Response to Shenon: evidence of CIA or US military intelligence participation in the assassination of JFK

The recent JFK Facts interview with Phil Shenon prompted longtime JFK author Robert Morrow to write a response.

Morrow writes:

“Phil Shenon states that he does not “have any evidence to back up” Fidel Castro’s theory (and a score of JFK researchers) that there were people in the American government who murdered JFK because they were enraged at Kennedy because he simply would not launch a full blown US military invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs or during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

“Well, what about the presence of Air Force Gen. Edward Lansdale five feet west of the Texas School Book Depository on the afternoon of 11-22-63? Why is the CIA’s expert on coups, assassinations and counterinsurgency present in Dealey Plaza? On vacation? … or murdering the president? Col. Prouty and Gen. Krulak, two of Lansdale’s peers, identified him at the TSBD.

“Gen. Lansdale, who had a very frustrating tenure running Operation Mongoose for the Kennedys, was close to his mentor Allen Dulles and Gen. Curtis LeMay (the man who called the Kennedys “ruthless,” “vindictive” and “cockroaches” in his oral history for the LBJ Library).

“How about former Alpha 66 head Antonio Veciana saying that his CIA handler Maurice Bishop, aka David Atlee Phillips, was meeting with Oswald in early Sept 1963 in Dallas in the Southland Bank Building? Does this mean Phillips and the CIA were running the patsy Oswald? Ditto author Anthony Summers finding Delphine Roberts the secretary/mistress of hard right former Chicago FBI SAC Guy Banister (who Hoover adored). Roberts once asked Banister about Oswald handing out pro Cuba fliers and Banister’s response was “He’s with us. He’s associated with the office.” When Oswald was arrested in New Orleans, he asked to see the FBI not his wife, mother or even David Ferrie. Does this mean Oswald was an FBI informant, i.e. working for the government? Was Oswald doing counterintelligence work for Banister? Was Oswald a cog in CIA David Phillips’ campaign to discredit Fair Play for Cuba?

“Lyndon Johnson, who I regard as the mastermind of the JFK assassination, told Madeleine Brown (at the Driskill Hotel on 12-31-63) that Dallas, TX oil men (his friends) and “renegade intelligence bastards” murdered JFK. Madeleine, heavily vetted by the JFK research community, consistently told this story publicly for the last 21 years of her life. LBJ is confirmed by his presidential schedule as being at the Driskill Hotel on the night of 12-31-63. LBJ also told his chief of staff Marvin Watson that the CIA had killed Kennedy. Notably, LBJ told scores of others, in a deflection tactic, that Fidel Castro had killed JFK and Johnson from the very moment Kennedy was dead was blaming it on the communists in real time 1:22 PM (source: Malcolm Kilduff).

“How about Richard Nixon on his ‘smoking gun’ tape of June 23, 1972, when he refers to (E. Howard) Hunt, the (anti-Castro) Cubans and Nixon’s fear of opening a ‘scab’ on a ‘hell of a lot of things?‘ Namely Nixon himself was referring to the ‘whole Bay of Pigs thing.’ H.R. Haldeman, Nixon’s chief of staff, said that Nixon’s code phrase for the JFK assassination was “the whole Bay of Pigs thing.”

“E. Howard Hunt admitted to being a ‘backbencher’ in the JFK assassination and told his son Saint John Hunt that Lyndon Johnson, Cord Meyer and the CIA worked hand in glove to murder Kennedy.

“JFK researcher Bill Simpich says that he things it will be eventually proven that CIA JM/Wave chief and notorious assassin David Sanchez Morales  will eventually be proven to have orchestrated the JFK assassination. Morales’ actual quote to his lawyer Robert Walton was ‘Well, we took care of that son of a bitch [JFK], didn’t we?’

“The topic of the JFK assassination was a point of controversy in the families of both David Atlee Phillips and E. Howard Hunt. Before he died, David admitted to his brother Jim that, yes, he had been in Dallas for the JFK assassination. As for E. Howard Hunt –‘One of the things he liked to say around the house was ‘let’s finish the job – let’s hit Ted,”’ said his son Saint John Hunt on the Alex Jones show May 14, 2007.

“How about E. Howard Hunt friend and CIA operative, the notorious cold blooded killer Frank Sturgis? On multiple occasions he has admitted to shooting JFK, and he is certainly a fine candidate for the job. On Oct. 31, 1977, after NYPD detective Jim Rothstein preemptively arrested Sturgis before he could murder Marita Lorenz, Sturgis said he was one of the shooters on the Grassy Knoll. Sturgis also told operative Edwin Kaiser (father of Scott Kaiser) that he killed Kennedy. Jim Rothstein is still alive, sharp as a tack, and herecounted that Sturgis anecdote to me on March 4, 2015. Jim Rothstein, who was on the  USS Essex at the Bay of Pigs told Sturgis after his arrest, ‘I want to thank you for killing Kennedy.’

“I almost forgot to mention Oswald’s relationship with his best friend in Dallas, CIA asset George DeMohrenschildt who was asked by the head of the CIA in Dallas, J. Walton Moore, to check on Oswald. DeMohrenschildt was friends the future CIA director George Herbert Walker Bush, the guy who can’t remember where he was when Kennedy was killed despite the fact he was staying in the Sheraton Hotel in Dallas on Nov. 21-22, 1963.

CIA asset George DeMohrenschildt also requested in April, 1963 a personal meeting with Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who had been a part of a mere handful of congressional overseers of the newly created CIA in the 1950’s.

“A final side note: I once interviewed another Navy man who had also been at the Bay of Pigs. In 2009, 48 years later he was still upset when the topic of John Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs came up. He and his 90 year old wife both told me, simultaneously, that he had ‘a problem’ talking about Kennedy even after five decades. Can you imagine how mad these folks were at JFK in 1963 about the ‘whole Bay of Pigs thing?'”

237 comments

  1. bogman says:

    For me, all the evidence points to a cadre of Kennedy haters at the JMWAVE station in Miami, including Morales as Robert and Bill Simpich points out. Angleton and other higher ups may have been the architects of the plan but the implementers on the ground were from JMWAVE, IMHO.

    The Miami station was the entity that immediately released the radio and TV interviews Oswald did in NO. The question that I’ve never seen even asked by any govt investigators is why wasn’t Oswald under surveillance with this evidence of his “subversive” background in hand?

    Castro himself said he would’ve loved to have received more air time for the FPCC but this Oswald character no one ever heard of does? In other words, it was a very unusual occurrence that should’ve put Oswald on the radar screen of the JMWAVE station, especially when the CIA’s own assets wrote a freakin’ press release stating he was a danger to America.

    JMWAVE Chief Ted Shackley should’ve had to answer these questions in a open panel to the American people on Day One, because he bears ultimate responsibility. But he doesn’t even appear anywhere that I’ve seen in the Warren Commission or HSCA testimony.

    If we take at face value that Oswald was a real communist agitator who supported Castro, then JMWAVE failed miserably in making sure he was watched. But from all appearances they knew exactly who he was and the investigation should have turned over every stone to get the truth from top JMWAVE officials, wherever that would lead.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Bogman, if we take your points a step further… Considering Joannides maintained a house, or safe house there in 63, is it not plausible most if not all of what happened in New Orleans was directed or at least approved by JMWAVE? It seems from information now available the “fight” over passing out the leaflets was staged. This means the DRE was involved in setting up of Oswald as a communist, though they likely didn’t know the role they played. Why would they do this? They were financed by the CIA for one thing. Could Joannidies have been their paymaster?

      • bogman says:

        With the way the CIA tried to hide Joannides role with the DRE over the decades, and outright felonious obstruction when they made him the CIA contact for the HSCA investigators, there can be no doubt there is something really bad going on here.

        At best, they took advantage of a communist Oswald to embarrass the FPCC. At worst, it was part of a larger plan to frame him for the assassination. Somewhere in the middle are rogue forces hijacking Oswald for their own plan.

        Anyway it came down, it’s my opinion that if there was a conspiracy to kill JFK, agents from JMWAVE had to be involved. John Witten, the CIA man who first conducted the internal investigation, told the HSCA JMWAVE was where he would’ve focused his attention.

      • Ronnie Wayne says:

        I guess the facts are we have at least three CIA people in New Orleans the summer of 63. Two known to have contact with Oswald (Ferrie & Shaw/Bertrand).
        Who was Oswald’s handler that summer?
        None of these I think.

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          Phillips from afar, at a higher level?
          What was Morales doing that summer?
          FREETHEFILES.

          • bogman says:

            Yes. Interesting that the files the CIA are holding are almost JMWAVE-related agents who had the means, motive and experience to kill the president, and some who admitted as much later in life… Phillips, Morales, Harvey, Sturgis, a veritable rogues gallery. And then the mysterious Joannides who was very likely in charge of the NO operation sheep-dipping Oswald.

            Again, what presidential assassin gets a press release written and distributed about him warning the public? http://jfkfacts.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Bringueir-PR-082163.jpg

            Oswald does, by the CIA-funded DRE. I will never believe that release and Oswald’s – or someone impersonating him — interaction with Kostikov was overlooked by the CIA during the height of the Cold War. No friggin’ way.

  2. Matt says:

    The Lansdale thing is interesting, especially as I seem to remember he had recently retired from the Air Force (November 1st?). What was he doing there?

    • “The Lansdale thing is interesting, especially as I seem to remember he had recently retired from the Air Force (November 1st?). What was he doing there?”~Matt

      He was coordinating a cop d’etat, which was his specialty.

      Yes Both Prouty and Krulak who knew Lansdale intimately recognized him in photo’s where the “three tramps” were being paraded by in Dealey the day of the assassination.

      You will find many who attempt to denigrate Fletcher Prouty, most of these haven’t a thimble full of the experience and knowledge of the period from WWII through the Cold War that Prouty has. He was there in the thick of it, and at the highest levels.
      He introduced CIA agent Lansdale, to the Air Force to be given cover as a Major in the that service. Lansdale was in fact CIA, and simply sheep dipped as an Air Force officer. Thus his “retirement” from the Air Force was not retirement from CIA.
      \\][//

      • David Regan says:

        Speaking of Lansdale, it’s worth noting that Henry Cabot Lodge sent a letter to Rusk on 9/13/63 asking him to send Lansdale to Saigon “at once to take charge, under my supervision, of all U.S. relationships with a change of government here.” Lodge wanted Lansdale’s expertise in “changing governments” so as to facilitate the stalled coup, but McCone denied his request.

      • Mariano says:

        Once more observers see the real history and exploits of Lansdale (his function in the CIA; his involvement in CIA policies that changed governments in Vietnam and the Philippines; as well the efforts that gave rise to the US creation – a north versus south Vietnam paradox; and ultimately the Vietnam war), the question “why was Lansdale in Dealey Plaza” that day (as evidenced by the three tramps photo) will be more significant. It would appear bizarre that he would be photographed walking casually past the three tramps that afternoon in Dallas, but not in the context of JFK’s assassination.

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Willy Whitten
        April 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

        He was coordinating a cop d’etat, which was his specialty.

        bc. Some evidence please.

        Yes Both Prouty and Krulak who knew Lansdale intimately recognized him in photo’s where the “three tramps” were being paraded by in Dealey the day of the assassination.

        bc. I have heard Prouty make the claim but I have never heard Krulak make the claim. You have a reference for that?

        You will find many who attempt to denigrate Fletcher Prouty, most of these haven’t a thimble full of the experience and knowledge of the period from WWII through the Cold War that Prouty has. He was there in the thick of it, and at the highest levels.

        bc. Perhaps Willy his thimble is so full because he exaggerates and lies.

        • He was coordinating a coup d’etat, which was his specialty.

          “Some evidence please.”~Bill Clarke

          Are you seriously asserting that Landsdale was not a master at perpetrating coup d’etat?
          If so, his biography is clear enough on the matter.

          Or are you suggesting that it is not Landsdale in the photos from Dealey Plaza?
          If so, the pictures speak for themselves.
          \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            April 15, 2015 at 9:26 am

            He was coordinating a coup d’etat, which was his specialty.

