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The Toronto Star had a story (Jan. 3, 2008) called:"Confessions of a mobster: 'My job was to kill Pierre Trudeau'"[url=http://www.thestar.com/article/290634](read it here)[/url]
There's even a video interview there with Mike Craft, who says he was assigned the task of killing Trudeau in 1974.
He was apparently hired for the job by two famous mafia bosses: Meyer Lansky and Paul (Legs) Di Cocco Sr.
Now I'm not sure about the CIA's links to "Legs," but Lansky seems to have been tied in with US "intelligence" from the pre-CIA days of the OSS. Here's a reference to that:
"The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), the CIA's parent and sister organizations, cultivate relations with the leaders of the Italian Mafia, recruiting heavily from the New York and Chicago underworlds, whose members, including Charles 'Lucky' Luciano, Meyer Lansky, Joe Adonis, and Frank Costello, help the agencies keep in touch with Sicilian Mafia leaders exiled by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini."[url=http://ciadrugs.homestead.com/files/congress-cia-drug-history-doc.html](read more about it here)[/url]
There are thousands of google hits linking Lansky to the CIA. It seems Lanksy didn't take too kindly to Castro kicking his "free enterprise" casinos out of Cuba.
If there is a CIA dimension to the Trudeau assassination story, the hitman (Mike Craft) would have had no "need to know." And, he might not want to mention it if he did happen to know.
And, of course, the Toronto Star doesn't hint at the possibility of any CIA connection, thought you would think that Lansky's ties to the Company might be worth mentioning even in passing.
Does any one out there in Rabble-land know the scoop on Lansky's connections to the CIA, and particularly to other plots to assassinate national leaders (like Castro and Kennedy)?
And, I wonder whether a story on the possible CIA angle to this Trudeau assassination plot might have "Legs".
[ 05 January 2008: Message edited by: Richard Sanders ]
No wanting to make light, but I guess he failed his mission, eh!
I hope it has legs...I read the article and it seems perfectly plausible.
[url=http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/13893143/the_last_confessions... of a cold warrior[/url] If there's such a thing as evil, this guy was it
[i]"I had nothing personal against Trudeau. It was just a job."[/i]
funny, that's what Bob Stanfield said about that time, too
Hard to say. Certainly Present Nixon was no fan of Trudeau, to be sure, but the mafia certainly did have reason enough to want to knock off Fidel Castro or any friends of his. The loss of the Havana casinos was a big blow.
Who was that U.S. president who called a Canadian PM"asshole"?
Might even have been correct. Wouldn't quibble at such a description today, but that's a long way from having an a'hole offed.
Originally posted by bliter:Who was that U.S. president who called a Canadian PM"asshole"?
Nixon, I think, although LBJ was prone to say such things as well.
Originally posted by Boom Boom:[b]
Nixon, I think, although LBJ was prone to say such things as well.[/b]
Nixon, I think, although LBJ was prone to say such things as well.[/b]
Along with Trudeau's "Fuddle duddle" sorta puts a human face on 'em don't it?
The "asshole" jibe was Nixon's.
LBJ, in contrast, was comfortable in English; he upbraided Trudeau, in person, for "pissing on my carpet".
(What for, I forget -- probably something to do with Vietnam.)
It was Pearson not Trudeau.
While in office, Pearson resisted American pressure to enter the Vietnam war. Pearson spoke at Temple University in Philadelphia on April 2, 1965 while visiting the United States and voiced his support for a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam War. When he visited U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson hours later, Johnson strongly berated Pearson. According to Canadian folklore, Johnson grabbed Pearson by the lapels, shook him, and shouted "You pissed on my rug." Pearson later recounted that the meeting was acrimonious, but insisted the two parted cordially. After this incident, LBJ and Pearson did have two further meetings together, both times in Canada, before Pearson left office.
I'm not sure this really has any legs at all. Trudeau and Castro did not become good friends until well after Turdeau's first state visit in 1976. Canadian/Cuban relations were improving but still hadn't really begun significantly until early 1974. Yet by the summer of 1974 there was supposedly a plot to kill Trudeau on the hope that Castro would attend the state funeral? Were there plots to kill Mexican leaders who also had favourable relationships with Cuba? Lansky hated Castro but this still sounds very strange. The article seems to hinge on the implication that there was, in 1974, a personal friendship that in fact didn't exist. Why would Castro travel to Canada to attend a state funeral for a foreign leader he had not met and who had only recently started establishing real relations? There's just something not quite right about this story. As for the CIA I understand that they have played a part in many plots against foreign leaders but to assasinate the Canadian Prime Minister over an international gesture of a small amount of aid to help buy fertilizer among other things is really far fetched. There was no threat of a Canadian socialist revolution in the same manner as latin america or elsewhere. Those are my doubts about this.
