007, LHO & JFK
JFK Countercoup blogspot
Friday, May 4, 2012
According to the myth, in early 1954, in order to take his mind off impending marriage, Ian Fleming sat down at his typewriter in his Jamaican beach house and began “Casino Royale,” a paperback spy thriller novel, that he called “the spy story to end all spy stories.”
The former assistant to the chief of British Naval Intelligence christened his secret agent Double-Oh Seven – 007 – James Bond, who was licensed to kill on behalf of her majesty’s secret service, while having the cover job of an import-export agent for Universal Export.
Writing a book a year, by 1957 he had a few novels under his belt when he wrote what some considered his finest, “From Russia with Love,” about the theft of a Soviet cipher and the defection of a young and beautiful Russian embassy clerk.
A few years later, Lee Harvey Oswald, just out of the US Marine Corps, boarded a tramp steamer in New Orleans and sailed for Europe on the first leg of a journey that would take him behind the Iron Curtain as a “defector” to the Soviet Union. The passport that Oswald turned over to the US Embassy in Moscow when he announced his defection indicated that his profession was “Import-Export” agent.
In fact, Oswald, before enlisting in the US Marines, did work at an import and export firm in New Orleans. As explained by his brother Robert (Lee – A Portrait of Lee, Coward-McCann, 1967, p. 74), “In November (1955) he (Lee) went to work as a messenger and office boy for a shipping company, Gerald F. Tujague, Inc. He made only $130 a month, but it must have seemed like a lot of money to him, since it was his first full-time job. Mother said he was generous with his money…Feeling prosperous, now that he had a regular income, Lee bought other things, too. Mother said he paid $35 for a coat for her, bought a bow and arrow set – and guy…I remember that gun…Lee really seemed to enjoy his work at Tujague’s for a while. He felt more independent than ever before, and he liked the idea of working for a shipping company. When he first told me about it, he was eager, animated and genuinely enthusiastic. ‘We’re sending an order to Portugal this week,’ he’d tell me. Or, ‘I received a shipment from Hong Kong, just this morning.’ It was a big adventure to him – as if all the company’s ships were his and he could go to any of the places named on the order blanks he carried from one desk to another. It made him feel important, just to be on the fringes of something as exciting as foreign trade.”
Tujague later came back on the record as a leading member of the Friends of a Democratic Cuba in New Orleans and was said to be on the board of directors of a bank that also included John Mecom, who employed George DeMohrenschildt and sent him to Europe, which led to him being debriefed by the CIA. So both Oswald and DeMohrenschildt, although their lives wouldn’t entwine until years later, were both employed by directors of the same bank, an indication they were both working for the same economic interests years earlier.
Gerald F. Tujague (10 HSCA, 134, note 64; CE2227, 25 H 128)
Owner of a New Orleans shipping company that sixteen year old Oswald worked for from November 10, 1955 to January 14 1956, shortly before he enlisted in the USMC.
Trujague was Vice President of Friends of Democratic Cuba, an anti-Castro Cuban group incorporated in New Orleans on January 6, 1961, which also included Guy Banister on its board of directors. On January 20, 1061, when Oswald was in the USSR, two men visited the Bolton Ford dealership in New Orleans and inquired about the purchase of trucks for their organization, the Friends of Democratic Cuba, using Oswald’s name.
Was there a reason for Oswald to list his occupation as “import-export agent” on the passport he used to defect to Russia, and was it in any way associated with import-export agency he worked for in New Orleans shortly before enlisting in the Marines?
Or was it some kind of inside joke, tongue in cheek reference to James Bond’s occupation as an import-export agent for Universal Export?
In JFK & 007, Less Sanger Golden (alias Author337) perpetuates the myths and takes note of the mutual associations of 007 and Camelot, as well the Oswald connection.
