William W. Turner

William W. Turner

William Turner was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1927. At seventeen he enlisted in the United States Navy. During the Second World War he served on board an LST in the Pacific.

After the war Turner enrolled at Canisius College, a Jesuit school, and in 1949 obtained a degree in chemistry. Turner also played semi-professional baseball and ice hockey.

Turner joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1951. He worked for the FBI for ten years but grew increasingly concerned with the way J. Edgar Hoover ran the organization. Turner became convinced that Hoover was placing too much emphasis on the dangers of the American Communist Party. Instead, he felt he should be using more resources to tackle organized crime. In 1961 Turner was dismissed from the FBI. He hired Edward Bennett Williams and sued the FBI but lost. However he did manage to get anti-Hoover testimony by other agents into the record.

Turner became a journalist. In 1963 he investigated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and concluded that he was the victim of a conspiracy. Later he worked with Jim Garrison, the district attorney of New Orleans. Turner and Garrison argued that a group of right-wing activists, including Guy Bannister, David Ferrie, Carlos Bringuier and Clay Shaw were involved in a conspiracy with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to kill Kennedy. Turner and Garrison claimed this was in retaliation for his attempts to obtain a peace settlement in both Cuba and Vietnam.

Turner argued that the Kennedy assassination was a paramilitary operation, with riflemen firing from at least three angles. Stephen Rivele agreed with this viewpoint and in the television documentary, The Men Who Killed Kennedy, named Lucien Sarti as being the gunman on the grassy knoll.

Turner later became senior editor of the radical magazine Ramparts. Under the editorship of Warren Hinckle, the magazine became the voice of the American New Left. It was also highly critical of the Warren Commission. In a series of articles he revealed abuses perpetrated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency. He also explored the assassinations of John F. Kennedy , Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Books by Turner include Hoover's FBI: The Men and the Myth (1970), Power on the Right (1973), The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy(1978), The Fish Is Red: The Story of the Secret War Against Castro (1981),Deadly Secrets (1992) (with Warren Hinckle), his autobiography, Rearview Mirror: Looking Back at the FBI, the CIA and Other Tails (2001). In his book he published details of wiretapping and bugging abuses by the FBI, its secret campaign against left-wing groups such as Cesar Chavez's United Farm Workers Union and the stealth war against Cuba.

Turner also argues that John F. Kennedy was assassinated because he was planning to withdraw American forces from Vietnam. He also argued that Robert Kennedy was murdered because if he had been elected president he would have ordered a full investigation into his brother's death.

In 2004 Turner published Mission Not Accomplished: How Bush Lost the War on Terrorism (2004).

Primary Sources

(1) William Turner, Hoover's FBI: The Men and the Myth (1970)

Although sturdily built with rather short legs, Hoover is not as abbreviated as generally thought. But the bulldog mein, pursed lips, crooked smile, spatulate nose, and fixed brown eyes were unmistakable. So was his brusque, no-nonsense manner. He talks plosively with machinegun syncopation. It is said that he can be engaging when he chooses. Drew Pearson has written that "he can also be a boon companion who relishes a good joke, a lively conversationalist who can discourse on an astonishing range of topics, a genial host who personally attends to the wants of his guests." A Pittsburgh agent who once had a conversational interview with him came away impressed with his clinical knowledge of martini stirring. But another agent with an impressive personal record was startled when the Director suddenly interrupted the banalities and roared with fire in his eyes, "We've got to get rid of the slackers!"

The office mirrors the man. One traverses some thirty-five feet of deep pile carpet to reach the polished mahogany desk issued by the General Services Administration. Its surface is adorned by a pair of brass pistol lamps, a potted plant, and a brass plaque inscribed: "Two feet on the ground are worth one in the mouth." Flanking the desktop are two small furled American flags with gold eagle standard-tops; a small replica of the FBI seal is at center. Against the wall to the rear are two large furled American flags with gold eagle standardtops; a large replica of the FBI seal hangs at center.

