can’t see the forest

Castro Scorns US “Family Jewels”

Posted in Castro, CIA, Cuba, News, News & Politics, Politics, U.S. News, USA by Curtis on 7/2/07

Cuban President Fidel Castro has lashed out against the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s release on June 26 of the “Family Jewels,” a compendium of sensitive classified documents detailing many covert, illicit activities of the agency from 1959 through 1973. The documents were made available in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from George Washington University, a request that had first been put forth fifteen years ago.

These records contain information on illegal detentions, wiretappings (including the wiretapping of journalists ordered by Robert F. Kennedy), and a plot to enlist the aid of the Mafia in assassinating Castro in 1961. Journalist Jack Anderson first reported on the Castro plot over 30 years ago, and these records indicate that he was under CIA surveillance for a time. According to the Palm Beach Post:

CIA director Michael Hayden has described the documents as embarrassing. They “provide a glimpse of a very different time and a very different agency.”

Not so, says President Castro. “Everything described in the documents is still being done, only in a more brutal manner around the entire planet, including an increasing number of illegal actions in the very United States,” he wrote in an editorial, as reported by the BBC:

One of the key revelations of the documents was that the CIA tried to persuade mobster Johnny Roselli in 1960 to plot the assassination of the Cuban leader.

The plan was for poisoned pills to be put in Mr Castro’s food, but it was shelved after the US-sponsored invasion of the Bay of Pigs failed a year later.

Mr Castro has long accused the US, including President George W Bush, of plotting to kill him.

In his editorial, Mr Castro also refers to the assassination of John F Kennedy, saying the US president was the victim of the CIA and anti-Castro Cuban exiles.

Mr Castro says Lee Harvey Oswald could not have acted alone in killing the president.

“You lose the target after every shot even if it is not moving and have to find it again in fractions of a second,” Mr Castro, himself an expert marksman, says.

Mr Castro underwent intestinal surgery in July last year but in recent weeks his writings have been appearing more frequently.

The abuses and illicit activities listed in the CIA report date from the 1950s to the 1970s.

On Friday Cuba’s parliament passed a resolution stating that: “What the CIA recognises is not old history. It is present-day reality and the facts show it.”

Firstly, let me say that I do not find it a certainty that any such declassified documents necessarily represent reality—it is a significant probability, maybe, but definitely not necessarily a certainty. What is released by the CIA is . . .what is released by the CIA. It’s probably at least largely accurate, and probably completely out of any sort of proportional context.

Nonetheless, it is not difficult to imagine that the U.S. federal government, particularly in the wake of its expansionist policies in the Middle East in recent decades, continues to use ever-advancing technology and perpetually broadening bureaucratic latitude to achieve its most secret aims by any means possible. In that sense, Director Hayden’s words ring quite true, though perhaps not in the way he intended.

I defer any further remarks to Benjamin Franklin’s famous observation that “a people who would sacrifice liberty for security will lose both, and deserve neither.”

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3 Responses

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  1. QB said, on 7/7/07 at 1:36 pm

    I completely agree with Fidel Castro.

  2. Dave said, on 7/12/07 at 3:10 pm

    Curt,
    I stopped by to tell you that I tagged you for a meme over at my place.
    Peace

  3. 99 said, on 7/14/07 at 11:08 pm

    Me too, QB. Plus, I want Fidel to live forever.


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