JFK Lancer conference opens today 

If you’re in Dallas, you’ll want to check out the usual array of excellent speakers, inlcuding David Talbot, Bill Simpich, Marie Fonzie. Larry Hancock, and Bill Garnet, to name just a few. It is a chance to drill down on the key issues raised by the unresolved events of November 1963 with some of the most knowledgable people in the world.

157 comments

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      I can’t believe some of the respected people at this conference are willing to listen to Fraizer. He’s been shepherded by his CIA handler shill the man who was everywhere on 11/22/63 Mockingbird WC apologist Hugh Aynesworth for years. Looks like he told him it’s ok now to say O had help, point them to the discredited Jimmy Files. Maybe one person at the conference will have the balls to ask him about Prayer Man. I’d love to see him sit down and have his feet held to the fire for 30 minutes by Jim DiEugenio. He’d waffle and melt.

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Last time I had a discussion with DiEugenio he left the discussion. I don’t know if he melted but I do know he couldn’t back up his claim that NSAM 263 ordered ALL of our troops home.

        I had heard a lot about DiEugenio before meeting him on this site. I was seriously disappointed.

        • “Last time I had a discussion with DiEugenio he left the discussion. I don’t know if he melted but I do know he couldn’t back up his claim that NSAM 263 ordered ALL of our troops home.”~Bill Clarke

          How is it I find your characterization of your discussion with DiEugenio questionable? You say you don’t know if he “melted”?
          Hahahahaha!!! That is a funny Bill…
          \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            How is it I find your characterization of your discussion with DiEugenio questionable?

            Look it up, Willy. It is on this site.

            You say you don’t know if he “melted”?
            Hahahahaha!!! That is a funny Bill…

            Do you think it is also funny that neither you or DiEugenio can back up your claim about what NSAM 263 says? I do.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 21, 2015 at 4:34 pm

            That JFK was not willing to do what Johnson did.

            Bc. It was never necessary for JFK to do what Johnson did. Had Saigon been threatened by the communist during JFK’s term, as it was in Johnson’s term, we don’t know what he would have done.

            As far as bullying goes Jean, I have never called Bill Clarke a liar. Herein, he calls not only me but other distinguished researchers and historians liars. People with far more expertise in military history and documentation than Clarke will ever be.

            Bc. Well Willy it makes no difference their expertise if in the end they lie. Is there?

            Anyone who hasn’t read Kennedy in his own words, defining his own principles, cannot see the implications that give context to what Kennedy would do in Vietnam.

            Bc. Gee Willy, I can tell you what JFK did in Vietnam.

            He never would have sent ground troops in, and he was determined to find a diplomatic solution to the situation in South East Asia.

            Bc. You don’t know what JFK would have done so let us skip that one and speak a bit of this big diplomatic solution; there were no diplomatic solutions. At the time both sides were sure they could win the conflict. Surrender was basically what each side required of the other. That left very little reason for either side to negotiate. In fact, JFK and LBJ are both faulted for not speaking to Ho at a time Ho would have done almost anything to keep America out of the war.

            NSAM 263 clearly provides for the plan to withdraw all personnel from Vietnam by 1965.

            Bc. Please show me exactly where NSAM 263 says this “all” thing.

            2. A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time.

            3. In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This action should be explained in low key as an initial step in a long-term program to replace U.S. personnel with trained Vietnamese without impairment of the war effort.

            It was contingent on a diplomatic solution that Kennedy was clearly on course toward, and only failed because it was thwarted by the guns of Dallas.

            Bc. I am familiar with JFK’s work with Khrushchev but not with Uncle Ho. Do you have something? If not I don’t believe JFK was seriously negotiating with Ho at the time. Therefore it couldn’t have “failed”. But the guns of Dallas sound good.

        • Mr Clarke,

          It is your arrogant insistence that your interpretation of NSAM 263 is the gold standard that all must adhere to, that is disturbing to those you attempt to bully into submission.
          \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            If there’s anyone here who is a bully it most certainly isn’t Bill Clark.

            Tell me, who would know JFK’s intentions in Vietnam better than his brother Robert?

            From an oral history interview of Robert Kennedy, 4/30/64, QUOTE:

            Kennedy: . . . . He [JFK] had a strong, overwhelming reason for being in Vietnam and that we should win the war in Vietnam.

            Martin: What was the overwhelming reason?

            Kennedy: Just the loss of all of Southeast Asia if you lost Vietnam. I think everybody was quite clear that the rest of Southeast Asia would fall.

            Martin: What if it did?

            Kennedy: Just have profound effects as far as our position throughout the world, and our position in a rather vital part of the world. [….]

            Martin: There was never any consideration given to pulling out?

            Kennedy: No.

            Martin: But the same time, no disposition to go in all . . .

            Kennedy: No . . .

            Martin:. . . in an all out way as we went into Korea. We were trying to avoid a Korea, is that correct?

            Kennedy: Yes, because I, everybody including General MacArthur felt that land conflict between our troops, white troops and Asian, would only lead to, end in disaster. So it was. . . . We went in as advisers, but to try to get the Vietnamese to fight themselves, because we couldn’t win the war for them. They had to win the war for themselves.

            Martin: It’s generally true all over the world, whether it’s in a shooting war or a different kind of a war. But the president was convinced that we had to keep, had to stay in there . . .

            Kennedy: Yes.

            Martin:. . . and couldn’t lose it.

            Kennedy: Yes.

            Martin: And if Vietnamese were about to lose it, would he propose to go in on land if he had to?

            Kennedy: Well, we’d face that when we came to it.

            UNQUOTE

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/vietnam.htm

          • Bill Clarke says:

            You can interpret it anyway you wish, Willy. What you cannot do is lie about what the written words of NSAM 263 say. Well, really you can because you and Newman and DiEugenio and others do exactly that. They misrepresent what the NSAM really says and this is dishonest by the worst standard.

            This goes back to what Jean said about preferring a direct quote instead of your “interpretation”. The direct quote prevents much speculation.

          • “Kennedy: Yes, because I, everybody including General MacArthur felt that land conflict between our troops, white troops and Asian, would only lead to, end in disaster. So it was. . . . We went in as advisers, but to try to get the Vietnamese to fight themselves, because we couldn’t win the war for them. They had to win the war for themselves.”

            This was the whole point of NSAM 263, that the Vietnamese had to fight the war themselves. That JFK was not willing to do what Johnson did.

            As far as bullying goes Jean, I have never called Bill Clarke a liar. Herein, he calls not only me but other distinguished researchers and historians liars. People with far more expertise in military history and documentation than Clarke will ever be.

            Clarke clamors on with this cheesy steer manure about “Camelot Shiners” – when he obviously hasn’t absorbed who Kennedy actually was, how as early as his 1957 speech before the Senate he came out against imperialism. Anyone who hasn’t read Kennedy in his own words, defining his own principles, cannot see the implications that give context to what Kennedy would do in Vietnam.

            He never would have sent ground troops in, and he was determined to find a diplomatic solution to the situation in South East Asia.
            It was those who came to realize that Kennedy would likely be successful in such a venture, that cast their lots for a coup d’etat.

            NSAM 263 clearly provides for the plan to withdraw all personnel from Vietnam by 1965.
            It was contingent on a diplomatic solution that Kennedy was clearly on course toward, and only failed because it was thwarted by the guns of Dallas.
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            Sorry, I should’ve written “Clarke,” not “Clark.” I apologize.

          • JohnR says:

            Don’t you two get started again. This is why we can’t have nice things. My little joke. Love you both.

          • “You can interpret it anyway you wish, Willy. What you cannot do is lie about what the written words of NSAM 263 say.”~Bill Clarke
            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

            Arguments made from sincerity and sound reasoning towards the facts and data at hand, that show that the context you put that data in is more persuasive than someone simply insisting that their opinion is right; simply because the data is what it is and their interpretation is correct.

            Data does not become fact until placed in context. All words and combinations thereof are judged by subjective interpretation, whether the subject interpreting such data is aware of that or not.

            As long as the accuracy of the data is firmly established, it is the context that the data is put into that is of the essence.
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            “This was the whole point of NSAM 263, that the Vietnamese had to fight the war themselves. That JFK was not willing to do what Johnson did.”

            Sure, JFK wanted the Vietnamese to fight for themselves, and yes, he did not WANT to fight a land war in Asia. But you’re ignoring the rest of what RFK said there. First, that JFK thought it was important to win the war. And did you miss this??

            “Martin: There was never any consideration given to pulling out?

            Kennedy: No.”

            And this:

            “Martin: And if Vietnamese were about to lose it, would he propose to go in on land if he had to?

            Kennedy: Well, we’d face that when we came to it.”

            Plain as day he’s saying that no decision to withdraw had already been made. How can you ignore that?

            You said:
            “NSAM 263 clearly provides for the plan to withdraw all personnel from Vietnam by 1965.”

            Why do you keep misquoting it? That’s not what it says. Here are the relevant documents:

            http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/w6LJoSnW4UehkaH9Ip5IAA.aspx

            https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/d167

            I know some have claimed that JFK was seeking a diplomatic solution, but I can’t find any contemporary record to support that, anything written or said at the time — not later, when wishful thinking may enter in.

            James Reston of the NY Times suggested a diplomatic solution in November 1963. The official response was negative:

            https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/d311

            Let me add, I’m not criticizing JFK. I voted for him. I’d like to think he would’ve withdrawn from Vietnam, but imo we’ll never know. According to this interview, even RFK didn’t know.

          • “Martin: And if Vietnamese were about to lose it, would he propose to go in on land if he had to?
            Kennedy: Well, we’d face that when we came to it.”
            Plain as day he’s saying that no decision to withdraw had already been made. How can you ignore that?”~Jean Davison

            I did NOT ignore ANY of RFK’s remarks. When he says, “Well, we’d face that when we came to it.” Certainly does not mean the decision to withdraw had not been made. It means that they would face that when they came to it. nothing more or less than those words say.

            We’ve all read NSAM 263, so note that this memo refers to; recommendations contained in Section I B (1-3) of Secretary McNamara and General Taylor Report. These are:

            B. Recommendations.

            We recommend that:
            1. General Harkins review with Diem the military changes necessary to complete the military campaign in the Northern and Central areas (I, II, and III Corps) by the end of 1964, and in the Delta (IV Corps) by the end of 1965. This review would consider the need for such changes as:

            a. A further shift of military emphasis and strength to the Delta (IV Corps).
            b. An increase in the military tempo in all corps areas, so that all combat troops are in the field an average of 20 days out of 30 and static missions are ended.
            c. Emphasis on “clear and hold operations” instead of terrain sweeps which have little permanent value.
            d. The expansion of personnel in combat units to full authorized strength.
            e. The training and arming of hamlet militia to an accelerated rate, especially in the Delta.
            f. A consolidation of the strategic hamlet program, especially in the Delta, and action to insure that future strategic hamlets are not built until they can be protected, and until civic action programs can be introduced.
            ===============================
            Note that all of these are referring to South Vietnamese troops, not American troops; “Delta IV Corps”, and Vietnamese militias.
            \\][//

          • National Security Action Memorandum No. 263
            Washington, October 11, 1963.
            TO
            Secretary of State
            Secretary of Defense
            Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
            SUBJECT

            South Vietnam

            At a meeting on October 5, 1963 the President considered the recommendations contained in the report of Secretary McNamara and General Taylor on their mission to South Vietnam.
            The President approved the military recommendations contained in Section I B (1-3) of the report, but directed that no formal announcement be made of the implementation of plans to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963.
            After discussion of the remaining recommendations of the report, the President approved an instruction to Ambassador Lodge which is set forth in State Department telegram No. 534 to Saigon.
            McGeorge Bundy
            . . .
            \\][//

          • B. Recommendations Continued (2 &3):
            2. A program be established to train Vietnamese so that essential functions now performed by U.S. military personnel can be carried out by Vietnamese by the end of 1965. It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time.

            3. In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This action should be explained in low key as an initial step in a long-term program to replace U.S. personnel with trained Vietnamese without impairment of the war effort.
            ….
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Jean Davison
            November 21, 2015 at 4:37 pm

            Sorry, I should’ve written “Clarke,” not “Clark.” I apologize.

            No sweat GI! It used to irritate my ole man something awful but it never bothered me. And Pops is now long gone.

