Article 1951 of misc.activism.progressive Subject The Saigon Solution, Part 10 source mate

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Article 1951 of misc.activism.progressive: From: dave@ratmandu.corp.sgi.com (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe) Newsgroups: misc.activism.progressive Subject: The Saigon Solution, Part 10: source material for the "JFK" film Message-ID: <1991Dec24.195508.23193@pencil.cs.missouri.edu> Date: 24 Dec 91 19:55:08 GMT Sender: daemon@pencil.cs.missouri.edu Followup-To: alt.activism.d Organization: PACH Lines: 743 Approved: map@pencil.cs.missouri.edu Subject: The Saigon Solution, Part 10: source material for the "JFK" film Keywords: Part X (of 20) in a Series on the CIA and the Vietnam Era Lines: 743 The "JFK" movie compresses a lot of information into 3 hours, 8 minutes. The movie itself weighed in at 6 hours. A lot of cutting had to be done to make the thing commerically manageable. Although I was disappointed in the manner in which some aspects were portrayed or left-out, I was very pleased to see how much important factual info *was* included. Through Fletcher Prouty, I have known of this movie-in-the-making for some time. Initially he was hired by Oliver Stone to be a consultant for the film. It was only later, as he was reviewing a portion of the script, that he recognized his own "voice"/words being spoken by one of the actors (Donald Sutherland). It turns out Oliver Stone had in fact read the articles Fletcher had written from 1985 to 1987 on the CIA and the Vietnam era, starting in 1945 and moving up to the assassination of President Kennedy. These articles are described by Fletcher as " A more or less personal account of the origins and development of the Vietnam War from the involvement, in 1945, of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to the Central Intelligence Agency's operational role, from 1954 to 1965, when the U.S. Armed Forces under their own combat commanders arrived." In a previous post of Part 11 in this series, I included a description of Fletcher Prouty's (Colonel, USAF (ret'd)) duties in the Pentagon from 1955 to 1963 as a briefing officer and as the Focal Point Officer for military logistical support of CIA covert operations world-wide, first for the Air Force (1955-1961) and then for all four branches of the military (1961-1963). The movie itself covers a wide range of information that has come to light through the years by the plodding methodical efforts of independent investigators and researchers. It can get pretty thick. Perhaps these articles will be of use to you in understanding what vantage point Mr. Prouty brings to this massive subject. excerpts from Part 10: The author had an office a few doors down the hall from this new suite and he visited them frequently to join its chief, Ron Linton, and other McNamara "whiz kids" for lunch. He noticed that the walls of this suite of offices were lined with maps of the United States showing all the states and counties. They were political maps. In short order, at Goldberg's suggestion, one set of those maps was colored to show every county that Kennedy had carried in 1960, and another color for every county that went to Nixon. . . . Gilpatric, a New York banker who was McNamara's deputy, was sent out to make an important speech to a bankers' convention on April 9, 1963. His title, "The Impact of the Changing Defense Program on the United States Economy," was actually more pertinent than his audience expected. He spoke about the TFX decision to bankers and of course to the news media at a time when this was a white-hot subject. In an early paragraph he exposed the extent of his subject. The new Kennedy policy was a blockbuster. Gilpatric stated--and when he did, windows rattled in defense installations all over the world--"I have not the slightest doubt that our economy could adjust to a decline in defense spending." . . . To the Kennedy circle, the TFX, the Skybolt, the Dyna-Soar, the atomic-powered aircraft and all the rest that had fallen into their laps with the election were just what Kennedy, Goldberg and McNamara took them to be. They were devices that could be used to direct money into political districts that needed it for their own benefit, and to assure the election of a Kennedy for years to come. This is why Gilpatric made the speech he did to the assembled bankers and this is why McNamara said that the day had passed when the services would be allowed to develop their own weapons systems. The services and the great industries for whom the military establishment existed were absolutely staggered by all this. They had never encountered such a serious challenge. The one-two combination of punches they had suffered had them on the ropes. On January 17, 1961, they had heard Dwight Eisenhower, in a farewell address to the nation, urge vigilance regarding the dangers to liberty implicit in a vast military establishment and caution against the power of the military-industrial complex. Now they had a president who was not just talking about that danger, but was taking their dollars away to use them as he chose. This was the enormous significance of that TFX decision. the following appeared in the May 1986 issue of "Freedom" magazine. [warning!--"Freedom" is published by the church of scientology. people unable to decide for themselves whether such a source might irrevocably corrupt their own capacity for self-reflective independent thought/critical thinking, shud probably avoid reading *anything* that might have been published in/by such a magazine. those capable of forming their own opinions should check out this (and the other 19 parts in the series) fascinating and illuminating article by a man who worked in the belly of the beast.] _________________________________________________________________________ 1000 DAYS TO DALLAS Part X in a Series on the CIA and the Vietnam Era by L. Fletcher Prouty Reprinted with permission of the author The assassination of President John F. Kennedy has been a never-ending puzzle for researchers and assassination buffs. They can tell you the name of the street where Lee Harvey Oswald lived while he worked in Minsk in the Soviet Union, or the precise weight loss of the so-called Magic Bullet which the Warren Commission says passed through both President Kennedy and Texas Governor John Connally before it mysteriously came to rest among the sheets on a stretcher in Parkland Hospital. This research has become such a mad game that few ever think of basic facts and causes. Who ordered the murder of President Kennedy? Why was it done and for whose benefit? Who manages and perpetuates the always-active cover-up, even in 1986? On the other side of the coin, those who have created the entrancing cover-story scenario have provided so many precious "golden apples" that many researchers have taken the lure and stopped to examine every one of them. As an example, it is quite clear from the evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald did not kill President Kennedy. Then why study Oswald and that whole matter to absurdity? Such actions are an utter waste of time. The murder of President Kennedy required the simultaneous existence of three fundamental factors: a) the decision and the power to do it; b) the professional mercenaries or "mechanics" to carry it off as a team effort; and c) the application and maintenance of the cover-story scenario. The first two were relatively simple. The third, and most difficult of all to create and to manipulate, is by far the most important. It is this third factor that reveals the nature of the top echelon involved, and the power and skillful determination of the plotters who benefited by gaining control of the presidency. After all, they were able to control a commission created by a president and headed by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. They obtained the written endorsement of two men who later became presidents: Ford and Nixon. They have controlled the media and congressional activity to the extent that the assassination has never been investigated adequately. And they have controlled the judicial system of the state of Texas where a trial for the murder of President Kennedy must, by law, be convened. The book is never closed on murder. In the final analysis: why was Kennedy killed? What brought about the pressures that made murder of the president essential to someone, no matter what it cost? This article probes the subject within the scope of the overall parameters of this series. On November 8, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States of America by a margin of 112,000 votes--a one-half vote per precinct edge, the slimmest margin for high office since 1884. Just over 1,000 days later, President Kennedy was shot dead in Dallas by the closely coordinated rifle fire of a team of hired guns. Pressures that had built during the election had become even greater during those intervening three years. Someone else wanted to control the office of the president and wanted it bad enough to kill, and to put up with the eternal burden of maintaining the coverstory scenario that said one lone gunman, from a sixth floor window of the Texas School Book Depository building, did it with three shots from an old, Italian-made rifle with a telescopic sight. To maintain that cover story takes real power; and those responsible have maintained it. It is easy to assassinate a president; there are ways to beat the defenses. After all, on November 22, 1963, when JFK died, the Secret Service did not own a single armored automobile for the protection of the president. The FBI owned four of them, but the Secret Service had never asked for one. The actual killing of the president is relatively simple, but covering up the murder to shield the gunmen and those who hired them, arranging for their safe and undetected removal from the scene, creating a patsy to take the blame, releasing a cover-story scenario from those first moments and keeping it intact for the next several generations takes a cabal with the power and longevity of a great machine. The deft way it has been orchestrated reveals the skill of the plotters, and indicates those responsible included top-level government officials. What created this murderous cabal? What were the enormous conflicts that brought about the murder of a young and extremely popular president? There can be only one reason to form a cabal for that single purpose. That reason was to control the power of the presidency. In raising the age-old question, "cui bono?"--who benefits?