JFK & 007 – The Assassination Agnostic
JFK007 « ASSASSINATION AGNOSTIC
Golden wrote: “Meanwhile, the James Bond novels were having a huge impact on another young man, Lee Harvey Oswald. He too was a fan of the novel From Russia with Love, a story of political defection that oddly mirrors Oswald’s own defection to the Soviet Union. In the story, James Bond wisps the young Russian Tatiana Romonvav across the iron curtain with promises of decadent western luxuries. While in Russia, Lee Oswald similarly swept young Marina Prusakova off of her feet and brought her to America with promises of a better life. But when things started going badly, Tatiana and Marina realized that perhaps they were in for more than they had bargained for.”
All of Fleming’s novels include fictional characters who have real life counterparts, and story lines that are based on real, sometimes historic events, especially “From Russia with Love.” It has been noted that in 1950, a US naval attaché was assassinated and thrown from the Orient Express train by a Communist agent, a story that inspired Fleming to write “From Russia With Love.”
The storyline deals with the theft of a Lektor Decoding Machine, which Fleming based on his knowledge of the Enigma Decoding Machine from World War II. Fleming was involved with the Ultra Network that cracked the Enigma Code in 1939, and Fleming fictionalized the story a decade before the Ultra Network’s historical activities were declassified and released 1975.
As Golden also noted other similarities when he wrote: “If JFK represents all the most charming aspects of James Bond, then perhaps Lee Oswald is a reflection of his dark side. His rages, his wrath. The irony inherent in any substantive comparison of JFK and 007 is inescapable. For while James Bond is a timeless figure, JFK was a figure taken before his time. And while James Bond is unkillable, we all that the same cannot be said of Jack Kennedy.”
Oswald would probably be amused by these associations, especially if he knew that, at the time of his defection to the Soviet Union, Ian Fleming had been the European editor of the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA), whose correspondent reported on his defection to the Soviet Union.
As a correspondent for NANA, Priscialla Johnson, was one of the first reporters to interview Oswald and she wrote a newspaper article about him and his defection. The report she filed on Oswald’s defection was long, but only a part of it was circulated among NANA subscribers and published. The rest was filed away by NANA editors, Ian Fleming among them. Oswald mentions this news article and the others like it in a letter he wrote to then Secretary of the Navy John Connally, a man he is later accused of shooting.
Of course Oswald should not have, could not have known that Fleming, the author of the 007 novels he enjoyed, was also one of the editors of one of the newspaper articles he complained about as misrepresenting his true position and situation.
Golden: “Meanwhile, the James Bond novels were having a huge impact on another young man, Lee Harvey Oswald. He too was a fan of the novel From Russia with Love, a story of political defection that oddly mirrors Oswald’s own defection to the Soviet Union. In the story, James Bond wisps the young Russian Tatiana Romonvav across the iron curtain with promises of decadent western luxuries.”
“While in Russia, Lee Oswald similarly swept young Marina Prusakova off of her feet and brought her to America with promises of a better life. But when things started going badly, Tatiana and Marina realized that perhaps they were in for more than they had bargained for.”
“And yet, the tragic assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy on in Dallas Texas on November 22nd 1963, is oddly paralleled in the life and times of James Bond 007. In the novel and film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, James Bond’s marriage to Contessa Teresa Vicenzo ended in the same way as Jacqueline Kennedy’s marriage to Jack. Just as Jack Kennedy was gunned down by a hail of assassins bullets in his car, so too was Teresa Bond. Just as Jack Kennedy’s lifeless body fell into Jackie’s lap, so too did Teresa. They say that once the Presidential limousine reached the hospital, Jackie Kennedy refused to let go of her husband’s body, even as others entreated her to do so. And when all hope was lost for Contessa Teresa Bond, James Bond too refused to let go. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was published in April of 1963, mere months before the assassination.”
After Oswald returned home with his Russian bride and was living in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, he took a number of books out of the local New Orleans library. A Warren Commission memorandum included the list of the books that Oswald checked out of the New Orleans Library. First on the list is “Goldfinger,’ and it officially notes that the author is IAN FLEMING, the book was checked out – 9/19/63 (Sept. 19) and the return date is indicated as 10/3/63 (October 3).
