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A Not So Holy Ghost

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

“Sometimes a lie is more important than the truth.”

-Jim Angleton

Don't be misled. This diatribe is not a religious one. It doesn't involve the Father, Son or Holy Ghost. On the contrary, it involves Mother, Jesus, and a Spook. James Jesus Angleton, known as Mother in his CIA Counter-intelligence work, is the Ghost who is the subject of this missive.

Angleton was a shadowy, ghost like figure that was feared, even by his superiors. Richard Helms often asked John Whitten to investigate Angleton's operations that “didn't look right.” Whitten said he did so with great trepidation and usually “fingering his life insurance policy.” In turn, when Whitten asked Helms to look into Oswald, Helms reacted in a way that Whitten interpreted as nervousness and fear.

In my book, The Other Oswald, A Wilderness of Mirrors, I hypothesized that although the defections of Lee Oswald and Robert Webster likely started out unrelated, they soon became tools of the espionage apparatus of Jim Angleton. It was he that turned them into “doppelganger dangles” to confuse the Soviets. James Jesus Angleton, the CIA's counter-intelligence chief, worked closely with ONI in Oswald's case, and with Rand & ATIC in Webster's. Oswald was sent to Russia as part of a false defector being run by ONI and Angleton who used him in a mole hunt. Rand sent Webster to Moscow and he either defected on his own with KGB encouragement through his Russian girlfriend, Vera Plantanova, or was encouraged to do so by James Rand. He was then manipulated by Rand connected ATIC in a project called LONGSTRIDE. Once Webster was in place Angleton saw it as an opportunity to use both defectors to initiate his mole hunt.

To catch the “mole,” the clever Angleton devised a “mole trap.” He would “dangle” false defectors with knowledge in areas of interest to the Soviets. Lee Oswald (radar and the U2 spy plane) and Robert Webster (plastics/fiberglass) were two of these.

Angleton was a paranoid genius of counterintelligence. He knew more about Lee Harvey Oswald before Kennedy was killed than anyone in the CIA or the U.S. government. Angleton’s aides, in a secret office known as the Special Investigations Group, monitored Oswald’s movements and correspondence from October 1959 through November 1963. Behind the scenes Angleton ran his own personal, off the books projects such as his mole hunt and used singleton agents to do so. He likely had ties to the CIA/Mafia plots as attested to by J.C. King. He controlled key journalists and had assets inside the FBI.

King said that Angleton had ties to the mob and that it had something to do with Cuba. Could this be the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Castro? If so, Angleton was involved behind the scenes and unnoticed.

A November 1, 1988 article by syndicated columnist Jack Anderson and Joseph Spear exposed the CIA/Mafia collaboration in the public eye. Anderson used the testimony of Joe Shimon, a well-connected Washington cop and ex-police instructor who was close to John Rosselli, Robert Maheu and others involved the plots. Joseph Shimon, a partner in Operation Mongoose, the CIA-Mafia plot to kill Fidel Castro, told Anderson that Jack Ruby had received specific orders from a famous former Havana crime boss. “Santos Trafficante called in the mob’s chits with Ruby and ordered him to kill Oswald,” Anderson wrote in his 2000 memoir, “Peace War and Politics”.

Shimon ran an organization known as the International Police Academy on R-Street in Washington, D.C., according to Ross Allen Schoyer who worked with Shimon on 1958-59. The I.P.A. was a CIA front organization that specialized in training foreign operators such as the Iranian Secret Police in dirty tricks and other gestapo-type operations. Anderson wrote;

After a 25-year silence, a witness has stepped out of the shadows to tell how a covert CIA mission to liquidate Cuban President Fidel Castro backfired. The Marxist ruler was tipped off that the CIA was trying to kill him. Instead, he may have turned the hired guns against President John F. Kennedy. The witness, a Washington police officer named Joseph Shimon, played an undercover role in the bizarre tragedy. He sat in on the meetings where the Central Intelligence Agency's William Harvey and the Mafia's Johnny Rosselli plotted the assassination of Castro. The covert operation had the blessing of two of America's most notorious crime figures: Sam Giancana, boss of the Chicago mob, and Santos Trafficante, who controlled the Cuban underworld before Castro came to power. Shimon quotes Trafficante as saying, "I'll get you the contacts, give you a lot of names. But keep me out of it."

Joe Shimon's daughter, Toni, when interviewed regarding the death of JFK's friend and lover, Mary Meyer, said; “My dad knew everything about the plan to kill Mary Meyer through Bill Harvey (very close to Angleton). Whatever Bill Harvey was up to, it always came out of Jim Angleton's office.” She added, “Dad once remarked that Angleton ran everything, controlled everything in the CIA.

