Title: UK – Sunday Press – Part 3 – Why Kennedy had to die
Media: UK – Sunday Press
Date: Sunday, March 1, 1992
BOOK AND FILM OUT THIS WEEK
The mystery of the killing of John F. Kennedy has haunted America for years. Book after book has been written, probing for the truth. Oliver Stone’s controversial film JFK, which opened in Dublin last week, claims that the military-industrial complex, and in particular, the CIA, organized his murder. And a sensational new book written by Mafia insiders, serialized last week and today in The Sunday Press, spells out in detail how and why the Mafia and the CIA worked together to assassinate the U.S. President.
“On November 22, 1963, the United States had a coup; it’s that simple,” Mafia chief Sam Giancana told his brother (and Mob partner) Chuck. In part two of The Sunday Press’s exclusive extract from “Double Cross”, we tell the story of what happened that day in Dallas.
Mooney stood up from his chair, cigar in had, and marched across the room. When he reached Chuck, he lowered his voice and fixed him with a steely, impenetrable gaze. “We took care of Kennedy… together.” He lifted his cigar to his lips and a cruel smile curled like an embrace around it.
For the next hour, Mooney shared the darkest and most horrifying of his secrets. Deep down, Chuck wanted to tell his brother to stop, wanted to cover his ears. These were not, he thought, the secrets of a man should know if he valued his life. But somehow he couldn’t call a halt to the stream of words.
In early spring of 1963, when the decision was reached by Mooney and his CIA associates to finalize plans for their elimination of the President, Oswald was the natural choice as fall guy. “they’d already laid the groundwork to make him look like a Commie nut, but going to Russia and with all that pro-Castro shit. He was perfect… he acted like a Commie… he smelled like a Commie… they figured it would be no problem to convince people he was a Commie.
As he’d done with the Castro assassination attempt and other cover operations previously, Mooney told Roselli, (a trusted Mafia lieutenant and old friend) as his main conduit to the CIA- but only after he said he held an initial meeting with Guy Banister and former CIA deputy director Charles Cabell, then employed in a private detective firm. There was also a man Mooney described as a “covert operations specialist” and some top brass in U.S. military intelligence from Asia in attendance.
THE HIT IN DALLAS WAS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER OPERATION WE’D WORKED ON IN THE PAST… WE’D OVERTHROWN OTHER GOVERNMETNS IN OTHER COUNTRIES PLENTY OF TIMES BEFORE. THIS TIME, WE JUST DIS IT IN OUR OWN BACKYARD.
After this meeting, Mooney said that Roselli met “several times” with members of the original group as well as a CIA agent. Roselli also continued to serve as Mooney’s go-between to Marcello, Trafficante, and Hoffa, men who were equally eager to see their nemesis, Jack Kennedy, eliminated.
Mooney said that the entire conspiracy went “right up to the top of the CIA.” He claimed that some of its former and present leaders were involved, as well as a “half dozen fanatical right-wing Texans, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, and one of the team from the Bay of Pigs Action Officer under Eisenhower.
The more Chuck understood about Mooney’s plot and its multitude of players, the more apparent it became that there were few, if any, lines of demarcation between the Outfit and the CIA. There were not black hats and white hats; that was all a sham for, as Mooney put it, “saps to cling to.” In many instances, the Outfit and the CIA were one and the same.
From Mooney’s point of view – one that Chuck couldn’t help but embrace when faced with the facts his brother threw down before him – the CIA and the Outfit had become so intertwined that to say there had been a conspiracy between the two over-looked the mere fact that they had become – for all practical purposes – one.
For all its apparent simplicity, Mooney said the Dallas assassination had taken months to mastermind; dozens of men were involved and the hit had been planned for several different cities – Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas. But ultimately, the President had been lured to Dallas, the city afforded the best opportunity for a successful assassination. Money said both “Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson knew about the whole damned thing,” having met with him several times in Dallas immediately prior to the assassination. What exactly was discussed between these men, Mooney didn’t day.
“The politicians and CIA made it real simple,” Mooney explained. “We’d each provide men for the hit… I’d oversee the Outfit side of things and throw in Jack Ruby and some extra back-up on to take care of the rest.”
THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS COUNTRY WAS OVERTHROWN BY A HANDFUL OF UYS THAT DID THEIR JOB SO DAMNED WELL… NOT ONE AMERICAN EVEN KNEW IT HAPPENED. BUT I KNOW.
According to Mooney, the nut-and-bolts planning had involved some of the top people on the Dallas police force. Most conveniently, the mayor, Earle Cabell, was the brother of the former CIA deputy director Charles Cabell. As the man responsible for citywide security, the mayor provided police protection for the presidential motorcade. Mooney grinned. “They made sure it was so loose down there on the day of the hit, shit, a four-year-old could’ve nailed Jack Kennedy.”
Chuck would later learn through the Outfit grapevine that Mooney solicited professional killers form several quarters. Killers, who the guys said, were required to be “top-notch marksmen”; tow of Marcello’s men, both top Mob killers, as well as two of Trafficante’s Cuban exile “friends.” It was rumored that one of these exiles was a former Havana vice copy turned mobster and the other a radical-turned-corrupt U.S. Customs official.
