A Collection of Docu-Drama Poetry
Hunt At Langley
From JFK: Lines of Fire
By David Cooper
I have nothing fo fight with. Am
taking to the woods. I
cannot wait for you ...(white noise).
After the slaughter the White Houre ordered
navy task force destroyers
to move in and pick up stragglers,
men in boats, on rafts, wounded
clinging to bits of wreckage.
A reconnaissance jet spotted
a few survivors
in the eater, on the beachhead
we wept silently. Never
had I seen
a room lull of men
Somrune remembered Nino Diaz
and his mutineers. His ship
was ordered to the U.S. naval base
at Viques Island where the marines
disarmed them. We wanted
no more trouble from Senor Diaz
The president agreed to meet
the six C.R.C officials. All
had sons, brothers, nephews
in the brigade. I thought
of Tony, Mire, and Dr. Maceo
and tears rolled down my face.
∑"Will you escort them to The White House?"
I can't face them; they trusted me
and I can't face them.
Dulles, Cabell, and Bisell
were summarily dismissed,
thrown to the wolves
to annticipate administration guilt.
The White House whitewashed
the New Frontier by heaping
excrement on us. Privately,
the president vowed
to splinter the agency
into a thousand pieces
and scatter us to the winds.
I issued one more war communiquť
denying there had been an invasion,
only a re-supply effort to the guerillas
in the Escambray, and the landing party
had reached their comrades
when in fact they
or struggling through the Zapata swamps
Sick of lying and deception,
of political compromise
and military defeat,
I went home.
peeling my socks off
I realized I hadn't changed
them in a week I couldn't eat.
I showered, slept, still
couldn't eat, fixed a martini, a
and another and another and wept.
This was the worst thing
since we lost China.
Atribution: "At Langley" is adapted from E. Howard Hunt, Give Us This Day (Arlington House, 1973) and from David Atlee Phillips, The Night Watch (Atheneum, 1977), respectively, as quoted in Mark Lane, Plausible Denial (Thunders Mouth Press, 1991) pp. 94-48.
My Brilliant Career
by David Cooper
It seemed dad was always
at sea. When I turned eighteen
he finally let me tag along
on a Christmas cruise to Cuba.
Our arrival coincided with the revolution.
I fell in with the companeros,
fell for Fidel, and he for me.
When dad set sail I stayed behind.
Fidel and I had a child, were happy
despite his absences, his infidelities. Eighteen
months later CIA double agent Francisco Fiorini,
Cuban airforce chief of security, warned me
Fidel was planning to murder me and our baby
(I didnít know Fiorini was CIA, only that
he was Fidel's trusted assistant) We fled to Miami,
where I was recruited by The Company, concocting plots
to murder my former lover, and occasionally transporting weapons.
The plots all flopped and my contact agent, E. Howard Hunt,
code named Eduardo, instructed me to kill Fidel myself.
Eduardo gave me poison capsules to drop into Fidel's drink, assuring
me there would he no search at customs (he was right, there wasn't)
but on the plane I lost my nerve, knew I could never murder
the father of my child, went to the lavatory and hid
the capsules in a jar of cold cream. When I tried
to retrieve them in my hotel room that evening
they had dissolved and I discarded the jarís
contents in the commode. The assignment
aborted, Fidel and I enjoyed a relaxed reunion.
Though 1 couldn't kill him, I at least managed
to steal certain secrets, about which Pm nut
at liberty to elaborate. Back in Miami, I resumed
my former activities, joined by Fiorini, who now
called himself Frank Sturgis, whom Eduardo put
in charge of me. In November 1963 Frank and I
set off on what st first seemed like just another
gun running trip in a two car caravan with
three Cubans and their Company contact agent
Gerry Patrick Hemming. We started from a CIA
safe house in Miami manned by agent Alexander Rourke
and his Cuban assistant Orlando Bosch, who both
stayed behind after loading the weapons machine guns,
rifles, hand guns, thirty eights, forty fives, M16s, M1s,
shot guns--in the trunk of the second, the back
up car. Frank and I drove the lead car, reaching
our destination, a Dallas motel on November 21.
Eduardo came by and gave Frank an envelope of cash
for the so-called operation (I still didn't know
its nature) which Frank counted and stuffed in his pocket,
saying "thatís enough." An hour later Eduardo left
Jack Ruby came by. By now I knew this was different
from other jobs. This wasnít just gun running.
This was big, very big, and I wanted to get out
of it. I told Frank 1 wanted to leave. He said
it was a very big operation but my part wasnít
dangerous; I was to be a decoy. "Please Frank,
let me get out, I want to go back to my baby
in Miami" He finally agreed and drove me
Lo the airport. I flew to Miami, picked up
the kid, flew to New York and stayed
with my mother in New Jersey, About a week later
the FBI came by, took me to their New York headquarters
and mostly asked about my former lover. I told them
about my Miami associations, the trip to Dallas,
everything; they said they already knew, didn't want
to go into it. Those were CIA activities, not FBI.
Despite my having chickened out twice before, Frank offered
me a job on another CIA project, saying "in Dallas you missed
the really big one. We killed the president that day.
You could have been part of it -- you know, part of
history. You should have stayed. It was safe
Everything was covered in advance No arrests,
no real newspaper investigation. It was all
covered, very professional."
Attribution: adapted in part from the depositions of Marita Lorenz in the liable case Hunl vs. Liberty Lobby as quoted in Mark Lane, Plausible Denial (Thunders Mouth Press, 1991) pp. 288-303.