            As we say in east Texas, I don’t care what they call me as long as they call me for supper!

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy. “NSAM 263 clearly provides for the plan to withdraw all personnel from Vietnam by 1965.”

            Jean. Why do you keep misquoting it? That’s not what it says. Here are the relevant documents:
            http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/w6LJoSnW4UehkaH9Ip5IAA.aspx
            https://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/d167

            Bill. And here lies the core of my problems with Willy. Why does he keep misquoting it? I don’t believe he needs your links; he knows what NSAM 263 says. Unfortunately for Willy it doesn’t say what Willy needs it to say so he “edits” it to suit his agenda. As Willy points out he is joined by dubiously scholars and propagandist in this rather dishonest trade.

            Jean. I know some have claimed that JFK was seeking a diplomatic solution, but I can’t find any contemporary record to support that, anything written or said at the time — not later, when wishful thinking may enter in.

            Bill. I have never found any credible support for this either and I don’t believe it. The best I have found is, ““Choosing War; The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam” by Fredrik Logevall. Logevall doesn’t believe it either.

            Page 22; In 1963, the Kennedy administration opposed any move to bring about an early diplomatic settlement, as it had since it came into office and as its predecessor had done before that.

            Page 22; From January 1961 to November 1963, he administration adhered firmly to the position that the insurgency in the South had to be defeated and that no diplomacy should be undertaken until that result was ensured. Negotiations should be entered into only when there was nothing to negotiate.

            Bill. I agree Jean. I have no problem with what JFK did in Vietnam. I just have had enough of these folks telling me what he would have or not have done. They got a crystal ball or what?

          • Maybe Bill Clark and Jean Davison missed this:

            B.1 Recommendations cited in NSAM 263 :

            3. In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This action should be explained in low key as an initial step in a long-term program to replace U.S. personnel with trained Vietnamese without impairment of the war effort.
            . . . . .
            Now to address the narrow and pinched version of history that these two commentators hold.
            For anyone to say that they have seen no evidence that Kennedy was seeking a diplomatic solution reveals their total misconception of history, and John F Kennedy.

            Kennedy was seeking a diplomatic solution, not just for Vietnam, and South East Asia. Not just for relationships with Cuba. Kennedy was seeking a diplomatic solution to the Cold War, to the whole confrontation between the West and the East.

            Anyone who doesn’t see evidence for this is being disingenuous, or has no concept of who John Kennedy was, or his goals to pursue and establish meaningful and lasting peace for the world.
            \\][//

          • Charles says:

            I completely support Willy’s position on NSAM 263 with reference to the memo of Oct 2, 1963 projecting the bulk of withdrawal in 1965.

            NO analyst of influence EVER thought Viet Nam was a winner but that concern was balanced by a need to preserve U.S. military credibility. It was a circle that could not be squared. The U.S. was never diplomatically focused on the North, never put real boots on the ground in the North. It was the South that was their problem.

            The S.Viet political + military class was too unstable and corrupt, the population too politically/culturally factionalized to ever hope that even military victory could create a legitimate regime earning the loyality of the people. Not so different than Iraq today.

            The only option was a gradual withdrawl of U.S. forces and hope that the South would bootstrap itself into a motivated military and responsible government under the added responsibilty. Sink or swim.

            The policy trend was clear. This was the exact policy of “Vietnamization” and “peace with honour” as a euphemism for surrender and withdrawl later adopted by Nixon/Ford. Only when Johnson replaced Kennedy did the neocon like military and corporate hawks take over, abetted by the false-flag Gulf of Tonkin incident.

            To pull quotes out of context from RFK to support greater military intervention is so JEJUNE and USELESS. All politicians want to preserve their freedom to maneuver and never to appear weak. Look at what they DID, NOT what they say.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 22, 2015 at 8:52 am

            Maybe Bill Clark and Jean Davison missed this:
            B.1 Recommendations cited in NSAM 263 :
            3. In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This action should be explained in low key as an initial step in a long-term program to replace U.S. personnel with trained Vietnamese without impairment of the war effort.

            Bill. Did you miss this, Willy; “without impairment of the war effort”?
            . . . . .
            Now to address the narrow and pinched version of history that these two commentators hold.

            For anyone to say that they have seen no evidence that Kennedy was seeking a diplomatic solution reveals their total misconception of history, and John F Kennedy.

            Bill. Why do continue to misquote NSAM 263?

            Anyone who doesn’t see evidence for this is being disingenuous, or has no concept of who John Kennedy was, or his goals to pursue and establish meaningful and lasting peace for the world.

            Bill. Sure Willy. Only you Camelot shiners know “the real Jack”.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 22, 2015 at 11:33 am

            I completely support Willy’s position on NSAM 263 with reference to the memo of Oct 2, 1963 projecting the bulk of withdrawal in 1965.

            Bill. With all due respect Charles, you do not completely support Willy’s misquote of NSAM 263. Willy speaks of the withdrawal of ALL the troops which NSAM 263 does not say. You on the other hand speak of “the bulk” which NSAM does indeed say. You are correct, Willy is not. We should also remember that it doesn’t say we will do it in 1965 come hell or high water. It says it should be possible. JFK said if 1965 didn’t work out they’d find a new date. So 1965 wasn’t cast in stone.

            The policy trend was clear. This was the exact policy of “Vietnamization” and “peace with honour” as a euphemism for surrender and withdrawl later adopted by Nixon/Ford. Only when Johnson replaced Kennedy did the neocon like military and corporate hawks take over, abetted by the false-flag Gulf of Tonkin incident.

            Bill. Actually Vietnamization worked very well with a new president and new general in SVN. In a short time Abrams had the south in pretty good shape. That is why they could fend off the communist invasion of the Easter Offensive in 1972 with all our ground combat units out of SVN.

            To pull quotes out of context from RFK to support greater military intervention is so JEJUNE and USELESS. All politicians want to preserve their freedom to maneuver and never to appear weak. Look at what they DID, NOT what they say.

            Bill. Do you know what JFK did in SVN?

          • Charles says:

            Bill states Actually Vietnamization worked very well with a new president and new general in SVN. In a short time Abrams had the south in pretty good shape. That is why they could fend off the communist invasion of the Easter Offensive in 1972 with all our ground combat units out of SVN.

            Ha ! That was just face saving on both the U.S. side and ever patient NVA side. You know what happend next, right?

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 22, 2015 at 10:38 pm

            Bill states Actually Vietnamization worked very well with a new president and new general in SVN. In a short time Abrams had the south in pretty good shape. That is why they could fend off the communist invasion of the Easter Offensive in 1972 with all our ground combat units out of SVN.

            Ha ! That was just face saving on both the U.S. side and ever patient NVA side. You know what happend next, right?

            Ha yourself Charles. The Easter Offensive was face saving? The U.S. convinced the communist to invade so we could save face? Don’t think so. The communist saved face by getting their ass ran out of SVN? That isn’t the way face saving works Charles.

            Yes, I know what happened next. The U.S. Congress reduced funding for SVN to a point that wouldn’t support the south in a war. To leave those poor people to the communist is one of the most dreadful act of disloyalty I’ve seen.

            I assume we are now straight on the difference in your view of NSAM 263 and that of Willy?

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            “Maybe Bill Clark and Jean Davison missed this:”

            No, you’re missing what the document actually says. The plan to withdraw 1000 men was always contingent on the Vietnamese being trained to take over the fighting. Read what you posted:

            “B.1 Recommendations cited in NSAM 263:

            3. ***In accordance with the program to train progressively Vietnamese to take over military functions***, the Defense Department should announce in the very near future presently prepared plans to withdraw 1000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963. This action should be explained in low key as an initial step in ***a long-term program to replace U.S. personnel with trained Vietnamese without impairment of the war effort.***” [my emphasis]

            And this Taylor/McNamara recommendation to JFK, 10/2/63:

            “6. The following statement be approved as current U.S. policy toward South Vietnam….

            a. The security of South Vietnam remains vital to United States security. For this reason, we adhere to the overriding objective of denying this country to Communism and of suppressing the Viet Cong insurgency as promptly as possible. (By suppressing the insurgency we mean reducing it to proportions manageable by the national security forces of the GVN, unassisted by the presence of U.S. military forces.) We believe the U.S. part of the task can be completed by the end of 1965, the terminal date which we are taking as the time objective of our counterinsurgency programs.”

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          So here we went from the Lancer conference to your distraction and diatribe on NASAM 263, Again, Bill. I’d really like to see some intelligent comments and discussion about the conference.
          I don’t think you had a discussion with DiEugieno.
          He more likely was tired of the SOS and didn’t bother. If you sat down with him in a face to face discussion for 30 minute or an hour he’d tear your ass to to pieces. JMHO.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Ronnie Wayne
            November 23, 2015 at 2:46 am

            So here we went from the Lancer conference to your distraction and diatribe on NASAM 263, Again, Bill. I’d really like to see some intelligent comments and discussion about the conference.

            Bill. Go on ahead. I’m not stopping you.

            I don’t think you had a discussion with DiEugieno.

            Bill. Doesn’t say a lot about your thinking here.
            “Was JFK going to pull out of Vietnam?”;
            http://jfkfacts.org/assassination/experts/was-jfk-going-to-pull-out-of-vietnam/#comments
            Begins with James DiEugenio April 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm. There are other examples on this site if you wish to find them.

            He more likely was tired of the SOS and didn’t bother. If you sat down with him in a face to face discussion for 30 minute or an hour he’d tear your ass to to pieces. JMHO.

            Bill. He couldn’t support the BS he claimed NSAM 263 said. So he faded away. Lots of people do this when the air is let out of their tires.

            DiEugenio most certainly could not tear my ass to pieces over NSAM 263. He can regurgitate the party line but that is about it. I also found the man rude and over bearing. A bully in other words.

          • “DiEugenio most certainly could not tear my ass to pieces over NSAM 263. He can regurgitate the party line but that is about it. I also found the man rude and over bearing. A bully in other words.”~Bill Clarke

            DiEugenio “a bully”?

            Did he ever call you a liar Bill? Did he ever even intimate such a thing, as you do here with everyone who disagrees with your crap?
            \\][//

          • Photon says:

            Jimmy D has a habit of putting out claims based on one source, often misinterpreted, or of willingly accepting demonstrable false or not credible testimony .
            When challenged on this blog he quit and ran for the hills, seeking the safer confines of DeepPoliticsForum where only a few souls like Paul Trejo will actually question his methods and motives, particularly accusing innocent people like Ruth Paine of conspiracy to commit murder.

          • Tom S. says:

            Photon, you’re entitled to your opinions, but Paul Trejo has never posted on the forum you named. Trejo recently attacked
            DiEugenio relentlessly, taking time out from his dysfunctional, “CIA is the real victim, here,” public relations campaign.:
            http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=22344&page=30#entry318756 . To his credit, DiEugenio turned the other cheek even as Trejo doubled down. I read all of your comments, and nothing you’ve contributed compares to this, in giving me a sense of you. Please explain this.

            When asked about her department of State correspondent in receipt of her letters on behalf of Young Friends.:
            Ruth Paine: “I haven’t a clue, but you know they were working on cultural exchange at that point. Trying to make a crack in the Iron Curtain.” Michael Paine: “I remember reading about that kind of thing in The Times and finding it so frustrating that a genuine effort to try to get person-to-person contact was being subverted by the government there.”