The anteroom where visitors wait is a storehouse of the artifacts figuring in FBI lore. The most ghoulish is a white plaster facsimile of John Dillinger's death mask, a sort of Kaiser's mustache with the FBI. There is the straw boater he was wearing when gunned down, and the Corona-Belvedere cigar from his shirt pocket. Also prominent is the roll of martyrs of the FBI, now standing at twenty-two since 1924. There is a revolving rack containing over a hundred newspaper cartoons extolling the exploits of the G-men over the years. And covering the walls-space is practically exhausted -are hundreds of scrolls and plaques bestowed by groups ranging from bible schools to patriotic organizations, heaping praise on the Director. His awards vary from a 1933 Commander of the Royal Order of the Crown of Rumania to a 1961 proclamation designating a J. Edgar Hoover Day in the state of Ohio.

(2) William Turner, The Warren Report: Part 2, CBS Television (27th June, 1967)

Now, what happened there was that the Kennedy motorcade coming down there, the Kennedy limousine - there were shots from the rear, from either the Dallas School Book Depository building, or the Dell Mart, or the courthouse; and there were shots from the grassy knoll. This is triangulation. There is no escape from it, if it's properly executed.

I think that the massive head wound, where the President's head was literally blown apart, came from a quartering angle on the grassy knoll. The bullet was a low velocity dum-dum mercury fulminate hollow-nose, which were outlawed by The Hague Convention, but which are used by paramilitary groups. And that the whole reaction is very consistent to this kind of weapon. That he was struck and his head - doesn't go directly back this way but it goes back and over this way, which would be consistent with the shot from that direction, and Newton's Law of Motion.

Now, I feel also that the escape was very simple. Number one using a revolver or a pistol, the shells do not eject, they don't even have to bother to pick up their discharged shells. Number two, they can slip - put the gun under their coat, and when everybody comes surging up there they can just say, "He went that-a-away". Very simple. In fact, it's so simple that it probably happened that way.

(3) William Turner, Rearview Mirror: (2001)

It was a measure of the panic gripping Langley that Richard Helms, who had succeeded Raborn as director, now formed a Special Operations Group (SOG) focused on Ramparts and designed Operation MHCHAOS to run parallel with FitzGerald's off-channels campaign. Heading the SOG was Richard Ober, another buttoned-down Ivy Leaguer with reddish hair and complexion, who was designated by Helms to succeed the director of security, Howard Osborn, as chief of the Ramparts Task Force. The move was made to prevent any leaks to the media: Ober was a veteran counterintelligence officer-the elitist of the elite, and he functioned in the tightest security (so secret that even his closest associates were supposed to deny knowing him) with a select staff of twelve. Ober had tried in vain to imagine a way to stop Ramparts from publishing the NSA piece, and it was he who conceived the idea of staging the preemptive press conference by the student leaders that Hinckle finessed with the full-page newspaper ads. It was almost the stuff of fiction to pit the shadowy Ober in a war of wits against the conspicuous Hinckle with his eye patch.

Ober wasn't outed until i975 when he was summoned to testify before the Rockefeller Commission investigating intelligence agency abuses. He admitted to parts of MHCHAOS but kept silent on its most sensitive secrets. The "MH" signified that the operation was worldwide, zeroing in on not only Ramparts but, eventually, the entire antiwar press, while "CHAOS" stood for what it spelled. Ober persuaded the IRS to send over tax data on the magazine and its personnel, and one of his analysts thought he had found a discrepancy (although there is no record of what was done about it). He pulled out all the stops to try to find foreign funding and influence, which might have justified a domestic spying operation, but struck out. Undeterred by legal niceties, Ober wrote a memo proposing "certain operational recommendations." While the text of this document remains classified, some idea of its sweep can be gained from other sources. CIA officer Louis Dube, deposed in the course of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, disclosed that all Ramparts staff writers and researchers, as well as other persons somehow linked to the magazine, were thoroughly investigated. On March 4, 1967, Dube said, a report was received at Langley from a person who had attended a Ramparts staff meeting at which interviews with high-ranking executive branch officials were discussed, which suggested that infiltration was one of Ober's methods. Twelve days later Ober's men picked up a CIA agent in Washington who was a good friend of a Ramparts reporter, took him to a hotel, debriefed him, gave him a cover story, and sent him back to get more information from the reporter. At the same time, Ober was trying to recruit five former Ramparts employees as informants. My own CIA file, which is noteworthy for what is redacted, shows that under CHAOS there was a continuing interest "in any information on members of the staff; their travel, contacts and activities."