--we must examine the circumstances that enveloped the days of the Kennedy administration. The mystery of the president's assassination was supposed to have been resolved by the commission established by the new president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, on November 29, 1963, one week after the death of JFK. On that troubled day, LBJ called his longtime friend and confidant, J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, to the White House for a long, heart-to-heart discussion. LBJ and Hoover had lived across the street from each other in Washington, D.C., for 19 years. Hoover had been a frequent visitor to the Johnson ranch on the banks of the Pedernales River in Texas. They were the type of friends who got along by necessity. They needed each other. They understood each other. They had been through fire together. They knew where many bodies were buried in the corridors of power. On this day, LBJ sorely needed the ear and the advice of his old comrade. A record of this meeting is contained in a memorandum written and signed by Hoover on the day of the meeting, November 29, 1963. As Hoover reported, Johnson asked him if he had heard of the group he proposed to put together "to study my [Hoover's] report" on the JFK murder. Hoover had responded in the negative. Johnson said he hoped the "study" could get by "just with my [Hoover's] file and my [Hoover's] report. " Then Johnson asked Hoover what he thought of the proposed members of the group. He listed the names: Allen Dulles, John McCloy, General Lauris Norstad, U.S. Congressmen Hale Boggs and Gerald Ford, and Senators Richard Russell and Sherman Cooper. "He [Johnson] would not want [Senator] Jacob K. Javits" for reasons not explained. President Johnson did not discuss with Hoover the name of the man he wanted to head the group, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Earl Warren; and for some reason, General Norstad was omitted from the final commission list. Following this meeting with Hoover, President Johnson, by Executive Order Number 11130 dated November 29, 1963, "created a commission to investigate the assassination on November 22, 1963, of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States. The president directed this commission to evaluate all facts and circumstances surrounding the assassination and the subsequent killing of the alleged assassin and to report its findings and conclusions to him."[1] From the very first day of the creation of the Warren Commission, it had before it the inference that the alleged assassin was the man Jack Ruby had killed in Dallas while he was being moved from one jail to another. The commission may have begun its investigation with the FBI "study . . . and its files and report," but by the time it published its own 26-volume report, in September 1964, it had been carried away by the entrancing cover story designed by the power cabal. That top-echelon commission ought to have had the full power to determine how JFK was killed, who did it, and why. That select group failed miserably to perform its important task and in so doing bowed down before the ominous power of the very cabal that had arranged for the murder of JFK. The first thing the Warren Commission ought to have done was to demand that a trial for the murder of JFK be held in Texas. The fact that a man named Lee Harvey Oswald was dead was no barrier to the legal requirement of a trial. Oswald did not kill JFK. He was the patsy of the cover-story scenario. The Warren Commission ought to have been competent enough to understand that. Instead, the members of the commission were the victims of great pressure brought to bear by those orchestrating the cover-up. This was the true nature of those thousand days from November 8, 1960, to November 22, 1963. Some of the elements of the Kennedy era--remembered by many as the Days of Camelot--will be explored below. It all began with the romantic election. Kennedy was viewed as a virtual messiah; such was the power of his charisma that the wife of a famous member of the Kennedy entourage was heard to say during the intermission of a play at the old Warner Theater shortly after the Kennedy inauguration, "Isn't all this just marvelous? It is just like the break between B.C. and A.D "[2] By the closing days of Dwight Eisenhower's second term as president, the giant multinational business machine that had engineered his travels from SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe) headquarters in Paris, through his stint as president of Columbia University in preparation for his role as their candidate for the presidency, had learned that the ever- popular "Old Man" could be tough. Eisenhower left office on the wave of a substantial federal budget surplus, and with a tip of his cap to the dangers of the military-industrial complex. As a result, these master manipulators held things back, billion-dollar things, knowing full well that they could do better with a new president in 1961. They fully expected that new president to be Richard M. Nixon. Nixon had always been the special friend of big business. As he likes to tell it, while he was still in the Navy during World War II, he responded to a want ad in a Los Angeles newspaper that had been placed there by a moneyed group which wanted a young, malleable candidate to run for Congress. He won that election with their help, in terms of dollars, and the remainder of his storied political life was lived under the shadow and tutelage of moneyed power centers. What Nixon does not say is how he got into that role in the first place. Back in 1941, he worked in the Office of Price Administration beside another up-and-coming young lawyer, Irving S. Shapiro. There they both learned the ways of serving big business and the value of an "anticommunist" stance. Shapiro, son of an expatriate Lithuanian, went on to become the Justice Department lawyer in a widely publicized trial against the 11 top leaders of the U.S. Communist Party.[3] From there, he moved step by step upward with the DuPont Company until he reached the position of chairman. Nixon climbed upward over the bodies of Alger Hiss and Helen Gahagan Douglas on his way to the House of Representatives and thence to the Senate, and on to become Eisenhower's vice president. Though his long years of public life had won him some popularity, they did not win him the presidency against John F. Kennedy in 1960. Thus the many big-money projects deferred from the Eisenhower era were heaped upon the shoulders of President Kennedy. The greatest of these billion-dollar packages, as described in previous articles in this series, was to be the war in Vietnam. It had been kept almost dormant during 1960, but it was ready to flare up on call. Just before the inauguration, when President Eisenhower spoke privately to Kennedy, he informed him that his only concern in Southeast Asia would be the tiny kingdom of Laos. Military activity in Laos was already a public issue. In contrast, "Time" magazine had carried only three articles about Vietnam during 1960. Although the conflict in Vietnam had been moved along clandestinely since 1945, it was still something of a sleeper when Kennedy came into office. The CIA's anti-Castro planning was also heating up. Just before the election, the CIA had made its move to increase its secret Cuban project from a small, 300-man operation to a 3,000-man, over-the-beach assault. By the time of the inauguration of Kennedy, the momentum of that effort was (as CIA Director Allen Dulles and CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell put it) harder to contain than to let the Cubans loose to free their own country. Kennedy was getting his baptism of CIA pressure. There were even bigger things bottled up and waiting for the inauguration. For several years, the Air Force had wanted a new jet fighter. Their dream plane was called the "Everest" fighter, after General Frank Everest, its staunchest supporter. The Navy needed one also. Eisenhower, determined to go out with a budget surplus, would not allow the award of any major contract. By the time of Kennedy's inaugural, there was a pot of $2 to $4 billion that could be used for the biggest military aircraft procurement award ever made. The entire aviation industry knew this and pressures ran high in an attempt to win that prime contract. Kennedy's secretary of defense was Robert S. McNamara, a World War II Air Force statistician, Harvard Business School professor, and more recently the president of Ford Motor Company, where he (as part of a group known as the "whiz kids") had gone directly from the Air Force right after the war. McNamara had become president of the Ford Motor Company on November 9, 1960, the day after Kennedy's election. His much- touted experience as president of Ford amounted to a bit over one month. McNamara was not familiar with aircraft nor with the complex system of procurement used by the military, but he had a pretty good idea of what $4 billion was on the political scene. He announced he would make the award after careful study.[4] Before long, the contest for the jet fighter was narrowed to the Boeing Aircraft Company and a joint proposal presented by General Dynamics and Grumman Aircraft Company. The aircraft the military desired was called a "Tactical Fighter Experimental" or TFX. The Air Force wanted an extremely unconventional aircraft, with wings that could sweep back for faster flight. Then McNamara sprang a surprise. He took the Navy money and added that to the total and said this would represent "more bang for the buck" because of what he called "commonality." He believed that even though the Air Force and Navy specifications differed widely, there ought to be enough "common" parts to lower the unit aircraft cost. By this time, the total program had been increased to 1,700 aircraft--235 of which would be for the Navy--for a total initial procurement cost of $6.5 billion. This was the largest single contract ever put together in peacetime. Kennedy and his inner circle had their own ideas of what they were going to do with that vast amount of money. They were a bold and politically savvy group. The election of November 1960 had been too close for comfort. They looked ahead to November 1964 and realized that $6.5 billion (or more) would pave a lot of streets on the road to re-election. So Kennedy added Department of Labor Secretary Arthur Goldberg, a wise old World War II OSS veteran, to the TFX team. He had not confided in Goldberg before the Bay of Pigs decision, and that had been a mistake that he was not going to repeat. Goldberg had an idea. It was to use this $6.5 billion potential in every possible way, in every possible county in the United States, to strengthen the Democratic Party. Goldberg and McNamara began to work together. McNamara set up a suite of offices, one ring in from his own in the Pentagon, with a staff that had nothing else to do than to plot the course of the TFX source selection program. The author had an office a few doors down the hall from this new suite and he visited them frequently to join its chief, Ron Linton, and other McNamara "whiz kids" for lunch. He noticed that the walls of this suite of offices were lined with maps of the United States showing all the states and counties. They were political maps. In short order, at Goldberg's suggestion, one set of those maps was colored to show every county that Kennedy had carried in 1960, and another color for every county that went to Nixon. Then the staff of this office, working with Department of Labor statistics, made detailed studies of each of the major proposals for the TFX. A proposal is an enormous stack of paper. Quite frequently a single proposal for some military item would arrive at the Pentagon in a large delivery truck. This process of "mapping" the proposals included the prime contractors, i.e., Boeing or General Dynamics/Grumman, and from them right on down to the smallest sub-contractor. These were all plotted on innumerable county maps. Goldberg's team marked the site of each facility, how many people it would employ, how much money would be spent there, how much new construction was involved, and every other political parameter.