George Lou Castro, Johnny, CIA discussed on Joel Riley
And welcome back to coast to coast Lee server with us as we talk about his work handsome, Johnny about the life of gangster. Johnny rozelle. Fidel Castro took over, but prior to a Batista, of course, was very friendly to the mob with casinos in Havana when Castro took over and fifty nine he shuts the casinos down in gets rid of the mob at what point did the mob feel as if they needed to get rid of Castro. Well, that's a complicated question. Because there there are there is evidence of other not very successful plots were simultaneously happening. Lansky may have been involved with one and some others, but the primary government directed plot. Came directly out of the White House. I'm sorry. When Castro took over, you know, we we if we remember the history US thought that I would be able to get away with cab because it was starting. The plot was starting under the Eisenhower administration. Wasn't it? Is an hour was totally furious with the idea that Castro was sitting there with this growing, the anti American government just off the shores of Florida, Richard Nixon became his point man and Nixon went to the CIA. This was turned over to Alan dollars into Richard missile at the top embezzle and entertained offers. The CIA was in you know, really in the middle of its craziest period. You know, they they were capable of any kind of of plot. You know, they were just doing trolling. Yeah. Just just do it. So a guy named Sheffield Edwards who was the security director came up with this idea that why don't we ask? Because of course, they didn't want to have their fingerprints on the assassination of Castro. So why don't we get the mob to do where they Castro too? Because as you say, George Lou Castro took away, their, you know, also, you know. Their their their money. And so they thought about this idea, and they decided to go for it see if they couldn't pay the mob to get rid of Castro for them and take take the blame and Edwards and the operational support guy. Jim o'connell? They went to their cutout guy. A man by the name of Robert Mayhew who ain't wasn't wasn't he involved with Howard Hughes? It was indeed. I mean, this comes full circle, and you know, and Johnny became involved with remained you and Howard us in the turnover of Las Vegas just a few years later. Right. Very incestuous and complicated. But at this time, they turn to Mayhew had done a lot of black bag jobs for the CIA. And they said, listen, here's a plot. Go find us again stir to kill Castro and Mayhew knew a few gangsters. He worked with all kinds of people in in in his assignments. And there was only one he considered that remotely, trustworthy, and that was Johnny and he gave Johnny col-. He met at the Brown derby in Hollywood. And you know, after after lunch and a few drinks, he said, I have something to ask you. It's a mission a request from the government and Johnny for all of his bad deeds, consider themselves, very patriotic this country, you know, when a lot of gangsters went into hiding during the war he actually joined the army, and so Mayhew explained it to him Johnny couldn't believe it. But you know, they began to discuss it. He liked the idea. Yeah. I mean, he didn't like Castro either, and mainly he wanted May- you to assure them that they really this was really for for the government that it was a high ups we're asking for this favor. And may you offered them hundred and fifty grand of CIA money in Johnny said, you're not going to pay me for this. I'm doing it. 'cause I owe this country and. You know, he never did take dime. And that was the beginning of probably one of the craziest adventures in the history of the CIA bizarre relationship. Absolutely. And it got more bizarre. I mean, Johnny because this is you there were certain rules and regulations things you simply couldn't do without getting signed off by the by the by the boss, you know. And he had a tell his story. Even though may you wanted him not to tell anyone except whoever they they used in the plot. But Johnny had to tell Sam giancana and to his great surprise Sam giancana said, Well, I I want it on this to you know. So now, they had a gang consisting of China's valley, and Sam giancana who was he was many things and one of them was very unstable. He wasn't a guy you wanted to pick for a delicate. Secret mission. But there was and they gathered together, and they began to meet the CIA liaison, Johnny Sam giancana. And eventually the operation was moved to Florida where the the anti-castro forces were were in great number the exile community, and they began this crazy plot to find an assassin to find a way of killing him the CIA when they decided the best way to find someone who could poison them, the CIA went to work, and in there, you know, weird science labs, and they came up with an all new poison that could be given tastelessly and so forth, and no one could would Castro would never know even poisoned and until two or three days later, you get very sick and Robin. Now was this before the bay of pigs. Well, this the first part of the. This mission was before and the idea was kill him. So that this. Underground the invasion would work, right invasion. So they beano Castro and everything would be chaos, and they take over very easily. Fortunately, everything went awry. Castro evaded, all the the the attempts. And in some cases, probably the the paid assassins, just took the money and ran and it became a comedy of errors and this bunch. Now also include Santo traffic Kante who was the head of the mob. I hear all these names and JFK's assassination Lee will get into that tonight to jeez. And you know, and so