November 22, 1963
In less than
"If you shut up the truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way."
- French author Emile Zola
"Treason does never prosper.
What's the reason?
When it prospers,
None dare call it treason."
Sir John Harrington
James E. Files, covert agent for the CIA
The Cover-up, Part I
But in November 1976, because Bosch was talking and not about jealous lovers, the agency's line shifted to "the Cubans did it alone." But because the Cubans took revenge on Townley for the betrayal of Rolando Otero, Phillips's hand would be exposed.
Except for FBI questioning of Mrs. Letelier and her fellows at the Institute for Policy Studies there was no immediate investigation into the double assassination. None because George Bush, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had informed the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that there was no Chilean connection in this "unprofessional" act of passion. And the CIA would know, of course, because it had reliable sources in both the junta and DINA and to offer more than that by way of explanation would touch on most sensitive matters of "National Security."
According to Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter believed that a faithful investigation would determine that both President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King had died at the hands of a conspiracy. Carter was dealing with a shattered rogue intelligence as he assumed office. The President-elect according to Young, had complained, "If they can do this (kill Letelier) and get away with it under the nose of the CIA and the FBI, then no President can govern. These are armed federal employees, and either we control them or they control us!!" Thus, Carter is said tot have ordered a serious far-reaching investigation. The problem was that Phillips, the AFIO (Association of Former Intelligence Officers) and the media pack were able to call in enough favors so that the new President was not able to appoint a man of his own choice, Theodore Sorenson, director of the CIA or, finally, impose actual sanctions on Chile.
Sorenson had known Letelier, and like others in the Kennedy circle, he saw in the Letelier case a golden opportunity to clean out the "antidemocratic" forces in both the Agency and the Bureau, according to an associate. But Carter was not able to appoint a Kennedy man to be Director of the Agency. "The Agency was more powerful than the President."
At the Department of Justice, J. Stanley Pottinger and Michael Shaheen were working overtime to blunt the charge that the Federal Bureau of Investigation might have murdered Dr. King and certainly had not investigated the crime. Thus, until a handful of independent investigators forced them to act in the Letelier case, the Justice Department left the field free for the AFIO-led Disinformation steamroller. In 1977, when the Justice Department ws forced to move, Attorney General Griffin Bell was drive to protect CIA influence to the White House.
At IPS, bitterness grew as 1976 ended. The New York Times had not assigned a reporter to the Letelier murder case and it disappeared from the news. Jack Anderson's aide, Les Whitter, aired the charge of "Letelier as a Castro Agent." When Isabel Letelier and Michael Moffitt confronted Attorney General Bell, he complained that he "didn't want another Watergate."
When in 1977, the IPS investigation came up with the names Edwin P. Wilson as a possible supplier of explosive devices tot Townley, and James E. Sutton alias James E. Files as a Black Operative and close friend to Wilson and Townley, the The IPS insisted that the FBI interview the former C.I.A. agend and Black Operative Clandestine makers of coups in the Carribean and the Congo. The agency broke off relations with the stalled Justice Department probe.
In 1977 James E. Sutton/Files underwent an exstensive investigation in the shipment and dealings in various weapons and explosives. When questioned by the FBI Sutton/Files refused to answer any questions on the advice of his attorney. Sutton/Files was the owner of a restaurant in Melrose Park, Illinois, known as a hangout for the mob and visited regular by the Cuban, "White Hand Organisation."
In April, 1980, Sutton/Files became top priority as the FBI moved in for a full investigation on his Criminal Activities. He was under investigation for: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations; Interstated Transportation of Stolen Property; Illegal Gambling Business; Police Corruption; Theft From Interstate Shipment; Extortionate Credit Transactions; Arson and Bombing; and Conspiracy to Commit Murder.
In may 1981, and indictment was handed down for Interstate Transportation. Sutton/Files is now currently serving a 15 year sentence in a Federal Institution, for the Interstate Transportation Act. All other Charges are still under investigation.
The 1980 indictment on Wilson also charged that the two former C.I.A. agents paid $1 million to three persons to assassinate a former Libyan government official who led an abortive coup against el-Quaddafi in 1975. The assassination never took place, because the three men backed out.
Indicted were: Francis E. Terpil, Edwin P. Wilson, and Jerome S. Brower. Terpil and Wilson are former CIA Agents.
The Cover-up, Part II
The deadly silence and obstruction of justice that was the official Letelier investigation exploded on October 6, 1976.
Cuban airliner en-route from Barbados to Cuba blew up killing all 73 on board. Within a week, Orlando Bosch, the chief of CORU, started talking about the Letelier case.
An investigative team located a White Hand man who led them to another, who could "break the case". There would have to be a deal that would allow the informant to walk on the major charges.
After the Pinochet coup in 1973, a new day had dawned for Bosch's White Hand. Pinochet's personal representative, Eduardo Sepulveda, had flown to Miami to meet with Bosch and others. Later Pedro Ernesto Diaz was there for DINA to set up a front group (Buckleys'and Phillips" American-Chilean Council) to represent the junta's interest, undercover, in the United States. Under the new arrangement with the guerillas, Bosch and other CORU luminaries were able to travel through the hemisphere on Chilean Airlines, protected by DINA bodyguards, carrying Chilean money and passports bearing false names.
By the spring of 1977, IPS. and independent investigators had learned:
A formal agreement between DINA and CORU was made in November 1975. Michael Townley was selected as liaison between the groups.
In July 1976 Cuban Terrorist and Michael Townley met in Bonao in the Dominican Republic at the executive lodge of the Falcondo Mining Company to plan joint ventures: both the Cubana bombing and the Letelier killing. Sacha Volman, the veteran CIA agent, and Cuban exile Frank Castro, another CIA man working with Gulf and Western, hosted the meeting. Volman had been a key CIA-labor operative in the Dominican Republic under David Phillips.
In 1977, Ambassador George Landau entered the case as a principal and revealed the circumstance of the Paraguayan Passports. The false names and photographs of the two men had been lost by the CIA. Now, after Landau remembered them, they reappeared. "Juan William Rose" and "Sergio Castillo" would later be identified by Chileans as Michael Vernon Townley (Rose), and James E. Sutton (Castillo).
1976, only days after Letelier was murdered, the FBI was pressing Aldo Vera for Information and Vera was co-operating. Vera had been expelled from Accion Cubana in June 1976, according to FBI documents, because of his informant activity. On October 25, 1976, he was murdered in San Juan. He and Townley had started out together in the SAO and PyL. Then Vera had helped to set up Cruz in Franace. Now he was dead, and Townley and his wife feared for their lives.
Jose Suarez, given immunity and sent before the Grand Jury in 1977, refused to answer questions and went to jail for almost a year. When the life of the Grand Jury expired in 1978, Suarez was released, and disappeared. How would a main suspect in the murders just vanish? How could he not be under constant FBI surveillance, as he had been before incarceration?
See the FBI documents on this case: