License to Kill:Greg Scarpa and the FBI
By J. R. de Szigethy
The government scandal of Greg Scarpa Sr., the Mafia hitman protected from prosecution for decades because of his status as an FBI Informant, continues to unfold. It has now been 9 years since an investigation into the relationship between Scarpa and the FBI was launched by Dr. Stephen Dresch, a Yale-educated Presidential Advisor, and his colleague Angela Clemente, who have achieved renown through their analysis of documents relating to the commission of criminal acts, most notably murders committed by the Mafia. Now continuing this investigation after the death of Dr. Dresch, Clemente has filed a lawsuit under the Federal Freedom of Information Act to obtain all relevant FBI files on Scarpa, many of which were Subpoenaed by the U. S. Congress back in the 1970s. According to Clemente’s lawsuit, these files, some of which are already in Clemente’s possession, reveal evidence that Scarpa, who reported to the Godfather of the Colombo Mafia Family, provided information to the FBI on Carlos Marcello, the Godfather of the New Orleans Mafia Family. The files date back into the 1950s, at a time when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was publicly claiming that the American Mafia did not exist, and Godfather Marcello was described as a simple "tomato salesman." What these files will reveal, if turned over in their entirety, remains to be seen. However, what can be told now is a very disturbing story based upon what is already known about Hoover, Scarpa, and Marcello, given that all three men had two things in common; each were involved in criminal activity, and each harbored a pathological hatred of African-Americans.
II. GENESIS OF A MADMAN
The America that Hoover was born into in 1895 was one in which the scars of the Civil War had yet to heal. By the time the war had ended in 1865, over 600,000 American men had died from combat, starvation, or disease. By comparison, less than 60,000 American men died as a result of the war in Vietnam. Many Americans in the post-Civil War era harbored hostile attitudes towards the newly freed African-Americans, blaming them for the war. It should be noted that those Africans who came to this country as Slaves did not do so voluntarily. Thus was the world into which J. Edgar Hoover began his life’s journey. Hoover’s father Dickerson was a weak and emotionally distant man, who was institutionalized for mental illness while Edgar was still a child. It was Hoover’s mother Annie who ‘wore the pants’ in the family, and J. Edgar lived with his mother, to whom he was utterly devoted, for more than half of his life, until her death in 1938 at age 77. It was Annie Hoover who guided Edgar through law school and into what would become a life of ‘public service’ as a civil servant.
Almost from the moment Hoover attained power over others did the life-long bachelor use that power to violate the rights of those American citizens Hoover considered inferior or dangerous. In 1919 Hoover got his first taste of such power, targeting Leftist activists across America who were stirring up trouble, some with words, and some with bombs. Hoover, not yet 25 years of age at the time, was put in charge of the Justice Department’s Bureau of Investigations to target those perceived to be part of the "New Left." Hoover and his agents soon compiled a list of over 150,000 Americans deemed to be "undesirable." The vast majority of these citizens were harmless, but in the aftermath of World War I, social conditions were ripe for a "Witch-hunt," the sort of which had become a shameful periodic event in the history of the United States. Within a few months, over 10,000 people nationwide were arrested by those in local law enforcement working in concert with Hoover. It is a matter of the public record that some of the detainees were tortured and many were deported. The mass arrests were labeled by the Media as the "Palmer Raids," after Attorney General Alexander Mitchell Palmer. At first, Palmer was regarded by most Americans as a national hero, who took seriously his claim that Communists would attempt to take over the United States on May Day, (May 1), 1920. However, May Day came and went with no such violence. Secretary of Labor Louis F. Post then denounced the mass arrests as illegal, corroborated later by the U. S. Supreme Court, which overturned convictions obtained against some of those arrested. The American people gradually realized they had been taken for a ride by Palmer, whose Presidential ambitions were thus extinguished. J. Edgar Hoover, however, emerged unscathed from his role in this national witch hunt. It would not be his last.
In his early years with the Bureau, Hoover emerged as a national hero when his fledgling agency utilized emerging science and technology to capture a new breed of criminals that captured the fascination of the American people. Among those criminals were John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and Machine Gun Kelly, the demise of which propelled Hoover into the ranks of living legends. However, if ever there was a personification of the adage "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!" that person was Hoover. As the power and reach of the Federal government grew during the Administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, so did Hoover resort to the collection of negative information on American citizens, especially politicians, including Presidents - to ensure that he maintained his hold on the power of his growing army of Agents and Informants. William Sullivan, when the 3rd in command of the FBI, would later denounce Hoover as "the greatest blackmailer of all Time!"(1)
During the time of the "Palmer Raids," J. Edgar Hoover and the Bureau of Investigation had launched what became a program of intimidation, harassment, surveillance, and criminal acts perpetrated against Black Americans. Hoover’s Agents were particularly focused on those Ministers of the Christian Faith who dared to advocate equal rights for Black Americans.(2) A standard tactic would emerge during this time, the ‘smear campaign,’ in which FBI Agents and Informants would resort to a variety of unethical or illegal acts against targeted individuals, many of whom had committed no crime. One tactic involved the "anonymous letter," in which the FBI would send what is also referred to as a ‘poison-pen’ letter, containing information, often false, in order to destroy or discredit that person.(3) The recipient of the letter might by the targeted individual themselves, a family member, a neighbor, a local Media outlet, a professional colleague, or the proprietor of a local business, grocery store, restaurant, or liquor store of which the target was a patron. The most infamous of this type was the anonymous letter the FBI sent to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, urging him to commit suicide. FBI Agents and Informants would also accuse men and women, often falsely, of sexual improprieties, often branding them as sexual deviates, sometimes as pedophiles, and this information would be shared with neighbors of and local business merchants of the targeted individual. Many of these people fed such information believed what was told to them, given the fact that the FBI had an esteemed reputation for many years, until such abuses began to be made public. In terms of Black men, the FBI perpetuated the myth that the average Black man was "oversexed," and thus a threat to the average White American woman. This propaganda technique would be directed at some of the greatest African-American athletes of the 20th Century, including Olympic track champion Jesse Owens, and boxing champions Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali.
An early African-American target of J. Edgar Hoover was Marcus Garvey, a Founder of one of the first national civil-rights organizations, the Universal Negro Improvement Association. In Garvey’s case, because he had been born in Jamaica, Hoover floated the notion that Garvey was working for British Intelligence, and thus was an enemy of the United States. The practice of labeling someone a foreign spy would become a standard FBI ploy as predication for placing a targeted individual under surveillance, this for "reasons of national security." After several years of intensive investigation, Hoover’s agents were able to develop a case charging Garvey of using the mail system to commit alleged fraud in the raising of funds for the Black Star Steamship Line, a black-owned, black-operated import-export enterprise. Garvey was convicted and sentenced to a Federal prison, after which President Calvin Coolidge Pardoned Garvey in order that he could then be deported as an "undesirable alien."
As a result of his accomplishments in compiling dossiers on so many thousands of Americans in so short a time, Hoover was rewarded by being named the Director of the Bureau of Investigation in 1924. There were only 3 women in the Bureau when Hoover took over. 2 were quickly fired. Those few Blacks already in place at the Bureau were relegated to menial tasks and became, in essence, Hoover’s servants. It would be almost 40 years before Hoover was pressured by Attorney General Robert Kennedy to hire Black men - (not Black women) - as full-fledged FBI agents.
Few opportunities existed in the early years of the 20th Century for Blacks to attain economic success, and Hoover targeted those who dared to demand, from the Pulpits or the streets, equal opportunity to excel. One of the areas where Blacks could demonstrate their abilities objectively was in the realm of athletics, and those who did so were early targets of Hoover’s agents. One of the first was Jesse Owens, the son of a sharecropper in rural Alabama whose own father had been a Slave. It was while a teen-ager, attending public school in Cleveland, Ohio, that Owens’ physical skills were discovered by an athletic coach. Thus began the arduous road that led to Owens’ successes at Ohio State, where his setting of national records in track and field gained him the attention of the American Media - and that of J. Edgar Hoover. In 1935, a full year before Jesse Owens achieved international fame, Hoover’s agents were investigating the sex life of the young athlete. The FBI discovered that Owens had a daughter by his girlfriend, but before the FBI could plant the story in the Media, Owens hastily rushed forward with their marriage plans. Judged by today’s standards, this may seem trivial and petty, but in the culture that existed at that time, any sort of sex scandal - whether real or imagined - would doom a public figure to cultural exile. Sexual activity was deemed only permissible between a man and his wife, and only in the form that could result in the conception of a child. Sexual activity between two humans of the same gender was universally condemned and prosecuted in virtually every State of the Union. As late as 1948, 30 of the then-48 States of America had laws prohibiting the marriage between a "White" person and a "Black" person. Similar laws were enforced in Nazi Germany until the defeat of Hitler in 1945. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court invalidated such laws that at the time remained in 16 States. Also until the late 1960s, Black Americans were relegated to separate public drinking fountains and other public facilities, and were expected to take seats at the back of the bus in cities that offered public transportation.
Hoover’s obsession with Jesse Owens would also be transferred during that time to boxer Joe Louis, who, like Owens, was born in rural Alabama to a sharecropper, and was also the descendent of slaves. In the early 1930s, Louis emerged as a champion heavyweight boxer, taking on and defeating his opponents in a sport that had been dominated by White athletes. While many Americans during the Depression years were prejudiced against Italians, Hoover held no such hatred of Italian men. While Hoover stated on more than one occasion that he would never during his tenure as Director of the FBI hire a Black man as Agent, Hoover hired many Italian men as Agents, and recruited many Italian mobsters as FBI Informants, including the young "Grim Reaper" Greg Scarpa. Scarpa’s first Control Agent was Anthony Villano, who spoke and translated Sicilian for the FBI. Hoover was a huge fan of the young men who engaged in heavyweight boxing, and attended the match held at Yankee Stadium in the Summer of 1935 to offer his moral support for Primo Carnera, a native of Italy who held the World heavyweight boxing title from 1933-1934. On the night of June 25, 1935, Carnera was knocked out in the 6th Round by the up and coming African-American, Joe Louis. (4) Hoover, at ringside, was not pleased.
Carnera would later be revealed to be nothing more than a puppet in a ring of boxing matches that were fixed by the American Mafia, which made enormous fortunes through the Mafia’s ability to determine the outcome of sporting events upon which many millions of dollars had been waged through illegal gambling operations. Carnera’s Manager, Lou Soresi, was an associate of Owney "The Killer" Madden, a Manhattan gangster so named for the numerous men he killed during his days as a bootlegger during Prohibition, only one of such murders ever resulting in his conviction. In addition to the millions to be made running illegal liquor, Madden moved into the world of professional boxing, as well as the lucrative nightclub scene in Manhattan, taking over Harlem’s famous Cotton Club and having a stake in downtown’s infamous Stork Club. Carnera would later file an unsuccessful lawsuit when Columbia pictures released a motion picture based on Budd Schulberg’s 1947 novel THE HARDER THEY FALL, which explored the career of a boxer who was made to "take a fall" in bouts controlled by the Mafia. Schulberg would later win an Oscar for his screenplay ON THE WATERFRONT, in which the main character, portrayed by Marlin Brando, was a Carnera-inspired boxer who "coulda been a Contender" had he not been pressured to take a dive by the Mob.
With the fall of Primo Carnera, J. Edgar Hoover set his fancy upon "Cinderella Man" James Braddock, who had become heavyweight boxing champion in mid 1935 upon defeating then-champion Max Baer. Hoover introduced Braddock to the curious mix of Hollywood stars, socialites, and Media elite that were regulars at the Stork Club, one notable instance being on New Year’s Eve, 1936, when Braddock joined Hoover and Clyde Tolson at Walter Winchell’s table. Despite it’s eclectic patronage, the Stork Club did not admit Blacks, as was evidenced by the notorious event 15 years later when the Club refused to serve internationally acclaimed performer Josephine Baker. For the first time in his career, Hoover received negative publicity when the NAACP asked Hoover to publicly condemn the Stork Club’s discrimination against Miss Baker, and Hoover refused.(2)
Hoover would continue his social sponsorship of boxer James Braddock over the next several years, with Braddock headed on a professional collision course with Joe Louis. This story took on a bizarre, international turn during that time when Nazi Dictator Adolph Hitler developed his own hatred of both Joe Louis and Jesse Owens, setting the stage for a worldwide morality play that that would betray the mutual racism of Hitler and Hoover. This story begins in 1936, when Nazi athletes fought in both Germany and the United States in contests that Hitler believed would evidence ‘proof’ of his "Mein Kampf" doctrine which purported that the ‘Aryan race’ was superior to all peoples on earth. In June, 1936, Joe Louis fought German heavyweight boxer Max Schmeling in a contest at Yankee Stadium in which Schmeling knocked Louis out - for the first, and last time in his career. Schmeling returned home to Germany a national hero, his victory over the African-American Joe Louis touted by the Nazi propaganda machine as a precursor of further expected victories by German athletes to come 2 months later at the Berlin Olympics. However, Hitler’s racist doctrine was delivered a stunning blow when Jesse Owens won 4 Gold medals in track-and-field events at the Berlin Games. In one event, the Long Jump, Owens defeated Germany’s Lutz Long, who placed second. Hitler was livid and refused to shake the hands of a Black American champion. Jesse Owens returned to America a national hero, cheered by hundreds of thousands in a ticker-tape parade in New York City. Afterwards, at a reception in his honor at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, Owens had to access that reception by taking the ‘freight elevator’ that was designated only for Blacks.(5) Like Hitler, Hoover was also livid and ordered his agents to intensify their surveillance of Jesse Owens.
Hitler’s propaganda machine then pursued a boxing match against James Braddock to give Schmeling the opportunity to regain the World Heavyweight championship he had held previously between 1930-1932. However, Braddock’s promoter, Joe Gould, and Louis’ promoter, Mike Jacobs, both of whom were Jewish, did not want to give Hitler the opportunity for Schmeling to potentially take the Heavyweight boxing title back to a country that was already sending Jewish people to the concentration camp of Dachau, which had opened a few years earlier in 1933. Thus, the two men organized a bout between Braddock and Louis to be held in Chicago that would put the Heavyweight championship title on the line. The Nazi’s were enraged, and the matter was played out in Court in a lawsuit seeking an Injunction to stop the Braddock-Louis fight. The Nazis had also attempted, without success, to force Schmeling to fire his promoter, Joe Jacobs, no relation to Mike, who was also Jewish. Schmeling’s stand in this regard was a precursor to the actions he would later take During World War II, risking his own life, to protect Jews from the Nazis. The lawsuit failed and Louis and Braddock fought for the title in Chicago in June, 1937. J. Edgar Hoover was there at ringside to offer his encouragement to Braddock, ironically watching from seats which in previous years had been reserved for Chicago Mob boss Al Capone.(4)
Much to Hoover’s displeasure, Louis won the fight and was proclaimed Heavyweight champion of the world. The Nazi government then demanded a re-match in 1938, 2 years after Jesse Owens had humiliated Hitler in Berlin. That bout, to be held in Yankee Stadium and touted worldwide as the "Fight of the Century," became one of the most famous sporting events of the 1900s. Hitler’s Nazi operatives had hawked the match with the claim that Schmeling would once again defeat Louis, and that, as a provocative hint of the World War that was soon to come, Schmeling’s winnings from the bout would be used to purchase tanks for the military buildup then ongoing in Germany. Adolph Hitler himself had met privately with Schmeling as he was to depart for New York, to impress upon him that the notion of ‘Aryan supremacy’ was on the line in this fight, whereas President Franklin Roosevelt met privately with Joe Louis, to convey to him a similar message. Thus, on the evening of June 22, 1938, millions of people around the world listened to the radio broadcasts of this fight. Among those at ringside was Hoover, seated next to his friend James Braddock. The title bout lasted just over 2 minutes, with Louis knocking Schmeling down 3 times before the fight was called. Louis’ victory sent Americans of all races and religions out of their homes, stores, bars, and restaurants, dancing in the streets that warm Summer night, in a collective celebration that redefined a Nation. Black comic and social critic Dick Gregory would later relish in Louis’ achievement, noting the Irony that "a Black man ends up being a White hope!"(6) Among those who did not celebrate was J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI’s investigations of Joe Louis and Jesse Owens would continue over the next 4 decades. The end result would be the prosecution of both men for income tax evasion, which occurred under very specious circumstances.(7)
With his winning of the Heavyweight championship of the World, Joe Louis had reached the peak of his personal, professional, and financial life. All of this would be eclipsed shortly thereafter when the United States and Germany entered into a World War against each other a second time. Even though the U. S. Armed Forces were Segregated, boxing champ Joe Louis knew where his heart lay, and enlisted in the U. S. Army. The Army at that time was notorious for Officers who openly espoused their racist beliefs, among them the reactionary General Edwin Walker. However, there did exist within the Army a courageous few Officers determined to De-Segregate the Armed Forces, among them the man who would later become President, General Dwight Eisenhower. The culture of separation at that time was such that the American Red Cross had established separate blood banks in anticipation of the coming need for blood, with banks set up containing blood donated by Whites, and a separate bank of the blood of Black men. Such was the state of affairs of the U. S. Army when Joe Louis voluntarily joined up. Those Army officials who sought to de-Segregate the Army seized upon the public relations potential of the enlistment of a national hero such as Joe Louis, thus, the prize fighter was featured in posters in which "Private Joe Louis" encouraged African-Americans to join the Army in the fight against Nazi Germany. Louis would later use his leverage to convince the Army to accept Black men in the Officer’s Candidate School, one such being Jackie Robinson, who was also born to a Southern sharecropper and grandson of a Slave. Robinson, however, faced a Court Martial in 1944 for refusing to move to the back of a military bus, but was acquitted. 3 years later Robinson broke the ‘color barrier’ when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. In 1949 Robinson was questioned by the House Un-American Activities Committee in regards to the perception of many that most Black Americans would not wage combat against Communists. Incredibly, to this very day the FBI denies that Jackie Robinson was a subject of investigation by the FBI, despite the release of FBI documents in recent years which detail investigations of people associated with Robinson who were alleged to be Communists.(8) In regards to the Army, J. Edgar Hoover would retaliate against the Army in the next national "witch-hunt" the Director would become an integral part of just a few years after World War II.
