Alex Constantine - December 6, 2009
As if we didn't already know that David Corn of The Nation, NPR, Fox News, Mother Jones and other Mockingbird Media cages represents the establishment left ...
I just finished reading The Zenith Secret: A CIA Insider Exposes the Secret War Against Cuba and the Plots that Killed the Kennedy Brothers, the memoir from former CIA agent turned homeless persecuted investigator Bradley Ayers. In one of the more casual but interesting comments in the book, overt CIA agent Bradley Ayers writes the following about (likely covert CIA asset) David Corn:
p. 204: "I had taken on several writing and consulting projects and was cooperating as a source with author David Corn on his book on Ted Shackley during the later part of April..."
p. 213: "David Corn's biography of Ted Shackley appeared (1994, Simon and Schuster, The Blond Ghost), and in light of my cooperation with the author, I was quite disappointed in the work. Corn's book was a whitewash of Ted's history as a covert operator, the man I knew at JM/WAVE, was aware of during Iran-Contra, and subsequently as I was searching for El Indio [David Morales, sic]. Corn's book left me feeling empty, offering only a ghostly representation of the flesh and blood, spooky entity that I knew."
As with so many other extraordinary developments in my investigation of Morales and related matter, there came a big break. During the course of attending cultural lectures or “salons” as the Phoenix intelligentsia called them, I was introduced to a couple who had organized some of the events. They had heard of my writing, and my CIA-special operations background. They asked if I might like to make a presentation at a spring event…Despite wanting to maintain a low profile, I saw the invitation as a way of further ingratiating myself with the elite inner sanctum who might know where all kinds of skeletons are buried. I suggested to the sponsors that I do a reading from a book I was writing on the war on drugs and they approved.
I made my presentation in mid-May...I read a gentle, sentimental story I’d written about the loss of one of my dogs that contrasted what would follow. Then I read a chapter from my unpublished book on the war on drugs, about a major drug smuggling operation I worked on while serving with the DEA.
Following the reading, I was approached by a petite, well-dressed Hispanic woman who had graying black hair. Refined, matronly, and attractive, she introduced herself and complimented me on my reading. Her name was Pearl and she’d read Fonzi’s book (sic: http://www.amazon.com/Last-Investigation-Gaeton-Fonzi/dp/1560250798) and knew of my investigations of Morales. It caught be completely off guard. She wanted to talk with me in private sometime.
... Pearl told me her father became aware of a plot to neutralize of eliminate President Kennedy’s presidency. He believed it began in earnest shortly after the 1962 Cuban missile crisis. The plot coincided with Senator’s Goldwater’s expressed intent to run for the presidency against Kennedy in 1964. Pearl’s father was not a party to the plot, but because of his intimate access to Goldwater’s office, which included overheard communications and observance of various persons and goings-on as the political campaign developed, his awareness of a sinister, diabolical conspiracy increased. At first, it seemed like politics as usual, although he knew from experience, Goldwater was a no-holds barred, well-established, well-funded, and ruthless campaigner.
Senator Goldwater was the principle figurehead for the most radical, right-wing elements of the Republican Party at the time. His philosophy of using whatever force necessary to defeat the “communist menace” in the world garnered him many supporters, including those in the military, the FBI, the CIA, Secret Service, and other top level agencies. The campaign strategy, following the Bays of Pigs disaster, the 1962 missile crisis, and the agreement with Khrushchev, was to paint the president and the Democrats as appeasers of the international Soviet-China threat. For the militant ideologues in the Goldwater camp, Kennedy’s continued presence in the Whitehouse represented a potential lethal threat to America. Kennedy had to be removed or defeated, one way or another.
Pearl’s father, on the sidelines and dutifully doing his job for the senator on a variety of domestic issues, watched in silence as Goldwater’s powerful inner sanctum asserted itself. Papa said the thought of assassination never entered his mind. He knew the senator to be a tough, hard-nosed politician with many rather unsavory connections. Yet, he also seemed as a generous and compassionate man, who tempered his will and ambitions. Pearl said he’d been very kind to her father, and had helped put her through college. That’s why Papa had kept his silence about what was called the Gila Project among the select few in the Goldwater inner circle. (This was a cryptic, symbolic title for aggressive political action. It was chosen because of the lethal capability of the Southwest’s Gila monster. It also had a cover in communications by a project on the Gila River in Arizona, in which the senator would logically have an interest.)
My conversation with Pearl led me to believe that Senator Goldwater was at the heart of a conspiracy to eliminate what was considered by the highest conservative echelons, the scourge of the JFK’s presidency. This effort intensified, dramatically, as did Goldwater’s outspoken Cold War rhetoric after the 1962 missile crisis and Kennedy’s deal with Khrushchev. Morales and high-level people from the CIA and the Pentagon became frequent visitors to Goldwater’s Washington office and always met with the senator behind closed doors. During one of Pearl’s brief and infrequent trips to Washington to stay with her papa, Pearl recalled meeting General Curtis LeMay and FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover.
