OPERATION 40 - JUST PRIOR TO BAY OF PIGS Frank Sturgis Michael Canfield STURGIS told Paul Meskil that he was

part of the CIA's OPERATION 40, an infiltration and intelligence gathering group that was to go into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs assault. Meskil stated that some former CIA agents described OPERATION 40 as an "assassination squad." STURGIS stated: "It was top CIA project. Most of the men in it were Cubans who had been trained by the U.S. Army. I am not saying that OPERATION 40 had an assassination squad. There were reports there was one, but I'm not saying so." Meskil reported that the Chief of OPERATION 40 was Joaquin Pedromo Sanjenis, a former Castro aide who defected and became a CIA agent. Two of his cousins also worked for the Agency. Canfield asked STURGIS about OPERATION 40: STURGIS: Well, I was an associate, while I participated in OPERATION 40. OPERATION 40 was formed before the Bay of Pigs invasion; it was a Top Secret Government operation; it consisted of many Cuban intelligence officers who worked for the CIA and this organization. Their job primarily was to train people to infiltrate a foreign country, to make contact with people in the political sector of the government, plus there was also a group formed, in which was the assassination section, which I was part of; that, if necessary, this assassination group would, upon orders, naturally, assassinate either members of the military in the foreign country, political party members of the foreign country that you were going to infiltrate, and, if necessary, some of your own members, who were suspected of being foreign agents. Now at the same time, I was asked by my friend, who was a CIA agent, he asked me if I was interested in participating, or doing an assassination with the Company. I told him yes, providing that I would sit down with his case officer and go over the details, and I would do it. Canfield: Domestic or foreign? STURGIS: It would be domestic. Canfield: Here in the United States?" STURGIS: Oh yeah. The reason for that, he asked me how I would go about it. And I told him, well, if it was going to be domestic, well, I could do it several ways. I could do it either in the Everglades, I could do it by boat, or I could do it by air. But, that if it was going to be done, I did not want nobody to be part of this, I would do it by myself, but I definitely wanted to meet the officer who wanted this done, and I wanted to see him, and get it right from him, so that I would be sure that it would be someone with authority, and not just a low level agent, such as he...I told him that. He told me that he would make contact with someone higher up, and pass on that information and so forth. Canfield: Did this come out of Operation 40?

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And it can be proven that he is. I don't want to go ahead and say at this point. or rather was. But the only thing that I had as far as the assassination was concerned. Canfield: Was he involved in Watergate? STURGIS: Well. Canfield: They never did assassinate anyone in the United States? 2 . when I was asked to do domestically. no. naturally. Canfield: What about domestic activities. STURGIS: Of anyone else. if you don't want to talk with us' And they told me that they felt I was one of the persons capable.STURGIS: This is what the Operation 40 was trained for. if you want to talk with us.. they were furious with the Kennedys because of the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion. And they said. at that time. Canfield: No. The Cubans were very angry with the Kennedys. no.. The only one who would know are the people involved in CIA. STURGIS: No. which brings the why all this stuff I've been reading in the paperswhere they want me to be part of an investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy. did they ever attempt a domestic assassination? STURGIS: Not to my knowledge. Canfield: Do you have any ideas? STURGIS: No. that I was capable of -Canfield: You were approached though to do assassination jobs STURGIS: Oh yeah. But the only thing I can say on that is. not to my knowledge. oh yeah. or a fool or what. no. which I assume I will be. I have no knowledge of anything like -Canfield: Did anyone ever approach you about -STURGIS: The assassination? Yeah. oh no. But if I'm ever called in front of a Congressional Committee. no. this is strictly a voluntary thing. Canfield: Did they ever tell you who was to be assassinated? STURGIS: No. I don't even know if it was another agent.. if I wanted to assassinate somebody as high as the President of the United States. I will tell them. "Well FRANK. is the investigation by the FBI. to do the assassination. a CIA agent. Also an associate.. or a double agent. myself -Canfield: Right. I mean.

