Ever wonder why a British assassin is the most revered cultural icon of our time? You have to wonder who came up with the idea of Queen Elizabeth opening the Olympics with Bond. At first, I could not believe that was the real Queen; it had to be a look-alike actress, but soon I realized, yes, the Queen wants to put some of the James Bond assassin juice into her own aura.
I don’t think James Bond could have gotten so big if not for JFK. Soon after he was elected, the young Kennedy revealed his love of Ian Fleming’s books to the press and pretty soon, those books were being serialized in almost every newspaper in America. Kennedy did some spy work himself. In fact, he was romantically involved with a possible Nazi spy while in England. JFK started the war in Naval Intelligence, the same outfit that made the secret deals with Lucky Luciano to watch the docks, and prepare Sicily for invasion, in exchange for some wink-wink arrangements with the French heroin trade, but he got moved out to the Pacific possibly in order to get sheep-dipped as a war hero, or so many believe. While JFK was saving a man’s life, however, George Bush was jumping out of his bomber first instead of last like a pilot’s supposed to, so he probably botched his war hero sheep-dipping by being responsible for a couple of unnecessary deaths, or so the legend goes.
Soon after taking office, Kennedy told the CIA that he wanted to meet “the American James Bond.” In other words, who’s the top assassin who handles the high priority wet work around here? No doubt Kennedy wanted to talk shop and spy craft. But when the CIA brought him their number one assassin, William Harvey, Kennedy was unimpressed. Harvey was a thug and had none of the social grace of a James Bond. But there was a man of intense charisma and social grace, who became Harvey’s go-to assassin. Harvey would soon approach this man about killing Castro—more on that later. Meanwhile, after taking LSD with one of his many mistresses (Mary Meyer, who was handing it out to lots of people in Washington at the time), JFK began opening up secret, backdoor lines of communication to Cuba and the Soviet Union. He successfully negotiated the first nuclear arms treaty and probably wanted to restore relations with Cuba and avoid a land war in Asia. Yes, acid turned Kennedy into a pacifist but that should be no surprise since it also propelled Steve Jobs into creating the personal computer. Unfortunately, Kennedy’s pacifism and peace incentives put him into conflict with the most powerful force in the world, the war party that employs war as a strategic means of extracting the greatest possible profits from the misery and suffering of innocent people. After JFK ordered all operations against Cuba ended, he discovered Harvey was still fomenting terror in Cuba and plotting a Castro assassination. JFK ordered Harvey sacked, but instead, James J. Angleton moves him to Italy. He is the CIA’s greatest assassin, after all, and he might be needed very soon, or so Angleton surmised.
But who was the real-life American James Bond? The one with the wit, charm and grace of a British lord mixed with the skills of a ninja warrior? That would be Johnny Roselli, a “man of honor” in the Sicilian tradition who worked for the Chicago family interests in Los Angeles under the supervision of Sam Giancana, and who also worked with William Harvey on matters of intense national security. Roselli knew JFK, and, in fact, was instrumental in helping introduce him to Sam Giancana’s mistress, who soon became a carrier pigeon between the two, sending messages back and forth while Kennedy plotted his peace missions. Meanwhile, the CIA was plotting how to capture the heroin franchise from French control in Indochina. (Soon, any poppy fields not under CIA protection would be bombed out of existence.) Strange that Harvey and Roselli would become the assassins of JFK. Roselli was sent to babysit Giancana’s mistress after the event. She was hysterical and Giancana was afraid she might talk to someone. Most of the other potential whistle-blowers were just whacked.
During this period, Roselli would drift in and out of my hometown, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. One of his favorite mistresses ran the local newspaper (where I worked on weekends) and television station. And when she needed someone to whack her philandering husband, she went first to Harvey, who was living in Indiana. Harvey turned down the assignment, so Roselli took care of it. None of this would be revealed until decades later, after all the principle characters were dead.
Ian Fleming was the real British James Bond, by the way. He handled a lot of the most sensitive undercover agents, including Aleister Crowley. His books are Cold War cartoon fantasies, however, as Fleming did not want to spill the beans on any real secrets, although he might have been able to offer some insight into MI6 operations inside the USA. Funny how British spies are never uncovered or talked about in the media, especially the really famous ones from history, like Aaron Burr and Benjamin Franklin.