            Photon, your comment also conveys a tone and authority about the integrity and culpability of Ruth Paine that cannot
            possibly result from your personal knowledge.
            http://quixoticjoust.blogspot.com/2015/01/hyde-family-and-central-intelligence.html
            Hyde Family in the CIA and USAID

            My take.:
            1930 US census, Paine “household” includes Stanford U. friend Talbot Bielefeldt, a CIA officer by the 1950’s and still in contact with Ruth’s parents.
            William Hyde in the 1930 United States Federal Census
            37 Morningsid Avenue Manhattan, New York, New York Family Number:301
            Household Members:
            Name Age
            William Hyde 27
            Talbot Bielefdt 26
            Carol Hyde 29
            Carl Hyde 2
            Silver Hyde 0

            “Ruth Paine is to be encountered to be challenged, not petted, stroked, and flattered. Did Bill (Brown) ask her how well she got to know her parents’ close friend who was rooming in her parents’ house in New York in the 1930’s, and dining with them in the 1950’s? – Tom Scully”

          • Tom S. says:

            Mike did not want Ruth to be on the WC record as principal correspondent with Robert Webster’s employer, Rand’s friend, Frederick T Merrill at the State Dept.:
            http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1958/11/13/russian-students-to-arrive-soon-pfour/
            Russian Students To Arrive Soon – The Harvard Crimson November 13, 1958
            The Harvard Crimson
            Four Russian students, visiting the University for a year’s study, will arrive next week, Frederick T. Merrill, Director of East-West Contracts in Washington, said last …

            State Department Disclaims Support of Youth Festival – The …
            The Harvard Crimson
            Frederick T. Merrill, Director of East-West Contact, told the CRIMSON last night that “we are simply informing all applicants of what is involved in attending the …

            The Surveillance Imperative: Geosciences During the Cold …
            Simone Turchetti, ‎Peder Roberts – 2014 – ‎History
            Thurston to Frederick T. Merrill (Director East-West Contacts Staff, State Department), January 23, 1958. NASA Division of Earth Sciences: Conference on Arctic …

            https://deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?14267-EXCELLENT-Research-on-LHO-amp-Ruth-Hyde-Paine-and-family-Linda-Minor&p=101304#post101304
            Tom Scully – 07-15-2015,

            This is the obit of the father of Robert E.Webster’s employer’s (H. James Rand’s) business partner.:

            It seems Jim Rand’s father thought highly of the father of Ruth Paine’s State Dept. contact that she could
            not recall the name of………

            The Diamond of Psi Upsilon – Volume 20, Issue 1 – Page 47
            https://books.google.com/books?id=pJ5MAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA47&dq=%22*which+had+previously+absorbed+his+old+company,+the+Library+Bureau.+Two+months+after+joining+the+company,+Mr.+Merrill%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAGoVChMIh6WVlo_dxgIVhD8-Ch2l6QF7#v=onepage&q=%22*which%20had%20previously%20absorbed%20his%20old%20company%2C%20the%20Library%20Bureau.%20Two%20months%20after%20joining%20the%20company%2C%20Mr.%20Merrill%22&f=false
            https://books.google.com/books?id=pJ5MAAAAMAAJPsi Upsilon – 1933 – ‎Full view – ‎More editions
            William Fessenden Merrill 1933….Resigning both positions in June, 1928, he was named vice- president and general manager of Remington Rand, which had previously absorbed his old company, the Library Bureau. .Two months after joining the company, Mr. Merrill was promoted to the presidency of the organization, succeeding James H. Rand, Jr., who became chairman of the board. More than a year ago Brother Merrill retired because of ill health, but retained many directorships until the time of his death. He was a … He is survived by a widow, a son, Frederick T. Merrill, and a brother, Oliver B. Merrill, Gamma ’91. Charles”

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            Bill, as I’m not a respected (by some) published researcher on the subject you probably don’t remember but we, you and I have discussed this subject on this site in the past, along with many others. In addition to the differences between NSAM 263 and 273, signed four day’s after JFK’s death by LBJ, I at that time quoted some of JFK’s closest trusted advisers and friends regarding his true feelings.
            I believe JFK did say publicly “In the final analysis, it is their war”.
            Since this thread is about the Lancer Conference I’ll defer to Greg Burnham’s 2010’s address to that conference on these two memorandums.

            http://www.jfklancer.com/NSAM263.html

            http://www.jfklancer.com/NSAM273.html

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Ronnie Wayne
            November 23, 2015 at 7:51 pm

            Bill, as I’m not a respected (by some) published researcher on the subject you probably don’t remember but we, you and I have discussed this subject on this site in the past, along with many others. In addition to the differences between NSAM 263 and 273, signed four day’s after JFK’s death by LBJ, I at that time quoted some of JFK’s closest trusted advisers and friends regarding his true feelings.
            I believe JFK did say publicly “In the final analysis, it is their war”.
            Since this thread is about the Lancer Conference I’ll defer to Greg Burnham’s 2010’s address to that conference on these two memorandums.

            http://www.jfklancer.com/NSAM263.html

            http://www.jfklancer.com/NSAM273.html

            I’m afraid I lost a great deal of respect for these so called noted researchers. Many of them seem to lie just like regular folks.

            Yes, I remember our discussion long ago. I even found one of my replies to the Greg Burnham’s article. Same old stuff. Burnham claims “all the troops” and I claim it doesn’t say that. As sincere as I can be, Ronnie, I see no place in NSAM 263 where it says “all the troops”. Do you?

          • Photon says:

            I did make a mistake-Education Forum, not DeepPolitics. But DiEugenio and others have implied that Ruth Paine had a sinister background and had to be involved in some nebulous way with the assassination. That is grossly unfair to an individual whose major crime seems to have been discovering evidence in her house that implicated Oswald in the Walker shooting. I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty. The fact that members of her family may have had intelligence ties proves nothing about Ruth Paine’ s personal political philosophy or whether she could have been involved with the assassination .

          • Gerry Simone says:

            I agree with Ronnie Wayne.

            DiEugenio has better things to do than incessantly argue with immutable persons or characters who hide behind unknown handles.

          • leslie sharp says:

            “I believe that people are innocent until proven guilty.” – photon

            Surely this will be a contender for comment of the week.

            Photon participates on this forum as one among several who has nominated himself as judge and jury in the ongoing kangaroo court declaring the guilt of a young guy who was never afforded his rights to a fair trial with adequate legal representation. I think it’s fair to say that we Americans who continue to engage in the debate on this particular forum are not just advocating in service of our criminal justice system, but we are also intent on restoring the democracy that was lost in Dallas on 11.22.63 with the murder of an elected president and the subsequent cover up of a conspiracy by a bogus Warren Commission Report.

            Let’s hear a one paragraph statement from photon, Jean Davison, John McAdams, Bill, et al in support of the sacred principle, ‘innocent until proven guilty’ applied to Lee Harvey Oswald, along with acknowledgement that democracy was assaulted in Dallas and the subsequent events. I’m calling for a “good faith” declaration from each of these individuals to the effect they are engaged on this forum as US citizens dedicated to our highest principles of justice, along with a clear statement that they believe the Warren Commission Report did or did not apply those principles.

  1. JohnR says:

    I doubt this will satisfy anyone, let alone settle the argument, but I’ve always thought this was a good analysis.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/06/opinion/foreign-affairs-kennedy-and-vietnam.html

    Just a reminder, Mr. Gelb directed the team that produced the Pentagon Papers, to the extent (or not) that establishes his credibility.

    • Jean Davison says:

      Thanks, JohnR, for that article.

      In particular, I’d like to point out this 1965 quote from Ted Sorensen on JFK’s Vietnam policy:

      “The struggle could well be, he thought, this nation’s severest test of endurance and patience,” the Kennedy intimate wrote. “He was simply going to weather it out, a nasty, untidy mess to which there was no other acceptable solution. . . .”

      • Charles says:

        Jean, in no way does that useless quote imply an expansion of a minor counter-insurgency into crazy Johnsonian all out war of 500,000 troops and B-52s.

        Kennedy’s restraint and prudence during the Cuban Missle Crisis in strong opposition to Johnson’s and the Joint Chiefs desire for all out war is ALL the historical evidence I need to demonstrate that JFK would not have reacted the same way to Tonkin Gulf, even if it wasn’t a false flag operation.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          You do realize that the Maddox was indeed fire on; the Turner Joy not so much.

          You can argue that the Maddox provoked the attack but I don’t think anyone can deny that the Maddox was attacked.

          • David Regan says:

            Bill, if Kennedy refrained from calls for bombing missile sites in Cuba after Rudolf Anderson’s U2 was shot down on 10/27/62, I think it’s most unlikely he would have followed LBJ’s reaction to the dubious Tonkin incident.

          • Charles says:

            So what? You do realize that it’s a fact the attack was provoked by Operation Plan 34-A, don’t you?

            The USS Pueblo is STILL held by North Korea today and nobody thinks that would be worth 59000+ American and 3 million+ Asian lives. Johnson, the Chiefs and the MIC could not wait to taste blood and profits.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            November 22, 2015 at 9:33 pm

            Bill, if Kennedy refrained from calls for bombing missile sites in Cuba after Rudolf Anderson’s U2 was shot down on 10/27/62, I think it’s most unlikely he would have followed LBJ’s reaction to the dubious Tonkin incident.

            Bill. I don’t think I’d argue that with you David. In fact I probably agree more with you here than I disagree.

            We do need to keep the Tonkin Gulf incident in it’s proper place. I’ve heard people say that LBJ “went to war over the TGI”. That isn’t true, he used the TGI to get needed approval from Congress basically to do whatever in SVN. It was another 6 months before he sent the Marines to Da Nang so it isn’t like LBJ bombed Hanoi the night after the attack on the Maddox.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 22, 2015 at 10:15 pm

            So what? You do realize that it’s a fact the attack was provoked by Operation Plan 34-A, don’t you?

            Bill. I’m familiar with that situation. I suppose you think Americans went north on these OP34-A operations? John Newman states that the DeSodo Patrols were under control of the 34-A program. You buy that?

            The USS Pueblo is STILL held by North Korea today and nobody thinks that would be worth 59000+ American and 3 million+ Asian lives.

            Bill. If you think Johnson went to war over a damn ship you are sorely unprepared to discuss this.

            Johnson, the Chiefs and the MIC could not wait to taste blood and profits.

            Bill. This is even worse.

          • Charles says:

            Bill you are framing Tonkin as a strawman.

            Tonkin was never casus belli, it was just a means to get the legals in order, a means of waging war without declaring war and thus circumventing congress. It was a plain and deliberate corruption of the separation of powers. The was no honor in it to be had anywhere.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 24, 2015 at 1:27 am

            Bill you are framing Tonkin as a strawman.

            Tonkin was never casus belli, it was just a means to get the legals in order, a means of waging war without declaring war and thus circumventing congress. It was a plain and deliberate corruption of the separation of powers. The was no honor in it to be had anywhere.

            I agree 100% Charles. But that doesn’t mean the Maddox was not actually fired on.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Charles,

          “Jean, in no way does that useless quote imply an expansion of a minor counter-insurgency into crazy Johnsonian all out war of 500,000 troops and B-52s.”

          Who said it did?? I have never claimed that JFK would have escalated the war as LBJ did. I don’t know what he would have done.

          Here’s more of that 1965 Sorensen quote, from a chapter called “The Continuing Crises”:

          “…Obviously, then, in early 1963 no early end to the Vietnam war was in sight. The President, while eager to make clear that our aim was to get out of Vietnam, had always been doubtful about the optimistic reports constantly filed by the military on the progress of the war….The communists, he knew, would have no difficulty recruiting guerrillas to prolong the fighting for many years. The struggle could well be, he thought, this nation’s severest test of endurance and patience. At times he compared it to the long struggles against Communist guerrillas in Greece, Malaya and the Philippines….He was simply going to weather it out, a nasty, untidy mess to which there was no other acceptable solution. Talk of abandoning so unstable an ally and so costly a commitment “only makes it easy for the Communists,” said the President. “I think we should stay.”

          pp. 660-661, “Kennedy”:

          http://www.amazon.com/Kennedy-Biography-Perennial-Political-Classics/dp/006196784X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1448232876&sr=1-1&keywords=sorensen+kennedy#reader_006196784X

          Click on the corner of the book cover to open a search box. Search for “severest test”, e.g.

          • “Talk of abandoning so unstable an ally and so costly a commitment “only makes it easy for the Communists,” said the President. “I think we should stay.”~Sorensen via Jean Davison

            “I think we should stay,”~Alleged quote of JFK.

            “Stay” militarily? “Stay” engaged? Perhaps stay engaged to seek a political solution?

            Or stay engaged to to blow the country back to the stone-age, like Johnson, Nixon and Kissinger did?

            As you might note, the term ‘stay’ can have a wide variety of meanings in the context of the crisis in Vietnam.

            As I and others have shown Kennedy was willing to engage Castro, not by condoning an invasion, nor allowing the military to bomb Cuba, but by diplomatic engagement.