[5] In a short time it was possible to get a visual plot of the impact of the award of a Boeing contract on one set of maps, and of the General Dynamics/Grumman contract on another. Through confidential handling of copies of these charts, senators, congressmen and local politicians throughout the Democratic organization were able to capitalize on the outcome of these proposals. Within no time, word of these charts in McNamara's office reached the contractors themselves. The author happened to come into the office one day when word had been received from one of the prime contractors that they planned to open a new facility in a remote county in Utah. That county had been a Republican county. Needless to say, the process of wooing future Republican votes in this manner was repeated all over the country. $6.5 billion is a lot of money for openers, and it goes a long way. While the studies of the political impact of the award of this huge contract were being made, McNamara was forced to draw out the routine source selection process. He had two of the nation's industrial giants, with their vast array of subcontractors and their sub-sub-contractors, locked in the biggest battle in corporate history. He managed to string out four full evaluation studies, each one of which nit-picked every item in each proposal, before he sent the whole package to what was to be the final, and ultimate, source selection board made up of senior officials from both services involved. Later, during the 1963 senatorial hearings on the award of this contract, General Curtis LeMay, chief of staff of the Air Force, told a Senate Investigations Subcommittee chaired by Senator John L. McClellan that some 275,000 man-hours of work had been poured into this selection process. The selection could have been made during Eisenhower's presidency. It certainly could have been made during 1961. Everything had been ready for a quick decision, in favor of Boeing, right after the Kennedy inauguration. But, with the addition of the Navy money and the Goldberg- McNamara political selection concept, the decision was pushed back month after month in every county across the nation while the politicians wrung every ounce they could out of this process--to hell with the aircraft companies and the services. Finally, on November 23, 1962--more than two years after the election--the decision of the source selection board was announced. Most of the senior officials at that meeting came away believing that the decision had been made in favor of Boeing. The secretary of the Air Force himself confided to a few friends that evening that the decision had been made in favor of the Boeing proposal. Behind the scenes, however, a decision had been made, and it overruled the entire military system. Any major change of the military procurement system, especially as it pertains to a $6.5 billion contract, is bound to have the impact of someone attempting to rewrite the Holy Bible. It cannot be done without an intense, prolonged and very heated argument. McNamara knew that he and Kennedy were playing with fire. On the Friday afternoon that he received the choice of the source selection board in favor of Boeing, he already knew the results of the final political survey of the two proposals, i.e., the Goldberg comparison. This indicated clearly that the General Dynamics/Grumman proposal would get a greater return for the Democrats. Moreover, he had an additional major problem to resolve on his own. He had to be sure that the choice he was going to make would indeed fly. McNamara basically did not know one aircraft from another. He had a man on his staff, A.W. Blackburn, who was an experienced test pilot; Blackburn had been hired in 1959 by the Defense Department's Bureau of Research and Engineering specifically for the TFX project. Blackburn, however, favored the Boeing proposal, so McNamara could not discuss his personal problem with him. To play this card, McNamara called an old friend and asked the name of a man who could vouch for the design of the General Dynamics model. This friend had suggested Kelly Johnson, head of the famous "Skunk Works" where many of the finest aircraft built by Lockheed had been designed. Johnson had designed the CIA's U-2 spy plane, among others. McNamara had the General Dynamics specifications delivered to Johnson and asked him to verify its suitability. Johnson studied the aircraft designs carefully. The fate of the $6.5 billion TFX project had been placed in the hands of a man who had devoted a lifetime to building superior aircraft, and to building them in direct competition with both Boeing and General Dynamics. Even at this stage of the game fate played its part. Years before, Roger Lewis, chairman of the board and president of General Dynamics, had worked at Lockheed. He and Kelly Johnson had been good friends and still were in 1962. Lewis is an old aircraft professional who had been around the business since its golden years in the 1930s. Kelly looked over the General Dynamics design carefully, no doubt thinking how much this meant to his old associate. Johnson called McNamara and told him that the plan from General Dynamics was acceptable, and he assured McNamara that the aircraft would fly. Later, Roger Lewis was to say in a rather low-key manner, "The company expects to produce an exceptional aircraft and that its qualifications to do so are unparalleled." With the Goldberg review in hand, and supported by the call from Kelly Johnson to confirm the airworthiness of the design, McNamara set a meeting for November 24, 1962, to announce the decision. He ignored the vote of the source selection board and all its senior military members and announced his choice of the General Dynamics design. With that he authorized the start of the engineering design work, wind tunnel testing, construction of a model of the plane and the other actions essential to the development of the total weapons system. On April 8, 1963, during a period of intense controversy, McNamara authorized the issuance of a contract from the Air Force procurement offices at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which in turn authorized General Dynamics to turn out 22 test models of the TFX. General Curtis LeMay later testified that no one from the original Air Force-Navy evaluation teams on up to the final Air Force-Navy board which recommended the Boeing design--and this included himself--had ever recommended the General Dynamics model. All members of the senior source selection board, which had voted for Boeing, were stunned by the development. Al Blackburn, who had worked on the project since 1959, resigned. This is to say nothing about the shocked feelings at Boeing and its long list of subcontractors. This decision sent tremors throughout the entire aeronautical industry. If Boeing, traditionally the number one defense contractor, could be set aside, anyone could be excluded from any contract for what seemed to them arbitrary reasons. LeMay added, "I was surprised that the decision was made without consultation. I don't consider this the normal procedure. I thought we had such a clear-cut and unanimous opinion all up and down the line that I was completely surprised at the decision.[6] In the face of the heated opposition, McNamara held his ground. He said he had chosen the General Dynamics model of the TFX because that company's proposal showed a better understanding of the costs involved and offered a minimum divergence from a common design for Air Force and Navy versions of the fighter. Of course this added fuel to the fire, because this was the very reason the services did not like the General Dynamics version. They all knew that a carrier-based aircraft had to be designed much differently from a land-based aircraft. In testimony before Congress, McNamara came back again and served notice on the generals and admirals, saying that the TFX decision process was a sample of a new policy. He said that the day had passed when the services would be allowed to develop their own weapons systems. He added that he picked General Dynamics over Boeing because Boeing fudged and actually planned to build different planes for the Navy and the Air Force. In the heat of battle, the Kennedy forces were pressing their point firmly, but cloaking it in more equable terms. In contrast to some of the Pentagon civilian hierarchy of earlier days, e.g., Charlie Wilson of General Motors, Tom Gates of Morgan Guaranty Trust, and Neil McElroy of Lever Brothers, the McNamara staff was pure Ivy league: Roswell Gilpatric, Cyrus Vance, Eugene Zuckert, and Paul Nitze. They were neither military specialists nor industry favorites; yet they had their friends in high places. Gilpatric, a New York banker who was McNamara's deputy, was sent out to make an important speech to a bankers' convention on April 9, 1963. His title, "The Impact of the Changing Defense Program on the United States Economy," was actually more pertinent than his audience expected. He spoke about the TFX decision to bankers and of course to the news media at a time when this was a white-hot subject. In an early paragraph he exposed the extent of his subject. The new Kennedy policy was a blockbuster. Gilpatric stated--and when he did, windows rattled in defense installations all over the world--"I have not the slightest doubt that our economy could adjust to a decline in defense spending." He was touching on a sacrosanct subject. Can any nation afford, or exist with, peace? Having dropped that bomb, he moved along to a rationale for the TFX decision. He noted "the shifts of defense spending within the budget can create intense problems in individual communities." If his listeners understood what he meant, they knew he was getting very close to the Goldberg procurement policy. "We do try to make a special effort to give work," he said, "where it can be done effectively and efficiently, to depressed areas." If one would translate the reference to "depressed areas" to "areas that voted for Nixon and therefore were needed in the Democratic column" he would be closer to the truth. Then Gilpatric made a daring comment: "The fundamental fact we all have to bear in mind is that the Department of Defense is neither able nor willing to depart from the requirements of national security in order to bolster the economy either of the nation as a whole, or of any region or community." Despite this statement, that is precisely what the implementation of the Goldberg policy had just done. As though he believed no one would perceive the real message, he added (perhaps for the edification of Boeing and its host of allies in and out of the military), "In the award and management of contracts we have undertaken a wide range of steps to improve the whole process. . . . The handling of the TFX contract illustrated several of the techniques being worked out for use on development contracts where particularly acute problems have arisen in the past." Then Gilpatric closed with: "Mr. McNamara and I, after an acceptable TFX proposal was offered, had to make a judgment between these two proposals . . . the Air Force and Navy will get a better buy for the taxpayers' dollars than would have been forthcoming if the contract had been let earlier. . . ." Gilpatric made these statements during the time of intense Senate hearings on the TFX. You will note how carefully both he and McNamara avoided any direct mention that they had arbitrarily gone along with the Goldberg formula augmented by the assurances from Kelly Johnson at Lockheed. Indeed, Kelly Johnson's role in this selection has not been mentioned anywhere before this article. As mentioned earlier, Kennedy's 1,000 days were marked by repeated and violent eruptions among super-power elements within the government and its multinational corporate environment, and this is one of those that stands out. It is ominously coincidental that Kennedy's murder occurred in Dallas one year later and not too many miles from the Fort Worth factories where the TFX was being built. There was a subtle reasoning behind all of this. Jack Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, McNamara, Goldberg and many others of the inner circle were not at all concerned about the final outcome of an aircraft-to-be called the TFX. Kennedy had been in World War II and had been a member of Congress for most of the years since that time. He had seen nearly $3 trillion poured into the military- industrial machine during those years, and he had seen those weapons systems all come and go. To the Kennedy circle, the TFX, the Skybolt, the