            “Some evidence please.”~Bill Clarke

            Are you seriously asserting that Landsdale was not a master at perpetrating coup d’etat?

            No.

            If so, his biography is clear enough on the matter.

            Or are you suggesting that it is not Landsdale in the photos from Dealey Plaza?
            If so, the pictures speak for themselves.

            Perhaps. But you have no evidence that he was there coordinating the coup d’etat.

            Can you handle this one for me? bc. I have heard Prouty make the claim but I have never heard Krulak make the claim. You have a reference for that?

      • D. E. Mitchell says:

        “…Ed Lansdale was what is known as, “sheep dipped!”
        –DM

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Excellent comments Robert, Bogman, Willy. I’d not heard of Sturgis/Fiorini admitting he shot JFK from the grassy knoll multiple times. Although this is believable as opposed to say James Files.
      Lansdale is indeed interesting. From the Philippines to Dealy Plaza. Prouty and Krulak knew him well. Lansdale sent Prouty to the South Pole for the assassination. I believe their ID of him, even from the back, is credible. They probably knew (of) (had at least seen pictures of) Fiorini/Sturgis/Harrelson, Hunt, and Crist/? which confirmed his presence.
      The question of why Lansdale would show himself was raised on another forum. In the interest of brainstorming, I know, speculation, a “theory”, I wonder…
      Maybe it was to let his men, who had been caught, know, we have your back, we will get you out.
      If you notice in the pictures there’s not much of a crowd around the tramps and lackadaisical cops. Makes sense they were the second set of tramps arrested about 2-2:30 a few hundred yards South of the railroad yard according to Vaughn, Harkness, Wise and Bowers.
      Lansdale may have observed the assassination from the box truck/van on the N.E. corner of Elm and Houston or the Federal Facility/Post Office on the south knoll. Where he also observed the pickup of his men, then came out to reassure them.
      Morales most likely was the dark man seen on the sixth floor, the operational supervisor, communicating with Lansdale and the shooters/spotters (including umbrella man’s buddy) by radio. Just a WAG.

      • Roy W Kornbluth says:

        Ronnie,
        I meant to respond to this post a couple days ago, but I lost it. Your ideas here are more than a WAG.
        Esp. “Lansdale sent Prouty to the South Pole for the assassination.” That is a micro-nano Rosetta Stone of the coup. A la the entire Kennedy-friendly Cabinet sent across the Pacific.
        Funny thing—Fletch going to Antarctica was predicted in 1952 by the sci-fi satire The Space Merchants, Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, the Shakespeare of the 20th century. MITCH Courtney-=– the hero (relatively speaking), a king among kings in a world of the distant(?) future where corporations rule and advertiser/propagandists rule the corps., and Congress and the President are mere figureheads—is sent to the South Pole by a ruse. To get him out of the way and mess him up real bad. All because his brotherhood of Admen think he might possibly maybe throw a monkey-wrench in the Good Thing they have going on. Reminds me of something…

        Your clear view of the TWO SETS of The Three Tramps is gold. Please write it up. I feel that, just in the last few months, this piece of the puzzle has been crystallized. Links from this forum and others have come together to produce a sharp picture. For instance, your estimate of 2-2:30 for the DP march of the Real Bad Tramps is spot on. A few researchers believe it was 3-3:30 because the shadows are so long, but the shadows at 12:30 were as long as the person’s height; it was only a month before winter solstice.
        And that link to the paid ($1000) interview of DPD Vaughn, last man standing as escort and baby-sitter to the gruesome threesom (lost it at the moment), contains many large and small nuggets.

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          Thanks Roy. As I said some of what is mentioned is more or less an “educated guess”. But some, as you highlight, like Prouty being sent to the South Pole are fact. As I recall, he was looking over the hill toward retirement and hadn’t had a vacation in years so he didn’t mind going.
          I’d never heard of a second set of tramps until I read the online Oswald Code (once again barely mentioned in the book of the same name). The time frame of “a few minutes before 2:00” until about 2:30 seems pretty well nailed down from the statements of the officers and Bowers. The location a few hundred yards South of the yard towards the Union Terminal is confirmed by the same people. As is the second set of tramps being found in a gondola/grain car as opposed to a box car. The $1000 interview was Officer Wise.
          I’ve printed the article and highlighted relevant points. Maybe I can provide more detail tonight or in the next couple of days.
          Keep digging.
          FREETHEFILES

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          For now, skip to page 6 in this link, read the rest (which once again is not in the book).
          It’s not that long but potentially important, IMSO.

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            Oops.
            http://theoswaldcode.com/
            Skip to page six!

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            Ronnie,
            I read everything in that link a few times. The Marvin Wise interview is gold for details and overview. Let me get a few things straight:
            —the first set of tramps, probably real hobos, Gedney, Doyle, and Abrams, were kept in jail for 4 days til the 26th?
            —the second set, the phonies, were let go soon, probably that afternoon? I think it odd but par for the course that they were in, like, private conference a few times with police big-shots while Wise was outside the rooms, not allowed to hear/see what was going on.
            I’m curious–Weberman still seems to think that they were EH Hunt, Frank Fiorini/Sturgis, and now David Christ (not DA Phillips as in 1975) for the “Maurice Bishop” character. For some reason I thought AJW was convinced, as I was, that the true IDs are (from far to near in the Dealey Photos): Chauncey Holt (Mafia credential forger), Charles Harrelson (experience hit-man), and Charles Rogers (ex-Air Force, military intell, parenticide).
            I’m curious, who do you think the Vicious Three Tramps are?

            I’m not sure what you mean by “skip to page 6 in this link”. The whole thing isn’t paginated. I’m a techno-moron. A caveman with 24 hours at this computer would be ahead of me. I typed in 6 at the bottom of what came up, pushed enter,
            and nothing happened.

            Whatever the names of the second set of Tramps are, they were obviously a sniper team NOT in the TSBD.

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            Ronnie,
            By the way, did you put that whole thing together on Pinterest? There’s no author/compiler credit in the whole thing that I can see.

  3. Eddy says:

    I find none of this evidence very persuasive. What is extremely persuasive is the joannides story of obfuscation. Perhaps even more persuasive is the CIA suppression of evidence. The most convincing argument for me is a chain of questions.
    1 Was there a cover up after the event? (Yes)
    2 who took part in the cover up? (Many many powerful actors)
    3 Which is the only organisation with the reach and power to coordinate this?

    • David Regan says:

      The actions of Marvin Gheesling, in the FBI’s Soviet espionage section, were timed beyond coincidence. On 10/9/63, Gheesling had removed Oswald from a federal alarm system that was about to identify him as a national security threat. What would have sounded the alarm was the CIA’s 10/10/63 message to the FBI about Oswald contacting the Soviet Embassy in Mexico.

      • Jean Davison says:

        David,

        “The actions of Marvin Gheesling, in the FBI’s Soviet espionage section, were timed beyond coincidence. On 10/9/63, Gheesling had removed Oswald from a federal alarm system that was about to identify him as a national security threat. What would have sounded the alarm was the CIA’s 10/10/63 message to the FBI about Oswald contacting the Soviet Embassy in Mexico.”

        Many sources say this, but it’s not correct. The “alarm” was a note put in Oswald’s FBI fingerprint file saying that if anyone contacted the FBI to check his fingerprints as might happen if he were arrested for anything, the Espionage section of the FBI should be alerted. It was placed originally after Oswald defected, in case he returned to this country without the FBI knowing about it.

        Here’s that “alarm” in LHO’s fingerprint file (the same one quoted in Newman’s Oswald and the CIA):

        https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=117797&relPageId=12

        The FBI’s explanation:

        https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=1022105

        A few pages earlier there’s a record of when fingerprints had been sent to FBI and by whom:

        https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=117797&relPageId=10

        If the alarm hadn’t been canceled, the Espionage section would’ve been notified when the Dallas police sent in Oswald’s fingerprints. Gheesling’s canceling this alert made no difference.

        • David Regan says:

          Except the assassination would have already occurred by that time, Jean. You don’t believe if the Flash was still active on 10/10/63, the CIA memo wouldn’t have set off alarm bells with the FBI?

          • Jean Davison says:

            David,

            “Except the assassination would have already occurred by that time, Jean.”

            Of course. That’s exactly my point. Canceling the “Flash” notice made no difference. Please read the first two links.

            “You don’t believe if the Flash was still active on 10/10/63, the CIA memo wouldn’t have set off alarm bells with the FBI?”

            The “Flash” had nothing to do with it since no one contacted the FBI to check Oswald’s fingerprints when he went to Mexico, and that’s where the “Flash” was, in his fingerprint file. (If anyone can show me that this is wrong, please do.)

            Canceling the Flash didn’t matter, since the CIA informed the FBI in October that Oswald had been at the Soviet Embassy and as a result FBI agent Hosty attempted to locate him in Dallas. Here is a document saying that:

            https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=58949&relPageId=98

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      The evidence points toward Joannides being right in the middle of these things you don’t find persuasive. Start with why as a CIA officer stationed in Miami did he maintain a residence in New Orleans in the summer of 63?

      • Eddy says:

        From responses to my post I don’t think I made myself very clear. I am utterly convinced the CIA covered up the truth behind the assassination, and are likely to have been the drivers behind its execution. I’m not getting excited about evidence that Lansdale may have been in Dealey Plaza.

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          I agree about the CIA coverup and execution of the assassination. Lansdale was CIA. He was sheep dipped as Air Force as a cover.

        • Paul Turner says:

          You can’t count out the FBI for its role in the cover-up. The FBI held back a lot of facts that could have swayed the WC result.

    • leslie sharp says:

      Eddy, a securities attorney interested in the assassination advises: ‘it is never about the crime, it is always about the cover up.’

      Who had the power? The Alpha and Omega – who had both the audacity to authorize an assassination and the power to cover it up.

      Castro
      Lansdale
      Phillips
      Bannister
      Johnson
      Nixon
      E.H. Hunt
      Morales
      Sturgis
      deMohrenschildt
      J. Walton Moore
      GHW Bush

      Would Henry Luce of the NYTimes or Norman Chandler of the LATimes have taken direction from any one or all of these characters, let alone from disgruntled Cuban exiles?

      • gerry campeau says:

        leslie I would add General Maxwell Davenport “Max” Taylor Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Good friend to Kennedys but a better friend to General Walker and Army, There was no one more gung ho to send ground troups to VN

  4. Sam says:

    VIETNAM WAS NEXT

    JFK wasn’t just ticking off the military over Cuba. His plans to withdraw from Vietnam which began to slowly evolve in 1963, despite snags like the CIA-inspired Buddhist monk burnings, and despite Diem’s assassination (which JFK didn’t do enough to prevent), were happening. The last big obstacle was 1964. JFK could not complete the withdrawal that year, for obvious election reasons. In fact, while in Dallas on the fateful November trip, he talked up our military to the Forth Worth (read: Conservative Democratic voter bloc) crowd at the Chamber luncheon. Still, while he talked politically, behind the scenes he was scaling back, and at the same time that he secretly arranged for a deal with Khruschev to take our IRBMs out of Turkey AND never attack Cuba with US forces. And, just as his “missile gap” statements in the 1960 campaign sounded tough but never amounted to anything, his tough talk on not withdrawing completely from Vietnam in late 1963 was a delay tactic commonly used by politicians. Woodrow Wilson used the same delay tactics in the 1916 reelection campaign, even Lyndon Johnson said the same in 1964, only to break his promise not to send our boys to war in early 1965, after he was elected.

    When you strip away the political gamesmanship that JFK was trying to play to keep some conservative Democrats in the fold in 1964, you get a president committed to his June 1963 peace speech and not a warmonger president. Anyone with an ounce of sense and a drop of sophistication can read between the lines. Once Johnson took over, the escalation of Vietnam could begin in earnest. Losing Kennedy in 1963 had really tragic consequences for our political system, and also for all the young men who lost their lives from the regular service, starting in 1965 and running until 1975 when the last helicopters pulled out of Saigon.

    • David Regan says:

      Wondering what JFK would have done on Vietnam: Galbraith’s impression http://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/wondering-what-jfk-would-have-done-on-vietnam-galbraiths-impression/ via @macleansmag

      • Bill Clarke says:

        David Regan
        April 3, 2015 at 6:38 pm

        “At one time, JFK designated me the special task of seeing if I could get Nehru to act as a peacemaker between the North Vietnamese and ourselves.”

        I find this one hard to buy. I know of no evidence that JFK ever sought a negotiated settlement of the war. In fact, they resisted considering it and dumped Diem partly because of it.

        • David Regan says:

          On January 25, 1963, he phoned Roger Hilsman, the head of State Department intelligence, at his home to complain about a front-page box in the New York Times on a U.S. general visiting
          Vietnam. In what Hilsman remembered as “decidedly purple language,” Kennedy took him to task. He ordered Hilsman to stop military visits that seemed to increase the U.S. commitment in Vietnam.

          Kennedy said, “That is exactly what I don’t want to do. Remember Laos,” he emphasized. “The United States must keep a low profile in Vietnam so we can negotiate its neutralization like we did in Laos.” – Roger Hilsman letter to New York Times, 1992

          That afternoon the president issued National Security Action Memorandum Number 217, forbidding “high ranking military and civilian personnel” from going to South Vietnam without
          being cleared by the State Department office where Hilsman worked. This action by JFK, reining in the military’s travel to Vietnam, for the sake of a neutralization policy, did not please the Pentagon.
          http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/d6xXiqD0EkWbw_J4ev2ZQQ.aspx#.VSCJW0OqNnw.twitter

          Kennedy’s policy toward South Vietnam rested on the assumption that South Vietnamese leader Diem and his forces must ultimately defeat the guerrillas on their own. He was against the deployment of American combat troops and observed that “to introduce U.S. forces in large numbers there today, while it might have an initially favorable military impact, would almost certainly lead to adverse political and, in the long run, adverse military consequences.”

          What Would He Have Done?
          https://www.nytimes.com/books/00/11/26/specials/schlesinger-newman.html

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 4, 2015 at 9:14 pm

            “He justifiably excoriates the sycophantic courtier Schlesinger, whose histories “repeatedly manipulated and obscured the facts” and whose accounts—“profoundly misleading if not out-and-out deceptive”—were written to serve not scholarship but the Kennedys.”
            http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/

            Same with Newman. A lot of unsupported crap.

          • David Regan says:

            Bill, was Benjamin Schwarz even of age in 1962? I guess it all comes down to who’s version of history you choose to believe – self proclaimed historians or men who served the administration and were there.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm

            Bill, was Benjamin Schwarz even of age in 1962? I guess it all comes down to who’s version of history you choose to believe – self proclaimed historians or men who served the administration and were there.

            It isn’t that simple, David. Those that served the administration have a vested interest in making things look good. Not only was it the president’s policy but it was also their policy. This causes them to lie. Some like McNamara lie big time. Unless they can back it up, and they should be able to, best use caution with what they say. And still no one has shown you this order from JFK withdrawing all our troops by the end of 1965. See what I mean?

            The self proclaimed historians do much speculation and present it as fact. They are easy to spot because they can’t support their work. No references! John Newman fits this grove nicely.

            A real historian backs up his work with research and documents. This is the group you should be reading.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Ted Sorensen, JFK’s speechwriter and friend, published his book “Kennedy” in 1965. It says a lot about Kennedy’s Vietnam policy, but not what Kennedy’s advisers began saying a year or two later after the war looked unwinnable and the political climate changed.

            The book can be searched using the keyword Vietnam at Amazon.com:

            http://www.amazon.com/Kennedy-Biography-Perennial-Political-Classics/dp/006196784X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428417875&sr=1-1&keywords=kennedy+sorensen#reader_006196784X

            Some examples.

            Page 651:
            “This country in [1954] drew the line against Communist expansion at the border of South Vietnam. Whether or not it would have been wiser to draw it in a more stable and defensible area in the first place, this nation’s commitment in January, 1961–although it had assumed far larger proportions than when it was made nearly seven years earlier–was not one that President Kennedy felt he could abandon without undesirable consequences throughout Asia and the world.”

            P. 652: “Formally, Kennedy never made a final negative decision on troops. In typical Kennedy fashion, he made it difficult for any of the prointervention advocates to charge him privately with weakness. He ordered the departments to be prepared for the introduction of combat troops, should they prove to be necessary. He steadily expanded the size of the military assistance mission (2000 at the end of 1961, 15,500 at the end of 1963) by sending in combat support units, air combat and helicopter teams, still more military advisers….”

            Search the book yourself, folks, to see if you can find anything about a decision to withdraw all troops. It’s not there.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Jean Davison
            April 7, 2015 at 11:58 am

            One should not forget that so much of this “Jack would have saved us from Vietnam” junk came long after the war had turned nasty. These folks were not singing that song when it was their policy.

            I don’t doubt Ted Sorensen wasn’t the most sincerely dedicated membeer of Kennedy’s inner confidants. Shockingly refreshing to see such candor.

            Here is what he had to say about Bobby;

            “Ted Sorensen remembered him (Bobby) as “militant, aggressive, intolerant, opinionated, and somewhat shallow in his convictions…..more like his father than his brother.”

            “Camelot’s Court; Inside the Kennedy White House”, page 44.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 6, 2015 at 8:03 pm

            David, this reminded me of something my great friend the late Ted Gittinger once told me. Ted was on the staff at the LBJ Library, a brilliant man and also a Vietnam Veteran. We were discussing the war but the same applies to the Kennedy assassination.

            Ted told me that the great literature on the war had not been written yet and would not be written until all of us that had been involved, either for or against, were dead and gone. The literature to date was biased one way or the other. He then said that someday in the future a young Ph.D. student would sort through all the mess and finally write the proper book about the war. I regret I won’t be around to read it.

            So don’t discount a writer simply because he wasn’t “There”. In my opinion being “there” is highly overrated. Prouty is a good example.

          • David Regan says:

            Correct, the policy stated and agreed to in the McNamara-Taylor Report called for removal of “the BULK of U.S. forces by the end of 1965.” It does not state ALL.

            Jean, there were indications long before 1965 the war was not going well, as indicated by State Department INR Memo RFE-90,22-Oct-63. The recommendations of the McNamara-Taylor report were abandoned by March 1964.

            And let’s not forget discovered documents from 2005 that shed interesting light on this debate:

            Papers reveal JFK efforts on Vietnam
            http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/06/06/papers_reveal_jfk_efforts_on_vietnam/?page=1

          • David Regan says:

            Bill, I hear what you’re saying but in terms of the Benjamin Schwarz article, I kept wondering while reading if he encountered these declassified documents while researching the Missile Crisis:

            RFK Papers Unveil Original Draft Cable Showing Kennedy’s Secret Approach to Castro
            https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2012/10/25/rfk-papers-unveil-original-draft-cable-showing-kennedys-secret-approach-to-castro/

            Document Friday: The Cuban Missile Crisis— Kennedy’s Letter to Khrushchev
            https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/document-friday-the-cuban-missile-crisis%E2%80%94-kennedys-letter-to-khrushchev/

          • Jean Davison says:

            David,

            “Correct, the policy stated and agreed to in the McNamara-Taylor Report called for removal of “the BULK of U.S. forces by the end of 1965.” It does not state ALL.”

            Whether it’s “the bulk” or “all,” the record shows that the withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of 1965 was always said to be contingent on the Vietnamese taking over the war effort. The McNamara-Taylor report is often cited, but look at what it actually says. It recommended that “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.”

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

            “Should be possible.”

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 7, 2015 at 8:23 pm

            Correct, the policy stated and agreed to in the McNamara-Taylor Report called for removal of “the BULK of U.S. forces by the end of 1965.” It does not state ALL.

            bc. No David, it says “we should be able to” withdraw the bulk by 1965. Here there is a big difference between “we should be able to” and “we are going to”.

            1965 isn’t set in stone either. Read what JFK said;
            —————————————–

            Taylor: I will just say this, that we talked to 174 officers, Vietnamese and U.S., and in the case of the U.S. (officers) I always asked the question, “When can you finish this job in the sense that you will reduce this insurgency to little more than sporadic incidents.” Inevitably, except for the Delta, they would say “64 would be ample time.” I realize that’s not necessarily…..I assume there’s no major new factors entering [unclear], I realize that—-

            JFK: Well, let’s say it anyway. Then ’65 if it doesn’t work out {unclear] we’ll get a new date.

            http://tapes.millercenter.virginia.edu/clips/1963_1002_vietnam_am/
            —————————————–

            Jean, there were indications long before 1965 the war was not going well, as indicated by State Department INR Memo RFE-90,22-Oct-63. The recommendations of the McNamara-Taylor report were abandoned by March 1964.

            Yes, but it didn’t agree with what they wanted to hear so they ignored it. Our often damned CIA had more accurate reporting than did our military which let no negativity go forward.

            And let’s not forget discovered documents from 2005 that shed interesting light on this debate:

            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.

            “Choosing War; The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam” by Fredrik Logevall

          • David Regan says:

            Bill, as you know Mike Mansfield was the first top elected official to call for a pullout. He had been an early supporter of Diem, but the visit caused him to change his mind. After returning from a fact-finding mission to Vietnam, he delivered a pessimistic assessment to JFK on Dec 2, 1962, which he ended up agreeing with.

            Then we have the Krulak Mendenhall mission in September 1963. In their submissions to the NSC, Krulak presented an extremely optimistic report on the progress of the war, while Mendenhall presented an extremely bleak picture of military failure and public discontent, prompting JFK to ask “The two of you did visit the same country, didn’t you?

            “I don’t recall anyone who was strongly against sending ground troops, except one man and that was the President. The President just didn’t want to be convinced that this was the right thing to do…It really was the President’s personal conviction that U.S. ground troops shouldn’t go in.” Maxwell Taylor in recorded interview by L.J. Hackman, November 13, 1969

            Would JFK have fought the Vietnam War? http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2003/05/the_war_room.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top via @slate

          • lysias says:

            As a member of the Yale faculty, I played a role in getting Benjamin Schwarz admitted to Yale in 1981. At the time, he was normal age for a high school senior.

          • lysias says:

            After leaving university, Schwarz worked for a number of year for the RAND Corporation, and I’m afraid a lot of his work then suited the military-industrial complex.

            I’m glad to say he’s now National Editor for the American Conservative magazine, which I respect a lot more than RAND. And he and they now exhibit a healthy distrust of military intervention.

          • David Regan says:

            Ok, so we’ve established Mr. Schwarz was an infant at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. His article is still flawed and does not take into account declassified documents that have been revealed regarding the crisis. (ie – JFK secretly reaching out to Castro to find a peaceful resolution)

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Sam
      April 3, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      “Anyone with an ounce of sense and a drop of sophistication can read between the lines.”

      From what I’ve seen this “reading between the lines” requires neither common sense nor sophistication. It is commonly used as support (weak as that is)for speculation and opinions. It is commonly seen as an excuse for those that present a dishonest reading of NSAM 263….and any other off the wall speculation they wish to make.

      In total I’d say reading between the lines has caused a good bit of confusion about the assassination of JFK.

      • Sam says:

        Bill,

        You obviously weren’t paying attention to what I said. “Reading between the lines” refers to reading what a politician DOES rather than just what he SAYS. Kennedy DID NOT escalate the war to include US troops, and he was in the process of scaling our advisor numbers down. This isn’t conjecture; it’s FACT. It doesn’t matter what you personally believe. It’s a matter of fact.

        Read this excellent piece from The Nation which backs up my point:
        http://www.thenation.com/article/177332/jfks-vietnam-withdrawal-plan-fact-not-speculation

        Sam

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Sam
          April 4, 2015 at 8:58 am

          Bill,

          You obviously weren’t paying attention to what I said. “Reading between the lines” refers to reading what a politician DOES rather than just what he SAYS. Kennedy DID NOT escalate the war to include US troops, and he was in the process of scaling our advisor numbers down. This isn’t conjecture; it’s FACT. It doesn’t matter what you personally believe. It’s a matter of fact.

          bc. JFK increased the U.S. troop presence in VN from less than 1,000 to more than 16,000. That is a fact. The 1,000 man troop withdrawal was done by routine rotation. One went home, one went over. See Miller Center Tapes for the agreement of JFK and McNamara on this. That is a fact.