“Goldfinger” wasn’t the first 007 novel that Oswald checked out, as the records show that he had previously taken out “Thunderball” and “From Russia With Love.” Another 007 book “Moonraker” was also checked out on the same date as “Goldfinger,” both of which were returned on October 3.
For assassination investigators the problem with Oswald’s “Goldfinger” is that, according to the records of the New Orleans Library, the book was returned on October 3, 1963, a full week after Oswald, the friendless loner had left New Orleans.
Oswald left New Orleans on September 24, went to Mexico, and was back in Dallas, Texas on October 3rd, at least he was according to the official story, which has yet to explained how Oswald’s “Goldfinger” was returned to the New Orleans library while he was in Dallas.
Besides the Fleming novels, the other books on Oswald’s list – two dozen in all, are mainly non-fiction history, science fiction and biography, and deserve closer attention.
If Oswald was the assassin of the President, despite the fact that no motive can be or has been attributed to him, then an assessment of his reading habits would be in order since they would naturally help indicate what he was thinking and what motivated him.
Of course if Lee Harvey Oswald was the real assassin of the President of the United States, these books would have been given a through going over and psychoanalysts would have given their interpretation of the assassin’s state of mind at the time, but since Oswald was a patsy, and framed for the crimes, just as he claimed, there has been no real attempt to even try to understand the psychological makeup of the patsy. If he had been the actual triggerman and assassin, then it would be a different story. In any case, Oswald is one of the most thoroughly analyzed patsies in history, so we know a lot about him, much more than we know about the actual assassins. One of the things we know is that he read a lot, and we know what he read from the library records.
Any cursory review of the books we know Oswald read should begin with “Goldfinger,” which opens with a quote above the table of contents that reads:
“Goldfinger said, ‘Mr. Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: ‘Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, the third time it’s enemy action.’”
Indeed, and if the happenstances and coincidences are added up, one must come to the conclusion that it is neither happenstance nor coincidence but intentional covert action.
And so Lee Harvey Oswald read through “Goldfinger,” probably very quickly as he was a voracious reader and Ian Fleming’s novels would be very light reading compared to the more heavy science fiction, biographies and world affairs that he was also reading at the time. The other books on the list – two dozen in all, are mostly non-fiction history, science fiction and biography.
The Warren Commission memo with the list of Oswald’s library books also reported: “Marina Oswald in discussing Oswald’s reading habits, said that he read generally histories or biographies and she recalled specifically that he read biographies of Hitler, Kennedy and Khrushchev. She is not clear, however, whether he read those books in New Orleans or Dallas. She did recall that he read a book by Eric Maria Remarque, ‘Time to Live and Time to Die,’ and that he read a book about Powers, the U-2 Pilot. Other than that, she cannot specifically recall what books he checked out of the Dallas library. Marina in her testimony has mentioned that Oswald read books of the ‘Historical Nature,’ and that he read books by Marx and a two-volume history of the United States. Some of Oswald’s associates in Texas mentioned that he read books by Marx and Lenin, etc. Katherine Ford also mentioned that Oswald read some books about how to be a spy.”
Oswald did take an literary interest in the subject of espionage, as another book he checked out was, “Five Spy Novels.”
US Army Reserve Col. Jose Rivera, who was affiliated with a top secret MK/ULTRA program at Fort Detrich, had foreknowledge of the assassination, the death of JFK’s son Patrick that summer, and knew Oswald’s New Orleans phone number before Oswald himself knew where he was going to live. Rivera was quoted as saying, “We will have him read about the assasssins of history, and indeed, Oswald did read, Hermann B. Deutsch’s “The Huey Long Murder Case.”
Oswald also read “Portrait of a President,” about the man he is accused of killing, as well as Kennedy’s own “Profiles in Courage,”which earned the Pulitzer Prize.