Dyna-Soar, the atomic-powered aircraft and all the rest that had fallen into their laps with the election were just what Kennedy, Goldberg and McNamara took them to be. They were devices that could be used to direct money into political districts that needed it for their own benefit, and to assure the election of a Kennedy for years to come. This is why Gilpatric made the speech he did to the assembled bankers and this is why McNamara said that the day had passed when the services would be allowed to develop their own weapons systems. The services and the great industries for whom the military establishment existed were absolutely staggered by all this. They had never encountered such a serious challenge. The one-two combination of punches they had suffered had them on the ropes. On January 17, 1961, they had heard Dwight Eisenhower, in a farewell address to the nation, urge vigilance regarding the dangers to liberty implicit in a vast military establishment and caution against the power of the military-industrial complex. Now they had a president who was not just talking about that danger, but was taking their dollars away to use them as he chose. This was the enormous significance of that TFX decision. We must turn back now to a closing statement by Ros Gilpatric in his bankers' speech of April 9, 1963: "I have not the slightest sympathy for the view sometimes heard that this country couldn't afford disarmament." Now, why was that on his mind, and presumably on the minds of the entire Kennedy inner circle at that time? The answer is quite ominous. The Kennedys were counting on at least eight years in office to move mountains. At the beginning of this series of articles, reference was made to the "Report from Iron Mountain on the Possibility and Desirability of Peace." It happens that the general idea of this top-level study, which was commissioned in August 1963, dated back to early 1961. In other words, it started right after the inauguration with John F. Kennedy and his new administration. A member of the Iron Mountain Special Study group believes it began with McNamara, William Bundy and Dean Rusk. The members of the Kennedy circle were all concerned that no really serious work had been done about planning for peace. The report contains a most portentous line: "The idea of the Special Study . . . was worked out early in 1963. . . . What helped most to get it moving were the big changes in military spending that were being planned. . . ." The chronology of these developments is important. It began with the inauguration. The first big money item was the TFX. That orchestrated solution was stretched from the inauguration to November 1962. The reaction of the military, of the aeronautical industry, and of the Congress was predictable. Then, in April 1963, McNamara announced that things had changed. A few days later, Gilpatric made his important speech and the Special Study group was selected in August 1963. The Kennedys were on their way. They were going to ride on the TFX $6.5 billion into a second term and then they were going to prepare America for peace. This agenda began to surface with the TFX decision, and was confirmed by the existence--known to a very few--of the Special Study group for "the possibility and desirability of peace." Nothing, absolutely nothing, could have had a greater impact on the enormous military machine of this nation. This Kennedy plan jeopardized not hundreds of millions, not even billions, but *trillions* of dollars. It shook the very foundation upon which our society has been built over the past two thousand years. As the "Report from Iron Mountain" says: "War itself is the basic social system. It is the system which has governed most human societies of record, as it is today. . . . The capacity of a nation to make war expresses the greatest social power it can exercise; war-making, active or contemplated, is a matter of life and death on the greatest scale subject to social control. . . . War-readiness is the dominant force in our societies. . . . It accounts for approximately a tenth of the output of the world's total economy."[7] John F. Kennedy and his advisers were playing a dangerous game as they expertly moved along the calendar toward re-election in 1964. Kennedy had accepted the challenge. The duel, perhaps the greatest duel in the history of this country, had begun. Kennedy sent General Maxwell Taylor and Secretary McNamara to Saigon in late September 1963. They returned to the White House and gave Kennedy their voluminous report on October 2, 1963. In part that report said: "It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time. . . ." "That time" was the end of 1965. One thousand troops were already slated to come home in time for Christmas, 1963. Kennedy was planning to get out of Vietnam and to turn the war over to a new leader in South Vietnam. To his adversaries, this confirmed the nature of the course he had chosen. They began to move, to move swiftly and with finality. Ngo Dinh Diem, the first President of South Vietnam, was killed on November 1, 1963, and Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963. Former Presidents Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon have written that President Kennedy was killed by a lone assassin named Lee Harvey Oswald. The Warren Commission reported the same thing. That is not the way it happened at all. [1] From "The Warren Report" by the Associated Press. [2] The speaker was Mrs. William Bundy, daughter of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, wife of Assistant Secretary of Defense William Bundy, and sister-in-law of McGeorge Bundy, whom Acheson had wanted Kennedy to make secretary of state. Actually Kennedy had listened to his old Harvard mentor, William Yandell Elliott, rather than Acheson, and chose Dean Rusk in place of Bundy, whom he brought into the White House as his national security assistant. For this service, Rusk provided Elliott with an office in the State Department not far from his own, and on the otherwise bare walls of that office hung a framed, one-page letter on White House stationery saying, "Thank you for introducing me to Dean Rusk." It was signed John Fitzgerald Kennedy. [3] This sensational trial was known as the Medina trial, taking its name from the judge, Harold S. Medina. It was held in federal court in 1948 and lasted more than nine months. [4] McNamara had little experience with service distinctions and tried to take Army money also. The Army persuaded him to leave it out of the matter. [5] Such work neither began nor ended with the Kennedy administration. An article in "The Washington Post," on February 18, 1986, reported that U.S. Representative Mike Synar had gone to see the top secret Northrup Stealth aircraft. At the hangar, Congressman Synar noted, "They had put up this big chart which showed all the states where Stealth work was being done." That is the Goldberg/McNamara concept dressed in Reagan garb. [6] Before Monday, following this decision, the entire suite of offices that had developed the maps and data for the Goldberg study had been totally vacated and the staff transferred--moved completely out of the Pentagon building. [7] "Report From Iron Mountain," Dial Press, Inc., pp 18, 29-30, 1967. -- daveus rattus yer friendly neighborhood ratman KOYAANISQATSI ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living. Article 1936 of misc.activism.progressive: From: dave@ratmandu.corp.sgi.com (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe) Newsgroups: misc.activism.progressive Subject: The Saigon Solution, Part 11: source material for "JFK", the Message-ID: <1991Dec21.041024.21124@pencil.cs.missouri.edu> Date: 21 Dec 91 04:10:24 GMT Sender: daemon@pencil.cs.missouri.edu Followup-To: alt.activism.d Organization: PACH Lines: 913 Approved: map@pencil.cs.missouri.edu Subject: The Saigon Solution, Part 11: source material for "JFK", the film Keywords: Part XI (of 20) in a Series on the CIA and the Vietnam Era Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1991 16:15:09 GMT Lines: 906 it seems appropriate to post this on the debut of Oliver Stone's newest movice, "JFK". the 2 primary sources Stone used for his film were Jim Garrison's 1988 book, "On The Trail Of The Assassins" (see book review of this posted today in sgi.talk.ratical) and the 19 published articles written as a kind of personal memoire by L. Fletcher Prouty. Donald Sutherland plays Colonel Prouty in the movie. this movie finally gets past the "how was he killed" riddle that has diverted people's attention for over 28 years to "*WHY"* was President Kennedy killed?" the following is part 11 of 20 articles (# 20 was never published) written by Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty (USAF, Ret.) from 1985 to 1987. Colonel Prouty, author of the classic "The Secret Team, The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World" (Prentice Hall, 1973), worked in the Pentagon from 1955 to the end of the 1963 as the Focal Point Officer for military logistical support of CIA covert operations world-wide (first for the Air Force and then, for all branches of the military): From President to ambassador, Cabinet officer to commanding general, and from senator to executive assistant--all these men have their sources of information and guidance. Most of this information and guidance is the result of carefully laid schemes and ploys of pressure groups. In this influential coterie one of the most interesting and effective roles is that played by the behind-the-scenes, faceless, nameless, ubiquitous briefing officer. He is the man who sees the President, the secretary, the commanding general almost daily, who carries with him the most skillfully detailed information. He is trained by years of experience in the precise way to present that information to assure its effectiveness. He comes away day after day knowing more and more about the man he has been briefing and about what it is that the truly influential pressure groups at the center of authority are really trying to tell these key decision makers. In Washington, where these decisions shape and shake the world, the role of the regular briefing officer is critical. Leaders of government and of the great pressure centers regularly leak information of all kinds to columnists, television and radio commentators, and to other media masters with the hope that the material will surface and influence the President, the Secretary, the Congress, and the public. Those other inside pressure groups with their own briefing officers have direct access to the top men; they do not have to rely upon the media, although they make great use of it. They are safe and assured in the knowledge that they can get to the decision maker directly. They need no middleman other than the briefing officer. Such departments as Defense, State, and the CIA used this technique most effectively. For nine consecutive, long years--during those crucial days from 1955 through December 1963--I was one of those briefing officers. I had the unique assignment of being the Focal Point officer for contacts between the CIA and the Department of Defense on matters pertaining to the military support of the Special Operations (a name given in most cases, but not always, to any clandestine, covert, undercover, or secret operations by the government or by someone, U.S. citizen or a foreign national . . . even in special cases a stateless professional, or U.S or foreign activity or organization. It is usually secret and highly classified . . .) of that Agency. In that capacity I worked with Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles, several Secretaries of Defense, and chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as many others in key governmental places. My work took me to