that must be made in presenting any theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”

For the full story of the Lansky-Marcello relationship we are indebted to Hank Messick, the fearless investigative reporter who specialized in Organized Crime coverage. In his biography of Meyer Lansky, Messick described how Lansky picked Marcello out of relative obscurity and set up Louisiana’s supposed “Mafia boss” in business. Messick told how Lansky (through his partner and longtime associate Frank Costello) first moved into Louisiana.

Under heat from New York reform Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, Lansky and Costello had decided that New Orleans was an ideal location to relocate their slot machine operations. Costello met in New York with thenLouisiana Governor Huey Long who agreed to open up his state to Organized Crime.

Lansky-Costello associate “Dandy Phil” Kastel was sent in to take charge of the project. However, it was Lansky himself who went to New Orleans to cut the final deal with Long. The two met at the Roosevelt Hotel which was owned by a mutual crony, Seymour Weiss.[348]Hank Messick, Lansky. (New York: Berkley Medallion Books, 1971), pp. 82-83.

(This was not the first meeting between Lansky and Long, however. The two had first met at the 1932 Democratic Convention in Chicago which nominated then-New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt for president. It was during that brokered convention that Lansky bribes, along with Long’s support, enabled FDR to win his party’s nomination. Lansky’s longtime associate and primary link to the Italian underworld, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, described that momentous meeting in his historic posthumously-published memoirs.)[349]Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), pp. 156-157.

The Long-Lansky Deal

It was during their second fateful meeting that Long and Lansky cut a deal which sealed their fates irrevocably and which, in fact, ultimately led to Long’s untimely demise at the hands of an assassin. Here was the deal: in return for allowing Lansky’s syndicate to operate in Louisiana, Long agreed to take a $20,000 monthly kickback. Lansky’s slot machines were installed by a company chartered for “charitable contributions.” However, out of the first $800,000 made by Lansky and his cronies in New Orleans, widows and orphans got exactly $600.[350]Messick, Ibid.
(Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), pp. 156-157.)

This cozy arrangement between Lansky’s Organized Crime syndicate and Huey Long’s powerful Louisiana political machine made possible the rise of Carlos Marcello. Lansky biographer Messick described the origins and nature of the Lansky-Marcello relationship as follows: “Lansky was smart enough, however, to recognize that even the innovation of slot machines which paid off in mints as well as cash would not suffice forever. [Lansky's] brother Jake was listed as an officer of the Louisiana Mint Company, the new outfit controlling the slots, but something more was needed.

“In the Algiers section of New Orleans, across the Mississippi, he found Carlos Marcello. Born in Tunis, he had come to New Orleans in 1910 and made a living in a variety of ways, none of them successful. Nor had he bothered to become a U.S. citizen.

“Lansky gave Marcello a franchise for the Algiers section, allowing him to keep two-thirds of the slot profit. By 1940 he had 250 machines in operation and proved himself as an efficient businessman. Later he was given a piece of the plush Beverly Club, the biggest rug joint (a posh gambling casino) in the area and at that time second to the Beverly Hills Club outside Newport, Kentucky.”[351]Ibid., pp. 86-87.
(Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), pp. 156-157.)

Marcello Took the Heat

Messick’s concluding comments regarding the Lansky-Marcello relationship, however, are probably the most significant: “As a front man, Marcello worked out perfectly. In years to come he was touted as the Mafia boss of Louisiana—despite his birth in Tunis—and resisted all efforts to deport or jail him.

“With all the heat on Marcello, the role of Lansky was almost forgotten—exactly what Meyer wanted. Ultimately, Lansky was able to shift Kastel to Las Vegas and leave Marcello and Weiss to run New Orleans.”[352]Ibid., p. 87.
(Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), pp. 156-157.)

“Meyer Lansky once explained why he left New Orleans to Marcello and others to run. ‘There was just too frigging much to do elsewhere,’ he said.”[353]Ibid.
(Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), pp. 156-157.)

As Messick elaborated even further, if only to drive home the point: Even Marcello’s famous Beverly Club was not, in reality, Marcello’s personal fiefdom. According to Messick, “Costello and Kastel were partners, Marcello had a small piece, but Lansky was the real boss.”[354]Ibid., p. 129.
(Martin A. Gosch & Richard Hammer. The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano. (Boston: Little Brown & Company, 1974), pp. 156-157.)

Aaron Cohn, who was director of the New Orleans Crime Commission, lends credence to Messick’s analysis of the relationship. According to Cohn, “The Commission had long been suspicious of the massiveness of Marcello’s holdings—which were much too large to be controlled by a single don—even one as powerful as Marcello.”[355]Robert D. Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. (Santa Monica: CA: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 16. Marcello, in short, was indeed fronting for Meyer Lansky.

All of this, of course, taken together, sheds a more accurate light on the truth about the Lansky connection and Carlos Marcello.

Lansky, Marcello & The CIA

There is also evidence that Marcello was working directly with the CIA in at least one other sphere of influence that also links Lansky, whose own connections with American intelligence we examined in Chapter 7 and which we will examine further in Chapter 11, Chapter 12 and Chapter 14.

According to Sam and Chuck Giancana, in their biography of Chicago Mafia boss, Sam Giancana, “Marcello was a co-conspirator with the CIA in gunrunning operations and a fervent supporter of the anti-Castro exiles. It was an arrangement [Giancana] said more than once, aimed at returning Cuba to its pre-Castro glory—meaning its lucrative casinos and vice rackets.”[356]Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 298.

But there was another realm in which the Lansky-CIA-Marcello nexus had a close working relationship: the illicit traffic in narcotics. The Senate Committee on Government Operations report to the 88th Congress on “Organized Crime and Illicit Traffic in Narcotics” had pinpointed New Orleans—at that time—as having been the key distribution point for drugs coming into the United States.

Most observers believe that one of Marcello’s “legitimate” businesses, a shrimp-boat operation, was, in fact, part of the drug-smuggling—and gunrunning—network.

(In Chapter 12 we shall see, in fact, that Lansky was the prime mover behind that drug network working in conjunction with the CIA.)

Needless to say, Marcello’s central positioning in New Orleans made it such that it was inevitable that the Mafia chieftain would have an inside track to gaining first-hand knowledge about developments—at least in New Orleans—in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Marcello, Ferrie, Banister & The CIA

After all, Marcello’s personal pilot was CIA contract agent David Ferrie, (now widely known as a result of his portrayal in Oliver Stone’s Hollywood extravaganza, JFK). Ferrie’s still-undetermined part in the JFK assassination conspiracy, and his apparent association with alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, is but another piece of the whole puzzle.

It was Ferrie’s associate, Guy Banister, whose New Orleans private detective agency (a conduit for CIA arms to the anti-Castro Cuban exiles) employed several other Marcello cronies. Banister, who had been with the Office of Naval Intelligence, and was later special-agent-in-charge of the Chicago office of the FBI, had re-located to New Orleans.[357]Morrow p. 30.

According to the Giancanas, Banister had long been close to the Chicago Mafia and that it was their good offices that brought Banister into Marcello’s sphere of influence when the former FBI man went to New Orleans, initially working for the city police department.[358]Giancana, p. 255.

(During the summer of 1963 the Cuban Revolutionary Council, a creation of the CIA’s chief liaison with the anti-Castro Cuban groups, E. Howard Hunt, also maintained offices in the same building as Banister.[359]Anthony Summers. Conspiracy. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980), p. 316. We first met Hunt, of course, in Chapter 9 where we learned of a libel trial in which both Hunt and the CIA were directly implicated in the JFK assassination.)

Banister, clearly, was the intermediary between the CIA and the LanskyMarcello operation in New Orleans. And it was through his office that Lee Harvey Oswald, was being set up as the patsy. (In Chapter 11, Chapter 14, Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we shall examine that aspect of the JFK assassination conspiracy further.)

Without question, New Orleans and the Marcello fiefdom were an integral part of the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. But to suggest that Marcello was the driving force behind the JFK assassination conspiracy is to ignore the whole picture.

Lansky & The Long Assassination

As a passing historical note, it is probably appropriate to refer to the demise of Huey Long and the role that Lansky and his associates played in that important political event.

By 1935, Long had been elected to the Senate and had risen to national prominence. In fact, Long was generally considered a major threat to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1936 re-election chances. Long had made it clear that if he didn’t run as a Democrat—or as a third party candidate—in 1936, he certainly intended to play a major part in that election, and not on FDR’s side.

This, obviously, was of major concern to FDR. Thus, a Justice Department investigation of Long and his finances was unleashed. Such an inquiry was dredging up Long’s tangled financial arrangements and threatened to break the back of the very profitable machine that Long had assembled. There were more than a few Louisiana political figures and Long associates who were frightened of their impending demise alongside Long at the hands of federal prosecutors.

As Messick notes—and this is ironic—it was in a Dallas, Texas hotel room that the federal authorities made the decision to indict Long. The colorful Louisiana Senator was shot that same day by a “lone assassin” who was himself promptly shot to pieces by Long’s bodyguards.

To this day there are myriad conspiracy theories relating to Long’s murder. Some say that the alleged assassin never fired a shot—instead, that he swung a punch at Long and that the “murder weapon” was planted on the scene afterward by the bodyguards who wanted to cover up the fact that it was one of them who accidentally shot Long when firing at his assailant. There are those, however, who say that Long was, in fact, deliberately shot by one of his bodyguards.

The Giancana family, in their biography of the Chicago Mafia boss, say that Sam Giancana later claimed that “Some of our friends in New York had him hit—worked it out with a New Orleans [Mafia] boss. They figured it out so it would look like a loony did it.”[360]Giancana, p. 63.

The real truth may never be known. Whatever the case, Long died in the hospital some hours after the shooting. What we do know is that Long’s death removed from the scene a major threat not only to the Roosevelt administration, but to the Long machine which relied so heavily on the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. With Long out of the picture, the federal authorities gave up their interest in Louisiana and its murky political underworld.

The evidence now indicates that Long’s death could have been prevented. Hank Messick told the story: at a meeting in Hot Springs, Arkansas at the Arlington Hotel, shortly after Long’s death, Frank Costello filled Lansky in on the truth about Long’s departure. “We could have saved him,” Costello told Lansky, “but I didn’t see much use in it. The doctors had their orders to let him die.”[361]Messick, p. 84.

This apparently was Meyer Lansky’s first major involvement in the assassination of an American political figure with whom Organized Crime had collaborated. It would not be the last time, however.

That Lansky’s lieutenant, Carlos Marcello had his own reasons for wanting John F. Kennedy out of the way cannot be doubted. The Justice Department under Robert F. Kennedy had targeted Marcello repeatedly.

John Davis’s interesting biography of Marcello provides a detailed analysis of the Kennedy campaign against Marcello. No wonder Marcello made his famous oft-told exclamation, “Livarsi na petra di la scarpa” (Take the stone from my shoe.”) Yet, such an emotional outburst does not an assassination order make.

In fact, there is no evidence anywhere whatsoever that Marcello took any further affirmative action to have his order—if indeed one can call it an order—fulfilled.

Stalking Lansky Through Marcello

It’s worth noting, in this regard, that Robert Kennedy’s systematic prosecution and harassment of Marcello would have only been a logical first step in the Justice Department’s ultimate prosecution of Meyer Lansky.

This, of course, is a standard procedure in all similar organized crime prosecutions: first the underlings are targeted—then the boss. In this case, of course, it would have been the so-called “chairman of the board,” Meyer Lansky.

Seth Kantor, Jack Ruby’s acquaintance and biographer, summarizes it well: “As Attorney General, [Robert F. Kennedy] got more indictments on members of America’s criminal industry than had any previous prosecutor, pursuing them relentlessly.

“Meyer Lansky, for instance, no longer was safe behind the bolted doors of that industry’s executive suite. The Attorney General put together what was known inside the Justice Department as the OCD (Organized Crime Division) and was stalking Lansky’s secret operations in the Bahamas and Las Vegas.”[362]Seth Kantor. Who Was Jack Ruby? (New York: Everest House, 1978), p. 28.

The assassination of John F. Kennedy and the demise of Robert Kennedy’s campaign against organized crime as a direct consequence prevented this from happening. The end of the Kennedy war on organized crime was a major consequence—a major victory—for the organized crime fiefdom of Meyer Lansky.

Of course, as we have said, even if the JFK murder was strictly a “Mafia” operation—with no tentacles leading elsewhere—it would have been Lansky who ordered it from the start.

Meyer Lansky was Carlos Marcello’s immediate superior in the world of organized crime and not vice versa. There is simply no way of getting around Lansky’s critical positioning in the center of the vast conspiracy. What we are demonstrating here is that the conspiracy reached above and beyond “the Mafia.” And that is central to our thesis.

Lansky’s ‘Kosher Nostra’

Interestingly, Ruby biographer Seth Kantor differentiated between what he called “Lansky’s ‘Kosher Nostra” and what the separately referred to as “the hot-blooded Sicilian Cosa Nostra.”[363]Ibid.
(Seth Kantor. Who Was Jack Ruby? (New York: Everest House, 1978), p. 28.)
Certainly, Carlos Marcello breathed a sigh of satisfaction when John F. Kennedy died in Dallas. However, Meyer Lansky was, of course, the ultimate beneficiary.

Any major operation such as the assassination of a president—even if proposed by Marcello single-handedly—would have first had to have been cleared by Marcello through his boss, Meyer Lansky. Thus, it would have been Lansky himself who most certainly had to have given the go-ahead, even if the Kennedy assassination plot originated with Marcello alone.

The evidence, of course, suggests, however, that Marcello and his associates in New Orleans were simply pawns in a more far-reaching conspiracy that originated elsewhere. Their proximity to Oswald and the New Orleans end of the conspiracy, however, makes them an easy target for those who seek to find a “Mafia” conspiracy behind the murder.

Weasel Words

As noted previously, those very sources who point to Marcello as the mastermind of the JFK murder choose to ignore Marcello’s secondary positioning to Meyer Lansky in the syndicate chain of command. Lansky-linked Robert Blakey’s House Assassinations Committee gingerly skirted around the issue, however. In its final report the committee concluded:

“Given the far-reaching possible consequences of an assassination plot by the commission [i.e. the national 'commission’ of Organized Crime], the committee found that such a conspiracy would have been the subject of serious discussion by members of the commission, and that no matter how guarded such discussions might have been, some trace of them would have emerged from the surveillance coverage [by federal authorities].

“It was possible to conclude, therefore, that it is unlikely that the national crime syndicate as a group, acting under the leadership of the commission, participated in the assassination of President Kennedy. “While the committee found it unlikely that the national crime syndicate was involved in the assassination, it recognized that a particular organized crime leader or a small combination of leaders, acting unilaterally, might have formulated an assassination conspiracy without the consent of the commission.”[364]House Select Committee on Assassinations. The Final Assassinations Report. (New York: Bantam Books, 1979), p. 204.

These are weasel words, to be sure. However, one could also conclude from the committee’s presumption that if indeed Organized Crime did play some significant role in the assassination conspiracy, that it was not a conspiracy that originated with “the Mafia,” for example. Perhaps then the conspiracy originated elsewhere. That, of course, is the conclusion presented in Final Judgment.

Unwittingly, then, the House Committee has provided us even further basis for the conclusions drawn here.

Lansky Not Mentioned

The House Committee report had nothing to say about the LanskyMarcello connection. This is par for the course in standard accounts of the JFK assassination which promote the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” What is also particularly interesting is that Robert Lacey’s Lansky biography, Little Man, never once mentions Lansky’s sponsorship of Marcello, nor does Marcello’s name appear once in the book. The New Orleans connection is barely mentioned at all, and only in passing. Was Marcello—who even the FBI has said headed “the first family” of the Mafia—that unimportant?

Could it be that because Marcello’s name has been repeatedly linked to the JFK assassination that for Lacey—a very friendly biographer who worked closely with Lansky’s family—to bring up Marcello’s much-abused name would obviously draw in the Lansky connection to the JFK assassination?

Is it possible that Marcello and his associates such as David Ferrie were deliberately drawn into the periphery of the assassination plot in order to deliberately plant the possibility that the blame for the assassination could be laid upon Marcello and the Mafia—in the event, perhaps, that the image of Lee Harvey Oswald as a “pro-Castro agitator” failed to work?

This is indeed a possibility and would fit firmly into the long-standing Israeli Mossad policy of using “false flags” in its criminal endeavors.

Clearly, there’s a lot more to the relationship between Meyer Lansky and key “suspects” in the JFK assassination than meets the eye. All of which, again, points toward Lansky’s central role in the international conspiracy which we document.

Chapter Eleven • Cuban Love Song • 4,100 Words
Meyer Lansky, The Mafia, The CIA and the Mossad and the Castro Assassination Plots

Three top “Mafia” figures—Sam Giancana and Johnny Rosselli of Chicago and Santo Trafficante, Jr. of Tampa—were key figures in the CIA-Mob plots against Fidel Castro and often linked to the JFK assassination.

Although the three Italian-American gangsters were major mob players, evidence shows they also were—like Carlos Marcello—subordinates of Meyer Lansky.

Amazing new evidence demonstrates Giancana (and Rosselli) were actively collaborating with the Mossad, essentially mere ‘front men” for Meyer Lansky’s little-known Chicago partner-in-crime, Mossad-connected Hyman Larner, the real ‘boss” of the mob in the Windy City.

Carlos Marcello is not the only major “Mafia” figure whose connections with Organized Crime syndicate boss Meyer Lansky have been ignored by Lansky’s friendly biographer Robert Lacey. The legendary Johnny Rosselli is never mentioned either. Was neither Marcello nor Rosselli worth mentioning?

Were they really that insignificant? Not according to standard accounts of Organized Crime history. Both Marcello and Rosselli have particular prominence in the annals of criminal folklore, especially in relation to the Kennedy assassination.

It is quite significant that Lacey has chosen to delete Rosselli from his account of Lansky’s life:

  • Rosselli was a major figure in Organized Crime in Los Angeles, where Lansky’s longtime associate Ben Siegel—and Siegel’s successor as Lansky’s West Coast operative, Mickey Cohen—represented Lansky’s interests.
  • Rosselli was a major figure in Organized Crime in Las Vegas, where Lansky maintained major gambling operations. He was Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana’s primary representative there;
  • Rosselli was a major figure in Organized Crime in Havana, representing the interests of the Chicago Mafia, where Lansky also dominated gambling operations.

By all standard accounts, Rosselli was very much a key figure in the modern “Mafia” as we know it.

In short, while Marcello’s activities were based almost entirely in his Gulf Coast fiefdom (and extending into Texas), Rosselli operated as almost a roving ambassador for the Italian wing of Organized Crime (popularly called “the Mafia.”), primarily the Chicago branch.

Yet, Rosselli’s ties to Lansky have been ignored by Lansky’s biographer Robert Lacey. Why? Lacey’s biography (which is otherwise quite detailed) would suggest—by virtue of ignoring both Marcello and Rosselli— that Lansky had no connections with them at all, or that any connections he did have were so insignificant that they weren’t even worth mentioning.

Rosselli’s name—like that of Marcello—has also been prominently linked to the Kennedy murder.