            The same has been show of Kennedy’s willingness to engage Khrushchev, even against the wishes of each empire’s military establishment, to come to terms for a peaceful solution to the Cold War.

            Yes Kennedy was certainly willing to stay the course in his effort to bring peace to a planet in danger of nuclear holocaust.

            Both Kennedy & Khrushchev were removed from power due to the secret negotiations to come to peaceful terms. Kennedy by open murder, and Khrushchev by house arrest, that was maintained until the man’s death.
            \\][//

          • Charles says:

            So what Jean if you “don’t know what he would have done.” Your self admitted ignorance of the matter does not invalidate my position on the meaning of the memo. Study the history of counter-insurgency for four decades like me and then we can discuss.

          • leslie sharp says:

            WHY has this argument failed to integrate the crucial facts that when President Eisenhower left office there were (allegedly) only 700 US military advisors in South Viet Nam, and when President Kennedy issued NSM263 there were 16,500 US military advisors or personnel in the country? (note: there continues to be a discrepancy of 500 human beings in these numbers.) That is a xxxxx-person increase or on average xxx personnel per month while John Kennedy served as president.

            According the Kennedy Library website:

            “In May, 1961, JFK authorized sending an additional 500 special forces and advisors to assist the pro-Western government of South Vietnam. By the end of 1962, there were approximately 11,000 military advisors in South Vietnam; that year 53 military personnel had been killed. The president would soon send additional military advisors to support the South Vietnamese army. By the end of 1963, the numbers had risen to 16,000. “

            Juxtapose these harsh, impersonal and inexact numbers with this paragraph extracted from the personal letter President John Kennedy sent to Bobbie Lou Pendergrass, the sister of Specialist James Delmas McAndrews, one of the forty-five Americans reported as having died while serving in Vietnam up to March 1963:

            “I have written to you at length because I know that it is important to you to understand why we are in Vietnam. James McAndrews must have foreseen that his service could have taken him into a war like this; a war in which he took part not as a combatant but as an advisor. I am sure that he understood the necessity of the situation, and I know that as a soldier he knew full scale war in Viet Nam is at the moment unthinkable. “ – John F. Kennedy, President, March 6, 1963.

            http://www.jfklibrary.org/~/media/assets/Education%20and%20Public%20Programs/Education/Lesson%20Plans/Military%20Advisors%20in%20Vietnam%20Lesson%20Plan.pdf

          • Jean Davison says:

            QUOTE:
            “Talk of abandoning so unstable an ally and so costly a commitment “only makes it easy for the Communists,” said the President. “I think we should stay.”~Sorensen via Jean Davison

            “I think we should stay,”~Alleged quote of JFK.
            UNQUOTE

            The parts Sorensen put in direct quotes are from a 9/9/63 NBC interview in which JFK said:

            “….The fact of the matter is that with the assistance of the United States, SEATO, southeast Asia and indeed all of Asia has been maintained independent against a powerful force, the Chinese Communists. What I am concerned about is that Americans will get impatient and say because they don’t like events in southeast Asia or they don’t like the government in Saigon, that we should withdraw. That only makes it easy for the Communists. I think we should stay….”

            Transcript:
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9397

          • leslie sharp says:

            Jean, photon, Bill C., John McAdams:

            “I have written to you at length because I know that it is important to you to understand why we are in Vietnam. James McAndrews must have foreseen that his service could have taken him into a war like this; a war in which he took part not as a combatant but as an advisor. I am sure that he understood the necessity of the situation, and I know that as a soldier he knew full scale war in Viet Nam is at the moment unthinkable. “ – John F. Kennedy, President, March 6, 1963.

          • “That only makes it easy for the Communists. I think we should stay….”~JFK as quoted by Jean Davison.
            Why does Ms Davison always stop at the word “stay” and trail off with dots …. ?

            I think it’s obvious if one reads the sentence that follows:

            “That only makes it easy for the Communists. I think we should stay. We should use our influence in as effective a way as we can, but we should not withdraw.”~JFK

            Kennedy wasn’t talking directly about staying militarily. He was talking about “influence”.

            This gives the whole thing a different context. Kennedy in speaking to “influence” is speaking to the concept of “winning hearts and minds”. No one is going to win hearts and minds of a country that you are blowing to shreds.

            I contend that Ms Davison realized this, and that is why she purposely and consistently failed to quote the entire passage, because it changes the entire context of what she wanted to convey.
            Transcript:
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9397
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            QUOTE:

            “That only makes it easy for the Communists. I think we should stay….”~JFK as quoted by Jean Davison.
            Why does Ms Davison always stop at the word “stay” and trail off with dots …. ?
            UNQUOTE

            Because that’s the last thing Sorensen said that you me asked about and because the “influence” part is on another subject. It’s a response to a question about our apparent inability to influence Diem’s treatment of Buddhist demonstrators:

            “Mr. Brinkley: With so much of our prestige, money, so on, committed in South Viet-Nam, why can’t we exercise a little more influence there, Mr. President?”

            QUOTE:
            Kennedy wasn’t talking directly about staying militarily. He was talking about “influence”.

            This gives the whole thing a different context. Kennedy in speaking to “influence” is speaking to the concept of “winning hearts and minds”. No one is going to win hearts and minds of a country that you are blowing to shreds.
            UNQUOTE

            Your interpretation makes no sense at all when you consider the context.

            “Transcript:
            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9397

          • “Your interpretation makes no sense at all when you consider the context.”Jean Davison

            I have read the entire interview. You still haven’t given a valid reason to leave off that final sentence.
            And just as I said before, it had ZERO to do with staying militarily – just as you just admit yourself – it had to do with ‘influencing’ Diem to be more tolerant for the hope of getting the people behind him.
            There is nothing in that interview that even vaguely suggests increasing the military presence in Vietnam – but that was YOUR impetus in your rhetoric.
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            “I have read the entire interview. You still haven’t given a valid reason to leave off that final sentence.”

            It wasn’t relevant.

            “And just as I said before, it had ZERO to do with staying militarily – just as you just admit yourself – it had to do with ‘influencing’ Diem to be more tolerant for the hope of getting the people behind him.”

            Right, so we agree — the “influencing” comment wasn’t relevant to staying/not staying.

            “There is nothing in that interview that even vaguely suggests increasing the military presence in Vietnam – but that was YOUR impetus in your rhetoric.”

            MY rhetoric??? I said nothing about increasing the military presence.

      • JohnR says:

        You are very welcome, Ms. Davison. Just for the sake of clarity, I’m obligated to state my OPINION. Based on JFK’s obvious reluctance to engage in major military commitments, that I THINK JFK would have done everything in his power to avoid what eventually took place in Vietnam. I can’t prove it to anyone’s satisfaction. Sometimes I doubt that even future historians will be able to come to a consensus.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          JohnR
          November 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

          Sometimes I doubt that even future historians will be able to come to a consensus.

          I think there might be some hope here, JohnR. The late and great Ted Gittinger of the LBJ Library once told me the book on Vietnam won’t be written until all of us that lived through it are dead and gone. Then some PhD candidate with no ax to grind will put it all together. I hope so.

        • Gerry Simone says:

          I agree John. JFK did not have a propensity to engage or escalate.

          Check out http://www.virtualjfk.com

      • David Regan says:

        Ted Sorensen in 2010: JFK Wouldn’t Have Sent Combat Troops to Vietnam https://youtu.be/ceIsdWSMaQA via @YouTube

    • Bill Clarke says:

      A good balanced article I think. Thanks for posting.

      • JohnR says:

        Even if it’s from The New York Times? Why Mr. Clarke, you do continue to surprise me. ;.)

        • Bill Clarke says:

          JohnR
          November 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm

          Even if it’s from The New York Times? Why Mr. Clarke, you do continue to surprise me. ;.)

          I try very hard not to boor you.~~

    • David Regan says:

      Rogers Hilsman, 1992 – How Kennedy Viewed the Vietnam Conflict http://nyti.ms/1yWDz2f

      • Jean Davison says:

        “Rogers Hilsman, 1992 – How Kennedy Viewed the Vietnam Conflict http://nyti.ms/1yWDz2f

        By 1992, the Vietnam conflict looked quite different than it did while JFK was still alive.

        Again, here’s RFK in 1966 on how Kennedy viewed the Vietnam conflict. A different story, isn’t it?

        http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/vietnam.htm

        • Jean…You are just sooo weird..grasping at straws.
          I can’t think of anything else to say to you.
          \\][//

        • Charles says:

          no Jean, it’s not a different story

          Martin:
          But the same time, no disposition to go in all . . .

          Kennedy:
          No . . .

          Martin:
          . . . in an all out way as we went into Korea. We were trying to avoid a Korea, is that correct?

          Kennedy:
          Yes, because I, everybody including General MacArthur felt that land conflict between our troops, white troops and Asian, would only lead to, end in disaster. So it was. . . . We went in as advisers, but to try to get the Vietnamese to fight themselves, because we couldn’t win the war for them. They had to win the war for themselves.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Charles said:
            “no Jean, it’s not a different story

            Martin:
            But the same time, no disposition to go in all . . .

            Kennedy:
            No . . .”

            Martin:
            . . . in an all out way as we went into Korea. We were trying to avoid a Korea, is that correct?

            Kennedy:
            Yes, because I, everybody including General MacArthur felt that land conflict between our troops, white troops and Asian, would only lead to, end in disaster. So it was. . . . We went in as advisers, but to try to get the Vietnamese to fight themselves, because we couldn’t win the war for them. They had to win the war for themselves.”
            —————

            Charles, I quoted that entire passage above, Nov. 21, 1:55 a.m.

            Here’s the rest of it:

            “Martin: It’s generally true all over the world, whether it’s in a shooting war or a different kind of a war. But the president was convinced that we had to keep, had to stay in there . . .

            Kennedy: Yes.

            Martin: . . . and couldn’t lose it.

            Kennedy: Yes.

            Martin: And if Vietnamese were about to lose it, would he propose to go in on land if he had to?

            Kennedy: Well, we’d face that when we came to it.

            Martin: Mm hm. Or go with air strikes, or–direct from carriers, I mean, something like that?

            Kennedy: But without. . . . It didn’t have to be faced at that time. In the first place, we were winning the war in 1962 and 1963, up until May or so of 1963. The situation was getting progressively better. And then I . . .

            Martin: But then it got progre– started going downhill, didn’t it?

            Kennedy: Yes, and then we had all the problems with the Buddhists and the . . .

            Martin: Yeah.

            Kennedy: And, uh . . .

            Martin: Why did they go down, why did they get bad, Bob?

            Kennedy: Well, I just think he was just, Diem wouldn’t make even the slightest concessions. He was difficult to reason with, well, with the. . . . And then it was built up tremendously in an adverse fashion here in the United States and that was played back in Vietnam, and . . . . And I think just the people themselves became concerned about it. And so, it began to, the situation began to deteriorate in the spring of 1962, uh, spring of 1963. I think David Halberstam, from the New York Times’ articles, had a strong effect on molding public opinion: the fact that the situation was unsatisfactory. Our problem was that thinking of Halberstam sort of as the Ma–what Matthews [unidentified] did in Cuba, that Batista [Fulgencio R. Batista] was not very satisfactory, but the important thing was to try to get somebody who could replace him and somebody who could keep, continue the war and keep the country united, and that was far more difficult. So that was what was of great concern to all of us during this period of time. Nobody liked Diem particularly, but how to get rid of him and get somebody that would continue the war, not split the country in two, and therefore lose not only the war but the country. That was the great problem.”

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/vietnam.htm

        • “Roger Hilsman, 1992 – How Kennedy Viewed the Vietnam Conflict:
          “The theme of the Oliver Stone film “J.F.K.” is that President John F. Kennedy planned to withdraw from Vietnam…as Kennedy’s Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, the officer responsible for Vietnam, I can testify that the first point is essentially true and correct.

          On numerous occasions President Kennedy told me that he was determined not to let Vietnam become an American war. He agreed to have Americans serve as advisers, and he also authorized American pilots training Vietnamese to fly T-28’s to do the actual flying — covertly — in bombing missions inside South Vietnam. But he refused every suggestion to send American combat forces.”~Roger Hilsman
          . . . . . . . . .
          > Yes Jean, I did use […] to crop out Hilsman’s opinions on the assassination. I wanted to focus on what his actual knowledge is, not his presumptions.
          \\][//

  2. David Regan says:

    I am attending the conference in Dallas and there have been some excellent presentations including Bill Simpich, Marie Fonzi, Jim Jenkins, Buell Frazier and Parkland Doctors panel.

