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FOR MORE THAN FOUR DECADES since his death in 1963, John F. Kennedy has captured the imagination of the American people. Myth and conjecture have swirled around JFK, his political legacy, his family, and its multiple tragedies. Admirers and critics have examined every detail of his life and work, gradually lifting one veil after another to shed new light on his presidency, from his maneuvering behind the scenes during the Cuban Missile Crisis to his personal weaknesses. Nonetheless, the secret with the most profound and catastrophic effect on America has remained hidden. Ultimate Sacrifice reveals this secret for the first time, transforming the history of the Kennedy years and providing the missing piece to one of the great puzzles of post-war America: the true circumstances behind JFK’s assassination on November 22, 1963. Seventeen years ago, Thom Hartmann and I began writing a book about the battles of President Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, against the Mafia and Fidel Castro. Drawing on new information and exclusive interviews with those who worked with the Kennedys, in addition to thousands of recently declassified files, we discovered that John and Robert Kennedy had devised and were executing a secret plan to overthrow Fidel Castro on December 1, 1963. The Plan for a Coup in Cuba (as it was titled in a memo for the Joint Chiefs of Staff) would include a palace coup to eliminate Castro, allowing a new Cuban Provisional Government to step into the power vacuum, and would be supported by a full-scale invasion of Cuba by the US military, if necessary.

The Plan for a Coup in Cuba was fully authorized by JFK and personally run by Robert Kennedy. Only about a dozen people in the US government knew the full scope of the plan, all of whom worked for either the military, the CIA, or reported directly to Robert. The Kennedys’ plan was prepared primarily by the US military, with the CIA playing a major supporting role. Input was also obtained from key officials in a few other agencies, but most of those who worked on the plan knew only about carefully compartmentalized aspects, believing it to be a theoretical exercise in case a Cuban official volunteered to depose Fidel.

Unique and different from any previously disclosed operation, the Kennedys’ Plan for a Coup in Cuba is revealed in this book for the first time. The CIA’s code name for their part of the coup plan has never surfaced in any book, article, or government investigation. Officially declassified in 1999, AMWORLD is the cryptonym the CIA used for the plan in its classified internal documents. Since the overall coup plan was under the personal control of Attorney General Kennedy, who did not use a code-name for it, we call it C-Day in this book, a name entirely of our own invention. Its evocation of D-Day is intentional, since the Kennedys’ plan included the possibility of a US military invasion...

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