Pearl had given me much to think about. The conversation that day was one of the most proactive we'd had up to then. When I was finally able to steer our discussion back to Pearl's father and his relationship with Senator Goldwater, Pearl elaborated on that crucial period of 1962-1964 when he worked out of the senator's officers in Washington, D.C. and Phoenix. Papa had been hired by Goldwater primarily to advise on earth sciences and environmental matters of political interest. The political machinations, active campaigning, and manipulations were a very secondary concern to her father, although he loyally supported the senator's plans. Over the previous decade, Papa had acted on behalf of Goldwater in numerous negotiations, lobbying, and deal making. He performed liaisons with a wide variety of powerful special interest constituencies--land management, ranchers, water rights people, mining companies, the Indian Tribes, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While remaining a low key figure on the senator's staff, he apparently became one of Goldwater's most trusted employees. Pearl said her father never turned down an assignment from the senator.
Her father told her that the early summer of 1963, the presidential aspirations of the senator were formalize and the organization of the campaign dominated the activities of the staff in Washington and Phoenix. High ranking, influential figures in the Republican Party, including the senior Bushes, Richard Nixon, and senators and congressman from Southwestern states were frequent visitors to the senator's offices. The senator had meetings with members of the JCS and individuals her father knew were from the CIA and FBI. Her papa was often present at his desk when the visitors arrived, but never a party to the closed door meetings that followed. Occasionally, he would overhear senior staffers make reference to the Gila Project which he understood to be the code name for a covert program to discredit President Kennedy and his administration before the 1964 election. A fairly frequent visitor to the senator’s office at the time was David Morales, accompanied by Richard Helms, who Pearl’s father knew to be a CIA type. Morales always greeted her father cordially and introduced him by first name only, to whoever accompanied him. By October 1963, the political comings and goings reached a fever pitch, overshadowing most all other activities in the Goldwater camp. Papa told Pearl he just tried to stay out of the way, true to his retiring, unobtrusive manner.
By this time in our discussions, I had a pretty good idea of the man Pearl called Papa. She continued to want to talk about him, obvious in love and admiration for what he represented in her life. Often, I had to bite my tongue out of deference to her.
That afternoon, she dropped a bombshell on me. Senator Goldwater called Papa into his office in mid-November 1963. Papa knew he was stoking his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, but he wasn’t part of the burgeoning campaign. So when the senator called him into his office to ask him to carry out a political task, Papa was quite surprised. Goldwater asked Papa to drive to Nevada to pick up a campaign donation and bring it to Phoenix. Goldwater said the people that were making the contribution were folks that Earl’s father had met and would recognize, and they knew him. Two days later, Papa drove to Las Vegas, made a call to a number Goldwater had given him, and was directed to an office in a building on the Las Vegas strip. There he met Robert Maheu and Joe Bonnano, who had both visited Goldwater’s offices in D.C. and Phoenix on several occasions over the years. It was rumored that Bonnano was some sort of Las Vegas entrepreneur with possible underworld connections, but it was accepted by Goldwater’s staff, as was the ethical political standards of the period, that to succeed as an elected official, one had to deal with a wide constituency, even some unsavory types.
Winning an election in America in the 1960s was a knock down, drag out game. There were other reputed mobsters that had come through the doors of Goldwater’s office. Papa said Maheu handed him two large suitcases, probably weighing 40 pounds each, and hustled him off to Phoenix. As instructed, he delivered the suitcases to the Goldwater compound in Scottsdale in the early morning hours of the following day, no questions asked.
A day or so later, Papa said he received a phone call from the senator asking him to deliver the campaign donation to some people working for him in New Orleans and Dallas. Her father picked up the suitcases at the Goldwater ranch and drove to Dallas. Again, he called a phone number the senator had given him and was directed to a motel near the Dallas airport. At the desk, he called the room of a Mr. Gordon. Gordon turned out to be a CIA man that had accompanied Morales on visits to the senator’s D.C. office in the preceding months. Recognizing Mr. Gordon and a man named Tony, to whom he was introduced, Papa gave Mr. Gordon one of the suitcases and continued on to New Orleans. I wondered if this Tony might be Tony Sforza.
Pearl’s papa said he drove all night, napping in his car, and arrived in New Orleans around mid-morning. Again he called a number that had been given him. He was told to come to a motel near the New Orleans airport and call at the desk for Mr. Sanchez. He did as instructed. Mr. Sanchez, much to Papa’s surprise, turned out to be David Morales. They went to his room where Morales introduced him to another man by first name only—Johnny. Papa delivered the suitcase and the three went to breakfast at a nearby restaurant. Johnny, introduced as a, presumably Republican, political consultant, was from Chicago. There was little talk about anything other than Morales’ recolections of the old days in Phoenix, his days at ASU with Papa, and how he was looking forward to leaving government service. Johnny said little. (Papa later recognized him from pictures in the media in the mid-1970s as the mobster Johnny Rosselli.)
I had done my best to maintain my composure as Pearl told me about what, apparently, was the covert transfer of cash at Senator Goldwater’s bidding to individuals already suspected of having some role in the assassination of the President. And the Goldwater-Bonnano-Maheu connection reinforced what Morales’ attorney Bob Walton had shared with me in the course of several interviews.