JFK secretly freed rapists, drug dealers and Mafia hitmen to kill Castro and curb threat of Communism, claims explosive new book

  • Revelations  made by journalist Bill Deane in new book ‘Smooth  Criminal’
  • It tells story of  alleged CIA spy and ‘one-man crime wave’  Dave Riley
  • Claims criminals  allowed on ‘crime sprees’ in US when not working for CIA
  • Deane: ‘Riley was  typical recruit: Intelligent, ambitious and without morals’
  • While JFK did not order the programme, Deane  says he was ‘aware’ of it

By  Matt Blake

PUBLISHED: 07:25 EST, 15  February 2013 |  UPDATED: 09:04 EST, 15 February 2013

 

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.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy appearing on television talking about the Cuban Missile Crisis.President Kennedy secretly endorsed the release of hardened criminals to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro to curb the Communist threat, experts have claimed.

Height of the Cold War: Desperate to remove Fidel  Castro, right, from power, President John F. Kennedy, left, resorted to using  dangerous criminals as operatives –  rather than CIA agents – to ‘do America’s  dirty work’

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.

Journalist and author William DeanePresident Kennedy secretly endorsed the release of hardened criminal to assassinate Cubas President Castro and curb the Communist threat

‘One man American crime wave’: The details of the plot  were revealed by veteran journalist and author William Deane, whose new book  Smooth Criminal, right, details the life of alleged CIA operative and ‘one-man  American crime wave’ Dave Riley

‘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.’

Warning: Deane claims the CIA continues to recruit hardened criminals to 'do America's dirty work' with impunity 

Warning: Deane claims the CIA continues to recruit  hardened criminals to ‘do America’s dirty work’ with impunity

Deane claims to have first encountered Riley  back in 1961 while working as a DJ at a radio station in Miami,  Florida.

Riley, then in his early 20s and with  ambitions of being the ‘next Frank  Sinatra’, had connections with the Mafia and  used his connections to  ‘persuade’ the radio station to play his  records.

Though they lost touch, Deane next heard of  Riley in April 1962 when working  as a cub reporter for a Miami TV station –  after hearing he had hijacked a plane to Cuba.

According  to news reports, on Friday, April  13, 1962, Riley and an accomplice had  forced pilot Reginald Doan at gunpoint to  fly them to the communist  island, where they planned to defect, only for the  Cuban authorities to  imprison them before sending them back to  Miami.

Deane says he was contacted by Riley prior to  the Black Friday Skyjacking  trial and during that meeting revealed that he was  working for the CIA  and had been sent to infiltrate Cuba as a spy.

‘The skyjacking was just a smokescreen  conjured up by the CIA after the mission went wrong.

‘Riley confessed that he’d been  recruited by  the intelligence agency while in prison for extortion of a  public official back  in 1960, and had been sent to Cuba to carry out a  number of assignments –  including one to assassinate Castro.

‘He had posed as a waiter at one of Castro’s  favourite restaurants and been supplied with Botulinum tablets – an untraceable  poison – by the CIA to drop into his soup, but Castro must have got wind of the  plan as he  suddenly stopped eating there.’

Deane admits that at first he thought that  Riley was a ‘fantasist’ and, after the criminal was sentenced to 20 years in  prison for the skyjacking by  the U.S. Supreme Court in November 1964, largely  forgot about him.

Kennedy with military leaders in 1962: 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. 

JFK with military leaders in 1962: 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. but Deane claims the  practice is still in use today

It was only after his retirement from CBS in  2005, when he started writing Smooth Criminal, that Deane discovered that Riley  might have been telling the truth about the criminal operatives programme all  along.

Deane traced Riley’s whereabouts from the  time of the skyjacking trial onwards and found that far from serving his time in  jail, he had apparently been back on the streets committing crimes within a  matter of months.

The journalist uncovered over 40  newspaper  reports of Riley’s various crimes in archives and gained  further corroboration  of his seeming invulnerability to prosecution  after tracking down several of  his victims.

He added: ‘Riley was a one-man crime wave who  was allowed by the CIA, and  indirectly the president, to consistently get away  with his crimes in  return for his occasional assistance.

‘In the late 1960s and early ’70s he went on  undercover missions to  Vietnam, Cambodia and other troubled South Asian  countries, and back at  home got away with embezzlement, fraud, gunrunning, drug  dealing and  sexual assault among other crimes.

Smoking gun: Deane says Riley had posed as a waiter at one of Castro's (pictured) favourite restaurants and been supplied with Botulinum tablets 

Smoking gun: Deane says Riley had posed as a waiter at  one of Castro’s (pictured) favourite restaurants and been supplied with  Botulinum tablets – an untraceable poison – by the CIA to drop into his soup,  but Castro must have got wind of the plan as he suddenly stopped eating  there

‘He has left a string of victims across the  USA over the last 40 years, but the police and FBI have been powerless to act  because he is protected by the CIA. The agency maintains a policy of complete  secrecy and doesn’t want to risk compromising operations by having one of their  operatives involved in a public trial.

‘One unfortunate woman who came across Riley  was swindled out of $20,000 – her life savings – and the deeds to several  properties, but the police and Feds weren’t allowed to warn her, and weren’t  allowed to stop him.’

Deane says that he has evidence of Riley  living in New York in 2005, but after that the scene goes cold.

He claims requests for information from the  FBI, CIA, Treasury and other government agencies were ignored and suspects  Riley, now in his 70s, is either dead or has been placed into a Federal Witness  Protection scheme to put him out of reach.

Deane says he doesn’t disapprove of America’s  criminal operatives programme per se, but has written Smooth Criminal to warn  the American public about the programme in case they become victims of  ‘untouchables’ such as Riley.

He added: ‘America has lots of enemies and  security has to be maintained if we are to prevent another 9/11 so I am not  against a programme that helps protect the nation.

‘What I do object to is the CIA’s insistence  on complete secrecy. The rationale that a few Americans have to suffer for the  sake of 315 million is not acceptable.

‘It’s sad and pathetic that totally innocent  Americans have lost virtually everything, including their homes and businesses,  while the Feds stood by and did nothing but protect their released  criminals.

‘The CIA should be capable of controlling  freed criminals without exposing their clandestine operations, and if they  can’t, should discretely warn potential victims to keep away from these  people.’

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