"Guido, meet the General. General, meet Guido."
The Mexico City nightclub photo reveals
a mixed group of apparent Cuban exiles, Italian wise guys, and square-jawed
military intelligence types. It was discovered among keepsakes kept in
the safe of the widow of CIA pilot and drug smuggler Barry Seal (third
from left). It appears on the cover of “Barry & ‘the boys:’ The CIA,
the Mob & America’s Secret History” (MadCow Press, Eugene OR. 2001).
Goss appears second on the left.
He is seated between notorious CIA pilot and drug smuggler Barry
Seal (third left) and the equally-notorious CIA assassin Felix Rodriguez (front
left), a Cuban vice
cop under the corrupt Mob-run Batista regime who later became an Iran Contra
operative and a confidant of the first George Bush.
The only one of the spook celebrants
displaying any hint of tradecraft (seated on the other side of the table covering
his face with his sport coat) is Frank Sturgis, most famous as one of the
Beside him sits (front right)
William Seymour, New Orleans representative of the Double-Chek Corporation,
a CIA front used to recruit pilots (like Seal), and a man who many Kennedy assassination
researchers believe impersonated Lee Harvey Oswald on several
occasions when the lone nut gunman was out of the
country and so unable to impersonate himself.
As we saw it, the photo was in a yellowed
frame, the kind used by nightclub photographers to create instant keepsakes. Seal’s widow Debbie
Seal kept it in her safe, where it was overlooked by a 7-man team from
the State Department which arrived at her house in 1995 to comb through
It bears the name of a nightclub
in Mexico City, and is stamped January 22, 1963, which, if you’re counting,
was exactly ten months to the day before the Kennedy assassination.
Barry Seal was then a young-looking
24-year old. Porter Goss was the same age.
"You don't have the negative too do you?"
The sensitive nature of this
picture was confirmed to us by a person who had known and worked
with Seal since 1964, an individual who had obviously been close with the Louisiana
native, the basis for the hit song in the 'mid-60's by buddy Johnny Rivers,
called "Secret Agent Man.”
Seal’s will had named this man
executor of his estate. And his reaction to seeing the picture was instantaneous
and shocked. “Where did you get that?” he
demanded. “I didn’t know there were any…Where did this picture come from? ”
Seated with Seal in that
nightclub in Mexico City in 1963 are men whose lives and careers comprise a large part of America’s
recent secret history, we learned. Arrayed around the table were members of the CIA’s
much-whispered about assassination squad, Operation Forty, first helmed
by then-Vice President Richard Nixon.
Barry Seal was one of them.
Perhaps so was Porter Goss.
There are many intriguing
connections hinted at by Goss’s presence in the photo: at the time it was
taken the CIA's covert action chief in Mexico City was David Atlee Phillips,
AKA Maurice Bishop, who reportedly met with Oswald in Dallas before the
Other connections: in the
well-received “Deadly Secrets,” authors Warren Hinkle and William
Turner name Rafael 'Chi Chi' Quintero, Lois Posada Carriles, Felix Rodriguez
and Frank Sturgis as members of Operation Forty, under the overall control
of E. Howard Hunt.
Sturgis, a member of the
team that broke into Democratic National Committee headquarters at the
Watergate complex in 1972, later admitted to having been part of Operation
More famous names: Thomas
Clines, the notorious Edwin Wilson and "Blond Ghost" Ted Shackley, Mr.
Spook himself… all involved with Operation Forty, as was Barry Seal.
“Yeah, Barry was Op Forty,”
Gerald Hemming confirmed to us. “He flew in killer teams inside the island
(Cuba) before the invasion to take out Fidel.”
CIA Colonel William Bishop showed author
Dick Russell a series of photographs of
On the backs of the pictures were the words "Special talent 1960-65, Ice
pick man ... Butcher... Sniper and demo [demolition] expert ... Propaganda
... Knife man... Pilot and navigator ... Mutilator."
“Bishop said, ‘We weren't
playing a nice game.’”
Depends on Your Definition of ‘Is’”
When nephew Chuck Giancana
wrote about Mob Boss Sam Giancana’s strategic move to Mexico in early 1963, he
too touched on Operation Forty. "It was to be an all-out,
no-holds-barred Latin American push. Mooney (Giancana) settled into a
lavish Mexico City apartment and went right to work, drawing on the expertise
and mammoth resources of the recently-formed CIA team of assassins and
operatives specifically trained for Latin American clandestine operations. CIA
insiders jokingly dubbed the team the White Hand, an allusion to the Mafia
killer progenitors the Black Hand."