more than sixty countries and to CIA offices and covert activities all over the world--from such hot spots as Saigon to such remote places as the South Pole. It was my job not only to brief these men but to brief them from the point of view of the CIA so that I might win approval of the projects presented and of the accompanying requests for support from the military in terms of money, manpower, facilities, and materials. I was, during this time, perhaps the best informed liaison officer among the few who operated in this very special area. The role of the briefing officer is quiet, effective, and most influential, and in the CIA, specialized in the high art of top-level indoctrination. ("The Secret Team," pp. i-ii) excerpts from Part 11: This echelon of hidden motives and public smokescreens is where Kennedy underestimated the power and skill of the CIA. He did not get to the root of the disaster of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and as a result, he became a victim--as have many others--of the sinister power of those agencies of the government that operate in total secrecy, knowing that they do not have to account to anyone for their actions. . . . Kennedy did not like all that he found when he came to the White House. As he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a huge tidal wave that had been set in motion many months earlier loomed up to engulf him and his new administration. The new president did not like the way covert operations had been run during the 1950s. As a long-term member of Congress, he was fully aware of the record of failed intelligence operations throughout the years. . . . The difference between a plan of highest national interest which originates within the NSC and is then given to the CIA by direction of the NSC, and a plan which is originated within the CIA and which is then presented to the NSC for its approval can be enormous. It raises fundamental questions, such as "Who runs this government?" and "Is the government being operated under the law?" These questions were foremost in Kennedy's mind when he became president. . . . Kennedy was directing that the U.S. military forces be used against any Cold War adversary, whether or not there had been a declaration of war. This was a revolutionary doctrine, especially for the U.S., and if these presidential directives had become operationally effective, they would have drastically changed the course of the war in Vietnam. They would have effectively removed the CIA from Cold War operations and limited the CIA to its lawful responsibility--the coordination of intelligence. In many situations, these directives would have made the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the day- to-day counterpart of the secretary of state. . . . Having been given such vast powers by their president, where were the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the guns were fired in the streets of Dallas only 18 months later? Where was Lansdale? Where was Allen Dulles? Why was Kennedy so alone by the time he made that fateful trip to Texas in 1963? the following appeared in the June 1986 issue of "Freedom" magazine. [warning!--"Freedom" is published by the church of scientology. people unable to decide for themselves whether such a source might irrevocably corrupt their own capacity for self-reflective independent thought/critical thinking, shud probably avoid reading *anything* that might have been published in/by such a magazine. those capable of forming their own opinions should check out this (and the other 19 parts in the series) fascinating and illuminating article by a man who worked in the belly of the beast.] _________________________________________________________________________ THE BATTLE FOR POWER KENNEDY VS. THE CIA Part XI in a Series on the CIA and the Vietnam Era by L. Fletcher Prouty Reprinted with permission of the author Presidential power: does it come with the office or must the incumbent fight for it every step of the way? As James David Barber stated in his book, "The Presidential Character":[1] "Political power is like nuclear energy available to create deserts or make them bloom. The mere having of it never yet determined its use. The mere getting of it has not stamped into the powerful some uniform shape." John F. Kennedy came to Washington with a tremendous amount of style and enough experience to know that he would have to fight to wrest political power from entrenched interests of enormous strength. If anything hit President Kennedy harder than the utter defeat of the Cuban-exile brigade on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs, it was the realization that he had let himself be talked into that operation by inexperienced, secondary men in the CIA. CIA Director Allen Dulles had not been there at the time of the final decision-making, nor at the time of the invasion itself. This was a most unusual absence by the man responsible for the entire operation. In his book. "Kennedy,"[2] Ted Sorenson makes a good case for his doctrine that "the Kennedys never fail." However, Kennedy did fail in his attempt to gain full control of the CIA and its major partners in the Defense Department, and it was the most crucial failure of his abbreviated presidency. He recognized his adversary during his first term, and as he related confidentially to intimate acquaintances before he began his second term, "When I am re-elected, I am going to break that agency into a thousand pieces." He meant to do it, too, but the struggle cost him his life. Former President Harry S. Truman was disturbed when he learned of the murder of Jack Kennedy in Dallas. That experienced old veteran of political wars saw an ominous link between the death of the president and the CIA. Only one month after the terrible event--just time enough to get his thoughts in order and on paper- -Truman wrote a column that appeared in "The Washington Post" on December 21, 1963. No one could have expressed doubts about the CIA more accurately than did Truman: "For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government. . . . I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the president has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda." Harry Truman's label of the CIA as "a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue. . . ." is, unfortunately, quite accurate. That "foreign intrigue" included Cuba, Castro and John F. Kennedy, at least in the minds of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. This is evidenced in their later writings about the assassination. And it was Lyndon B. Johnson who said the CIA had a "Murder Inc." in the Caribbean. It is absolutely astounding that when the thoughts of these four ex-presidents turned to the murder of JFK, they all wove a fabric of sinister intrigue that included the CIA in the scenario of his death. These men were telling us something. It is time we listen to and learn from what they have said. The power of any agency that is enabled to operate in secrecy is boundless. The CIA knew this, and it used its power to its own advantage. Only three days after the disastrous Cuban defeat, Kennedy set up a Cuban Study Group headed by General Maxwell Taylor to "direct special attention to the lessons which can be learned from recent events in Cuba." With that action, which received little notice at the time, the president declared war on the agency. From that time on it was "the Kennedy clan vs. entrenched power." The Cuban Study Group was one of the most important creations of the 1,000 days of Kennedy's presidency, and it was the source of one of the major pressure points on the way to the guns of Dallas on November 22, 1963. President Kennedy was seriously upset by the failure of the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff to provide him with adequate information and support prior to his approval of the brigade landing at the Bay of Pigs. He was also upset by the results of the total breakdown of CIA leadership during the operation that followed that landing.[3] Kennedy's good friend, Supreme Court Justice William 0. Douglas, in recalling a discussion he had with Kennedy shortly after the disaster, said: "This episode seared him. He had experienced the extreme power that these groups had, these various insidious influences of the CIA and the Pentagon, on civilian policy, and I think it raised in his own mind the specter: can Jack Kennedy, president of the United States, ever be strong enough to really rule these two powerful agencies? I think it had a profound effect . . . it shook him up!" Can any president "ever be strong enough to really rule" the CIA and the Defense Department? Eisenhower had learned that he was not when a U-2 went down in the heart of Russia contrary to his "no over-flight" orders in 1960. Kennedy set out to prove that he was, and he might have done so had he had a second term in office. Instead he was overwhelmed, frustrated and, eventually, murdered. Kennedy's attempt to gain control of these powerful elements began with the study group. Each member was chosen for particular reasons. General Maxwell Taylor, for example, had been in retirement since he had publicly differed with the Eisenhower policy concerning the strength of the U.S. Army and had resigned as its chief of staff. He had not been involved in any way with the decision-making process for the Cuban invasion. In fact, Kennedy had never met Taylor prior to 1961. To augment the military side of the study group, Kennedy selected Admiral Arleigh Burke, considered by many to be the finest chief of naval operations the Navy has ever had--and the man among the Joint Chiefs of Staff who had been the most closely involved in the military elements of the Bay of Pigs planning process. The actual tactical training for the invasion had been placed in the hands of a U.S. Marine Corps colonel; the transport ships had been assembled in the Norfolk, Virginia, area; and much of the logistics support had been channeled through the inactive Navy base at Elizabeth City, North Carolina. All had involved Navy support. Kennedy's next choice for the group was Machiavellian in its political implications. He appointed CIA Director Allen W. Dulles, the man who in November 1960 had flown to Palm Beach with his deputy, Richard Bissell, to give the president-elect his first official briefing on the plan for the overthrow of Castro. It was Dulles who, on January 28, 1961, gave another briefing on the developing plan to the newly installed president along with his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson, the secretary of state, Dean Rusk, the secretary of defense, Robert S. McNamara, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lyman Lemnitzer, among others. Now, Kennedy had decided to have Allen Dulles sit through this detailed study from beginning to end, to relive the whole scenario as General Taylor interrogated selected officials who had been connected with that operation. Despite the fact that Allen Dulles was the director of central intelligence when the plan was first presented to President Eisenhower in March 1960, and that he was the man who briefed Kennedy before and after his inauguration, Dulles had not been present at the White House on April 16, 1961, when the final discussions took place and when the go-ahead decision had been made by the president. Dulles was also not in Washington during the crucial period of the invasion itself to control the activities of his agency. He had taken that weekend off for a sojourn in Puerto Rico. There is an organization, the Young Presidents Organization, that is closely affiliated with Harvard Business School and with the CIA. It is made up of men who are presidents of their own companies and under 40 years of age. The CIA arranges