this group of business it band of assassins is sitting around hotel suites in Miami. They're going down to watch Frank Sinatra and the COPA room, and you know, and really not getting a lot of work done. And the whole thing became a debatable. And Johnny was furious. He really thought they had a serious mission here and serious purpose. And he's gangsters that he had. Unfortunately, found himself in collaboration with basically. A a bunch of. Yeah. They bought the whole thing. Yeah. And. To quickly add, you know, the takes came. It was a disaster. And. Cuban missile crisis came. Johnny. Washington. They decided, you know, this was a mess. They cancelled what they had started. But still they wanted it Bobby Kennedy and others high up still wanted to take a shot at this and Johnny found himself, you know, in phase two of his fascination plan. This time he became leapt up with a legendary CIA man named Bill Harvey who was considered the JAMES BOND of of CIA, although he looked Leslie JAMES BOND more like William Conrad in canon, and now Johnny and the CIA as top row Asian became the leaders of a new plot to assassinate Castro basically never gave up. Did they even though Castro outlived everybody? That's right. You know, they they formed a. Down in Florida where a lot of this resistance and subversive operation was happening. They were training snipers and training various rebels to to be infiltrated and Johnny myself took some of these Cuban rebel fighters across to Cuba from the Florida Keys under watch the armed patrols by Cuban navy boats, and it was a wild hairy thing. But meanwhile, the the White House got into a standoff with Russia. And so that we none of us blue each other, you know, off the planet. Right. They made a deal not to do anymore. You know shenanigans with Cuba. Except that Bobby Kennedy was still interested. But that's another story but Bill Harvey. When went to war with Bobby Kennedy, and basically got fired until Johnny, you know, this ain't happening. Yeah. Get out of here. Now, Bobby continues, however to go after the same mobsters who were part of the plot to kill Fidel Castro. He's going after them personally, he's getting Carlos Marcello dumped out of the country. They throw them in the woods somewhere in some other country. Traffic Conti can't stand him. I I've always believed that the assassination of John F Kennedy was based on trying to get Bobby to back off the mob. Yeah. You know, I think it's a a theory with a lot of possibilities. There are so many strings, and you know, the more you look at it to more Marcello looks good for some part of this. But you know, I think that. Those people who have tried to bring results in on this. I went through so much so many books so many transcripts, and I'll tell you the FBI had for nearly two years. Why all of this is happening had been trying to follow Janis every move. They they had his house bugged is phone taps on his car airport. He was part of the plot to kill Castro, the FBI, that's a that's a complicated one to answer because J Edgar Hoover was going nuts. He was finding little bits and pieces about something going on between the CIA and the mob thing we have to remember is the time line the period. Hoover hated to see I, you know, over was salt of the earth American or these college educated Ivy league easterners, and he really it was almost like the FBI was working for a different country than the CIA. So they never told each other anything, but Hoover was finding these little bits of maddening intriguing details. You know, there's a whole long story about gene kinda a forcing may Huda bug. The the hotel. Room of comedian Dan rolling because he thought he was he was seeing gene Khanna's mistress and he's making UCI bugging devices. And that got busted by the police and led to a lot of this becoming known to the FBI. So it was a real like complicated club. Giancana ends up getting killed in his house. Right. Gee, I mean, this was the beginning of the. I think so many things going on at the same time. The FBI had finally under the watch Bobby Kennedy who also didn't get along with Jaeger who were but put up with them. I guess what's that he put up with them? I guess. Yeah. Just barely. And he has finally begun against the law to bug the whole casino operation, Las Vegas. So they were finding out stuff that nobody had known before about the the mobs operation, but they couldn't use any of it. Because it wasn't a allowable in court. So they were chasing down GM comedy were going after the mob. You know Hoover. It had a big turnaround after the Appalachian fiasco in the fifties when he had avoided going after the mob, just pretended. It didn't exist. Well, now he turned around. Through embarrassment, and they were basically coming after them left and right along with Bobby Kennedy and the Justice so everything was falling apart Sam giancana got himself into trouble. He lost control of his temper over and over again. And so the big boys who didn't want any spotlight Joe batters, Tony Accardo, re a Paul Ricca the guys in the shadows. That took you know, where off with a capital b but they never went out and gave had fights the FBI. They weren't like John Gotti. They didn't want that kind of publicity. And so Sam giancana simultaneously in the middle of all of this was just seeing his career go down the tubes. And this eventually led to them getting rid of him. Meanwhile, of course, JFK is having an affair with giancana's girlfriend was a mess. We'll talk more about all of this Lee who put it together and take phone calls next on coast to coast AL find out more about tonight's guest. Log on to coast to coast AM dot com. Coast to coast.