One can only wonder why Lansky’s biographer failed to bring in these clearly important connections. Even Tiger (described in the index as “(Lansky’s dog)” is mentioned—not once, but twice. (Carlos Marcello is not mentioned at all.)

Rosselli was also particularly close to Lansky’s Florida and Havana lieutenant, Santo Trafficante, Jr, who is also practically a “non-person” in Lacey’s account of Lansky’s ventures. And, as we shall see, it may well have been Trafficante who arranged Rosselli’s own ultimate assassination on behalf of the CIA.

Like Rosselli, Trafficante was also a major figure in the annals of crime and much more so than even Rosselli, was an intimate working partner of Lansky. In fact, as we shall see in much more detail in Chapter 12, Trafficante— although a “Mafia” leader—was Lansky’s immediate underling in the gambling and narcotics rackets.

In Lacey’s biography of Lansky, Trafficante is also given short shrift. In fact, he is hardly mentioned at all, except in minor passing—just eight times. In fact there are fewer references to Trafficante than there are to yet another Lansky dog, Bruzzer, who rates 13 references, including a detailed review of the dog’s sad final days.

In Kennedy assassination folklore this is also particularly relevant, inasmuch as we have been told repeatedly that Trafficante once told one Jose Aleman, Jr., a wealthy Cuban exile, that JFK was scheduled to be hit. However, interestingly enough, the rest of the story goes untold. According to J. Edgar Hoover biographer Curt Gentry, it was, in fact, Aleman’s impression that although Trafficante may have been aware of assassination plot against Kennedy that Trafficante himself “wasn’t principal architect.”[365]Curt Gentry. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991) , p. 496. Who, then, was?

The Lansky-CIA Alliance

All of this is interesting about Rosselli and Trafficante, particularly in the context of their central involvement in CIA-Organized Crime assassination plots aimed at Fidel Castro who had seized control of Lansky’s gambling operations in Havana.

There is much, much more to the Rosselli-Trafficante link with Meyer Lansky that needs to be explored, for this connection opens up another area: Lansky’s long-standing and intimate ties with Israel’s allies in the CIA. Indeed, as we shall see in Chapter 12, Lansky’s CIA linkage goes far beyond Cuba and the Caribbean. It even extended into Southeast Asia.

As we saw in Chapter 7 (and which has been repeatedly documented by perhaps hundreds of writers over and over again), organized crime—Meyer Lansky in particular—had much to lose when communist revolutionary Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba.

Prior to the advent of Castro, Cuba had been a primary gambling money-making base of operations for the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and its Mafia lieutenants. Anthony Summers summarizes the situation well:

“Castro’s predecessor, the dictator Batista, had long been a puppet on strings pulled by American intelligence and the mob. In 1944, when the United States feared trouble from the Cuban left, Lansky reportedly persuaded Batista to step down for a while. When he came back in 1952, it was after the current President, Carlos Prio Socarras, was persuaded to resign, a departure reportedly eased by a bribe of a quarter of a million dollars and a major stake in the casino business.

“It was now that the gambling operation already established in Cuba became a Mafia bonanza…When the Batista regime began to crumble before a revolution of popular outrage, the mob hedged its political bets by courting Fidel Castro.

“Many of the guns which helped him to power in 1959 had been provided courtesy of Mafia gunrunners, a policy which did not pay off. Lansky saw the writing on the wall and flew out of Havana the day Castro marched in.”[366]Anthony Summers. Conspiracy. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1980), pp. 266-267.

Investigative reporter Jim Hougan described the relationship between the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and the Cubans—both Castro and his enemies. “The Mob’s relationship to the arrivista Castro regime was a stormy one. On the one hand, some of its members had been active in the revolution, ferrying guns to Castro’s guerrillas. On the other hand, the new Cuban premier seemed determined to eradicate those social evils that the Mob found most profitable: drugs, prostitution, and gambling. Castro had, moreover, jailed both Trafficante and Meyer Lansky’s brother Jake in the wake of his triumphal march upon Havana.”[367]Jim Hougan. Spooks: The Haunting of America—The Private Use of Secret Agents. (New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1988), pp. 335-226.

However, the initial mob support for Castro went sour when Castro proved to be a danger to the Lansky syndicate’s lucrative operations in Cuba. It was at this point, then, that the mob did a turn-around and began working against Castro.

Although many syndicate figures still hoped that they could resume operations in Cuba after Castro was removed from office, Lansky was more realistic and practical. He began looking to the Bahamas as his next Caribbean gambling base of operations.

Still, Lansky maintained his ties with the anti-Castro Cubans. It was during this period the CIA was preparing to move against Castro. Lansky would play a major role in that effort.

For an even more obscure reason—one which has often gone unnoticed— perhaps unmentioned—Lansky had another reason to be disenchanted with Fidel Castro and supportive of anti-Castro Cuban elements. The fact is that many of the anti-Castro Cubans who had settled in Miami and elsewhere following Castro’s rise to power were Cuban Jews.

The Cuban ‘Jewish Connection’

American CIA-financed anti-Castro propagandist Paul D. Bethel, writing in the December 15, 1965 issue of the Latin America Report (subtitled the “Free Cuba News“) gives us some interesting facts about the status of Jews in Cuba before and after the advent of Castro. Bethel noted that of a total of 11,000 Jews in Cuba at the time of Castro’s takeover, only 1,900 remained at that time. The rest had already joined the anti-Castro Cuban colonies which had largely migrated to the Miami and New Orleans areas. Of those remaining, an additional 1,300 were leaving at the time of Bethel’s report.[368]Free Cuba News, December 15, 1965.

The affluent Cuban Jewish community was, in fact, an important faction within the overall anti-Castro Cuban community. This, coupled with Lansky’s financial loss in Cuba, made him all the more inclined to strike against Castro in cooperation with the CIA.

Lansky and the Assassination Plots

Although Anthony Summers’ previously-cited book on the JFK conspiracy, aptly titled Conspiracy, devotes very little attention to Meyer Lansky’s pivotal role in Organized Crime, he does make reference to a CIA anti-Castro operation funded by Lansky.

CIA operative E. Howard Hunt put together the Revolutionary Democratic Front, a coalition of anti-Castro Cubans, headed by Manuel Antonio de Varona, a former president of the Cuban Senate. In fact, as Summers tells us, de Varona met with Lansky for financial support and also received funds through the Washington, D.C. firm of Edward K. Moss and Associates, which represented the interests of Lansky operatives Dino and Eddie Cellini.[369]Summers, p. 193. (In Chapter 9 we first met the aforementioned CIA operative, E. Howard Hunt, and learned how he was implicated, in a little-publicized libel trial, in the JFK conspiracy. In Chapter 16 we shall learn much more about the circumstances which led up to that trial.)

Now although the famous CIA-Mafia assassination plots against Castro have been reported time and again, the key organized crime players in the tale are always the aforementioned Santo Trafficante, Jr., Johnny Rosselli and Sam Giancana of Chicago.

Rosselli’s biographers note that it was CIA contract agent Robert Maheu, a longtime acquaintance of Rosselli, who initiated the CIA’s dealings with organized crime in the anti-Castro plots.[370]Charles Rappleye and Ed Becker. All American Mafioso: The Johnny Rosselli Story. (New York: Doubleday, 1991), p. 189.

(It was this same Maheu, a former FBI agent as well, who had worked directly under the former special-agent-in-charge of the Chicago FBI office, Guy Banister.[371]Robert Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. (Santa Monica, CA: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 59. It was Banister, as we saw in Chapter 10, who was the direct link between the Lansky-Marcello-CIA gun-running on behalf of the anti-Castro Cuban network.)

Maheu, who had become friendly with Rosselli during business trips to Las Vegas, had been approached by the CIA to open up negotiations with the Mafia for this special, mutually beneficial, operation. Thus, the initial plot was set in place. However, there were subsequent developments:

“Once the basic groundwork was laid, Rosselli decided to introduce two new players into the picture. One was Rosselli’s Chicago boss, Sam Giancana, and the other was Santo Trafficante, Meyer Lansky’s colleague in the Havana casinos. Trafficante’s connections could prove helpful in moving the plots along, and besides, Mafia tradition required that as the local don, he be informed of any activity taking place in his domain.”[372]Rappleye and Becker, Ibid.
(Robert Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. (Santa Monica, CA: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 59.)

There is no question that Trafficante, Rosselli and Giancana did indeed help coordinate assassination plots against Castro with representatives of the CIA. (This, as we have said, has been thoroughly documented time and again. To discuss this here would belabor the point.)

However, as one author succinctly put it: “Lansky was the top man in the CIA-Mafia plot against Castro, but the only journalist who had guts enough to point this out was [columnist] Victor Riesel.”[373]Yipster Times (no date available) JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott acknowledges that Lansky was indeed involved in the CIA plots against Castro,[374]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 180. but, Lansky’s role has been obscured, ignored, or otherwise gone unmentioned.

In fact, as we shall see in Chapter 12 when we examine the LanskyTrafficante relationship further, Trafficante was Lansky’s subordinate. All of Trafficante’s anti-Castro operations in league with the CIA were being conducted with Lansky’s approval and under Lansky’s watchful eye.

The latter phase of the CIA’s anti-Castro operations were known as Operation MongooseHeadquarters of the operation—known as JM/Wave— were in Lansky’s own city of Miami and based on the campus of the University of Miami. Part of the CIA’s campaign against Castro included its socalled ZR/Rifle Team project. Skilled assassins, recruited from around the globe (and often from the ranks of professional mercenaries and from within organized crime) were on retainer for use in the CIA’s own private “hit team” or terrorist army, as the case may be. One of the prime in-house supervisors of the ZR/Rifle Team project was the CIA’s counterintelligence chief, Israel’s loyal ally, James J. Angleton.

Rosselli & The JFK Assassination

That Rosselli, for example, was entwined in some aspect of the JFK assassination conspiracy seems certain. Evidence suggests that Rosselli was definitely engaged in activities during the summer and fall of 1963 that tied him directly to several of the key figures in the assassination conspiracy.

Rosselli’s biographers themselves have suggested that Rosselli was indeed involved in the assassination itself. According to Rappleye and Becker: “The strongest indication that John Rosselli had a hand in the pre-assassination planning is a report of a direct contact between Rosselli and Jack Ruby in early October 1963. There were two meetings, both taking place in small motels near Miami, and both observed by the FBI. One of the federal investigators probing Rosselli’s murder thirteen years later came across an FBI report on the meetings and relayed its contents, on a confidential basis, to Washington, D.C. reporter William Scott Malone.

“An accomplished investigator himself, Malone said in an interview he was confident of the integrity of his source, and said the FBI had determined the actual site of the Miami meetings.”[375]Rappleye and Becker, p. 245.

According to Rappleye and Becker, Rosselli visited Guy Banister’s office at 544 Camp Street in New Orleans. It was in the same controversial building that the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) had an office. The CRC, as we saw in Chapter 9, was the brainchild of the CIA’s chief liaison with the anti-Castro Cuban exiles, E. Howard Hunt, himself implicated in the JFK assassination.)

Rosselli’s biographers even go further, asking “Was Rosselli, in fact, in Dallas? FBI surveillance loses his trail on the West Coast between November 19 and November 27.”[376]Ibid., p. 256.
(Rappleye and Becker, p. 245.)

According to the Giancanas, the president was deliberately lured to Dallas where the operation could be carried off to the specifications of the plan. “The politicians and the CIA made it real simple,” Sam Giancana explained. “We’d each provide men for the hit. I’d oversee the Outfit [Mafia] side of things and throw in Jack Ruby and some extra backup and the CIA would put their own guys on to take care of the rest.”[377]Giancana., p. 334.

So it was that Johnny Rosselli and Sam Giancana—along with Santo Trafficante, Jr.—were brought into the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The full story of Sam Giancana’s role in much of these matters—the JFK assassination in particular—never became known until his own nephew and brother went public in 1992 with their book Double Cross.

However, we now know that there was indeed a major Mossad influence at work in the affairs of Sam Giancana.

Sam Giancana’s Mossad Connection…

An eye-opening new book, Double Deal, bares new facts about the secret history of the famed Chicago “Mafia,” revealing certain significant never-before-told details that further confirm the likelihood of Mossad involvement in the JFK assassination.

The author of the new book, Michael Corbitt—the mobbed-up former chief of police of a Chicago suburb—has joined writer Sam Giancana— nephew of the legendary Chicago Mafia figure—in producing a startling expose that unveils, for the first time ever, the surprising identity of the littleknown “mystery man” who was the real “power behind the throne” in organized crime in Chicago and whose influenced reach all the way to Israel, Panama, Iran, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.

Despite his famous “Mafia” name, Corbitt’s co-author, Giancana, was never involved in the family business and earlier wrote the account of the life and crimes of his late uncle, who had been murdered in 1975. Now Giancana is telling “the rest of the story.”

Giancana and Corbitt dare to report something that has never been published anywhere before: that a shadowy Jewish, Mossad-connected gangster named Hyman “Hal” Lamer was the real, continuing behind-thescenes force guiding the Chicago mob for over thirty years.

Despite the media-ballyhooed “revolving door” of Italian-American Mafia bosses such as Giancana and others who were alternately jailed or “whacked,” it was Lamer who was continually in charge. Beyond that, the authors reveal that much of Lamer’s criminal activity was conducted not only in concert with the CIA, but also, in particular, with the Mossad.

Lamer was not just a major figure in Chicago crime, but on the international scene as well. He was also a longtime associate of Jewish crime chief Meyer Lansky but, effectively, Lansky’s successor when Lansky died in 1983.

According to Corbitt, he learned early on, during his mob days, of Larner’s existence, although Larner’s presence so high up in the mob was something neither government investigators nor a media (which was otherwise fascinated by the mob) wanted to focus on. Corbitt writes:

“All the other Outfit guys were in the papers every day, their pictures plastered all over the front page of the Tribune. But when Hy Larner’s name was mentioned in the papers, he was described only as an ‘associate’ or ‘protégé’ or some gangster and nothing more than that. Nobody knew how deep his contacts went or how high up. Reporters called him a ‘riddle” and a ‘mystery man.’[378]Michael Corbitt & Sam Giancana. Double Deal. (New York: William Morrow), p.31

As Corbitt himself advanced in organized crime circles under the patronage of Lamer’s man, Giancana, Corbitt ultimately began to learn the secret of how and why the Chicago mob was able to operate so freely. It was the partnership with the Mossad—running guns to Israel–that gave the Chicago mob its ‘get out of jail free’ card as far as Israeli sympathizers high up in the Justice Department were concerned. Corbitt writes:

“At the insistence of Meyer Lansky, [Giancana] and his pals started working with the Israeli Mossad, smuggling weapons in the Middle East. Everything was coming in and out of Panama, which meant that everything was being handled by Hy Lamer. Lamer was without a doubt Sam Giancana’s most trusted financial advisor. He had everybody who was anybody in Panama—from bankers to generals—eating out of his hand. Once they started running guns to Israel, Lamer also had the U.S. military and its airstrips at his disposal.”‘[379]Ibid., pp. 108-109.
(Michael Corbitt & Sam Giancana. Double Deal. (New York: William Morrow), p.31)

And contrary to popular legend, they say—confirming what Final Judgment had already reported in earlier editions—it was not Giancana nor another famed Chicago mobster, Johnny Roselli, who cemented the now-infamous CIA-Mafia plots to kill Castro, it was Meyer Lansky and Lamer.

In addition, Corbitt and Giancana reveal, Lamer was also deeply enmeshed with two of Lansky’s chief high-level lieutenants, Carlos Marcello in New Orleans and Santo Trafficante in Tampa. The two southern Mafia leaders were engaged with Lamer in lucrative guns and drugs smuggling operations in the Caribbean, not to mention gambling as well.

Larner and Lansky were particularly close. Corbitt and Giancana say that the two master criminals were “Zionists—passionate defenders of the divine right of Jews to occupy the Holy Land of Jerusalem… But Hy Lamer and Meyer Lansky weren’t just Zionists, they were also mobsters who believed the end justifies the means. Put organized crime and the U.S. government at their disposal and you’ve got a very powerful force…[380]Ibid. ,p. 109.
(Michael Corbitt & Sam Giancana. Double Deal. (New York: William Morrow), p.31)

Lamer and Giancana were also engaged in gambling deals with casinos based in Iran, then the fiefdom of the Shah of Iran whose infamous secret police, SAVAK, was a joint creation of the CIA and the Mossad—a major point of contention when Islamic fundamentalists overthrew the Shah and forced him into exile.

Corbitt also reveals the amazing story of how Giancana (with Larner’s help) finally got the U.S. Justice Department off his back. It turns out that as much as President Lyndon Johnson and his Zionist advisors wanted to wage war against Egypt and the other Arab states on behalf of Israel, U.S. entanglement in Vietnam made it impossible for Johnson to act. However, Giancana not only put up a substantial amount of money to help arm Israel for its 1967 war against the Arab countries, but, in addition, Lamer and Giancana arranged shipments of stolen weapons to Israel from one of their outposts in Panama, an operation conducted in league with the Mossad’s Panamanian-based operative, Michael Harari. In return for this service on behalf of Israel, President Johnson ordered the Justice Department to drop its campaign against Giancana.

In the end, though, the arrangement between Giancana and Lamer came to an end. Lamer, it appears, was almost certainly behind Giancana’s 1975 murder. Lamer, however, continued to thrive, even as a series of Giancana’s successors were faced with a continuing series of federal prosecutions, widely hailed by the media as “the end of the mob in Chicago.”

Giancana and Rosselli Executed

Giancana was murdered execution style in his own home in Chicago on June 19, 1975. The Establishment media hyped it as yet another “Mafia killing.” The Giancana family doesn’t think that’s what it was. They say it was a CIA double cross. (And clearly, too, the Mossad was involved.) As it just so happens, Giancana was killed the very day that congressional investigators were on their way to Chicago to interview the Mafia leader about reported CIA-organized crime plots against Castro.

Sam and Chuck Giancana frankly assert in their own book that it may have been Johnny Rosselli who helped arrange Giancana’s murder. According to the Giancanas they believe that the CIA contracted out the Giancana murder and that the CIA had arranged it through Trafficante.

The Giancanas believe that Trafficante, in turn, saw to it that Rosselli arranged the Chicago hit on Sam Giancana. As they summarize matters: “[Giancana's] Outfit friends knew he never would have divulged damaging information; the CIA, rampant with spies and counterspies, crosses and double crosses, may not have been so certain of his loyalty.”[381]Giancana, Double Cross, p. 354.

In any case, Johnny Rosselli never lived long enough to tell the true story of the CIA-Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate operations in the Caribbean—and in Dallas. On July 28, 1976, Rosselli disappeared in Miami. On August 7, the flamboyant mobster’s butchered corpse bobbed up in a drum from the bottom of the ocean.

Charles Rappleye and Ed Becker note that there have been suspicions that it was indeed Trafficante, again, who may have even arranged the hit on Rosselli. However, they point out that there are many in the Mafia who do not believe this necessarily to be the case.

