Archive for November 2016

The 638 Assassination Attempts by the CIA on Fidel Castro   Leave a comment


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Castro quote: “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal.”

 

The United States’ Central Intelligence Agency made many attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro during his time as the President of Cuba. All the attempts on Fidel Castro’s life failed.

Following World War II, the United States became secretly engaged in a practice of international political assassinations and attempts on foreign leaders. For a considerable period of time, the U.S. Government officials vehemently denied any knowledge of this program since it would be against the United Nations Charter. On March 5, 1972, Richard Helms, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director, declared that, “no such activity or operations be undertaken, assisted, or suggested by any of our personnel.” In 1975, the U.S. Senate convened the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. It was chaired by the Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho). The Church Committee uncovered that CIA and other governmental agencies employed a so-called tactic of “plausible deniability” during decision-making related to assassinations. CIA subordinates were deliberately shielding the higher-ranking officials from any responsibility by withholding full amount of information about planned assassinations. Government employees were obtaining tacit approval of their acts by using euphemisms and sly wording in communications.

Early attempts

According to CIA Director Richard Helms, Kennedy Administration officials exerted a heavy pressure on the CIA to “get rid of Castro.” It explains a staggering number of assassination plots, aiming at creating a favorable impression on President John F. Kennedy. There were five phases in the assassination attempts, with planning involving the CIA, the Department of Defense, and the State Department:

  • Prior to August 1960
  • August 1960 to April 1961
  • April 1961 to late 1961
  • Late 1961 to late 1962
  • Late 1962 to late 1963

Mafia engagement

According to the CIA documents, the so-called Family Jewels that were declassified in 2007, one assassination attempt on Fidel Castro prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion involved noted American mobsters Johnny Roselli, Salvatore Giancana and Santo Trafficante.

In September 1960, Momo Salvatore Giancana, a successor of Al Capone’s in the Chicago Outfit, and Miami Syndicate leader Santo Trafficante, who were both on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list at that time, were indirectly contacted by the CIA about the possibility of Fidel Castro assassination. Johnny Roselli, a member of the Las Vegas Syndicate, was used to get access to Mafia bosses. The go-between from the CIA was Robert Maheu, who introduced himself as a representative of several international businesses in Cuba that were expropriated by Castro. On September 14, 1960, Maheu met with Roselli in a New York City hotel and offered him US$150,000 for the “removal” of Castro. James O’Connell, who identified himself as Maheu’s associate but who actually was the chief of the CIA’s operational support division, was present during the meeting. The declassified documents did not reveal if Roselli, Giancana or Trafficante accepted a down payment for the job. According to the CIA files, it was Giancana who suggested poison pills as a means to doctor Castro’s food or drinks. Such pills, manufactured by the CIA’s Technical Services Division, were given to Giancana’s nominee named Juan Orta. Giancana recommended Orta as being an official in the Cuban government, who had access to Castro.

Allegedly, after several unsuccessful attempts to introduce the poison into Castro’s food, Orta abruptly demanded to be let out of the mission, handing over the job to another unnamed participant. Later, a second attempt was mounted through Giancana and Trafficante using Dr. Anthony Verona, the leader of the Cuban Exile Junta, who had, according to Trafficante, become “disaffected with the apparent ineffectual progress of the Junta”. Verona requested US$10,000 in expenses and US$1,000 worth of communications equipment. However, it is unknown how far the second attempt went, as the assassination attempt was canceled due to the launching of the Bay of Pigs Invasion.

Later attempts

The Church Committee stated that it substantiated eight attempts by the CIA to assassinate Fidel Castro in 1960–1965. Fabián Escalante, a retired chief of Cuba’s counterintelligence, who had been tasked with protecting Castro, estimated the number of assassination schemes or actual attempts by the Central Intelligence Agency to be 638, and split them among U.S. administrations as follows:

  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (1959–1961): 38
  • John F. Kennedy (1961–1963): 42
  • Lyndon B. Johnson (1963–1969): 72
  • Richard Nixon (1969–1974): 184
  • Jimmy Carter (1977–1981): 64
  • Ronald Reagan (1981–1989): 197
  • George H. W. Bush (1989–1993): 16
  • Bill Clinton (1993–2000): 21

Some of them were a part of the covert CIA program dubbed Operation Mongoose aimed at toppling the Cuban government. The assassination attempts reportedly included cigars poisoned with botulinum toxin, a tubercle bacilli-infected scuba-diving suit along with a booby-trapped conch placed on the sea bottom, an exploding cigar (Castro loved cigars and scuba diving, but he quit smoking in 1985), a ballpoint pen containing a hypodermic syringe preloaded with the lethal concoction “Blackleaf 40”, and plain, mafia-style execution endeavors, among others. There were plans to blow up Castro during his visit to Ernest Hemingway’s museum in Cuba.