III. SONS AND DAUGHTERS
In addition to spying on Americans of accomplishment, Hoover had his agents spy on the children of prominent citizens, particularly politicians, using the information compiled as leverage against them. One such case involved the daughter of Congressman Henry Reuss, a civil-rights activist and opponent of Hoover’s ally Joseph McCarthy. (9) Another case involved the daughter of Congressman Neil Gallagher, who had earned the wrath of Hoover in 1965 when his Congressional Sub-Committee on Privacy challenged the FBI’s decades-old history of invading the privacy of thousands of Americans, activities that violated both the spirit and the letter of the law of the Constitution of the United States. In Gallagher’s case, FBI agents raided an apartment Gallagher’s college-age daughter shared with 3 other young women, who were falsely accused of having sex with the Congressman.
Another victim of Hoover was a young Navy Ensign, John F. Kennedy, the son of Joseph Kennedy, who was President Roosevelt’s Ambassador to Great Britain. Hoover’s FBI agents discovered during World War II that Ensign Kennedy, who worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, was dating Inga Arvad, a native of Denmark who had obtained a degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York. Hoover’s men then designated Arvad a "Nazi spy," based upon nothing more than the fact that she had, as a journalist, interviewed Adolph Hitler, one such which occurred during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Thus, Hoover concluded, Ensign Kennedy could be revealing to the "Nazi spy" government secrets he had access to through his work with Naval Intelligence and thus it was in the interests of "national security" that Hoover’s men needed to plant electronic bugs to capture on tape Kennedy and the "spy" engaged in sexual activity.(10)
However, as was sometimes the case, Hoover’s blackmail campaign backfired, with unforeseen consequences. After an investigation by the Navy instigated by Hoover’s over-reaching tactics, of which Kennedy was aware, Navy brass in Washington decided to remove the young Ensign away from Arvad - (and Hoover’s spies) - by transferring Kennedy to a small post in South Carolina. Kennedy was outraged that his Patriotism had come into question and demanded a re-assignment to a combat zone where he would be willing to lay down his life for his country. Thus, months later, Kennedy found himself the Commanding Officer of a Navy Motor Torpedo Boat, a small vessel that carried a crew of a dozen men, which carried out sabotage missions against much larger Japanese ships in the South Pacific Ocean. Because such boats carried several torpedoes, munitions, and highly-combustible fuel, the rank-and-file of the Navy referred to such boats as "Plywood coffins!" At 2 in the morning on a Moonless night in August, 1943, a Japanese Destroyer rammed Kennedy’s boat, PT 109, splitting it into two pieces. Among those who witnessed the explosion of Kennedy’s boat was an Australian Lt., Arthur Evans, who observed this event from his perch atop a nearby island. The consensus of those Allies in the area was that all the men aboard that vessel were dead. However, Kennedy’s boat had not been struck mid-ship, which would have ignited all such combustible materials onboard, but rather across the upper third of the boat, the only possible scenario that could rip the boat into two pieces, create an explosion, yet not prove to be fatal to all but two members of the crew.
Despite receiving back injuries that would plague him the rest of his life, Kennedy was able to lead his men on a swim of several miles through shark-infested waters. The survivors beached themselves on a small island which the Japanese had avoided because of the presence there of a large number of salt-water crocodiles. Lt. Evans, believing that only a miracle could account for any survivors of this event, recruited two Solomon Island natives, Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana, to search the area for any unusual men not local to the area. The two men set out in small canoes, but first fled in terror upon discovering Kennedy and his crew, but upon returning for one more look, the Navy Lt. charmed the two into believing that he was not their enemy, despite their language barrier.(11) Thus, John F. Kennedy returned to America a decorated war hero, a solid foundation upon which to launch a career in politics. Such an eventual outcome was not what J. Edgar Hoover had in mind 2 years earlier, when he sent his agents to listen in on two young people in their most private moments.
The scenario by which Hoover procured the Kennedy-Arvad tapes was one that Hoover would replicate thousands of times over the decades, as he acquired an arsenal of information with which he could blackmail politicians in order to keep his job as Director of the FBI. Thus, when John F. Kennedy became President in 1961 and his brother Robert became Attorney General, who was technically the ‘Boss’ of the FBI Director, the Kennedys, who wanted to fire Hoover, were in no position to do so.
Hoover also spied on American citizens who did not share his political views. One such was Senator Estes Kefauver, whose post-World War II televised hearings on the American Mafia had awakened the American people to the new dangers presented by organized crime. Hoover had behind the scenes attempted to stop the hearings from taking place, and once they had gained public attention, Hoover continued to make it clear to his agents that the FBI was not to investigate the American Mafia. The Kefauver hearings in fact embarrassed Hoover through association, revealing the ties to the Mafia of Hoover’s associates Walter Winchell, the celebrated gossip columnist who brokered information with Hoover, Winchell’s pal, Godfather Frank Costello, Sherman Billingsley, the owner of New York’s Stork Club, liquor magnate Lewis Rosenstiel, and Myer Schine, the owner of a hotel chain.(12) Hoover’s response to this was to have his agents investigate the sex life of Senator Kefauver.
During this time, Carlos Marcello was rising in power in Louisiana through the trafficking of marijuana, which his drug dealers sold in Black communities of the South. Godfather Marcello expanded his operations by forging a partnership with his New York counter-part Frank Costello, setting up a nationwide gambling racket that operated everything from the sale and maintenance of pinball machines to the placing of bets on horse races. It is now known that Hoover was addicted to gambling, specifically the placing of bets - both legal and otherwise - on horse races, one of his and Clyde Tolson’s favorite pastimes. Most every Winter would find the couple vacationing - at taxpayer’s expense - in Florida, where the two enjoyed the races in Hialeah. Every Summer, Hoover and Tolson could be found at the racetrack in Del Mar, California. In California, Hoover and Tolson accepted free lodging at the Del Charro Hotel, located in the seaside resort of La Jolla. The hotel was owned by Clint Murchison, a wealthy Texas oilman who had business dealings with Carlos Marcello and also Vito Genovese, according to an investigation by the U. S. Senate in 1955.
Hoover also had ties with Godfather Frank Costello through Walter Winchell, the most influential gossip columnist of his time, who was a close friend of Costello’s. Both men would run into each other frequently in the apartment building in which both lived on Central Park South. It was outside this apartment building in 1956 that Vinnie "The Chin" Gigante attempted to murder Costello, although the Godfather was only slightly wounded. Costello would not testify against Gigante, who would later rise to Godfather of the Genovese Family, becoming notorious for wandering the streets of Greenwich Village clad in a bathrobe while mumbling to himself.
Thus, many of the men the Kefauver Hearings were targeting had associations, one way or another, with J. Edgar Hoover. What Hoover needed to take the heat off was some sort of ‘diversion’ which could take the focus of the American people off of the Mafia and direct it elsewhere. That ‘diversion’ would become Hoover’s second national witch hunt, in which Hoover and his associates would victimize both the innocent and the guilty.
IV. "ARE YOU NOW, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN . . . ?"
Hoover’s next national scare was a campaign against perceived Leftists, most of whom were completely innocent of any crime. For all of his adult life, J. Edgar Hoover had recruited into his intimate inner circle men who practiced a secret gay lifestyle, were also bonded together by an extreme hatred of African-Americans, and who also were driven by a paranoid delusion that Communists and Communists plots were widespread throughout the United States. Hoover was joined in his new terror campaign by 4 such members of his coven; former Federal Prosecutor Roy Cohn, U. S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Reverend Billy James Hargis, and Army General Edwin Walker. Roy Cohn had achieved national prominence through his Prosecution of Julius Rosenberg and his wife Ethel, convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair for smuggling information to the Soviet Union regarding the construction of America’s nuclear weapons. Although Roy Cohn was Jewish, he established during his lifetime strong relationships with Christian leaders who shared his politics and passions, most notably Francis Cardinal Spellman of New York, and Reverend Hargis, an enormously successful radio and television Evangelist, whose empire, Tulsa-based "Christian Crusade" raked in substantial amounts of income from across America. Hargis gained a following of Americans through his theatrical orations, and also on occasion provided his services as a speechwriter for Senator McCarthy. Hargis’ organization published an enormous volume of anti-Communist publications, many of which were distributed by General Walker to the Army soldiers under his command. The common theme of such literature, which Senator McCarthy adopted as his mantra, was that Communist plots existed throughout America, with avowed Communists having infiltrated various State, Local, and Federal institutions. Among such alleged plots, was the practice of many municipalities throughout the United States to add fluoride, along with chlorine, to the local drinking water supply. Fluoride is a mineral found in most toothpastes today, which has the effect of hardening the enamel of teeth, and thus preventing cavities. As incredible as it may seem today, millions of Americans during that time truly believed that Fluoridation was a Communist plot. Another allegation popularly believed during that time held that the vaccine against polio was a danger to White Americans because it had been derived from the cells of monkeys. Polio was a disease that afflicted tens of thousands of Americans during that time, caused by a virus that left many of it’s victims, most of them children, paralyzed for life.
Senator McCarthy first stirred up this mass hysteria during a speech in 1950 before a Republican Women’s Club in Appalachia, in which he breathlessly informed those in attendance that he had a long list of the names of avowed Communists employed by the U. S. State Department. His allegations created a sensation, and as a United States Senator, McCarthy utilized his ability to conduct public hearings on suspected Communists within the government as a platform to instigate a national frenzy, much of which was televised nationwide. Much of the ‘information’ McCarthy leaked to the American people was fed to McCarthy from J. Edgar Hoover. Such actions on Hoover’s part were not without risk to his reputation, and, recognizing how Attorney General Palmer had seen his own political career ruined after the ‘Palmer Raids’ debacle, Hoover undertook great lengths to conceal his role in this affair. For the next 3 years, McCarthy’s allegations of Communist infiltration of the government made him, and everyone connected to him, a national figure, including a young staff attorney, Robert Kennedy. McCarthy’s unsubstantiated allegations ruined the lives of many innocent Americans, and as that list grew in number, Bobby Kennedy wisely resigned from the Committee after just a few months of service.
McCarthy had first taken on the U. S. State Department, but his claims of massive Communist infiltration simply were not true. At Hoover’s urging, the McCarthy Committee then turned it’s sight on Officers of the CIA, but again the Inquisitors came up with nothing. McCarthy then turned his attention to the Voice of America, a government program administered by the State Department that provided radio broadcasts of uncensored news and information to the millions of people living behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ imposed by the Soviets after World War II. McCarthy claimed - without proof - that Communists had infiltrated the Voice of America to sabotage the program. McCarthy’s staff lawyer Roy Cohn then embarked on a ‘tour’ of Europe, the purpose of which was to expose what the McCarthy gang claimed was the presence of thousands of Communist books in foreign libraries funded by the United States government. The Reverend Billy James Hargis also toured Europe that Summer, gaining international press for releasing thousands of helium-inflated balloons containing Bible verses that were floated inside the borders of countries behind the "Iron Curtain." While Reverend Hargis’ campaign was well-received by the Media, Cohn’s ‘tour’ was derided by journalists from various nations. Accompanying Cohn on his tour was a young man he had fallen in love with, G. David Schine, the scion of a Mafia-compromised hotel magnate.
Gradually, the American people began to realize that they were being taken for a ride by McCarthy and his associates, that the threat to America by domestic Communists was being overstated and exploited. It was the Senator’s fight with the U. S. Army that would lead to his downfall. In taking on the Army, McCarthy was also taking on the Army’s most powerful Advocate, that of retired Army General Dwight Eisenhower, who happened to be at that time the President of the United States. McCarthy’s fight with the Army would be a direct result of the private indiscretions of his right-hand-man, Roy Cohn.
Cohn became furious when the Army drafted Schine at the height of his public celebrity. McCarthy and Cohn responded to the situation by harassing top Army leaders to re-assign Private Schine so that he could continue his ‘work’ with McCarthy’s Committee. The Army refused to make special accommodations for Schine, and quietly floated to key members of the Media the perceived relationship between Cohn and Schine. The newspaper the Las Vegas Sun went even farther, running a story alleging that Senator McCarthy was a secret homosexual, the suggestion being that the Senator’s witch-hunt was at least in part designed to deflect attention from himself. McCarthy did not sue the newspaper, and instead married his Secretary and then adopted a baby with the help of Roy Cohn’s friend Francis Cardinal Spellman.(13)
McCarthy and company, aided by Hoover, then counter-attacked by floating allegations that the U. S. Army had been infiltrated by homosexuals, as well as by Communists. Did, in an ultimate act of hypocrisy, such information about the Army come from none other than McCarthy’s ally, General Edwin Walker? That question has not and probably never will be answered. Suffice it to say that by the time this saga had played out, one U. S. Senator, McCarthy would be completely discredited, while another Senator, Lester Hunt of Wyoming, would wind up dead.
It was J. Edgar Hoover and Roy Cohn who would be the agents of Hunt’s destruction, playing their cards behind the scenes. As was Hoover’s lifelong expertise, this story begins with the art and science of blackmail. Hoover had discovered that in October of 1953, Senator Hunt’s 20-year-old son had been arrested for soliciting sex from a man in a park near the White House, that man being a plain-clothes D. C. policeman. As Hoover had done before and would do again in later years, the FBI Director had managed to keep this arrest secret for his own blackmail purposes. Months later, Senator Hunt was particularly vulnerable, given the politics of the Senate during that time. Hunt was among 48 Democrats in the U. S. Senate, whereas the Republicans held 47 seats. An additional seat was held by a registered Independent from Oregon, Wayne Morse, who usually voted with the Republicans, thus creating a tie, which, under the rules of government, then as now, sent the tie-breaking vote to the President of the Senate, by Statute the Vice-President, who happened to be Richard Nixon, a Republican. (At that time, Hawaii and Alaska had not yet become States, thus there were 96 U. S. Senators.) However, Senator Morse had publicly indicated that he intended to switch to the Democratic Party after the elections of the Fall of 1954, and thus the Democrats would have 49 votes to the Republicans 47, thus reverting the control of the Majority of the Senate to the Democrats and also negating the ability of Vice-President Nixon to cast a tie-breaking vote, should such circumstances require. Among the consequences of such a scenario, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy would no longer be Chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, from which he utilized his authority to conduct his ‘witch-hunts’ against alleged Communists within the government.
