Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fidel Castro Knew

“[Brian Latell, a veteran CIA Cuba analyst] set out to tell the story of Cuba’s ‘intelligence machine,’ which outmaneuvered the U.S. for many years.  In the process he uncovers startling details that suggest that Cuba fueled [Lee Harvey] Oswald’s maniacal desire to prove himself worthy of Castro’s revolution during the American’s visit to Mexico City in the fall of 1963.  Mr. Latell also presents strong evidence that the Johnson administration and higher-ups in the FBI and the CIA ensured those details were kept from the Warren Commission.”  Mary Anastasia O’Grady

What Castro Knew About Lee Harvey Oswald

The official narrative skips tantalizing signs of a Cuban connection.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady, The Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2013, p. A 15

In November 1963, Cuban intelligence officer Florentino Aspillaga was posted in a little hut near a Cuban beach where he operated listening equipment trained on Miami and CIA headquarters in Virginia. On the morning of Nov. 22, Mr. Aspillaga—who would defect to the U.S. in 1987—said that he was ordered “to stop all your CIA work, all your CIA work.” He was instructed to “put all of my equipment to listen to any small detail from Texas. They told me Texas.”

Did Castro know that Lee Harvey Oswald was about to assassinate President Kennedy? Brian Latell, a veteran CIA Cuba analyst who spent 15 hours interviewing Mr. Aspillaga for his newly revised “Castro’s Secrets,” (Palgrave MacMillan), makes a strong case that he did.

Mr. Latell takes readers through a half-century of Cuban espionage by interviewing a dozen high-ranking Cuban defectors and numerous former CIA officers. He calls Mr. Aspillaga “the most knowledgeable Cuban defector ever to change sides.” He also pored over thousands of pages of declassified CIA documents and gained access to the unpublished memoir of Thomas Mann, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico in 1963, who had reason to suspect an Oswald-Cuba connection.

Mr. Latell set out to tell the story of Cuba’s “intelligence machine,” which outmaneuvered the U.S. for many years. In the process he uncovers startling details that suggest that Cuba fueled Oswald’s maniacal desire to prove himself worthy of Castro’s revolution during the American’s visit to Mexico City in the fall of 1963. Mr. Latell also presents strong evidence that the Johnson administration and higher-ups in the FBI and the CIA ensured those details were kept from the Warren Commission. Continue reading

Our Pilgrim Heritage

“The Civilization that forgets to tell its story… dies.” Platopilgrim-thanks

“Western Civilization is merely a footnote to Plato.” Alfred North Whitehead

“God is smarter than Plato.” William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation

“Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

“Being now passed the vast [Atlantic] ocean, and a sea of troubles before them in expectations, they had now no friends to welcome them, no inns to entertain or refresh them, no houses, or much less towns, to repair unto to seek for succor; and for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of the country know them to be sharp and violent, subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to know places much more to search unknown coasts.” The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2013, p. A 14

“In the fall of 1621, some 50 of the Puritans who had left the Old World in search of religious freedom sat down in their tiny thatched hamlet of Plymouth with their Wampanoag neighbors to feast on turkey, venison, corn and cod.  They also gave thanks for surviving their first terrible New England winter, whose cold and privation had carried off half their community.” Myron Magnet, The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2013, p. A 13

♦ ♦ ♦

The following editorial has been posted by the Wall Street Journal annually since 1961. The first component was written by a 17th century traveler. The second by Vermont Royster to accompany it. 

The Desolate Wilderness

The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2013, p. A 14

Here beginneth the chronicle of those memorable circumstances of the year 1620, as recorded by Nathaniel Morton, keeper of the records of Plymouth Colony, based on the account of William Bradford, sometime governor thereof:

So they left that goodly and pleasant city of Leyden, which had been their resting-place for above eleven years, but they knew that they were pilgrims and strangers here below, and looked not much on these things, but lifted up their eyes to Heaven, their dearest country, where God hath prepared for them a city (Heb. XI, 16), and therein quieted their spirits.

English: "The First Thanksgiving at Plymo...

When they came to Delfs-Haven they found the ship and all things ready, and such of their friends as could not come with them followed after them, and sundry came from Amsterdam to see them shipt, and to take their leaves of them. One night was spent with little sleep with the most, but with friendly entertainment and Christian discourse, and other real expressions of true Christian love.

The next day they went on board, and their friends with them, where truly doleful was the sight of that sad and mournful parting, to hear what sighs and sobs and prayers did sound amongst them; what tears did gush from every eye, and pithy speeches pierced each other’s heart, that sundry of the Dutch strangers that stood on the Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. But the tide (which stays for no man) calling them away, that were thus loath to depart, their Reverend Pastor, falling down on his knees, and they all with him, with watery cheeks commended them with the most fervent prayers unto the Lord and His blessing; and then with mutual embraces and many tears they took their leaves one of another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them. Continue reading

The Pope Caves

“Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times quotes the Holy Father [Pope Francis] as listing among the ‘most serious of the evils’ today ‘youth 130331_pope_francis_ap_605unemployment.’  And he calls upon Catholics not to be ‘obsessed’ with abortion or same-sex marriage.  But is teenage unemployment really a graver moral evil than the slaughter of 3,500 unborn every day in a land we used to call “God’s Country’?  Pat Buchanan

“Our civilization is being de-Christianized.  Popular culture is a running sewer.  Promiscuity and pornography are pandemic.  In Europe, the churches empty out as the mosques fill up.  In America, Bible reading and prayer are outlawed in schools, as Christian displays are purged from public squares.  Officially, Christmas and Easter do not exist.” Ibid.

Papal Neutrality in the Culture War?

Patrick J. Buchanan,  PJB blog, November 15, 2013

“Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors; he doesn’t want ideologues,” said Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash.:

“The nuncio said the Holy Father wants bishops with pastoral sensitivity, shepherds who know the smell of the sheep.”

Bishop Cupich was conveying instructions the papal nuncio had delivered from Rome to guide U.S. bishops in choosing a new leader.

They chose Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who has a master’s degree in social work, to succeed Archbishop Timothy Dolan whom Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times describes thus:

“[A] garrulous evangelist comfortable in front of a camera, [who] led the bishops in their high-profile confrontation with the Obama administration over a provision in the health care mandate that requires most employers to have insurance that covers contraceptives for employees.”

That mandate also requires employers to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilizations.

Yet here is further confirmation His Holiness seeks to move the Catholic Church to a stance of non-belligerence, if not neutrality, in the culture war for the soul of the West. Continue reading