Ober also mounted a propaganda campaign against Ramparts using CIA assets in the media. As an example, nationally syndicated columnist Carl Rowan, an erstwhile director of the CIA-affiliated United States Information Agency, wrote shortly after the NSA expose broke, "A few days ago a brief, cryptic report out of Prague, Czechoslovakia, was passed among a handful of top officials in Washington. It said that an editor of Ramparts magazine had come to Prague and held a long, secret session with officers of the Communist-controlled International Union of Students." The intent obviously was to imply that the magazine was communist-influenced, which was comic to anyone who knew the editors. But the content was necessarily skimpy on details because it was fictitious (Rowan refused to discuss the subject).

(4) William Turner, Rearview Mirror (2001)

Playboy loved the article, entitled "Crime Is Too Big for the FBI," and offered $1,000 for it. But Fisher felt it needed some rearrangement for emphasis, and proposed bringing in crime reporter Sandy Smith of the Chicago Sun-Times. Smith accepted the assignment, but within days of being handed the manuscript he informed Fisher that it "was filled with inaccuracies and errors," and he "didn't feel that there was enough in it to salvage." Based on Smith's "general criticism," Playboy killed the article. It was not until I obtained my FBI file under FOIA years later that Sandy Smith was exposed as a Bureau stooge. When he had left Playboy with my manuscript in hand, he made a beeline for the Chicago FBI office. He was not a stranger there. A March i6, 1965, communique from the Chicago SAC to Deke DeLoach advised that Smith was, as DeLoach knew, "a great admirer of the Director and a very strong backer of the Bureau," and that "we have utilized Smith on many different occasions and his value to the Bureau and the Chicago Office is inestimable."

Smith had shown up at the FBI office with a great sense of urgency, saying Playboy had attempted to hire him for $500 to rewrite the article, but, although he "had absolutely no intention of doing this assignment," he saw "an opportunity to get the article ... so that we could take a look at it." The communique said that Smith intended "to tell Fisher that he wants no part of this article as it is completely ridiculous, inaccurate and not worth the paper it is written on." A few days later, DeLoach was able to gloat that Playboy "turned it down based on Smith's objection and advice."

(5) William Turner, Rearview Mirror (2001)

In February 1967 I received a call from Jim Garrison, the New Orleans District Attorney, whose probe into the JFK assassination had broken into the news a few weeks earlier. "Bill, I need your help," he said. "The paramilitary right and Cuban exiles are figuring prominently in the investigation." He had pegged me as an expert on the subject after reading a Ramparts article I had done on the Minutemen, a forerunner of today's ultraright militia units. I had interviewed the national leader of the Minutemen, Robert B. DePugh, in his Missouri redoubt, venturing there with some trepidation since a California unit had warned that time was short for Ramparts editors to "change our nefarious ways." But DePugh was surprisingly cordial. He boasted, "We have the most sophisticated and best-equipped underground army movement this world has ever seen." His membership harbored specialists not only in firearms but electronics, demolition, and chemical and biological warfare. And he added, out of the blue, that he suspected a couple of his members were on the shooting team at Dallas, using ammo encased in plastic sleeves so it could be fired from a larger caliber weapon without being matched to that weapon. DePugh knew that in 1962 one of his "patriots" named John Morris cooked up a plot to assassinate Senator J. William Fulbright because he wasn't "voting American" (he opposed the Vietnam War). When DePugh got wind of it, after money had actually changed hands, he squelched it, he said, in order to head off a massive federal probe of his organization. In researching the article, I picked up information that a Minutemen cell in Dallas threatened to "snuff" Stanley Marcus of the upscale NiemanMarcus department store chain because he was Jewish and liberal (I called Marcus to inform him of the danger).