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Some of the plots were depicted in a documentary film entitled 638 Ways to Kill Castro (2006) aired on Channel 4 of the British public-service television. One of these attempts was by his ex-lover Marita Lorenz, whom he met in 1959. She agreed to aid the CIA and attempted to smuggle a jar of cold cream containing poison pills into his room. When Castro learned about her intentions, he reportedly gave her a gun and told her to kill him but her nerves failed. Some plots aimed not at murder but at character assassination; they, for example, involved using thallium salts to destroy Castro’s famous beard, or lacing his radio studio with LSD to cause him disorientation during the broadcast and damage his public image. The last documented attempt on Castro life was in 2000, and involved placing 90 kg of explosives under a podium in Panama where he would give a talk. The plot was organized by CIA and foiled by Castro’s security team.

Castro once said, in regards to the numerous attempts on his life he believed had been made, “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal.”

Repercussions

Besides attempts on Fidel Castro, the CIA has been accused of involvements in the assassination of such foreign leaders as Rafael Trujillo, Patrice Lumumba and Ngo Dinh Diem. The Church Committee rejected political assassination as a foreign policy tool and declared that it was “incompatible with American principle, international order, and morality.” It recommended Congress to consider developing a statute to eradicate such or similar practices, which was never introduced. Instead, President Gerald Ford signed in 1976 an Executive Order 11905, which stated that, “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire in, political assassination.”


 

Posted November 30, 2016 by markosun in Espionage

Politicaltoons   Leave a comment


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Sports History

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Posted November 30, 2016 by markosun in Politics

The World’s First Nuclear Armed Cruise Missile Submarine   Leave a comment


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USS Grayback (SS/SSG/APSS/LPSS-574), the lead ship of her class of submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the grayback, a small herring of commercial importance in the Great Lakes.

Her keel was laid down on 1 July 1954 by the Mare Island Naval Shipyard of Vallejo, California. She was launched on 2 July 1957 sponsored by Mrs. John A. Moore, widow of the last skipper of the USS Grayback (SS-208) and commissioned at Mare Island on 7 March 1958 with Lieutenant Commander Hugh G. Nott in command. Grayback was initially designated as an attack submarine, but was converted to a Regulus nuclear cruise missile submarine (SSG-574) in 1958.

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In mid-1956, it became Navy policy to keep one SSG in each ocean, and Tunny shifted her base of operations to Pearl Harbor in 1957. Meanwhile, the Navy had laid down two large diesel-electric submarines specifically to carry Regulus, launching USS Grayback (SSG-574) in March 1958 and USS Growler (SSG-577) in August of that same year. Each of these two near-sister ships displacing approximately 3,600 tons submerged could accommodate a total of four Regulus I missiles in a pair of cylindrical hangars set into the large, bulbous bow. These hangars opened aft through a set of doors by which the weapons could be moved onto a trainable launch ramp set into a well forward of the sail. The ramp was rotated athwartships for launching.

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After the Soviet Union and then the United States successfully tested their first intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in 1957, the nuclear arms race moved into a more dangerous phase. In late 1958, with four SSGs and four Regulus cruisers in commission, the Navy responded by moving all of the submarines and three of the cruisers to the Pacific to maintain regular deterrent patrols threatening the Soviet Far East. In particular, Submarine Squadron ONE was formed of the four SSGs at Pearl Harbor and adopted a readiness posture that put at least four missiles on station in the Western Pacific at all times, to complement existing carrier-based aircraft armed with nuclear weapons. (This required deploying either the two converted fleet boats together or one of the two Graybacks.) Tunny departed on the first of these regularly scheduled deterrent patrols in October 1959, whereas Grayback’s and Growler’s first patrols commenced in early 1960.

As Polaris missile submarines became operational, they assumed the deterrent functions previously assigned to Grayback and her sister ships. The Regulus missile program ended in 1964 and Grayback was withdrawn from active service. She decommissioned at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California, on 25 May 1964.