Thus, those who benefited the most from the hunt for Communists within America, J. Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohn, Vice-President Richard Nixon, and their allies, not the least of which were the Reverend Billy James Hargis and General Edwin Walker, had much to lose if Senator Hunt was re-elected - as expected - as a Democratic Senator from the State of Wyoming. The Evil that would then be perpetrated upon Senator Hunt and his children, it should be noted, was bi-partisan. Hoover leaked the information about the arrest of Senator Hunt’s son to Roy Cohn, a lifelong Democrat. Cohn then convinced his close associate Styles Bridges, a Republican Senator from New Hampshire, to blackmail Senator Hunt into withdrawing his candidacy for re-election, otherwise Hoover would utilize his many contacts in the Media to reveal the arrest of the Senator’s son. It was also demanded that Hunt resign immediately, so that the Governor of Wyoming, a Republican, could appoint an Interim replacement who could thus run as an Incumbent in the election of the Fall. On June 8th, 1954, Senator Hunt stunned his supporters when, without explanation, he announced he would not seek re-election to the Senate. 11 days later, Senator Hunt secreted a hunting rifle into his Senate office on Capital Hill and shot himself to death. As Fate would have it, Senator Hunt’s successor for the Democratic Nomination from the State of Wyoming was elected in his place, and the Democrats picked up a net gain of 1 in the elections of 1954, and thus, the machinations and blackmail of J. Edgar Hoover and his associates to maintain control over the U. S. Senate failed. The story of Senator Hunt’s blackmail and suicide was turned by writer Allen Drury into his 1959 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, ADVISE AND CONSENT. Senator Hunt was not the first politician to be blackmailed by Hoover, nor would he be the last.
In regards to Senator McCarthy’s allegations of homosexual conduct rampant within the U. S. Army, the Army struck back during the Army-McCarthy Hearings of 1953 which turned the tables on Senator McCarthy and his gang. This time around, it was the Army that was taking the offensive, accusing Senator McCarthy and his staff of improperly attempting to secure preferential treatment of Private G. David Schine. Army attorney Joseph Welch was master of the proceedings, challenging Senator McCarthy in regards to a photograph that had been submitted by his Committee which clearly had been altered in order to convey an incorrect professional relationship between an Army official and Private Schine. Welch asked Senator McCarthy if the altered photograph had been submitted by what Welch referred to as a "pixie." Welch’s implication as to the alleged relationship between Roy Cohn and Schine was unmistakable, even though the hearings were being broadcast live to a national television audience, and the subject matter during those times was something that was simply not discussed in public. Typically, Senator McCarthy attempted to turn the suggestion against Welch, asking the Army attorney to "define" what a "pixie" was, also stating that he believed that Welch "might be an expert on that!" Welch responded that "a pixie is a close relative of a fairy!"
Senator McCarthy responded by changing the subject with another ‘smokescreen,’ suddenly alleging that a young attorney in Welch’s law firm was a Communist, given his brief association years earlier with a left-wing organization. Joseph Welch took in a deep breath, and then issued a response that was one of the most riveting moments in American history, an event broadcast live on television. Welch admonished the Senator thus: "Senator - you’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"
Those in attendance in the packed conference room gave Welch a roaring ovation of approval and thus, Senator McCarthy's reign of terror came to an end. McCarthy drank him himself to death within 3 short years. Roy Cohn, J. Edgar Hoover, the Reverend Billy James Hargis, and General Edwin Walker, all managed to emerge from this national debacle with their reputations virtually intact. Each, in their own, more muted way, would continue their crusade against the domestic Communists plots that were largely the products of their own deranged imaginations.
However, there would be one of their contemporaries from the McCarthy witch-hunt who would emerge from this national event to take on the REAL threat to the average American citizen, that of the American Mafia. Born of the ill-ventured Prohibition of alcohol during the 1920s, and the rise of labor Unions during the 1930s, the American Mafia had, in the space of a generation, become an enormous, nationwide criminal enterprise that had recruited thousands of members nationwide, most of those syndicates centered in the populous urban areas. The Mafia’s drug dealing, gambling operations, and prostitution rings negatively impacted on the quality of life of Urban Americans, all of whom paid a "Mafia tax" on most goods and services. Determined to make his mark, Bobby Kennedy approached Senator John McClellan after the Democrats regained a majority in the Congress following the elections of 1954. Kennedy asked to be Chief Counsel on a new Committee led by McClellan that would investigate organized crime in America. Joining Bobby Kennedy on this Committee would be his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy.
The McClellan Committee would soon become another national obsession, with Bobby Kennedy the star during televised hearings in which Kennedy grilled leading Mafia figures of the day, most of whom repeatedly invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination. Bobby Kennedy taunted his adversaries relentlessly; during one such grilling of Chicago Mob Boss Sam Giancana, the wiseguy erupted into a nervous giggle, prompting Bobby Kennedy to taunt: "I thought only little girls giggled, Mr. Giancana!" Bobby Kennedy also aggressively pursued Dave Beck, Jimmy Hoffa, and Tony Provenzano of the Teamsters' Union as well as Mob bosses Joey Gallo, Carlos Marcello and Santo Trafficante. Like most of those who appeared, Marcello repeatedly invoked his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination in response to the questions by the Committee. Robert Kennedy summarized his work on the McClellan Committee in his 1960 book THE ENEMY WITHIN. While making enemies of organized crime bosses, as well as the man who refused to acknowledge their existence, FBI Director Hoover, John and Robert Kennedy simultaneously had earned the admiration and respect of millions of Americans. Thus, the Kennedys were ready to make their move onto the national political arena in the elections of 1960.
V. HOOVER AND THE KENNEDYS
There was only one man who stood in the way of John F. Kennedy winning the nomination of the Democratic Party for President in 1960, and that man was Senator Lyndon Johnson from the State of Texas. J. Edgar Hoover was very closely tied to Johnson, among such ties a man named Walter Jenkins, who had worked as Johnson’s right-hand man for most of his adult life. Jenkins had even named one of his 6 children "Lyndon," and Hoover had hired Jenkins’ brother as an FBI agent. In the months leading up to the run for the Nomination, Senator Johnson’s candidacy almost came crashing down when Walter Jenkins was arrested for engaging in sex acts with another man in the men’s room of a YMCA just a few blocks from the White House. As before, Hoover had the power to keep this sort of story from becoming public. Although Johnson did not win the Nomination, the fact that he had been saved from scandal by Hoover allowed Kennedy to choose him as his running mate.
In one of the closest races in American history, the ticket of Kennedy-Johnson was narrowly elected to lead America during a very troubled time. The biggest threat to America was not Communists within but Communists abroad, and historians today now realize that the World came perilously close to nuclear war during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. The crisis began when U. S. reconnaissance missions revealed the construction of Russian missile sites throughout the island of Cuba. The Soviet leadership consistently maintained that the missiles were defensive, intended to stave off another invasion such as the ill-fated Bay of Pigs military operation of a year earlier. In heated arguments with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Generals made the case to the President that the missiles had to be taken out by air strikes, followed up by an invasion of the Communist country. Air Force General Curtis LeMay was the most vehement in this position. Kennedy, however, decided to respond incrementally by first announcing to the world a Naval blockade of the island. However, without President Kennedy’s knowledge, General LeMay’s colleague General Tommy Power issued the order to bring the country’s military readiness state to DEFCON - 2, just one step below that of war. Power also decreed that the order not be sent out encrypted, meaning that the Soviets would quickly discover that the United States was preparing for the possibility of war over the Cuban missiles. President Kennedy, however, prevailed over both the Soviets and the Hawks within his own military during this crisis, and secretly agreed with the Soviets to remove American nuclear missiles in Turkey aimed at the Soviet Union in exchange for the dismantling of the missiles in Cuba.(14) Only after the demise of the Soviet Union was it discovered that the Soviets already had nuclear missiles in place on Cuban soil, as well as those housed in submarines off the coast, and thus, if General LeMay and his co-horts had prevailed in precipitating a military strike, World War III would almost certainly have been the result.
An unrepentant General LeMay would go on to become Segregationist George Wallace’s running mate in the 1968 Presidential race. Their third-party ticket won 5 Southern States. Their Democratic opponent would likely have been Robert Kennedy, had he not been gunned down in Los Angeles moments after winning the crucial California primary. Robert Kennedy’s appeal to a wide range of Americans was multi-facetted and owed as much to his own impressive résumé fighting the Mafia as it did to the symbolic promise of carrying out his brother’s vision which had been cut short. While the President and his brother were in power in the White House and Justice Department, various actions were taken to neutralize Generals LeMay and Walker, as well as Roy Cohn. Walker’s demise was brought about because of his indoctrination of the troops under his command with propaganda materials published by the John Birch Society, of which he and the Reverend Billy James Hargis were active members, as well as publications from Hargis, one example being the pamphlet "Unmasking Martin Luther King, the Deceiver."(15) President Kennedy’s Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara then relieved General Walker of his Command, prompting the General to resign from the Army later that year. Months later, General Walker was back in the news when he ran for the Democratic Nomination for Governor of Texas, losing to John Connally, who went on to be elected Governor. In September of that year, General Walker joined with Governor Ross Barnett who literally stood in the door of the University of Mississippi to prevent African-American James Meredith from enrolling as a student. In the riots that followed, in which the General played a leadership role in instigating, 2 people were killed. Bobby Kennedy ordered General Walker arrested on 4 Federal counts, including advocating the violent overthrow of the government of the United States. Kennedy also ordered General Walker taken to a military hospital, where he was held for a week for psychiatric evaluation. Such actions by Kennedy, however, backfired, with Walker’s supporters Ironic yet plausible contention that Kennedy had violated General Walker’s ‘civil rights.’ Kennedy was further rebuffed when the Grand Jury refused to indict Walker, despite the evidence of his public calls over public radio stations for citizens to resort to violence in order to keep the University of Mississippi Segregated.
This was one of Kennedy’s few miss-steps as Attorney General, and Walker and his associates played up the publicity for all it was worth. In February, 1963, General Walker and Reverend Hargis launched a nationwide anti-Communist, pro-Segregation tour called "Operation: Midnight Ride," a series of lectures that attracted many thousands of Americans. At this point, Walker’s story took a bizarre turn when Hollywood, with the help of the Kennedy Administration, took an interest in bringing the exploits of the mad General to the silver screen. Family patriarch Joseph Kennedy had built his family’s fortune on two fronts; his partnership with liquor magnate Lewis Rosenstiel during Prohibition, and as a movie mogul in Hollywood during the 1920s and 1930s. As a result of this side-line, the Kennedy family had extensive contacts with members of the Hollywood elite, including Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, writer Bud Schulberg, and Directors such as John Frankenheimer. During that year of 1963, Hollywood released a movie, PT 109, which chronicled the President’s emergence as a war hero. Robert Kennedy sought a similar Hollywood treatment, enlisting Bud Schulberg to write the screenplay of his book THE ENEMY WITHIN. However, Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, one of the key targets for prosecution by Robert Kennedy, was able to stop production of this movie by promising that his Teamsters would refuse to distribute the film to theatres across America.(16)
Against this backdrop, the Kennedy brothers were able to encourage and co-operate with two motion pictures filmed in 1963 which featured main characters which satirized the crazed antics of General Walker. John Frankenheimer’s SEVEN DAYS IN MAY depicted a mentally ill military leader, a composite character based upon General Walker and General Curtis LeMay, who leads a right-wing military coup against the President of the United States, prompted by the President’s agreement with the Soviet Union to destroy their country’s nuclear weapons arsenals. Coming just a year after the Cuban missile crisis, the film could not have been more timely. Although already dead several years by that time, Joseph McCarthy appeared to be the inspiration for the right-wing, alcoholic, and racist U. S. Senator who participated in the attempted coup. The Kennedy Administration co-operated with the filming of this movie, making the White House available for film sequences. Understandably, the Pentagon chose not to co-operate.(17)
The Pentagon also refused to co-operate with the filming of Director Stanley Kubrick’s black comedy masterpiece DR. STRANGELOVE, in which World War III is brought about by the maniacal General Jack (D.) Ripper, a character based upon General Edwin T. Walker. In the film, General Ripper believes his sexual dysfunction is the result of the "Communist plot" to add fluoride to America’s drinking water, thus sapping him of his "precious bodily fluids." The character of General Buck Turgidson, portrayed by George C. Scott, is a satirical portrait of General Curtis LeMay. Thus, while Attorney General Robert Kennedy failed in his attempt to send General Walker to prison, the Kennedy Administration was able to facilitate Walker’s eternal enshrinement on celluloid as the mad - and dangerous - General that he was.
Attorney General Kennedy would also fail in his attempts to send Roy Cohn to prison. Cohn had by that time become one of the most sought after criminal attorneys by members of the American Mafia, who suddenly found themselves being indicted. Among those Kennedy hired in his targeting of organized crime were Robert Morgenthau, whom Kennedy appointed U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and G. Robert Blakey, who would later author the RICO statutes which have become the most powerful Federal weapon against organized crime syndicates. Kennedy’s selection of Robert Morgenthau infuriated Hoover, whose nemesis was Morgenthau’s father, Henry Morgenthau, who served during the Franklin Roosevelt Administration as Secretary of the Treasury. Hoover had even gone so far as to have 5 of his agents illegally break into the National Archives and physically remove all derogatory references to the FBI in Morgenthau’s diaries kept during his tenure in Washington.(12)
Robert Morgenthau would go on to be one of the most successful Mafia prosecutors in American history, both as U. S. Attorney and later as Manhattan District Attorney. However, one of the few criminals Morgenthau failed to convict was Roy Cohn. On three separate occasions, Morgenthau prosecuted Cohn on a variety of charges, including witness tampering, Perjury, and fraud, and in each case Cohn was acquitted. FBI Director Hoover fed to Cohn evidence and information the Feds had compiled against Cohn, thus empowering his defense and sabotaging the Prosecution.(13)
While Robert Kennedy failed to convict Roy Cohn and General Walker, the Attorney General also failed to put away Godfather Carlos Marcello. The Godfather was born in 1910 to Sicilian parents in Tunisia, and given the name Calogero Minacore. Changing his name to Carlos Marcello, the future Godfather listed on immigration papers his birthplace as being the South American country of Guatemala, hoping to shield his ties to the Sicilian Mafia. Robert Kennedy then brought about the papers to have Marcello deported to Guatemala, an event that took place on April 4th of 1961. Within a matter of weeks, however, the Godfather was back in the United States. On November 4, 1963, Kennedy’s Justice Department began it’s prosecution against Marcello for falsification of his Guatemalan birth certificate. The Verdict of "Not Guilty" came in on the afternoon of November 22, 1963. On that day the Attorney General was having lunch at his home outside Washington with several members of his Mafia prosecution team, including Robert Morgenthau. Kennedy received a phone call from J. Edgar Hoover. The FBI Director casually informed the Attorney General that his brother had just been shot in Dallas, Texas. Most Americans were deeply shocked, saddened, and troubled by the brutal murder of the young President, but not so J. Edgar Hoover. On the very next day, as FBI Director, Hoover should have been at FBI headquarters in Washington working 24/7 to help solve the murder of the President. Instead, Hoover and Clyde Tolson chose to drive to Baltimore - at taxpayer’s expense - where the two men gambled on the horse races.
VI. SMOKE AND MIRRORS
The murder of President Kennedy launched overnight a ‘cottage industry’ of ‘cultural vultures’ who sought to obtain whatever fame and fortune they could by capitalizing on the traumatized American public, who thirsted for some sort of explanation and "closure" of the defining moment of their time. Two egregious examples were the Reverend Billy James Hargis and Jim Garrison, the District Attorney of New Orleans. Reverend Hargis struck first, publishing in 1964 his book THE FAR LEFT, in which he detailed his claim that President Kennedy was murdered as a result of a Communist plot. Hargis’ tag into this story was the fact that his close associate General Walker had been the first target of Lee Harvey Oswald.
As a result of General Walker’s and Reverend Hargis’ Operation: Midnight Ride tour, the retired General returned to Dallas a national figure, albeit controversial. Because of his newfound fame, Walker became a target of Lee Harvey Oswald. On the evening of April 12, 1963, Oswald’s wife would later claim, Oswald aimed his newly-purchased rifle and fired at Walker as he sat in the living room of his Dallas home. However, the bullet nicked the corner of the frame window of Walker’s house, sending the bullet in a tumbling trajectory similar to that of the bullet that would later purportedly wound both President Kennedy and Governor Connally. Although General Walker was wounded by collateral fragments projected by the bullet, his wounds were minor.