When Garrison phoned, I was familiar with him through the legal press, for which I wrote forensic science articles. Such was his reputation in the law enforcement field that he had been asked to write the foreword to Crime, Law and Corrections, a collection of criminology essays. It was haunting. As an army officer, Garrison had helped liberate the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, and he had witnessed its horrors. Allegorizing on an extraterrestrial being descending onto a self-desolated world, he asks, "What happened to your disinterested millions? Your uncommitted and uninvolved, your preoccupied and bored? Where today are their private horizons and their mirrored worlds of self? Where is their splendid indifference now?"...

Garrison's political philosophy defied categorization-the closest I could come was to term him a Bayou populist. He subscribed in part to Ayn Rand's libertarian dogma, but was too much of a traditional democrat to accept its inevitable elitism. He was friendly with segregationists and archconservatives but bristled at mention of the Ku Klux Klan. Black leaders had no quarrel with his conduct of office, and he appointed blacks as assistant DAs, a rare move in the Deep South in those days. When the police vice squad tried to sweep James Baldwin's Another Country from bookstore shelves, he refused to prosecute ("How do you define obscenity?") and denounced the censorship in stinging terms, thus incurring the wrath of the White Citizens Council. After starting his assassination probe, some of his views on other issues changed. "A year ago I was a mild hawk on Vietnam," he told me. "But no more. I've discovered the government has told so many lies in this case it can't be believed on anything."

Garrison was by far the most intellectual law enforcement official I ever met. He avidly devoured history (as reflected in his metaphor, "Honorable men did in Caesar," apropos Kennedy's slaying) and quoted a wide variety of sources-from Graham Greene and Lewis Carroll to Shakespeare. He especially liked to recite Polonius's advice to Laertes. He was a chess master. But he was not exactly a square. Once known as a Bourbon Street swinger, he remained a familiar sight in several night spots, where he held forth on the piano while crooning a basso profundo rendition of tunes popular half a generation earlier. His imbibing was moderate-two Tanqueray martinis. He had a wry sense of humor. Once, when a file entrusted to a volunteer helper suspected of informing to the FBI disappeared, he quipped, "Well, would you ask a rabbit to deliver a carrot?" He was sensitive about others' feelings. On several occasions I watched him sit fretfully listening to a visitor give him worthless information but give the departing person the impression that it had immeasurably aided the investigation. Although he was accused of using the Kennedy case to advance his political ambitions, in private moments he talked wistfully about going back to private practice as a defense attorney. He saw no virtue in capital punishment, nor in guns. Once he handed me a photo of Dallas police holding aloft a rifle in front of the Texas School Book Depository building moments after the assassination in the hope that I could identify the model.

"I can't," I said. "And besides, I hate guns."

"So do I," he chuckled. "The Bureau had to give me special training so I could just qualify on the range."

(6) William Turner, Rearview Mirror (2001)

Eladio del Valle's body was found in a Miami parking lot twelve hours after Ferrie's was discovered in New Orleans. The DA investigator who was searching for del Valle, Bernardo De Torres, turned out to be a suspicious character in his own right. A veteran of the Bay of Pigs, De Torres showed up on Garrison's doorstep early in the probe, saying he was a private detective from Miami who wanted to help, and dropping the name of Miami DA Richard Gerstein, a friend of Garrison's, as an opener. In retrospect, Garrison remembered that every lead De Torres developed ended up in a box canyon. He also learned that De Torres was forwarding reports on his investigation to the Miami CIA station. In 1977 the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) came to believe that De Torres might have played a role in Dallas. "De Torres has pictures of Dealey Plaza in a safe-deposit box," a HSCA report states. "These pictures were taken during the assassination of JFK." When hauled before the committee, De Torres denied any implication.

