by Matt Blake Daily Mail
President John F. Kennedy secretly endorsed the release of hardened criminals to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro to curb the Communist threat, a new book has claimed.
At the height of tensions between America and neighbouring Communist Cuba in the early 1960s, JFK was implicit in the freeing of rapists, drug dealers, and Mafia hitmen through CIA in a bid to recruit ‘untraceable’ spies willing to risk their lives on dangerous missions rather than go back to jail, a new book sensationally claims.
Desperate to remove Castro from power, the president resorted to using dangerous criminals as operatives – rather than CIA agents – to ‘do America’s dirty work’ as they couldn’t be linked back to his administration, it is claimed.
In one failed plot, an ex con was smuggled into Cuba in 1962 to pose as a waiter in Castro’s favourite restaurant where he would drop poison tablets into the revolutionary leader’s soup.
The explosive claims come in a new book by veteran American Journalist and author William Deane, who claims specially-recruited criminals became ‘untouchable’ and were allowed to embark on ‘crime sprees’ in the US without fear of prosecution.
Deane, former assignment editor at American news networks ABC and CBS, says he uncovered the programme – which he believes is still in operation today – after following the ‘trail of destruction’ left by one such operative.
Though JFK did not order the setting up of the top secret programme, Deane says that as president Kennedy would have ‘been aware’ of it.
‘For over 50 years, the CIA and American government has been systematically releasing dangerous criminals back into society to work for them on secret missions overseas,’ said Deane, whose new book Smooth Criminal details the life of alleged CIA operative and ‘one-man American crime wave’ Dave Riley.
‘The programme started during the Kennedy administration at the start of the 1960s as a clandestine means of dealing with the Communist threat of Castro, and was given the seal of approval by JFK – who was still smarting following the political embarrassment of the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961.
‘Criminals were ideal operatives as they were ruthless and willing to risk their lives during missions rather than be sent back to prison. They also couldn’t be officially connected with the CIA so it didn’t matter if they were captured – there was no risk of America’s shady policies being exposed.
‘Riley was a typical recruit. Highly intelligent, ambitious and with no morals. The CIA sent him on many missions abroad, including to Cuba to assassinate Castro,’ added Deane.
‘Between missions he was allowed to do what he liked – which generally consisted of embezzlement, fraud, gunrunning and drug dealing – without fear of being arrested or prosecuted.’