In his book, Reverend Hargis argued that Oswald’s attempted murder of General Walker was evidence that Oswald was an avowed Communist, but such an explanation for a motive is a contradiction in regards to Oswald’s mutual targets for murder. True, General Walker was a celebrated anti-Communist, opponent of civil rights, and Segregationist, but President Kennedy was Walker’s polar opposite, a champion of civil rights for all Americans, and a vocal critic of General Walker and his extremist ideology. Many serious investigators of the murder of the President would later thus conclude that Oswald, in his attempts to murder both of these men, was not motivated by ideology, but rather by mental illness.
One year after he was shot, General Walker and former Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett attended the trial of Ku Klux Klan member Byron De La Beckwith, to offer moral support to the man charged with the 1963 murder of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. De La Beckwith’s two trials resulted in hung juries, but he was convicted after a third trial 3 decades later. General Walker was exposed as a closeted gay and accomplished Hypocrite when he was arrested in 1976 for soliciting sex from another man in a men’s room in Dallas, Texas, and again in 1977 under similar charges, for which he was convicted.
As for the Reverend Billy James Hargis, his secret personal failings were exposed in a 1976 issue of Time Magazine. The Time article noted how two of his students at his Bible College, who had been married in a ceremony officiated by the Reverend, confessed to each other on their Wedding night that neither were a Virgin; both the groom and his wife had lost their Virginity to Reverend Hargis. Several other young men, part of Hargis’ "All-American Kids" youth choir also came forward to allege that Hargis had engaged in sex with them. Hargis has attained a place in popular culture as the inspiration of the lead character in radio personality Don Imus’ satirical novel GOD’S OTHER SON.
A few years after Reverend Hargis’ book, New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison also got on the bandwagon, although this time around, Garrison claimed that operatives of the CIA, not the Communists, were responsible for the murder of the President. Even though Garrison’s allegations changed almost on a weekly basis, his unsubstantiated claims made him an instant international celebrity, which would only serve to motivate a ‘rogues gallery’ of others to follow in his example. In the decades that have since passed, a body of evidence has accumulated that portrays a very different picture of what the Media viewed at the time as a courageous District Attorney taking on "the Crime of the Century." Simply put, Jim Garrison was a con artist and criminal from a State that has provided and nurtured a long list of such corrupt public officials. Jim Garrison accepted money and gifts from the Marcello Mafia Family and in return Garrison did not prosecute members of the Marcello gang. When Garrison ran for re-election in 1965, he called Marcello a "respectable businessman" and proclaimed - in the vein of Hoover - that there was no organized crime in New Orleans. In over 80 cases where Marcello associates were indicted, Garrison dropped the charges. While District Attorney, Jim Garrison took gambling junkets to Las Vegas where his tab was picked up by members of the Marcello Mafia Family. The house in which he lived was purchased at a greatly-reduced price from a business partner of Godfather Marcello.(18)
Garrison’s claims that the CIA was responsible for the murder of the President served two purposes; in addition to creating for himself the celebrity status he craved, his allegations also diverted attention from serious investigators who were examining Carlos Marcello’s troubling association with most of the key players in this story. Investigative reporter Gerald Posner would eventually compile what for many is the definitive examination of the murder of the President, the best-selling book CASE CLOSED. Posner, among others, discovered that Garrison committed numerous crimes in the process that led to the indictment of New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw as an alleged participant in the murder of the President. Those crimes included the attempted Subornation of Perjury from ‘witnesses,’ either through bribery or the threat of false prosecution. Only by subjecting ‘witness’ Perry Russo to drugs and hypnosis was Garrison able to solicit Russo’s ‘memory’ that he had attended a party during which Oswald, his long-time associate David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw allegedly discussed their plans to murder the President. Gradually, members of the Media began to expose Garrison’s con job, NBC among the first, and Garrison’s own key investigator William Gurvich resigned and "went public," denouncing Garrison’s unethical and illegal tactics, claims which he shared with Robert Kennedy.
In January, 1969, Jim Garrison opened his Prosecution against Clay Shaw for his alleged role in the murder of the President. Garrison’s two main ‘witnesses’ were Perry Russo and New York accountant Charles Spiesel, who also claimed to have been at a party in which Oswald, Shaw, and Ferrie casually admitted before strangers such as himself their intention to murder the President, a crime that would subject each of them to being just one ‘dropping of a dime’ away to immediate arrest by Agents of the Secret Service. Under cross-examination, Spiesel admitted to fingerprinting his daughter to be certain she was not an imposter sent into his home by the NYPD, in league with persons unknown whom he alleged had kidnapped him and hypnotized him against his will on 50 to 60 occasions. Spiesel had documented such allegations in a lawsuit he filed in 1964 against his psychiatrist and the City of New York.
The jury of American citizens who heard such testimony returned after deliberations of less than an hour to render a verdict of "Not Guilty." Within days, Garrison obtained another indictment against Clay Shaw, alleging that Shaw committed Perjury when he claimed he did not know David Ferrie nor Lee Harvey Oswald, the serious credibility issues of ‘witnesses’ Perry Russo and Charles Spiesel notwithstanding. That case never went to trial, when a Federal Court ruled that Garrison’s prosecution of Shaw was the result of gross prosecutorial misconduct on the part of Garrison. Undeterred, Garrison would write his own book on this case, ON THE TRAIL OF THE ASSASSINS, which would later become the basis of a major motion picture, despite the fact that later, sober investigations by serious and credible investigative reporters and members of law enforcement would conclude that the CIA was in no way involved in the murder of the President.
VII. HOOVER AFTER KENNEDY
With the murder of President Kennedy, J. Edgar Hoover must have felt that the last vestiges of oversight upon him and his FBI spies was over. However, two events would occur in 1964 -when Johnson was running for re-election - that required all the dubious talents and tactics that Hoover had become famous for. Just weeks before the election, President Johnson’s Chief Aide Walter Jenkins was again arrested in the same men’s room of a YMCA just blocks from the White House on the same charges as 5 years earlier - engaging in sex acts with another man. Hoover had managed to cover-up the earlier arrest, but this time around, given that Johnson was the President in the midst of a campaign, the value of such information was considerably higher. Operatives in Republican candidate Barry Goldwater’s campaign were tipped off as to the arrest, and it was just a matter of time before someone in the Media, not beholding to Hoover and the FBI, would run with the story.
Hoover and President Johnson also had to consider the possibility that reporters from outside the United States could break the story. In the year previous, the government of England had been brought down when John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War, was detected in an affair with a call-girl, Christine Keeler, who was also intimate with a Russian spy. Although there was no evidence that Profumo had been blackmailed or compromised by his lover, the scandal resulted in the resignation of Profumo and Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Thus, a sex scandal story regarding President Johnson’s most trusted confidante would not be just a story of national interest, but international as well.
If Walter Jenkins was Johnson’s number 1 trusted aide, his number 2 man was his lawyer, Abe Fortas. Thus, Fortas and Hoover frantically scrambled to contain the scandal, realizing that time was not on their side. First, the two men convinced Jenkins to admit himself into a hospital, alleging a "nervous breakdown" brought on by his onerous government responsibilities. Hoover then visited Jenkins in the hospital, bringing him a bouquet of flowers. Hoover did this openly and publicly, as part of a strategy to convince the public that Jenkins was not gay, but rather the victim of illness and/or disease. Hoover and Fortas also tried in vain to find a psychiatrist who would falsely claim that Jenkins had a brain tumor that caused his "erratic behavior."
Having failed in the quest to find a medical excuse for Jenkins’ behavior, Hoover then concocted a fabricated story that Jenkins had been set-up; unlike when the President was murdered, which Hoover responded to by going to the horse races with Clyde Tolson, Hoover responded to this sex scandal by having his agents working 24/7 to come up with something - anything - that could be used to save both Jenkins and the President from this scandal. What Hoover’s agents came up with was the fact that the man who was arrested with Jenkins had at one time, many years earlier, served in the same Air Force unit that was then commanded by Barry Goldwater. Thus, Hoover and his co-horts suggested, the arrest of Jenkins was part of a "Republican plot" to bring down President Johnson. The FBI spent thousands of taxpayer’s dollars investigating Goldwater and his associates in a vain attempt to pin Jenkins’ arrest on the Goldwater campaign. Once the story hit the Media, Walter Jenkins had to submit his immediate resignation. However, Hoover was still able to twist his "Republican plot" story to Johnson’s advantage. Jenkins’ arrest sparked legitimate dialogue in government circles as to whether Jenkins, who had access to top secret documents, may have been in a position through which he could be blackmailed by Communists. Hoover assured Congressional leaders and other government officials that Jenkins had not been compromised by Communists, although he could not ignore the ‘evidence’ that operatives of the Goldwater campaign had not attempted to do so.
When Barry Goldwater learned of what had been going on behind the scenes in this affair, he was livid, and vowed that among his first actions if elected President would be the termination of J. Edgar Hoover. Goldwater did not, as Johnson’s campaign feared, make an issue of the Jenkins affair, attempting to take the high road in an election campaign that had been particularly ugly. Johnson’s campaign had already received notoriety for the airing of the "Daisy girl" ad, in which a little girl was shown picking flowers in a meadow, only to be obliterated by the detonation of an atomic bomb. The ad concluded with voice-overs by Lyndon Johnson and popular sportscaster Chris Schenkel. The ad was a clear attempt to brand Goldwater as the same sort of right-wing, trigger-happy nutcase as Generals Walker and LeMay. The ad was roundly criticized for playing on Americans’ nuclear anxiety but it made it’s point; President Johnson was easily re-elected and the scandal of Walter Jenkins quietly receded from the public’s attention.
J. Edgar Hoover also saved his career through a skillful - and illegal - handling of a second crisis that threatened President Johnson’s re-election, that of the disappearance and presumed murders of three civil rights workers. The three men, 2 Whites and one Black, had traveled to rural Mississippi as part of the Congress of Racial Equality’s efforts to register Blacks to vote in the upcoming election. Then, in June, 1964, the three young men vanished. Hoover solved the crime by sending his young Informant Greg Scarpa and Scarpa’s control agent, Anthony Villano, to Mississippi. Scarpa’s girlfriend Linda Schiro would accompany the men down South, and would relate the story on the Witness stand years later. Scarpa and the FBI kidnapped a local resident whom they believed knew what happened to the missing men, at which point Scarpa placed the barrel of an FBI service revolver in the mouth of the prisoner, and told him he would pull the trigger unless he confessed to what he knew. The man complied and President Johnson was soon able to report to a concerned nation that the bodies of the three missing students had been recovered and that those responsible had been arrested. Scarpa was rewarded for his actions by literally being given a "License to Kill," protected from the FBI for decades, while Scarpa committed over 50 murders. A grateful President Johnson took legal measures that would allow J. Edgar Hoover to remain FBI Director for the rest of his life.
VIII. HOOVER AND THE COLOMBOS
Exactly at which point Colombo hitman Greg Scarpa began to work for the FBI has yet to be established, but the date is now believed to be several years before the Mississippi incident of 1964. Like Hoover, Greg Scarpa was notorious for his hatred of African-Americans, as was in general the Colombo Mafia Family, in marked contrast, in general, to the Genovese and Gambino families. Greg Scarpa was one of the youngest men in history to become a "Made member" of the American Mafia, which means Scarpa had to murder at least one person, on the orders of his Mafia superiors, in order to be inducted into the Mafia. Court testimony would later reveal that Scarpa had lost counting the number of his murder victims after 50, and that he would, upon the emergence of telephonic technology, send to his associates through his Beeper the number "666," the Biblical sign of the anti-Christ which was Scarpa’s signal that he had succeeded in murdering his latest victim.(19) Scarpa’s methods of murder varied with the circumstances. When killing someone at close range, Scarpa favored a revolver. Mary Bari was just 31 years old when Scarpa lured her to his club on the promise of a job interview. Once inside, Scarpa Jr. held Ms. Bari down while Scarpa Sr. fired bullets into her head. Ms. Bari was murdered because of Scarpa’s belief that she was disclosing to the FBI the whereabouts of a Colombo associate who was on the lam. The brutal murder of Ms. Bari shocked even the most hardened of the Colombos; in a Court proceeding in Brooklyn, testimony revealed that Scarpa’s associates believed they would go to Hell for the murder of Ms. Bari. When Scarpa’s target was long-range, the hitman’s favored weapon of choice was a rifle. Scarpa became quite skilled at the shooting of a man in motion, such as someone riding in a car, with Scarpa himself frequently shooting his victims while he was inside a car that was moving.
The FBI would, over the course of decades, resort to extraordinary measures, including the commission of crimes, to protect Greg Scarpa, one of their most treasured assets. When an associate of Scarpa approached the FBI to offer evidence of criminal activity on the part of Scarpa, in exchange for a "get-out-of-jail-free card," FBI Agent Anthony Villano, Scarpa’s control agent at the time, protected Scarpa by warning the would-be Informer that the Colombo Family would kidnap his daughter if he testified against Scarpa.(19)
Historically, the Colombos focused on the trafficking of drugs, including anabolic steroids, prostitution rackets, and the corruption of public officials. Steroids, which were not illegal until 1990, were used extensively by some members of the Mafia as well as members of law enforcement, due to the fact of the drugs’ ability to quickly grow muscle tissue, muscles both mobsters and cops feel are necessary to help project their ‘tough guy’ persona. Two examples of this were Sammy "The Bull" Gravano, Underboss of the Gambino Family, and "Mafia Cop" Lou Eppolito, who used the drugs to attain the bodybuilding title "Mr. New York City." Paul Mele, a member of Scarpa’s drug crew, was a bodybuilder who bulked up with steroids. Some of those associates of the Colombos who partook of steroids also worked as male prostitutes, and some also performed in the growing pornography industry, both gay and straight, of which the Colombos were early pioneers. In 1972 Colombo mobster "Big Tony" Peraino and his crew produced the feature-length pornographic motion picture DEEP THROAT. The Colombos trafficking of steroids received widespread attention in 1997, when Ralph Dols, a New York City Police Officer, was murdered in a case that has yet to be solved. Dols, connected through marriage to the Colombo Family, was trafficking anabolic steroids to cops in Brooklyn’s 70th Precinct. Every police officer in that precinct became a target of investigation after a handcuffed prisoner, Abner Louima, was brutally sodomized and nearly killed by Officer Justin Volpe, who rammed a broken-off mop handle inside Louima’s rectum inside the bathroom of the stationhouse.
Also, for several decades the Colombo Family had quietly provided the services of male prostitutes to rich, and sometimes famous, men. This operation was in part fronted by Concierges at luxury hotels in New York City, who discreetly made it known to their hotel guests that anything at all could be procured, for the right price. Such men who made use of these services opened themselves up to the potential of blackmail by the Mob. In the late 1990s the Colombos were revealed to also have provided male prostitutes to leaders of a corrupt Union in New York City, many of whom have since been convicted of a variety of crimes. Colombo hitman "Wild Bill" Cutolo, the Vice-President of a Union of blue collar workers, ran a scam for many years in which Thanksgiving turkeys were sold to other Unions at inflated prices.
Although Scarpa’s crew sold drugs for decades, they were admonished by Scarpa to not use drugs themselves on penalty of death. According to Scarpa, drugs were meant to be sold to African-Americans in Brooklyn, Harlem, and the Bronx. Scarpa’s attitude towards drugs mirrored that of Godfather Marcello, who got his start in organized crime through the selling of marijuana to young Black men in Louisiana.
An example of the Colombos hatred of Blacks occurred on New Year’s Eve in 1970, when Colombo associate Joseph Russo was hosting a party at his Wayne, New Jersey home for 30 of his partners-in-crime and their loved ones. Russo had hired for the evening a young black couple, Charles Shepard and his wife Shirley Green, to serve food and drinks. As the party progressed, Shepard began to dance with one of the white women in attendance. Russo was so infuriated that a black man would dare dance with a white woman at his own home that he pulled out a gun and shot Shepard 6 times. Two of Russo’s associates then grabbed Shirley Green and held her down while Russo reloaded his gun, then shooting Ms. Green in the back as his guests looked on. The bodies of the young black couple were then discarded on the side of a road.