          Read this excellent piece from The Nation which backs up my point:
          http://www.thenation.com/article/177332/jfks-vietnam-withdrawal-plan-fact-not-speculation

          “My essays in Boston Review and Salon established that the plan to withdraw US forces from Vietnam by the end of 1965 existed. And that President Kennedy had decided to implement that plan.”

          bc. So, let us see this plan.

          • Sam says:

            Wrong again, Bill. Documentation now declassified provides facts which cannot be denied. The 1,000 man withdrawal by the end of 1963 wasn’t just “rotation” but a start toward complete US force withdrawal (and I’m quoting JFK’s October 2, 1963 memorandum to General Taylor which you can read in the public record): “All planning will be directed towards preparing RVN forces for the withdrawal of all U.S. special assistance units and personnel by the end of calendar year 1965.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that, Bill.

            If you will follow this link to the Boston Review article which was cited in Galbraith’s piece [http://www.bostonreview.net/us/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam], you will find citations to the JFK White House tapes, as well to the documents from planning and implementation phases of this decision. They were declassified around 1993, following the JFK Records Act.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Sam
            April 4, 2015 at 3:40 pm

            Wrong again, Bill. Documentation now declassified provides facts which cannot be denied.

            Bc. I’ll be wrong Sam when you or Galbraith can show me this “plan to withdraw US forces from Vietnam by the end of 1965”. Galbraith didn’t and you can’t and you two will be wrong until you do. You can show me a plan that says we “should be able to withdraw the bulk of our troops” by the end of 1965 but neither of you can show me an order that says we’re getting the hell out in 1965 come hell or high water. I’m not trying to deny facts here Sam. I’m trying to prevent the presentation of misstatements as facts.

            The 1,000 man withdrawal by the end of 1963 wasn’t just “rotation” but a start toward complete US force withdrawal

            —————————————–
            bc. http://tapes.millercenter.virginia.edu/clips/1963_1005_vietnam/index.htm The 1,000 men withdrawal.

            President Kennedy: Otherwise we ought to just do it by rotation of.. [unclear].

            McNamara: Or we can do it just through normal attrition…[unclear: normal rotation]

            JFK: Yeah.

            McNamara: Normal rotation.
            ——————————————

            (and I’m quoting JFK’s October 2, 1963 memorandum to General Taylor which you can read in the public record): “All planning will be directed towards preparing RVN forces for the withdrawal of all U.S. special assistance units and personnel by the end of calendar year 1965.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that, Bill.

            bc. Sam, unless you can provide this Oct 2 memo from JFK to Taylor it becomes clearer when you realize that this is a memo from Taylor to the Joint Chiefs. “There followed, on October 4, a memorandum titled “South Vietnam Actions” from General Maxwell Taylor to his fellow Joint Chiefs of Staff, Generals May, Wheeler, Shoup, and Admiral McDonald, that reads:

            b. All planning will be directed towards preparing RVN forces for the withdrawal of all U.S. special assistance units and personnel by the end of calendar year 1965. (Emphasis added.)

            Bc. A military order to prepare. Note it doesn’t say what will happen if they don’t make their goal of training ARVN by1965. They don’t say they will leave regardless.

            This is the very next paragraph by Taylor: c. … as the initial increment of U.S. forces whose presence is no longer required because (a) Vietnamese forces have been trained to assume the function involved; or (b) the function for which they came to Vietnam has been completed. (Emphasis added.)

            Bc. Now, see from your own reference why they were withdrawing the 1,000 and hopefully more; “they were no longer required” for the war effort.

          • Sam says:

            Nope. The facts speak otherwise, Bill. There is a reason why even more mainstream historians like Dallek now say Kennedy was in the process of pulling out of Vietnam, and that this process was reversed when Lyndon Johnson became president.

            Read the following, quoted from the Boston Review link:

            After much debate, the president endorsed our recommendation to withdraw 1,000 men by December 31, 1963. He did so, I recall, without indicating his reasoning. In any event, because objections had been so intense and because I suspected others might try to get him to reverse the decision, I urged him to announce it publicly. That would set it in concrete. . . . The president finally agreed, and the announcement was released by Pierre Salinger after the meeting.
            Before a large audience at the LBJ Library on May 1, 1995, McNamara restated his account of this meeting and stressed its importance. He confirmed that President Kennedy’s action had three elements: (1) complete withdrawal “by December 31, 1965,” (2) the first 1,000 out by the end of 1963, and (3) a public announcement, to set these decisions “in concrete,” which was made. McNamara also added the critical information that there exists a tape of this meeting, in the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, to which he had access and on which his account is based.

            The existence of a taping system in JFK’s oval office had become known over the years, particularly through the release of partial transcripts of the historic meeting of the “ExComm” during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. But the full extent of Kennedy’s taping was not known. And, according to McNamara, access to particular tapes was tightly controlled by representatives of the Kennedy family. When McNamara spoke in Austin, only he and his coauthor, Brian VanDeMark, had been granted the privilege of listening to the actual tape recordings of Kennedy’s White House meetings on Vietnam.

            In 1997, however, this situation changed. The Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), an independent civilian body established under the 1992 JFK Records Act that has already been responsible for the release of millions of pages of official records deemed relevant to Kennedy’s assassination, ruled that his tapes relating to Vietnam decision-making should be released. In July the JFK Library began releasing key tapes, including those of the withdrawal meetings on October 2 and 5, 1963.7

            A careful review of the October 2 meeting makes clear that McNamara’s account is essentially accurate and even to some degree understated. One can hear McNamara—the voice is unmistakable—arguing for a firm timetable to withdraw all U.S. forces from Vietnam, whether the war can be won in 1964, which he doubts, or not. McNamara is emphatic: “We need a way to get out of Vietnam, and this is a way of doing it.”
            source for above:
            http://www.bostonreview.net/us/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam

            The article goes into a quite detailed explanation of sources (WH tapes for ex.) to prove what happened. The withdrawal was to begin in 1963 as a secret pulling out, not trumpeted in a public display, and THIS is where the anti-Kennedy people like you pounce, saying he was not publicly stating that we would pull out. But as I said, this was for political reasons, the election of 1964 was coming up quickly and Kennedy didn’t want Vietnam to make waves during the election year, particularly because he felt that he needed as many conservative (pro-Vietnam involvement) Democrats in his electoral count in order to defeat Goldwater or Rockefeller, whoever was going to win the GOP nomination in ’64. Kennedy already worried that he was losing Southern Democrats for his stance on civil rights, and this is why he quietly told Evelyn Lincoln that he was considering NC Governor Terry Sanford as a possible Veep to replace LBJ if Lyndon was going to go down in scandal, as Bobby fed the media and Congressional investigators fuel on the Bobby Baker scandal hearings. Sanford as a rare liberal Southerner would have given Kennedy some balance in a South that was beginning to threaten to bolt from the Democratic fold.

          • David Regan says:

            State Department INR Memo RFE-90,
            22-Oct-63

            Assessed trends since “Ju1y 1963 as evidence of an unfavorable shift in military balance. (This was one of the first indications that all was not as rosy as MACV et al had led McNamara
            and Taylor to believe)
            http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/d205

            Pentagon Papers:
            The rationale behind the phased withdrawal policy was by and large
            internally consistent and sensible.

            * To avoid an open-ended Asian mainland land war. Even though violated by U.S. involvement in the Korean war, this was a central tenet of U.S. national security policy and domestic politics. The notion of the bottomless Asian pit, the
            difference in outlook about a human life, were well understood.

            * To treat the insurgency as fundamentally a Vietnamese matter, best solved by the Vietnamese themselves.
            Most U.S. decision-makers had well-developed doubts about the efficacy of using “white faced” soldiers to fight Asians. This view was invariably coupled
            publicly and privately with statements like this one made by Secretary McNamara: “I personally believe that this is a war that the Vietnamese must
            fight … I don’t believe we can take on that combat task for them. I do believe we can carry out training. We
            can provide advice and logistical assistance.”

            * To put the lid on inevitable bureaucratic and political pressures for increased U.S, involvement and inputs into
            Vietnam. It was to be expected and anticipated that those intimately involved in the Vietnam problem would
            be wanting more U.S. resources to handle that problem. Pressures for greater effort, it was reasoned, eventually
            would come into play unless counteracted.
            — Pentagon Papers; Phased Withdrawal of U.S. Forces in Vietnam, 1962-64

            Roger Hilsman, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Robert Kennedy all stated that JFK would never have committed combat units to Vietnam and would have sought neutralization there as he had in Laos; contradicting advice given by Eisenhower on 1/19/61 during an administration transition meeting.

          • Jean Davison says:

            I believe I’ve found the Oct. 2 public announcement that supposedly set the decision to withdraw from Vietnam “in concrete” — item b here:

            http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/pg_353

            Where does it say what Galbraith/McNamara claim?

            (At that site one can toggle forward or back to see minutes of all the National Security Council meetings on Vietnam.)

            Here’s a report on the NSC meeting of Oct. 2:

            https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=945&relPageId=376

            I noticed this on the second page: “The President objected to the phrase ‘by the end of the year’ in the sentence ‘The U.S. program for training the Vietnamese should have progressed to the point where 1000 U.S. military personnel assigned to South Vietnam could be withdrawn.’ He believed that if we were not able to take this action by the end of this year, we would be accused of being over optimistic.”

            As Bill Clarke has asked, where’s a document showing the decision to withdraw by the end of 1965 no matter what?

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Sam
            April 5, 2015 at 10:46 am

            bc. Is there a problem with you showing me the order from JFK to “plan to withdraw US forces from Vietnam by the end of 1965”? Now that would be a fact worth considering Sam. That would be an historic event. No matter what any platoon of people you quote SAYS, until the order is produced you have nothing.

            bc. This from Galbraith; “Did John F. Kennedy give the order to withdraw from Vietnam?”
            “Certainly, most Vietnam historians have said “no”—or would have if they considered the question worth posing. They have asserted continuity between Kennedy’s policy and Lyndon Johnson’s, while usually claiming that neither president liked the war and also that Kennedy especially had expressed to friends his desire to get out sometime after the 1964 election”.
            http://www.bostonreview.net/us/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam

            bc. “MOST historians have said no.” Okay. I believe Sam I can count on one hand the number of historians claiming JFK was leaving Vietnam regardless. I’ll give you two, Galbraith and Dallek. Can you name three more certified historians? I don’t consider John Newman, Peter Dale Scott, DiEugenio or any other bloggers running around as historians.

            “Before a large audience at the LBJ Library on May 1, 1995, McNamara restated his account of this meeting and stressed its importance. He confirmed that President Kennedy’s action had three elements: (1) complete withdrawal “by December 31, 1965.”

            bc. This statement can be found in McNamara’s book “In Retrospect” page 80. It is word for word except it does NOT include this (1) complete withdrawal “by December 31, 1965” junk. Now how would a man forget to put such an important item in his book? Because it is junk, that is why.

            “The existence of a taping system in JFK’s oval office had become known over the years,”

            bc. Yes, that is where I got the information that the 1,000 man withdrawal was to be done by normal rotation. Did you get this one?

            “A careful review of the October 2 meeting makes clear that McNamara’s account is essentially accurate and even to some degree understated.”

            bc. It certainly does NOT support McNamara’s statement at the LBJ Library and this 1) complete withdrawal “by December 31, 1965.” Is certainly not in the tapes.

            bc. I have been referencing these tapes for years now. They are essential to understanding NSAM 263.

            JFK: Well, let’s say it anyway. Then ’65 if it doesn’t work out {unclear] we’ll get a new date.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 5, 2015 at 11:19 am

            Roger Hilsman, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Robert Kennedy all stated that JFK would never have committed combat units to Vietnam and would have sought neutralization there as he had in Laos;

            Not what Bobby said in his oral interview. Schlesinger was the Camelot crowds resident “historian”. Hilsman has his opinion.