    Buell Frazier announced he is working on a book that is planned for release next year. Some interesting points from his presentation:

    – he stated that he saw LHO leaving the TSBD about 8-10 minutes after the shooting while standing at the corner of Houston & Elm with coworkers. He said Oswald came out the rear loading dock (currently museum gift shop) on Elm St and casually crossed the street and lost sight of him in the crowd. Interesting given the WC claims he walked out the front door.

    – he spoke at length about his being picked up by the DPD that afternoon and being held for hours by Detectives Stovall and Rose. He was told to sign a confession by Will Fritz and when he refused, Fritz raised his hand as if about to hit Frazier. This was before he had even learned that his coworker had been arrested and charged for the assassination.

    For what it’s worth, I spoke with Frazier briefly after his presentation and asked if Oswald had at any time spoken about JFK or showed any interest in the upcoming vist to Dallas and he said no. Frazier also answered in the negative when I asked is Oswald had ever shown any tendency or capacity for violence. He spoke about Lee being a diligent coworker, intelligent person and caring father to his children.

    • jeffc says:

      Fifty plus years will put an asterisk next to any revelations from Frazier, but Oswald leaving out the rear doors 8-10 minutes after the shots would support Roger Craig’s sighting of Oswald jumping into a vehicle at about that time.

      • pat speer says:

        Actually, no. Frazier’s recent recollections about seeing Oswald after the shooting (he first told this to the Sixth Floor Museum some years back) do not support Craig. Frazier said Oswald crossed to the east side of Houston, and then turned east on Elm.

  3. David Smatlee Phillips says:

    ^Look Buell doesn’t know what he is talking about his memory is off and the police wouldn’t dare lie or threaten violence. It was Oswald and that’s it. If they could release the 201 file you guys would see this but they can’t because sources and methods could be exposed about someone who never worked in intelligence. I mean sources and methods from 1963 come on guys national security and such, Castro’s sugar plants, communists could take over in 2015 if those secrets were released! Lone nut end of story

    • “David Smatlee Phillips”

      Satire I presume…
      \\][//

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Willy Whitten
        November 23, 2015 at 10:21 am

        It is the same disingenuous attitude that denies that NSAM 263 states clearly and unambiguously that US advisers and other personnel were to be withdrawn from Vietnam by 1965 as stated in the B1 addendum to that memo.

        Bill. It does not Willy. You posted the entire NSAM 263 but you never pointed out the part that said “ALL” of our personnel by 1965. Because you can’t.

        • What does the word “bulk” mean to you Mr Clarke?

          Does it mean perhaps, “just a few”? “quite a few”? Or maybe “bulk of” like in “Most of”.
          \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm

            What does the word “bulk” mean to you Mr Clarke?

            Does it mean perhaps, “just a few”? “quite a few”? Or maybe “bulk of” like in “Most of”.

            Gee Willy, I thought you were supposed to be a student of this subject. I’ll go slow here.

            At the security council meeting to draft NSAM 263 McNamara said that we would leave around 3,500 troops after the “bulk of our troops” had been withdrawn. Also that the advisers were to remain down to the battalion level of ARVN. Battalion and below is where you get killed. Most agree there were some 16,500 troops in Vietnam at JFK’s death. According to you this number should not increase since JFK was “pulling out all of our troops”.

            So the 3,500 remaining in SVN would amount to around 20% of our forces. Meaning around 80% of our forces (the bulk) are withdrawn. No doubt all the equipment would remain in SVN.

            I hope this helps you understand it, Willy.

      • “It does not Willy. You posted the entire NSAM 263 but you never pointed out the part that said “ALL” of our personnel by 1965. Because you can’t.”~Bill Clarke

        The quote you just refers to did not say “ALL”, now does it Bill? I quoted the exact text several times. It is that exact text that you are not responding to.

        No I don’t think ALL personnel would have been withdrawn, but I think those who would remain after 1965 would have been mainly diplomatic corps, with the withdrawal mainly being advisers, and military equipment, and getting the meddling CIA out of there as best as could be managed.
        \\][//

        • Bill Clarke says:

          No I don’t think ALL personnel would have been withdrawn, but I think those who would remain after 1965 would have been mainly diplomatic corps, with the withdrawal mainly being advisers, and military equipment, and getting the meddling CIA out of there as best as could be managed.

          All means ALL Willy. Why the hell didn’t you say this long ago? Now I have to take more medicine before I can sleep!

          Off the top of my head, Willy, ARVN had some 274 Battalions. With a minimum 3 American per ARVN Battalion we have 822 men of the 3,500 men left behind. More likely we would have 4 Americans per ARVN Battalion which would put 1,096 down at battalion. Roughly a third of the stay behinds would be down in the blood and the mud.

          They wouldn’t send the equipment back. Too expensive and it helped ARVN.

          You do understand JFK approved the over throw of Ngo Dinh Diem. The CIA helped him do it. That is the way it is supposed to work.

          • Charles says:

            I think you are picking fly stuff outta black pepper. The point of this discussion was would JFK have escalated or not, per NSMs. I appreciate your fine distinctions, sure JFK liked war on the cheap but i can’t see him going full Johnsonian war crime.

            JFK’s basic dovishness stands as one motive among many for his murder.

          • “You do understand JFK approved the over throw of Ngo Dinh Diem. The CIA helped him do it. That is the way it is supposed to work.”~Bill Clarke

            Yes, and he thought it had been a mistake. He was horrified by the outcome. Do you think Kennedy would have repeated the mistake once he realized what had taken place?
            Hillsman has a lot to say as to how this incident worked out – while Kennedy was conveniently out of the picture.

            You say, “that is the way it is supposed to work”…as if you have learned nothing from the Bay of Pigs fiasco,or further revelations about the duplicitous activities of the CIA.

            Now, I am certainly glad you have some idea of what the term “bulk” means. Perhaps you can think on that term and the numbers you suggest may have been sought for the situation as deescalation brought us to the projected 1965 numbers. And then consider the actual numbers of troops in Vietnam by that time. Not “Advisers” combat troops, and the beginning of strategic bombing of North Vietnam. In other words Bill, the war that Kennedy had ALWAYS opposed taking place in South East Asia.

            How anyone can deny the about face of military policy after Kennedy was killed, that NSAM 273 established, is beyond reason.

            By the end of 1965 the number of U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam totaled 184,314. How does that stack up to your number of 3,500?
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 24, 2015 at 2:57 am

            Willy, you really are not a student of war are you. You completely ignore the communist roll in changing conditions in SVN after LBJ become president. You might want to study that a bit.

  4. Ted Sorensen makes exactly the same case as I an others have made in that John Kennedy would never have sent ground troops to Vietnam.

    It is disingenuous to use ONE quote from Sorensen to attempt to disregard his complete take on JFK, as he outlines in his talk at the Commonwealth club.

    It is the same disingenuous attitude that denies that NSAM 263 states clearly and unambiguously that US advisers and other personnel were to be withdrawn from Vietnam by 1965 as stated in the B1 addendum to that memo.

    Not only Sorensen, but many others including JFK himself, made it perfectly clear that he was not willing to involve the US in a full scale war in Vietnam.

    So it is not up to future historians to figure out the truth about the war in Vietnam, or the assassination of Kennedy, it is up to current historians to face the truths of these matters and write an honest history of our times while we are yet still here to testify. This opposed to the biased nonsense produced by an anemic academia under the delusions spawned by indoctrination.
    https://youtu.be/ceIsdWSMaQA
    \\][//

    • leslie sharp says:

      A poignant and authentic revelation of John Kennedy’s perspective on Viet Nam six months before he was murdered, laying to rest any question that he anticipated sending in combat troops, can be found in this letter dated March 6, 1963 to the sister of James McAndrews who was among the first fifty US personnel to die in Viet Nam under his watch. Events unfolding in the ensuing months only underscore NSAM263, that Kennedy intended to draw down personnel. The politics of the public face of the administration as argued on this site using soundbite interviews and miscellaneous bits and pieces from a variety of books cannot withstand the spotlight of this single, highly personal letter from President Kennedy to the loved one of James McAndrews. Kennedy had no intention of escalating that war.

      “. . . I have written to you at length because I know that it is important to you to understand why we are in Viet Nam. James McAndrews must have foreseen that his service could have taken him into a war like this; a war in which he took part not as a combatant but as an advisor. I am sure that he understood the necessity of the situation, and I know that as a soldier he knew full scale war in Viet Nam is at the moment unthinkable. “ – John F. Kennedy, President, March 6, 1963.

      http://www.jfklibrary.org/~/media/assets/Education%20and%20Public%20Programs/Education/Lesson%20Plans/Military%20Advisors%20in%20Vietnam%20Lesson%20Plan.p

      • Charles says:

        It boggles my mind how anyone sincerely argue that JFK would have escalated the war. Against almost all advice he rejected war 90 miles from America’s shore at the Bay of Pigs, he rejected war during the Cuban Missle Crisis, he rejected war during the Berlin Crisis in the Heart of NATO. In every instance he talked tough in public but did quiet deals in secret back channels.

        Viet Nam? Oh sure, lets commit half a million troops, kill almost 60 thousand of them and kill 3 million Vietnamese. I don’t think so.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Charles,

          “It boggles my mind how anyone sincerely argue that JFK would have escalated the war.”

          Who here has ever argued that JFK would have escalated the war? Please quote it.

          My argument is that NSAM 263 didn’t call for total U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, as many have claimed. Withdrawing the “bulk” by the end of 1965 was contingent on the Vietnamese being able to take over the fighting “without impairment of the war effort.” It “should be possible,” depending on how it went.

          Here’s my question to you, Willy, David, and others here.

          If JFK had already decided to withdraw all U.S. troops unconditionally, why didn’t RFK mention it in his interview for the JFK library? Why did he instead say:

          Martin: There was never any consideration given to pulling out?

          Kennedy: No.

          Why didn’t Sorensen mention JFK’s plans to withdraw in his 1965 book? Why didn’t Schlesinger mention it in A Thousand Days?

          How do you explain that, guys?

          • bogman says:

            Jean —

            Didn’t RFK come out publicly against the war in early ’67? Can we assume then he had private reservations at least as early as 1966.

            I think the question is would JFK had made Vietnam the bloody quagmire it turned out to be, and it’s clear from his not taking the bait in Laos, Cuba, etc., as well as his courageous pursuit of détente with the USSR, there is no effing way that would’ve happened.

          • “If JFK had already decided to withdraw all U.S. troops unconditionally..”~Jean Davison

            Who ever claimed it would be done, “unconditionally” Jean?

            A negotiated settlement naturally contains conditions. These conditions are negotiated.

            You ask for us to make assumptions in your other questions. The facts are as they stand; you are free to ‘suppose’ make ‘conjecture’ ‘presume’, project your biases as you will.
            It makes no difference to me.
            \\][//

          • David Regan says:

            I don’t think any of us can speak for RFK, Sorenson, Schlesinger, Hilsman et al. Debating over whether JFK would have pulled out all or some advisors is semantics, IMO.

            However, the record is clear that LBJ did not agree with JFK’s and McNamara’s talk of withdrawal, and the CIA/JCS were not happy with the status quo of American involvement being limited to an advisory capacity. They pushed for combat divisions to be sent in throughout Kennedy’s term and finally got what they wanted under LBJ.

          • Jean Davison says:

            David,

            I’m not asking you to speak for anyone, and I’m not disputing that JFK may well have withdrawn from Vietnam rather than escalate as LBJ did. I’m asking a different question: If JFK had really decided to withdraw from Vietnam, why didn’t RFK, Sorensen, and Schlesinger say so in their mid-1960s statements? I’m asking your opinion.

            I think the explanation is obvious — They said nothing about it because JFK hadn’t yet made that decision.

            Here’s a searchable copy of Schlesinger’s A Thousand Days, an insider’s view of the Kennedy administration. It doesn’t say that JFK had decided to withdraw from Vietnam.

            http://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Days-Kennedy-White-House/dp/0618219277#reader_0618219277

          • Charles says:

            Jean writes : If JFK had really decided to withdraw from Vietnam, why didn’t RFK, Sorensen, and Schlesinger say so in their mid-1960s statements?