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The Regulus 1 was the first operational U.S. Navy cruise missile. Designed to attack ground targets, it carried a nuclear warhead, flew at subsonic speeds up to an altitude of 9,144 meters (30,000 feet), and had a range of 800 kilometers (500 miles). A turbojet engine powered the missile to its target after two boosters were jettisoned. The missile was deployed on several aircraft carriers, heavy cruisers, and submarines (in watertight containers on the deck) from 1955 to 1964. Radio signals from a control aircraft or other submarines were the primary means of guiding the missile. The Polaris, the first U.S. submarine-launched ballistic missile, replaced the Regulus 1. Chance Vought built this missile and the U.S. Navy transferred it to NASM in 1988.

They referred to this missile as a cruise missile. Yet it flew at 30,000 feet. Todays cruise missiles fly below 200 feet.

Specifications
Weight 13,685 pounds (6,207 kg)
Length 32 feet 2 inches (9.80 m)
Diameter 4 feet 8.5 inches (1.435 m)
Warhead 3,000 pounds (1,400 kg) such as the W5 warhead or the W27 warhead

Engine Allison J33-A-14 turbojet 4,600 lbf (20 kN)
2 × booster rockets 33,000 lbf (150 kN)
Wingspan 21 feet (6.4 m) extended
9 feet 10.5 inches (3.010 m) folded
Operational
range
500 nautical miles (926 km)
Speed Subsonic

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Posted November 30, 2016 by markosun in Weapons

This Russian takes Crazy to a whole new level   Leave a comment


Charges for Russian after stunts atop Toronto skyscraper

An “urban explorer” has been charged after he was seen in an online video leaping and doing somersaults atop a downtown Toronto skyscraper.

In a video posted to YouTube, Russian stuntman Oleg Cricket can be seen leaping, sliding and rolling on the ledge of a skyscraper. In another shot, he appears to be jumping between beams, with the CN Tower as his backdrop. In one of the final shots, Cricket is shown doing a handstand on a ledge, high above city streets.

Police arrested Cricket on Nov. 12. He has been charged with breaking and entering and mischief, Toronto police say.

Cricket is well-known for his vertigo-inducing acrobatic feats atop skyscrapers in various cities. He records his stunts and puts them on YouTube and other social media channels, where his followers number in the hundreds of thousands.

Another man who was allegedly with Cricket is facing the same charges.

The Building, 8 Mercer St

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Posted November 30, 2016 by markosun in Bizarre

Check out this Trump Lieutenant   Leave a comment


Omarosa (born Omarosé Onee Manigault; February 5, 1974) is an American reality game show and reality show personality. She was a contestant on the first season of Donald Trump’s original American version of The Apprentice. She later returned for the TV series sequel, Celebrity Apprentice, and the All-Stars edition of the show. TV Guide included her in their 2013 list of The 60 Nastiest Villains of All Time.

Posted November 29, 2016 by markosun in Politics

Extraordinary Surveillance Legislation Passed in the U.K.   Leave a comment


The Guardian

‘Snoopers law creates security nightmare’

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The UK’s internet service providers will need to install new equipment to log their customers net habits

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The “snooper’s charter” bill extending the reach of state surveillance in Britain was given royal assent and became law on Tuesday as signatures on a petition calling for it to be repealed passed the 130,000 mark.

The home secretary, Amber Rudd, hailed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 as “world-leading legislation” that provided “unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection”.

But privacy campaigners claimed that it would provide an international standard to authoritarian regimes around the world to justify their own intrusive surveillance powers.

The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.

It also provides the security services and police with new powers to hack into computers and phones and to collect communications data in bulk. The law requires judges to sign off police requests to view journalists’ call and web records, but the measure has been described as “a death sentence for investigative journalism” in the UK.

The Home Office says some of the provisions in the act will require extensive testing and will not be in place for some time. However, powers to require web and phone companies to collect customers’ communications data will be in force before 31 December, the date when the current Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 expires.

The home secretary said: “The Investigatory Powers Act is world-leading legislation, that provides unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection.

“The government is clear that, at a time of heightened security threat, it is essential our law enforcement and security and intelligence services have the power they need to keep people safe. The internet presents new opportunities for terrorists and we must ensure we have the capabilities to confront this challenge. But it is also right that these powers are subject to strict safeguards and rigorous oversight.”