            And I continue to wonder why if JFK wanted negotiations he didn’t talk to the communist in the summer of 63. He could have.

          • David Regan says:

            Bill, I suspect the discrepancies between RFK’s statements on what course JFK would have taken in Vietnam was due to his still being a part of the Johnson administration in 1964. If he had put on the public record what he later told Daniel Ellsberg in 1967, it would have embarrassed Johnson, particularly by March 1964, it was clear things were going downhill militarily and the recommendations of the Taylor-McNamara report had been abandoned.

            RFK was also absorbed during his Senate years by a quest to end the war in Vietnam. As a new Senator, Kennedy had originally supported the Johnson Administration’s policies in Vietnam, but also called for a greater commitment to a negotiated settlement and a renewed emphasis on economic and political reform within South Vietnam. As the war continued to widen and America’s involvement deepened, Senator Kennedy came to have serious misgivings about President Johnson’s conduct of the war. Kennedy publicly broke with the Johnson Administration for the first time in February 1966, proposing participation by all sides (including the Vietcong’s political arm, the National Liberation Front) in the political life of South Vietnam. The following year, he took responsibility for his role in the Kennedy Administration’s policy in Southeast Asia, and urged President Johnson to cease the bombing of North Vietnam and reduce, rather than enlarge, the war effort. In his final Senate speech on Vietnam, Kennedy said, “Are we like the God of the Old Testament that we can decide, in Washington, D.C., what cities, what towns, what hamlets in Vietnam are going to be destroyed? … Do we have to accept that? … I do not think we have to. I think we can do something about it.”

            According to Roger Hilsman, JFK ordered him to prepare for the neutralization of Vietnam in May 1963.

            Hilsman later said in an interview: “Kennedy began to instruct me, as Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, to position ourselves to do in Vietnam what we had done in Laos, i.e., negotiate the neutralization of Vietnam. He had made a decision on this. He did not make it public of course, but he had certainly communicated it to me as I say, in four-letter words, good earthy Anglo-Saxon four-letter words, and every time that I failed to do something in a way he felt endangered this position, he let me know in very clear language.” Michael Charlton and Anthony Moncrieff, Many Reasons Why: The American Involvement in Vietnam, (New York: Hill & Wang, 1978) p. 18

          • Sam says:

            oops…typo.

            Reposting:

            I agree with David’s point that JFK was exhibiting a pattern with regard to Vietnam which matched his actions in Laos, and in Cuba and Berlin for that matter: to deescalate a situation to the best degree that he could. In addition, NO WAY would JFK have reacted to the Gulf of Tonkin incident the way LBJ did. Kennedy would have searched for negotiations. To say otherwise ignores EVERY OTHER incident JFK was involved in. To say that JFK agreed with his Joint Chiefs (who disparaged their Commander-in-Chief behind his back!) is also to misunderstand how things really happened. To be sure, JFK was slow to withdraw from Vietnam, but he wasn’t going to get our troops set up there in what he himself called a “quagmire”. If you listen to his CBS interview in September of 1963, he tells Walter Cronkite that in the end “it is their war to win”. I love how pro-Vietnam war folks today try to paint JFK into their camp, but when his brothers both opposed the war in the Senate, and when McNamara himself say that JFK was working to pull us out, their argument makes about as much sense as someone saying that in October of 1962 Kennedy launched missile strikes against Cuba. It never happened, nor would it have, if JFK could prevent it from happening on his watch.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan and Sam

            Gentlemen. You can tell me what JFK did in Cuba and Berlin but I know what he did. He used the U.S. Navy in Cuba and he used the U.S. Armored Corps in Berlin. We didn’t back down at Check Point Charlie.

            You can tell me what Bobby said but I know what he said in his oral interview. If you think Bobby would hesitate to embarrass LBJ you must be unfamiliar with the hate that existed between the two men.

            You can tell me what McNamara and Hilsman said but you can’t show me the order from JFK pulling out “all” or even “the bulk of” troops by the end of 1968, come what may. You can’t even show me an order from JFK to not send any more troops to Vietnam. The 1,000 man withdrawal was done by agreement between JFK and McNamara to withdraw them by normal rotation. One comes home, one goes over. I hope the tapes convinced Sam of this fact. I’ve been reading this for decades now.

            I’m familiar with these “Jack told me” boys. I don’t need it anymore.

            So let us put this dog to bed. When you find the order from JFK we’ll go from there. I hope you find this agreeable. If not, let me see the order.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan and Sam

            Gentlemen again. We all having open minds here I thought that perhaps another side of the story would interest you. I quote from, “Choosing War; The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam” by Fredrik Logevall. I believe Mr. DiEugenio quotes Logevall and while this is no comfort to me it should be to you “Jack would have saved us from Vietnam” gentlemen.

            Page 12; “The period from early 1962 to mid-1963 witnessed a more forthcoming North Vietnamese position on the subject of diplomacy than had been seen previously.

            Page 12; Key elements in the northern leadership in mid-1963 sincerely hope for a political solution to the conflict and were prepared to compromise—by agreeing to a delay in unification—-in order to get it.

            Page 12; Thus in August, Ho Chi Minh suggested publicly that a cease fire be worked out in the South. Robert Thompson captured the DRV’s basic motivation well” to ensure an American withdrawal he told officials at the American embassy, Hanoi would pay almost any price.

            So, if JFK wanted to negotiate why didn’t he do it? This was the best shot he had. But he didn’t do it. It is not what a man says but what he does or does not do that counts.

            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, the 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.

            Page 22; Far from merely hoping a meeting would not be convened, they (JFK & company) actively sought to prevent it.

            This gentlemen is why you cannot find this phantom order from JFK withdrawing everyone by the end of 1965 come what may.

            But Logevall also presents the broad picture.

            Page 23; It was not that John F. Kennedy was eager to take on the communist in Vietnam. Quite the contrary.

            I also believe this to be true.

          • Sam says:

            Logivall doesn’t even get the point; JFK didn’t want to commit fully to Vietnam any more than he wanted to storm the beaches of Cuba in 1961, 1962, Laos in 1962, or Berlin (knock down the wall instead of just monitor its construction with tanks in the vicinity).

            This article makes more sense:
            http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/11/obamas-jfk-problem-112946.html#.VSNRuUJjM6Y

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 6, 2015 at 10:37 pm

            I hear them talking David but I still don’t see the order to withdraw all of our troops by the end of 1965 come what may. This is where we started, with this phantom order. That didn’t work so now we are down to what Jack “planned”. What Jack planned is clearly written in NSAM 263 and this phantom order is not there. YOur references quoting Schlesinger and Newman are worthless.

            NSAM 263 was a plan approved by JFK to win the war. This has been completely forgotten in this rush to convince the world that Jack was withdrawing. Withdrawal was not the main point of the order although it has been elevated to such by the Camelot shiners.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Sam
            April 7, 2015 at 12:01 am

            Logivall doesn’t even get the point; JFK didn’t want to commit fully to Vietnam any more than he wanted to storm the beaches of Cuba in 1961, 1962, Laos in 1962, or Berlin (knock down the wall instead of just monitor its construction with tanks in the vicinity).

            Oh I think Logevall gets the point alright. Did you see Page 23;” It was not that John F. Kennedy was eager to take on the communist in Vietnam. Quite the contrary.”

            Why would JFK knock down the Berlin Wall, Sam? It belonged to East Germany. It was built on East Germany soil. Kennedy would have been invading East Berlin had he knocked down the wall, not to mention probably starting WWIII. But JFK didn’t run at Check Point Charlie.

            I still don’t see this order to remove all our troops by 1965 come what may.

          • JohnR says:

            For Bill Clark: With all due respect, with all the civility I can muster, and with all the deference I can extend, I’d like to pose to you the following question: I can understand why the “Camelot Shiners,” as you call them, would argue so furiously that JFK wasn’t pulling out of Vietnam. I do not understand why you feel so strongly about who gets the blame for Vietnam. Why does this argument even exist? If it was proven one way or the other, what would change? Let them think what they want.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            JohnR
            April 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

            Bc. I appreciate your due respect, civility and deference. I reply with good intentions and the same due respect, civility and deference.

            Bc. No no John. The Camelot shiners (as I call them) claim JFK had ordered a total withdrawal from Vietnam. The “Jack would have saved us from Vietnam” slogan. But then that terrible LBJ reversed the orders of JFK “before Jack was cold in his grave”. All of this is incorrect history and is one reason I protest with so much vigor.

            I do not understand why you feel so strongly about who gets the blame for Vietnam.

            Bc. There is enough blame to go around. What I object to is blaming one person, always Johnson. I never hear Nixon mentioned. JFK is always excused. And perhaps just because I’m still mad as hell about the war. A long time ago I blamed myself. Now I don’t.

            Why does this argument even exist?

            Bc. Dallek says it has become somewhat of a litmus test for JFK. I’m not sure I agree with that. I think it is mostly a bitter battle between JFK fans and LBJ fans.

            If it was proven one way or the other, what would change?

            Bc. Probably about as much that would change if the Lone Nutter theory or the Conspiracy Theory was proven one way or the other.

            Let them think what they want.

            Bc. Do you do that here? I realize this has gone on too long but Sam and David have been persistent. Usually when I show folks NSAM 263 they disappear without comment.

            Bc. But to maintain your civility I’ll make this my last post with Sam and David on this subject on this thread. Unless something comes up I just simply can’t resist but I’ll try my best.

          • David Regan says:

            Gentlemen, here is an interesting exchange on this topic worth consideration.

            Would JFK Have Left Vietnam?: An Exchange by Kai Bird http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/sep/30/would-jfk-have-left-vietnam-exchange/ via @nybooks

          • Sam says:

            Why would Kennedy knock down the Berlin Wall, Sam?–Bill

            Hard right wing nuts wanted Kennedy to push hard and force a confrontation in Berlin when the wall was going up, in August of 1961. Kennedy backed down, once again (as I have said repeatedly) pissing off the U.S. military. Consider the following exchange, quoted from Frederick Kempe’s “Berlin 1961”:

            At about midnight in Berlin, or 6:00 p.m. in Washington, Kennedy reached Clay on a secure line in his map room in West Berlin.

            “Hello, Mr. President,” Clay said loudly, abruptly ending the buzz behind him in the command center.

            “How are things up there?” Kennedy asked in a voice designed to be cool and relaxed.

            Everything was under control, Clay told him. “We have ten tanks at Checkpoint Charlie,” he said. “The Russians have ten tanks there, too, so now we’re equal.”

            An aide then handed General Clay a note.

            “Mr. President, I’ve got to change my figures. I’ve just been told that the Russians have twenty more tanks coming up, which would give them exactly the total number of tanks that we have in Berlin. So we’ll bring up our remaining twenty. Don’t worry about it, Mr. President. They’ve matched us tank for tank. This is further evidence to me that they don’t intended to do anything,” Clay said.

            Kennedy could do his own math. Should the Soviets escalate their numbers further, Clay lacked the conventional capability to respond. Kennedy scanned the anxious faces of his advisers in the room. He propped up his feet up on the table, attempting to send a message of composure to men who feared matters were spinning out of control.

            “Well that’s all right,” said the president to Clay, “Don’t lose your nerve.

            “Mr. President,” responded Clay with characteristic candor, “we’re not worried about our nerves. We’re worrying about those of you people in Washington.”

            Clay’s instincts proved correct. Even as the Soviets were escalating their tank presence, Clay received new instructions from Washington to retreat. “In the nature of things,” Rusk wrote, “we had long since decided that entry into Berlin is not a vital interest which would warrant determined recourse to force to protect and sustain. Having for this reason acquiesced in the building of the wall we must recognize frankly among ourselves that we thus went a long way in accepting the fact that the Soviets could, in the case of East Berlin, as they have done previously in other areas under their effective physical control, isolate their unwilling subjects.”

            For General Clay, it was the most revealing message he had received revealing President Kennedy’s thinking in accepting the Berlin Wall.