Among the other books on Oswald’s list include: The Berlin Wall, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Soviet Potentials, What We Must Know About Communism, Russia Under Khrushchev, Portrait of A Revolutionary:, Mae Tse-Tung, This is My Philosophy, Conflict, The Bridge Over the River Kwai, Hornblower and The Hotspur, The Hittites, The Blue Nile and Ben-Hu
007 & JFK
Kennedy was also well read, and tried to popularize reading like he promoted physical fitness. In 1954-1955 he attended meetings at the Foundation for Better Reading in Baltimore where his reading speed was reported to be 1200 words a minute with a high level of comprehension.
Although “From Russia with Love” is the only book that is cross referenced among the books ready by both Kennedy and Oswald, their interests are very similar, reading primarily history and biography, while Kennedy leaned more towards the classics and Oswald drifted into Science Fiction.
Kennedy is personally credited with popularizing the Fleming novels in America, and it has been alleged that both President Kennedy and Oswald, his alleged assassin, read 007 novels on the night before the assassination. According to Robert A. Caplen in “Shaken & Stirred – The Feminism of James Bond” (Xlibris 2010), “Kennedy was reportedly reading a Bond novel the night before he was assassinated. In fact, reports surfaced that Lee Harvey Oswald was also reading a Fleming novel the night before Kennedy’s assassination.”
Although I find this hard to substantiate, Kennedy is certainly credited with helping to popularize Fleming’s books and the 007 myth, and did view the film “From Russia with Love” the night before he left for Texas, so both Kennedy and his alleged assassin were were acquainted with Secret Agent 007 – James Bond.
Actually Kennedy had been familiar with James Bond and Ian Fleming since he had asked his friend and Georgetown neighbor Oatsie Leiter to recommend some books to read while he was laid up in bed, ill with some malady or other. She suggested, some say she gave Kennedy a copy of a light-hearted 007 spy thriller written by her friend Ian Fleming.
Just as Fleming had taken the name James Bond from the American ornithologist and author of the book Birds of the West Indies, he had also appropriated the surname for 007’s CIA sidekick Felix Leiter from John and Oatsie Leiter, Kennedy and Fleming’s mutual friend and Kennedy’s Georgetown neighbor.
Kennedy most certainly immediately caught the “inside joke” of 007’s CIA associate being named Felix Leiter, obviously a not-so hidden reference to their mutual friend Oatsie Leiter. As the grand daughter of a civil war general and governor of Alabama, Oatsie had served in the OSS during the war and married Chicago millionaire John Leiter, whose family owned the Virginia land where the new CIA headquarters was built. As mutual neighbors in both Newport and Georgetown, the Kennedys and Leiters were old blue blood money that mirrored Fleming’s and is reflected in the power circles that agent 007 infested.
The President’s wife Jackie was as well-read as her husband, and later became a book editor and publisher. She also took notice of Ian Fleming’s novels, though she may not have gotten the joke, but she is credited with recommending Fleming’s books to CIA director Alan Dulles. Dulles also enjoyed Fleming’s stories and tried to cultivate a similar genre of CIA themed literature that would do for the agency what Fleming’s books did for the British spy agencies. Both E. Howard Hunt and David Attle Phillips wrote a number of officially approved fictional pulp paperback novels that were similar to Fleming’s 007 stories in style and content.
Sean Connery and Ian Fleming
But before Kennedy endorsed and popularized the books and the before the films came along, Fleming’s novels were something of a literary oddity. When the head of British MI5 visited Washington and was being escorted about town by Dick Helms of the CIA, Helms asked him about this British writer Ian Fleming. The MI5 director said he didn’t know, but the very next day the newspapers revealed that British Prime Minister Anthony Eden had spent a week at Fleming’s Jamaican home “Goldeneye,” which led Helms to conclude that he had been lied to since the head of British counter-intelligence had to know and approve where the Prime Minster was living.
