Newspaper Scoops and the Assassination of Fidel Castro Part 2

About the major newspaper scoop by Jack Anderson of the plot by the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro.



It wasn't till 1975 that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence conducted closed hearings and backed up Anderson's story. They got much of their information from 62 secret documents on political assassination that the CIA and the Justice Dept. "found" in their files. Anderson may just have "found" them a few years earlier.

In a curious epilogue to the story, in 1972 Anderson himself became the target of poisoning scheme--never carried out--of former CIA agent and White House was outraged by Anderson's publishing of supersecret transcripts disclosing the administration's deceitful support of Pakistan in its conflict with India. (Anderson won the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for breaking this story.) A Washington Post story reported that Hunt told friends he had been ordered by White House officials to kill Anderson with poison in retaliation. A Time magazine story claimed Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy had wanted only to drug Anderson into incoherence so that he would make a fool of himself on his syndicated radio show. Hunt and Liddy discussed possible poisoning methods with a CIA doctor, but the plan was eventually dropped.

In Print: In a 1971 column titled "Questions in the Closet," Anderson speculated on whether the attempts on Castro were part of CIA policy of liquidating troublesome foreign leaders, and on President Kennedy.

"The plot to kill Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, hidden for 10 years from the public, raises some ugly questions that high officials would rather keep buried.

"Has the CIA tried to assassinate any other leaders? Ex-Senator George Smathers, one of John F. Kennedy's closest friends, told us the late President suspected that the CIA had arranged the shooting of the Dominican Republic's Rafael Trujillo in 1961 and South Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963.

"Did President Kennedy personally sanction the plot against Castro?

"Could the plot against Castro have backfired against President Kennedy? The late President was murdered nine months after the last assassination team was caught on a Havana rooftop with high-powered rifles. . . . Lee Harvey Oswald had been active in the pro-Castro movement and had traveled to Mexico to visit the Cuban embassy a few weeks before the dreadful day in Dallas."

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