meetings for them with young leaders in foreign countries for the purpose of opening export-import talks and franchising discussions. The Young Presidents Organization met in Puerto Rico on the weekend of April 15 and 16, 1961, and Dulles was the principal speaker. Why he accepted--and kept--that appointment at such a crucial time has never been properly explained. Did he prefer to have the Bay of Pigs fail? Did he choose to embarrass the new president? As Maxwell Taylor's report on the Cuban disaster later stated: "There was no single authority short of the president capable of coordinating the actions of the CIA, State, Defense, and the USIA [U.S. Information Agency]." Because of the absence of the director, the CIA's secondary leaders--officials with no combat or command experience--made "the operational decisions which they felt within their authority." For decisions above them, they were supposed to go to the president. "Mr. Bissell and General Cabell were immediately available for consultation" and, it is crucial to note, "were usually emissaries sent to obtain" higher approvals. In this sense, "emissary" was a far cry from an effective "commander" as Dulles was thought to be. This task as "emissary" fell far short of effectiveness, as the Taylor report noted: "Finally, there was the failure to carry the issue to the president when the opportunity was presented and explain to him with proper force the probable military consequences of a last- minute cancellation." General Taylor suggested that someone ought to have gone directly to the president to explain forcefully the absolute necessity of the air strike against those three T-33 jet trainers that were all the combat air force left to the Cubans. That was the issue. In its guarded language, Taylor's report never mentioned the Dulles absence, but it discussed this "breakdown of leadership" during the study group meetings with both Allen Dulles and Bobby Kennedy present. We may be sure it was not unnoticed. President Kennedy rounded out this Cuban Study Group of Taylor, Burke and Dulles with the assignment of the attorney general, his brother, Robert Kennedy. Dulles would not only be reliving the events of the past year; but Bobby would be watching and learning from his every move. It was a cat-and-mouse game of super-strategy between two able adversaries and their allies.[4] In that volatile environment, the direct relationship between the failure of the CIA command element to cope with the air strike issue and the absence that weekend of Dulles, the man responsible for the success of the anti-Castro program, became the biggest issue.[5] For the study group the sequence of issues became quite clear: a) The president had approved the landings and the essential air strikes to destroy the last three combat aircraft in Castro's air force. b) Later that evening, McGeorge Bundy had cancelled those air strikes by calling Cabell. c) Cabell and Bissell, in Dulles' absence, were inherently unqualified to carry the issue back to the president to "explain to him with proper force the probable military consequences of a last-minute cancellation." d) The study group added: "These restraints included . . . the cancellation of the [air] strikes planned at dawn on D-Day. The last mentioned was probably the most serious as it eliminated the last favorable opportunity to destroy the Castro Air Force on the ground. The cancellation seems to have resulted partly from a failure to make the air strike plan entirely clear in advance to the President and the Secretary of State. . . ." The study group saw this cancellation clearly as the cause of the failure of the whole anti-Castro program that had been initiated in March 1960. To fortify their own professional findings, they called before their group a man who had been instrumental from the earliest days in these decisions. This man was a key Cuban exile named Manuel Antonio de Varona,[6] formerly premier of Cuba before the Batista regime (1952-1959). De Varona made the following statement before the Cuban Study Group: "I would like to state that we would be in Cuba today if it was not for the lack of air support that our forces suffered. All those who've returned said that but for three airplanes.[7] they would have been successful in their invasion attempt." Dulles was the man on the spot. There is no record of what he said behind those closed doors; but a record was unnecessary. Bobby Kennedy was always there. Despite this maneuver by the Kennedys, however, Dulles still controlled the moves. Few people have the experience to know how such things work under the cloak of secrecy. This is the great weapon of the CIA, and it is why the CIA cannot be stopped--short of eliminating all of its money. All the people who worked on the Bay of Pigs project--Cuban and American--did so under deep cover. CIA agents and military supporting cast members all had pseudonyms and lived cover-story lives. The Cubans with whom they worked had no idea who these agents were, and their own American associates did not know their true names and identities. Thus, after the anti-Castro program had failed and all participants had been dispersed to the winds, they themselves did not know who had been there with them. This gave Allen Dulles the ace cards in the deal with the study group. General Taylor had no alternative but to ask Dulles for the names of the people--CIA, military and Cuban--to be called before the group. Dulles weeded out the ones that could tell too much and padded the list with those who knew very little. Although Bobby Kennedy sat there and listened to all of the dialogue, he had no way of realizing that he was hearing a carefully structured scenario. The book he wrote several years later revealed how little he really knew about some of the actual activities. This advantage permitted Dulles and the CIA to shift the blame to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the military. Dulles kept quiet about the shortcomings of his own agency and made it appear that Kennedy's denial of the employment of U.S. Navy fighter aircraft as "air cover" was the real reason for the failure of the project. Since 1961, in fact, the CIA has mounted a vigorous and comprehensive propaganda and revisionist campaign designed to ensure that the public is afforded no opportunity to discover the true facts. The CIA had kept various elements of the Cuban exile groups apart. Many of them were of different political backgrounds and social levels. They did not get along with each other. Thus, these separate groups were trained in widely separated camps. When it came time to set sail for Cuba, the CIA put some units in the forefront of the brigade and landed them on the beach. At the same time, other units were "lost" at sea and never reached Cuba. Obviously they were the first to return to land back in Louisiana. Their emotional story of the failure to use their units on the beaches has led to much of the misunderstanding of the tactics of the whole operation. The CIA played this up and blamed the U.S. military for the oversight. It happens that it was the Louisiana elements of the Cuban exile groups and their "mercenary" American trainers who became suspect at the time of President Kennedy's assassination in 1963. This made a good story, because the patsy in that murder was a former U.S. Marine Corps enlisted man named Lee Harvey Oswald. He had been born in New Orleans and had been active there with a "Fair Play for Cuba" organization during the early 1960s. Many assassination theorists have carried this presumed assassin's trail from Dallas through the "Oswald" scenario to New Orleans, and thence to Cuba and Castro himself. This is a futile exercise, because Oswald was only the patsy, not the murderer. Yet this trail of golden apples continues to divert the unwary and the overeager. The April 1986 article in this series mentioned a most unusual article that appeared in "The Reader's Digest" of November 1964 in which the author, Richard Nixon, tied Cuba, Castro and John F. Kennedy together. Nixon is one of those who, for various reasons, want the American public to believe Oswald was the"lone assassin." At another time. Nixon wanted the American public to believe that he and Henry Kissinger had valid reasons for their genocidal bombardment of Cambodia with B-52s. This echelon of hidden motives and public smokescreens is where Kennedy underestimated the power and skill of the CIA. He did not get to the root of the disaster of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and as a result, he became a victim--as have many others--of the sinister power of those agencies of the government that operate in total secrecy, knowing that they do not have to account to anyone for their actions. None of this should be taken to mean that Kennedy was not wise to the ways of Washington, nor that he was not capable of mounting extremely shrewd political maneuvers of his own. He was, and he did--but he was up against impossible odds. When he set up the Cuban Study Group, he made it appear as if he were investigating a failed operation and nothing more. This was not quite the case, however. It was only part of the story. Kennedy's precise instructions to General Taylor were ". . . to study our governmental practices and programs in the areas of military and paramilitary guerrilla and anti-guerrilla activity which fell short of outright war with a view to strengthening our work in this area." This was the group's real directive, and it is what Kennedy really wanted to discover--for himself and for the future. Kennedy did not like all that he found when he came to the White House. As he moved to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, a huge tidal wave that had been set in motion many months earlier loomed up to engulf him and his new administration. The new president did not like the way covert operations had been run during the 1950s. As a long-term member of Congress, he was fully aware of the record of failed intelligence operations throughout the years. With the Bay of Pigs disaster as a case study, Kennedy directed General Taylor to dissect the entire system and to come up with something better. This was an issue that divided the study group and widened the abyss between Kennedy and Dulles; yet Kennedy continued to make use of Dulles in his desire to probe the real depths of the murky business of intelligence. By the middle of June 1961, the Cuban Study Group had gathered a remarkable series of documents. For 25 years these key materials have been concealed, ignored and (sometimes purposely) misinterpreted. To fully understand the forces which were at work during Kennedy's presidency, it is necessary at this point to lift the curtain of secrecy on a part of top-level government activity which is seldom, if ever, represented accurately. The work of the Cuban Study Group was unequaled in its level of confidentiality. Even the word for its classification is so secret as to be relatively unknown: they worked under the rarely used ULTRASENSITIVE label, that cosmic world above TOP SECRET. The reason for this lies in the delicacy of certain types of intelligence activities, namely covert operations by one government against another. Even the use of the word "against," as in "against a government," is not always accurate. Sometimes the target is an otherwise friendly and allied government, but it is found to be essential to acquire information or to confirm information that cannot be obtained by any other means. For example. the United States has flown the U-2 over many friendly countries, such as Israel, to confirm certain situations for ourselves with our own eyes and ears. Although it is always assumed that national sovereignty is inviolate, in today's world national sovereignty has