            What Clay would never know was that Kennedy was so unnerved by the Checkpoint Charlie showdown that he had dispatched his brother Robert Kennedy, the attorney general, to solve the crisis with his regular interlocutor of the past six months, the Soviet spy Georgi Bolshakov. At the same time, he was working a second, more traditional channel through his ambassador in Moscow.//end Kempe quote
            http://blogs.reuters.com/berlin1961/2011/06/14/kennedys-showdown-at-checkpoint-charlie/

          • David Regan says:

            Not to mention, General Lucius Clay ordering the U.S. military commandant in West Berlin to have his engineers build a duplicate of a section of the Berlin Wall in a forest. U.S. tanks equipped with bulldozer attachments then practiced destroying it. General Bruce Clark, the commander of all U.S. forces in Europe, on discovering what Clay was doing ordered it stopped. He challenged Clay to call the President and talk to him about it if he did not like the order. Clay declined to make the call and neither man ever informed Kennedy of Clay’s aborted wall destruction exercises.

            Khrushchev, on the other hand was informed almost instantly of the wall bashing being done by the U.S. tanks in the forest. The exercises were witnessed by Soviet spies who forwarded reports and pictures to Moscow. As a result Khrushchev and his advisers immediately made plans to be ready should the Americans move to take down the wall.

          • JohnR says:

            For Bill Clark: I owe you an apology. I did not mean to indicate in any way, shape, fashion or form that I thought you should stop arguing an issue for which you feel such passion. I was simply curious about that which sustained you in those long and heated exchanges. If I want to present myself as an honest person, I have to admit that I cannot criticize your opponents, either. At one time, I was one of them. It was these very debates that broke through my own personal barriers of bias, and edged me more towards your position. For their educational value alone, please continue to fight this battle. For any misunderstanding about my comment, the fault is mine alone, and I do apologize.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            JohnR
            April 9, 2015 at 10:11 pm

            John, I appreciate this message but certainly no apology is necessary. Your first message was more than civil and nothing to apologize for.

            I did take it as a hint that this long running thread needed to be put to bed and I understand that. The misunderstanding was my fault, not yours.

      • Mike says:

        I’m convinced by John Newman’s work on JFK and Vietnam. For political reasons he was afraid of complete withdrawal before the 64 election. The argument by the WC supporters against this is crucial but it is their Achilles heel – pointing to a major reason for the events of 11/22/63.
        http://bostonreview.net/us/galbraith-exit-strategy-vietnam

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Mike
          April 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

          The book, “JFK and Vietnam” is a crappy book lacking in scholarship. It was roundly booed at the seminar Newman presented at the LBJ Library when he was peddling his book. Among those rejecting Newman’s claims were Lloyd Gardner, William Duiker, John Prados, George Herring, William Gibbons, and Larry Berman, all heavyweight historians of our involvement in Vietnam.

          I’ll give you an example from Newman’s book, page322. This is the basis of the book, Newman’s main claim;
          _________________________________________________
          “Kennedy decided to use Taylor’s and Harkin’ reports of battlefield success to justify the beginning of the withdrawal he was planning.” Italics by Newman.

          “Kennedy kept his plan a closely guarded secret, but by March he was determined not only to withdraw—come what may—after 1964, but, if possible, to take a clear step in that direction….”
          _________________________________________________

          “Withdraw come what may”. How grand! Total BS. You wonder why there isn’t supporting evidence for this blooper? There is none and none is listed in the book. No Kenny O’Donnell said Jack told him this, No senator saying Jack told him this. Nothing. Newman pulled it straight out of the air. Pure junk.

          • Sam says:

            Let me ask you a question, Bill:

            Do you think JFK’s decision not to commit US armed (overt) forces in Cuba once the Bay of Pigs invasion fell apart was a bad, or a good idea? I think your answer might reveal a lot.

          • gerry campeau says:

            Bill, JFK took the advice of General McAuthur and planed to pull out.

            https://symonsez.wordpress.com/tag/macarthur-jfk-vietnam-advice/

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Sam
            April 8, 2015 at 9:10 pm

            To simply answer your question, Sam, I think JFK made the right decision in this case.

            But these things are usually not so simple but are at times rather complex. The BOP was a failed operation even before the troops hit the beech. It was a failed operation at the planning stage, it didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of success. So anything put into the operation after planning was a bad idea. Sending in our Marines would have been a terrible idea.

            I fault JFK for allowing the operation to go forward but he was new to the job and some what naive. So I give him a walk here. I don’t give him a walk on Operation Mongoose. He should have wiped the egg off his face and moved on.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            gerry campeau
            April 9, 2015 at 10:33 am

            MacArthur was a man relieved from his command for a very good reason.

            He got a lot of Americans killed by provoking China to enter the war.

            Why anyone would listen to him is beyond me.

  5. Arnaldo M. Fernandez says:

    Even before the assassination, we got some conspiracy facts, like the LHO charades in New Orleans and Mexico City. Moreover, he was impersonated by phone in Mexico City, and the CIA entered in a conspiracy of silence: it produced neither an Oswald´s tape nor an Oswald´s photo, although both the Soviet and the Cuban diplomatic compounds were under tight surveillance.
    Let´s assume LHO charades were aimed against the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). Then, the best explanation would be that, as David A. Phillips himself told HSCA staffer Kevin Walsh, some American intelligence officers hatched a conspiracy. They ran it as a piggy-backed operation on top of the anti-FPCC one, as Bill Simpich argued.
    After the assassination, we got a lot of conspiracy facts, starting with the WC providing the wrong weapon, the wrong bullets and even the wrong casings as evidence.
    Shenon simply wrote as if the Lopez Report did not exist. And it actually backs up Castro´s theory.

  6. Bill Clarke says:

    I don’t believe I see one credible point in the entire message. When you have to quote Madeline Brown and Fletcher Prouty you have arrived at the bottom of the barrel.

    • H.P. Albarelli Jr. says:

      Yup.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      I’d believe Prouty before say Specter, Dulles, Ford, Johnson or Hoover. As for Madeline I’ve reservations about the party the night before. That there may have been a party or that Murchison knew something was going to happen the next day is possible. I have trouble with all of the people she said being there. As LBJ’s mistress and mother of his son she would have been privy to some inside information.

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Ronnie Wayne
        April 4, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        Ronnie, I wouldn’t believe any of them. In no particular rank or order I don’t think any of the people you mentioned here are trustworthy.

        I know of no credible evidence that Madeline Brown was the mistress of LBJ. Alice Glass would be a different story.

        I know of no credible evidence that Brown’s boy was sired by Johnson. That the boy was tall is often used as evidence but seems to me that this would also prove that Johnson was the father of every National Basketball Association player.

        Also the boy didn’t show up for court when he sued Lady Bird for part of the estate.

  7. Lee says:

    I couldn’t have said that any better myself. Robert has a lot of insight in this case and his comment sums it up nicely.

  8. ed connor says:

    These are all interesting bits of information.
    Nixon was clearly afraid of the anti-Castro plumbers’ story coming out. He offered to pay 1 million dollars to defend Howard Hunt “to keep the Bay of Pigs thing” quiet. It was probably what he (oops, Rosemary Woods) erased from the White House tapes.
    As for LBJ, the evidence is persuasive that he had a hit man on call (Mac Wallace), whose fingerprint was found on the 6th floor. (Was he moonlighting as a warehouse worker?).
    As for Gerald Ford, he was known to attend Warren Commission hearings by day and debrief the CIA each night.
    The whole cast of characters, circa 1964, knew the fix was in.
    They all went on to serve their presidencies without being assassinated. I wonder why?

    • Photon says:

      Lee Oswald was already dead

      • Yea but Squeaky was just getting her shootin’ chops together!
        \\][//

      • annie says:

        Photon or ed connor
        Do either of you know anything definite about the Mac Wallace fingerprint found on the sixth floor? I know some of Oswald’s prints were found there also……left palm print on corner of box, right palm print on a box and right index fingerprint on box. Someone could argue the point that because he worked there he would leave prints. And Oswald’s prints were also on the bag found there. But what about Mac Wallace?
        Thank you for anything you can tell me.

        • ed connor says:

          Annie, you can always Google “Mac Wallace Fingerprint” for more info.
          As you have stated, LHO’s prints were on boxes on the 6th floor, as well as those of other TSBD employees. Prints were also matched to Dallas P.D. officers who responded to the shooting. Only one unidentified print was found.
          In 1998, A. Nathan Darby, a retired police fingerprint analyst with 55 years of experience and a sterling record, confirmed a match of the TSBD print and a police print from Mr. Wallace (he had been booked on MANY occasions in the Lone Star State). The FBI generally considers 8 matching points to be adequate. Most courts require 10 to 12 matching points. Mr. Darby found a 34 point match. And he has no dog in this fight.
          Mac Wallace was known as LBJ’s enforcer in 1950’s Texas, and was suspected (but not convicted) in the slaying of LBJ’s sister (she was becoming a problem, much like Rosemary Kennedy in the 1940’s).
          The preponderance of the evidence places Mac Wallace on the 6th floor in November, 1963. Why he was there is unknown. But I doubt he was up to any good, as he was a low life thug working for Lyndon.

          • Photon says:

            Actually Darby only found a 14 point match initially. When nobody else could confirm it he came up with another evaluation-and a 34 point match. Nobody else has confirmed it, several other experts have contradicted it. As his interpretation was based on photocopies of the print and were made years later you should be skeptical .
            Do you honestly believe that LBJ would be dumb enough to get involved with a convicted murderer and all of the baggage that would bring?

          • ed connor says:

            Harold Hoffmeister, another Texas fingerprint expert, concurred with Darby when presented with a blind study. When informed that the prints involved the assassination, he demurred.
            The FBI, after an 18 month lapse, declined to endorse Darby’s view, but published no analysis or documentation.
            One theory is that Wallace had no direct involvement, but his prints were planted to ensure LBJ’s cooperation in the bogus
            WC coverup.
            Do I honestly believe LBJ “would be dumb enough to get involved with a convicted murderer?” Yes. He DID get involved with Mac Wallace. That is a matter of record. He also got involved with Billy Sol Estes and Bobby Baker, and those stories were about to blow when he suddenly found himself in the oval office.
            JFK was dumb too, consorting with mob girls (Judith Campbell), East German spies (Ellen Romtech), and, perhaps worst of all (for him) wives of CIA agents (Mary Pinchot Meyer).
            The “Mad Men” mentality was not limited to Madison Avenue in the early 1960’s.

          • David Regan says:

            Well Photon, interesting you mention Darby found “only a 14 point match.” In his testimony to the Warren Commission, New York Police Detective and fingerprint expert, Arthur Mandella stated that in the past he has testified in court on matches with as few as a 5-point match and that generally “it seems to run between, somewhere between, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11”. On the prints from the cartons that were identified to Oswald, he testified that one had an 11-point match, one had 18 and one had only 8.

            As for Mac Wallace, he was introduced to Lyndon B. Johnson and, in October of 1950, began working with the US Department of Agriculture in Texas. Soon afterwards, he entered into an affair with Johnson’s sister, Josefa, who was also having a relationship with John Kinser. In 1951, Wallace was arrested and convicted of murdering Kinser. His attorney, John Cofer (a Johnson lawyer who represented him in the 1948 election scandal, admitted his client’s guilt but claimed it was a valid act of revenge. Eleven of the jurors were for the death penalty and the twelfth argued for life imprisonment but the judge announced a sentence of five years imprisonment and then suspended the sentence and Wallace was immediately freed.

            If LBJ wasn’t ‘dumb enough’ to get involved with Mac Wallace, would you not question his judgment for being involved with the likes of Billie Sol Estes and Bobby Baker? It certainly hasn’t helped the legacy of ‘Landslide’ Lyndon.