In the judgment of Rosselli’s biographers, “The CIA certainly had the contacts in Cuban Miami to pull off Rosselli’s execution, and as it had demonstrated by enlisting him in the first place, it had the will. Even the evidence pointing to Trafficante did not rule out collaboration by the spy agency.”[382]Rappleye and Becker, p. 327.

As the authors point out, Trafficante did indeed have very close connections with the CIA—connections that went above and beyond his dealings with the spy agency in anti-Castro operations. In Chapter 12 we shall see, indeed, that Trafficante, as Lansky’s primary lieutenant in the Southeast Asian drug smuggling racket, developed even closer and more intimate ties to the CIA following the JFK assassination.

Only Santo Trafficante, Jr., Meyer Lansky’s subordinate, remained alive and, as the Giancana family notes, “conducted business without so much as a whisper of legal difficulty.”[383]Giancana, Double Cross, p. 355.

The Giancanas point out: “One had only to read the newspapers to see that the focus of underworld crime busters was not on Tampa, Florida, but on its highly visible New York and Chicago cousins to the north.”[384]Ibid. , pp. 354-355.
(Giancana, Double Cross, p. 355.)

And by this time—the mid-1970′s—Lansky himself was ailing and almost infirm. Trafficante himself died of kidney failure in 1987—just four years after Lansky.

The Mafia and the Mossad

The bottom line: anyone who attempts to view the JFK assassination as a “Mafia hit” is making a big mistake, failing to calculate in the role of Mossad-connected Meyer Lansky, his Chicago associate Hyman Lamer, and their allies in Israel’s Mossad, not to mention the CIA itself.

So, once again, the Mossad connection is very much there, although there are few “JFK assassination experts” who are willing to admit it. But there’s more.

Chapter Twelve • An Opiate for the Masses • 4,300 Words
The Lansky-CIA-Southeast Asian Drug Pipeline and the Mossad Connection

Tampa, Florida Mafia boss Santo Trafficante, Jr. has frequently been mentioned as a possible mastermind behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The media has also portrayed Trafficante as the prime mover behind the international heroin racket operating out of Southeast Asia. However, the truth is that it was Meyer Lansky who was the primary architect of the global drug operations. Trafficante was his immediate underling.

The Lansky heroin pipeline was conducted through the CIA-backed French Corsican Mafia in Marseille and used the CIA’s covert activities in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War as a cover for its operations. In fact, all the evidence suggests that the drug smuggling was a joint CIA-Organized Crime venture. What’s more, Lansky’s chief drug money laundering bank in Switzerland was a Mossad operation. Thus, the Lansky Crime Syndicate/Mafia connections with Israel’s allies in the CIA are even deeper and more intimate than we have been led to believe.

Veteran JFK assassination researcher Peter Dale Scott has suggested that “[the flood] of drugs into this country since World War II was one of the major ‘unspeakable’ secrets leading to the ongoing cover-up of the Kennedy assassination.”385 Scott is correct, for any careful, in-depth examination of the global drug racket shows conclusively that Israel’s allies in the Lansky crime syndicate and the CIA are very much a part of the international drug racket.

Students of the global drug trade are indebted to Professor Alfred McCoy of the prestigious University of Wisconsin at Madison for his ground-breaking expose of the real origins of the modern-day drug crisis. First published in 1972—despite the strongest efforts of the CIA to block its publication—McCoy’s classic work, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia, has withstood the test of time.

In 1992 McCoy re-issued the work under the title The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. The new edition is an equally remarkable work which not only includes additional findings uncovered in the subsequent 20 years since its initial publication, but also a valuable preface in which McCoy outlines the CIA operations against his research and the publication of the book.

The Drug Boss

Although the Establishment media has repeatedly pinpointed Santo Trafficante, Jr., Mafia boss of Tampa, as the brains behind the Southeast Asian drug traffic, McCoy makes it very clear that Trafficante was simply operating as Lansky’s underling. McCoy describes the origins of the Lansky-Trafficante relationship:

“During the 1930′s Meyer Lansky ‘discovered’ the Caribbean for northeastern syndicate bosses and invested their illegal profits in an assortment of lucrative gambling ventures. In 1933 Lansky moved into the Miami Beach area and took over most of the illegal off-track betting and a variety of hotels and casinos. He was also reportedly responsible for organized crime’s decision to declare Miami a ‘free city’ (that is, not subject to the usual rules of territorial monopoly).

“Following his success in Miami, Lansky moved to Havana for three years, and by the beginning of World War II he owned the Hotel Nacional’s casino and was leasing the municipal racetrack from a reputable New York bank.

“Burdened by the enormous scope of his holdings, Lansky had to delegate much of his responsibility for daily management to local gangsters. One of Lansky’s earliest associates in Florida was Santo Trafficante, Sr., a Sicilian-born Tampa gangster. Trafficante had earned his reputation as an effective organizer in the Tampa gambling rackets and was already a figure of some stature when Lansky first arrived in Florida. By the time Lansky returned to New York in 1940, Trafficante had assumed responsibility for Lansky’s interests in Havana and Miami.

Trafficante the Front Man

“By the early 1950s Trafficante had himself become such an important figure that he delegated his Havana concessions to Santo Trafficante, Jr., the most talented of his six sons. The younger Santo’s official position in Havana was that of manager of the Sans Souci Casino, but he was far more important than his title indicates.

“As his father’s financial representative, and ultimately Meyer Lansky’s, Santo Jr. controlled much of Havana’s tourist industry and became quite close to the pre-Castro dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Moreover, it was reportedly his responsibility to receive bulk shipments of heroin from Europe and forward them through Florida to New York and other major urban centers, where the distribution was assisted by the local Mafia bosses.”[386]Alfred McCoy. The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade. (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991), pp. 40-41.

Lansky Moves to the Top

Lansky biographer Hank Messick makes it very clear that it was Trafficante Jr. who played a key role in ensuring Lansky’s dominance over syndicate gambling in Cuba. It was Trafficante who helped orchestrate the assassination in 1957 of Lansky rival, New York Mafia figure Albert Anastasia, the most vocal Italian Mafia critic of Lansky’s growing influence in the Cuban gambling rackets. Anastasia’s removal from the scene was vital to Lansky’s ultimate dominance.

Messick notes that Trafficante got caught in the middle between Albert Anastasia and Lansky over the Havana gambling. Not only did Trafficante opt to abandon his fellow Italian Mafia figure, but Trafficante also swore a blood oath Mafia-style, assuring Lansky of his support.

“So long as the blood flows in my body,” he intoned solemnly, “do I, Santo Trafficante, swear allegiance to the will of Meyer Lansky and the organization he represents. If I violate this oath, may I burn in hell forever.”[387]Hank Messick. Lansky. (New York: Berkley Medallion Books, 1971), pp. 210-211.

He signed it in his own blood. It was shortly thereafter, on October 25, 1957, that Anastasia was shot dead after what he wrongly believed to have been a friendly meeting in New York with Trafficante. Anastasia should have known what was coming. After all, according to Messick, he had, shortly before, told his fellow Mafia figures what he thought of them: “You bastards have sold yourselves to the Jews.”[388]Ibid.
(Hank Messick. Lansky. (New York: Berkley Medallion Books, 1971), pp. 210-211.)

(Interestingly enough, Lansky’s friendly biographical cheerleader, Robert Lacey, never mentions the Lansky-Anastasia stand-off that led to the Lansky rival’s murder.)

Organized crime authority Dan Moldea summarized the LanskyTrafficante relationship best and most succinctly: “Trafficante was deeply devoted to Lansky.”[389]Dan Moldea. The Hoffa Wars: Teamsters, Rebels, Politicians and the Mob (New York: Paddington Press Ltd., 1978), p. 123.

The Mafia Under Fire

It was shortly after Albert Anastasia’s murder that public attention began focusing on Organized Crime as a result of media publicity. It was not, in fact, until the infamous Mafia conclave at Appalachian, New York, in 1957 that the media began hyping “the Mafia” as a major force in organized crime.

Americans had long been aware of legendary mobsters such as Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, but general awareness that a national crime syndicate did indeed exist was not commonplace.

Following a police raid of the Appalachian conference—attended exclusively by top Mafia figures from around the country, Trafficante included—public attention began focusing on “the Mafia”—thanks to the media.

The official story has always been that a local policeman just happened to stumble upon the conclave at the home of Mafia figure Joseph Barbara. The officer called in reinforcements and a major “bust” took place, following a heated chase of the Mafia figures through the briars and brambles of the rural countryside.

However, according to Hank Messick, the police had been tipped off by a Lansky associate that the meeting was about to take place. Messick described the consequences of the Appalachian raid:

“The delegates were scattered before any alliance could be reached. And the publicity caused the greatest heat since the 1930′s. It focused not only on the men who attended the session but on the entire Mafia. What’s more, it continued for well over a year as state and federal officials tried to find some charge to stick against the delegates they had captured or identified. Not only were Mafia leaders immobilized by the continuing publicity, but also they were demoralized. Almost instinctively they rallied to Lansky and other non-Mafia syndicate leaders for advice and assistance.”[390]Messick, p. 215.

(Perhaps not coincidentally, one of the attorneys who played a key role in the Appalachian investigation was one Justin Finger. It was Finger who later went on to become chief of the “civil rights division” of the Lanskyfinanced Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the primary intelligence and propaganda arm of Israel’s Mossad in the United States.)

Despite all this, as Messick notes, Trafficante himself stood to benefit. According to Messick: “Trafficante was a little annoyed at the publicity he received—after being picked up with the rest—but was soon mollified when he discovered he was now being hailed as the Mafia boss of Florida by the press. Glory was as important as loot to the Mafia mind.”[391]Ibid.
(Messick, p. 215.)

Clearly, a close working relationship between Lansky and Trafficante had been cemented. It continued for many years, up to and including—and beyond—the critical year of 1963. It was in 1970, however, that Lansky, preparing to take refuge in Israel, turned over most of his responsibilities to his subordinate, Santo Trafficante, Jr. By this time Lansky was aging and in ill health. He was ready to move into retirement.

In 1968—just two years earlier—Trafficante had journeyed to Saigon, Hong Kong and Singapore. It was there in the exotic East that he was solidifying the longtime relationship between Lansky and the CIA in the international drug racket.

Who’s the Boss?

Here we turn once again to Professor Alfred McCoy for an elucidation of Lansky’s ties with the CIA in the Southeast Asian drug racket and the covert part it played in the CIA’s involvement in the Vietnam conflict. McCoy writes:

“[After Mafia kingpin Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was deported from the United States in 1946], he charged his longtime associate Meyer Lansky with the responsibility of managing his financial empire. Lansky also played a key role in organizing Luciano’s heroin syndicate: he supervised smuggling operations, negotiated with Corsican heroin manufacturers, and managed the collection and concealment of the enormous profits “Lansky’s control over the Caribbean and his relationship with the Florida-based Trafficante family were of particular importance, since many of the heroin shipments passed through Cuba or Florida on their way to America’s urban markets. For almost twenty years the Luciano-LanskyTrafficante partnership remained a major feature of the international heroin traffic.”[392]McCoy, p. 40.

McCoy notes further: “There is reason to believe that Meyer Lansky’s 1949-1950 European tour was instrumental in promoting Marseille’s heroin industry. After crossing the Atlantic in a luxury liner, Lansky visited [Lucky] Luciano in Rome, where they discussed the narcotics trade. He then traveled to Zurich and contacted prominent Swiss bankers through John Pullman, an old friend from the rum running days.

“These negotiations established the financial labyrinth that organized crime used for decades to smuggle its enormous gambling and heroin profits out of the country into numbered Swiss bank accounts without attracting the notice of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

“Pullman was responsible for the European end of Lansky’s financial operation: depositing, transferring, and investing the money when it arrived in Switzerland.”[393]Ibid. , pp. 44-45.
(McCoy, p. 40.)

The Mossad Drug Link

As we noted in Chapter 7, Lansky biographer Hank Messick himself pointed out that, ultimately, Pullman’s chief Swiss depository for Lansky’s drug money was the Banque de Credit International (BCI), established in 1959. This bank, as we have seen, was the brainchild of longtime Israeli Mossad officer Tibor Rosenbaum. In Chapter 15 we shall examine the Lansky-Rosenbaum-BCI link to the JFK assassination in detail.

According to Messick, “Once safely deposited in numbered accounts at BCI and other banks], it could be invested in the stock market or returned in the form of loans to individuals and corporations controlled by the National Crime Syndicate.”[394]Messick, p. 199. (Pullman, who had moved from Lansky’s base in Miami beach to Montreal was Lansky’s lieutenant in charge of that phase of the international drug operations.)

The Corsican Mafia

McCoy describes Lansky’s European sojourn further: “After making the financial arrangements with Pullman in Switzerland, Lansky traveled through France, where he met with high-ranking Corsican syndicate leaders on the Riviera and in Paris. After lengthy discussions, Lansky and the Corsicans are reported to have arrived at some sort of agreement concerning the international heroin traffic.

“Soon after Lansky returned to the United States, heroin laboratories began appearing in Marseille. In future years, U.S. narcotics experts were to estimate that the majority of America’s heroin supply was being manufactured in Marseille.”[395]McCoy, Ibid.
(Messick, p. 199.)

McCoy notes that the European phase of the Lansky drug operations gradually began moving out of the hands of Lansky’s associates in the Sicilian Mafia to the Marseille area in France, under the domination of the Corsican Mafia.[396]Ibid. , pp. 64-65.
(Messick, p. 199.)

All of this took place at the same time Israel’s friend in the American OSS (and later the CIA), James Angleton was engaged in the region, assisting the emigration of European Jews to Palestine. (In Chapter 8 we examined Angleton’s role in these affairs further, including his links to the Corsican Mafia and to BCI founder Tibor Rosenbaum.)

Lansky, The CIA and the Corsican Mafia

McCoy explains how the CIA had developed ties with Lansky’s partners in the Corsican Mafia: “The CIA… had sent agents and a psychological warfare team to Marseille, where they dealt directly with Corsican syndicate leaders through the Guerini brothers [Antoine and Barthelemy, leaders of the Corsican Mafia].”[397]Ibid. , pp. 60-61.
(Messick, p. 199.)

The CIA’s operatives supplied arms and money to Corsican gangs for assaults on Communist picket lines and harassment of important union officials. The communists had amassed much political clout in the region and the CIA utilized the Corsican Mafia to shatter the communists’ strength.

“The Guerinis gained enough power and status from their role in smashing the 1947 strike to emerge as the new leaders of the Corsican underworld. While the CIA was instrumental in restoring the Corsican underworld’s political influence, it was not until the 1950 dock strike that the Guerinis gained enough power to take control of the Marseille waterfront.

“The combination of political influence and control of the docks created the ideal environment for the growth of Marseille’s heroin laboratories— fortuitously at the same time that Mafia boss Lucky Luciano was seeking an alternative source of heroin supply.”[398]Ibid.
(Messick, p. 199.)

The Vietnamese Drug Link

As McCoy notes further, the CIA had also began flexing its muscles in Southeast Asia, where the drug trade originated. McCoy describes the CIA’s relationship with the indigenous drug racketeers:

“[In Laos] from 1960 to 1975, the CIA created a secret army of 30,000 Hmong tribesmen to battle Laotian Communists near the border with North Vietnam. Since the Hmong’s main cash crop was opium, the CIA adopted a complicitous posture toward the traffic, allowing the Hmong commander, General Vang Po, to use the CIA’s Air America to collect opium from his scattered highland villages.

“In late 1969, the CIA’s various covert action clients opened a network of heroin laboratories in the Golden Triangle. In their first years of operation, these laboratories exported high-grade no. 4 heroin to U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam. After their withdrawal, the Golden Triangle laboratories exported directly to the United States, capturing one-third of the American heroin market.”[399]Ibid. p. 19.
(Messick, p. 199.)

Thus it was that the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate had developed a close working relationship with the CIA. Sam Giancana’s family biographers stated flatly that Giancana claimed that in exchange for the underworld services of the Organized Crime Syndicate, “the CIA looked the other way—allowing over $100 million a year in illicit drugs to flow through Havana into the United States. “It was an arrangement similar to all the rest they’d made, he said. The CIA received 10 percent of the take on the sale of narcotics, which they utilized ‘for their undercover slush fund.’ Such illegally earned monies were stashed away by the CIA in Swiss, Italian, Bahamian, and Panamanian accounts.”[400]Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 259.

Further, according to the Giancanas, when Sam Giancana was engaged in various and sundry rackets he conventionally shared his profits with other Organized Crime bosses depending on the region or activity in question. “Largely,” they pointed out, “[Giancana's] international deals involved Lansky and whomever else they needed to take care of at the time.”[401]Ibid., p. 258.
(Sam Giancana and Chuck Giancana. Double Cross: The Explosive Inside Story of the Mobster Who Controlled America. (New York: Warner Books, 1992), p. 259.)
The two primary CIA figures in Southeast Asia during the time of the Lansky-CIA drug smuggling collaboration were, interestingly enough, Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines. Shackley was chief of station for the CIA in Laos. Clines served as Shackley’s immediate deputy.[402]McCoy, p. 462.

As we saw in Chapter 11, it was Shackley and Clines who had supervised the CIA’s Operation Mongoose, the code name for the CIALansky Crime Syndicate assassination plots against Castro, operating at a headquarters on the University of Miami campus. It was this operation that came to be known as JM/Wave.

Operation Mongoose, it turns out, was under the direction of General Edward Lansdale whom, assassination researcher Bernard Fensterwald notes later “reportedly cultivated a close relationship with the Corsican Mafia during his controversial service in Vietnam.”[403]Bernard Fensterwald and the Committee to Investigate Assassinations. Coincidence or Conspiracy? (New York: Zebra Books, 1977), p. 187.

Interestingly enough, it was Shackley and Clines—upon “retiring” from the CIA who set up an arms dealing agency—the Egyptian Transport Service Company.[404]McCoy, p. 477. “This firm worked closely with Israel’s Mossad figure Shaul Eisenberg’s Aviation Trade and Service Company .”[405]Executive Intelligence Review. Project Democracy: The ‘Parallel Government’ Behind the Iran-Contra Affair. (Washington, D.C.: EIR News Service, 1987), p. 287. Eisenberg, in fact, was a major player in Israel’s nuclear arms development program—the very operation that created the crisis between John F. Kennedy and Israel. The plot clearly comes full circle.

The role of Lansky in all of these activities, however, has been carefully ignored, even by writers—Alfred McCoy, the notable exception— who have exposed the CIA’s role in the global drug racket.

Covering Up the Lansky Connection

In Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World, journalist Jonathan Kwitny takes several pages to outline the CIA-backed drug trafficking networks operating out of Southeast Asia and using the CIAallied Corsican crime families as a central distribution source.

Kwitny points out the role of Charles “Lucky” Luciano in establishing the initial networks which also utilized the Sicilian crime families in the Mediterranean. Kwitny even acknowledges Alfred McCoy’s work as “the best published documentation of all of this.”[406]Jonathan Kwitny. Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World. (New York: Penguin Books, 1986), p. 331.

However, interestingly enough, Kwitny does not once mention Meyer Lansky’s pivotal role in formally establishing the Luciano-launched global drug network, despite the fact that Kwitny cited McCoy as “the best published” source on the history of the drug network. Nor does Kwitny make reference to Santo Trafficante, Jr., Lansky’s chief lieutenant and primary heir in the global drug racket.