            The answer is simple Jean, to anyone who understands anything about politics: LOYALTY.

            Do you actually think Democrats are going to undermine, to Monday morning quarterback their sitting President, the guy who signs their paychecks, controls their appointments?

            Do you recall how the U.S. was practically in the midst of Civil War over race and the draft? Do you think a responsible person would fan the flames of discord and sow controversy and say ‘hey, my old boss would have done it differently…”

            Do you think responsible public officials would undermine their country’s policies while at WAR? Have you ever heard of a little saying “support the troops” you know, that thing some people say to snuff out dissent. Well in the mid 60’s it was a lot worse. “If you not with us, you are with the communists,” you know that kind of “logic.”

            Do you have any idea how alienating and dangerous it is for their career, their social ties, their families, to not publically support an American War, for these backroom Establishment guys, these gentlemen let alone to do it on the back of a dead President as you suggest.

            Do you have any idea what it would be like to come out against war in the 60’s and open yourself to attack and to be told you are a weakling, that you are soft on communism, that you are giving aid and comfort to the enemy, that just maybe you are a homosexual.

            That’s how it was and you can’t seem to understand and are suspicious why more JFK officials didnt make public statements agaist the war just so you could quote them out of context 50 years later.

            Do you have any idea what I am talking about at all?

          • David Regan says:

            If he didn’t expressly say it, his actions in 1963 were certainly leaning that way. JFK and Vietnam – LA Times http://fw.to/2X8YCqa

          • Jean Davison says:

            Charles wrote:

            “Jean writes : If JFK had really decided to withdraw from Vietnam, why didn’t RFK, Sorensen, and Schlesinger say so in their mid-1960s statements?

            The answer is simple Jean, to anyone who understands anything about politics: LOYALTY.

            Do you actually think Democrats are going to undermine, to Monday morning quarterback their sitting President, the guy who signs their paychecks, controls their appointments?”

            Sorry, but I think that’s absurd.

            The RFK quotes in this thread were from an oral history interview for the JFK Library. Do you really think he lied about his brother’s Vietnam policy out of “loyalty” to LBJ, a man he reportedly hated?

            Or that Kennedy’s friends Schlesinger and Sorensen lied in their books about the JFK administration out of “loyalty” to LBJ? None of their paychecks were signed by him at that point, and what about their loyalty to JFK?

            No, I don’t buy it.

          • leslie sharp says:

            The argument that John F. Kennedy and his team were fully ‘in charge’ is ludicrous. They knew full well that their fundamental role was to serve as mouthpiece for American ideals, to represent elected authority, to assure a nation that democracy was alive and well. They also had the political acumen to use the fluidity of decisions and observations made in private and in semi-public settings – particularly related to Viet Nam – to an advantage. Kennedy persistently exercised a skill he was confident in, navigating rough waters. However, we now know that he and his team were pushing against a behemoth of military and corporate and financial interests that neither they nor their advisors and close friends were ready to expose. Schlesinger, Sorenson, Hilsman, et al, had no intention of announcing to the citizens of the United States that our democracy was being usurped by a war machine. And I doubt any of them at the time fully grasped the depth of the erosion of our system of elected government in spite of former President Eisenhower’s admonition. Of course they put the best foot forward: John F. Kennedy was strong on defense, sufficiently anti-communist, he would not turn and run from confrontation. But the reality was his team was attempting to turn an ocean liner around and that required time, patience, skilled diplomacy and brinksmanship. Dallas 11.22.63 brought those highest ideals to an abrupt halt.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Charles
          November 24, 2015 at 1:12 am

          It boggles my mind how anyone sincerely argue that JFK would have escalated the war.

          Be advised Charles; Kennedy escalated the war in Vietnam in 1961, 1962 and 1963. This isn’t about “what he would have done” but instead is about what he “DID”.

          Against almost all advice he rejected war 90 miles from America’s shore at the Bay of Pigs,

          Good god man, JFK approved the Bay of Pigs. He approved the overthrow of Diem. You Camelot boys need to find a new hero.

          • Charles says:

            Wrong again Bill, JFK is not a hero of mine. I never claimed he had clean hands or was a pacifist. He liked war on the cheap, he liked to appear tough, but the one thing he was not was STUPID, and certainly not dumb enough to escalate a losing war. Just to give you an idea: Johnson was a dummy, Nixon was smart, Ford was a moron, Carter was smart, Reagan was a dummy, so was every President since.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 25, 2015 at 2:14 am

            Wrong again Bill, JFK is not a hero of mine.

            Nothing about JFK escalating the war in Vietnam in 61, 62 and 63?

  5. Jason L. says:

    Perhaps the best article out there about this subject:

    http://new.bostonreview.net/BR28.5/galbraith.html

    • Jason L. says:

      Thereis absolutely no doubt JFK was withdrawing from Vietnam, none. From the footnotes of the article:

      “I have in this narrative deliberately underplayed the role of my own father, who was repeatedly called upon by Kennedy to deliver arguments in favor of disengagement from Vietnam, and whose 1962 recommendation for phased withdrawal was probably the basis of the 1963 orders. My father did not know that the actual decision was taken in October 1963, but he is in no doubt as to Kennedy’s determination: he recalls Kennedy in 1962 saying to him privately and unmistakably that withdrawal from Vietnam, as that from Laos and the detachment from Cuba, was a matter of political timing.”

      • Jason L. says:

        This article is absolutely shocking coming from someone whose father was a JFK insider. It had to be extremely well documented for him to go this far. I’m surprised more people (e.g. David Talbot) in the community haven’t tried to build on it. James Douglass does cite it and give it some treatment in his fine 2008 book, but I haven’t seen it cited elsewhere.

    • Jason L.

      I have to agree with you! I have read this article several times in the past. Reading it again just now, I was as impressed as the first time.
      Thanks for reminding the forum of this excellent piece.
      \\][//

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Here, here. Thank you Jason.
      I have not words to describe Mr. Galbraith’s insight.
      Read it or fail to understand.

      • Bill Clarke says:

        I wouldn’t get too carried away with Galbraith if I was you. He is just one more that quotes the party line.

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          He addresses this issue more succinctly than anyone I’ve seen on here. You included. Go ahead, dis his article point by point. To me, thus far is is the seminal presentation on the subject.

    • Charles says:

      That is indeed a good piece, Jason. I think the reason so many Americans (McNamara especially) have had a schizoid attitude towards Viet Nam is that the country as a whole can not come to grips that it was a war of CHOICE, not something thrust upon them, not for self defense, just a foreign entanglement. As a line in Apocolypse Now Redux put it ‘Americans were fighting for the biggest ZERO in history.’

      Those on the right needed to justify the tragedy and stress the inevitability of the expanded war and many to this day said they should have gone bigger and stayed longer.

      Those in the middle just don’t know what to think because they want to believe in their country but can’t sort out their conflicted thoughts and emotions so they engage in avoidance or despair or false rationalizations

      Those on the left like Chomsky also stressed continuity between JFK and Johnson because they saw the war as a manifestation of US imperialism, not as policy choice subject to individual whim. They believed the entire system was rotten, and avoided making partisan attacks because if the solution was to have good politicians making good decisions then the system was not at fault, the voters were.

      I think the basic lack of clarity in US foreign policy may be due to the extremely narrow ideological range (by international standards) within which those debates take place.

    • J.D. says:

      That article was viciously attacked upon its publication by Rick Perlstein and the odious Noam Chomsky, both of whom made the usual shallow left-wing criticisms of JFK as a “hawk,” with plenty of snotty references to “Camelot” thrown in for good measure. Sadly, their empty “critiques” ended up getting more attention than Mr. Galbraith’s superb article.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Thank you very much Jason for posting this.

      There’s a lot in this article, but my understanding has always been that NSAM 263 was in respect of a phased withdrawal that was “unconditional and based on political timing”. (The fall of Saigon wouldn’t have mattered. It might have justified withdrawal more so.)

      There was one chilling passage in the article’s quote #11.

      “My father retains a distinct, chilling recollection of LBJ’s words to him, in private, on one of their last meetings before the Vietnam War finally drove them apart: “You may not like what I’m doing in Vietnam, Ken, but you would not believe what would happen if I were not here.”

  6. Gerry Simone says:

    I attended the JFK Lancer Conference this year in Dallas.

    Although not a ‘banner year’, it seemed like a banner conference!

    Highlights to me were: David Talbot’s presentation (on Skype), Marie Fonzie, Jacob Carter, Buell Wesley Frazier, Parkland Doctors, Dr. David Mantik, Mike Chesser, William Law with Jim Jenkins, and Dr. Michael Marcades (the son of Rose Cherami). There were a host of other interesting speakers.

    As for visiting Dealey Plaza, I met Robert Groden for the first time in the flesh.

    Also, after 12 years, I bumped again into JFK assassination bystander/witness, Ernest Brandt (in 2003, I took a photo of him with James Tague who he never met before).

  7. I think that after this entire thread has been reviewed that it becomes very clear that NSAM 263 and the B1 references say EXACTLY what I and others have insisted it said textually all along.

    It is also obvious the NSAM 762 REVERSED NSAM 263, giving a go-ahead to the military to escalate to a full war in Vietnam. And this too has been the critic’s position here all along.

    And to our adversaries; it will be futile to attempt to relitigate this entire dispute once again. It has been determined that Kennedy would not have allowed the conflict to escalate militarily under any foreseeable circumstances.

    As an adjunct to these findings: It was Kennedy’s denying the military industrial complex their agenda for full scale war in Indochina that was their motive for perpetrating the coup d’etat that took place on the streets of Dallas on November 22, 1963.
    CASE CLOSED.
    \\][//

  8. Bill Clarke — November 24, 2015 at 2:57 am, says:
    “Willy, you really are not a student of war are you. You completely ignore the communist roll in changing conditions in SVN after LBJ become president. You might want to study that a bit.”

    I am a student of both War & Peace Mr Clarke, I know the history of the Vietnam War quite well. I lived through it just as you did – just on the other side of the fence.
    I am well aware of the changing conditions after Johnson “became” an unelected President.

    That has no bearing whatsoever on what Kennedy would have done, and as Kennedy would most certainly put forth further diplomatic efforts to convince the Vietnamese leadership in the North, that the US had no intention of escalation itself.

    It was only after substantial escalation by the US that Hanoi turned to the Chinese for assistance and material.

    You have already side tracked this discussion enough Mr Clarke, the issue is what we know Kennedy would have done, not what we know Johnson did do.
    \\][//

    • Bill Clarke says:

      I am a student of both War & Peace Mr Clarke,

      How is that working out for you?

      I know the history of the Vietnam War quite well.

      Why don’t you show it?

      I lived through it just as you did – just on the other side of the fence.

      You get shot? Anti-tank mine almost get you? If not then you didn’t live through it just like me and I would appreciate you not making your statement again. The people on the other side of my fence was armed communist. Was you an armed communist?

      I am well aware of the changing conditions after Johnson “became” an unelected President.

      On the communist side?

      It was only after substantial escalation by the US that Hanoi turned to the Chinese for assistance and material.

      BS. Check out Dien Bien Phu Willy. In fact China began assisting North Vietnam as far back as 1949.

      You have already side tracked this discussion enough Mr Clarke, the issue is what we know Kennedy would have done, not what we know Johnson did do.

      The point is Willy, you do not know what Kennedy would have done. Neither do your buddies that tell us what JFK would have done. All of this crap is pure speculation and one must be very full of one’s self to take his speculations as fact.

      • Charles says:

        Oh now i get it Bill, you can’t handle the fact the show was all for nothing and you need to believe it was coin toss and not just a decision made by dumb hicks like Johnson and Westmoreland.

        I was looking at a Canon inkjet printer the other day. On the box it said Made in Viet Nam…imagine that: a commie computer printer, the perfect accessory for your made in Commie China disposable consumer economy…

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Charles
          November 25, 2015 at 10:07 am

          Oh now i get it Bill, you can’t handle the fact the show was all for nothing and you need to believe it was coin toss and not just a decision made by dumb hicks like Johnson and Westmoreland.