Bill Koenig visited the Lilly Library at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where the Fleming papers are kept. He reported: “The Fleming-related material is hardly the oldest or rarest of what’s here. But for a fan of 007, it is a treasure trove. Not only are most of Fleming’s original Bond manuscripts here but a huge collection of people writing to Fleming and receiving correspondence from him. The letters are, indeed, of a different time, when people took the time to type out a letter and drop it in the mail, not just bang out a few lines of e-mail and forget it. The library has two collections of note. The first is comprised of fifteen Fleming manuscripts, purchased from Fleming’s widow in 1970. (The library also acquired rare books collected by Fleming in his lifetime.) The other is a collection of letters gathered by Leonard Russell, the late literary editor of The Sunday Times of London and by John Pearson, Fleming’s biographer. Other letters show Fleming’s relationship with more casual acquaintances – except his casual friendships were with CIA directors or U.S. attorneys general.”
In a 1962 letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Fleming wrote that “I am delighted to take this opportunity to thank Kennedys everywhere for the electric effect their commendation has had on my sales in America.”
Golden: “These days, everyone in America knows who James Bond is. The character and his franchise are pervasive and vastly influential in all spheres of popular culture, from movies, to video games, comics, novels, toys, and TV. At first, James Bond wasn’t particularly popular in the United States. That was until President Kennedy listed From Russia with Love as one of his favorite books. After that ringing endorsement, Ian Fleming’s James Bond books started flying off of the shelves. Though JFK and 007 shared a similar style, wit, charm, and taste for the good life, the connection between the two icons goes far deeper than cosmetic comparisons. We often think of James Bond stories as being influenced by world events, but what is startling to realize is that in many ways, the opposite is true, and that the James Bond novels changed the course of history. After finishing the novel From Russian With Love, JFK passed it on to Allen Dulles, head of the Central Intelligence Agency, America’s M.”
CIA Director Allen Dulles, like 007’s Spychief M – smoked a pipe
Allen Dulles, the former CIA chief wrote to Fleming on April 24, 1963, saying, “I have received and finished reading your latest ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’ I hope you have not really destroyed my old friend and colleague James Bond, but I fear his bride has gone.” More than a year later, in June 1964, Dulles wrote again. “I see that ‘From Russia With Love’ is now a movie and although I rarely see them I plan to take this one in.”
Fleming was thanking Kennedy because Fleming’s book got the unexpected plug when one of them was included among the books the President enjoyed. Hugh Sidey, in (March 17, 1961) Life Magazine wrote an article titled The President’s Voracious Reading Habits which listed From Russia with Love as one of his 10 favorite books. A list of the President’s favorite books was also sent out to various libraries during National Library Week.
Among the particular favorites of President Kennedy was Fleming’s “From Russia with Love” which was also among Oswald’s books.
Lord Melbourne by David Cecil
Montrose by John Buchan
Marlborough by Sir Winston Churchill
John Quincy Adams by Samuel Flagg Bemis
The Emergence of Lincoln by Allan Nevins
The Price of Union by Herbert Agar
John C. Calhoun by Margaret L. Coit
Talleyrand by Duff Cooper
Byron in Italy by Peter Quennell
The Red and the Black by M. de Stendhal
From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming
Pilgrim’s Way by John Buchan
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
Writing and Speeches of Daniel Webster
The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman
Henry Clay by Carl Schurz
Dave Powers later added a few titles to the list, and Kennedy’s secretary Mrs. Lincoln later acknowledged she added “From Russia with Love” to the list of otherwise dull and academic books to give it a human touch with a book she knew Kennedy had read that ordinary people could identify with.
While “Casino Royale” was the first 007 novel, the story had been adapted to an American television show, so the first 007 major motion picture was “Dr. No,” which Oswald could have and probably did see.
In 1961, Kennedy watched the first James Bond film, Dr. No, in a private White House screening, and in part to Kennedy’s influence, the next movie was based on “From Russia, With Love,” and according to William Manchester, it would be the last movie that the president saw, on November 20, 1963, the evening before he left for Texas.
Vincent Canby made the observation: “Whether accurately or not, the first films made from the Bond novels came to characterize a number of aspects of the Kennedy Administration with its reputation for glamour, wit and sophistication, and its real-life dram and melodrama. Indeed, the President himself could be seen as a kind of Bond figure, and the 1962 Cuban missile crisis as a real-life Bond situation.”