In the early 1960's, the CIA created a program of "Executive Action", code named ZR/RIFLE and put Bill Harvey at its helm. The purpose of this project was to remove foreign leaders by various means, including assassination.

Angleton was known to run his own private, off the books operations. He may even have been running his own assassination team. E. Howard Hunt accused Angleton of running an assassination program unit headed by Col. Boris Pash to eliminate double agents in the CIA.

Investigative journalist Joseph Trento's testimony in a 1984 court deposition revealed that, according to CIA sources, James Angleton was the supervisor of a CIA assassination unit in the 1950s. The ‘small assassination team’ was headed by Army colonel Boris Pash… Trento testified that his sources confirmed, ‘Pash’s assassination unit was assigned to Angleton. In 1963 Angleton went with Bill Harvey to London to ask MI6 how to setup an assassination team!

ZRRIFLE and the CIA/MAFIA plots to kill Castro had been active since at least 1961. It was probably some time in 1962 that rogue elements of the plots; Rosselli, Harvey, Morales, Trafficante, Giancana and Marcello decided to change the target from Castro to JFK. Harvey's mechanism was already in place.

South of the Border

“No lie can live forever.”


It was one thing to kill the president. It was another to get away with it. The two went hand in hand. With ZRRIFLE and Mongoose still active, the machinery was in place. its tools were the Cuban exiles, Mafia hired guns and Corsican assassins. Harvey, Rosselli and Morales were the commanders. But who masterminded the project? In particular the false flag scenario that in effect neutralized the CIA, Secret Service and FBI once the deed was done? The smoking gun is Mexico City.

The Mexico City episode was a brilliant plan designed to ensure a cover-up. So brilliant, that I suspect only one mind could have conjured it up, James Angleton. It assured that no real investigation would take place by setting up the investigators and forcing them to cover up. Essentially to protect themselves from looking bad and having their dirty secrets exposed.

What links are there to Angleton? It was he who was behind the Oswald project. Oswald had been his singleton agent in his mole hunt false defector program in 1959. It was an example of his skills at long term planning. Always two chess moves ahead of everybody. He controlled Oswald's pre-assassination file a full year before a 201 file was created for him.

Angleton controlled the CIA's flow of information to the Warren Commission by making his close friend, Ray Rocca, liaison to it. He also knew what to cover up after the Commission had finished its work.

Always thinking ahead, he foresaw the flaws in the “official” story and anticipated them to stay one step ahead of the critics. “The Trust,” was patterned after a technique used by the Bolsheviks. After the Russian revolution, the Bolsheviks realized there would be a counter-revolution and created their own fake anti-Bolshevik group to suck in dissidents and single them out for liquidation out before they became dangerous.

There is a revealing correlation between the Trust and the Angleton's handling of the FPCC that exposes his web spinning. Angleton used Jay Edward Epstein's work as a cut-out to create fly trap for researchers who pointed the finger at the CIA in JFK's assassination, (a technique of the Trust). Similarly, he used Oswald as bait to draw out Castro sympathizers by creating his own fake FPCC branch in New Orleans. The FPCC was an organization the Agency was out to discredit and destroy.

Angleton also had to control the FBI and Hoover's investigation. The Angler used FBI agents like Bert Turner as direct contacts to counterintelligence. Turner effectively turned off information to the FBI. He failed to follow up on Mexico City and was eventually censured by Hoover. Sam Papich, liaison to the FBI was also more loyal to the CIA than the FBI. The CIA convinced him that the unshared information was “too sensitive” for the FBI. In addition Angleton may have been able to control Hoover via a blackmail threat. Gordon Novel, another Angleton singleton agent, said that Angleton showed him a photo of Hoover having sex with his companion and number two man in the FBI, Clyde Tolson. This was corroborated by former OSS officer John Wertz to author Anthony Summers. It has long been rumored that Meyer Lansky used this same technique to blackmail Hoover into denying Organized Crime even existed.

In his book, Handsome Johnny, author Lee Server astutely assessed the cover-up as follows:

In retrospect, so much had been held back it was surprising that the commission was still able to find Oswald guilty, or Kennedy dead. ...evasions proved ill advised, the cover-up causing more damage than the truth. The Warren Commission would be scorned and dismissed. The intelligence services disgraced. Secrets, when they came to be exposed, would serve only to confuse and complicate. The more people knew, the less they believed. History had been thrown to the wolves.