At least one of Russo’s 30 guests was horrified by this gruesome double-murder, and notified the police. Once charged with murder, Russo sought the help of his Boss, Carmine "The Snake" Persico, who assured him that the case could be "fixed" behind the scenes utilizing the Colombo family’s corrupt influence with members of the law enforcement and Judicial community.(20) On two separate occasions, Russo was placed on trial in a Court of Law for the murders of Shepard and Green, and both prosecutions were dismissed as Mistrials by the Judge in the case, a ruling later determined to be improper conduct by a Judge in an Appeal’s Court decision. Carmine Persico, who would later rise to Godfather of the Colombo Family, and Family member Joseph Yackovelli were later prosecuted by the Feds in Brooklyn for their alleged roles to use their corrupt influence on law enforcement officials to derail the prosecution against Russo. The Judge in that case, John Bartels, ordered the local Media not to report on the Mafia connections of the Defendants, and when the New York Daily News and New York Times did so, Judge Bartels dismissed the charges, claiming that the Media had denied the Mafia criminals their right to a fair trial. Thus, no one was brought to Justice for the murders of Charles Shepard and Shirley Green.
During the time of the troubled prosecutions of the murders of Shepard and Green, Colombo Godfather Joe Colombo was himself perverting the emerging consciousness of civil rights through a non-profit organization he founded, calling itself the Italian-American Civil Rights League. Taking a cue from J. Edgar Hoover, who had claimed for decades that the "Mafia" did not exist, Godfather Colombo seized upon the fact that the vast majority of Italian-Americans were not involved in criminal activity, and thus, according to his convoluted reasoning, anyone who uttered the word "Mafia" was in fact expressing a ‘racist’ attitude towards all Italian-Americans. Joining forces with the Godfather was another man who believed his constituents were being discriminated against, the Rabbi Meir Kahane, founder of the militant, pro-Israel Jewish Defense League. Rabbi Kahane was also later revealed to be an FBI Informant, having worked for Hoover’s COINTELPRO in the 1960s by infiltrating the right-wing John Birch Society, and later serving that operation by running interference against the Black Panthers.(21)
On June 29, 1970, Godfather Colombo and his League sponsored a rally in Columbus Circle in Manhattan attended by over 50,000 people, including 5 members of Congress, notably Mario Biaggi, whose political career would soon be destroyed after being blackmailed by his own lawyer, Roy Cohn.(22) Also in attendance was Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, whose district included the infamous Mafia neighborhood centered around Pleasant Avenue, from which the Mafia trafficked heroin to the young Blacks of Harlem. When Congressman Powell attempted to address the gathering, the African-American politician was booed from the stage.
In November of that year, Frank Sinatra was among many celebrities who appeared in a benefit for the League held at Madison Square Garden. Colombo’s new status as "rock-star Godfather" deeply troubled the other leaders of the American Mafia, among those Carlo Gambino. Ironically, Colombo’s appeal to the masses would foreshadow the later such tactics of Gambino’s successor, John Gotti, who took the "superstar" persona to another level. Thus, the 4 other Godfathers of New York determined, Godfather Colombo had to be stopped. There is an old Mafia tradition regarding public executions, in which a ‘lone-nut’ is recruited to carry out such a killing. That person is then himself killed, so that those who planned the murder cannot be identified by the hired killer. Even if the hired killer is not himself killed and decides to tell all he knows to the authorities, the fact that the hired killer is obviously deranged, and has a lifetime history of mental illness and/or criminal behavior, automatically discredits such a person. As an added ‘buffer,’ such deranged individuals often do not know the true identities of the people recruiting them, let alone who are their bosses, just in case they survive their own planned execution.
Thus, in the case of Joe Colombo, a "lone-nut" was recruited to murder him in public. The time and place is well documented; the shooting of Colombo occurred in Columbus Circle, on June 28, 1971. The event was yet another rally of the Godfather’s Italian-American Civil Rights League, once again attended by thousands. Among those in attendance were FBI Informants Greg Scarpa and Rabbi Meir Kahane, and the hired killer, an African-American, Jerome Johnson. Johnson had somehow obtained press credentials, and thus was able to gain close access to the Godfather. Johnson then fired three shots from an automatic pistol into Colombo’s head. Johnson himself was then quickly executed by a member of the Colombo Family. Although thousands of people witnessed this event, the Colombo Family member who killed Johnson was never identified. Joe Colombo was rendered a ‘vegetable’ by this shooting and died of his wounds 7 years later.
FBI Informant Rabbi Meir Kahane was himself executed in public on November 5, 1990 by an Islamic terrorist, El Sayyid Nosair, on orders of the Islamic Sheik Omar Abel-Rahman. On that evening, Rabbi Kahane was giving a pro-Israel speech at the Marriot Hotel in mid-town Manhattan when he was approached by Nosair, who pulled out a gun and shot a single bullet into the Rabbi’s neck. Nosair then fled outside the hotel and encountered a retired law enforcement officer, who engaged Nosair in a shoot-out. Both men were shot by each other, neither mortally wounded. Despite the scores of witnesses to the shooting of Rabbi Kahane and the law enforcement officer, Nosair was acquitted of these crimes in Manhattan State Court. "Mafia Cop" Stephen Caracappa, who worked 36 hours straight on the murder investigation of Rabbi Kahane, then went out with his accomplice in crime Detective Lou Eppolito and murdered Gambino Family hitman Eddie Lino in a brazen public execution for which they would both be later convicted. El Sayyid Nosair was later convicted, along with Sheik Omar Abdel-Rachman and their accomplices, for the various conspiracies to bomb New York landmarks, including the World Trade Center.
Colombo Family hitman Greg Scarpa would himself die as a result of his hatred of black people, according to a story that has been reported as to how Scarpa contracted the AIDS virus.(19) In 1986 Scarpa needed a blood transfusion because of a bleeding ulcer. However, when blood is transfused in a hospital the recipient does not know the gender - nor the race - of the donor. Thus, fearing he might be infused with blood from an African-American, Scarpa asked the members of his crew to donate blood, rather than use that of the hospital’s bank. Among those who donated blood was Paul Mele, who would soon die of AIDS.
IX. FRAMED BY THE FBI
It was only after the deaths of Rabbi Kahane and Greg Scarpa that the information regarding their roles as FBI Informants began to emerge. Kahane’s work for the FBI involved his infiltration of the John Birch Society in the 1960s, a right-of-center, anti-Communist non-profit closely affiliated with General Walker and Reverend Hargis. Another FBI Informant was a man named Gary Rowe, whose undercover role was revealed because he was in a car with 3 KKK members on the evening of March 25, 1965, when the men murdered a White civil rights activist, Viola Liuzzo. Only because the Black civil rights activist within Liuzzo’s car escaped with his life were the 4 men arrested for this murder.
Although President Johnson appeared on national television to announce the arrests, Hoover’s agents engaged in a standard smear campaign to discredit Mrs. Liuzzo, spreading false claims that Mrs. Liuzzo was involved in inter-racial sex acts and that she was a heroin addict. Gary Rowe was placed in the Witness Protection Program and had to testify against the other 3 men so that he could not be charged with the murder, which he made no attempt to stop as it was occurring. All 3 men were acquitted in State Court, although convicted on civil rights charges. In 1978, 12 years after the murder, Gary Rowe was indicted but acquitted for his role in this case.(23)
The case of Gary Rowe revealed that while Hoover had numerous FBI Informants within the KKK, the information they provided rarely if ever was used to bring charges against such members. Tom Clark, who served as Attorney General under the Truman Administration, has been widely quoted in regards to Hoover’s reluctance to bring down the KKK, stating that Hoover says he is "not going to send in the FBI every time some nigger woman gets raped!"(16)
Hoover’s main agenda was to target Black Americans, and one of the operations through which this was accomplished was termed COINTELPRO, an acronym for "Counter-Intelligence Program." COINTELPRO succeeded in instigating the murders of several Black activists, as well as the framing of Black men for crimes they did not commit. One notorious example was that of Elmer "Geronimo" Pratt, a New Orleans area native who served America with distinction during two combat tours in Vietnam. Once home, Pratt attended UCLA on the G. I. Bill. In 1968, Caroline Olsen, an elementary school teacher, was murdered on a Santa Monica tennis court during a robbery. Two years later, an FBI Informant, Julio Butler, implicated Pratt as the murderer. Pratt was convicted and sentenced to prison. Pratt spent 8 years in Solitary Confinement, conditions so brutal that such prisoners deprived of human contact are often rendered insane. Pratt, however, held on to both his sanity and Dignity, over the course of incarceration for 27 years for a crime he did not commit. As the years went by, evidence regarding the crimes committed by FBI agents assigned to COINTELPRO slowly emerged, much of it through the Federal Freedom of Information Act. As evidence became available that FBI Informant Julio Butler, at the prompting of FBI Agents, had committed Perjury in Pratt’s trial, thus began the slow progress through the legal system that led to Pratt’s vindication. In April, 2000, Pratt’s lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the FBI for their violation of Pratt’s civil rights was settled, with the City agreeing to pay the sum of $2.75 million, and the FBI, acknowledging guilt, paying $1.75 million. Neither Julio Butler, nor any Los Angeles city official, nor any FBI Agent was prosecuted for the framing of Elmer Pratt.(24)
During the time that Elmer Pratt was framed by an FBI Informant, a similar case occurred in Boston. In 1968, four men, Peter Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco, and Henry Tameleo were wrongly convicted for the murder of a Boston mob figure named Teddy Deegan. An FBI Agent, Paul Rico, enticed an FBI Informant, Joseph "The Animal" Barboza, to falsely testify against the 4 men, all of whom were wrongly convicted, with 3 of them sentenced to die in the electric chair. Barboza had entered the world of the American Mafia as a professional boxer, the profits of which allowed him to pursue his skills as a murderer-for-hire. While a co-operating "Witness" for the FBI, Barboza committed several of his boasted 26 murders, and was himself murdered 1976 in San Francisco while under cover as a member of the "Witness" Protection Program.(25)
Over the course of the next 4 decades after the convictions in the Deegan murder, agents of the FBI, notably Paul Rico and John Morris, among others, covered-up the evidence that proved the 4 men convicted had been framed. These crimes were in furtherance of the ‘Winter Hill Gang,’ an organized crime syndicate made up primarily of Italian and Irish criminals that was protected for decades by the FBI because key criminals in this gang served as FBI Informants. Led by "Whitey" Bulger, many of the members, like Bulger, were pedophiles, preying mostly on teenage girls, although in some cases, such as Bulger, young boys as well. Bulger was an FBI Informant protected by FBI Agent John Connolly, whereas his chief hitman, Stephen "The Rifleman" Flemmi, was "controlled" by FBI agent Paul Rico. Hitman "Cadillac Frank" Salemme was also among those protected as an FBI Informant. This syndicate generated millions of dollars annually through the trafficking of drugs, guns, and the production and distribution of child pornography. Flemmi’s sexual conquests included two teenagers he would eventually murder once they grew too "old" for him after leaving their teens; Deborah Davis and Deborah Hussey. Hussey was Flemmi’s step-daughter when Flemmi first raped her. Once retired, FBI agent Paul Rico joined Bulger and Flemmi in the murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler. "Whitey" Bulger was tipped off by Agent Connolly, then retired, in 1994, as to his impending arrest for the murders of 18 people, including Flemmi’s step-daughter Deborah Hussey. Bulger then went on the lam as a Fugitive. Eventually, Stephen Flemmi pleaded guilty to his role in the murders of twelve people, including businessman Roger Wheeler. John Connolly’s supervisor at the FBI, John Morris, was granted Immunity from Prosecution and testified in Court proceedings that he had run interference on behalf of Flemmi and Bulger in Federal probes of the two’s involvement in fixing horse races and gambling operations. Under Morris’ Immunity agreement, he could not be charged with any crimes, including murder.(26)
FBI Agent Paul Rico died while awaiting trial for his role in the murder of Roger Wheeler. FBI Agent John Connolly is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence for his conviction on charges of racketeering and Obstruction of Justice. "Whitey" Bulger is still on the lamb, and his apprehension is hindered by his practice of dressing in women’s clothing.
Joseph Salvati and Peter Limone were released from prison after the discovery of secret FBI files that were never turned over to their attorneys during the men's original trial, which detailed the names of those actually responsible for the murder of Deegan. Those documents revealed that Joseph "The Animal" Barboza had falsely testified against the 4 Defendants in order to protect one of the actual murderers, Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi, who, like his brother Stephen, was employed by the FBI as an Informant. In December, 2001, members of Congress offered a public apology to Joseph Salvati and Peter Limone, who spent 30 years in prison after having been framed by the FBI for a murder they had no part of. In 2007, U. S. District Judge Nancy Gertner adjudicated in a Federal lawsuit that the FBI was "responsible for the framing of four innocent men" and ordered the payment of $101 million dollars in damages to Salvati and Limone, as well as the surviving family members of Louis Greco and Henry Tameleo.
One criminal action by Hoover’s men to frame a man for crimes he did not commit not only succeeded, but was never overturned by the Appeals Court process. That man was John "Sonny" Franzese, a member of the Colombo Family. Franzese, would, in fact, become one of only a few Mafia figures prosecuted at the personal insistence of J. Edgar Hoover. It would be almost 30 years before this prosecution would be analyzed at great length, by the award-winning investigative reporter Jack Newfield. In June, 1994, Newfield published an extensive investigation of this case, entitled "The Framing of an ‘Innocent’ Mobster" in the New York Post. Newfield’s research was an indictment of the FBI, documenting in meticulous detail how, on orders of Hoover, FBI agents had framed Franzese for a series of bank robberies for which 4 men had already been convicted and sent to prison in 1965. The 4 bank robbers then testified that the masterminds of the robberies were Anthony and Sal Polisi, who were convicted of such in 1966. Then, suddenly, the 4 men changed their story, claiming that Sonny Franzese had plotted and supervised the robbing of the 7 banks in 4 different States. Franzese was indicted in 1967 as being the mastermind and convicted. Sonny Franzese then received the unusually harsh sentence of 50 years in prison for his alleged role in plotting the non-violent robberies of banks of which he was not actually a participant at the scenes of the crimes.
Franzese insisted he had been framed and spent the next 25 years trying to prove his innocence. Because Franzese was, in fact, a member of a criminal organization, he was under surveillance by various members of law enforcement during the time he was accused of plotting the robberies. The FBI even admitted to having an illegal wiretap on his telephone. Franzese’s attorney tried for many years to obtain logs of his surveillance, to prove his client in fact never met the 4 robbers who claimed he was their boss. Some of his accusers would later recant, claiming FBI agents had coerced them into falsely accusing Franzese. One particularly disturbing aspect of this case was revealed years later when Michael Gillen, the prosecutor, made a startling confession to Sidney Zion, the New York Times reporter who covered the trial; Gillen admitted to Zion that he had taken him out drinking one night during the trial as a diversion while 2 FBI agents broke into his car and photographed Zion’s notes and files about the case.
Hoover’s motive for framing Franzese has never been adequately explained, nor has any evidence been uncovered to suggest Hoover’s Informant Greg Scarpa of the Colombo Family, had any role in the framing of Franzese. The robbing of banks, however, of which Franzese was wrongly convicted, was itself the sort of criminal activities Greg Scarpa and his son, Greg Jr., were involved in for many years.
X. ALL-AMERICAN BLACKMAIL
Why would J. Edgar Hoover, who for many years had claimed the Mafia did not even exist, commit the full resources of the FBI and related law enforcement agencies, into the framing of a Mafia figure such as Sonny Franzese on bank robbery charges? The answer may be found in a single sentence of a report, buried deep within the pages of the New York Times issue of October 8, 1967. The article, which dealt with the physical presence on Long Island of many top Mafia figures, noted that Sonny Franzese was among those organized crime figures that operated gay bars throughout the New York area and that such operations included a lucrative side-line involving the blackmail of wealthy or prominent patrons of such establishments. This scam was part of the Colombos’ male prostitution, pornography, and steroids trafficking rackets for which they were expert, although the Genovese and Gambino families also had their own such operations. The rings were exposed in 1965 and 1966 when agents of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office arrested over a dozen men in New York who were part of a nationwide blackmail syndicate that netted over a million dollars a year in illicit profits. The operation was headed by Edward "The Skull" Murphy, a bodybuilder and steroids junkie who performed for several years on the professional wrestling circuit.