          No, you don’t get it at all Charles. And I don’t plan on discussing it with you and Willy. If you decide to learn something about it then I’ll be happy to share my thoughts.

          Over 40 years after the war and you find a commie printer in our stores. Let me know how that works out for you.

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            A “commie printer”? have you ever watched the movie “Good Night, Good Luck”? Let me know how that work’s out for you.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Ronnie Wayne
            November 25, 2015 at 10:08 pm

            A “commie printer”? have you ever watched the movie “Good Night, Good Luck”? Let me know how that work’s out for you.

            No, I’ve never watched the movie. I don’t plan on doing so.

      • “The point is Willy, you do not know what Kennedy would have done.”~Bill Clarke

        In fact we do know what Kennedy would have done. It is not based on empty speculation; it is based on everything Kennedy stood for, especially as articulated in his 1957 speech before the Senate.
        And we also know what Kennedy would NOT have done, which is escalate the war as was done by Johnson and his psychopathic generals.

        It is established that Kennedy was going to wind down the American involvement and seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Vietnam.

        I am not going to relitigate this entire argument again Clarke.

        You have issues that go beyond the facts – your experience in Vietnam left you wounded psychologically, and you simply cannot face the fact that you were hoodwinked into participation of a war of aggression. You will have to face this one day, or forever live in denial.
        \\][//

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Dr. Willy, you don’t know what you are talking about. You need to consider some professional help yourself. Take Charles with you.

          And you don’t know what JFK would have done in SVN. In fact you don’t seem to understand much about the Vietnam policy of JFK. You allow your opinion to exist to you as the truth when really it is only your opinion. One must be very full of one’s self to allow this condition to exist.

          • “You allow your opinion to exist to you as the truth when really it is only your opinion. One must be very full of one’s self to allow this condition to exist.”~Bill Clarke

            Lol…I recall trying to make that point about “opinion” all the times you called my and other LIARS. And the conclusion you come to here about me now reflects back upon you as a matter of your fresh form of hypocrisy at this point.

            All the guys I grew up with volunteered for Vietnam by joining the Marines. I had known most of these guys since I was 7 – 8 years old. I knew them well. I saw what Vietnam did to them. They came back physically, but left their souls in Vietnam.

            The last time I saw these guys was at the “Old Gang” reunion in out hometown in 1998. I drove down from San Diego to be there.

            We were all adults by then of course, we were who we were going to be by then. To the man, each one of these guys were emotionally wounded. They were very cliquish, and grouped together beyond all of those who hadn’t been in “Nam”. They were openly hostile to those of us who didn’t “serve”.

            I can point to a certain member of this blog who is openly hostile to those of us who didn’t “serve”.

            Aye Bill?
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            I can point to a certain member of this blog who is openly hostile to those of us who didn’t “serve”.

            Aye Bill?

            Not me Willy. I don’t give a damn if you served or not. In fact I’d probably rather you not serve. Your arrogance would probably get the wrong kids killed.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm

            Willy; perhaps I’ve been a bit harsh on you and Charles here but I don’t need the Doctor Phil crap. Please! I’ll try to explain your reunion so hopefully you can understand it.

            Yes, if your buddies were combat veterans they were different from you when they came home and always would be. When they came home you were also different from them. You hadn’t gone with them.

            I have to ask Willy; how could you tell they were emotionally “wounded”? Granted you bring some baggage home but I’ve had people know me for 5 years or more and never knew I was a Vietnam Vet.

            “They were very cliquish, and grouped together”. Yes Willy, have you heard of the band of brothers. They belonged, you didn’t. And I say this without malice. It is just a simple fact.

            “They were openly hostile to those of us who didn’t “serve”.” They didn’t trust you anymore. Now they wonder if you could pass the test. They are probably thinking that you couldn’t. They don’t have much use for you anymore and truthfully you shouldn’t waste time with them. It’ll never be the same.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Willy, Nov. 24, 2:24 p.m.,

          Concerning your last paragraph, when someone starts making ugly personal attacks, it’s a sure sign they’re losing the argument.

          • Jean Davison says:

            “Willy, Nov. 24, 2:24 p.m.,”

            Sorry, make that Nov. 25.

          • “when someone starts making ugly personal attacks, it’s a sure sign they’re losing the argument”~Jean Davison

            Then Bill Clarke lost the argument the first time he called me a liar. Are you going to be consistent in your criticisms Jean? Of course you won’t we all have come to know each other quite well here.
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            He said you misstated what NSAM 263 said, and that’s a fact. You did.

  9. Jean Davison says:

    RFK on getting out of Vietnam, 1965, c. 3 minute clip:

    • RFK on a political solution for Vietnam in 1968.
      Do you really think this is a sudden backflip by Robert Kennedy Jean?
      Only three years later and he has totally reversed his views??
      https://youtu.be/2QQVPiLJ1m8?t=200
      \\][//

      • Jean Davison says:

        “Do you really think this is a sudden backflip by Robert Kennedy Jean?
        Only three years later and he has totally reversed his views??”

        A lot changed in Vietnam in those three years. I don’t think his opinion changed overnight.

        RFK said what he said. Don’t blame me.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Jean Davison
          November 27, 2015 at 12:06 am

          A lot changed in Vietnam in those three years. I don’t think his opinion changed overnight.

          I don’t think we will ever convince some here of this rapid change in Vietnam during this time. Especially the increase in the communist efforts. The history on this is very clear and readable. I don’t see the problem!

          Ask them why LBJ escalated in 1965 and you get the SOP answer that LBJ did it for the money, Lady Bird owned Brown and Root and other ridiculous BS.

          You’ll never hear that LBJ did it to match communist escalation. Which is exactly what happened.

          • Charles says:

            Bill writes:

            You’ll never hear that LBJ did it to match communist escalation. Which is exactly what happened.

            Wrong again Bill, I agree with that statement only any smart guy would call it throwing good money after bad.

          • “Ask them why LBJ escalated in 1965 and you get the SOP answer that LBJ did it for the money, Lady Bird owned Brown and Root and other ridiculous BS.
            You’ll never hear that LBJ did it to match communist escalation. Which is exactly what happened.”~Bill Clarke

            Where did you get this strawman oink about “Brown and Root”

            It was the Vietnamese attempting to match US aggression, not visa versa.

            And anyone who grasps the post US Coup National Security State structure, understands that Johnson was merely a puppet for the military industrial complex – who were the force imposing a military escalation on Vietnam.
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 27, 2015 at 2:04 pm

            Wrong again Bill, I agree with that statement only any smart guy would call it throwing good money after bad.

            With all due respect Charles you and your buddy Willy make a poor judge in who is right and who is wrong. You both make a fine judge in who can recite the party line but that is about as far as it goes.

            As for any “smart guy” I remind you that the war was run by brilliant men.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm

            Where did you get this strawman oink about “Brown and Root”

            You really have never seen this crap about Lady Bird owing Brown and Root? I’m shocked Willy. I’ve seen it numerous times when talking with the anti-Johnson crowd.

            It was the Vietnamese attempting to match US aggression, not visa versa.

            Your lack of scholarship continues to shine, Willy. “Taken at the landmark 15th Plenum of the Lao Dong Party in January 1959, …” the communist decided to move to armed conflict. I believe this would be called an escalation by most anyone. I also don’t think anyone has any evidence that we were escalating in SVN at the time. The 15th Plenum is widely known in the literature and other accounts can be found there. If you don’t like my account please furnish your own. Clearly you are wrong in claiming we escalated first.
            __________________________________________
            After painting a dismal picture, Le Duan closed his speech with what he thought offered a bright solution to the Party’s dilemma. Resolution 15, which drew from his 1956 southern manifesto but which he and Pham Hung had shepherded through another twenty-two drafts after seizing it from Giap, called for the Party to commit to the overthrow of the Diem government through not only political agitation but also military means.
            viet-studies.info/kinhte/LienHang_LeDuan.htmCached
            __________________________________________
            When the pool of about 80,000 so-called regroupees ran dry, Hanoi began sending native North Vietnamese soldiers as individual replacements and reinforcements. In 1964 the Communists started to introduce entire North Vietnamese Army (NVA) units into the South.
            Chapter 28, THE U.S. ARMY IN VIETNAM , Extracted from Revised Edition of AMERICAN MILITARY HISTORY ARMY HISTORICAL SERIES UNITED STATES ARMY CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY

            Guenter Lewy, “America In Vietnam, page 39.
            “As I mentioned earlier, the decision to assume the offensive was taken by the VWP in Hanoi in December 1963. As the level of the fighting increased during 1964 and an early South Vietnamese collapse became likely, North Vietnam decided to send in reinforcements in order to hasten victory and guarantee Hanoi’s political control after the triumph.”
            “The supply of Southerners having been exhausted, elements of the 325th People’s “Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Division began to prepare in April 1964 for the move south.”
            —————————————–

            And anyone who grasps the post US Coup National Security State structure, understands that Johnson was merely a puppet for the military industrial complex – who were the force imposing a military escalation on Vietnam.

            The only coup I’m aware of is when they murdered Diem.

          • “The supply of Southerners having been exhausted, elements of the 325th People’s “Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Division began to prepare in April 1964 for the move south.”~Bill Clarke

            Any events that occurred after November 22, 1963, are irrelevant and have nothing to do with what Kennedy would have done.
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm

            Any events that occurred after November 22, 1963, are irrelevant and have nothing to do with what Kennedy would have done.

            I have never seen your scholarship suffer more, Willy. You need to rethink this one.

            The day the music died history stopped in place and we began a new history with no connection to the future. What JFK did in 63 had no effect on 1964? Your total misunderstanding of history here is rather sad, Willy.

            The decision to move intact NVA units to the south was made in late December 1963. You think that didn’t have a bearing on what happened in April of 1964?

          • “The decision to move intact NVA units to the south was made in late December 1963. You think that didn’t have a bearing on what happened in April of 1964?”~Bill Clarke

            Kennedy was dead in late December 1963. So that what ever bearing on what happened in April of 1964, is clearly a matter of the Johnson administration and his psychopathic general staff. The same psychopaths that killed Kennedy.
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            November 28, 2015 at 8:33 pm

            “The decision to move intact NVA units to the south was made in late December 1963. You think that didn’t have a bearing on what happened in April of 1964?”~Bill Clarke

            Willy. Kennedy was dead in late December 1963. So that what ever bearing on what happened in April of 1964, is clearly a matter of the Johnson administration and his psychopathic general staff. The same psychopaths that killed Kennedy.

            Bill. FDR dies April 12, 1945, Warm Springs, GA. The end of World War II in Asia occurred on 14 and 15 August 1945.

            So Willy, by your logic FDR didn’t have anything to do with the surrender of Japan.

            Can you really not see the pathology of such logic? I’m asking you Willy; please think about this one a bit. You are embarrassing yourself here.

            Had our efforts in Vietnam been successful and had SVN developed into a thriving country with a raised standard of living I amuse myself by imagining how the Camelot crowd would be scrambling to change their story about JFK and Vietnam. Ole Jack would have been a fire breather then.

        • “RFK said what he said. Don’t blame me.”~Jean Davison

          That’s right Jean. And RFK was very specific in the video I linked to, whereas in the one you linked to he did not make any specific remarks you can point to to back up your assertions.
          \\][//

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            Bill, “the war was run by brilliant men.”?
            I know, their hands were tied. They weren’t allowed to unleash the full force of the American military machine. Patriotic, dedicated, courageous yes. Brilliant? They fed 1000’s of young men to the meat grinder that eventually became the lost, crazed, homeless, the crippled, the dead listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Some your friend’s I’d guess. Did it stop or really slow Communism? It was the first (un asked for)WAR (Police Action, as I’ve been corrected b a Military man before) that we LOST.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Ronnie Wayne
            November 27, 2015 at 8:14 pm

            Bill, “the war was run by brilliant men.”?

            Charles spoke of “smart guys” so I thought I’d do him one better! My apologies for poking fun but they were in fact brilliant men. I believe Mac Bundy was the first to make a perfect score on his exam to enter Princeton. His brother messed up and scored a 98. Halberstam called McNamara a brilliant fool” and I think that holds true for many of them, especially dealing with war. None of the whiz kids brought much expertise to the table, especially dealing with insurgencies. So this resulted in them doing some very foolish things (especially McNamara, may he burn in a hot hell).