This is all particularly interesting when one realizes that in the recent furor over the JFK assassination conspiracy (resulting from the release of Oliver Stone’s JFK film) that Kwitny himself is one of the primary promoters of the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” According to Kwitny, the principal architect of the crime was, by his estimation, more than likely New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello—who, as we have seen, was one of Lansky’s local front men.[407]The Wall Street Journal, December 19, 1991. Evidently Kwitny—like others who claim that “The Mafia Killed JFK”—doesn’t want to acknowledge that Meyer Lansky even existed.

It is also worth mentioning as well that Lansky’s friendly biographer, Robert Lacey, writing in his 1991 biography of Lansky goes to great lengths to suggest that Lansky had no part in the international drug racket. This, as we have seen, is par for the course as far as Lacey’s attitude toward Lansky is concerned.

However, Rachel Ehrenfeld, one of the world’s leading experts on the drug combine and its connections with global terrorism, writes in her book Evil Money that “there exists reliable evidence to the contrary. “[408]Rachel Ehrenfeld. Evil Money: Encounters Along the Money Trail. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992), p. 259.

She cites an interview she conducted with a former congressional special investigator for organized crime. She reports that she was “reassured that the evidence for Lansky’s illegal dealings was ample and that Lacey must have been the victim of his close dealings with Lansky’s former associates and family.”[409]Ibid.
(Rachel Ehrenfeld. Evil Money: Encounters Along the Money Trail. (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992), p. 259.)

French Assassins?

Considering the CIA’s alliance with Lansky’s allies in the Corsican Mafia, it is interesting to consider here that there are those who believe that the Corsican Mafia or other French elements may have played a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There is evidence, indeed, that at least one French mercenary did show up in Dallas the day JFK was slain.

Writing in Reasonable Doubt, Henry Hurt explores one aspect of the so-called “French connection” in some detail. He describes the possible role of a French OAS terrorist in the assassination.

As we saw in Chapter 6 and in Chapter 9, the OAS was comprised of CIA-backed French forces who opposed granting independence to the French colony in Arab Algeria. This led them into direct confrontation with French President Charles DeGaulle who granted Algerian independence.

As a member of the Senate, as we saw in Chapter 4, John F. Kennedy had called for Algerian independence, in opposition to the OAS. Israel itself had a stake in continued French domination of Algeria in that French occupation of Algeria was a direct obstacle in the path of Arab nationalism. (In Chapter 15 we will examine Israel’s covert ties to the OAS.)

Hurt cites a CIA document discovered in 1977 by Mary Ferrell, Dallas researcher: “The document, dated April 1, 1964, reported that the French intelligence service wanted help in locating one Jean Souetre, a French OAS terrorist considered a threat to the safety of French President Charles DeGaulle.

“The document asserted that Jean Souetre was in Fort Worth, Texas, on the morning of November 22, 1963. That morning President Kennedy also was in Fort Worth. A few hours later, John F. Kennedy was in Dallas, where, at 12:30 p.m. he was assassinated. Also in Dallas that afternoon was Jean Souetre.

“Within forty-eight hours of Kennedy’s death, according to the query from the French, Jean Souetre was picked up by U.S. authorities in Texas. He was immediately expelled from the United States. French intelligence wanted to ascertain whether he was expelled to Canada or Mexico.

“The French also wanted to know why the U.S. authorities had expelled Souetre. The simple purpose was to ensure the safety of President DeGaulle on his pending trip to Mexico.”[410]Henry Hurt. Reasonable Doubt: An Investigation into the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1985), pp. 417-419.

Hurt notes that the original document also noted that Souetre used the names Michel Roux and Michel Mertz. Roux happened to be in Fort Worth on November 22, having entered the country on November 19 and leaving at Laredo, Texas on December 6. He was not expelled. When questioned later, Souetre said that Mertz was an old enemy who often used his name and may have been trying to implicate him in misdeeds.

The Hunt Connection

Interestingly enough, it was CIA man E. Howard Hunt (whom we first met in Chapter 9) who was one of the CIA’s point men in the dealings with Souetre and OAS intelligence 411 That the two may have been in Dallas— perhaps even together—during the time of the JFK assassination is intriguing, to say the very least and yet another of the details that, taken together, demonstrate continuing intimate connections between persons and institutions that have (elsewhere) been repeatedly linked to the JFK assassination conspiracy.

In Chapter 15 and Chapter 16 we shall see that Israeli Mossad/Lansky–linked elements in New Orleans and elsewhere funneled money to the OAS for a 1962 assassination attempt against Charles DeGaulle and that, indeed, these same elements are tied directly to the JFK assassination.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Professor Alfred McCoy summarizes the covert links between the CIA and organized crime around the world:

“Since prohibition of narcotics in the 1920s, alliances between drug brokers and intelligence agencies have protected the global narcotics traffic. Given the frequency of such alliances, there seems a natural attraction between intelligence agencies and criminal syndicates… Both are practitioners of what one retired CIA operative has called the ‘clandestine arts’—the basic skill of operating outside the normal channels of civil society. Among all the institutions of modern society, intelligence agencies and criminal syndicates alone maintain large organizations capable of carrying out covert operations without fear of detection.”[412]McCoy, p. 14

Chicago Mafia boss Sam Giancana’s family biographers have written of Giancana’s own elaboration on this relationship. They described how Giancana showed his brother an ancient Roman coin and declared: “Look, this is one of the Roman gods. This one has two faces… two sides. That’s what we are, the Outfit and the CIA—two sides of the same coin:[413]Giancana, p. 215.

Israel, The CIA and the Drug Combine

All the evidence we have covered here suggests that the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate were indeed partners in many areas of mutual concern—not only in Cuba and in the Southeast Asian drug racket—but also in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

And as we saw in Chapter 6, Lansky’s allies in Israel stood much to benefit from American involvement in Southeast Asia.

While Israel was using America’s engagement in and preoccupation with the Vietnam conflict as a means whereby Israel could flex its muscle in the Middle East, the Lansky narcotics network was using its partnership with the CIA during the Vietnam War as a cover for its drug-smuggling.

And as we have seen in Chapter 8, the CIA and Israel itself had long and close ties equally as incestuous of those of the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate and Israel. That Israel had its own difficulties with John F. Kennedy we have already seen. Likewise with the Mafia and the Lansky Syndicate. In Chapter 9 we reviewed the CIA’s own problems with John F. Kennedy. Clearly, this alliance of forces against JFK was such that there was really no way John F. Kennedy could have ever completed his first term in the White House.

Chapter Thirteen • Israel’s California Connection • 4,600 Words
Mickey Cohen and the JFK Assassination Conspiracy

The role of Meyer Lansky’s West Coast Henchman — longtime Israeli loyalist Mickey Cohen—in the JFK assassination conspiracy is one of history’s little-known stories. Cohen — who was one of Jack Ruby’s idols — apparently had a direct hand in the initial stages of Israeli machinations gainst John F. Kennedy. Evidence suggests also that the death of film actress Marilyn Monroe was linked, in fact, to the Israeli connection in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

When Mickey Cohen’s name has appeared in numerous books and monographs relating to the JFK murder, it has only been in passing. Cohen, it would appear on the surface, deserves mention if only because of his involvement in Organized Crime which figures so prominently in JFK conspiracy theories.

However, Cohen’s intimate involvement with Israel and its international intrigue, and Cohen’s dedication to advancing Israel’s interests—even at the expense of his own criminal money-making activities—needs to be examined further.

The evidence we shall examine here suggests that even the death of film actress Marilyn Monroe is indeed linked to the John F. Kennedy assassination in a way never imagined.

Cohen, as we shall see, was using Miss Monroe—one of John F. Kennedy’s illicit liaisons—as a conduit to learn Kennedy’s intentions toward Israel. There is a lot more to the story of Marilyn Monroe’s affair with JFK than the tabloids have told us.

Cohen’s Memoirs

The primary source on Mickey Cohen is the Los Angeles mobster’s own colorful memoirs. Cohen’s memoir—Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words—is one of the more fascinating first-hand accounts of life in Organized Crime. The memoir is particularly interesting for three specific reasons:

(a) it is one of the few autobiographical accounts of life in Organized Crime written by a non-Italian. Virtually all of the popular accounts of life in the mob come from former “Mafia” members or associates. Cohen— with the exception of Michael Milan, whom we first met in Chapter 7—is perhaps the only other non-Italian, non-Mafia Organized Crime leader to put his experiences in writing.

(b) Cohen, as Hollywood’s rackets boss, was a central player in that unique underworld that links the entertainment industry to Organized Crime. A friend and associate of the prominent and of the rich and powerful, Cohen knew where Hollywood’s bodies were buried, in more ways than one.

(c) Cohen’s “ghost-writer,”—the man who put Cohen’s sometimes inelegant ramblings together and edited them for publication—was John Peer Nugent.

The CIA Connection

A former correspondent for Newsweek, Nugent was—on one occasion—taken into custody while in Africa on suspicion of being a CIA agent. He was released through the personal intervention of then-Secretary of State Dean Rusk. However, according to organized crime authority Art Kunkin, Nugent did have CIA connections.[414]A. J. Weberman writing in The Yipster Times (no date available)

Interestingly enough, Nugent himself once participated in a debate with JFK assassination investigator, A. J. Weberman, co-author of Coup d’Etat in America, where he—Nugent—sought to refute CIA complicity in the JFK assassination.

In this context, one can’t help but wonder if Cohen’s memoirs weren’t a laundered version, CIA-style.

Both what does appear in Cohen’s reminiscences—and what doesn’t appear—are equally intriguing. Cohen’s memoirs are a gold-mine of often fascinating information, particularly in regard to the Hollywood mobster’s early links to Israel and its birth struggle.

Successor to Siegel

Cohen was the West Coast successor to Meyer Lansky’s ill-fated boyhood crony, Benjamin Siegel, Organized Crime’s top man on the West Coast until his bloody assassination on June 20, 1947. Remembered best as “the man who invented Las Vegas,” the handsome Siegel was shot dead in the Beverly Hills home of his second wife, mob playgirl Virginia Hill.

Lansky and Siegel were longtime friends and early partners in Brooklyn at the beginning of their initial reach into the upper echelons of Organized Crime. The oft-told tales of New York’s “Bug and Meyer Mob” are legendary in the annals of Organized Crime. “Bug and Meyer” were treacherous killers in those early years. There’s no reason to think that Lansky mellowed with age.

Believed by Organized Crime’s ruling commission of looting funds earmarked for the casino network he was establishing in Las Vegas on behalf of the syndicate, Siegel was slain in retribution for his betrayal. This was said to be a great personal loss for his friend, Lansky.

Lansky Orders the Hit

Yet, Lansky himself apparently agreed to the decision that Siegel had to be executed. Lansky even agreed to handle the arrangements if necessary. Apparently he did. “I had no choice,” Lansky later said, reflecting upon his friend’s betrayal and its consequences.[415]Hank Messick. Lansky. (New York: Berkley Medallion Books, 1971), p. 153.

(The best accounts of Siegel’s role in the development of the Las Vegas front for the Lansky Crime Syndicate appear in The Green Felt Jungle by Ed Reid and Ovid Demaris and We Only Kill Each Other, a biography of Siegel written by Dean Jennings).

Hoover Sends His Sympathies

In Chapter 7 we explored the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s seeming inability to acknowledge the existence of the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate as well as Hoover’s connections to Israel’s American-based intelligence and propaganda agency, the Lansky Syndicate-financed Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith. (We shall discuss the ADL in further detail in Chapter 17.)

Michael Milan (whom we first met in Chapter 7 as a mutual associate of both Hoover and Lansky) says that when the hit was ordered on Ben Siegel, “Even [J. Edgar Hoover] himself had to concur and told everybody to stand away. He sent Meyer Lansky his personal condolences, however, because he had liked Benny, and Benny had showed him a good time whenever he went to the Coast.”[416]Michael Milan. The Squad: The U.S. Government’s Secret Alliance With Organized Crime. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., 1989), p. 195.

Whatever the circumstances, it was, in fact Mickey Cohen who assumed Siegel’s position as Lansky’s West Coast representative upon Siegel’s assassination.

Lansky’s ‘Eyes and Ears’

According to Lansky’s biographer, Hank Messick, it was Cohen who was Lansky’s real “eyes and ears” in Southern California—not his good friend Siegel. One of Cohen’s primary responsibilities was keeping an eye on the free-wheeling and reckless Siegel on Lansky’s behalf.

When Siegel was removed from the scene it was Cohen who stepped in and took charge of Lansky’s West Coast affairs—quite a fortuitous set of circumstances for the simian thug who could —by no means—ever have competed with Siegel in a beauty contest. No wonder then that Cohen recalled in his memoirs, “I have a great love and respect and a complete high regard for Meyer Lansky.”[417]Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 82.

Cohen & Israel

Aside, however, from his direct ties to Lansky, and his own intra-mob machinations, Mickey Cohen was in the State of Israel’s camp from the very beginning of its existence—even before. By his own admission, Cohen was engaged in arms smuggling and fund-raising for Israel even before Israel had become a state.

In his memoirs Cohen recalls his first encounter with an agent of Israel’s international fund-raising and arms-smuggling operations and how he came to identify with Israel’s cause.

Speaking of his crony, Mike Howard, Cohen recounted the day that Howard introduced him to an Israeli operative. (In his memoirs Cohen does not name the Israeli in question.) Howard, he says, “knew that I would do anything for a cause that was right, and particularly Jewish causes.”[418]Ibid., p. 90.
(Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 82.)

At first, Cohen says, he was hesitant to become involved. He changed his mind, though. “So they come back,” Cohen recalled, “and we sit down to talk. And the guy tells me this story about the Haganah, which was organized by the David Ben-Gurion guy. And he tells me especially about the Irgun and the type of war they’re fighting against the British, and the type of guys they are and all this. And I got high on him.

“But you know when you’re kinky [i.e. criminally-oriented] your mind runs kinky. I still figured this must be a racket thing. So I says to the guy, Tookit, I don’t know nothing about these things. I didn’t even know there was a war going on in Israel. Let me think it over.”[419]Ibid.
(Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 82.)

Cohen made no decision, one way or the other, but after Hollywood screenwriter, publicist and playwright Ben Hecht—an ardent advocate of the Zionist cause—came visiting, Cohen began to see the light. Hecht appeared at Cohen’s headquarters accompanied by a representative of the bloody terrorist Irgun gang. The individual, once again, Cohen did not name. “I could see that I was dealing with a real man, no con guy,”[420]Ibid. , p. 91.
(Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 82.)
remembered Cohen.

Menachem Begin Comes to Town

In his own memoirs Jimmy (“the Weasel”) Fratianno, a top West Coast Mafia figure-turned-government informant, gives us a hint as to who Cohen’s Irgun friend may have been. Fratianno described a benefit for Israel at an exclusive Bel Air home:

“After [Cohen's] little speech, we start moving around the room and Mickey’s rabbi introduces us to a guy called Menachem Begin, who’s the boss of the Irgun, an underground outfit in Palestine. This guy’s wearing a black armband and he tells us he’s wanted back there for bombing a hotel that killed almost a hundred people. He’s a fucking lamster [i.e. on the run].

“Anyway, he makes a speech, and after him just about everybody made a speech. It just goes on and on. Afterwards these other guys from the Haganah, another underground outfit, start arguing with Begin about who’s going to handle the money. So Mickey chirps in and it’s agreed that his rabbi will handle the money and Mickey will buy guns and ammo and ship them over there.”[421]Ovid Demaris. The Last Mafioso. (New York: Bantam Books, 1981), p. 32.

[This, as we shall see, would not be the last time that Menachem Begin would be spotted in the company of Mickey Cohen, however.]

Fratianno frankly doubted Cohen’s sincerity and suspected that Cohen was in “the cause” for the money to be made. However, in his own memoirs, Cohen was insistent about his dedication to Israel. In fact, he goes on at length about his devotion.

“I got engrossed with the goddamn thing pretty strong see. Through my connections I made everybody throughout the country—the Italians, the Jews, the Irish—set up whatever positions there were to be helpful to the Israel cause.”[422]Cohen, Ibid.
(Ovid Demaris. The Last Mafioso. (New York: Bantam Books, 1981), p. 32.)

Dedicated to Israel

Cohen’s dedication was inestimable. He was so devoted to Israel, indeed, that he allowed his criminal activities to go by the wayside. Cohen says:

“Now I got so engrossed with Israel that I actually pushed aside a lot of my activities and done nothing but what was involved with this Irgun war. It’s a nature of mine, see. Either I go whole hog or nothing. So I got involved with this goddamn Israel war for three years. I started to have relationships with Irgun members back in Israel. They got to understand me better and I got to understand them better.

“Well, I had raised considerable money, not particularly myself, but through me, throughout the country. There were dinners held in Boston, Philadelphia, Miami. And plenty of armament and equipment was collected that you couldn’t possibly get.

“It was only God’s will that Harry Truman was President. He couldn’t openly allow it to be known that he was okaying stuff to be shipped back there or that stuff was being stolen from the ships that were coming back from the Second World War.

“But it was only with Truman’s looking the other way, or with his being in favor, that it was done. To me, he was the greatest man in the world, Harry Truman, because of what he done for Israel and because he made it available for us to do.

“We were able to get on ships that were being put into mothballs. I had access to all that stuff on the docks. Some of the stuff and equipment like machine guns that we got back to Israel had never got a chance to be used in the Second World War. They weren’t even put together. They were still in the cases, in the straw, in the oil and everything. We shipped them right over.”[423]Ibid., pp. 91-92.
(Ovid Demaris. The Last Mafioso. (New York: Bantam Books, 1981), p. 32.)

Jack Ruby Comes to Town

It was during this same time that Cohen was also making the acquaintance of another thug, Jack Rubinstein, who ultimately changed his last name to Ruby.

Gary Wean—whose business it was to keep an eye on Cohen’s activities—later put his fascinating experiences down in an informal memoir entitled There’s a Fish in the Courthouse.

Wean’s contributions to Kennedy assassination research, however, have not received the widespread recognition they deserve.

A detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department, Wean got to know Mickey Cohen well. What’s more, as a Criminal Intelligence Investigator for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation, Wean was privy to much “inside” information about Cohen and his activities in Hollywood. Later, Wean was chief investigator for the Ventura County Public Defenders Office until 1970. He is now retired.

In his memoirs, Wean says he saw Ruby twice in Hollywood in 1946 and in 1947. The first time Ruby was riding with Cohen in Cohen’s big black limousine, although, on that occasion, they were not introduced.[424]Gary L. Wean. There’s a Fish in the Courthouse. (Oak View, California: Casitas Books, 1987), p. 681. The second time he encountered Ruby was a year later. According to Wean, he and his partner went to a club known as Harry’s Place. Ruby was there, and Wean introduced himself and informed Ruby he was a police officer.