This is how the scam worked; a man would travel to a large city, such as New York, where he would procure the services of a male prostitute. The prostitute could be solicited at a gay bar, a convention center, in the bar of an airport, or through the auspices of a Concierge of a hotel. Once the blackmail victim and his prostitute were alone in the hotel room, one of either two scenarios would be enacted; either the prostitute would steal the John’s wallet and run out of the hotel, or the Hotel Detective would burst in and demand cash in exchange for not arresting the visiting victim. In the plan where the wallet would be stolen, the wallet would then be turned over to the Mob ring, who, with their co-horts in law enforcement, would compile information on their victim. If the "John" was rich or famous or from a prominent family, two "members of law enforcement" would then travel to that person’s home and threaten that person with public exposure - even arrest - unless money was forked over to make the case "go away." Some men, however, were not extorted for cash but rather for the professional services they could provide to the Mob. Doctors, for example, could provide medical services to a mob figure who had a bullet in his body but for obvious reasons did not want to check into a local hospital for it’s removal. Undertakers could help mobsters when faced with the problem of how to dispose of a dead body. Closeted traders on Wall Street could proffer invaluable assistance in "insider trading" and stolen securities scams. Compromised members of law enforcement, for obvious reasons, were regarded as the most valuable.
After the existence of the blackmail rings became public, the FBI moved in on the investigations, the predication being that many of those involved crossed State lines in order to commit their crimes. Almost all of the low-level members of the blackmail ring were thus convicted in Federal Court, such as John J. Pyne, a retired Chicago police officer, and John Fellenbaum, a bodybuilder from Pennsylvania. However, ringleader Ed Murphy decided to work for the FBI in order to obtain a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card.’ Among the names Murphy gave up as victims of the extortion ring was that of a Congressman from New Jersey who paid $25,000 in hush money, and Admiral William Church, the head of the New York Naval Yards in Brooklyn. The Admiral’s cousin Frank Church was a U. S. Senator from Idaho, who is best known for his "Church Committee" of the 1970s, which investigated crimes committed by the FBI. As a result of the Grand Jury convened to investigate the evidence Ed Murphy had turned over, Admiral Church was then subpoenaed to testify, at which point the Admiral drove to a motel in Maryland and shot a bullet into his head. Ed Murphy’s work for the FBI was just beginning.(27)
Ed Murphy was born in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village to Italian and Irish parents. Much of Murphy’s youth was spent in the robbing of Dentist’s offices for the bounty to be found in the gold that was used to make gold teeth. When Murphy was finally caught, he spent 10 years in prison. Murphy attained notoriety for his role in providing the FBI with information he gleaned while working as a bouncer at gay bars. Most notable was the Stonewall Inn, a Genovese Family operation in the heart of Greenwich Village.(28) On the evening of June 28, 1969, when the NYPD, as it had often done in the past, raided the bar, the patrons of the bar fought back, culminating in riots that lasted for several days. Chanting "Get the Cops and the Mafia Out of Gay Bars," the unrest marked the genesis of the gay rights movement in America, officially celebrated each year by New York City Hall and the NYPD during the Gay Pride Parade. Edward "Skull" Murphy would later die in 1989 due to AIDS.(29)
In recent years evidence has emerged that J. Edgar Hoover was blackmailed by a United States Congressman whom Hoover first tried to blackmail into resigning from office. That man was Cornelius "Neil" Gallagher, who represented the Mob-dominated area centered around Bayonne, New Jersey. Gallagher, a friend of Roy Cohn, was a rising star in the Democratic Party, who first grew into prominence through his close association with John F. Kennedy during the elections that made the Senator President. In the mid-1960s, Congressman Gallagher earned the wrath of Hoover through his work as Chairman of the Privacy Sub-Committee of the Government Operations Committee. Gallagher’s hearings threatened to arouse public awareness of the widespread and illegal wiretapping by government agencies, the sort of practice that for decades allowed Hoover to assemble his arsenal of negative information with which he could blackmail politicians. The FBI then leaked to Life Magazine the story that the FBI had tapped the phone of a New Jersey Mob figure, Joseph Zicarelli, a capo in the Bonnano Mafia Family. On those tapes the FBI alleged to have captured phone conversations between Zicarelli and Congressman Gallagher, in which Zicarelli allegedly sought Gallagher’s influence to coerce a local police department to cease their targeting of members of Zicarelli’s gambling operations.
The story which ran in Life Magazine in August, 1968, 3 months before the election which the Congressman hoped to win and retain his seat, also mentioned briefly a sub-plot that the Congressman had utilized the services of a Mafia hitman to remove the body of a dead mobster from the basement of his house in Bayonne. The story that Life Magazine told came from the FBI, and this is what was alleged: The FBI had offered a "get-out-of-jail-free card" to Mafia hitman Harold "Kayo" Konigsberg in exchange for Konigsberg becoming an FBI Informant and giving up information he had on Mafia murders. Among what Konigsberg allegedly told the FBI was that he received a call from Congressman Gallagher one evening in 1962 in which the Congressman asked him to immediately come to his house. There, in the basement was a dead Mobster, Barney O’Brien, a member of Zicarelli’s gambling operation. The Congressman asked Konigsberg to remove Barney’s body and dispose of it in whatever manner he, as a Mafia hitman, was adept at. Konigsberg allegedly refused to help the Congressman unless such a plan was approved by Zicarelli, who supposedly gave such permission in a phone call from the Congressman’s house. The Congressman categorically denied the story about the dead mobster in the basement of his house.
At that point Hoover and Roy Cohn came up with a "twist" to the story, which they used in an attempt to blackmail the Congressman. Gallagher was told that there would be a follow-up story in Life Magazine, in which the Congressman’s career would be destroyed by a sex scandal. The story would claim that Barney the gambler had died of a heart attack while making love to the Congressman’s wife, and the Congressman, anxious to cover-up the affair, determined that the best way to get the body of the dead Mobster out of his basement was to turn to a Mafia hitman. The story would run, Gallagher was warned, unless he immediately resigned from Congress.(13)
Congressman Gallagher erupted into fury when faced with this blackmail threat, and there were several problems with this story. The house in which the alleged event took place was populated by the Congressman, his mother, his wife, and their 4 children. The house was located in a modest residential area populated by numerous families. No one saw - or indeed - smelled - anything that indicated there was a dead body in the Congressman’s basement. When the Mafia graveyard was dug up where Konigsberg was alleged to have deposited Barney’s body, several bodies were found, but not that of Barney, although his shoes were found there. Was this incredible story true, or just another example of a fabricated ‘smear campaign’ for which the FBI has become notorious, and, in this case, a story which conveniently targeted the one man in Congress who was investigating corrupt practices of Hoover and his men?
True or not, what is known is that Congressman Gallagher fought back. Hoover’s men had raided an apartment Gallagher’s daughter shared with some friends, and FBI agents falsely accused the friends of having sex with the Congressman. With that outrage, and the slur on Gallagher’s wife, the Congressman determined to do the unthinkable; he would counter-blackmail the Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover. As a member of Congress, Gallagher had the opportunity each day to make a ‘one-minute speech’ on the Floor, with such speech and extended remarks placed in the Congressional Record, the archives of business of the House of Representatives. Gallagher had in fact, at the urging of Roy Cohn, on several occasions made such speeches in which he praised the Director of the FBI over whatever was the issue of the day, to placate Cohn. Now, Gallagher told Cohn, he would place into the Congressional Record his claim that Hoover and Clyde Tolson had been living together as "man and wife" for decades, enjoying an extravagant lifestyle at the expense of the U. S. taxpayer. Gallagher also threatened to introduce legislation to Impeach Hoover and remove him from office. Neither Hoover nor Cohn had ever served in the military, thus they did not understand the determination and resolve a war hero such as Gallagher, who had been shot 3 times in combat, could muster.(13)
Congressman Gallagher did not enter such a speech into the Congressional Record, nor initiate Impeachment proceedings against Hoover, nor did Life Magazine publish the follow-up story claiming Barney the mobster had died in the arms of the Congressman’s wife. The Congressman was re-elected, although Hoover, as he did against so many of those he hated, instigated income tax evasion charges against Congressman Gallagher which sent the politician to prison for 2 years.
XI. HOOVER AND DR. KING
The Evil that was plotted by the FBI against the wife of Congressman Gallagher was minor when compared to what the FBI committed against the wife of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1964, a package was postmarked in Florida, addressed to Dr. King, Care/Of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Inside the package was a tape, a compilation of conversations of Dr. King and his associates, recorded over a period of time during Dr. King’s stay in hotel rooms in 3 U. S. cities. The tape and accompanying letter was intentionally sent by the FBI to the address for Dr. King that was known by FBI surveillance to be sorted by his wife, Coretta Scott King. The package sent to Mrs. King included a standard-procedure FBI "poison pen letter" in which Dr. King was urged to commit suicide. From the FBI letter: "You are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that. The American public … will know you for what you are … an evil, abnormal beast … Satan could not do more." "King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance). You are done. There is but one way out for you."(12)
In regards to Hoover’s motivations regarding the suicide letter, there was at that time, in 1964, considerable precedent for Hoover to believe Dr. King would take such an action. Senator Hunt had committed suicide in 1954 when blackmailed by Hoover’s associates over disclosure of his son’s sex scandal. Abe Feller, a United Nations attorney, committed suicide while being investigated by Roy Cohn. Raymond Kaplan, an engineer for the Voice of America, committed suicide just days before he was to appear before Senator McCarthy’s Committee. After the suicide letter to Dr. King, Admiral William Church committed suicide when confronted with evidence of his having been compromised by a Mafia-run gay blackmail ring, as would actress Jean Seberg, after the FBI planted false stories in the Media claiming she was pregnant with the child of a Black activist, rather than that of her husband.
FBI documents obtained in recent years have revealed that in the aftermath of Dr. King’s historic "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, J. Edgar Hoover unleashed the entire resources of the FBI - at the taxpayer’s expense - in his obsession to discredit Reverend King. No stone was left unturned, with FBI Agents interviewing people who had known King, however briefly, even during his childhood. It was information about Dr. King’s pre-teen years that the FBI appears to have seized upon. Among the allegations from King’s childhood were that on 2 occasions King had jumped from the second floor window of his house. The incidents were the result of young King’s perception that his actions of improper behavior had resulted in injury to his Grandmother.(30) For those within the FBI trying to play psychological games with Dr. King, such youthful acts by King could be interpreted as ‘suicide attempts,’ and thus, the reasoning went, Dr. King was plagued by ‘suicidal tendencies,’ and thus a letter urging him to commit suicide just might succeed. Thus, the infamous "suicide letter" from the FBI to Dr. King and his wife.
The suicide letter contains this curious phrase: "You have just 34 days in which to do (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason, it has definite practical significance.)" In analyzing this document, a central question emerges: "34 days from what date, the date the letter was received by Dr. King, or the date from the postmark?" Curt Gentry’s biography of Hoover pays a lot of attention to the genesis of the letter, although the date of the postmark is not specially mentioned. Still, if the ‘34th day’ is Christmas of 1964, as evidence suggests, then the postmark on the envelope would be November 22, 1964. Both days had significance for Dr. King; the day of Christmas is of obvious importance to a Christian Minister, but November 22, 1964 is also significant, as that was the one-year anniversary of the murder of Dr. King’s friend, President Kennedy. Did the writer(s) of the suicide letter intentionally choose that date to imply to Dr. King that what happened to his friend on that date could just as easily happen to him? Or was it just a coincidence? Regardless, what happened to President Kennedy would eventually happen to Dr. King.
The suicide letter did not arrive into Dr. King’s hands until well after Christmas of 1964. Because of the enormous volume of letters Dr. King received from oppressed peoples from around the world, from Blacks and American Indians in the United States, Jews discriminated against behind the Soviet Union’s "Iron Curtain," the native peoples of Apartheid South Africa, and the people of Tibet, suffering oppression at the hands of the occupying Communist Chinese, Coretta Scott King was many weeks behind in the opening and sorting of the mail that was addressed to her husband. Thus, the FBI’s "suicide letter" was not opened by her until well into January, 1965, weeks after her husband had accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, the awarding of which had so angered Hoover. After reviewing the letter and the tapes, Dr. King did not commit suicide, nor did his wife divorce him, nor did the civil rights movement miss a beat in it’s March towards Justice.
On the night before his Martyrdom, April 3, 1968, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his final speech to his flock, an oration that was chillingly prophetic. The fight for the rights of working people and their families and the fight for civil rights for all Americans was essentially one and the same. Thus, Dr. King had come to Memphis in support of the city’s sanitation workers, who had the audacity to demand Dignity and Respect in their working place, as well as wages and benefits befitting the services they provided to their city. From Dr. King’s final speech:
"Something is happening in Memphis, something is happening in our World. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the Mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's Will. And He's allowed me to go up to the Mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man."
"Mine eyes have seen the Glory of the coming of the Lord!"
Days later, Reverend King’s Widow was comforted by Mrs. Ethel Kennedy. Just weeks later, Coretta Scott King would reciprocate.
XII. HOOVER AND NIXON
With the election of Richard Nixon to the Presidency in 1968, Nixon set out to create "Nixon’s Court," a Supreme Court to be populated by a majority of "Conservative" Justices that could reverse the Court’s progressive social agenda of the 1950s and 1960s. This was to be Nixon’s Legacy, and two men who contributed to this plan were J. Edgar Hoover and Gerald Ford, a Congressman from Michigan. As William Sullivan, the third in command of the FBI in the last years of Hoover’s reign revealed in his biography, Congressman Ford had functioned as an FBI Informant for Hoover inside the Warren Commission, the so-called blue panel committee appointed by President Johnson to investigate the murder of President Kennedy. Ford, a member of that Commission, headed by Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, reported back to Hoover on a regular basis as to what evidence and information the Commission was uncovering during the course of it’s investigation.
Nixon’s tactics were twofold; investigate and attack in whatever way those Liberal Justices already sitting on the Court, in the hopes of removing them, and then replace them with Justices who were opponents of civil rights. The first Justice targeted in this scheme was Abe Fortas. Back during the McCarthy hearings, Fortas had earned Hoover as an enemy when Fortas represented as attorney Owen Lattimore, an expert on the Far East accused of being a Communist. Lattimore was eventually indicted on 7 counts of Perjury but those charges were later dismissed. Fortas’ role in ‘fixing’ problems for Johnson, such as his key role in the cover-up and damage control in the wake of Walter Jenkins’ arrest on sex charges, was a major factor in Johnson nominating Fortas to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. As Fortas was one of President Johnson’s closest associates, that protected him from Hoover’s wrath as long as Johnson was in the White House, but once Johnson left office, the dynamic was changed. Almost predictably, a Feature article appeared in Life Magazine, which detailed troubling questions about the professional ethics of Justice Fortas. Among the negative information in the Magazine Feature was the claim that Fortas had accepted a $20,000 a year retainer from a non-profit organization run by a wealthy Investor, Louis Wolfson, who would be indicted and convicted for Securities violations. What Life Magazine printed about Fortas was bad enough, but it is now known what was not printed. Hoover’s FBI ran a smear campaign, leaking to members of the Media the un-substantiated allegations that Fortas had committed sex acts with a teen-aged boy.(31) Attorney General John Mitchell then met secretly with Earl Warren to inform him that Fortas was facing either Indictment by his Justice Department or an Impeachment inquiry led by Congressman Ford. Echoing the blackmail campaign against Senator Hunt in the 1950s and Congressman Gallagher in the 1960s, Chief Justice Warren participated in the blackmail scheme to force Fortas to resign. Fortas did so, was not indicted, and thus a seat on the Supreme Court held by a Liberal was now open for President Nixon to replace with a "Social Conservative."
President Nixon by his own public statements betrayed the fact that his next two Nominees for the Supreme Court would be based on geographical concerns as well as Constitutional theology. Nixon specifically wanted the next Supreme Court Justice to be from a Southern State, where the issue of "States Rights" was an issue that was reflected in the voter turnout of the election of 1968. "States rights" was a concept that dated back to the aftermath of the Civil War, when the invading Republican "Carpetbaggers" imposed "Reconstruction" on the war-ravaged South. When the civil rights movement came onto the scene in the 1950s, it was the Federal government that would supersede such "civil rights" upon State and local governments and law enforcement agencies, often in Southern States. In the 1968 election, the pro-Segregation ticket of Wallace/LeMay received over 9 million votes, winning the 46 Electoral Votes of 5 Southern States, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Nixon chose to replace Abe Fortas with a Southern Judge, Clement Haynesworth. As was the practice, Nixon then turned to his FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, for a preliminary investigation into Haynesworth’s background. Hoover’s report back to Nixon did not include evidence of Haynesworth’s long, public record favoring Segregation. Such a record was discovered in the venting process by the United States Senate, as well as questionable conflict of interest incidents not dissimilar to those that brought down Justice Fortas. The Nomination of Judge Haynesworth was defeated by a Senate vote of 55-45.
