Another release of documents is expected in six months' time. Any additional pages will likely be in general agreement with those we already have. The key features of the government-underworld conspiracy appear to be these:
- A small group of CIA officials decided to accomplish the assassination of Cuba's Communist President Fidel Castro by working with American Mafiosi, who had been deprived of Havana casino income by Castro's rise to power.
- No written approvals of the plan by top CIA administrators or White House officials were ever obtained, though the CIA plotters later insisted that oral approvals from CIA higher-ups were obtained and that some discussion occurred with the White House.
- In an effort to keep CIA involvement in the plot a secret, an outside intermediary was used to make contacts with Mafiosi. CIA was prepared to pay $150,000 to the Castro assassin.
- The intermediary met and plotted with Mafiosi Santo Trafficante, Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli. The mobsters refused to take any money. Despite the efforts to keep CIA involvement a secret, the mobsters quickly figured out that CIA was involved.
- A level of cooperation between the Mafia and the CIA was first exposed early in the planning process, when a technician illegally wiretapping a Las Vegas entertainer's telephone for Giancana was arrested and sought help from the CIA. CIA became involved and succeeded in having charges dropped, but FBI investigated the matter.
- As FBI reported to Attorney General Robert Kennedy about the incident, the Bureau warned that any CIA-Mafia arrangement could subject the U.S. government to underworld blackmail.
- Several times, Giancana and Roselli sought to use the CIA relationship to their personal advantage.
- CIA scientists designed six poison pills. Those pills were delivered in two separate batches to Mafia contacts in Cuba so they could be placed in food or drink consumed by Castro. The pills reportedly were never used.
- CIA-Mafia plans to poison Castro were called off following the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of April 1961. CIA conspirators remained in contact with Mafiosi for several years and continued to develop Castro assassination plans, though new leadership at the CIA did not know of the contacts or the plans until they were brought to light by the FBI.
- Columnist Jack Anderson wrote about CIA plotting against Castro in 1967 and exposed Mafia involvement in the plotting in 1971. Official documents relating to the CIA-Mafia venture were discovered by the Rockefeller Commission and the Senate's Church Committee in 1975. Some secrecy was maintained until the New York Times published information about the government's relationship with Giancana and Roselli the following year.
- Giancana was murdered in 1975. Roselli was murdered in 1976. Their killings appeared to be gangland "hits," but some were concerned that the murders related to their work with the CIA.
Click here to read the full article (including links to released government documents) at the American Mafia history website (mafiahistory.us)