Date: Wednesday, February 12, 1997
Commenced: 11:15 AM CST
Concluded: 11:45 AM CST
RTC: That has to be you, Gregory. Such timing. Corson was speaking with me a few minutes ago about you. Are your ears still ringing?
RTC: Ah, you are so popular. Bill was warning me that we had both best cut you loose because the wrath of God might descend. Bill has a paper asshole.
GD: Who is it this time? The Pope?
RTC: No the Kimmel people. He regularly turns his Justice people loose on both of us. I think they need a new record. The current one gets stuck. Is it true you killed Abraham Lincoln, Gregory? I mean it’s pretty well set that you are the illegitimate son of Adolf Hitler, or is it Josef Stalin? I can’t seem to remember, its all so mixed up. Anyway, you are pure evil and have to be kept away from. And do let’s keep the Pope out of this. I had enough trouble with that one.
GD: Which Pope?
RTC: John Paul I. We also went after John Paul II but that one didn’t work and we didn’t want to try it again.
GD: Why, in God’s name, did you want to kill the Pope? And out of curiosity, how did you pull it off?
RFC: The first one was going to put a terrible crimp in our drug business out of Italy and we tried to do the second one to blame the Russians. It was a sort of a game with us. Always try to do a bad bit and make it look like the Russians did it.
GD: The drug business? What did the Pope have to do with drugs?
RTC: He didn’t. It was the bank there that did. He had nothing to do with it but it was the Vatican bank.
GD: The Vatican bank was involved with drugs?
RTC: No, we used it to launder money. Who, I ask you, who would ever question the Vatican bank? It was the Mafia who had the inside bank contacts and believe me, there was a lot of money moving around. Let’s see, the Pope was elected in, I think, August of ’79. He replaced Montini. Former Vatican Secretary of State….he was Paul VI. Anyway, we had a fine working arrangement with the Italian Mafia about the movement of money as I said.
GD: I met Montini once, I think in ’51.
RTC: The new one had been in Venice….Luciani….
GD: There was another one from Venice….
RTC: I know but not the same one. That was back in the ‘60s. But the new Pope posed quite a problem. He had been told that there were certain irregularities in the IOR…that’s the Vatican bank. And the new Pope was inclined to be honest and was demanding a full review of the books and so on. If this had happened, a good deal would have been uncovered so the Pope had to go. It was that simple, Gregory. Politics had nothing to do with it, nothing at all.
GD: Couldn’t someone have cooked the books? Was murder necessary?
RTC: You don’t understand the whole picture, Gregory. The Mafia was involved in this up to their eyebrows and if any of it had come out, someone would have talked and pointed to us. We couldn’t have that. We had to get rid of Dag Hammarskjold because he was interfering with the uranium people in the Congo. It was nothing personal at all.
GD: How did you do it?
RTC: Our Station Chief in Rome ran the show. Contacts in the Vatican and especially with Buzonetti, the Pope’s doctor. My God, old Renata cost us plenty. On our payroll since God knows when. And our Political Psychological Division worked on this to put the blame on the KGB. And the P-2 Lodge was also involved and they were ours.
GD: The what?
RTC: The P-2 Lodge was an Italian Masonic group and early in 1970, we got our hands on it. It was designed to attract right wing Italian bankers and businessmen to combat the very active Italian Communist party. No, if the Pope had started something, it would have wrecked years of hard work on our part and ruined some of our more important assets. In the end, it was money, not Renaissance-style politics that did Luciani in.
GD: Does the Vatican know now?
RTC: Suspects but would rather not know anything. After the Pope assumed room temperature, we consolidated and revamped the system. There was quite a bit of mopping-up to do. We had to kill off a number of Italian players who had been pushed out of the picture and were longing to get back into the money. One hanged himself from a bridge in England. Obviously killed himself out of remorse.
GD: Stalin said once that it was not difficult to execute a murder but much more difficult to arrange a suicide.
RTC: Josef was a clever man.
GD: And, he said, No man, no problem.
RTC: That one I know. A friend and co-worker had that up over his desk. I am not joking.
GD: Oh, I believe it, Robert. It is lawful to be taught by your enemies.
RTC: I detect a critical attitude here, Gregory. You have to realize that the amount of money we were, and are, making from our drug partnerships is nothing to walk away from. Vast sums of money, Gregory, and enormous political power therefrom.
GD: I can see that but one day they will go too far.
RTC: The Kennedy business is a classic example why nothing will ever come of this sort of thing. If you publish the ZIPPER material you already have and what I am going to give you, you will only excite the conspiracy buffs, all of whom will gather together and hiss at you and heap coals of fire on your head. Let us say that you write a newspaper article on what I just told you. It would never get published and within minutes of your submitting it to an editor, we would be notified.
GD: And then you’d shoot me?
RTC: No, trash you. Laugh at you. Get our little broken down academics to piss on you. The press would ignore you completely and eventually, you would find something else to do. Now, on the other hand, if you had been one of us and had inside knowledge and worse, proof, you would perish very quickly. The faulty brakes while driving on dangerous mountain roads, an overdose of some kind of popular drug and dead in an overheated apartment. Things like that. But as an outsider, just laughter and silence. Of course, there are those who would believe you and if you wrote about this business with the Pope and mentioned some Italian names, you might get different treatment. The bomb under the front seat of your car or something crude like that. But we wouldn’t have done it and I would recommend against stirring those people up. We would look into your tax records and turn the IRS loose on you or let your wife know you were boffing a nice waitress at a cheap local motel. Or one of your nice children would be introduced to dangerous drugs. That’s more effective than a bomb in the car or someone shooting you dead in a parking garage. The Italians tend to be very emotional and we do not.
GD: The Italians once said that he who went softly went safely and he who went safely went far.
RTC: It would be less messy if they actually practiced that sentiment.
GD: By the way, Robert, why did you go after the other Pope? I assume that’s the one that got shot by the Arab in front of the Vatican.
RTC: Yes, but not an Arab, a Turk. They do not like to be equated with Arabs. That one? Actually, we thought that if we had him done in right in front of everybody, it would draw a lot of attention and we could really blame it on the KGB. It was a perfect set up. He was a Polack who was agitating the Solidarity people against Russia so who would be the most logical suspect? And we had been financing the Turkish Grey Wolves for some time. They got the hit man for us. Of course he didn’t know anything so no one shot him in the courtroom.
GD: Que bono! But for no other reason?
RTC: Isn’t that enough? Turn all the world’s Catholics against the Russians in a hurry.
GD: Let’s see here. One Pope for sure, another shot at, a dead UN chief, a dead American president, assorted deceased South American leaders, a Pakistani or two, at least one high level Indian and so on. I would hope not all for such trivial motives.
RTC: Turning huge number of people against Russia is not a trivial motive at all.
GD: The wheel does turn, Robert, it does. And what is now at the bottom comes to the top. Out of curiosity, have you killed any Israelis?
RTC: No, they know just how far to go and we work very closely with them. They do a lot of our dirty work for us. They blew up the Marine barracks in Lebanon and of course we blamed it on the Arabs. It goes on, Gregory, and if you had sat in my chair and walked in my shoes, you would be a bit more understanding.
GD: This is not aimed at you, of course.
RTC: If it were, I wouldn’t be defending you to the monkeys when they jabber about you. They aren’t worth much. I think your problem is that you never were in a position of command and at a high level. If you had been, you would be less judgmental.
GD: I am just an amateur, Robert, just a dilettante. Thank God.
(Concluded at 11:45 CST)