If You Can Understand
By David Cooper
Attribution: Adapted from Dick Russell's October 25, 1975 interview with Raymond Broshears as quoted in his The Man Who Knew Too Much (NY: Carroll & Graf, 1992) pp 575-577, with Mr. Russellís permission. In gay slang "chicken" means an adolescent male.
David knew Lee
when Oswald was chicken
and later. I myself
met someone introduced to me as Leon
Oswald, had sex with him, a very
fleet, passing meeting. He looked a helluva
lot like him, but it's highly unlikely
this was the same Lee Oswald.
David did tell me
Lee Harvey Oswald did not
kill the president.
He said one gunman fired
from a sewer opening along
the parade route, another from
the grassy knell, and someone from behind.
David drove to Houston
the night of the 22nd
to fly the assassins
on to Mexico
and eventually South Africa,
which did not have an extradition
treaty with the U.S. They had flown
a single engine plane out
of some little airfield between
Dallas and Fort Worth and David
had a twin engine plane ready
for them--that was the purpose
of his mad dash through a driving
rainstorm from New Orleans. But their
off the coast near Corpus
they tried to make it to Mexico
on their own.
David wasnít a red baiter.
He really believed
Kennedy was a Communist, or
being controlled by Communists.
David had a deep
love for his country,
believed we were in danger
of being invaded, that the missiles
had never been removed from Cuba
and there was going to be an all out
atomic holocaust in the U.S. I don't know
if you can understand
the depth of his conviction--he was very
religious, would wear priest robes
and perform the Mass.
around David had any visible
means of support-- the money
was put up by Carlos Marcello,
the person most closely aligned
with the people who actually did
engineer the killing. Some of the
characters who were brought together
on Nov. 22, 1963, there was no way
they could have been working in concert.
They were all manipulated very cleverly
--by someone in government pulling the strings.
David called me
here in San Francisco
shortly before his death, said
he was going to be killed. I said,
"What are you drinking?
"Why canít you come out here?"
"I can't leave the South."
I donĎt want to come out
there with all those Communists."
That was it. The next
thing I knew, he was dead.
They said he killed
himself. But he didn't.
You know it, and I know it.
By David Cooper
Here was this guy whose teeth had all been reworked,
plenty of gold: had to be government work
(the only other expensive mouth Iíd seen like that
was an uncle who was a Ford executive).
Good looking man, trim, close-shaven, wearing
a dark blue suit, summer weave,
white shirt and regimental tie,
highly polished black shoes. The guy
looked about as out of place, to steal a phrase
from Raymond Chandler, as "a tarantula on a piece
of angel food." I mean, the Venice West was the ultimate
beatnik coffeehouse in those days. I could see
people running around whispering, "cop,
cop." Well, obviously no real cop would come in
dressed like that. I sat down and we started talking.
He began by saying he was interested in and sympathetic to
our organizational activities in the Santa Monica-Venice area,
told me he was an exofficer with Army Intelligence, had done some
hard thinking about his rule in the past, claimed to have
friends and connections with various law enforcement agencies,
and access to certain files, such as the one he showed me
that came, he claimed, from the LAPDs Red Squad. Accurate,
though somewhat dated, it contained the names of several friends
who had worked with me on several projects. That's when
he offered to help through his connections, saying
he couldn't be as active as we were for personal reasons.
We had a few beers and I asked him to prove his good intentions
by tracing two license plate numbers we suspected were cops.
The next day he had the information, blew the cover off
a narc, so I figured whoever he was and whatever his loyalty,
it wasn't to the LAPD Richard Nagell was a charming man. And while
I felt he was sincerely interested in what we were doing and dis-
enchanted with American foreign policy, at the same time I suspected
he was also a spook, checking me out fur some unknown reason.
Hell, I had nothing to hide. Iíd even entertained FBI
agents because I was intrigued with all this business
of saving America from people like me. So I accepted
Richard for what he was. Years later I would read:
When Jim Garrisonís investigation was made public in 1967,
Vaughn Snipes sent a letter to the Orleans Parish DAís office
disavowing any unlawful connection with me.
I had investigated Snipes and his wife Priscilla
in conjunction with my inquiry about Oswald.
I witnessed one of the two Cubans who were associating
with Oswald in August and September 1963 entering
Snipesí "On The Beach Bookstore" in Venice
on two separate occasions. Snipes, who once boasted
he was a good shot with a rifle was considered
for recruitment to hit JFK during the latterís June visit
to the Beverly Hilton for the premier screening
of "PT-109." That project never materialized.
That June Richard tried to check himself into
the Brentwood VA hospital, was seen by a shrink
in the outpatient clinic, but wasnít admitted.
And there I was, this crazy bastard who'd been
to the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, helped run
the L.A. Fair Play for Cuba Committee, tied
into all these left wing groups My bookstore
was in the middle of junkie paradise. The word
on the beach was that I was a shooter. I put that out
intentionally, because I didn't I want to be
knifed for my $25 a day receipts at the end
of the night. I didn't hide the fact that there were
guns in my bookstore and in my house. It was certainly
known to the cops and the FB1 and Nagell knew it.
wasn't going to shoot any of them. Whatís really
weird is, there was this little joke I had for a while.
I used to talk about Nagell with my second wife and she
would say, "what do you think that was all about?"
And Iíd say, "I think they were looking for somebody
to shoot Kennedy and I was supposed to be Oswald."
Attribution: adapted from the spoken words of Vaughn Marlowe (a.k.a. Snipes) and a written text by Richard Case Nagell as quoted in Dick Russell, The Man Who Knew Too Much (NY: Carroll & (Graf, 1992) pp. 335-343, with Mr. Russell's permission.