(7) William Turner, Rearview Mirror (2001)

I walked over to 531 Lafayette Place. There was no inscription on the door denoting it as Banister's business, only a realtor's shingle and a sticker of the then-nascent Republican Party of Louisiana. The door opened to stairs leading to a second-floor space that was unoccupied. Diagonally across the space was a second set of stairs, which led down to a door on Camp Street. The number over the door read "594." 594 Camp Street was the return address Lee Harvey Oswald had stamped on the first batch of pro-Castro literature he handed out on the streets of the Crescent City in August 1963- Subsequent batches bore a post office box number, suggesting that the use of the street address had been a lapse. What was Oswald's connection to Banister?

When I reported the Camp Street discovery to Garrison, I recommended that we assign priority to interviewing Banister. Too late, he said, Banister had been found dead in bed in June 1964, his pearlhandled, monogrammed .357 Magnum revolver at his side. Although there was no autopsy, his demise was attributed to a heart attack. But Brooks, who had done some clipping and filing for Banister in 1962, had identified his deputy, Hugh F. Ward, as also belonging to the Minutemen as well as an outfit called the Anti-Communism League of the Caribbean, which was headed by Banister after he came to New Orleans in 1955. Brooks credited the ACLC with helping the CIA overthrow the leftist Arbenz government in Guatemala, opening the way for a succession of rightist strongmen. The ACLC continued to act as an intermediary between the CIA and right-wing insurgency movements in the Caribbean, including Cuba after Castro gained power. There was a chance that Ward would be willing to talk, but it turned out he was gone as well. On May 23, 1965, he was at the controls of a Piper Aztec chartered by former New Orleans mayor DeLessups Morrison when the craft, engines sputtering, crashed on a fog-shrouded hill near Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, killing all on board. That left Maurice Brooks Gatlin, Sr., an attorney associated with Banister, on Brooks's list of key Minutemen in Louisiana. According to Brooks, Gatlin served as legal counsel to the ACLC. In fact, Brooks had been a kind of protege of Gatlin. The attorney's passport was stamped with visas of countries around the world. In Brooks's estimation, he was a "transporter" for the CIA. On one occasion Gatlin bodaciously told Brooks, "I have pretty good connections. Stick with me-I'll give you a license to kill." Brooks became a firm believer in 1962 when Gatlin displayed a thick wad of bills, saying he had $ioo,ooo of CIA money earmarked for a French reactionary clique planning to assassinate General de Gaulle. Shortly thereafter Gatlin flew to Paris, and shortly after that came the Secret Army Organization's abortive ambush of the French president. But Gatlin as well was beyond Garrison's reach. In 1964 he fell or was pushed from the sixth floor of the Panama Hotel in Panama, dying instantly.

As I sat in Garrison's office discussing the fates of Banister, Ward and Gatlin, my mind flashed back to the previous November when Ramparts had run a story on the "mysterious deaths" theory of doughty Texas editor Penn Jones, Jr. With David Welsh, I had gone down to Midlothian, a dusty cotton market town south of Dallas, to meet with Jones on his front porch. He had compiled a list of an unlucky thirteen people who were witnesses to the assassination or somehow touched by it and had died violently or questionably inside of three years, which he saw as a highly excessive actuarial rate. One on the list was Tom Howard, Jack Ruby's initial attorney, who concocted the story that the mobster killed Oswald to spare Jacqueline Kennedy the ordeal of a trial (he died of a supposed heart attack). Another was Lee Bowers, who was sitting in a railroad tower behind the grassy knoll and spotted two strange men behind the picket fence on the knoll just as the presidential limousine passed and a flash and commotion ensued (he was involved in a one-car accident). A third was Earlene Roberts, the boarding house manager who stated that Oswald rushed into his room for a few minutes shortly after the shooting in Dealey Plaza, during which a Dallas police car stopped in front and honked twice as if to signal (she was struck by a presumed heart attack). The mysterious-deaths article so fascinated Walter Cronkite that he sent a film crew to Midlothian for a CBS News series on Jones. Although the theory caught on as "evidence" of a conspiracy, I was bemusedly skeptical.