In turn, Ruby introduced himself. He said: “My name is Jack Ruby. I just came out from Chicago to get with Harry. Since the war’s over the West Coast is dead, so is Chicago, We’re moving ‘everything’ to New Orleans and Miami. That is where all the action is going to be from now, between the United States and Cuba.”[425]Ibid.
(Gary L. Wean. There’s a Fish in the Courthouse. (Oak View, California: Casitas Books, 1987), p. 681.)

(A New Orleans chief assistant district attorney has essentially confirmed Ruby’s claim that the Crescent City had become a hub of syndicate financing and activity. According to the prosecutor, “There is too much money here. We feel that it’s flowing in from other Cosa Nostra [Mafia] organizations in other parts of the country for investment by the local mobs. This could be their financial center, with a lot of nice safe places where campaign contributions and outright bribery have pretty well insulated them from the law.”)[426]Robert Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. (Santa Monica, California: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 16.

In any case, as we shall see, this was just the beginning of Jack Ruby’s relationship with Mickey Cohen and Cohen’s West Coast associates. It wasn’t until 1963, however, that the relationship came full circle, as we shall see in Chapter 14.

Cohen, Marilyn Monroe and JFK

By 1960, Cohen was an established power in the West Coast syndicate operations of Meyer Lansky. And Cohen was also a key figure in Hollywood, nurturing his relationships with the film colony there—for his own insidious purposes.

As author John Davis notes: “One of Cohen’s rackets was sexually compromising Hollywood stars for the purpose of blackmail. It had been Cohen who engineered the torrid affair between his accomplice, Johnny Stompanato, and [film star] Lana Turner, in the hope of getting pictures of the two in bed together.”[427]John Davis. Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy (New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1989), p. 239. [Miss Turner's daughter later killed Stompanato in an event that became a major Hollywood scandal.]

But Cohen’s activities went further. Cohen was also manipulating beautiful screen star Marilyn Monroe for yet another purpose—one which had international implications.

Now as the legend goes, it was ostensibly the Frank Sinatra connection that led to the introduction of Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy. However, according to Gary Wean, it was in fact the Mickey Cohen connection that brought the handsome Massachusetts Senator and the Hollywood sex symbol together.

Wean reveals that Cohen’s close friend, entertainer Joey Bishop—who also happened to be a member of Sinatra’s famous clique known as “the rat pack”—was the one who actually set up the circumstances that led to the initial liaison between JFK and Miss Monroe during the 1960 presidential campaign.

“It was Joey Bishop that came up with the ‘idea of a wild party’ for Kennedy. He talked [Peter] Lawford [JFK's brother-in-law] into it.”[428]Wean, pp. 678-679. According to Wean, there was a reason for all of this—beyond satisfying JFK’s notorious appetite for beautiful women: “Bishop knew Kennedy would be taken by the Monroe sex appeal. Bishop was a Jew and real tight with Cohen.

“At that time the rabbis were pushing them hard as hell to squeeze every bit of dough they could get out of Hollywood for Israel. [Menachem] Begin was spending more time hanging around Cohen in Hollywood than in Israel. Begin desperately wanted to know what Kennedy’s plan was for Israel if he became president.

“Cohen figured if they could duke Marilyn into Kennedy, [Cohen's pimp Georgie] Piscitelli would be able to manipulate her and tell them everything Kennedy told her. Also they’d work a [blackmail] squeeze [against JFK] if a romance blossomed. Cohen also had something going on with Jack Ruby. His girl friend, [a stripper by the name of] Candy Barr, was making a lot of trips between Ruby in Dallas and Cohen in Hollywood.”[429]Ibid. , p. 679.
(Wean, pp. 678-679.)
According to Wean, Cohen’s pimp was also sleeping with Miss Monroe. Wean learned this from a young lady named Mary Mercandante who was jealous of Piscitelli’s relationship with Miss Monroe. Miss Mercandante was a prostitute and Piscitelli was her pimp.

JFK’s Views Toward Israel?

It was from Miss Mercandante that Wean learned something which he came to describe as “the really weird stuff.”[430]Ibid. , p. 677.
(Wean, pp. 678-679.)
Miss Mercandante told Wean that Piscitelli’s job was to pump Miss Monroe for information about JFK’s views toward Israel. (As we have seen in Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, Israel and its American lobby were uneasy, to say the very least, about Kennedy.) However, according to Wean, Piscitelli told Miss Mercandante that Marilyn would get upset when he began pressing her, saying she didn’t know anything about politics. Wean reports that Miss Mercandante told him that: “Cohen got mad and told Georgie to stick with Marilyn and pour drinks or pills down her, whatever it takes and find out what John Kennedy intended to do about financing Israel.”[431]Ibid. ,
(Wean, pp. 678-679.)

According to Wean’s source: “Cohen and Begin were plenty upset over Kennedy’s plans to give billions of dollars to the Peace Corps, and the South American and African countries.”[432]Ibid.
(Wean, pp. 678-679.)

Miss Mercandante began threatening to reveal all she knew about Cohen’s manipulation of the film actress and the affair with Kennedy. Wean, however, had already reported his findings to his superiors.

Two Murders?

Miss Mercandante was later murdered. She appears to be yet another of the many victims of what ultimately evolved into the JFK assassination conspiracy and cover-up.

Now although there has long been widespread suspicion that Marilyn Monroe was herself perhaps murdered, the tabloids would have us believe that she was murdered by the Kennedy family to keep silent about her affair with the President and—allegedly also—his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

The evidence we have seen here, however, suggests that if Miss Monroe was murdered it indeed was to keep her silent—but for an entirely different reason.

If Miss Monroe ever revealed that Mickey Cohen had used her to find out Kennedy’s stance toward Israel, it would have opened a Pandora’s Box that could have exposed Israel’s uneasy relationship with JFK—something that Israel and its American lobby could not afford.

What is interesting is that in his memoirs—which are filled with Cohen’s incessant name-dropping and accounts of his friendships with a bevy of Hollywood figures—Cohen never once mentions Marilyn Monroe. Nor does he mention Jack Ruby, for that matter either.

There were evidently certain things that Cohen and his co-author did not see fit to mention. It is more than interesting to note, at least in passing, that Meyer Lansky himself had “inside” knowledge on the extra-marital affairs of Attorney General Robert Kennedy at the very least.

According to J. Edgar Hoover biographer Curt Gentry, Lansky was overheard on a federal wiretap on August 1, 1962 telling his wife, Teddy, that Robert Kennedy was carrying on an affair with a woman in El Paso, Texas.[433]Curt Gentry, J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and the Secrets. (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1991), p. 493.

What Were They Up To?

In any event, Mickey Cohen’s strange activities were of continuing particular interest to Gary Wean.

Wean described in his memoirs how he first discovered the close working relationship between Cohen and Israeli terrorist-turned-roving diplomat (and later Israeli Prime Minister) Menachem Begin, whose Hollywood activities we reviewed earlier in this chapter:

“[My partner] and I’d been watching Mickey Cohen from a distance. We knew he was up to something out of the ordinary. He spent a lot of time with a weird-looking little guy at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel lunch counter and drug store area.

“What got our curiosity most was Mickey seemed to be taking orders from the stranger. We got photos with our telescopic lens of Cohen and his friend. The office checked it out. We learned his name: Menachem Begin.”[434]Wean, pp. 687-688.

To find out further what Cohen and Begin were involved with, Wean deployed a Yiddish-speaking spy to listen in on Cohen and Begin’s conversations. Wean notes: “He reported that the two in a deep discussion were very excitable. There was a lot of talk about Cuba and military operations and the Kennedys.”[435]Ibid. , p. 688.
(Wean, pp. 687-688.)
According to Wean’s operative: “We’ve really got something going. Mickey sounded like a politician. They were going on about war and billion dollar appropriations, cursing JFK about his crazy Peace Corps and wasting money.”[436]Ibid. , p. 689.
(Wean, pp. 687-688.)

Melvin Belli

According to Wean, after this coffee shop conference, Cohen and Begin departed. Wean and his partner followed Cohen to an elegant home in Los Angeles. There, Wean says, Cohen and Begin met with high-priced lawyer Melvin Belli, Cohen’s longtime friend and attorney.[437]Ibid.
(Wean, pp. 687-688.)

Belli, we shall see in Chapter 14, came to play an important role in the tangled web of intrigue surrounding the Kennedy assassination. Belli served as attorney for Jack Ruby.

Interestingly enough, according to Wean, Cohen, Ruby and Menachem Begin shared one other thing in common: Cohen was sharing his girlfriend, stripper Candy Barr, with not only Ruby (then operating in Dallas), but also with Begin, Israel’s man in Hollywood.[438]Ibid.
(Wean, pp. 687-688.)

However, Mickey Cohen had a lot more on his mind than his criminal activities and his sexual pursuits. Cohen was interested in the survival of Israel, the nation he had helped establish.

Cohen’s Mission

Cohen’s peculiar interest in JFK’s Middle East policy, coupled with his unfortunate manipulation of Marilyn Monroe, along with his longtime devotion to the Zionist cause, places him squarely in the midst of the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate’s central part in the JFK assassination conspiracy.

The simian-like Los Angeles thug was very much privy to the circumstances of what really took place in the JFK assassination. What Cohen may have known, however, was lost forever when the Lansky henchman died suddenly of a heart attack. He had no known history of heart trouble. In Chapter 14 we shall examine Cohen’s connection with Jack Ruby in more detail.

Years after his encounter with Cohen and Begin, Gary Wean received what he described as “a strange call.” It was from a writer named Ed Tivnan who said he was looking into Begin’s alleged association with American gangsters.

Covering for Israel

“My book’s purpose is to deny, dispel and silence the accusations of Begin’s criminal associations with them,”[439]Ibid. , p. 739.
(Wean, pp. 687-688.)
said Tivnan. Tivnan was not interested in Wean’s account of Begin’s very real association with the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. It was something that Israel did not want told.

There is another interesting sidelight to all of this. When author Anthony Summers was preparing his book Goddess, a life of Marilyn Monroe, he contacted Wean for information and Wean provided Summers with all of the details we’ve reviewed in these pages.

However, when Summers’ biography of Miss Monroe finally hit the bookstores, the author had nothing to say about Cohen and the Israeli connection. Instead, the book suggested that Miss Monroe’s death was a proximate result of her affair with the Kennedy brothers.

Indeed, the book led the reader to believe that it was the Kennedys who were, one way or the other, responsible—directly or indirectly—for the young woman’s tragic death. The Mickey Cohen-Israel connection went unmentioned.

There is something else interesting. This same Anthony Summers is the Anthony Summers who wrote an exhaustive study of the JFK assassination entitled Conspiracy. (This was before he met with Wean.) However, when Summers released an up-dated edition of his book in 1992, he never reported the information that Wean provided him about the Israeli connection. It is likely, in all fairness to Summers, that he probably did not understand the significance of what he had learned. However, it is very clear, considering everything that we have already examined in these pages—and what we are about to examine—that Wean’s discovery was a key to understanding what really happened on November 22, 1963.

The Cohen Connection

Today, there are those, as we have seen, who continually cite Jack Ruby’s connections with organized crime as proof that “The Mafia Killed JFK.” Some have even pointed out that one of Ruby’s first telephone calls he made immediately after the JFK assassination (just shortly after Lee Harvey Oswald had been arrested) was to Al Gruber, a Mickey Cohen associate in Hollywood.

Gruber, it also turns out—perhaps not surprisingly—was associated with Lansky’s Mexico City syndicate drug-smuggling connection, “Happy” Meltzer, with whom, as we shall see in Chapter 14, Ruby had his own connections.[440]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 143.

In fact, although Ruby had not seen Gruber in some ten years, Gruber came to visit Ruby in Dallas in November of 1963, just shortly before the assassination.

Other than this, the Cohen-Ruby link is given little play—perhaps precisely because it points not in the direction of the Mafia, but instead, more directly to Israel and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.

As it stands, ironically enough, Mickey Cohen was already incarcerated in federal prison by the time of the JFK assassination. Lansky’s West Coast lieutenant was one of many “big names” snared in the Kennedy war against the Lansky crime syndicate. There was clearly no love lost between Mickey Cohen and the Kennedy brothers.

It seems likely—and Gary Wean believes, as he told this author—that Cohen’s henchman Gruber was the intermediary for the Lansky syndicate in the delicate matter of how to silence the patsy—Oswald—who had somehow escaped being killed and was then in the custody of the Dallas police.

Mickey Cohen and Menachem Begin very clearly were involved in the initial stages of what ultimately evolved into the JFK assassination conspiracy precisely because of Kennedy’s difficult foreign policy struggle with Israel which sparked the plot against the American president.

Perhaps this might explain why Jack Ruby—in his final days—was fearful that if the truth about the assassination of John F. Kennedy ever came out that, as Ruby put it, “the Jews” would be blamed for the crime.[441]Ramparts (No date available).

In the next chapter we will examine Jack Ruby’s role further and consider his connections with the Lansky syndicate—and with Israel.

Chapter Fourteen • The Errand Boy • 9,500 Words
Jack Ruby Was More “Mossad” Than “Mafia”

Jack Ruby’s connections to the criminal underworld are well-documented. However, what is almost always ignored is Ruby’s integral link to the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate—not “the Mafia. And while there are occasional references to Ruby’s CIA connections, his equally profound ties to Israeli intelligence are strictly ignored.

A complete examination of the real Jack Ruby—not the Ruby of legend—points further toward the likelihood of Mossad involvement in the assassination of President Kennedy.

Organized crime historian Stephen Fox has called Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby “the smoking gun, the stone, the trout in the milk” in the JFK assassination conspiracy.[442]Stephen Fox, Blood and Power. (New York: William Morrow & Company, 1989), p. 307.

Ironically, not only did Ruby silence Oswald and help perpetuate the JFK assassination conspiracy and cover-up, but he also added fuel to the fire of speculation as a consequence. Had Lee Harvey Oswald died of a heart attack in the Dallas jail, rather than at the hands of a mob-linked thug named Jack Ruby, suspicion of a conspiracy might not have evolved so quickly. Yet, when Jack Ruby stepped into the public limelight and eliminated Oswald, attention was focused on the strange background of the Chicagoborn underworld figure who had killed the alleged assassin.

Ruby’s criminal ties are legendary. But Jack Ruby was not—repeat not— “Mafia.” And he was more than just a “Mafia associate.”

Ruby, in fact, was very much a part of the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate and, what’s more—the Warren Commission’s conclusions notwithstanding—was also working for Lansky’s longtime collaborators in the CIA and with Israel’s Mossad (documented in detail in Chapter 8.)

The late Bernard Fensterwald, one of the leading JFK assassination researchers, documented Ruby’s Lansky connection in his encyclopedic work, Coincidence or Conspiracy:

“Ruby told the Warren Commission on June 7, 1964 about his 1959 visit to [Lewis] McWillie in Havana, and also spoke of knowing McWillie’s bosses. Interestingly enough, McWillie’s bosses at that time were Meyer and Jake Lansky. Ruby mysteriously spoke of meeting two brothers who’d owned the Tropicana Casino which McWillie managed. Ruby said he was unsure of their last name but thought it had been Fox. It has long been known that Meyer and Jake Lansky were in fact the two key Tropicana owners. The Tropicana had been a cornerstone of their Cuban holdings.

“Ruby also described ‘the Fox brothers’ as ‘the greatest that have been expelled from Cuba,’ and said they were then living in Miami. Meyer and Jake Lansky were known as the most prominent Syndicate men expelled by the Castro government and were in fact then living in Miami. Ruby said he thought one of the ‘Fox brothers’ first names may have been Martin.

“Ruby further testified that one of the ‘Fox brothers’ had later visited him in Dallas, accompanied by Lewis McWillie. Ruby claimed that they had dined at the Dallas airport together. Ruby further testified that Fox and McWillie had also subsequently dropped by his nightclub, where they posed for photographs with him. Ruby later took the photos with him when he visited McWillie in Cuba:

“‘Evidently the Foxes were in exile at that time, because when I went to visit McWillie… [Cuban officials] looked through my luggage and they saw a photograph of Mr. Fox and his wife.

“‘They didn’t interrogate but they went through everything and held me up for hours… Evidently in my ignorance I didn’t realize I was bringing a picture [of someone] they knew was a bitter enemy.”[443]Bernard Fensterwald and the Committee to Investigate Assassinations. Coincidence or Conspiracy? (New York: Zebra Books, 1977) pp. 371-372.

There is some question, however, as to whether or not the “Fox brothers” were, in fact, the Lansky brothers. Ruby biographer Seth Kantor notes that there were brothers named Martin and Pedro Fox who were Cuban nationals and involved in the Tropicana. (Nonetheless, the Tropicana was owned by the Lansky brothers.)

Kantor writes: “The significance of all this marching up and down the hill about the Fox brothers is that Ruby was a rational man at the time of the Warren Commission’s June 7, 1964 interview with him. He was telling them the truth, and begged to be taken out of Texas so he could tell them more. But no one listened, on one of the sorriest days in the Warren Commission’s history.”[444]Seth Kantor. Who Was Jack Ruby? (New York: Everest House, 1978) pp. 13-14.

It is interesting to note that at the time of the JFK assassination Ruby’s good friend McWillie was working at the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas, owned in part by Meyer Lansky and his brother Jake. As Peter Dale Scott succinctly summarizes it: “In other words, McWillie was working for the Lanskys when Ruby made seven phone calls to him in 1963.”[445]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 180. These were among the phone calls made to organized crime-related figures that authors David Scheim and John W. Davis and G. Robert Blakey have used to promote the theory that “The Mafia Killed JFK.”

Ruby did indeed call some seven or eight mob-linked individuals in the period just before the JFK assassination, but, according to Peter Dale Scott, “only one of these was Italian.”[446]Ibid. , 184.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 180.)
Yet, as Scott points out, Blakey’s House Assassinations Committee preferred to cast Ruby as a “Mafia” figure and to ignore his positioning in the Lansky sphere. “Only from officials,” Scott notes wryly, “can logic like this be encountered.”[447]Ibid., p. 183.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 180.)
In general Scott describes this as a form of “conscious bias, or what might be called contrived bias, the purpose of which is to deceive others.”[448]Ibid., p. 182.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 180.)
Whatever the direct link between Lansky and Ruby in this regard, however, JFK assassination researcher Jim Marrs states flatly that Ruby had a share in a gambling house in Hallandale, Florida along with Meyer and Jake Lansky, among others, in the early 1950s.[449]Jim Marrs, Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1989), p. 392.

There is no doubt that Ruby and Lansky’s world of intrigue intersected in several arenas, as we shall see—whether the two actually ever were personally acquainted or not.

Ruby and the Lansky Drug Racket

Peter Dale Scott has scored G. Robert Blakey and his House Assassinations Committee for its dismal failure to explore and to expose Ruby’s Lansky connections which are very strong indeed. Scott, who has studied Jack Ruby’s criminal antecedents, has outlined Ruby’s critical positioning in the Lansky syndicate.