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, responded to the home secretary’s “world-leading” claim, saying: “She is right, it is one of the most extreme surveillance laws ever passed in a democracy. The IP Act will have an impact that goes beyond the UK’s shores. It is likely that other countries, including authoritarian regimes with poor human rights records, will use this law to justify their own intrusive surveillance powers.”

He said the legislation was debated and passed while the public, media and politicians were preoccupied with Brexit: “Now that the bill has passed, there is renewed concern about the extent of the powers that will be given to the police and security agencies.

“In particular, people appear to be worried about new powers that mean our web browsing activity can be collected by internet service providers and viewed by the police and a whole range of government departments. Parliament may choose to ignore calls for a debate but this could undermine public confidence in these intrusive powers.”

The European court of justice is due to clarify its rulings on state surveillance shortly, in a case brought by the deputy leader of the Labour party, Tom Watson. The court’s ruling could lead to parts of the new legislation being declared unlawful and in need of amendment, including restrictions on how the personal confidential data involved can be used and accessed.

List of authorities allowed to access Internet connection records without a warrant

underlined means WTF WHY?

    Metropolitan police force
    City of London “world center for corruption & money laundering” police force
    Police forces maintained under section 2 of the Police Act 1996
    Police Service of Scotland
    Police Service of Northern Ireland
    British Transport Police
    Ministry of Defence Police
    Royal Navy Police
    Royal Military Police
    Royal Air Force Police
    Security Service
    Secret Intelligence Service
    GCHQ
    Ministry of Defence
    Department of Health
    Home Office
    Ministry of Justice
    National Crime Agency
    HM Revenue & Customs
    Department for Transport
    Department for Work and Pensions??????
    NHS trusts and foundation trusts in England that provide ambulance services
    Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service
    Competition and Markets Authority
    Criminal Cases Review Commission
    Department for Communities in Northern Ireland
    Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland
    Department of Justice in Northern Ireland
    Financial Conduct Authority
    Fire and rescue authorities under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004
    Food Standards Agency
    Food Standards Scotland
    Gambling Commission
    Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority
    Health and Safety Executive
    Independent Police Complaints Commissioner
    Information Commissioner
    NHS Business Services Authority
    Northern Ireland Ambulance Service Health and Social Care Trust
    Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Board
    Northern Ireland Health and Social Care Regional Business Services Organisation
    Office of Communications
    Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
    Police Investigations and Review Commissioner
    Scottish Ambulance Service Board
    Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission
    Serious Fraud Office
    Welsh Ambulance Services National Health Service Trust


Posted November 29, 2016 by markosun in Espionage

Long Lost Nuke Found Off the Coast of Canada?   Leave a comment


CBC

Update:

The Royal Canadian Navy confirmed today that a mysterious object found off the coast of B.C.’s North Coast is not a bomb or a lost nuclear weapon.

The navy was deployed at the request of RCMP to investigate the area near Haida Gwaii after diver Sean Smyrichinsky found a suspicious object during a diving trip near Banks Island.

Banks Island is in the Hecate Strait, approximately 110 kilometres south of Prince Rupert. (Google Maps)

In a statement, the navy said the object is “a metal part of a larger machine assembly and appears to be a piece of industrial equipment.”

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November 5, 2016

A diver exploring off the coast of British Columbia may have found a legendary nuclear bomb that went missing in the 1950’s.

Sean Smyrichinsky spotted the strange object during a diving expedition near Canada’s Banks Island.

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“It resembled, like, a bagel cut in half, and then around the bagel these bolts molded into it,” Smyrichinsky told the CBC.

When he first emerged from the water after encountering the mystery object, Smyrichinsky marveled to his fellow divers that he had just spotted a UFO!

However, he later investigated what it could have possibly been and concluded that it was likely a nuclear bomb that was lost in a U.S. Air Force crash in 1950.

The incident had been kept secret by the American government for years and the ultimate whereabouts of the bomb had long been the subject of debate among researchers.

Comparing images of the ‘lost bomb’ to what he saw during the dive, Smyrichinsky is convinced that it must be the infamous armament, probably because any other possibly was too fantastic to consider.

Smyrichinsky mused to the CBC, “I was thinking UFO, but probably not a UFO, right?”

Since the discovery is not too far from where the American Air Force plane went down in 1950, the chance of Smyrichinsky’s object being the bomb seems fairly likely.

Fortunately, the ‘mystery object’ will not linger as an unsolved case for long as the Canadian Navy is en route to examine Smyrichinsky’s find and determine what it is.