            So we had Johnson, a terrible war president and McNamara, a terrible S. of Defense and the dumb ass Westmoreland running the show. We were beat before it got started.

            When you see the communist tank crashing through the gate of the palace in Saigon it become rather hard to claim we won. We most certainly lost that one.

            There is a school of thought that while we kept the communist busy in SVN they didn’t have time, troops and material to invade some surrounding countries (Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines) and our actions in SVN kept these countries from going to the communist side.

            I believe part of this is true but I’m not sure how much weight to give it. But these “brilliant men” set out to confine and contain communism. They just really messed it up big time.

          • Charles says:

            I am having a hard time understanding you Bill. I agree with many things you say about the military situation from 64-75 but I don’t know how to explain it to you that military facts just don’t matter in this kind of war.

            1) I think you are very indoctrinated in the WWII idea that war is a noble thing but the reality is that wars are not fought for peace and freedom. They are fought for commercial interests. They don’ t teach that at West Point for good reason but it is true. There are many places of injustice in this world but interventions only occur where there is money to be made or economic systems preserved. There are no other national interests. Race is also a factor.

            2) Short of genocide or outright colonial enslavement it would have been impossible to “win” Viet Nam. The govt had no legitimacy among the people, it was just coups, gangsters, corruption and graft. The country was an artificial construct, a colonial legacy that had a single cultural organizing principle in its entire history: a rejection of foreign rule. The ARVN put up almost no resistance in 75 despite all the cash, material and training the US invested. Such was the resentment of the US, that there were fears the ARVN would fire on the US evacuation.

            3)I hate to say it but Americans are generally regarded as not very self aware around the world. Here is Martin Van Creveld diagnosing Viet Nam through the eyes of Moshe Dayan. http://dnipogo.org/creveld/why_iraq_will_end_as_vietnam_did.htm

            The best analyst on Viet Nam was Bernard Fall but I bet you never read him either because he is French. The people your people refer to as Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys. He predicted exactly how the war would turn out and he was killed there in 67.

            The war was run by intelligent men but not wise or sophisticated men. I am a great admirer on a certain limited basis of McNamera, Taylor, Abrams but none of them saw the forest for the trees. Even Al Haig would be welcome at my dinner table but I would never expect any of them to understand the nature of their folly. David Halberstam knew by 64 that that the war was a loser but paradoxically run by the “Best and the Brightest” His record on the war clearly demonstrates he would have bailed and I think JFK would have too based on his intellectual tastes, a clear preference for diplomacy and performance during Pigs, Berlin and the Missle Crisis. He almost always rejected the military advice he was given in risky situations and I see no reason why that would have changed.

            The military only offers military solutions. A statesman must see beyond that. Johnson didn’t escalate because the North did. He did because he almost always accepted the military advice he was given.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 28, 2015 at 2:28 am

            Part 2

            The best analyst on Viet Nam was Bernard Fall but I bet you never read him either because he is French. The people your people refer to as Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys. He predicted exactly how the war would turn out and he was killed there in 67.

            Bc. Wrong again Charles, I love Bernard Fall and I have all of his books that I could find. Interesting fellow, Bernard. Our government thought he was a communist so did not listen to him but also banned him from lecturing to the military. The military thought his advice so valuable they slipped him in the side door and continued to have him lecture. He was killed north of Hue on QL-1 working with our Marines. Ironically this part of QL-1 was referred to as “the street without joy”. He was suffering from an untreatable disease of the liver or kidney and probably didn’t have long to live when he was killed.

            The war was run by intelligent men but not wise or sophisticated men. I am a great admirer on a certain limited basis of McNamara, Taylor, Abrams but none of them saw the forest for the trees. Even Al Haig would be welcome at my dinner table but I would never expect any of them to understand the nature of their folly. David Halberstam knew by 64 that that the war was a loser but paradoxically run by the “Best and the Brightest” His record on the war clearly demonstrates he would have bailed and I think JFK would have too based on his intellectual tastes, a clear preference for diplomacy and performance during Pigs, Berlin and the Missle Crisis. He almost always rejected the military advice he was given in risky situations and I see no reason why that would have changed.

            Bc. I find no redeeming factor in McNamara but to each his own. Taylor could have done a lot more I think, especially getting Harkins and Westmoreland their commands. Very bad decision. Abrams is on a much higher plane that the others. Had he received the command when Westmoreland did things might have been different.
            From what I can gather Halberstam and Sheehan were opposed to Diem in the early years, not so much the war but the reporters were so biased the difference wasn’t apparent. Both writers are a must read for anyone that need to know what was going on on the ground in Vietnam during Kennedy’s term.

            I remind you that JFK approved the BOP and didn’t have to use military force in Berlin or the missile crisis because Khrushchev caved in. I wonder what would have happened had JFK been dealing with some of the old hard line Soviets that followed Khrushchev.

          • Charles says:

            Ok Bill, I think those were fair and reasonable comments but i would take issue with:

            I remind you that JFK approved the BOP and didn’t have to use military force in Berlin or the missile crisis because Khrushchev caved in. I wonder what would have happened had JFK been dealing with some of the old hard line Soviets that followed Khrushchev.

            I think characterizing Khrushchev as “caving in” is harsh. They made good tactical decisions as did the US and in the case of Cuba they secured the island from US invasion which was at least part of the reason for deployment.

            I wonder what would have happened had JFK been dealing with some of the old hard line Soviets that followed Khrushchev.

            Had JFK been around after to deal with the very moderate Kosygin and been able to shore up his prestige over Brezhnev, the Berlin Wall may have fallen in 1968 based on his views regarding the Prague Spring. As for Brezhnev, he engaged with Nixon, Ford and Carter in Detente with landmark outcomes like SALT. Why shouldn’t JFK had the same level of success?

          • leslie sharp says:

            Rather than bury the conversation with phrases such as “brilliant men”, why not name those whiz kids and analyze their possible motives and the benefits they reaped with the Viet Nam War? McNamara was a WWII veteran with expertise in management dubbed a ‘whiz kid’ and hired by Ford Motor Company along with C. Bates Thornton, co-founder of military contractor Litton Industries. Thornton lobbied hard for McNamara’s appointment as Secretary of Defense. Thornton was also a board member of Bechtel-McCone, the military contractor engineering firm co-founded by Director of Central Intelligence Agency John Alexander McCone. Thornton and McCone sat on the board of Western Bancorp when McCone left the CIA in 1965. That board included William Draper who was a US representative of NATO as were his venture capital partners, Rowan Gaither and Frederick Anderson. Gaither shared responsibility for the founding of RAND Corporation. We have learned that McCone saw fit to withhold pertinent files from the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of his commander in chief, President Kennedy. I don’t know …. does anyone see a cabal in the making or at least a more serious answer to the classic question ‘Cui bono’ than Lyndon Johnson represents?

          • Bill Clarke says:

            leslie sharp November 29, 2015 at 12:52 am
            Rather than bury the conversation with phrases such as “brilliant men”, why not name those whiz kids and analyze their possible motives and the benefits they reaped with the Viet Nam War? McNamara was a WWII veteran with expertise in management dubbed a ‘whiz kid’ and hired by Ford Motor Company.

            Leslie, up front I’ll tell you that you can find much kinder statements about McNamara that I can make; I detest the man for what he did and I detest his arrogance while he was doing it. Yes, he was a WWII veteran but with a different story than most WWII veterans. In 1943 he entered the Air Force commissioned as a captain. So the man had never had a military science class, never even went through basic training. He missed the class on “The Platoon in the Offense” but went on to basically command 11 Divisions in Vietnam. He never had a clue and he was never close to anything that might kill him (except for the VC that placed a mine in a culvert in Saigon).

            The Whiz Kids could have run Ford Motor Company just fine. Running the war was a different thing. I’d have to say the war cost McNamara much more than he might have gained from it. He certainly had a lot of influence with Johnson early on but in the end his reputation was shot in most quarters. I’ve always thought the old “LBJ killed JFK” to be a bit far out there.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Charles
            November 28, 2015 at 6:15 pm

            Ok Bill, I think those were fair and reasonable comments but i would take issue with:

            I remind you that JFK approved the BOP and didn’t have to use military force in Berlin or the missile crisis because Khrushchev caved in. I wonder what would have happened had JFK been dealing with some of the old hard line Soviets that followed Khrushchev.

            I think characterizing Khrushchev as “caving in” is harsh. They made good tactical decisions as did the US and in the case of Cuba they secured the island from US invasion which was at least part of the reason for deployment.

            I agree with that Charles. I didn’t think of it that way when I replied.

            I don’t know what happened to my part 1 reply to your message but I’m not up to redoing it. Have a nice day.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Bill C. I can understand that students of war will hone in on specific military facts from equipment to divisions to generals to Joint Chiefs to the Sec Def in this case, Robert McNamara. The scenario I defined is beyond any one of these single components and speaks to the collective and for lack of a better term to date – which I believe has become hackneyed – the Military Industrial Complex. McNamara appears to have been destroyed by his failure to navigate US military success in Vietnam, and I contend Lyndon Johnson died because of his ‘guilt’ over his role. Evil men do not suffer crisis of conscience; I believe Johnson did and to a degree, McNamara.

            So the point is, who survived and went on to live another day, to enjoy another military contract; who continued to sell Ford motor vehicles to the military; who continued to build pipelines thru the Middle East. There are too many examples to include here but I’ll offer several more: who created the military conglomerate Textron/Bell Helicopter that now develops drone technology, who amalgamated Navy contractor Bath Iron Works with General Dynamics, another drone contractor. All thriving on wars for the five decades following the coup of 11.22.63.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            leslie sharp
            November 29, 2015 at 4:08 pm

            McNamara appears to have been destroyed by his failure to navigate US military success in Vietnam, and I contend Lyndon Johnson died because of his ‘guilt’ over his role.

            Bill. I think this is correct.

            Evil men do not suffer crisis of conscience; I believe Johnson did and to a degree, McNamara.

            Bill. I know this is correct. I’ll also give McNamara a degree here but you have to remember what a self-serving liar he could be. But I’ll give him some slack here.

            So the point is, who survived and went on to live another day, to enjoy another military contract; who continued to sell Ford motor vehicles to the military; who continued to build pipelines thru the Middle East. There are too many examples to include here but I’ll offer several more: who created the military conglomerate Textron/Bell Helicopter that now develops drone technology, who amalgamated Navy contractor Bath Iron Works with General Dynamics, another drone contractor. All thriving on wars for the five decades following the coup of 11.22.63.

            Bill. Perhaps so Leslie but you can trace these “merchants of death” back to our civil war at least. They have always been there and always will be it seems. Of course they have grown larger and stronger as time moved on but so has everything else.

  10. J.D. says:

    As someone who attended the JFK Lancer conference for the first time this year, it’s a little baffling to open this thread and find it filled with more than a hundred comments that have absolutely nothing to do with the conference, and only a handful that do. I found the talks enthralling, particularly those given by David Talbot, Russ Baker, Bill Simpich, Pat Speer, and Larry Hancock. (This is not meant to slight anyone; all of the talks were great.)

    The brief talks at Dealey Plaza during the memorial ceremony were also very moving. Did anyone happen to get video of any of them?

    • Charles says:

      It is baffling but it is a consequence of the handful of posters that come here to disrupt. I understand the intention to be inclusive and the positive side effects but if it was my site, I wouldn’t tolerate their participation.

      I doubt I will be participating here that long myself, I just thought I needed some mental exercise on a subject that interested me, but I think Malcolm Blunt is correct to reject public internet forums.

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Hang around Charles. You have a lot to learn. Your intolerance to others that don’t buy your propaganda is so noted.

        • Charles says:

          Wrong again Bill, I believe with all my heart in freedom of thought and expression and the marketplace of ideas. I just would prefer a place where I can enjoy the intellectual fellowship and the elevated insights of others regarding JFK without dealing with crazy people.

          Think of it like a University, where one class is on subject A and another is on B and a third is on A+B. I just want to peacefully study A right now and chill with my homies.

  11. JohnR says:

    Charles, some of us enjoy the debate. I have no interest in participating in a circular shooting gallery. Having one’s opinions and beliefs challenged is healthy. The debate on this site is marred only by the tone, infrequently.

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