According to Scott: “It is certain that Ruby was investigated [in the mid-1940's] for his role in [an] international drug-trafficking syndicate, involving corruption of government officials in Mexico City.”[450]Scott, p. 141. The top syndicate representative in Mexico City was one Harold “Happy” Meltzer, but, in fact, it was Meyer Lansky who was “the key figure in the Meltzer syndicate.”[451]Ibid., p. 144.
(Scott, p. 141.)
According to Scott, “Right after World War II this was probably the biggest drug-smuggling channel into the United States.”[452]Ibid., p. 141.
(Scott, p. 141.)
The House Assassinations Committee, in Scott’s judgment, failed to note that “Ruby was in some way an important figure”[453]Ibid., p. 71.
(Scott, p. 141.)
in the linkage between organized crime and the political arena in Dallas and “on a federal level.”[454]Ibid., p. 71.
(Scott, p. 141.)
Ruby, in short, was no mere mob hanger-on as some have tried to suggest and he was not, by any stretch of the imagination, part of “the Mafia” as G. Robert Blakey and some others have suggested.

Ruby Was Not ‘Mafia’

According to Scott, the House Committee investigation of Ruby and his underworld associates chose to focus on what Scott describes as an “ethnic model of organized crime as ‘La Cosa Nostra’”[455]Ibid., p. 70.
(Scott, p. 141.)
—that is, focusing on the so-called “Mafia,” the popularized media sobriquet for Italian elements in the organized crime underworld, rather than upon the more substantially predominant Jewish elements personified by Meyer Lansky and those in his sphere of influence.

According to Scott, these descriptions of organized crime “are bureaucratically distorted to the point of falsehood… [and that] this distortion involved systematic distortion of the facts, not just about Ruby, but about other aspects of the Kennedy assassination.”[456]Ibid., p. 151.
(Scott, p. 141.)

In Scott’s assessment, the House Assassinations Committee investigation of Jack Ruby omitted any reference to what he delicately d escribes as “the ongoing, drug-fueled, intelligence-mob connection”[457]Ibid., p. 193.
(Scott, p. 141.)
—what we, in the pages of Final Judgment, more correctly and precisely call the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.

As Scott has concluded (and rightly so): “The so-called Cosa Nostra has been systematically misrepresented by law enforcement investigators and prosecutors. For this active misrepresentation has deformed the two official investigations into the Kennedy assassination itself, not in marginal ways, but so as to conceal central truths about the assassination, truths that were embarrassing to those conducting the investigation.

“In the end one comes to recognize that the history of organized crime and the history of the investigation and prosecution of organized crime are closely intertwined processes affecting one another. Processes, one must add, which mutually affect the truth, but concealed, seats of political power in this country.”[458]Ibid., p. 19.
(Scott, p. 141.)

“To sum up: official investigations of the Kennedy assassination have failed, not because the case is inherently insoluble, but because both the case and the investigations have been governed by deeper political processes, which have not yet been discerned.”[459]Ibid., p. 21.
(Scott, p. 141.)

In short, Jack Ruby was not a “Mafia” hireling, but, instead, a key point man in Dallas for the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate and, ultimately, as Stephen Fox has said, “the smoking gun, the Rosetta stone, the trout in the milk” in the JFK assassination conspiracy. The deeper political processes of which Peter Dale Scott has noted “have not yet been discerned” are now, however, in the pages of Final Judgment, being bared for the first time.

Ruby’s Israeli Connections

Now although Jack Ruby was long known to be proud of his Jewish heritage, what is little known is that Ruby himself had an intimate connection with an individual with deep ties to the world of intelligence and to the pro-Israel lobby in the United States. This was Ruby’s “longtime associate and former lawyer,”[460]Ibid., p. 181.
(Scott, p. 141.)
Luis Kutner of Chicago, who had represented Ruby when Ruby was called before the staff of the Kefauver Senate Rackets Committee in 1950 to discuss underworld activities in his former home base of Chicago. According to Kutner, Ruby’s offer was contingent upon the condition that the Kefauver Committee stay away from investigating organized crime in Dallas where Ruby was by then ensconced. Peter Dale Scott notes that “The performance of the Kefauver Committee would seem to corroborate Kutner’s claim, for the Committee did give Dallas a clean bill of health.”[461]Ibid., p. 151.
(Scott, p. 141.)

Although a “mob lawyer,” it seems, Kutner did have additional interesting connections. According to Scott, “Kutner, by his own account, had known Ruby since 1936, when he had used Ruby to ‘run errands’ in his unsuccessful 1936 congressional campaign. Later Kutner had inserted himself into what can only be described as international intelligence operations, ranging from Latin American coups to the defense of ousted Congolese leader Moise Tshombe.”[462]Ibid., p. 201.
(Scott, p. 141.)

But Kutner was himself also active in efforts to advance the interests of Israel. He was among a host of people who formed the Center for Global Security, Inc., which he served as “honorary counsel.” Serving as “honorary chairman” of this pro-Israel lobbying group was General Julius Klein, an American military figure who not only played a major role in supplying weapons to the Israeli Haganah underground prior to the establishment of Israel, but also assisted in the founding and training of the Israeli Mossad.

Clearly, Jack Ruby’s friend and lawyer, Kutner, was a man with important ties to Israel and its global power networks. So, what Peter Dale Scott says regarding Ruby’s association with Kutner is not an overstatement: “[Kutner's] involvement with Ruby confirms that Ruby should not just be thought of as a man with local influence with the Dallas police, but as a player in international deep politics.”[463]Ibid., p. 201.
(Scott, p. 141.)

Yet, when G. Robert Blakey and the House Assassinations Committee were looking into Ruby’s connections and when Blakey later wrote about his findings, Blakey never once mentioned Kutner—a significant Ruby connection, particularly in light of what we have already outlined—and will examine further—in the pages of Final Judgment.[464]Ibid., p. 349.
(Scott, p. 141.)

Ruby and Israeli Arms Smuggling

JFK researcher A. J. Weberman has revealed the little-known fact that Ruby traveled to Israel in 1955 and that while in San Francisco that year, Ruby told a friend, “After I leave here I’m going to Florida to buy a load of contraband to send to Israel.” Ruby’s notebook also contained the phone number in New York City belonging to a Miss Snyman who told the FBI she had diplomatic immunity and that she should be contacted through the South African ambassador to the United Nations. Weberman raised the question as to whether this suggested Ruby might have been involved in an arms deal between Israel and South Africa, but noted that the FBI had then decided the number was JE-8-7475 rather than TE-8-7475. Who that number belonged to was apparently never resolved.[465]A. J. Weberman Internet website: www.weberman.com (Nodule 27).

In addition, citing FBI documents, Weberman notes that Lawrence Meyers, Ruby’s long-time friend with whom he met at the Cabana Motel the night before the JFK assassination was a salesman for Ero Manufacturing. The FBI determined that calls were made from Ero to a corporation investigated for illegal arms shipments to Israel.[466]A. J. Weberman Internet website: www.weberman.com (Nodule 27).

There is, in fact, evidence of other Ruby connections to Israel at the time of the JFK assassination itself. It is well known that while Ruby was milling about the Dallas Police Department after the assassination that Ruby claimed to be translating for Israeli “reporters” who were on the scene.

This is interesting, obviously, in that it seems unlikely that Israeli correspondents in the United States would have English capabilities so lacking they required the services of a Dallas strip club operator.

While Ruby’s association with these Israeli reporters may have been completely innocent, what is interesting is that neither the Warren Commission nor any enterprising JFK researchers (many of whom look askance at Final Judgment) never tracked down these reporters. Why not?

At one conference of JFK assassination researchers one attendee created a bit of a stir when he asked if anyone had ever determined precisely which Israeli newspapers Jack Ruby was translating for and whether anyone ever interviewed those reporters to find out what Ruby may have said to them in those critical hours while Ruby was stalking Oswald.

The answer that the master of ceremonies, researcher Walt Brown, gave was revealing in its own fashion. Brown said—in words to this effect— “That may be the most important question asked at this conference.”[467]Interview with Steve Frogue, who asked the question of Walt Brown.

What may, in the end, be most telling about Ruby’s Mossad connections came out as late as 2003 when William F. Pepper, longtime attorney for Martin Luther King’s alleged assassin, James Earl Ray, published his book An Act of State.

In that book Pepper asserted that in 1963 Ruby was involved in an international arms smuggling operation—based in part in Texas—which involved “a senior Mossad agent working in South America who acted as a senior liaison to the U.S. military and CIA.”‘[468]William Pepper. An Act of State. (New York: Verso Books, 2003), p. 77.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Pepper did not elaborate on the Mossad connection. However, Pepper’s circumspect reference to the Mossad was a lightning bolt of recall to anyone who had already read Final Judgment.

Pepper’s assertion involving the Mossad link to the arms smuggling operation involving Ruby is based on statements made to one of Pepper’s investigators by former Colonel John Downie of the 902nd Military Intelligence Group, a unit based inside the Department of Defense.

According to Downie, the mysterious figure “Raul”—whom King’s accused assassin, James Earl Ray, claimed had helped frame him (Ray) for King’s murder—was part of a U.S.-based international arms smuggling operation that Pepper had already determined—through other sources— involved Jack Ruby.

The link between “Raul” and Ruby was by no means tenuous: “Raul” and Ruby were placed together by Pepper’s sources on numerous occasions prior to the JFK assassination—five years before King’s murder.[469]Ibid., pp. 100-102.
(William Pepper. An Act of State. (New York: Verso Books, 2003), p. 77.)

The smuggling operation utilized weapons stolen from U.S. Army bases and armories which were delivered to the New Orleans-based Carlos Marcello organized crime organization which, in turn, delivered those arms for sale in Latin and South America and elsewhere. The proceeds from the arms deals were reportedly split equally with the U.S. 902nd Military Intelligence Group using its cut for financing covert, off-budget, operations.

It appears the previously published Final Judgment had almost certainly already pinpointed the identity of the individual described by Pepper’s source. In the photo section of Final Judgment, it is pointed out that the famous “umbrella man” who was photographed in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963 bore a remarkable resemblance to no less than the nowinfamous (but then shadowy) longtime Mossad figure, Michael Harari.

In 1963, Harari was in the field as a top Mossad’s assassinations specialist and would have assuredly been in Dallas if the Mossad was a prime player in the JFK conspiracy. In addition, the published record documents that—throughout his career—Harari was heavily involved in Israeli intelligence operations in Mexico, South America and the Caribbean, culminating in his later more widely-publicized role as the top advisor to then-Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega who was ultimately topped in a U.S. invasion. Was Harari, then, the “senior Mossad agent working in South America” referenced by Pepper’s U.S. military source? If not, it was certainly someone Harari worked with.

That Jack Ruby—who was part of the Mossad-connected smuggling operation uncovered by Pepper—had multiple Mossad and Israeli connections is no surprise to those who had already read Final Judgment (Later, in the question-and-answer section of Final Judgment, we will explore further strange Israeli connections to the Martin Luther King affair— details that have been deliberately otherwise suppressed.)

Ruby and the Bronfman Family

Jack Ruby’s covert activities were clearly well-established. But independent researcher Brian Downing Quig came up with a Ruby connection that had never before been revealed. Exploring the corrupt world of Arizona mob bagman and political boss Kemper Marley, linked to the infamous 1976 murder of investigative reporter Don Bolles, Quig learned from Marley’s longtime publicist Al Lizanetz that not only had the Lanskylinked Bronfman bootlegging family been Marley’s sponsors, but also that Jack Ruby himself was also on the Bronfman family’s payroll.[470]“The Death in Arizona of the Kemper Marley Machine,” by Brian Downing Quig, appearing on the Internet.

So when we consider the Bronfman family’s intimate ties to the Permindex entity (that, as we shall see in Chapter 15, clearly played a central role in the JFK conspiracy) the Ruby connection to the Bronfman family is interesting indeed and does point further to an Israeli connection.

Ruby and the CIA

All of the evidence of Ruby’s gun-running, both to Castro himself and, ultimately to anti-Castro Cuban exiles, has been explored relentlessly, and in detail, by JFK assassination researchers. But his Lansky connection has been repeatedly ignored. Former CIA contract agent Robert Morrow reports that Ruby’s pro-Castro gun-running was done in conjunction with former Cuban president Carlos Prio Socarras. (Prio, also, had a long history of close association with Meyer Lansky, as we saw in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11, having received lucrative Lansky pay-offs.)

According to Morrow: “With the blessing of the syndicate and the guidance of the CIA, Prio made his deal with Castro, arranging for the Mafia (which was also supporting Batista) to supply the necessary arms and finances to make Castro’s revolution successful—on the condition that Fidel would reinstate him as president once Batista was overthrown. Castro agreed, and Prio turned into a high-class gun-runner. One of his partners would be Jack Ruby of Dallas, Texas, then known as Jack Rubinstein. This is supported by a Miami FBI informant named Blaney Mack Johnson who claimed Ruby supplied arms for Castro through Prio, that he had seen Ruby around a private airport, and had known Ruby to run guns by boat. There are others who confirm that Ruby was in the gunrunning business in Florida during the late 1950′s. One was Eladio del Valle, a former Cuban congressman and a good friend of Mario Kohly…”[471]Robert Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. ( Santa Monica: CA: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 19.

The aforementioned Kohly was one of the primary leaders of the Cuban exiles who turned against Castro after the Cuban dictator turned the tables on his previous allies in the Lansky Crime Syndicate which helped bring Castro to power (as we documented in Chapter 7). Kohly himself subsequently turned to Meyer Lansky for support and offered to return his casino rights if he, Kohly, were able to assume power in Cuba after Castro was removed.[472]Ibid. , p. 49.
(Robert Morrow. The Senator Must Die: The Murder of Robert F. Kennedy. ( Santa Monica: CA: Roundtable Publishing, Inc., 1988), p. 19.)
Thus it was that Jack Ruby was an important errand boy in the strange pro- and anti-Castro dealings of both the CIA and the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. Nonetheless, there is clearly more to the story of Jack Ruby that needs to be explored.

Ruby, Oswald and the CIA

The late John Henshaw, a crack investigative reporter operating out of Washington, D.C., did some of his own digging into Ruby’s background. Henshaw, who worked as an investigator for syndicated columnist Drew Pearson (about whom we shall see more in Chapter 17) uncovered a link between Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald, tying them together with the CIA. According to Henshaw, Dallas police officials were actually in the process of investigating Ruby and Oswald in the assassination attempt on retired General Edwin Walker several months before the JFK murder.

A bullet was fired through Walker’s window, although the general, a dedicated anti-communist and Castro critic, was unharmed. However, there is some debate among assassination researchers as to what role Oswald did play—if any—in the shooting at the Walker residence. This is yet another of the many unanswered questions surrounding the JFK mystery.

At any rate, according to Henshaw’s account, a secret police investigation of the shooting linked Oswald and Ruby to the incident. Then, according to Henshaw, a high-ranking FBI official was asked by a top official in the Justice Department to intervene and stop the impending arrest of the two Dallas operatives. Henshaw said that it was the CIA itself that had asked the FBI to intervene. According to Henshaw, the CIA was using Ruby to recruit Dallas men into the anti-Castro movement. However, the FBI official refused to intervene, saying it would be obstructing justice.

The FBI official did say, though, that he would make the request only if he were formally directed to do so in a written communication signed by the Justice Department official. Shortly thereafter, according to Henshaw’s account, the FBI official then received a signed directive. He contacted Dallas police and urged them not to arrest Oswald and Ruby.

But the Dallas police also wanted an official signed communication. Thereupon the Justice Department sent the communication to Dallas Police Chief Curry asking that Oswald and Ruby be left strictly alone. Justice explained it didn’t want Oswald and Ruby arrested because of “reasons of state” and that the department was making the request on the CIA’s behalf.[473]John Henshaw, The National Enquirer, May 17, 1964. Henshaw’s account is yet another of the significant reports which point in the direction of undisclosed covert activities by both Ruby and Oswald together, being carried out under the direction of the CIA.

Henshaw also wrote that Texas Attorney General Waggoner Carr was being kept under surveillance by the FBI because he had undisclosed evidence: “The evidence includes a copy of the missing film taken moments before Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald. The film covers Ruby’s progress through the FBI and police screens guarding the entrance of the Dallas Police headquarters. Two cameramen had been assigned by a Dallas TV station to cover the entrance, but were ordered by federal agents to knock off film footage which showed a high official of the Justice Department escorting [Ruby] through the two security screens.”[474]Ibid.
(John Henshaw, The National Enquirer, May 17, 1964.)
According to Henshaw, high-level federal pressure stopped Carr’s investigation after it was learned that he had an uncut copy of the entire film. He allegedly kept a copy for himself.

There is evidence of other possible contact between Ruby and Oswald— even in New Orleans. This evidence has never been published to this author’s knowledge.

This author received access to a private letter written on February 20, 1967 during the controversy over New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s inquiry into the assassination. The author of the letter described the fears of his aunt, a New Orleans woman, who was a neighbor of Lee Harvey Oswald’s during his sojourn in the Crescent City. “She is terrified to the point that she will not cooperate,” he said. “She stated that her fear was based upon the possibility that ‘Garrison would get me for withholding evidence’ and the possibility that ‘someone will put a bullet in my back.’

“She made the following points to me: (1) She observed Oswald having visitors three times (a) two “Cuban looking” men visited him twice and (b) a man and woman came and picked up Oswald one weekend. ‘This man had the same profile as pictures of Ruby,’ she said. ‘Every time I see a picture of Ruby, this visitor of Oswald pops into my mind, but I am afraid to say anything about it. I could not swear that it was Ruby, but I couldn’t swear that it wasn’t.’”[475]Private correspondence in author’s files. Ruby apparently did visit New Orleans during the time Oswald was there, ostensibly trying to find a stripper for his club. Could it be the woman seen with the Ruby-look-alike was one of these strippers?

That Jack Ruby did indeed have ties to both the Lansky Syndicate and to the CIA involving Cuba is, today, not in doubt. However, during the period of the Warren Commission investigation, the official government “investigation” preferred to look the other way. According to Ruby biographer, Seth Kantor:

“After the Ruby trial ended, Leon Hubert and Burt Griffin, the Warren Commission’s two Ruby experts, tried to convince Commission members in memorandums on March 19 and April 1, 1964, that there was “substantial evidence” showing Jack Ruby had maintained unexplained Cuban associations. But the efforts of Hubert and Griffin were blocked by the CIA and discouraged by others on the Commission staff.”[476]Kantor, p. 127.

Kantor suggests that “Ruby and Oswald probably didn’t know each other; yet both could have been used as separate parts of a conspiracy to commit murder in Dallas on the weekend of November 22-24, 1963. Oswald on Friday. Ruby on Sunday. Two men separately manipulated by the same power. After they were arrested and jailed, both men said they had been manipulated. ‘I’m a patsy,’ said Oswald. ‘I’ve been used for a purpose,’ said Ruby.[477]Ibid., p. 209.
(Kantor, p. 127.)

Despite Kantor’s observations to the contrary, we have seen evidence (in Chapter 11, for example) that Ruby did almost assuredly know Lee Harvey Oswald and that Ruby did indeed participate in matters relating to the assassination. Whether Ruby—and Oswald—did, in fact, know that the assassination of Kennedy was in planning is another story.

A Conspiracy Against Connally?