become an archaic and unworkable sham. It does not exist even in the great powers, and it is continuously violated--secretly. It has always been the rule that any covert operation must be performed in such a manner as to remain truly secret, or, failing that, that the role of the U.S. government in the operation could be disclaimed plausibly. The U.S. has spent untold tens of millions of dollars to "sterilize" entire aircraft and other equipment, so that if such a plane on a secret mission crashed while within the bounds of the target country, no one would be able to find the slightest evidence in the wreckage to incriminate the U.S. All labels, name tags, and serial numbers are removed in such circumstances, and the crew uniforms are even made out of non-U.S. fabric to enhance denial. Weapons used are "sterilized" at a special underground facility overseas, and all are foreign-made. Under the provisions of the National Security Act of 1947, the CIA operates at the direction of the National Security Council (NSC). The intent of this law is to place the origin for any covert operation at the top. This neutralizes and eliminates lesser matters and emphasizes the importance of those which the NSC actually originates and directs. The NSC can direct a designated department or agency--not necessarily the CIA--to carry it out. Covert operations are normally done on a small scale, or else they could not be kept a secret. Being small, they can usually be handled by the CIA, sometimes augmented by the resources of the Defense Department. These are legal considerations which, by the way, serve to underscore the foolhardiness and deceit of those activities that have been under way in Central America in recent years. Over the years, especially during the 1950s, when Allen Dulles was director of the CIA and his brother, John Foster Dulles, was the secretary of state, this legal precision became more and more vague. Allen Dulles became accustomed to taking proposals that originated with the agency to the NSC--in those days to the "10/2" or "5412/2" Committee--for its approval. In most cases, he would receive the committee's approval, sometimes with stipulations. But it was the CIA that had originated these plans, not the NSC, and this is a highly significant point. The difference between a plan of highest national interest which originates within the NSC and is then given to the CIA by direction of the NSC, and a plan which is originated within the CIA and which is then presented to the NSC for its approval can be enormous. It raises fundamental questions, such as "Who runs this government?" and "Is the government being operated under the law?" These questions were foremost in Kennedy's mind when he became president. It had been in March 1960 that the anti-Castro program had been devised by the CIA and that the deputy director for plans, Richard Bissell, had briefed President Eisenhower and his NSC. At that time, Bissell had gained their approval for a rather modest program. It was the CIA that took this approval and turned a program intended to support small over-the-beach landings and paradrop operations into an invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. Kennedy inherited the accumulated actions of one full year of this program, and he had such strong doubts about it that he did not approve the invasion until the day before it actually took place. The CIA had launched its invasion fleet, small though it was, a full week before the day of the landing. The president was therefore faced with a virtual fait accompli before he had an opportunity to make a decision. Even then Kennedy knew he had been had, and it did not take him long to confirm it. Moreover, the tidal wave that engulfed Kennedy drew its immense power from many other sources. The enormity of the various schemes that had been set in motion long before he was elected was staggering. By May 1960, for example, after the anti-Castro program had begun, the stage was prepared for the entry of American troops into the Vietnam war. The master war-planners took advantage of the period while the country was involved in a presidential election-- when the powers of the presidency were at their lowest ebb. Eisenhower was not told what was going on, and it would be some time before the new president would be able to do anything about it after he had been informed. After eight years of peace, the national mood for detente was strong, and an incident was needed to reverse this. Such an incident was conveniently provided. On May 1, 1960, a CIA U-2 spy plane piloted by Gary Powers was launched on what would have been its longest flight ever, directly across the Soviet Union from Pakistan to Norway. When it crash- landed in the heart of Russia, Khrushchev cancelled what had been planned as the "ultimate summit conference" with President Eisenhower in Paris.[8] This incident served to reverse the trend toward detente which had been carefully orchestrated by Khrushchev and Eisenhower, the two aging World War II veterans. With the summit conference disrupted, the road to Saigon, with its eventual $220 billion in munitions sales (and 58,000 American deaths) was clear. The following recapitulation will demonstrate how meticulously this road to Saigon was planned by experts in the war-making business. In order to set this plan irrevocably into motion, the powers- that-be formulated a counterinsurgency plan for Vietnam. The events which followed the formation of this plan form an intriguing series of incidents. Just prior to Kennedy's election, the U.S. Army Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, was rejuvenated. A new curriculum was written which combined counterinsurgency with pacification tactics which were already being employed by the French forces in Algeria, and with civic action programs borrowed from the U.S. Army's Civil Affairs and Military Government School at Fort Gordon, Georgia. This new Special Forces "Green Beret" school at Fort Bragg received powerful aid from the CIA as well as from the Office of Special Operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. The strength of the forces was increased, and the Special Warfare Center opened a new counterinsurgency school for U.S. and foreign military students in November 1960. President Kennedy was elected on November 8, 1960. Two days later, on November 10, Kennedy asked Allen Dulles to stay on as the director of the CIA. It was announced on November 11 that three battalions of President Diem's elite guard had taken part in a "coup d'etat" at the presidential palace in Saigon. That incident, of course, was quickly suppressed by Diem's forces. Under the cover of that contrived action, President Diem ordered the arrest of what was known as the Caravelle Group, 18 political opponents of the Diem brothers' dictatorial regime. These 18 men had in no way participated in the "coup." They had published a scholarly "Manifesto of the Eighteen," and for this they were thrown in jail. General Edward Lansdale, a leader in the development of the counterinsurgency plan for Vietnam, author of the new Special Forces curriculum for the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, and an old friend of President Diem, took advantage of Kennedy's election and of Dulles' reappointment to make a sudden, unannounced trip to Saigon. The trip was for the purposes of winning Diem's support and cooperation for the counterinsurgency program in Vietnam and of furthering Lansdale's own chances, with Diem's and Dulles' support, of being named ambassador to Saigon by Kennedy. During this politically important visit, which set the stage for so many of the events that followed, Lansdale wrote a stirring report on the situation in Vietnam for his boss, Secretary of Defense Thomas Gates. This report was brought to the attention of key members of the new Kennedy team at the time of the inauguration. In late January 1961, Lansdale was summoned to the White House to meet with the president and officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of State--new people who had come in with the inauguration. He was warmly greeted by the president and commended for his excellent report. Kennedy also informed him that he could expect to be sent back to Vietnam in a high capacity.[9] On April 12, 1961, a memo was written by Kennedy adviser Walt Rostow which was supportive of the Lansdale report. Lansdale, on April 19, submitted another memo of his own to his new boss, Secretary of State Robert S. McNamara. Up to this time, Lansdale's strongest support had come from Allen Dulles and Ngo Dinh Diem. For more than a year, the anti-Castro program and the counterinsurgency program for Vietnam had been running simultaneously. On April 20, 1961, the brigade was defeated in Cuba. The coincidence--or, perhaps, the coordination--of the dates of the surrender of the brigade at the Bay of Pigs and the abrupt turn toward Saigon is noteworthy, for the Americanization of the warfare in Vietnam also began on April 20, 1961. It was on that date that President Kennedy, distraught by the disaster in Cuba, accepted the counterinsurgency program for Vietnam and directed Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric to make recommendations for a series of actions to prevent the communist domination of the government of Vietnam. Gilpatric and Lansdale headed a task force established to carry out those instructions from the president. April 20, 1961, was the day Kennedy began to understand how the CIA and the Defense Department operated in this amazing world of clandestine operations. It was the day Allen Dulles' influence in the Kennedy administration ended, and with the eclipse of Dulles and the CIA, Lansdale's dream of being ambassador to Saigon collapsed. Kennedy adopted the concept of counterinsurgency as his own, as he shifted his thoughts and energies from the failure in Cuba to the future in Indochina. The wheels of the counterinsurgency juggernaut were picking up speed. During April 1961, the director of the joint staffs,[10] General Earle Wheeler, and Secretary McNamara decided to create a new section within the structure of the Joint Staff that would be dedicated to Counterinsurgency and Special Activities. The counterinsurgency element of that office was to be the cap on all military services in support of the counterinsurgency program for Vietnam. The Special Activities were a combination of Special Operations--i.e., the military support of the clandestine activities of the CIA--and Special Plans, the special art of military cover and deception. " To balance the rapid growth of the U.S. Army Special Forces program and its new Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, General Curtis E. LeMay, chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, announced that in April 1961, a combat crew training squadron had been activated at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. The mission of that special squadron included counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare and psychological warfare operations. Shortly thereafter, this cadre was expanded significantly to become a Special Air Warfare Center that included an Air Commando wing and a Combat Applications group. Without delay, Special Air Warfare units from the center at Eglin were deployed to South Vietnam.