But the untimely deaths of Banister, Ward and Gatlin gave me pause that there might in fact have been systematic elimination of people who knew too much. Two months earlier there had been a fourth curious mortality in this set: David William Ferric, an investigator for the ex-FBI official's private detective agency, Guy Banister & Associates. Garrison's interest in Ferric dated back to the morning after the assassination, when he summoned his staff to the office for a "brainstorming" session to explore the possibility that Oswald had accomplices in New Orleans.

Although it would not be known until after the Warren Report was published, on that same Saturday morning the Secret Service was checking out the return address of 544 Camp Street that the accused assassin had rubber-stamped on some of his handouts promoting a rump chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. The agents asked the building manager if Oswald "had occupied office space" but learned instead that "Cuban revolutionaries had been tenants until recently." They talked to an exile accountant who revealed that "those Cubans were members of organizations known as `Crusade to Free Cuba Committee' and `Cuban Revolutionary Council,"' which had been headed by Sergio Arcacha Smith, a former Batista diplomat. The agents reported that they had been unable to find any trace of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, evincing no curiosity over why pro-Castro literature would bear the address of anti-Castro groups.

On Monday, the Warren Report later disclosed, the FBI's Ernest C. Wall, Jr., a Spanish-speaking agent who liaisoned with the exile groups, called Guy Banister to inquire about Arcacha Smith. According to Wall's single-paragraph report, Banister responded that Arcacha Smith had been the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Council and "some time ago had told him on one occasion that he, Smith, had an office in the building located at 594 Camp Street." Nothing about Banister and the Cuban Revolutionary Council, created by the CIA as an umbrella group for the Bay of Pigs invasion, being under the same roof. As a limited hangout, it was a classic. The Warren Report dutifully stated that "investigation has indicated that neither the Fair Play for Cuba Committee nor Lee Oswald ever maintained an office at that address."

(8) William W. Turner, The Rebel, (13th February, 1984)

Garment manufacturer Abraham Zapruder was a spectator at Dealey Plaza who captured the entire shooting sequence with his cheap movie camera. Life magazine immediately snapped up the film for an untold sum. Although Life ran several frames in its cover story on the Warren Commission Report, the motion picture itself had never been shown in public. (Not even members of the Commission had seen it.) Now it had surfaced, courtesy of La Bell France.

The Zapruder film is horrifyingly graphic. It shows Kennedy clutching his throat as a shot from the rear goes through his neck. There are agonizing moments as he slowly slumps forward in the limousine. Then his head literally explodes, sending up a blood-mist halo. The force of the hit rocks him back so violently into the rear seat cushion that it is compressed. He bounces forward as Jackie grabs for him. There is no mistaking that he was killed by a shot from the front. Suspect Lee Harvey Oswald was at the rear.

I rushed to Hollywood with the film to have it analyzed by experts. They pronounced it authentic, probably a second or third generation copy. I then understood why Life, which had taken a stand in support of the Warren Report and featured Gerald Ford's rendition of how the no-conspiracy conclusion was arrived at, had kept the film sequestered. In fact an anonymous caption writer at the magazine had described the head-shot frame as a shot from the front, and a number of subscribers received copies with that caption. But the press run was quickly stopped at tremendous expense, and the offending plate broken and replaced by one whose caption was in conformity with the official position.

(9) William W. Turner, Hoover's FBI: The Men and the Myth (1970)

At headquarters there wasn't even a section working on organized crime. In the field, what we did get on top mobsters was just dropped into the General Investigative Intelligence file - to be forgotten.