Michael Milan, who has written of his role in working as part of a secret U.S. government team collaborating with the Lansky Syndicate says there were at least several people operating in Dallas who believed that they were not involved in a conspiracy to kill John F. Kennedy, but, instead, in a conspiracy to kill Texas Governor John B. Connally. According to Milan, he (Milan) played a part in the JFK assassination cover-up. Milan claims that following the assassination he was dispatched to Dallas by J. Edgar Hoover himself. Milan’s assignment was to kill a cab driver named Brinkman. Milan met with Brinkman and began questioning him.

When Milan asked who set up the shooting, Brinkman said, “I never met the guy before I was introduced to him by this broad at [Jack Ruby's] Carousel Club. And I didn’t shoot nobody. There was me and two other guys. We weren’t even after the president. We were supposed to shoot the governor, but things happened too fast. They were gone before anybody did anything. I think there were two other guys doin’ what I was supposed to do. But I don’t know who they are or where they was when the shooting started. We was just supposed to shoot at the governor when they passed and get out of there. That’s all. But nuthin’ happened. I mean, everything happened and I just got outta there fast.”[478]Mike Milan. The Squad: The U.S. Government’s Secret Alliance With Organized Crime. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, 1989), pp. 232-234.

Milan completed his assignment and killed Brinkman. When he returned to Washington he was met at the airport, he says, by Hoover who said, “You already know too much. So I’ll just say: Johnson. No doubt. We stand away. Do you get it?”[479]Ibid.
(Mike Milan. The Squad: The U.S. Government’s Secret Alliance With Organized Crime. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, 1989), pp. 232-234.)

Is it conceivable, perhaps, that Jack Ruby was not consciously involved in a plot that he believed was aimed at John F. Kennedy, but at John B. Connally instead? Can the same thing be said for Oswald? Is it possible that the two men were being manipulated as part of an even bigger conspiracy that they knew nothing about? This is all speculation, but it is something to consider.

The Lansky connection to Ruby’s role in the JFK assassination conspiracy and cover-up goes much deeper than we have explored thus far.

Lansky’s Courier in Dallas

One day prior to the JFK assassination one of Meyer Lansky’s longtime personal couriers, one Jim Braden, was visiting in Dallas. He was also on the scene in Dealey Plaza when JFK was assassinated, actually being taken into custody by the Dallas police, and then released. Standard accounts of the role of organized crime in the JFK assassination conspiracy have frequently pointed out Braden’s strange doings in Dallas. What has been ignored, however, is his close relationship to Meyer Lansky.

David Scheim, writing in Contract on America, provides his readers a lengthy discussion of Braden, but never once mentions his connection with Lansky. Scheim prefers to leave the reader with the impression that Braden was a “Mafia” courier—not a Lansky courier.[480]David Scheim. Contract on America. (New York: Shapolsky Publishers, Inc., 1988), pp. 45-47.

Even G. Robert Blakey and Richard Billings (Scheim’s chief source) acknowledge in their own book that Braden was, reportedly, a “personal courier” for Lansky. “In the end,” say Blakey and Billings, “we reached no firm judgment on Braden’s mob connections or on whether his activities in Dallas were in any way related to the assassination.”[481]G. Robert Blakey and Richard N. Billings. The Plot to Kill the President (New York: Times Books, 1981), p. 396.

What Blakey does not mention, however, is that Braden was so much a key figure in the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate that he was a charter member of the Lansky Syndicate-financed La Costa Country Club. In Chapter 10, as we have seen, it was Blakey who was on the payroll of Lansky associate, Morris Dalitzone of the founders of La Costa, after Dalitz and his partners sued Penthouse magazine for publicizing the mob links of the Carlsbad, California resort. Blakey, in fact, served, in effect, as a character reference for the Lansky Syndicate defending the resort against the accusations—something Blakey, for obvious reasons, would not be inclined to brag about when proclaiming himself a crime-buster.

Braden, Ruby & Ferrie

The late Bernard Fensterwald supplies us some of the interesting details about the activities of Lansky’s courier: “Braden also had some other startling connections which were also never discovered by the Warren Commission. Jim Braden had visited the same Dallas office of the H. L. Hunt Oil Company that Jack Ruby visited on November 21, 1963—the afternoon before the assassination—and at approximately the same time.

“Braden was also staying at the Cabana Motel in Dallas—a reported “mob hang-out” that was frequented by Jack Ruby and various Ruby associates. Ruby visited the Cabana Motel sometime around midnight on the night before the assassination—November 21, 1963—while Jim Braden was a guest there. Braden also has a possible connection to the late David Ferrie. According to information documented by Peter Noyes, Braden worked out of an office suite—Room 1701—in the Pere Marquette Building in New Orleans in the fall of 1963, in the weeks immediately preceding the assassination. During this same period in late 1963, David Ferrie was working for Mafia leader Carlos Marcello on the same floor… in the same building… just down the hall from Braden—in Room 1707.[482]Fensterwald, p. 288.

[Fensterwald notes further that Noyes has found additional evidence that Braden once listed his address as Room 1706—right next to Ferrie! In Chapter 11 we examined the role of CIA contract agent David Ferrie and his connection to the JFK assassination conspiracy in some detail. The evidence cited by Fensterwald only draws the circle more closely.)

That one of Meyer Lansky's chief couriers would be in Dallas and moving in Ruby's sphere of operations is evidence that the fine hand of Meyer Lansky himself was in motion in Dallas and, more than likely, this is a direct link between Lansky and Ruby.

According to Lansky's West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen (Ruby's role model) couriers such as Braden were very important in the Lansky Syndicate: "Important messages never came by phone. Anything to do with a hit, a gambling operation, to go somewhere or to see somebody, was by courier. See, we worried about wiretaps thirty years ago. Even money was only transacted person to person. If anybody had money coming or going, you put a man on a plane."[483]Mickey Cohen with John Peer Nugent. Mickey Cohen: In My Own Words. (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1975), p. 129.

Another Lansky associate, Michael Milan, has also written of the importance of mob couriers and the need for secrecy. “Whenever he came to a sitdown, Mr. Lansky always had his percentage figured out in advance. He kept it all in his head, too.”[484]Milan, p. 10.

There is evidence, however, that Ruby and Braden did indeed have a very close connection. Lansky’s courier Jim Braden was also a “friend”[485]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), p. 143. of Lansky’s Mexico City representative, “Happy” Meltzer,” whom we met earlier in this chapter as the head of a drug-smuggling operation in which Ruby was evidently involved.

Obviously, Lansky’s courier, Jim Braden, may have indeed been bringing a message from Lansky to Ruby. But whatever his role in Dallas, there’s no question but that he was there for a purpose. This was not a case of coincidence, but indeed, conspiracy. All of this, taken together, suggests, as we have said, that the Lansky-Ruby connection is much deeper than might be perceived and far more than some “crime solvers” would have us realize. What is especially interesting, further, is an additional Lansky connection to Ruby that surfaced after the assassination of JFK and after the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Melvin Belli Comes to Town

In Chapter 13 we examined the strange—and little known role—of Meyer Lansky’s West Coast henchman, Mickey Cohen, in the JFK assassination conspiracy. Cohen—himself a longtime Ruby associate and the Dallas mobster’s role model—was obviously a key figure in the network of conspiracy. It was Cohen’s longtime friend—and attorney—Melvin Belli who stepped forward as Jack Ruby’s defense attorney.

Belli and Cohen had known each other for years. In fact, Belli was a regular at the Los Angeles nightspot, Rondelli’s, of which Cohen was the secret owner. And, as we’ve noted, he was also Cohen’s lawyer.

The two were so close that Belli even once had Cohen introduced as “Professor O’Brien from Harvard who’s going to give you a talk on tax laws,”[486]Cohen, p. 200. to a meeting of the American Bar Association in Miami.

According to Cohen, writing in his memoirs, the Los Angeles mobster assumed the platform and then began rattling on for some time, essentially saying nothing. He then concluded, “My advice to all of ya is to be sure to pay your goddamn taxes right to the letter.”[487]Ibid.
(Cohen, p. 200.)

Blakey and Billings, in The Plot to Kill the President, addressed the circumstances in which the Lansky henchman’s attorney came to represent Jack Ruby:

“How Melvin Belli, a nationally known trial lawyer, was brought in to handle the Ruby defense was a matter of some dispute. We heard a report that Seymour Ellison, a lawyer associated with Belli, got a phone call from ‘a Las Vegas attorney’ who said, ‘Sy, one of our guys just bumped off the son of a bitch that gunned down the President. We can’t move in to handle it, but there’s a million bucks for Mel if he’ll take it.’

“Ellison confirmed to us that he received the phone call, but he said he did not remember the name of the Las Vegas attorney and nothing developed from the call. Belli told us a different story. He said Earl Ruby came to California three days after his brother was arrested; he watched Belli sum up a murder defense in a Los Angeles courtroom and he asked him to take the case.

“Belli said he declined at first. He had learned that his fee would be paid by the sale of Ruby’s story to newspapers, and he did not care to be involved in that sort of exploitation. Nevertheless, Earl Ruby talked him into it, Belli told us, and he took the case with five goals in mind: to save Jack Ruby; to strengthen the law; to show that current legal tests for insanity were inadequate; to wed modern law to modern science; and to help Dallas ‘solve its problem.’”[488]Blakey & Billings, p. 325.

Interestingly, Blakey and Billings report further that Ruby’s brother Earl had told yet another version of the “official” story. They also make passing reference to the Ruby-Cohen relationship.

Noting that “Ruby liked to tell friends that he knew Mickey Cohen,” they concluded: “We could not be certain just how well Ruby knew Cohen, who also grew up in Chicago, but he admired him and tried to emulate him.”[489]Ibid., p. 327.
(Blakey & Billings, p. 325.)
As far as Belli’s decision to defend Ruby, Blakey and Billings said: “We found it difficult to believe that Belli did not receive a substantial fee for his defense of Ruby.”[490]Ibid.
(Blakey & Billings, p. 325.)
The two also noted that “We considered the possibility that Belli went to Mexico to pick up a fee for the Ruby defense, but we found no proof that he did.”[491]Ibid.
(Blakey & Billings, p. 325.)

Whatever the case, Belli’s defense of Ruby failed. Ruby was convicted and sentenced to death. Ruby’s family formally fired Belli as Ruby’s attorney. But Ruby’s death was announced just shortly before he was scheduled to be retried for his murder of the alleged assassin. As a consequence, any final determination of just what role Ruby played in the JFK assassination scenario became another mystery in an endless series of mysteries. Jack Ruby could never tell what he knew.

This was not the end of Melvin Belli’s role in the JFK controversy, however. As pioneer JFK assassination investigator Mark Lane noted in his second book on the assassination, A Citizen’s Dissent, Belli emerged as one of the leading defenders of the official Warren Commission version of the assassination.

According to Lane, ABC-TV’s Les Crane show wanted to stage a debate between Lane and Belli. “I was less sanguine, for, although I was confident in my knowledge of the facts, Belli’s almost legendary oratorical accomplishments had preceded him to the East coast.”[492]Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.

Lane points out that he subsequently received a call from the producer telling him that the debate was canceled. According to the producer: “It’s the ABC brass. They have just said no. Period. They say you have the facts and the affidavits and that would just confuse the audience.”[493]Ibid.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)
But the show itself was not, in fact, canceled—only the debate between the well-informed Lane and Belli.

“It’s just that we can’t have you on.” Lane was told. There’s going to be a debate anyway. We’re getting Oswald’s mother.”[494]Ibid.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)
Lane summarized the situation in this way: “And so it came to pass that the first network broadcast presenting both sides of the controversy found splendiferous Melvin Belli, conqueror of a thousand juries, opposed by a poorly educated widow. Mrs. Oswald’s visceral responses were meritorious, but her lack of command over the facts, together with Belli’s bully tactics, reduced the program to the low level of entertainment that the network apparently sought.”[495]Ibid.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)

After some negotiations, Belli finally agreed to debate on stage under one condition–that both wear tuxedoes. There would be three debates. It was during the first debate, in San Francisco, that Belli came on stage, wearing a cape over his tuxedo, and in his concluding remarks made his final judgment on the JFK assassination conspiracy. He declared “If we cannot trust the FBI, the CIA and Earl Warren, then God pity us.”[496]Ibid. , p. 34.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)

However, the Establishment media did not see fit to publicize the circumstances of this debate, despite the fact, as Lane points out, that Belli himself is somewhat of a celebrity. As Lane noted: “In San Francisco, if Belli’s office is burglarized or if he agrees to represent a topless dancer, he is on the front page of the newspapers and may be seen repeatedly on television screens. Perhaps those assembled that evening constituted the largest paying audience to witness a debate in many years in San Francisco. Yet not one word appeared in any of the three daily newspapers the morning after the debate.[497]Ibid.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)

Media Cover-Up

The subsequent New York debate between Lane and Belli was jampacked with the press. However, according to Lane, “Not one daily newspaper in New York, and possibly in the nation, even mentioned that the event had occurred.”[498]Ibid., p. 36.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)
This despite the fact that there were half a dozen papers in New York at the time.

Lane commented: “The New York Times refers to itself as a newspaper of record. That which is not found within its many pages ostensibly did not happen. For this reason the Belli encounter in New York is known to some as the debate that never occurred.”[499]Ibid.
(Mark Lane. A Citizens Dissent (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1968), pp. 30-31.)

That a prominent attorney who represented Mickey Cohen, a key figure in Meyer Lansky’s international crime operations (and also an important cog in Israel’s global machinations), later came to represent Jack Ruby is clearly significant.

A Well-Placed Errand Boy

Although Jack Ruby’s actual role in the planning stages of the JFK assassination conspiracy will probably never be fully known, there is no question that, in the end, Ruby became a critical factor in the cover-up. His murder of Lee Harvey Oswald silenced the one man who could no doubt fill in at least some of the missing pieces of the puzzle. Jack Ruby was a wellplaced errand boy, not only for Meyer Lansky and his global crime syndicate, but also, it appears, for the covert arm of the CIA as well. Ruby did his job and he did it well.

Although Ruby sought to speak freely, the Warren Commission refused his entreaties to be allowed to come to Washington to tell his story. The story of how Chief Justice Earl Warren refused to give Ruby the opportunity to leave Dallas and tell his story is a famous part of JFK assassination folklore. As a consequence, Ruby never did have the chance to give his version of what really happened.

Jack Ruby was indeed “the smoking gun, the Rosetta stone, the trout in the milk.” He also may have even been—as even Lee Harvey Oswald proclaimed himself—a “patsy.” Just one player—albeit, in the end, an important one—Ruby played a starring role in a drama orchestrated far beyond his seamy Carousel Club in Dallas. Ruby was an errand boy in a high-stakes operation—the assassination of an American president—that was being undertaken by the joint alliance of the Meyer Lansky Crime Syndicate, the CIA and Israel’s Mossad.

A Strange Story

As this book was being completed, a very strange story about Jack Ruby came to this author’s attention that bears repeating, if only for the reason that it should be part of the permanent record, particularly considering our contention that Israel did indeed have a hand in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Before relating the story itself, a few words should be mentioned about the credibility of the source.

The original source was a now deceased Idaho woman named Grace Pratt who related the story to a friend (now living in Oregon) whose name must remain anonymous. This author has spoken with the Oregon man, an elderly retiree, and has concluded that he believes very strongly in the reliability of Mrs. Pratt. He has provided this author with a written summary of what Mrs. Pratt told him about her connection with Jack Ruby. The memorandum reads—in pertinent part—as follows:

“In Idaho in the 1960′s I met George and Grace Pratt, who had moved to Nampa from California upon retirement. The Pratts became very good friends of mine. George had worked in the Navy yard and Grace had cooked for many years in many of the big restaurants in San Francisco.

“For a longtime she had worked for ‘Tiny’s.’ Tiny’s had a side-by-side restaurant and bar with a door between, opening into the anteroom between the dining room and the kitchen. The bar was run by Jack Ruby. He also had charge of the ladies in the basement. The bar was a place for the ‘underworld’ to meet. After the dinner rush was over, Grace would fix her plate and one for Jack Ruby, and they would eat in the anteroom.

“One day she heard a shuffle and looked up just in time to hear the zip of a gun with a silencer. A man had rushed through the door and fallen dead on the floor. A big husky man came back, gripped her by the arm until she thought he would crush it and said, ‘You didn’t see anything, did you. You didn’t hear anything, did you?’ She answered, ‘No, I was in the back of the kitchen. I did not see anything. I did not hear anything.’ From then on she had their confidence. Jack shared a lot of the things that went on in the bar with her. Anyone who knew Jack Ruby that well would always be able to recognize him going or coming.

Bound for Israel?

“Six days after Jack Ruby’s funeral was publicized in the press, Grace called me very excited and said, “I was just now watching the news. They turned the TV camera on a ramp up to a plane loading for Israel from New York, and who do you think went up the ramp? I screamed to George in the other room, calling him and saying, ‘Come quickly! Jack Ruby is boarding that plane!’

“At the top of the ramp he stopped, turned around, and looking straight into the camera he tipped his hat and entered the plane. She said she thought he was giving the message to someone that he had made it and was on his way. The Pratts were shocked. She said there had already been a number of JFK assassination witnesses who had mysteriously died. Two years after seeing him board for Israel, she heard through the underground that Ruby had gone to Brazil.

“She made me promise not to tell anyone what she told me until after her death. Grace has been gone about ten years now. Knowing Grace and her credibility, I believe every word. If someone had the clout to check the grave to have the ‘body’ exhumed, this might be very revealing.”[500]Memorandum supplied to author and interview with memo author. So ends the strange memorandum received by this author. The words speak for themselves.

The source who provided the author with this unusual memorandum firmly believes that Mrs. Pratt did indeed know Jack Ruby well and that Mrs. Pratt herself was convinced that she had seen Ruby boarding the plane for Israel.

Another individual who knew Mrs. Pratt told this author that she was a highly credible individual not given to tale-spinning and that she had indeed mentioned her acquaintance with Ruby (although she had not told him the story about having seen Ruby departing for Israel).

Is this story the product of one woman’s imagination? Or did Mrs. Pratt indeed see just what she believed she saw? Is possible that Mrs. Pratt has provided us yet another key tying Israel to the most intimate levels of the JFK assassination conspiracy?

It is worth remembering that even as these words are written, many leaders in Israel and leaders of the Israeli lobby in the United States are working tirelessly for the pardon of American-born Israeli spy, Jonathan Jay Pollard, sentenced to life in prison for passing U.S. defense secrets to Israel. Is it possible, perhaps, that a similar, secret arrangement was made on Jack Ruby’s behalf? Is it possible that, on “humanitarian” grounds, Ruby was quietly released from prison and permitted to go to Israel? (After all, it could be argued, it was Ruby who had become a hero by killing “the man who killed President Kennedy.”) Is it possible that the decision was made to usher Ruby quietly out of the country so that there would be no widely publicized trial in which Ruby’s connections—would be bared?

Somebody Was Helping Ruby

It is interesting to note that on October 6, 1966, at the time Ruby was granted a new trial, the Washington Daily News carried a story proclaiming that “It’s Possible for Ruby to Go Free,” as a result of a second trial. The story quoted his lawyer as saying the case was so simple that “Somebody just out of law school can handle it.”[501]Washington Daily News, Oct. 6, 1966. What’s more, it’s interesting to note a little-noticed column by veteran crime reporter Dorothy Kilgallen who had an abiding (and perhaps fatal) interest in the JFK case.