After the Haynesworth debacle, Nixon and his various advisors came up with an alternative Nominee, Federal Judge G. Harrold Carswell. Hoover’s FBI background check on Carswell did not reveal Carswell’s racist public record, nor the fact that Judge Carswell was in his personal life a closeted gay. During the Senate Confirmation Hearings it was discovered that while running for the State legislature of Georgia, Carswell had publicly claimed he "believed in the principles of White supremacy!" The U. S. Senate voted 51-45 to defeat Judge Carswell’s Nomination. Nixon’s angry response was to publicly claim that both Haynesworth and Carswell were victims of discrimination because of their having been born in the South. Judge Carswell then receded from the national stage, but returned to the news in 1976 when he was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover cop in a men’s room in Florida.
In the aftermath of the defeat of Judges Haynesworth and Carswell, a campaign was launched to Impeach Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, a man who was as Liberal in his personal life as he was in his Judicial rulings. Among the allegations floated to the Media during that time was that Douglas had accepted fees from a non-profit organization that was a front for Mafia gambling operations in Las Vegas. Congressman Gerald Ford used this ‘evidence’ to demand on the Floor of the House that Impeachment proceedings be initiated. Ironically, it was President Nixon who would then face Impeachment, choosing instead to resign from the Presidency, and Gerald Ford, who had fought so hard to bring down Justice Douglas, who became the first Un-Elected President of the United States. President Ford was able during his tenure to nominate Judge John Paul Stevens to replace William Douglas, who retired after surviving 3 Impeachment attempts during his record 36 years on the Supreme Court.
Having worked for many years as a secret FBI Informant, Gerald Ford, once President, would learn from bitter, personal experience just how dangerous and criminal are many of those whom the FBI hires in such a capacity. On September 22, 1975, Sara Jane Moore, an FBI Informant, fired her gun at the President, but as Moore was aiming her gun, her arm was grasped by bystander Oliver Sipple, a former U. S. Marine, decorated combat Veteran of the Vietnam War, and member of San Francisco’s gay community, who, risking his own life, lunged forward in order to save the life of the President. President Ford had been a murder target 17 days earlier, when Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of cult leader Charles Manson, pointed her gun at President Ford at a public event in Sacramento, although in that incident, Fromme’s gun did not go off. Both Lynette Fromme and Sara Jane Moore were sentenced to Life in Prison for their attempts to murder the President of the United States, yet it is only Sara Jane Moore who today walks the streets of America as a free woman.
During his tenure, President Gerald Ford granted a Presidential Pardon to various citizens who had committed felony crimes; among them, Richard Nixon, for the crimes he committed as President during the Watergate Affair. Receiving less historical note, but perhaps even more revealing in regards to Ford’s character, is the fact that Ford also issued a Pardon to Dave Beck, the Mafia-corrupted President of the Teamster’s Union. Before his resignation under disgrace, President Nixon Pardoned Beck’s successor, Jimmy Hoffa. While Dave Beck lived a long life after Ford sprung him from prison, Jimmy Hoffa soon vanished without a trace.
XIII. AMERICA AFTER HOOVER
In his final years as Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover’s mental condition deteriorated to the point that his number 3 man at the Bureau, William Sullivan, concluded that Hoover had become a threat to the National Security of the United States. Hoover, according to Sullivan, refused to assist other government entities in investigations relating to National Security, most notably the CIA and the Office of Naval Intelligence. Requests for FBI assistance from CIA regarded people within the United States about which CIA had developed strong evidence of espionage. Hoover’s Dereliction of Duty forced the CIA to engage other law enforcement agencies to provide Intelligence and evidence on these spies.(32)
In contrast, Hoover actually persuaded President Nixon to expand FBI offices in foreign countries, which is the domain of the CIA. Why Nixon agreed to this has never been adequately explained. However, as Sullivan pointed out in his biography, Nixon made a very unusual and improper request of Hoover when he was first elected; that Hoover and the FBI NOT conduct a background check on John Mitchell, whom Nixon Nominated for Attorney General - and the technical ‘Boss’ of Hoover. Nixon’s request suggests that Mitchell had at least one skeleton in his closet that would preclude Confirmation by the Senate if made public, but what that information was, is not publicly known to this day. Hoover was more than happy to honor the President’s request, as it put Nixon exactly into the position Hoover wanted, ensuring his tenure as FBI Director. Mitchell, like Nixon and Hoover, was in fact a criminal and would be sent to prison for the crimes he committed during the Watergate Affair. During the unfolding of Watergate, Mitchell’s long-suffering wife Martha provided great comic relief on the national arena, initially dismissed as delusional for her claims about a well-orchestrated cover-up, but later vindicated when her claims were substantiated.
J. Edgar Hoover did not live to witness the Watergate Affair, in which the disclosures of criminal acts by government employees, including breaking-and-entering, and the placement of illegal wiretaps - the very techniques that allowed Hoover to accumulate his massive blackmail files - would become a national obsession. Much of the legacy of Watergate is to be found on the secret tapes President Nixon recorded within the Oval Office, as well as those of his key aides. In a May, 1973 phone conversation between top Nixon aide John Ehrlichman and Nixon Counsel John Dean, the two men discuss the plight of L. Patrick Gray, nominated by Nixon to succeed Hoover as Director of the FBI. That Nomination became doomed once the Senate learned that Gray had destroyed files handed to him by Dean and Ehrlichman. Thus, Ehrlichman coldly wrote Gray’s political epitaph, stating to Dean: "Well, I think we ought to let him hang there. Let him twist slowly, slowly in the wind!"
Unlike Nixon, Hoover recognized the potential that his blackmail files, which included documents, photographs, and secretly-recorded tapes, through which he maintained and exerted his power over the course of 48 years, could, after his death, destroy his reputation as a law enforcement legend. Thus, Hoover laid out specific actions to be taken upon his death by his most trusted associates to destroy such evidence of his lifetime of criminal activity. Most - but not all - such evidence was to be found in Hoover’s files designated "Official and Confidential;" "Secret and Confidential," "Personal and Confidential," and "Do Not File." Hoover’s plan for the destruction of this historical evidence was set into motion from the moment his lifeless body was discovered on the morning of May 2, 1972. This massive cover-up continued while Hoover received the funeral befitting such a person perceived at that time to be a national hero. Hoover left the bulk of his estate to Clyde Tolson, who would later be buried near Hoover in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington.
Despite his determined efforts, the political skeletons of J. Edgar Hoover were not interred with his body. Although most of the tapes, photographs, and documents that Hoover ordered destroyed met such a Fate, enough of such evidence survived for Posterity to be enabled to undertake the slow, yet inevitable uncovering of the "true" History of the United States of America. Among such evidence are documents relating to the investigations by Hoover - and Hoover’s relationship between - two of the most significant members of organized crime in American history, Carlos Marcello and Gregory Scarpa, Sr. In 1977, the House of Representatives of the United States Congress established a Committee to investigate the murders of President Kennedy and the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Chief Counsel to the Committee was G. Robert Blakey, the author of the RICO Statutes. Godfather Marcello was among the central targets of the Committee’s investigation, given that, at one time or another, money from the proceeds of Marcello’s crime family had found it’s way into the pockets of Lee Harvey Oswald, Oswald’s Uncle Charles Murret, David Ferrie, with whom Oswald served in the Civil Air Patrol, Guy Bannister, a retired FBI Agent who worked as a private investigator for Marcello’s lawyer, Jim Garrison, the District Attorney of New Orleans, and Jack Ruby, the Mob-associate strip-club owner who murdered Oswald inside the Dallas, Texas police department headquarters. The Committee also investigated the visit that James Earl Ray made to New Orleans 3 months prior to the murder of Reverend King, from which Ray emerged with thousands of dollars in cash, the source and purpose of which has not been determined.
After a 3-year investigation, the House Committee issued it’s determination that Lee Harvey Oswald and James Earl Ray had in fact murdered President Kennedy and Dr. King, but that it was "probable" that both men did not act alone in these crimes. Among the documents subpoenaed by the Committee were any and all documents of the FBI pertaining to Godfather Carlos Marcello. Many of those documents, as suggested by the work of Angela Clemente, among others, 30 years after the fact, were not turned over to the Committee. The failure of the FBI to turn over all of these documents does not suggest that Oswald or Ray did not act alone; what this does suggest is that there was a concerted cover-up, at the highest levels of the FBI, to not turn over to the House Committee documents which would prove embarrassing to the FBI, most notably documents relating to Marcello, which referenced Scarpa, and thus exposed the corrupt relationship between the FBI and a Mafia contract murderer, Greg Scarpa,
If nothing else, the efforts of the House Select Committee generated public demand that Federal action be taken against Southern Godfather Carlos Marcello. After the Committee released it’s findings, Marcello was brought down by a Federal prosecution of the Mafia, code named "Bri-Lab," which resulted in charges against Marcello including racketeering, bribery, and mail fraud. Among the secretly-recorded tapes played for the jury were the following words from Marcello’s own lips: "The Mayor’s a nigger here. He wants to do it on his own … he’s a nigger, and a nigger’s gonna be a nigger even if you give him some authority." The tapes thus revealed both Marcello’s criminal actions, as well as his racism. Marcello was convicted and spent several years in Federal prisons before his conviction was overturned on Appeal.
Jim Garrison had earlier been indicted on charges of accepting bribes from members of Marcello’s gambling operations. Evidence of Garrison’s being in the pocket of Godfather Marcello began to surface as the heat of international scrutiny by the Media focused on the man who briefly held the attention of the world during his prosecution of Clay Shaw. Garrison would suffer the embarrassment of a incident similar to the plight of Congressman Gallagher, but whereas there is some doubt as to whether Gallagher indeed had a dead mobster in his basement, Jim Garrison did in fact have a dead mobster in his house, an event the Media was quick to gloat over it. The "Mobster" was one Vic Carona, a money man for Carlos Marcello, who dropped dead one evening while visiting Garrison. Garrison told the Media that Carona was in his house that night to discuss politics.(18) One of Garrison’s own employees testified against the District Attorney during his 1973 bribery trial, at which a substantial amount of evidence was presented. Despite this, Garrison was acquitted, but was defeated for re-lection by Harry Connick, Sr. Garrison served out his final days as a Louisiana State Court of Appeals Judge.
XIV. THE RE-EMERGENCE OF GREG SCARPA
For a few years after the death of Hoover, Greg Scarpa was no longer an active Informant run by Agent Villano. Scarpa would then hook up with FBI Agent Lyndley De Vecchio. De Vecchio had been arrested in the mid 1970s on a charge of selling a gun without a license in the State of Maryland. Coming to his rescue was a young attorney for the Justice Department, Rudolph Giuliani. De Vecchio’s personnel file contained positive reviews by the late J. Edgar Hoover, and such information was helpful in Giuliani’s efforts to get the charges against De Vecchio dropped. Scarpa’s re-activation came under the condition that he be handled by only one control agent, as opposed to the standard rule of 2 such agents. (19) This arrangement would come back to haunt De Vecchio, as it brought in a third party who would later claim to have overheard some of the discussions between the Mafia hitman and agent De Vecchio. That person was Scarpa’s common-law wife, Linda Schiro.
Giuliani’s and DeVecchio’s career would intersect again in 1983, when Giuliani accepted his own demotion as Deputy Attorney General in the Reagan Administration to become the U. S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. The RICO statutes passed by Congress in 1970 had never been aggressively applied by Federal Prosecutors during the Administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Carter. President Reagan made it a priority to change that, and Rudolph Giuliani would pick up where Bobby Kennedy had left off a generation earlier, bringing down the American Mafia.
In 1983, Agent DeVecchio was able to convincingly impersonate a Mafia hitman in a sting conducted by the Southern District of New York. DeVecchio’s target was a retired Intelligence Community Officer, Ed Wilson, who had earned the wrath of the law enforcement community by smuggling thousands of pounds of C-4 plastic explosives to the government of Libyan Dictator Muammar al-Qaddafi. Languishing in a Federal Detention Center in New York, Wilson received a jailhouse introduction to a man who claimed he was a Mafia hitman. That ‘hitman’ was in fact Agent DeVecchio, who convinced Wilson that he would murder a Federal Prosecutor in exchange for a down payment of several thousand dollars. So convincing was DeVecchio in the role of a Mafia hitman that Wilson took the bait and was convicted on murder solicitation charges.(19) Wilson spent over 20 years in prison until he was released due to Prosecutorial misconduct in his weapons trafficking trial.
As the 1980s progressed, Rudolph Giuliani began to secure one of the most successful records of the prosecution of organized crime in American history. Agent DeVecchio’s star also was on the ascent, in large part due to his access to information provided by hitman Greg Scarpa. DeVecchio’s problems arose from an internal struggle for power within the Colombo Family that was a result in part of the conviction of Godfather Carmine "The Snake" Persico in the "Commission trial." From 1989 to 1992, a Mob War broke out between a faction of Colombos loyal to Persico who were pitted against those loyal to Acting Boss Vic Orena. As to whom started this war, the answer depends upon whom one asks. Some believe that Greg Scarpa, dying of AIDS, started the war in a power move in his final years of life. Some claim that the FBI started the war, using tactics similar to those used during the COINTELPRO operation. Some maintain that Vic Orena, with the help of "Wild Bill" Cutolo, started the war to take over the Family. Mafia turncoat "Mikey Scars" DiLeonardo has claimed in Court testimony that Gambino Godfather John Gotti started the war. Although the Judge in that case expressed his surprise and skepticism of such a claim, a power move by Gotti against the Colombos would not be dissimilar to that which Gotti made against the DeCavalcante Family. It is entirely possible that no one intentionally started the war, that the violence erupted spontaneously, as sometimes happens within criminal operations in which the participants practice Greed and Treachery on a daily basis.
Regardless of it’s genesis, members of the Colombo Family started to kill each other, leaving a body count of at least 12 people dead, one an innocent bystander. By 1994 the war was essentially over and the Prosecutions regarding that war began in Brooklyn Federal Court. However, in three separate Mafia trials, jurors failed to convict the Defendants as a result of the emerging information about the relationship between the FBI and it’s murderous Informant Greg Scarpa. The New York Times would report that Scarpa had only been jailed for 30 days during his career of crime committed over 4 decades, which included arrests for the theft of stocks and bonds, attempts to bribe members of law enforcement, and gambling and weapons charges. Then there was the matter of the murders Scarpa committed, which, according to the Court testimony of Scarpa pal Larry Mazza, exceeded the number of 50. That the FBI could employ such a prolific and deranged killer troubled many observers of this case, including an unlikely pair of Forensic Intelligence Analysts, Dr. Stephen Dresch and his colleague Angela Clemente. After years of investigation, those two analysts turned their findings over to the U. S. House of Representatives Government Reform Committee, which had been holding hearings on FBI corruption scandals. From there, the evidence was forwarded to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, which, after it’s own investigation, brought the evidence before a Grand Jury. FBI Agent Lindley DeVecchio was indicted in 2006 on Four Counts of assisting hitman Greg Scarpa in the murders of four people, one a young woman, Mary Bari.
There were, however, troubling questions regarding this indictment. This reporter was one of the first such to seriously question the validity of the case against De Vecchio, as reported in Part Three of this series, "A TROUBLED PROSECUTION," published in March, 2007, 9 full months before the trial of De Vecchio began. One of many concerns noted was the reputed evidence that the star witness against De Vecchio, Scarpa’s common-law wife Linda Schiro, had changed her story over time in regards to her allegations of what she knew about the four murders. The changing of Ms. Schiro’s story coincided with her increasingly frustrated attempts to obtain a ‘book deal’ about her life with a Mafia hitman. The nature of the relationship between Schiro and Scarpa was also troubling. In 1979, while living with Scarpa, Schiro seduced an 18-year-old grocery delivery man, Larry Mazza. Scarpa approved of the relationship, showering young Larry with gifts of clothing and expensive jewelry, murdering the owner of an auto body shop so that Larry could take over the business, and seducing Mazza himself into becoming a murderer. Such was the background of what would be the Prosecution’s star witness against Agent De Vecchio.
