In case you needed any more proof that the CIA often is not the most astute judge of character, check out this 1966 report on accused anti-Castro mass murderer Luis Posada Carriles: "Although ... dedicated to the overthrow of Castro, he is not a typical 'boom and bang' type of individual," an agent wrote of Posada. Ooops!
That colossal misjudgment -- along with lots of other juicy info, including Carriles' $300-per-month salary as a spy -- are included in a batch of declassified CIA documents posted online this week as jurors in Texas hear Posada's trial for allegedly blowing up a Cuban hotel.
The documents, posted online by the National Security Archive, run the gamut from routine CIA files on Posada's post-Bay of Pigs work for the agency to fairly damning reports linking Posada to a bombed Cuban airliner that killed 74 innocent passengers.
Posada first made contact with the spooks in 1961 during the planning for the Bay of Pigs fiasco and then became a "paid asset" from 1965 - 67 and again from 1968 - 74. His salary was $300 a week.
The reports also show that, in the early days, Posada's handlers thought the world of him. The same report that judges Posada not to be a "boom and bang" type of character goes on to note that "he is acutely aware of the international implications of ill planned or over-enthusiastic activities against Cuba."
Later, the docs show, the relationship soured as the CIA learned of possible links between Posada and mob leaders and gleaned evidence that he'd conspired to take down Cubana flight 455.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The agency's last contact with the anti-Casto zealot came in 1993, when they called him in Honduras to warn him "about a threat against his life."
Oral arguments in the immigration case against Posada -- who faces charges of lying to immigration officials about his role in a 1997 Havana hotel bombing that killed an Italian tourist -- are supposed to start this afternoon.
Here's the declassified summary of all Posada's CIA skullduggery: