Chapters Five - Eight
excerpted from the book
The missing link in the JFK assassination
by Michael Collins Piper
Wolfe Press, 1995, paperback
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.
... 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.
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
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.
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...
"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."
Stephen Green believes that Kennedy's
position vis-a-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."
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.
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.
... 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.
... Israel had kept the nuclear weapons
program as secret as possible, but US intelligence had discovered
the project. Kennedy termed the situation "highly distressing."
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.
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."
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
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
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.
According to Green's accurate assessment,
"The memorandum was very strong and decidedly negative in
its conclusions" 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
"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."
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
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."
... According to [New York financier Abe]
Feinberg, "B.G. [Ben Gurion] could be vicious, and he had
such a hatred of the old man." 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."
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
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 4) public at the
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
Clearly, then, by this point, Ben-Gurion
perceived the American president's policies to be a very threat
to Israel's survival.
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."
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.
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."
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.
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 send them a
lot more, for fear that they would use it."
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."
... 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
al an impasse over Dimona, and the correspondence between the
two became increasingly sour. None of those letters has been made
... 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.
"It was not a friendly exchange,"
according to Ben-Gurion's writer, Yuval Neeman. "Kennedy
was writing like a bully. It was brutal." 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 resident made sure that the Israeli prime
minister paid for his defiance." When Ben-Gurion once again
sought the opportunity for a formal, ballyhooed state visit to
Washington, Kennedy rebuffed him.
... 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."
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.
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: is increasingly bitter
impasse with Kennedy over a nuclear-armed Israel."
... In Ben-Gurion's eyes, John F. Kennedy
was an enemy of the Jewish people and of his beloved state of
It is the thesis of this volume that Ben-Gurion,
in his final days as Prime Minister, ordered Israel's Mossad to
orchestrate the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Based upon additional
evidence uncovered, we believe that the Mossad took the necessary
steps and achieved that goal.
A MOSSAD HIT SQUAD
... Israel's respected Haaretz 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," according
to an account of the newspaper's report.
... 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
THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH: 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
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 - to put it lightly - greatly displeased Israel
with his firm neutral stance and his refusal to be bullied by
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
3) It allowed Lyndon Johnson to reverse
JFK's Vietnam policy and begin escalating U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. This permitted Israel :o 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 rime Syndicate to gain a lock on
drug-trafficking in Southeast Asia as an approximate 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.
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 [Hubert Humphrey]
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.
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
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."
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 !948-1963, 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
"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."
According to [Stephen] Green [Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations
With A Militant Israel]:
"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."
... Israel's friends in the Meyer Lansky Organized Crime Syndicate
stood to benefit from the Vietnam conflict...
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
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.
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 [Johnson] 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, 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."
As Stephen Green concluded in his discussion
of the incredible changes in U.S. policy toward Israel that took
place during the Johnson era [Taking Sides: America's Secret Relations
With A Militant Israel]:
"By June of 1967, for a variety of
reasons that prominently included 'domestic political considerations,'
Lyndon Johnson and his team of foreign-policy advisors had completely
revised U.S.-Israeli relations. To all intents and purposes, Israel
had become the 51st state."
ISRAEL'S GODFATHER: THE MAN IN THE MIDDLE 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 Russian-born
mobster the "untouchable" leader of the global organized
In the years prior to Kennedy's ascendancy to the presidency,
a little-known, 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
What's more, 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.
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 [Anti-Defamation League] financing
a large portion of its budget over the years. These same liquor
interests had longtime contacts with [Meyer] Lansky from his earliest
years in the bootlegging and rum-running rackets.
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 Meyer Lansky Organized Crime
Syndicate that played a pivotal role in the establishment of Israel.
Lansky, you see, was Israel's modem-day "Godfather."
Lansky was with Israel from the beginning.
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.
(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.
... it was Operation Underworld's William
Stephenson who became a critical player in the establishment of
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
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.
Following World War II, the activities
of Operation Underworld and many of the key players shifted to
a new front: the establishment of Israel.
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
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
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-just one man alone-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 evidently one of the few known
public monuments to any American CIA official anywhere in the
entire world. Clearly quite an honor for Angleton but actually
one of several memorials to Angleton in Israel.
According to Andrew and Leslie Cockburn,
co-authors of Dangerous Liason: 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."
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."
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
According to Tom Mangold, Angleton's biographer, CIA Director
Allen Dulles and his deputy, Richard Helms, who later went on
to become CIA director during the administration of Lyndon Johnson,
were Angleton's mentors. However, Mangold says, Helms was Angleton's
(Dulles, of course, was later fired as
CIA director by John F. Kennedy and then, in a twist of fate-or
by design-served on the Warren Commission which ostensibly investigated
(And it would be Helms, along with Angleton,
who would later sign off on a controversial intra-agency memo
that would ultimately-and apparently unwittingly-blow the lid
off the CIA's involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate President
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."
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."
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
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.
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 volte-face, from being largely pro-Arab to becoming
almost totally pro-Israeli" - 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. And it was Angleton who was 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 Cockbum call
the "dangerous liaison"-America's covert relationship
This covert relationship was conducted
primarily through the egis of Angleton's Israeli desk at the CIA.
Eveland writes of its origins:
"CIA operations had started before
Allen Dulles became director that had long-range 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 operational-intelligence exchange agreement with
Israel's Mossad, upon which the CIA relied for much of its intelligence
about the Arab states."
The CIA and the Mossad had many joint
ventures over the years, all conducted under Angleton's watchful
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"
(referring to what he perceived to be an intransigent stance by
the Egyptian president) - 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."
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
"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."
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
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-Mossad-Lansky Crime Syndicate conspiracies tumbling
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
Angleton's "chief patron" Richard
Helms left the CIA in 1973. This was the beginning of the end
of the CIA career of James Jesus Angleton. Angleton himself was
fired from the CIA on December 20, 1974. Revelations about Angleton's
involvement in the CIA's domestic spying and other covert activities
on American soil were too much for even the CIA to handle.