          • “Do you honestly believe that LBJ would be dumb enough to get involved with a convicted murderer and all of the baggage that would bring?”~Photon

            What are you talking about Photon?
            LBJ was already involved with Wallace, and had been for years.
            \\][//

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            Yes Photon, LBJ was dumb enough to get involved with Wallace. LBJ was the reason he was a convicted murder, and, that he never served time for it. I do have a problem with LBJ having “his guy” on the 6th floor where he could be caught thus implicating LBJ. I’ve a real problem with Wallace being a shooter. However, if he was there it is conceivable he might have been a forward observer for LBJ. With personal orders to shoot anybody shooting at LBJ. After all LBJ did duck before the shots started, just in case. I’d call that foreknowledge. And self preservation.
            Some believe a 14 point match, good enough for a court and the FBI. Some believe a 34 point match by a finger print analyst of 55 years with a sterling record. Some still believe what ever their government wants them to.

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            Ed Connor,
            Your info and expertise are great. But one small error in your post of 4/4/15 4:11 pm needs addressing, if only because it’s everywhere in JFK research: “JFK…consorting with…wives of CIA agents (Mary Pinchot Meyer)”
            MPM was 4 years divorced from Cord Meyer when she was trysting at the White House. And she had asked for a divorce on her birthday, 10/14/56, two years before she got one in 1958.
            JFK and Cord Meyer had a visceral hatred for each other dating back to the 1930’s, practically from their first meeting. It seems like a personality conflict, the always-joking, attentive, even-tempered JFK versus the poker-faced, lecturing, hot-and-cold CM.
            I could wax verbose about the RELATIVE* “morality”* of JFK. Married women were almost completely off-limits–Ellen Rometsch doesn’t count because she was running around everywhere, married in name only, and the Pres didn’t know her “husband.” Okay, maybe Flo Pritchett, but as Aristotle says, “In politics and ethics, the exception proves the rule.”
            This isn’t sounding so good, but anyway–contrast JFK with LBJ, who took sadistic pleasure in seducing his closest friends’ wives, Alice Glass and Mrs. Jack Valenti, for instances.
            Nearly all JFK’s mistresses were single, and in the last few months of his life, he found a new respect, kindness and consideration for Jacqueline, IMO.
            Don’t laugh too hard.

      • Steve Stirlen says:

        But those who killed Oswald were certainly not dead! Oh wait, the WC found NO connection between Ruby and Organized Crime! Problem solved!

      • Nick H says:

        I just have a question for you Photon,as i see you rebut a lot of post here. If we remove all different theories there are floating around about what happened: Do you believe it was the work of a lone assassin? And why do you believe this to be the case?

    • Phil Gurholt says:

      How many legitimate fingerprint experts have determined that Mac Wallace’s fingerprint is a match with the unidentified one found on the sixth floor SBD? Is there a consensus on this in the research community?

      • Paul Turner says:

        Darby was a top-notch fingerprint expert. The FBI knew the Wallace fingeprint proved Wallace was on the 6th floor at the time of the assassination. That’s why they sat on it for so long and then suddenly said it wasn’t a match.

  9. David Regan says:

    Toward the end of his life John F. Kennedy increasingly distrusted his military advisers and was changing his views on foreign policy. A fresh look at the final months of his presidency suggests that a second Kennedy term might have produced not only an American withdrawal from Vietnam but also rapprochement with Fidel Castro’s Cuba
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2003/06/jfks-second-term/2734/?utm_source=btn-twitter-ctrl2

    Jackie Kennedy’s Notes Reveal JFK’s 2nd Term Plans http://carlanthonyonline.com/2013/11/22/a-second-jfk-term-jackie-kennedys-notes-on-what-was-planned/

  10. Mariano says:

    There was a clear pattern of behavior by the Warren Commission of failure to call up many relevant witnesses to the assassination, despite the fact these witnesses had previously given statements to police and or intelligence agencies.
    Shenon openly concedes government representatives, FBI, CIA and the like failed to cooperate or submit evidence in good faith to the Commission. The intelligence agencies have continued to stifle any efforts to investigate JFK’s assassination, to the present time.
    How can Shenon continue to trust that the FBI and CIA could ever be trusted to cooperate in the investigation of JFK’s assassination?
    The FBI and CIA cannot be trusted to submit evidence in good faith!
    Accountable investigation is only possible by independent investigators who are not contaminated by the embedded culture of dishonesty of the FBI, the CIA, and Congress.
    Perhaps it would be far fetched to expect any credible investigation whilst so many powerful interests (with deep seated convictions/self interest) resist the most logical next step.
    Despite the institutional resistance to credible investigation, I am hopeful that younger generations of Americans will be interested in the truth, which can hopefully overcome the restraints of cognitive bias; and the dregs who want the truth to never be known.

  11. Robert Paul says:

    Photon – LBJ was “dumb” and crude enough to routinely urinate and defecate in front of male and female staff and reporters. Apparently, he wasn’t easily shamed. Would such a man worry about who he associated with? I doubt it. The stench that surrounds this man is not limited to his toilet behavior. See: The Years of Lyndon Johnson Volume 3: Master of the Senate – Robert A. Caro

  12. Ronnie Wayne says:

    There is really little question Military Intelligence was involved.
    They certainly had a presence in Dealy Plaza and at Bethesda.
    A MI Officer whose name escape me at the moment was in Dealy Plaza taking pictures. We know this because he was documented as being in the TSBD after the assassination.
    Then you have Jack Crichton, head of the 488th MI in Dallas, running for Governor of Texas against John Connally in the pilot car. With his assistant, also of the 488th, Deputy Dallas Police Chief Lumpkin driving the car. Crichton arranged for the first translators for Marina Oswald. Who conveniently misconstrued her words.
    Next comes the Army unit in San Antonio prepared to provide security for the President per normal procedure that was ordered to stand down. To which their commander protested vehemently.
    Somebody in the Military had to have the power to issue his Order.
    Later in the day comes the presence of General Curtis LeMay’s cigar smoke and sighting at the autopsy, possibly helping direct the non probing of wounds to his enemy JFK.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      This is documented in Joseph McBride’s “Into the Nightmare” and in turn Dr. Peter Dale Scott’s “Deep Politics” and Russ Baker’s “Family of Secret’s”. “Crichton… MI, local police, the GOP, the Whit Russians, the oil community, George DeMohrenschild, and Poppy Bush.” Pg. 380.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      I forgot about Col. Whitmyer, riding in the pilot car, back seat middle. He gave the order for the soldiers intending to provide security to stand down. Head of the 488th Army Reserves of N E Texas, based in Dallas, with many members of the DPD.
      He’s mentioned briefly in this excellent article.
      http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2011/01/pilot-car.html

      • gerry campeau says:

        Ronnie Wayne, Col. Whitmyer die just befor he was to testify befor HSCA, Col. R E Jones was asked at HSCA if he knew Whitmyer name said he did not know.
        Col.Jack Crichton was at a luncheon at Odfaster hotel in Dallas walked out of his way to view Assassination on Elm ST.
        Why didn’t the pilot car clear the workers from Elm St. overpasses?

        • Ronnie Wayne says:

          Good question. One would think something like that was part of their reason for being there.
          Also, apologies to all, I had Crichton confused with Whitmyer about which was in the Pilot car.

  13. Roy W Kornbluth says:

    The only big, sweeping, general conclusion in all the Harold Weisberg I’ve read: the U. S. military was all over the assassination. And CIA and the Pentagon are the same thing. They traded back and forth like major league baseball, Ed Lansdale the most obvious case in point.
    One general, sweeping not-so-big conclusion of Weisberg: Reagan and the Bushes would never have got close to the Oval Office if not for the sudden demise of John Kennedy.

    • Mariano says:

      Bush Senior would never have got close to the Oval Office if his presence at Dealey Plaza on that fateful day was exposed and scrutinized in the cold hard light of day, as would be the case if many questions were posed as to why, and what role he played there on that day. Bush has said that he does not remember where he was that day (the day that JFK was assassinated); and the FBI story on where he was is just that, a story, with a suspicious alibi. Why is it such a closely held secret that Bush was in Dallas Texas? Cite Bush’s role in the CIA circa 1960’s …

  14. Remember those Mockingbirds!

    As to the larger issues of the historical record showing Kennedy’s clear intent to disengage militarily from South East Asia; they have been addressed ad nauseam.

    “In view of these criticisms, readers who actually pick up McNamara’s book may experience a shock when they scan the table of contents and sees this summary of Chapter 3, titled “The Fateful Fall of 1963: August 24–November 22, 1963”:
    A pivotal period of U.S. involvement in Vietnam, punctuated by three important events: the overthrow and assassination of South Vietnam’s president Ngo Dinh Diem; President Kennedy’s decision on October 2 to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces; and his assassination fifty days later. (Emphasis added.)

    Kennedy’s decision on October 2, 1963, to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam? Contrary to Frankel, this is not something you will find in Halberstam. You will not find it in Leslie Gelb’s editorial summary in the Gravel edition of The Pentagon Papers, even though several documents that are important to establishing the case for a Kennedy decision to withdraw were published in that edition. Nor, with just three exceptions prior to last spring’s publication of Howard Jones’s Death of a Generation—a milestone in the search for difficult, ferociously hidden truth—will you find it elsewhere in 30 years of historical writing on Vietnam.”~Galbraith
    \\][//

  15. Pat Speer says:

    A couple of points|

    1. The author of this piece was not long-time author Robert Morrow, but an enthusiastic newbie sharing his name. The long-time author is long dead.
    2. The print Darby ID’ed as belonging to Mac Wallace was not the print left unidentified by the Warren Commission, but a print previously ID’ed as belonging to DPD investigator Robert Studebaker. The print left unidentified by the Commission has never been identified.

  16. On September 25 1961, JFK delivered a speech on disarmament at the UN in which he stated: “The weapons of war must be abolished before they abolish us…It is therefore our intention to challenge the Soviet Union, not to an arms race, but to a peace race–to advance together step by step, stage by stage, until general and complete disarmament has been achieved.”
    \\][//

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Willy Whitten
      April 10, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      So Willy, what happened?

      “In the past 3 years we have increased the defense budget of the United States by over 20 percent; increased the program of acquisition for Polaris submarines from 24 to 41; increased our Minuteman missile purchase program by more than 75 percent; doubled the number of strategic bombers and missiles on alert; doubled the number of nuclear weapons available in the strategic alert forces; increased the tactical nuclear forces deployed
      in Western Europe by over 60 percent; added five combat ready divisions to the Army of the United States, and five tactical fighter wings to the Air Force of the United States; increased our strategic airlift capability by 75 percent; and increased our special counter-insurgency forces which are engaged now in South Viet-Nam by 600 percent. I hope those who want a
      stronger America and place it on some signs will also place those figures next to it.” ——-John F. Kennedy, November 22, 1963.

      • Mariano says:

        Given the Cold War climate and arms race between the two super powers at the time it is no surprise to hear of rapid increases in U.S. military capacity (this is not to defend those actions).
        If not for the calm demeanor of JFK in the several crises that occurred on his watch you might not have had the opportunity to post your comments Bill.
        The likes of LeMay and others would have plunged the world in a war that might just have destroyed the world as we know it.
        Bill, you like to present JFK as a war monger, and ignore the many words and actions that in some cases saved the world from potential annihilation.
        In the 1960’s there were far more dangerous characters, politicians, and lawless intelligence agencies that posed far more significant dangers to world peace than your villain JFK.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Mariano
          April 12, 2015 at 7:58 am

          Given the Cold War climate and arms race between the two super powers at the time it is no surprise to hear of rapid increases in U.S. military capacity (this is not to defend those actions).

          Bc. You missed the point. Willy posted this swell sounding speech of the president back in 1961. I simply pointed out that the speech was just that; a speech. Not only did we not do those things mentioned in 1961 but we rather did the opposite. Since Willy didn’t reply I believe he got the point. Sorry you missed it.

          Bc. I for one will defend those actions of JFK. Eisenhower with his “New Look” strategy of relying on Nukes had wrecked the conventional military. The actions JFK took restored the balance. Thank god.

          If not for the calm demeanor of JFK in the several crises that occurred on his watch you might not have had the opportunity to post your comments Bill.