Although an official with the Canadian Air Force claims that the ‘lost bomb’ from the 1950’s is not dangerous, we wouldn’t want to be the guy in the wetsuit who has to go down there and find out.

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On 14 February 1950, a Convair B-36B, Air Force Serial Number 44-92075 assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, crashed in northern British Columbia after jettisoning a Mark 4 nuclear bomb. This was the first such nuclear weapon loss in history. The B-36 had been en route from Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas, more than 3000 miles south-east, on a mission that included a simulated nuclear attack on San Francisco.

Plane 44-92075, was flying on a simulated nuclear strike combat mission against the Soviet Union. The B-36 took off from Eielson AFB with a regular crew of 15 plus a Weaponeer and a Bomb Commander. The plan for the 24-hour flight was to fly over the North Pacific, due west of the Alaska panhandle and British Columbia, then head inland over Washington state and Montana. Here the B-36 would climb to 40,000 feet (12,000 m) for a simulated bomb run to southern California and then San Francisco, it would continue its non-stop flight to Fort Worth, Texas. The flight plan did not include any penetration of Canadian airspace. The plane carried a Mark IV atomic bomb, containing a substantial quantity of natural uranium and 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of conventional explosives. According to the USAF, the bomb did not contain the plutonium core necessary for a nuclear detonation.

Cold weather (−40 °F/−40 °C on the ground at Eielson AFB) adversely affected the planes involved in this exercise, and some minor difficulties with 44-92075 were noted before takeoff.  Seven hours into the flight, three of the six engines began shooting flames and were shut down, and the other three engines proved incapable of delivering full power. The subsequent investigation blamed ice buildup in the mixture control air intakes.

The crew decided to abandon the aircraft because it could not stay aloft with three engines out of commission while carrying a heavy payload. The atomic bomb was jettisoned and detonated in mid-air, resulting in a large conventional explosion over the Inside Passage. The USAF later stated that the fake practice core on board the aircraft was inserted into the weapon before it was dropped.

Inside Passage

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The aircraft commander steered the plane over Princess Royal Island to spare his crew having to parachute into the cold North Pacific, whereupon the crew bailed out. Before bailing out last, he set a turning course toward the open ocean using the autopilot.

The plane had been in constant radio contact with Strategic Air Command headquarters at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, and within minutes of the bailout the Royal Canadian Air Force launched Operation Brix to find the missing men. Poor weather hampered search efforts; nevertheless 12 of the 17 men were eventually found alive. Four of the five deceased airmen were believed to have bailed out of the aircraft earlier than the surviving crew members, and it was assumed that they landed in the ocean and died of hypothermia. Canadian authorities were never told that the aircraft was carrying a nuclear weapon.

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To search for the B-36, planes were pulled off the search for a C-54 that had disappeared three weeks earlier. A more exhaustive search was not launched for the plane, as it was believed to be at the bottom of the Pacific. Three years later, however, a RCAF flight searching for the missing de Havilland Dove aircraft of Texas millionaire oilman Ellis Hall spotted the B-36’s wreckage. It was found on the side of Mount Kologet, about 50 miles (80 km) east of the Alaskan border, roughly due east of the towns of Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska, on the east side of the isolated Nass Basin northwest of Hazelton, British Columbia.

The USAF immediately began an investigation. A team was sent in September 1953, as the effort was given a high priority, but they failed to reach the site after 19 days of trudging through the wilderness. The effort was resumed the following year with better equipment, and in August 1954 a new team of USAF personnel accompanied by a local guide reached the wreckage. They recovered important components and then used explosives to destroy what was visible above the snow.

In 1956, two civilian surveyors chanced on the wreck and noted its exact location, which otherwise remained unknown for the next 40 years. In 1997 one of the surveyors provided the coordinates to two distinct expeditions, one American and one led by the Canadian Department of National Defence, seeking to conduct an environmental analysis of the site. Both expeditions reached the wreck around the same time, and members were apparently the first humans to set foot in the area since 1956. The Canadian-led mission found no unusual radiation levels. In late 1998, the Canadian government declared the site protected. A portion of one of the gun turrets is on display at The Bulkley Valley Museum in Smithers, British Columbia.

In November 2016 a diver reported he had discovered something that looked like a segment of the (non-nuclear) bomb that the co-pilot said they had dumped before the crash.

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Posted November 29, 2016 by markosun in Aviation, Weapons