In her column datelined DALLAS, February 21, reporting on the Ruby trial, Miss Kilgallen reported that “one of the best kept secrets of the Jack Ruby trial is the extent to which the federal government is cooperating with the defense. The unprecedented alliance between Ruby’s lawyers and the Department of Justice in Washington may provide the case with the one dramatic element it has lacked: MYSTERY.”[502]Philadelphia News, February 22, 1964.

Miss Kilgallen revealed that a deal between Ruby’s lawyers and the FBI, “provides Ruby’s side with reams of helpful information that they would never have been able to get without the G-Men—on the condition they do not ask for anything at all about Ruby’s alleged victim, Lee Harvey Oswald. It appears that Washington knows or suspects something about Oswald that it does not want Dallas and the rest of the world to know or suspect. Why is Oswald being kept in the shadows, as dim a figure as they can make him, while the defense tries to rescue his killer with the help of information from the FBI? Who was Oswald, anyway?”[503]Ibid.
(Philadelphia News, February 22, 1964.)

Perhaps Miss Kilgallen found out the answer to the questions. She reportedly told several friends, shortly before her “accidental” death from a combined drug overdose and alcohol, that she was about to crack the Kennedy case wide open. That Ruby’s path to possible freedom was being assisted by the FBI (during his first trial) does raise questions. Then, coupled with his reported “death” prior to a second trial—especially considering the story told by the late Grace Pratt—the mystery deepens.

Did Jack Ruby really die in prison or did he secretly emigrate to the Jewish homeland of Israel? The answer to that question has no direct bearing on the thesis of Final Judgment , but it may be a mystery that deserves further scrutiny. Perhaps some enterprising researcher may answer the question: “What did happen to the ‘corpse’ of Jack Ruby?”

A NOTE FOR THE RECORD: Following the release of the first edition of Final Judgment, the author came across an obscure volume entitled The Ruby-Oswald Affair, published in 1988. The author was the late Alan Adelson who had served as the attorney for Jack Ruby’s family in the probate of Ruby’s will. Adelson died just shortly before his book was published. At the beginning of the book Adelson describes how he attended Ruby’s funeral in the company of Ruby’s brother, Earl:

“The funeral had been a closed-casket affair. I realized immediately that the closed casket would raise questions. Who was to know if Jack was really in the casket? I had heard rumors that Kennedy was not really dead, but was hidden away in South America. ‘Earl,’ I said, let them see. I know it sounds grisly, but let’s put it to rest.’ The lid of the casket was opened, and for the first time I saw Jack, the man I would learn to know almost as well as I knew myself.”[504]Alan Adelson. The Ruby-Oswald Affair. (Seattle, Washington: Romar Books, Ltd., 1988), p. 6. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only known reference to anyone actually having seen Jack Ruby in the casket. In this case, the reference came from someone who had not actually known Jack Ruby in person. Although photographs of Lee Harvey Oswald (both during his autopsy and in his coffin) as well as photographs of John F. Kennedy (during his autopsy) have been widely circulated, there are no known such photographs of Ruby.

Frankly, I do not find Adelson’s posthumously-published proclamation of having seen “Jack” (a man he never saw alive) as any refutation of the story by Grace Pratt. For the record, however, it seems appropriate to record the comments attributed to Adelson.

A Final Mystery—ruby and the ADL

On June 27, 1964, Stanley Kaufman, Ruby’s lawyer and longtime friend, testified before the Warren Commission and noted the following:

“About the Anti-Defamation League, although I do say I talked to the FBI agents about it, but not in connection with a conversation with Jack.” Kaufman continued in a meandering way and then concluded: “I do want the record to be correct, because I don’t think that Jack Ruby and I ever discussed the Anti-Defamation League ….”

Obviously, Kaufman very much wanted to keep the ADL—an arm of Israel’s Mossad— from being associated with Jack Ruby. So then, just what was Ruby’s association with the ADL? Was he perhaps an ADL informant? Was he an ADL conduit to the Dallas Police Department? What influence did the ADL have on Ruby, if any? The answers to these questions would be revealing.

New Revelations…

As readers may recall from the opening pages of Final Judgment, the author received an unusual manuscript from Dallas in the opening days of 2005. That document filled in a vast array of details about intrigues surrounding the pro-Israel Dallas Jewish elite (and of Texas in general) and laid to rest the myth put forth by many naïve “JFK researchers” who claim Dallas was ruled by anti-Jewish right-wing John Birchers. The document’s revelations, taken together with what had already been outlined in this chapter on Jack Ruby, should give serious researchers more leads to follow.

Ironically, although I had known for years that Dallas Jewish leader Sam Bloom was in charge of planning JFK’ s Dallas trip, I disregarded the point since—contrary to what my critics say—I was NOT “looking for Jews under every rock.” Now, thanks to the Dallas manuscript, I have to confess that my efforts to “be moderate” and not focusing on someone who happened to be Jewish caused me to miss or ignore distinct Israeli connections in Dallas to the JFK conspiracy.

Despite all this, evil critics who charged that my book and my motivations were “antiSemitic to the core” have been proven wrong, very wrong, and as far as I am concerned this alone clears me of the charge. Because I was not writing from an “anti-Semitic” viewpoint, as the liars charged, I missed some very serious points that, thankfully, have now been covered in this book.

AND ONE LAST ITEM: Although the Grace Pratt story of Jack Ruby’s phony “death” is controversial, I recently received an item from the Feb. 6, 1978 edition of The Village Voice, written by Alexander Cockburn and James Ridgeway. The item lends credence to Mrs. Pratt’s story. In an article focusing on new revelations surrounding Lee Oswald’s CIA ties, Cockburn and Ridgeway wrote:

“Though already dismissed as a baseless rumor, the allegation that Jack Ruby is still alive and was given a new identity by the Central Intelligence Agency was not dreamed up by the veteran conspiracy buffs but was, in fact, advanced by a former employee of the agency itself.

“The Ruby story—to the effect that the CIA, in cooperation with the KGB, sponsored Ruby’s murder of Oswald before the latter could disclose damning details of U.S.-Soviet intelligence links—has been put forward privately in recent weeks by Frank Snepp, formerly of the CIA. Snepp recently published Decent Interval, a harsh denunciation of the CIA’s conduct in the last days of the Vietnam War.”

The Twain Shall Meet

So it is. We have examined the players. We have examined their motives. We have examined the interplay between the relatively small group of individuals whom we have linked to the JFK assassination conspiracy. Let us move forward and determine a critical point of contact that ties together the diverse—yet closely connected—elements behind the conspiracy that took the life of John F. Kennedy. This is vital to recognizing and understanding the central role of Israel’s Mossad in the crime of the century.

Chapter Fifteen • The Twain Shall Meet • 10,500 Words
The Permindex Mystery: Israel, The CIA, The Lansky Crime Syndicate and the Plot to Kill John F. Kennedy

Central to understanding the joint Mossad-CIA-Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate nexus in the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy is to recognize the importance of a littleexplored corporate entity based in Rome and known as Permindex. New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw, indicted by Jim Garrison for conspiracy in the JFK assassination, served on the Permindex board of directors.

Many assassination researchers have contended that Permindex was a covert CIA money laundering operation. Shaw, of course, did have ties with the CIA. Others have put forth the theory that Permindex was a front for a Nazi remnant left over from World War II. This theory, exciting though it may be, falls far off the mark.

All of the firm evidence indicates Permindex was an Israeli operation—with close CIA connections—and tied inextricably with the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate.

Unraveling the mystery of Permindex explains the web of intrigue that ties all of the key players in the conspiracy together. The Permindex connection is also the fa mous “French connection” to the JFK assassination. And as we shall see, the French connection is, actually, the Israeli connection.

In Oliver Stone’s film, JFK, actor Kevin Costner (portraying Jim Garrison) confronts actor Tommy Lee Jones (portraying Clay Shaw) and displays Italian newspaper articles exposing the activities of a Rome-based operation known as Permindex. Shaw, an international trade executive, served on the board of Permindex. The film audience is left with the impression that Permindex was a covert CIA operation, the purpose of which—at least in the film—is never defined.

However, as the evidence now shows, Permindex was a Mossad arms trading and money laundering venture operating in conjunction with the Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate. And Clay Shaw, a longtime CIA asset, serving on the Permindex board, was a prime player in the New Orleans phase of the JFK assassination conspiracy.

Therein, quite simply, lies the key to the mystery behind the JFK assassination. Therein lies the explanation as to why Jim Garrison’s investigation of Clay Shaw, a director of Permindex, had to be scuttled. Not only had Garrison stumbled upon a definitive CIA link, but he had also (inadvertently) discovered the Israeli connection. But at the time Garrison himself never even suspected how deeply the Permindex nexus went. Garrison had only come across the tip of the iceberg.

The Secret About Permindex

Israel’s Mossad was the key force behind Permindex. In fact, one of the chief shareholders in the Permindex holding company was the Banque De Credit International of Geneva,[505]Paris Flammonde. The Kennedy Conspiracy. (New York: Meredith Press, 1969), p. 219. established by Tibor Rosenbaum, the longtime Director for Finance and Supply of Israel’s Mossad. It was BCI, as we saw in Chapter 7 and Chapter 12, which served as Meyer Lansky ‘s chief money laundering bank in Europe.

According to Meyer Lansky’s sympathetic Israeli biographers: “After Israel became a state, almost 90 percent of its purchases of arms abroad was channeled through Rosenbaum’s bank. The financing of many of Israel’s most daring secret operations was carried out through the funds in [BCI].”[506]Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan and Eli Landau. Meyer Lansky: Mogul of the Mob. (New York: Paddington Press, 1979), p. 276. BCI also served as a depository for the Permindex account.

That Tibor Rosenbaum’s BCI was a controlling force behind the enigmatic Permindex entity places Israel and its Mossad in the very center of the conspiracy behind the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Clay Shaw’s positioning in New Orleans, site of one operational rung of the conspiracy, resulted in Shaw’s implication in the investigation conducted by Jim Garrison. But the conspiracy went much deeper.

Ultimately, as we now know, Garrison came to recognize that Israel’s Mossad was intimately involved in the events in Dallas on November 22, 1963. However, in the beginning, Garrison surely never even suspected it and certainly had no reason to do so. JFK’s secret war with Israel was an unknown factor in the geo-political events of the period. Attention instead was focused on American involvement in Southeast Asia

‘Transnational Connections’

In examining the JFK assassination conspiracy, according to researcher Peter Dale Scott, “a first step is to suggest that one ingredient in the complex, multi-centered intrigues that climaxed in the Kennedy assassination was the participation of diverse unaccountable transnational connections, each transcending the limits of American political society, and each with distinctive motives for the murder of the president…

“To now recognize a transnational dimension to the case is… to recognize that the American political system is of necessity an open one, and thus increasingly susceptible to the growing influence of money and intelligence penetration from abroad [our emphasis]…

“Transnational connections are common modes of interaction between intelligence agencies, often in intrigues of which heads of government may be, at best, only dimly aware. Sometimes they may give rise to more overt, structured arrangements or forums such as the World Anti-Communist League, a forum, financed over the years by countries like Nationalist China and Saudi Arabia, with recurring links to the international drug traffic.”[507]Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.

Scott notes additionally that “It is well known that in the 1950s and 1960s the Israel Lobby and the Taiwan Lobby were both powerful in Washington and sometimes collaborated on common projects… There was also a Nicaragua Lobby, or perhaps more accurately, a Somoza Lobby, which also overlapped with the Israel, China, and Cuba lobbies.”[508]Ibid., p. 106.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)

(Scott points out, for example, that a Washington lobbyist who was close to New Orleans Mafia chief Carlos Marcello also served as a registered lobbyist for both Nicaragua and the Israeli Aircraft Industries.)

It is clear, based upon the evidence that we shall review in these pages, that Permindex, which played so central a role in the JFK assassination conspiracy, was indeed one of these transnational “overt, structured arrangements or forums” of which Scott speaks.

What Was Permindex?

What exactly then was Permindex? How did Permindex fit into the center of the international conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Author Paris Flammonde’s 1969 account of the Garrison investigation, The Kennedy Conspiracy, contains valuable information on Permindex, although, unfortunately, Flammonde didn’t pursue the matter as far as he could have. Had he done so he would have unearthed the IsraeliLansky Organized Crime Syndicate connection.

Flammonde cites several articles that appeared in the foreign press, specifically Italy’s Paesa Sera (March 4, 1967) and the Canadian publication, Le Devoir (March 16, 1967) as his source for much of the information he provides his readers on Permindex.

These articles appeared just shortly after Clay Shaw’s name first came to attention as a result of the Garrison investigation and were the articles highlighted in Oliver Stone’s JFK. These articles provide the unusual background of Permindex and point toward its real origins.

“There was established in Rome an organization named the Centro Mondiale Commerciale,” reported Paesa Sera. [Centro Mondiale Commerciale is Italian for "World Trade Center."] “Its origins, functions, rotating presidency, geographical displacements, sub-, subsequent, and alternate designations were so complex and labyrinthine as to make a comprehensive and comprehensible description of it in anything less than a modern-sized book impossible.”[509]Ibid., p. 214 (paraphrasing Paesa Sera, March 4, 1967).
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)

The CMC was founded in 1961 by one Giorgio Mantello.[510]Ibid., p. 215.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
The Italian name, however, was an affectation. Mantello was an Eastern European Jew originally named Georges Mandel. At the time CMC was established, it was asserted that CMC would function as an international commercial organization, that it would aid in the establishing of a permanent worldwide network of trade expositions, and generally assist concerns involved in trade matters.

Permindex was a subsidiary of CMC. The name Permindex is an acronym which stood for PERmanent INDustrial EXpositions.[511]Ibid.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
Clay Shaw, of course, was the founder and director of the International Trade Mart in the key port city of New Orleans. Thus, Shaw’s connection with an international trade entity seems logical.

However, there was more to the story, as the foreign press revealed: “Actually it was soon to become evident that the seemingly vast, mighty structure was not a rock of solidarity, but a shell of superficiality; not constructed with mass, supporting promise, but composed of channels through which money flowed back and forth, with no one knowing the source or the destination of these liquid assets.” reports Paris Flammonde.[512]Ibid., p. 216.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)

Clay Shaw’s Little-Known Sponsors

What about Clay Shaw? How did this New Orleans socialite come to become involved in the strange world of the international entity known as Permindex? Who were Clay Shaw’s sponsors?

What no JFK assassination researchers—even those who cite Clay Shaw’s now widely-known CIA connections—ever seem to have noted is yet another Shaw connection that places him further into the net of the CIA-Mossad-Lansky Crime Syndicate nexus.

We refer to Shaw’s tie to Seymour Weiss who ran New Orleans, alongside Carlos Marcello, for the Lansky syndicate and was Lansky’s contact man with Louisiana’s famed “Kingfish,” Huey P. Long.[513]Ibid., p. 95.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
In Chapter 10, as we have seen, it was Lansky who installed Carlos Marcello as the Mafia boss of New Orleans. It was Weiss, however, who emerged as the Lansky syndicate bagman and political operative working in conjunction with Marcello.

In fact, Lansky’s man Weiss was purportedly the prime target of the IRS investigation of Long—referenced in Chapter 10—that was initiated the day before Long’s assassination, and, according to Peter Dale Scott, “Long’s murder in 1935, some say, was arranged to prevent men like Weiss from going to jail.”[514]Ibid., p. 97.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)

Scott has noted additionally that House Assassinations Committee director G. Robert Blakey has omitted “all reference to the role of Seymour Weiss”[515]Ibid., p. 333.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
in his account of Carlos Marcello’s rise to power in New Orleans. To do so, of course, as we noted in Chapter 10, would point in the direction of Meyer Lansky.

Seymour Weiss and the CIA

Now although Weiss ultimately did serve time in prison on other racketeering charges, this did not prevent Weiss from eventually serving on the board of Standard Fruit and Steamship[516]Ibid., p. 97.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
which maintained strong ties with the CIA in its activities in Latin America.[517]Ibid., pp 102-106.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
In this context it is interesting to note there have been suggestions that Weiss was a key CIA contact in New Orleans and his record suggests he would have been perfectly positioned to be one.

In fact, one New Orleans-based CIA contract agent investigated by Jim Garrison—the ubiquitous and colorful Gordon Novel—is known to have written a letter to a “Mr. Weiss” in which Novel discussed the dangers of the Garrison investigation. The letter surfaced at the time that Garrison’s inquiry was in full swing and Novel was seeking to avoid giving testimony.

Many have opined that the Mr. Weiss in question was probably Novel’s CIA superior, although others have suggested the “Mr. Weiss” may have been another Weiss—and not Seymour. Whatever the case, there is no question but that Seymour Weiss—a prime figure in the Lansky syndicate— was tied closely to the intelligence community and undoubtedly worked on its behalf in the context of his role with Standard Fruit.

The major fruit companies, as numerous works can attest, had extensive interplay with the CIA inasmuch as their vested interests in the so-called “Banana Republics” of Latin America were directly affected by the governments therein. And needless to say, the CIA played a major role in the affairs of Latin America from almost its very inception.

Where then do we find a tie-in between the erudite Clay Shaw, a respectable trade executive, and the Lansky syndicate henchman—and CIA contact—Seymour Weiss? In fact, it is a very close connection indeed.

The Men Behind Shaw

You see, it was during the time that Weiss served as a director of the CIA-linked Standard Fruit that the powerful corporation was under the management of one Rudolph Hecht, a leading figure in the small and tightly knit but highly influential Jewish community of New Orleans.

Hecht, in fact, had become chairman—by the time of his death in 1956—of the executive committee of the International Trade Mart[518]Ibid., p. 333.
(Peter Dale Scott. Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.)
of which Clay Shaw was managing director. It was Hecht and his associates, Ted Brent and Herbert O. Schwartz, who were Shaw’s sponsors.

In short, Hecht was Shaw’s superior. Shaw maintained the high public profile with the Trade Mart that won him his place in New Orleans society, while Hecht and his associates were the real powers behind the scenes.

And among those who likewise served on the board of the International Trade Mart was another powerful figure in the Jewish community, Edgar Stern, Jr., whose father Edgar and his mother Edith were among the most prominent financial angels for the Israeli lobby in America. As we shall see in Chapter 17 and Appendix Three, the Sterns—perhaps Shaw’s closest friends—were the forces behind the WDSU media empire that played a key role in portraying Lee Harvey Oswald as a “pro-Castro agitator” prior to the JFK assassination, setting him up as the patsy.

Thus, there is indeed much more to Clay Shaw than what we have been told. But it is Shaw’s tie to Permindex that places him in a web of intrigue involving Israel’s Mossad and global power politics that the critics of Final Judgment would certainly prefer that we ignore.

Let us explore the Permindex connection further. As we do, the reality of what Permindex was—and how it was intimately tied to the JFK assassination—will become more apparent.

Louis Bloomfield—the Bronfman Connection