From Chicago, Mooney brought in Richard Cain, Chuckie Nicoletti, and Milwaukee Phil, all having worked previously on “the Bay of Pigs deal”. Mooney said that both Cain and Nicoletti were actual gunman for the hit, being placed at opposite ends of the Dallas Book Depository. IN fact, he asserted it was Cain, not Oswald, who’d actually fired from the infamous sixth story window.
Mooney also alleged that the Cia had added several of their own “soldiers” to XX
Tippit as the actual gunmen – along with another colleague and Lee Harvey Oswald, the man Mooney said they intended to frame as the lone assassin.
During the operation, Mooney said the Cia upper echelon sequestered themselves in a hotel, surround by electronic equipment. With the aid of walkie-talkies, the men were able to secure their firing positions and learn of Oswald’s whereabout immediately following the hit. Mooney’s backup, Milwaukee Phil, stood armed and ready to handle any last-minute interference with the shooters.
To eliminate Oswald, Mooney said the CIA had selected White and Tippit, who both – like Richard Cain, who’d served in Chicago’s Sheriff’s Department – held positions in law enforcement, on the Dallas police force. Under the guise of self-defense and in the line of duty, they were to murder the “lone gunman.” However, Tippit had wavered, Mooney said, allowing Oswald to escape. Thus, White had been forced to kill his partner. “Probably the only real screw-up in the whole goddamned deal.
“And the rest is history,” Mooney said, grinning. “For once, we didn’t even have to worry about J. Edgar Hoover… he hated the Kennedys as much as anybody and he wasn’t about to help Bobby find his brother’s killers. He buried his head in the sand, covered up anything and everything his ‘Boy Scouts’ found. But there was a line into the CIA. If somebody knew too much, the CIA found out about it and took care of the problem.” When Mooney used the phrase “took care of the problem,” Chuck caught the tacit message being conveyed.
From what Mooney said that day, the Cia had indeed stepped in with immense efficiency and removed all traces of conspiracy. As for evidence that Chicago’s Mob boss was a participant in the events of November 22, 1963, Mooney said he was well insulated, thanks to his practice of delegating the details to his trusted lieutenants. Mooney – like the higher-ups in the CIA – cared very little about the minute details of the plot’s inner workings; the results were all that mattered. He’d met one last time in Dallas, right before the hit, with the top guys in the CIA groups, some politicians, and the Texas assassination backers, and that was that.
Chuck had listened appalled while Mooney unveiled the story of the president’s murder. Now, his brother suddenly looked away, falling quiet as he apparently searched for the right words. He turned to Chuck and went on. “The hit in Dallas was just like any other operation we’d worked on in the past… we’d overthrown other governments in other countries plenty of times before. This time, we just did it in our own backyard.”
He said the murder of President Kennedy was little different from the plot to kill Castro, the murders of Vietnam’s leaders, that of Panama’s president – or any of the other dozens of military/CIA-sponsored coups propagated throughout the world.
“On November 22, 1963, XX
United States had a coup; it’s that simple. The government of this country was overthrown by a handful of guys who did their job so damned well not one American ever knew it happened. But I know.
J. EDGAR HOOEVE HATED THE KENNEDYS AS MUCH AS ANYBODY AND HE WASN’T ABOU TO HELP BOBBY FIND HIS BROTHER’S KILLERS. HE BURIED HIS HEAD IN THE SAND, COVERED UP ANYTING AND EVERYTHING HIS ‘BOY SCOUTS’ FOUND.
“I know I’ve guaranteed the Outfit’s future… once and for all. We’re set here in the United States. So it’s time to move on to greener pastures. Spreadin’ the Outfit’s power and makin’ a fortune in deals overseas are two of the best reason I can think of to leave the country.” He paused and smiled sheepishly. “And I guess we could add that it’ll be damned nice not being tailed by the G.”
Just days later, Mooney was in Mexico and Chuck was left alone with his terrible secret.
How the book was written
Sam Giancana, a 37-year old Florida advertising executive, was first shocked, then relieved when his uncle (and godfather) Sam was shot dead in 1975. “After the shock came relief. We had all suffered too much because of my uncle. The name Giancana, which for years was seldom off the front pages, was a dirty word in Chicago.
Sam’s father chuck had worked for his brother, “but the brothers fell out when Sam would not help Chuck with a loan to save a legitimate construction firm he had started. And Chuck cut all his ties with Sam, changed his name, and moved away after 1968, when people in the Mafia told Chuck after Booby Kennedy’s assassination “ Your brother did it again.”
Mafia chief Sam Giancana knew millions of secrets, secrets about some of America’s most chilling mysteries, secrets that might have been buried with him. “But he did talk, and over the years confided a lot before he died to my father Chuck.” After sextuple heart by-pass operation, 69-year-old Chuck told his son “before I go, I want the truth to come out about my brother. It’s part of American history and a part which the government seems determined to hush up.”
And so with the help of Sam’s wife Bettina, (the writer of Double Cross) they wrote Double Cross. Ten years ago, says Sam, he wouldn’t have dared to write a book as frank as this. Even now, he believes, there are people in the Mob with a vested interest in keeping things under wraps. “But I don’t thin we are at risk now. At least I hope not.
Double Cross by Chuck and Sam Giancana with Bettina Giancana will be published tomorrow by Macdonalds, price £16.99.