(10) Warren Hinckle & William Turner, Deadly Secrets: The CIA-Mafia War Against Castro and the Assassination of JFK (1992)

Mitch WerBell was a charter member of the intelligence Old Boy Network. He had been a secret agent with the OSS during World War II; thereafter he was always on the spot on the griddle where the Cold War was heating up. He was a player in the CIA's secret cross-border war against China in the 1950s through the 1960s; he went to Vietnam as a weapons adviser with the simulated rank of Brigadier General; and he did the prep work for the 1965 invasion of the Dominican Republic. He frequently worked with the CIA and infrequently worked against them. While the agency was fumbling the ball on its attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, the ever gung-ho WerBell initiated his own assassination plots. His wild nocturnal speedboat rides to Cuba were scenes out of some paramilitary Strangelove movie-Mitch playing the pipes under a moonless Caribbean sky, the Confederate flag flapping from the rear of the boat. (Sometime later, the U.S. government hypocritically indicted WerBell for his anti-Castro plots while ignoring its own.)

The last decade of WerBell's life was filled with sufficient adventures and misadventures for the lifetimes of ten men. In 1973 WerBell began a "New Country Project" for a group of capitalist revolutionaries on Abaco Island in the Bahamas who wanted to shed the bondage of Nassau. The secessionists believed that the black population of the tourist islands was turning whites off and that sparsely settled Abaco, with a lower profile of blacks, could become a haven for investment money in gambling casinos, resorts, and housing restricted to the wealthy. The new currency would be called the rand, not in emulation of South Africa's medium of exchange but in honor of Ayn Rand, the dowager empress of rugged egoism.

WerBell sounded out his contacts in the high Arctic of the CIA and the State Department. He got the word that there would be no great American objection, provided there was no violence. WerBell was confident there would not be. He proceeded to sign up Soldier of Fortune-supreme Robert K. Brown to recruit a dozen Vietnam vets as the nucleus of an Abacoan standing army strong enough to dissuade Bahamian Premier Lyndon Pindling from invading with his own puny armed services. The date for seccession was set for New Year's Day 1975.

However, three months before liberty day WerBell was indicted in Atlanta, and the plan had to be canceled. That indictment, later dropped, stemmed from his aggressive marketing of his silencer equipped Ingram machine gun, which starred in the movie Killer Force. (There are some interesting connections here. WerBell was manufacturing the Ingram under the name Defense Services, Inc., and marketing it through an outfit called Parabellum, which was headed by Anselmo Alliegro, Jr., an heir to the shadowy Ansan millions. Parabellum employed Gerry Hemming and Rolandito Masferrer, nephew of the dreaded El Tigre Rolando Masferrer. When Anastasio Somoza's dictatorship in Nicaragua was collapsing in 1979, Cuban veterans of the Secret War rallied to his cause. Some engaged in combat against the insurgent Sandinista guerrillas; others acted as instructors with the elite National Guard, which had enabled the Somoza family to remain in power over the decades. One of the instructors was WerBell's partner in arms dealing, Anselmo Alliegro, Jr. In September 1980 Somoza, in exile in Paraguay, met a violent end. There were many flowers but few tears at his funeral.)

(11) Monique Tushingham, article on Rearview Mirror (June, 2001)

I woke up today with the clock radio - telling me that William Turner had the exclusive proof, that John Kennedy was killed by the CIA, because he might stop the war in Vietnam. As well as; the fact that, Bobby was killed because, if elected he would investigate the killing of his brother John.

For years I tried to work out why I was so deeply affected by John Kennedy's assassination. Was it really as superficial as, the fact that he was a young and good looking man and that he had a beautiful wife? But now, I know. He was a good person, who was going to do a 'good thing' and stop an escalation of stupidity, that for all 'intents and purposes' culminated in the present President - dumbed down and introspective.