Golden stretches the similarities to the max: “The early.1960s. The pinnacle of male style, when men treated each activity, accouterment and debutant with sophistication and taste. But the two ambassadors of swinging sixties charm were also two of the Cold War’s coldest warriors. Both were boarding school boys turned navy officers, men who rose in rank to the heights of government service. They were the sort of men all others envied, and all women pined for. They were men of legendary libidos, womanizers worthy of even Don Juan’s envy. Both traveled the world, wooing and winning the world’s most gorgeous women in the lap of luxury, while also facing down some of the most nefarious villains of our times. Their way with women was matched only by their way with words, wit, and whimsy. With a wink and smile these two men pulled the world from the brink of Nuclear Annihilation time and time again. These two men, are of course Secret Agent James Bond, and President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Two men who need only be known by three characters, JFK & 007.”
In addition to “From Russia with Love” being on their mutual reading lists, and both reported to have read Fleming novels on their last Thursday night on earth, Fidel Castro was another mutual obsession of both Kennedy and Oswald.
In his more detailed analysis of Oswald and Fleming’s novels, Golden wrote: “Just like 007, there was always someone trying to take out JFK. His most dangerous enemy might have been Russian Premiere Nikita Kruschev, but his closest foe, and most personal nemesis was communist super villian Fidel Castro, AKA “The Beard”. The plan was to whack the Beard before he could get to Kennedy. When asked what kind of man should spearhead the operation to whack Castro, JFK said ‘We need James Bond.’”
Most significant is the time when Kennedy met Fleming and invited him to dinner, about which there has been many misrepresentations, as that recounted here:
“The summer before his election, Jack Kennedy invited Ian Fleming over to his estate and asked the novelist how M and 007 would take out Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro. Fleming suggested three plans. When JFK became president, the CIA acted on all three of these proposals. So the leader of the free world and the head of its largest intelligence agency were conducting foreign policy based on James Bond novels. Ian Fleming was not only writing the greatest literary character in history. He was literally writing history.”
In an interview with his friend William Polmer, Ian Fleming recounted:
“Well, it was rather interesting. About a year before Mr. Kennedy became President, I was staying in Washington with a friend of mine and she was driving me through, it was a Sunday morning, and she was driving me through Washington down to Georgetown and there were two people walking along the street and she said, ‘Oh, there are my friends Jack and Jackie,’ and they were indeed very close friends of hers, and she stopped and they talked. And she said, ‘Do you know Ian Fleming?’ And Jack Kennedy said, ‘Not the Ian Fleming?’ Of course that was a very exciting thing for him to say and it turned out that they were both great fans of my books, as indeed is Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General, and they invited me to dinner that night with my friend, and we had great fun discussing the books and from then on I’ve always sent copies of them direct and personally to him before they’re published over here.”
“I think that was an historic encounter,” Plomer noted.
Although Fleming discretely avoided her name, the mutual friend was Marion ‘Oatsie’ Leiter Charles who lived at Dougal House 3259 R Street NW, Georgetown, not far from Kennedy’s home.
Oatsie Leiter, JFK’s Georgetown and Newport neighbor, introduced him to 007 and Ian Fleming.
Her husband owned the land the CIA Headquarters was built on.
Apparently Oatsie Leiter had been invited to the Kennedys for dinner that night, and they drove over to Kennedy’s Georgetown home to inquire whether Fleming could accompany her to dinner, but Kennedy and his wife had stepped out for a stroll. So when they came upon the couple walking down the street they stopped and Mrs. Leiter introduced Fleming, who Kennedy recognized by saying, “James Bond?”
As for joining them for dinner, “By all means,” Kennedy said.
While James Bond would be a popular subject at the dinner table that night, what to do with Fide Castro was the main topic, especially as to what Fleming had to say about giving Castro the James Bond treatment.
Other guests reported to be there include painter and longtime Kennedy friend William Walton, as well as journalist and CIA asset Joseph Alsop. The CIA itself was represented by John Bross, who had served with distinction in Cold War Germany.