At this point in this narrative, the concept of "journalistic distance" should be explored. Some reporters get so "close" to a story, usually through personal or professional acquaintances, that it becomes difficult for the reporter to objectively ‘distance’ themselves in order to have an untainted perception of what is unfolding. The fewer contacts a reporter has with the principles in a case, the greater the degree of "journalistic distance." This reporter was at an advantage in covering this story, given that I had no role, directly or indirectly, in the investigations by Dr. Dresch and Angela Clemente, nor the investigations by the House Government Reform Committee, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, nor the Grand Jury proceedings that issued indictments against agent DeVecchio, nor have I ever met or communicated with Agent De Vecchio nor his lawyers, Prosecutor Michael Vecchione, Detective Thomas Dades, nor Linda Schiro, and only became acquainted with Angela Clemente and investigative reporter Peter Lance after the indictments came down. Thus, from my vantage point of an outsider looking in on this case, my analysis of the prosecution was such that it was clear to me, as reported in "A TROUBLED PROSECUTION," that this case was likely to fail.
That is exactly what happened when Linda Schiro testified against De Vecchio. Reporter Tom Robbins made the difficult decision to come forward with tape-recorded conversations with Ms. Schiro made a decade earlier when Schiro was talking to Robbins regarding a potential book deal. At that time, Ms. Schiro linked De Vecchio to only one of the murders; 10 years later, that list had grown to 4 murders. It is every Defense attorney’s dream to ask a witness the following question: "Were you lying then, or are you lying now?"
Brooklyn Judge Gustin Reichbach reacted to this development as expected, dismissing the case against De Vecchio and ordering a Special Prosecutor to determine if Linda Schiro should face charges of Perjury regarding her testimony against De Vecchio.
It is now agent De Vecchio, not Ms. Schiro, who has the book deal.
XV. THE WHISTLEBLOWERS
During the last 20 years, several men and women, both inside and outside of the Federal bureaucracy, have taken the courageous, often dangerous, step of coming forward to disclose acts of incompetence and criminality within the FBI, which run the gamut of petty corruption to threats against the national security of the United States. These "whistleblowers" have utilized the tools available to them to effectuate such aims, usually by taking their cases to the Media and/or relief through the Courts via lawsuits. Among such:
COLLEEN ROWLEY was an FBI Agent who retired from the FBI after 24 years of service in 2004. Agent Rowley was named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2002, for having gone public on intelligence failures within the FBI which could have prevented 9/11. Specifically, Rowley revealed how FBI bureaucrats had failed to act upon the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, who had taken lessons on how to fly and navigate, but not take-off and land, a jet airliner.
In response to the attacks of 9/11, FBI Director Robert Mueller issued a memo to all FBI employees urging them to report internal misconduct and incompetence that could be a contributing factor to intelligence failures that made America vulnerable to terrorists. Mueller assured the employees of the FBI that retaliation upon whistleblowers within the FBI would no longer be tolerated. Director Mueller’s memo did not have the desired effect, according to a 60 MINUTES broadcast of November, 2002. The Feature told the story of JOHN ROBERTS, who was a high-ranking FBI agent assigned to the Internal Affairs unit that has oversight of the conduct of FBI employees. Roberts claimed that he and his wife were retaliated in various ways after Roberts made public statements to the effect that corruption and cover-up were systemic throughout the FBI. Roberts’ lawyer during the 60 MINUTES feature compared the tactics of the FBI with the American Mafia.
ROBERT WRIGHT, JR. is an FBI Agent who, in the late 1990s, seized assets within the United States of associates of the Middle Eastern terrorist organization Hamas. Before 9/11, Agent Wright complained to Bureau officials that his efforts to target these terrorists were being stymied by actions of high-ranking FBI officials in Washington intended to shut down Wright’s investigation. Agent Wright then went public with his claims, and submitted to the FBI for pre-publication review his book which deals with Intelligence failures on the part of the FBI. The FBI has prevented the publication of Wright’s book, alleging that it contains Grand Jury material, a contention Agent Wright denies. The FBI then tried to fire Agent Wright, who has received legal support from Judicial Watch, a non-profit organization that protects whistleblowers. After two years of legal battles, including two lawsuits on Wright’s behalf, the Justice Department ruled in October, 2005 that the FBI could not Terminate Agent Wright’s employment. In the interim, the Feds in Chicago indicted 3 members of Hamas for the raising and laundering of money in the United States to support Hamas, an Islamic terrorist organization that has committed suicide bombings in Israel. These men were targets of the very investigation that Agent Wright claimed was hampered by FBI officials in Washington.
JANE TURNER was an FBI Agent for 25 years until she was forced out of the Bureau in retaliation for her role as a whistleblower, revealing scandals in which the FBI failed to take measures to protect children from abuse in North Dakota, and her claims of the misappropriation of property taken by the FBI from Ground Zero in New York. Agent Turner sued the FBI, and a jury in Minnesota awarded Turner $500,000 as well as $1 million to pay for her legal bills. Today, Agent Turner is a prominent figure in the National Whistleblower Center, a non-profit organization established to encourage and assist such men and women as Agent Turner.
ROSEMARY DEW was an FBI Agent for 13 years before resigning in frustration with the Bureau’s entrenched male-chauvinist, cult-like bureaucracy, which Dew likened to the Mafia. Dew is among several FBI Agents to have documented evidence that the intelligence failures of the FBI contributed to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Dew told her story of the systemic Sexism within the FBI in her 2004 book NO BACKUP: MY LIFE AS A FEMALE FBI SPECIAL AGENT.
DR. FREDERIC WHITEHURST, who worked in the FBI Crime Laboratory from 1982 to 1998, was awarded $1.16 million as settlement of a lawsuit he filed in which he claimed the FBI retaliated against him for exposing corruption. That retaliation included being Suspended in 1997 while Whitehurst was investigated for his suspected leaking to the Media of incidents of the fabrication of evidence within the FBI Crime Laboratory, as well as Dr. Whitehurst’s claims that FBI Agents committed Perjury in criminal cases. Whitehurst’s victory also included the payment of $258,000 in legal fees.
DONALD ROCHON was an African-American FBI Agent who successfully proved in litigation during the 1980s and 1990s that he had been discriminated against by racist FBI Agents he worked with in the FBI. Rochon’s lawsuits were filed regarding his work in the FBI Field Office in Omaha, Nebraska, and later, his work in the Field Office in Chicago. As is common in workplaces throughout America, Rochon had placed upon his desk at work a photograph of his young son. One day, Rochon came to work to discover that a co-worker had taped the photograph of a gorilla’s face over his son’s face. Rochon was then transferred to the FBI Field Office in Chicago, where he and his family would again be subjected to hate crimes committed by his co-workers at the FBI. The campaign against Agent Rochon included standard-procedure FBI ‘anonymous’ telephone calls and ‘poison-pen’ letters. In 1988, the New York Times detailed the settlements of Rochon’s then-claims, noting the confession of an FBI agent, who admitted forging Rochon’s signature on a life or dismemberment insurance policy which was forwarded to Rochon, with the clear implication that he could become the victim of death or dismemberment. In response to this, the FBI Suspended the Agent Without Pay from the FBI for 2 weeks. Rochon received over $1 million in compensation.
ERNADO PEREZ was the highest-ranking Hispanic within the FBI when he filed a lawsuit in conjunction with most of his fellow- Latino-FBI Agents in 1987, alleging discrimination in the workplace. In a Court ruling in 1988, Federal Judge Lucius D. Bunton ruled in the Hispanic Agents’ favor, a finding that was immediately challenged by then-FBI Director William Sessions. Sessions would later be fired by President Clinton for his alleged misappropriation of taxpayer funds and services.
DR. STEPHEN DRESCH and his colleague ANGELA CLEMENTE also belong on this page of Whistleblowers of misconduct by the FBI. In 2006, Angela Clemente submitted a brief to members of Congress detailing how sexual relationships between members of law enforcement and their Informants or Witnesses can compromise a criminal case. Clemente’s brief regarded her investigation of a Mafia case in Rhode Island, in which both an FBI Agent and another member of law enforcement engaged in sexual activity with an Informant/Witness. Clemente is seeking Federal legislation which would designate such behavior illegal, which, under current law, is not the case.
Dr. Dresch, before his demise, championed the case of a man whom he believed had been falsely accused of murder, Stephen Hatfill, a scientist whom the FBI falsely accused through leaks to the Media as being the person responsible for the release into America of Anthrax in the weeks after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Hatfill was subjected to relentless surveillance by both the FBI and the Media, as was Richard Jewell, falsely identified by the FBI to the Media as the key suspect in the bombing outside the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Both Jewell and Hatfill were completely vindicated and each were awarded substantial financial compensation for the crimes committed against them by the FBI.
Dr. Dresch and Ms. Clemente also concluded after their research and analysis that Joe Simone, an NYPD Detective on the Organized Crime Task Force assigned to investigate the Colombo Family, had been framed on charges he accepted bribes from the Colombos in exchange for providing to them confidential law enforcement information. In December of 1993, just days before his scheduled retirement, agents of the FBI arrested Detective Simone, a subordinate of Agent DeVecchio. Simone was accused by Colombo associate "Big Sal" Miciotta of selling information to the Colombo Family during the Mob War. However, during his trial in Federal Court in Brooklyn, the case began to unravel, and after just two hours of deliberations, the jury returned their verdict of "Not Guilty" on all Counts. 10 of those jurors waited outside the Courthouse in the cold, November rain to console Detective Simone and his family.
During that time frame, two other cases emerged that involved misconduct on the part of the FBI. One was the case of Thomas Stevens, a political activist who was arrested by the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York in September, 1993 on murder for hire charges. Stephens claimed he had been set up by an FBI Informant. On the eve of the trial, tape recorded conversations made by this reporter were turned over to the Feds and Stephens’ attorney of 2 men claiming to be FBI Informants, the tapes revealing numerous acts of criminal behavior on their part. The case was then dismissed "With Prejudice" by the Judge in the case, who ruled that there was strong evidence the Defendant had been framed.
A similar case occurred the next year, when Qubilah Shabazz, the daughter of slain Black activist Malcolm X, was arrested by the FBI for allegedly hiring a hit man to murder the man she believed murdered her father, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The arrest of Ms. Shabazz was brought about by Michael Fitzpatrick, an FBI informant since 1978, with a rap sheet including the bombing of a bookstore and cocaine possession charges. The FBI then utilized Fitzpatrick against Ms. Shabazz, who was just a child when she witnessed her father murdered in front of her in the Audubon Ballroom in New York on February 21, 1965. Fitzpatrick, who attended High School in New York with Ms. Shabazz, secretly recorded numerous telephone conversations between the two, the foundation behind the indictment against the Black activist’s daughter. However, the indictment backfired, with civil rights activists nationwide erupting into fury over the FBI’s actions. As in the Tom Stevens murder for hire case, the murder for hire case against Qubilah Shabazz never went to trial.
One more person should be added to this list of Whistleblowers, that person being retired JUDGE LESLIE CROCKER SNYDER. On October 22, 2008, Judge Snyder released her report as a Special Prosecutor to determine whether Perjury charges should be filed against Linda Schiro in regards to her testimony in the trial of Agent De Vecchio. While Judge Snyder determined that Prosecution was not warranted, the Judge also felt "compelled to raise some of the many issues which warrant further investigation by an appropriate agency or some other investigative body." Among the Judge’s concerns from her report:
"Was Detective Joe Simone, of the New York Police Department, a scapegoat for the misconduct of others, as a number of people who came forward have suggested?"
"Was there an effort by the FBI to protect Scarpa and De Vecchio in order to protect/insulate/preserve numerous mob prosecutions relating to the Colombo Crime Family?"
"Why was De Vecchio allowed to retire with a full pension, despite the Government’s acknowledgment that he leaked information to a murderous Informant, and why was he granted Immunity after he invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege in post-conviction proceedings related to the Colombo War?"
Finally, Judge Snyder asked the following: "Have any of the witnesses, potential witnesses, or people who cooperated in the De Vecchio investigation and/or prosecution been harassed by various agencies because of their cooperation, as many of these individuals now claim?"
Judge Snyder also expressed her appreciation for two people who voluntarily assisted in her investigation, Emmy award winner and best-selling author Peter Lance, and Angela Clemente. Because of Judge Snyder’s sterling reputation in law enforcement circles in New York, her praise of Clemente will add credibility to the work she will soon undertake once the FBI turns over to her the files on Greg Scarpa, Sr. and Godfather Carlos Marcello.
In their final moments of life in this place, Carlos Marcello and Greg Scarpa experienced excruciating pain. The Godfather had suffered a series of strokes, which robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, as well as his limited grasp of the English language, and the control of his bowels and bladder. Greg Scarpa’s stomach had been eaten away by ulcers, one of his eyes had been blown away by a rival’s bullet, and the AIDS virus had reduced his body down to the bare skin above his shrunken skeleton. In their youths, Marcello and Scarpa had been inducted into the American Mafia during a secret ceremony which mixed blood and fire, with the prerequisite for Initiation being the commission of the murder of at least one fellow human by their own hands. The guilty hand of each man was then pierced by a knife, their blood smeared across a Saint’s image on a piece of paper, which was then set on fire. As The Contract burned within their cusped hands, each man was warned that their souls could so burn as a consequence of that ritual, in which they entered a criminal enterprise that evoked as it’s source of power the Eternal fires of Hell.
RELATED FEATURES BY THIS AUTHOR:
License to Kill: Greg Scarpa and the FBI
License to Kill: Greg Scarpa and the FBI
License to Kill: Greg Scarpa and the FBI
License to Kill: Greg Scarpa and the FBI
License to Kill: Greg Scarpa and the FBI
License to Kill: Greg Scarpa and the FBI
Mob War! Part Three: Mob Murders Investigations Continue
SOURCES AND RECOMMENDED READING
1. Mafia Kingfish, by John H. Davis, Penguin, 1989.
2. "Racial matters:" The FBI’s Secret File on Black America, 1960-1972. By Kenneth O’Reilly, Free Press, 1989.
3. COINTELPRO: The FBI’s Secret War on Political Freedom, by Nelson Blackstock, Vintage Books, 1976.
4. Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling, and a World on the Brink, by David Margolick, Random House, 2005.
5. "Owens Pierced a Myth," by Larry Schwartz, ESPN.com.
6. "Joe Louis: America’s Hero . . Betrayed," HBO Films, 2008.
7. Heroes Without a Country, by Donald McRae, Harper Collins, 2002.
8. See the files on Jackie Robinson in the Archives of The Smoking Gun.com.
9. The Boss: J. Edgar Hoover and the Great American Inquisition, by Athan G. Theohuris and John Stuart Cox, Temple University Press, 1988.
10. The Dark side of Camelot, by Seymour Hersh, Little Brown, & Company, 1997.
11. Collision with History, by Robert D. Ballard, National Geographic, 2002.
12. J. Edgar Hoover: The Man and His Secrets, by Curt Gentry, Norton, 1991.
13. Citizen Cohn, by Nicholas von Hoffman, Doubleday, 1988.
14. DEFCON-2, by Norman Polmar and John D. Gresham, John Wiley and Sons, 2006.
15. Men of the Far Right, by Richard Dudman, Pyramid Books, 1962.
16. Robert Kennedy and his Times, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Ballantine Books, 1996.
17. Brothers, by David Talbot, Free Press, 2007.
18. Case Closed, by Gerald Posner, Anchor Books, 1994.
19. "The G-Man and the Hitman," by Fredric Dannen, The New Yorker, December 16, 1996.
20. Contract on America, by David Scheim, Argyle Press, 1983.
21. The False Prophet, by Robert Friedman, Lawrence & Hill, 1990.
22. The Autobiography of Roy Cohn, by Roy Cohn and Sidney Zion, Lyle Stuart, 1988.
23. From Selma to Sorrow, by Mary Stanton, University of Georgia Press, 1998.
24. Last Man Standing, by Jack Olsen, Doubleday, 2000.
25. Deadly Alliance: The FBI’s Secret Partnership with the Mob, by Ralph Ranalli, Harper Torch, 2001.
26. Black Mass, by Dick Lehr & Gerard O’Neill, Public Affairs, 2000.
27. New York Post, 02-11-1993.
28. The Gay Double Agent, by Arthur Bell, The Village Voice, May 8, 1978.
29. Stonewall, by David Carter, St. Martin’s Press, 2004
30. To See the Promised Land, by Frederick L. Downing, Mercer University Press, 1986.
31. Abe Fortas, by Laura Kalman, Yale University Press, 1992.
32. The Bureau: My Thirty Years in Hoover’s FBI, by William C. Sullivan with Bill Brown, Norton & Company, 1979.
J. R. de Szigethy can be reached at: Writer10065@peoplepc.com .
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