While he was preparing for a presidential run in 1960, JFK sought out the assistance of James Bond author Ian Fleming, asking for the British spy’s advice on methods for dealing with Fidel Castro and Cuba’s communist regime.
Kennedy had dinner with Ian Fleming on March 13, 1960, and asked the author for his ideas on the situation in Cuba. Fleming, a spymaster who developed a number of plots for Britain during World War II, reportedly told JFK that Castro needed to be thoroughly humiliated, according to the Daily Mail.
In the Journal of Cold War Studies, Christopher Moran observes that Fleming advocated using propaganda to hasten Castro’s downfall.
“Fleming suggested flooding the streets of Havana with pamphlets explaining that radioactive fallout from nuclear testing caused impotence and was known to be drawn to men who had beards. As a result, Cuban men would shave off their facial hair, thus severing a symbolic link to Castro and the revolution.”
— Maninder Dhaliwal (@dhaliwalmk) December 10, 2014
JFK was an avowed fan of Ian Fleming, as the Huffington Post has reported. The president famously cited From Russia With Love as one of his favorite books, and as the Cuban Missile Crisis coincided with the theatrical release of Dr. No, JFK is noted to have remarked on the usefulness of Fleming’s secret agent.
“I wish I had had James Bond on my staff,” Kennedy reportedly said.
Fleming’s super-spy is still thriving, with Daniel Craig recently taking his fourth turn at the cinematic role of James Bond. As the Inquisitr previously noted, filming for Spectre, the latest installment in the 007 franchise, began earlier this week.
Here JFK has just quietly fired CIA Director Allen Dulles & Plans Deputy Richard Bissell after Bay of Pigs disaster: pic.twitter.com/R7SQ7qIPtj
— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 14, 2013
The first civilian director of the CIA, Allen Dulles, was a friend of Fleming’s, and was also due to attend the dinner with JFK. Several days after Fleming met the future president, Dulles called to discuss the author’s ideas.
Between 1960 and 1965, the CIA’s Operation Mongoose hatched at least eight plots to assassinate the Cuban leader. A top secret document was prepared for JFK’s White House on July 25, 1962, outlining the plans.
“As desired by higher authority [President Kennedy] on November 30, 1961, the US undertook a special effort ‘in order to help Cuba overthrow the Communist regime’,” the document stated.
The CIA’s plans for assassinating Castro read like something out of one of Fleming’s novels. One plan called for placing poison or explosives in one of his cigars. Another suggested killing Castro while he was diving, either by poisoning his air supply, or planting an explosive disguised as a seashell near him.
One further plot involved a CIA propaganda campaign that would describe Castro as the anti-Christ, combined with a U.S. submarine offshore that would fire incendiaries into the sky to simulate the second coming. Such a deceptive plan may have had its roots in the suggestions Ian Fleming gave JFK over dinner just months before he became president.
[Images via Irish Central and Ian Fleming Publications]