In recounting the dinner that night Fleming’s official biographer John Pearson wrote:
“During the dinner the talk largely concerned itself with the more arcane aspects of American politics and Fleming was attentive but subdued. But with coffee and the entrance of Castro into the conversation he intervened in his most engaging style. Cuba was already high on the headache list of Washington politicians, and another of those what’s to-be-done conversations got underway. Fleming laughed ironically and began to develop the theme that the United States was making altogether too much fuss about Castro – they were building him into a world figure, inflating him instead of deflating him. It would be perfectly simple to apply one or two ideas which would take all the steam out of the Cuban.”
“Kennedy studied the handsome Englishman, rather as puzzled admirals used to study him in the days of Room 39. Was he an oddball or something more? What ideas had mister Fleming in mind?”
What would James Bond do about Castro? Fleming sarcastically replied, “Ridicule, chiefly,” and as Pearson related, “…with immense seriousness and confidence he developed a spoof proposal for giving Castro the James Bond treatment…”
According to another account, “Fleming … in their conversation … told Kennedy that he had a way to get rid of Fidel Castro, the Communist leader of Cuba. This piqued Kennedy’s interest, since Castro had been a thorn in the side of Kennedy. Fleming said that Castro’s beard was the key. Without the beard, Castro would look like anyone else. It was his trademark. So, Fleming said that the US should announce that they found that beards attract radioactivity. Any person wearing a beard could become radioactive himself as well as sterile! Castro would immediately shave off his beard and would soon fall from power, when the people saw him as an ordinary person. Kennedy had a good laugh about this bizarre suggestion.”
The next morning, CIA director Allen Dulles received a full briefing of the previous night’s dinner conversation, ostensibly from Bross, the CIA man.
And as Golden notes, “The man selected to wack the beard was William Harvey,” otherwise known as America’s James Bond.
When President Kennedy asked to meet “America’s James Bond,” he was presented with William Harvey – a heavy drinking, womanizing former FBI agent and CIA intelligence officer who helped run the Cuban operations and an assassination project called ZRRIFLE.
Ernest L. Cuneo, the OSS agent Fleming met during World War II at the New York city apartment of Sir William Stephenson (INTREPID), got to know Fleming very well, and Fleming dedicated two of his books to him and used his name as a character in “Diamonds Are Forever.”
Cuneo, with another Fleming OSS associate, who introduced Fleming to Jamaica, were co-owners of the North American Newspaper Alliance (NANA) when they hired Fleming to be their European Editor.
In the introduction to a book on Ian Fleming and 007, Cuneo also caught the 007, Ian Fleming-JFK- Fidel Castro connection.
“The Flemings, particularly Anne, were very close to Prime Minister Eden, much as the American jet set was close to President Kennedy. It was a fast, slippery track. It is worth mentioning that both Prime Minister Eden and President Kennedy came a cropper on it, as did Fleming, his son Casper, and eventually Anne. However, it would be fatuous to suggest there was any casual relationship. All one can do is note that whatever his literary existence, James Bond appears as an evil talisman in the very real lives of people in his periphery. Eden’s illness and his fleeing to Fleming’s place, Goldeneye, has an overtone of Appointment in Samara. Jack Kennedy, professing his preference for James Bond, certainly imitated him to a degree no President had even remotely approached before. President Kennedy’s death duel with Cuba’s Castro has James Bond overtones.”
(Oxford dictionary: Cropper: To have a heavy fall or bad failure.)
Cuneo, in his introduction to Raymond Benson’s “The James Bond Bedside Companion” (1984), noted that Fleming never graduated from Eton or Sandhurst. “He had mastered the course but refused to cross the finish line. Having demonstrated he could win, he threw in his hand. That’s probably what he did with his life: at the end, in pain, tired and disillusioned, he said, ‘the hell with it, it’s a bore. I’ve proven I could play the hand, I’ve won the pot – and now you can keep it.’”
“James Bond, who, in the novels, is often stricken with the malady of ennui, would probably have done the same thing had he been a real person. After all, what could be more ridiculous than a seventy-five-year old James Bond?”