A few months ago, Tucker Carlson brought up that the CIA had assassinated president John F. Kennedy. Kennedy had supposedly threatened to break up the CIA and scatter it to the winds. Instead, the CIA scattered JFK’s brain across the back of the presidential limo.
For all the talk of why Tucker was canned from his show on Fox News, whether because of the Dominion lawsuit, because he was too religious when talking to Rupert Murdoch etc…, perhaps there was a lot of pressure put on Fox News from the intel community.
Back when I was in college, I didn’t believe in any conspiracies concerning the JFK assassination. In fact, I thought it was up there with UFO believers. However, a friend challenged me by saying “You know, most people who believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone never read anything about the assassination.” I filed that away and didn’t think too much about it for years.
However, I was a true crime buff. Eventually, I read a bunch of books on the mafia and how powerful they had become in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I found out about Robert F. Kennedy’s vendetta against the mafia. RFK had written a book called The Enemy Within in 1960 detailing just how powerful the mob was. As JFK’s Attorney General, RFK went after the mafia, and Jimmy Hoffa full force. The FBI had done little previously against the mob. They hardly had files on any of the leading mafia figures. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics (which later morphed into the DEA) had files on almost all the leading mob figures. RFK was prosecuting the crap out of them. It was also widely believed that the Chicago Outfit was responsible for delivering Chicago and therefore Illinois to JFK during the 1960 election. The mafia felt the Kennedys owed them for that and that they were double crossing them. I started thinking that if any group had an incentive to kill John F. Kennedy, it was the mafia.
The book that made me a true believer that the mafia was responsible, though, was called Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcello and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy. As far as I was concerned after reading it, that was case closed, the Mafia definitely did it. Carlos Marcello, the mafia Godfather of New Orleans, was an illegal alien who was deported by Robert Kennedy to Guatemala. It seems Marcello had made up a fake birth certificate for himself out of Guatemala in case he lost his deportation hearing so that he would get deported there instead of Italy where his parents were from or Tunisia where he was actually born. Marcello was able to sneak back into the United States, supposedly, on a military flight. Marcello told a private investigator that if he killed Robert Kennedy he wouldn’t be able to get away with it. However, “If you cut off the head, the tail will die.” Meaning that once JFK was out of the way, there was nothing to fear from RFK. Marcello even went so far as to say that they were going to do it like they did in Sicily where you set up the village idiot to take the fall. What did New Orleans have to do with Dallas? Supposedly, the larger mafia group in New Orleans controlled the smaller mafia group in Dallas. (The joke back in the day about Houston was that it would still be a small town if not for the invention of air conditioning. The same could be said to be true of Dallas).
Subsequently, Frank Ragano, the lawyer for Florida mob boss Santos Trafficante wrote a book that confirmed it. Trafficante and Carlos Marcello were friends and business partners. Ragano claimed to have taken a message from Jimmy Hoffa to Santos Trafficante and Carlos Marcello asking to have John F. Kennedy assassinated. Ragano even claimed that on his death bed, Santos Trafficante said that they should have killed RFK and not JFK.
I kept reading away on various mafia books. Double Cross by the children of mob boss Sam Giancana made the case that Sam did a lot of work with the CIA. Famously, the CIA had hired the mafia at one point to try to assassinate Fidel Castro. That didn’t work out in the end.
I was still absolutely convinced the mafia did it and only the mafia did it. The CIA may have covered it up a little bit because they were mad at JFK over the bungled Bay of Pigs thing, but I was convinced they had no role in planning it.
AND THEN… I chanced across a video on YouTube. I forget what I was looking for. It may have been for the actual footage of the Zapruder film. Instead, I found the interview of James Files. I watched it skeptically at first. Someone had claimed to have found a shell casing on the infamous Grassy Knoll. James Files was supposed to be able to explain how it got there and that it had a bite mark on it. I have to interject here and say that I did receive some training on body language and truth telling while working at the Border Patrol. I won’t claim to be an expert, but I have a rudimentary knowledge of what should jibe with someone telling the truth and what doesn’t and I became convinced James Files was telling the truth.