Originally posted by mimeguy:[b]...There's just something not quite right about this story. As for the CIA I understand that they have played a part in many plots against foreign leaders but to assasinate the Canadian Prime Minister over an international gesture of a small amount of aid to help buy fertilizer among other things is really far fetched.....[/b]
of course we are just speculating about what happened....
It is also possible that the assassination plot was never intended to actually go ahead. Trudeau's security people may have been informed of the plot at the time. It may have been an effort to scare Trudeau into backing down on Cuba or some other aspect of his foreign policy.
Also, there may have been a few other reasons why the US government didn't like Trudeau, ie. Vietnam.
Cuba was perhaps just a personal reason why Lansky would be interested in helping the plot.
There may not have been much to the Canada-Cuba relationship at that time but the Americans would have seen that it could develop into something much bigger. Trudeau was setting a bad example to other world leaders. They surely would want to nip the Cda-Cuba relationship in the bud and send a message to others around the world not to even think about getting at all close to Castro.
My point was also really largely about the media. Here we have a known CIA asset (Lansky) taking out a hit on Trudeau and the media's "revelation" of the story does not even mention Lansky's links to the CIA.
I wonder whether there are Access to Info documents on what was going on in Cdn cabinet at the time the Lansky hit was ordered. What exactly was Cda planning at that time that may have raised the ire of mafia and/or CIA folks?
Does any one know of any online web discussion groups where folks that are interested in these specific topics get together to chat about history? Particluarly there must be forums out there for academics or other knowledgable people to discuss ongoing research in CIA links to the mafia, Cuba and/or assassinations?
The story seems very doubtful to me. The mob wanted to hit Castro. That part is certain.
But the idea that, in the hopes that Castro would come to Trudeau's funeral, they would kill Trudeau to get to Castro?
It's pretty silly. Castro might, or might not, come to such a funeral. If he came, so too would two dozen other foreign leaders. the security would be incredibly tight, wouldn't it? What is the real possibility that the mafia could actually count on penetration of the security?
And why, again, did some mafioso, having given such an order, then just take it back? I mean, they don't order assassinations of national leaders that often, so you would think it would have been well thought out. Why change the order if it made such sense?
I'd say that Mr. Source of this story may lie sometimes to make himself important.
Originally posted by jeff house:[b] What is the real possibility that the mafia could actually count on penetration of the security?[/b]
According to 638 Ways To Kill Castro, the CIA and mafia weren't having any luck getting close to Fidel in Cuba. In one instance, the would-be killer was all set up with a bazooka but chickened out after he realized it was a suicide mission.
I think the ultimate murder of a high-ranking official in the west was Kennedy, and I think it spoiled the security situation for hitting presidents and prime ministers after that. U.S. presidents just don't do open are motorcades anymore, and Fidel did most if not all of his open air speeches in Cuba infront of the people. They needed a way to get him off the island to a pre-determined place and time.
I was reading this to my mother on the weekend, and we were both pretty sceptical. In fact, even the article itself comes off as somewhat sceptical at points.
The mafia were not really all that professional when it came to murdering one another in their hayday. I wouldn't put any crazy plan as above them. Fidel advised Chavez to tighten security leading up to the referendum, and the advice was from first-hand experience dealing with Cuban mafia aided by the CIA.
The Kennedy killing was something else altogether, and yes the mafia had motive, but did they have the means?. If they did, it was unlike any other mafia hit before or after. No more turkey shoots infront of open air motorcades. Benazir Bhutto's people allowed her do it in Pakistan's equivalent city of Dallas.
I read an article the other night called "The Hughes-Nixon-Lansky Connection: The Secret Alliances of the CIA from World War II to Watergate" by Howard Kohn from Rolling Stone May 20 1976.
I don't think its online.
It's an amazing article. Besides casinos, Lansky had heroin labs in Cuba. The raw material was coming from South East Asia through the CIA. It was a major money generator and money laundering operation for the mob and for the CIA's black ops.
Anyhow reading all that led me to some other articles on CIA and Watergate. In the "smoking gun" tape, Nixon said he wanted the Director of the CIA to ask the Director of the FBI to halt the Bureau's investigation into the Watergate break-in because, Nixon said:
"It would make the C.I.A. look bad, it's going to make Hunt look bad, and it is likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing which we think would be very unfortunate - - both for C.I.A. and for the country, at this time, and for American foreign policy. Just tell him to lay off."
One of the Plumbers said Nixon always used the code phrase "Bay of Pigs thing" to refer to the Kennedy assassination.
The timing of the plot to assassinate Trudeau is interesting. The hitman says it was the summer of 1974 and that he was called off the job in mid September 1974
Anybody recall what happened that summer?
Nixon resigned on Aug 9, 1974.
Ford took the presidency and pardoned Nixon on Sept 8, 1974.
Then, within a few days of that, the hit on PET was called off.
What was going on?