Angleton was not only setting up Oswald, the Cubans and the Russians, but the CIA and FBI as well. A plot within a plot within a plot? Do you feel the presence of a genius lurking in the background here? Someone who had manipulated Oswald before in a mole-hunt as his personal singleton agent. Someone who understood all the levels of the intelligence complex. Someone who knew the inner workings of the Mexico City apparatus. Someone with a brilliant but paranoid mind, always working behind the scenes, spinning webs, but never in the limelight. Someone named James Jesus Angleton. In order to accomplish all of this he needed another cut-out. Someone to not only handle Oswald on a personal level, but someone who knew the Mexico City Station and its inner workings as well as he did. Someone who was in charge of photographic and audio surveillance of Cuban Diplomats. Someone who was, at the time, running Cuban Ops out of Mexico City. Someone who had just been promoted to Operations Officer on September 29th, 1963 at the exact time the episode was beginning. Someone who, a CIA memo in fact revealed, “... would be assigned to CA (Counter Intelligence) Staff (Mexico City) to develop Ideological Warfare.” Someone who had been seen talking to Oswald in Dallas shortly before he left for Mexico City. Someone named David Atlee Phillips.

Through this brilliant subterfuge, a cover-up was assured. Reasons: Protecting sensitive sources? Hiding incompetence? Preventing a nuclear war?

In addition Rosselli laid a paper trail in the Castro plots that would later be used to force a cover-up. He and the mob would push the Castro did it theory to veil their own involvement and encourage an overthrow of the bearded leader.

Angleton dodged all the bullets by thinking ahead. He confiscated Mary Meyer's diary, Win Scotts papers and manuscript, and actually ran background checks on the jurors in the Garrison probe, which he feared more than the Warren Commission. He was also likely behind the deaths of individuals and witnesses who knew too much. People like Mary Meyer.

An assessment by someone who knew Angleton well is revealing. Fellow OSS recruit, Dr. Bruno Uberti, evaluated Angleton in this way;

I considered him brilliant but a little strange.....I met a lot of important Americans from Donovan on down, but Angleton was the personality which impressed me the most. He made a terrific great impression. A very exceptional man. He had something more. He had a strange genius I would say—full of impossible ideas, colossal ideas. I would have liked to have been friends with him, but he never gave me a chance because he was so secretive.


“CIA owes no allegiance to rule of law.”

Jim Angleton

What is the evidence to support my hypothesis that Counter-Intelligence Chief, James Angleton was the mastermind behind the scenes in aspects of the JFK assassination? Let's take a look:

  • He ran the Oswald project. He was behind the use of Oswald as a false defector in a mole hunt in the Soviet Union. He ran him as a singleton agent with no 201 file for a year before Otto Ottepka's investigation forced his hand and a 201 was created. He was also involved via David Atlee Phillips in Oswald's FPCC activities to smear that group. Angleton used David Phillips as his cut-out. David Phillips was running Oswald according to HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi.

  • He was the architect of the Mexico City episode and the framing of Castro, Kostikov and Oswald as well. A secondary benefit was the manipulation of U.S. Intelligence including FBI and CIA.

  • The CIA's J.C. King, as well as Mongoose participant, Joe Shimon and his daughter link Angleton with the CIA/Mafia plots to kill Castro. Plots that were turned on John Kennedy. Recently I found further proof of this while reading “Handsome Johnny,” by Lee Server. On page 334 Server tells of a meeting between Joe Kennedy, Sam Giancana and John Rosselli. The purpose of the meeting, requested by Kennedy, was to gain the support of the mob in helping get his son Jack elected in 1960. Specifically to influence the Illinois vote. Also present at this meeting was a lawyer named Mario Brod. Brod was present to represent the interests of Jimmy Hoffa. What the others present didn't know was that Brod was an undercover CIA operative working for James Angleton. A former OSS operative, Brod's job was that of an underworld penetration agent.

  • Harvey worked closely with Angleton as observed by Joe Shimon, a soldier in the CIA/Mafia plots, and expressed by his daughter, Toni, “Whatever Bill Harvey was up to, it always came out of Jim Angleton's office.” She added, “Dad once remarked that Angleton ran everything, controlled everything in the CIA.” Helms and Whitten feared the Counter-intelligence Czar and actually knew little of many of his operations.

  • Logic dictates guilt by association: Bill Harvey and Angleton worked together. Harvey ran ZRRIFLE, an Executive Action assassination program. According to E. Howard Hunt and others, Angleton is said to have run his own private assassination team headed by Boris Pash. Harvey and Rosselli were thick as thieves and essentially ended up running the assassination plots by themselves with help from David Morales.

  • Angleton controlled the CIA's flow of information to the Warren Commission by making his close friend, Ray Rocca, liaison to it. He also knew what to cover up after the Commission had finished its work. He was a cleaner. He personally confiscated Mary Meyer's diary and possibly had her killed. He personally confiscated Win Scott's papers as well. His actions are those of a man protecting himself and show evidence of guilt.

Nearing the end of his life, the “Angler,” reflected on the essence of his own evil.

“Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie and Frank Wisner were Grand Masters. If you were in a room with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell. I guess I will see them there soon.”

-James Jesus Angleton

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