my close contact with him. the formation of the Bay of Pigs itself before the invasion came through this particular man. It's gonna have to come from someone with a little authority. And the only time he suspected that I had anything to do with the CIA is when we were in prison.STURGIS: Not to my knowledge. Canfield: And what was his response? STURGIS: He told me he would make contact with someone higher up. the way of operation. and pass on that information. 'What do you think?' The idiot.. and I know your background. and I know you are capable. He was part of forming this -. I hope this never gets publicized. Canfield: Did you ever get any feedback from him or anyone else? STURGIS: No.' You must remember that how I know this man as an agent.On this assassination thing. I said. 'Yes I would be.' The discussion of money was not involved in it. and I think he gave me a certain day to contact him. and at a latter date. he types away. he makes all the reports. and I said 'Okay. And if anybody can do it.at least of the Revolutionary Council. because he does the same things as I do in his life. the people that he was in close contact with. And I looked him square in the face and told him. you can do it. he cannot know. Canfield: Did you tell him that? STURGIS: Oh. I would figure well. like who else? You are a man that the Chief knows your background. 'Why did you come to me?' And he says. and he asked me if I wanted to do an assassination attempt for the outfit. or at least. that the top political and military people who were in exile that he was in touch with. it was proven that he was an agent. 'Well FRANK. I don't know [who the target was]. it's gonna have to come up from some a little higher than this agent right here. And to me that was very stupid of him in doing that even to me who was his friend. I said this idiot took me out and we had some lunch. and stacks them in a file cabinet. in Miami. because I would not do anything for money. no.. how he worked. 3 . and so forth. yeah. the way he handles himself. STURGIS told the Rockefeller Commission: "All I knew is that he was an agent. He said he would contact his chief. and the man on the television said. he has a wife who types away. I have heard him talk to his case officer on the telephone. So my contacts with this man throughout the years. Canfield asked STURGIS: "Were all members of OPERATION 40 trained in assassination?" STURGIS replied that only 20 men were. and he would --. And I was approached by him and I told Jose Joachim Sajennes Pardomo. That is a stupid way of doing things.he told me to contact him later on. But the thing is would you be interested?' And I said. Because he did not suspect that I was in touch with Jose Joachim Sajennes Pardomo.

"Well.but I want it more from somebody else who has some authority. I believe (deleted) did take his place as this party's case officer.' I knew he was an agent. all right. And he said 'What is that?' I said I want it from somebody higher than you..'Yes.. 'You let me know.or at least I don't think I did. I was turning you in to my case officer.' And then he started to questioning.' he used to work for the CIA. But coming from you. Then you will go through with it?' And I said 'Certainly I will go through with it.' and I said 'Fine. Olsen: Did (deleted) take his place? STURGIS: I believe so. and I hope I haven't used it today -.It either had to be "EDUARDO. and he told me. You have a case officer. And he was dumbfounded and said.that I said I was an employee of the CIA or that I was connected with the CIA. but I have got to have more than that for my protection. okay.I said I wanted to tell you something. my buddy. The things I have to know is who the person is. And he said. I am talking about the agent and me who was part of the Watergate group. that is number one. I want your case officer to tell me to do an assassination plot and I will do it. If you tell me --. Olsen: Who was his boss? STURGIS: "EDUARDO". and where the person is at. but I didn't know that I was in contact --. there is interest FRANK. I will have to go ahead and go to the place where this man lives. I had a second meeting with him at the Ranch house.and you are my friend. 'What. and because you asked me. I will do this because you are a friend of mine. I don't care who the hell it is!' I said. you dumb bastard you. it is important. But I will want more than that.." who I never met or it had to be possibly (deleted) after "EDUARDO" left. Olsen: And then you did not actually have any contact with his case officer? STURGIS: When I told him what I think it kind of stung him a little bit.' 4 . and I believe you -. And then. 'Yes sir.I never used the word -. you are my friend. which is important.' He said 'About this assassination. he says. you work for the CIA?' And I said.. how would you do it? There are several ways of trying to do assassination. from somebody with authority. 'Well. Olsen: Did he ever put you in touch with his case officer? STURGIS: I knew who his boss was.