Heavy title – right? Well, it all fits together.
In 1963, my president was murdered (a simpler verb than assassinated). To this day, it has not been solved to my satisfaction. But, because I have always had an unhealthy admiration for the mob/Mafia (the difference is the Mafioso had to be directly connected to the Sicilian Mafioso, but since there were Irish and Jews, and later Russians, so connected to mob actions, I will call them the Mob), I have been watching the Monday night series of Mob movies, and The Making of the New York Mob, on TCM, narrated by Ray Liotta.
Because of the movies and the series, I have checked a couple of books out of the library, one a book about Lucky Luciano, and the other The Sinatra Club, written by Sal Polisi with Steve Dougherty. I decided to read The Sinatra Club first, waiting until the series is over (this coming Monday night) to read about Luciano. Besides, Sal Polisi, an ex-member of the Mob, is one of the people interviewed for this series, The Making of the Mob. It has been quite an eye-opener.
Let me say first of all, I have never considered myself naïve, except about sex), but I was most certainly raised in a church-cult family, and the mob was not part of my education. We who were raised in the 40s and 50s outside of mob-dominated areas were quite simply not given information about that kind of Life, and so we were ignorant of those things. Later, after I left home, even living six years in Las Vegas, I simply did not pay attention.
So my theory of why John Kennedy was killed is related to the Vietnam War, and I thought because Kennedy was going to stop our participation in that war, that is what caused him to be murdered – and I put the blame on those war-mongers who wanted the war to continue so they could keep making money on the war machine.
But Polisi, who was known as Sally Ubatz during his mob days, has written a very compelling chapter in this book showing that John Kennedy was murdered because the mob did not like that the mob was removed from Havana, Cuba, by Castro, and it was blamed on Kennedy. And that the murder of Kennedy was orchestrated by J. Edgar Hoover at the behest of the mob. Rather than try to write what has been written without permission of the writers, I suggest you go to your public library, look up the book (number 364.1092P768P) and open it to Chapter 11 on page 122 of the hardback edition published by Gallery Books in 2012, titled Crime of the Century, and read it. It is truly a compelling story. I have heard from numerous people that they thought it was a mob hit, which I have argued against, and which I am now thinking might be the truth. Also, according to this book, the mobsters involved end up regretting that it was not Bobby they killed. Well, he was later, and I never really knew why.
Leaders of the mob seem to have been in the pockets of a lot of politicians of those days, and I have believed that ever since I first had knowledge of the Mob/Mafia, though I never knew to what extent. That could be naivety, or it could simply be that I wasn’t paying attention. Obviously I reckoned they had to be covered by politicians and lawmen during the prohibition, but I simply did not know how deep it was in the 40s-70s. They were involved in the Black Market (probably they were the Black Market), during World War II, and this is where some of their millions of dollars came from, after prohibition. Also, although The Godfather tried to make me believe not all bosses were involved in the drug trade, I seem to have been misled, or just wrong.
I also learned that blacks were not accepted by members of the Mob/Mafia. During the early 60s, there was a group within the groups called SPONGE, which meant Society for the Prevention Of Negroes Getting Everything.
According to this book (which I am only half-way through), the Mob was “disbanded/wiped out” in the late 70s. But I am no longer naïve about such things. I find myself looking at what is happening in today’s politics being once again driven by mobsters. I am looking at people like the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson as being mobsters, and officially heads of organized crime. Maybe I’m late to this party, but I just wasn’t looking at it that way before.
We know many politicians have/have had money-people in their pockets. For some reason I think I just thought it was individual greed, but I am coming to the conclusion that this is no longer correct. There are too many things going on in American government and politics that are repeats of things that occurred in the 20s through the later decades. Most of the things going on, stealing of money, non-payment of taxes, killings, stepping on the poor, cutting of benefits for the non-privileged – these things are being brought to resolution by legislative enablers.
Blacks are being systematically murdered by officers of the law. Treasonous acts are being committed by legislators, and not being punished for them. I wonder how many heads of alphabet companies, corporations, systems have resigned because they were not eager to join in. Why has the FBI never had a leader who lasted as long as J. Edgar Hoover did.
I cannot believe Obama is mixed up in any of this because of the intolerance against black people shown in the past. I wonder at the amount of security he has that I just considered racism before, but now think it might be because men bigger than simple racists might be involved. Yet now we are opening the doors to Havana again, which I have been applauding and still do, but am suspicious once again that the Mob might move in on Havana to bring their empires into the public eye again.
I truly hope this is not too muddled, but in the process of learning how the Mob/Mafia have operated in this country, has operated in the past, learning about another side of the Kennedy story, learning that J. Edgar Hoover was not pure as Eliot Ness, nor were a great deal of the FBI, watching white policemen openly murdering black people, and hearing some of the trash coming out of many politicians’ mouths (and wondering why marijuana hasn’t been legalized across the country), I begin to see a different story altogether.
Think about it.
PS: I have decided that although in the past I thought my admiration for the mob might have been because they believed in family (in my ignorance, I thought that simply meant wives and children – family, not Family), it could also be because I have wanted so many times to take vengeance against someone who ill-used me, but haven’t dared because I fear Karma, and I enjoyed watching them do revenge in movies. I begin to see my admiration has been mistakenly given.
Carol Stepp, Austin, TX
Double PS: The Sinatra Club was so-named because Frank Sinatra was a hero from Hoboken to the Italian members of the Mafia, but though I know Frankie was probably friendly with some of these bosses, I don’t believe he lived the life necessarily. Even though I remember John Kennedy was advised to stop associating with Frank Sinatra, and Peter Lawford was also warned about his involvement since he was married to a Kennedy sister, Patricia. And later divorced. Oh yeah, I have always adored Frank Sinatra, and loved the Rat Pack.