[12] It should be noted that both the Green Berets of the Army Special Forces, and the Air Commandos of the Air Force had been developed and trained in close cooperation with the CIA, and upon their arrival in South Vietnam they operated under the control of CIA agents. They were very special organizations. They were what President Reagan tried to duplicate, with some of the same people, in Central America. What Reagan had been unable to create was a Nicaraguan George Washington. The first thing Lansdale did in Vietnam was to create a "father of his country" in the person of Ngo Dinh Diem. By the end of April 1961, a revised counterinsurgency program[13] had been submitted to President Kennedy, without the Lansdale material. Kennedy lost no time in implementing many of its recommendations. The first troop movement, the deployment of a 40-man Special Forces group to South Vietnam, was made to accelerate the training of the South Vietnamese army. This move was directed by President Kennedy under the terms of National Security Action Memorandum (NSAM) 52, issued on May 11, 1961. By April 20, Kennedy knew that if he was ever going to gain full control of the CIA, he was going to have to understand what went wrong with the anti-Castro program and what he had to do to take over control of the counterinsurgency program for Vietnam. This accounts for his strong directive to General Maxwell Taylor written the next day, April 22, 1961: ". . . to study our governmental practices and programs in the areas of military and paramilitary, guerrilla and antiguerrilla activities which fell short of outright war with a view to strengthening our work in this area." With the collapse of the brigade in Cuba, Kennedy lost no time in getting to the heart of the matter. On June 13, 1961, Maxwell Taylor forwarded his "letter to the president." It is a most remarkable document. Kennedy and his inner circle studied it carefully and on June 28, President Kennedy issued one of the most unusual directives ever to leave the White House under any president in history. This directive, NSAM 55, said in part: "I wish to inform the Joint Chiefs of Staff as follows with regard to my views of their relations to me in Cold War Operations: "The Joint Chiefs of Staff have a responsibility for the defense of the nation in the Cold War similar to that which they have in conventional hostilities." This is a revolutionary statement when one considers who wrote it and the circumstances under which it was promulgated. The Cold War is a massive global struggle that exists only in vague terms. A Cold War operation, however, is a very specific term which refers to a secret, clandestine activity. Traditionally, the uniformed services of a country have never become involved in clandestine activities in peacetime. Therefore, with NSAM 55 President Kennedy was making the Joint Chiefs of Staff--the military forces of the United States-- responsible for the Cold War just as they would be responsible for a real, declared state of war among nations. This was a radical departure from the traditional rules of warfare among the family of nations. Kennedy was directing that the U.S. military forces be used against any Cold War adversary, whether or not there had been a declaration of war. This was a revolutionary doctrine, especially for the U.S., and if these presidential directives had become operationally effective, they would have drastically changed the course of the war in Vietnam. They would have effectively removed the CIA from Cold War operations and limited the CIA to its lawful responsibility--the coordination of intelligence. In many situations, these directives would have made the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff the day- to-day counterpart of the secretary of state. At the same time, these documents stated the Kennedy position, clearly setting forth his battle plan. Kennedy was taking charge, if he could, and he was relying upon the Joint Chiefs of Staff for assistance. He did not know it at the time, but with the issuance of these directives, he had only 18 months left to win--or to die in the attempt. It was an odd twist of fate that led Kennedy to choose the Joint Chiefs of Staff over the CIA to become his strong right arm. He did this because of Maxwell Taylor's letter. By mid-summer, Taylor had become Kennedy's military and intelligence adviser in the White House. Kennedy appointed him to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in October 1962. It was Maxwell Taylor--not Jack Kennedy or anyone else in the White House--who, representing the members of the Cuban Study Group, actually wrote the paragraphs in NSAM 55 that are cited above. Those words, along with many others like them from the same series of documents, were taken absolutely verbatim from that long-hidden "letter to the president" that Taylor wrote on June 13, 1961. Why did Taylor, Burke and Dulles, all members of the Cuban Study Group, unanimously put those words into the mouth of Jack Kennedy? Why did Kennedy accept them and publish them with his signature without delay? Having been given such vast powers by their president, where were the Joint Chiefs of Staff when the guns were fired in the streets of Dallas only 18 months later? Where was Lansdale? Where was Allen Dulles? Why was Kennedy so alone by the time he made that fateful trip to Texas in 1963? Kennedy asserted the power of the presidency which he assumed he had, but when his orders were delivered to the men to whom they were addressed, he discovered that his power was meaningless. His directives were quietly placed in the bureaucratic files and forgotten. There have been few times in the history of this nation when the limits of the power of the president have been so nakedly exposed. In the great struggle between Kennedy and the entrenched power sources of Washington, as personified by the CIA and its allies in the Defense Department and elsewhere, the president learned that his weapons were utterly powerless. His directives went completely unheeded. Footnotes: [1] "The Presidential Character" by James D. Barber, Prentice Hall, Engelwood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1972. [2] "Kennedy" by Ted Sorenson, Bantam Books, New York, 1965. [3] The absence or Dulles and the ineffectiveness of his deputies, Charles P. Cabell and Richard Bissell, is being described in this article as a breakdown of leadership." One must keep in mind, however, that this apparent "breakdown" may well have been intentional. Our so-called national policy on "anti-communism" has gotten quite a bit of mileage out of Castro and his "communist threat," just as it is doing today in Central America, South America and Africa. [4] The author's office was only a short distance from the rooms in the Pentagon which were used by the Cuban Study Group. He had worked with the CIA on the anti-Castro activities since January 1, 1959. He knew almost all the men who had been called to meet with the study group. Many of them would wait in his office until they were called. Many came back following their testimony and interrogation. One comment was general among them all. Their words were, in effect: "That group is highly charged with the presence of strong individuals. But the most intense man there is the one who sits in a straight-backed chair, separate from the others, and never says a word." That man was Bobby Kennedy. It was well known that he returned to the White House each day to discuss developments with the president and his inner circle: but nothing on the record gives any indication that he ever broke the strangle hold the CIA had on that investigation, or that he ever became aware or being in the grip of its velvet gloves. [5] As noted in the April 1986 article in this series, following the president's formal approval at midday of the landing plan, which included air strikes by B-26 aircraft to destroy Castro's remaining three T-33 jet trainers, the air strikes had been cancelled. The Taylor group responded: "At about 9:30 pm on April 16th, Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President, telephoned General C. P. Cabell of the CIA to inform him that the dawn air strikes the following morning should not be launched. . . ." [6] This entire anti-Castro campaign was fraught with intrigue. This same man, Senor de Varona, was one of the four Cuban exiles who, after flying from the American Legion convention where Nixon spoke in August 1960 to Washington, had gone directly to then-Senator John F. Kennedy's offices in the Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill. From Kennedy's office they went to the Office of the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. Kennedy had been in personal touch with de Varona and the others all through this period. This adds another element to the value of his testimony. The CIA tried to monopolize him: Nixon wooed him, as did Kennedy. Finally he came to the Cuban Study Group and told the whole story. Needless to say, he played all sides--as all "contras" do. [7] Those three aircraft. Castro's last combat-capable aircraft, were the T-33 jet trainers that had been spotted by a U-2 reconnaissance aircraft parked wing tip to wing tip in an airfield near Santiago and were the target for the four B-26 aircraft that were supposed to have been launched from the CIA air base at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua. Had that strike been flown as approved by the president, they would have been destroyed and the invasion would have been successful. Castro would have had no air forces. The brigade on the beach could have countered attacks along the narrow approach causeways while its own substantial air force of hard-hitting B-26 aircraft operated from the air strip the brigade had already captured on the beach. [8] It was Allen Dulles himself who revealed that the U-2 had not been shot down as the Soviets and the rest of the world had believed. Although Dulles revealed this information in sworn testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, May 31, 1960, the same month in which the crash landing occurred, his testimony was not released until 1982 and has been generally ignored by the American press. His revelation was staggering, however. No one has ever fully investigated the possibility that this flight, launched in direct violation of President Eisenhower's order that there be no over-flights before the summit conference, might have been ordered carelessly by a small but powerful cabal that intended for it to fail and, thereby, to cause the disruption of the summit conference. Based on a number of other strange events related to this particular night there is a strong possibility that this could be true. [9] The author worked in the same office with General Lansdale at that time. Those in the Office of Special Operations and the Office of the Secretary of Defense were certain, from what they had heard firsthand, that Lansdale would be named the next ambassador to Saigon. [10] The director of the joint staffs was the senior permanently assigned officer in the then 400-man office which supported the Joint Chiefs of Staff. General Wheeler went on to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he held for some six years. [11] The author was the first chief of the office of Special Operations and continued in that office until 1964, while General Lyman Lemnitzer, and later, General Maxwell Taylor were the chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. [12] One or the reasons Eglin Air Force base was selected for this program was that a major CIA air facility had been established there a few years earlier and had become the worldwide center for CIA air operations activities, excluding the U-2 program and those within the Air America proprietary airline infrastructure. [13] Said to have been developed under the leadership of George Ball in the Department of State. -- daveus rattus yer friendly neighborhood ratman KOYAANISQATSI ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language) n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life out of balance. 4. life disintegrating. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living. ~h

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