Of course, I had to run out and buy the book on that too. Files even had a picture of himself with Lee Harvey Oslwald. It was truly incredible. I remember thinking “My God, they actually found the guy who did it!” I thought the assassins would never be identified. James Files was the driver for a mob boss out of Chicago named Chuck Nicoletti. Nicoletti was a guy who had killed his alcoholic and abusive father in self defense. He was a damn scary man.
I could go on about James Files for awhile. He makes mention that he did not regard the JFK shot he took as a particularly difficult one. He claims to have made more difficult shots. Others have speculated that Charles Harrelson (Woody Harrelson’s father) may have been the assassin. Charles did assassinate a judge and got a life sentence for it. Before being arrested for that crime, on a cocaine fueled rant, Charles Harrelson claimed to have been the JFK assassin.
While discussing the assassination with others online, I was enlightened to David Talbot’s book The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. I had to run out and buy that book too. Allen Dulles had been fired by JFK, but may very well have still been calling the shots at his old agency. He wormed his way on to the Warren Commission and helped to steer it in the direction he wanted it to go. Dulles supposedly even gave Warren Commission members a book about how all previous American assassinations were the work of lone gunmen. Author David Talbot has given lectures in which he said that Charles DeGaulle had complained to JFK because he had come across information that the CIA was assisting in trying to have him (DeGaulle) assassinated. JFK reassured DeGaulle that he was not trying to have DeGaulle assassinated, but he could not vouch for the CIA. It was a rogue agency almost from its founding. If you remember the book The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, disgruntled French Algerians tried to take out Charles DeGaulle more than once. The CIA was mad at DeGaulle because DeGaulle did not want to allow NATO nuclear weapons in France. DeGaulle knew from his experiences in World War II how intelligence agencies often used criminal groups like the mafia for their own purposes. After JFK was assassinated, DeGaulle supposedly commented that the CIA would never be able to let the truth about what happened come out.
So, why keep things secret if there was a conspiracy to kill JFK? The only reason why any files would be hidden is if it remains in place to protect an institution and not a single person. With the exception of James Files (who is now out of prison), pretty much everyone involved is dead. However, it makes sense to keep things secret if you are a bureaucrat who wishes the CIA to exist as a secret government for forever. If it became widely acknowledged that the CIA assassinated Kennedy, then it would be very good grounds to break the CIA up into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind.
Some further reading if you are interested in James Files.
Files said that David Atlee Phillips was his CIA handler.
Interestingly, in the Wikipedia page on James Files, it says that author Vincent Bugliosi called Files “the Rodney Dangerfield of Kennedy assassins.” OK, that sounds funny, but why would he call him that? Ridicule stifles conversation and it is meant to stop people from looking at James Files’ story seriously. The last sentence on Files in Wikipedia is probably more telling, “However, psychology professor Jerome Kroth described Files as ‘surprisingly credible’ and said his story ‘is the most believable and persuasive’ about the assassination.”
The ridicule of Files is meant more as a psychological tactic. As Files has said, “Once the government lies, it has to live the lie.” Meaning that for its integrity, the government will continue to propagate the lie over and over and over again.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has said that he believes both his uncle and his father were assassinated as part of conspiracies and not by lone nuts. In fact, RFK Sr supposedly told his children that he believed his brother was killed as a result of a conspiracy, but that he could do nothing about it until he became president. (“The most courageous newscast in 60 years. The CIA’s murder of my uncle was a successful coup d’état from which our democracy has never recovered,” RFK Jr. said in a tweet Saturday. https://www.westernjournal.com/jfks-nephew-goes-public-tucker-carlsons-insider-bombshell-cias-murder-uncle-successful-coup/ ).
The CIA has to fight this information hook, tooth and nail. If the public comes to believe this is true, then the CIA will likely get disbanded. Its heads should be imprisoned. I doubt they have anything of true value left on the assassination. They’ve probably burned the most incriminating material. The truth is already out.
20 year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol. Author of "East into the Sunset: Memories of patrolling in the Rio Grande Valley at the turn of the century".
Master's Degree in Justice, Law and Society from American University.
Grew up partly in Europe.