          Bc. If not for approving the Bay of Pigs operation and provoking the Soviets to place missiles in Cuba due to Operation Mongoose and other operations aimed at making Castro nervous then JFK would not have had his two biggest crises.

          The likes of LeMay and others would have plunged the world in a war that might just have destroyed the world as we know it.

          Bc. Pure speculation.

          Bill, you like to present JFK as a war monger, and ignore the many words and actions that in some cases saved the world from potential annihilation.

          Bc. Negative. I’ve never claimed or thought that JFK was a war monger. Hardly. Lately here I said JFK wasn’t a Hawk either. But I added that he also was no dove. As you say, it was pretty rough in the 1960s. JFK meet the challenge. The missiles came out of Cuba and West Berlin stayed free.

          In the 1960′s there were far more dangerous characters, politicians, and lawless intelligence agencies that posed far more significant dangers to world peace than your villain JFK.

          Bc. Yes, those yellow running dog communist were a great threat to world peace. I agree. And JFK is not my villain. I kinda like the guy. But I don’t like these Camelot shiners.

          • Mariano says:

            Thanks Bill.
            The Camelot view of JFK is not without fantasy. JFK’s early death and the resultant hopes of many dashed has contributed to some of that legacy.
            JFK made some errors and committed some poor decisions (surrounded by administrators and advisers who were intently pro-war). We know of the countless attempts to assassinate Castro (that was the American-CIA way); and the stupidity of JFK to go along with the CIA fantasy that was the Bay Of Pigs (that JFK ultimately abandoned, for which he officially claimed full responsibility). No, the views and decisions that characters like LeMay would have made in a crisis are not pure speculation.
            To push behind the scenes for diplomatic ways to reduce the risk of war whether it be with Krushchev, Castro or the North Vietnamese; and aspects like the mention of nuclear freeze with the Soviet Union amounted almost to political suicide for JFK, thus it was not possible to be completely open and expansive about foreign policy ideals for greater peace.
            JFK’s behind the scenes approval to withdraw some troops (1000) from South Vietnam by the end of 1963; and the plans for a full withdrawal (May 1963 set timetable) by 1965 win or lose are indicators of JFK’s agenda (he didn’t live to fulfill either of these, and LBJ would be pro-escalation till over 60,000 Americans and perhaps 2,000,000 Vietnamese lives were wasted).
            Bill, I doubt if Willy, you or I are “Camelot Shiners”, but some of JFK’s speeches were/are ideally inspiring to many people , in terms of aspirations for world peace, harmony and meaningful humanity.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Mariano
            April 13, 2015 at 12:09 am

            I think JFK was a man of peace but he was also a man that knew how to use his power. It seems especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis that he very much wanted to reduce the threat of any nuclear conflict. I salute him on this effort.

            One little problem, Mariano. “This “JFK’s behind the scenes approval to withdraw some troops (1000) from South Vietnam by the end of 1963; and the plans for a full withdrawal (May 1963 set timetable) by 1965 win or lose are indicators of JFK’s agenda..”

            Earlier in this thread we had a good discussion on this “order”. No one could find it. NSAM 263 certainly does not say that. Now I realize that John Newman claims it in his book, “JFK and Vietnam” but he doesn’t support his claim. DiEugenio often quotes Newman on this as do others. But no one has produced this order. Do you have a reference for it?

          • David Regan says:

            No one knows for sure whether Kennedy would have fully disengaged from Vietnam after his reelection, but almost no one believes that JFK, a wary incrementalist, would have committed 535,000 troops to Southeast Asia as Johnson did.

          • David Regan says:

            Vietnam if JFK Had Lived – Melody Miller joins Steve Kornacki’s panel to look at whether or not U.S. involvement in Vietnam would have escalated as it did if John F. Kennedy had lived. http://www.msnbc.com/up/watch/vietnam-if-jfk-had-lived-64479299998

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 13, 2015 at 6:55 pm

            I don’t believe he would have either. But then none of really know what JFK would have done.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm

            David, I’m sure Melody Miller is a nice well meaning lady. But after serving the Kennedy family all those years what did you expect her to say.

            She made two major bobbles that seem to be endemic of the “Jack would have saved us” crowd.

            1. She recites the part of the Walter Cronkite interview where JFK says it is theirs to win. But she leaves out this part of the same interview; “I don’t agree with those who say we should withdraw [from
            Vietnam]. That would be a great mistake…a great mistake.” —
            President Kennedy; Via CBS Interview; September 1963

            Do they always leave this part of the interview out on purpose or because of ignorance?

            2. The old “Jack had no combat troops in Vietnam” and only 54 had been killed at the time of the assassination. Jack had combat troops in the air, in the water and on the ground in Vietnam, especially after formation of the MACV command in 1962. There had been 115 deaths at the time of the assassination, not 54. These men did not die from old age.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            April 14, 2015 at 5:09 am

            “Willy didn’t reply I believe he got the point.”~Bill Clarke

            No I didn’t reply because Bill Clarke never gets the point and it turns into an endless carousel.

            bc. Perhaps that is because very often on this subject of NSAM 263 your point is demonstratively wrong.

            He never gets the point that NSAM 263 certainly does say that.

            bc. It most certainly does not say that and you know it. Would you like for me to cut and paste NSAM 263 for you again?

            That is says that in couched careful language.

            bc. “couched careful language”! That is a very weak and thin excuse for making false statements about a document. Using your approach one can easily change the meaning of any document one wishes to change. And that is exactly what happens to NSAM 263. It doesn’t say what you and others wish it said so you take undue liberties to make it say what you like. This isn’t good for historical fact.

            And yet again – Mr Clarke will complain that this is “all speculation” – Well anything to do with a living John Kennedy after 11/22/1963 is speculation on either side of this divide.

            bc. Speculation is speculation no matter what side of the divide it rest on. Speculation is just that; speculation. It isn’t history.

          • David Regan says:

            Ted Sorensen: JFK Wouldn’t Have Sent Combat Troops to Vietnam
            https://youtu.be/ceIsdWSMaQA

            JFK and Vietnam – LA Times http://fw.to/2X8YCqa

        • “Willy didn’t reply I believe he got the point.”~Bill Clarke

          No I didn’t reply because Bill Clarke never gets the point and it turns into an endless carousel. He never gets the point that NSAM 263 certainly does say that. That is says that in couched careful language. That Kennedy was determined to get the military out of Indochina, and that he had to tread softly and get elected to before confronting the warmongers directly.

          And yet again – Mr Clarke will complain that this is “all speculation” – Well anything to do with a living John Kennedy after 11/22/1963 is speculation on either side of this divide.

          The Cuban Missile Crisis changed Kennedy fundamentally, he was no longer going to play peek’a’boo with the warmongers once he was elected to a second term – is waiting for a second term “practical politics”? Yes it is and it was practical. So what?
          \\][//

      • Mariano says:

        Bill
        There is a Mary Ferrell Foundation website link; https://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_1963_Honolulu_Briefing_Books

        The documents are featured in two parts, depicting documents of the “1963 Honolulu Briefing Books” of the November 20 1963 last meeting of JFK advisers on the Vietnam policy to take place during JFK’s presidency.
        Among the pages is a May 1963 (NARA Record #: 202-10002-10027 page 152) table of numbers “CPSVN Forecast Of Phase-Out Of US Forces”.
        In part 1 of the briefing books there are: “withdrawal sheet national files”, (page 10) “Agenda Page”, in section D/ there is a “outline in terms of forces, timing, number involved, the projected program for the reduction of military forces by the end of CY 1965”.
        In part 2 of the briefing books there are:(page 11) “Table A: … Planned Peak and Phase Down of GVN Forces.”; (page 13) “Table C: … Phase-Down of US Forces.” , which is a bar chart; as well as the (page 15) “Table E: … 1000 man withdrawal.” approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff November 1963.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Mariano
          April 14, 2015 at 7:57 am

          Bill
          There is a Mary Ferrell Foundation website link; https://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_1963_Honolulu_Briefing_Books

          bc. The briefing books are an excellent resource but I find them mostly agreeing with NSAM 263 that JFK had earlier approved. This complete withdrawal is military contingency plans. I don’t recall JFK approving them as such.

          From your reference;

          “These briefing books take on extra significance given that just weeks earlier the Kennedy administration had approved plans for withdrawing 1,000 men from Vietnam (out of roughly 16,000), and had earlier in May 1963 set a timetable for full withdrawal of U.S. forces by 1965.”

          bc. I believe the military had a contingency plan for a full withdraw by 1965. I know of no evidence that JFK approved it.

          http://tapes.millercenter.virginia.edu/clips/1963_1002_vietnam_am/

          Taylor: I will just say this, that we talked to 174 officers, Vietnamese and U.S., and in the case of the U.S. (officers) I always asked the question, “When can you finish this job in the sense that you will reduce this insurgency to little more than sporadic incidents.” Inevitably, except for the Delta, they would say “64 would be ample time.” I realize that’s not necessarily…..I assume there’s no major new factors entering [unclear], I realize that—-

          JFK: Well, let’s say it anyway. Then ’65 if it doesn’t work out {unclear] we’ll get a new date.

          bc. also note they planned on “winning the war”. No mention of withdrawal “what ever”.

          “The 1,000 man withdrawal would be essentially scuttled after JFK’s death, reduced to simply troop rotation,”

          bc. McNamara is on record as saying the 1,000 men did go home. However, JFK and McNamara agreed to do it by normal rotation, not LBJ.

          http://tapes.millercenter.virginia.edu/clips/1963_1005_vietnam/index.htm

          “President Kennedy: Otherwise we ought to just do it by rotation of.. [unclear].
          McNamara: Or we can do it just through normal attrition…[unclear: normal rotation]”
          JFK: “Yeah.”
          McNamara: “Normal rotation.”

          “Precisely what Kennedy knew of or approved regarding OPLAN 34-63 is not known.”

          bc. It was discussed at the highest level.

        • Jean Davison says:

          Mariano,

          “There is a Mary Ferrell Foundation website link; https://www.maryferrell.org/wiki/index.php/Featured_1963_Honolulu_Briefing_Books

          The documents are featured in two parts, depicting documents of the “1963 Honolulu Briefing Books” of the November 20 1963 last meeting of JFK advisers on the Vietnam policy to take place during JFK’s presidency.”

          Please see p. 9 of Part 2 at your link, which says, “Based on the assumption that the insurgent action would be reduced, by the end of calendar year 1965, to a level which the Vietnamese themselves could control, the Plan develops the peak force structures for Vietnamese [military] forces … as well as the progressive reduction of all U.S. special military assistance as the tempo of the war diminishes.”

          https://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=146535&relPageId=9

          This is the context that’s always left out — the troop withdrawal was contingent on the Vietnamese being able to take over the job.

          • “This is the context that’s always left out — the troop withdrawal was contingent on the Vietnamese being able to take over the job.”~Jean Davison

            And this “context” is always promoted by the Warrenista’s despite the larger context of the testimonies of those who knew Kennedy’s intents intimately. And those who knew him well state unequivocally that Kennedy was determined to withdraw militarily from Indochina.

            Always missing from your side Jean, is the documented facts surrounding Kennedy reaching out to Khrushchev for a negotiated peace – and Khrushchev accepting Kennedy’s proposal to try to save the planet from nuclear devastation.
            All of this is swept under the rug by you and your comrades. And I submit to this forum that this is completely disingenuous on your part.

            So if you want to use the word “context” do it properly, and include the entire picture.
            \\][//

          • David Regan says:

            Regardless if Kennedy lived and left some advisors in place or ended up seeking a neutral settlement (as there is evidence he would have done so), nothing short of escalation by way of sending in combat units would have pleased the CIA and JCS. JFK refused calls for sending in combat troops throughout 1961-62 and he had plans for getting rid of Ambassador Lodge and planned to meet with him 11/24/63 after Texas.

            JFK had also made intentions known for planned visits to Moscow and Indonesia early in his second term.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            April 21, 2015 at 11:39 am

            And this “context” is always promoted by the Warrenista’s despite the larger context of the testimonies of those who knew Kennedy’s intents intimately.

            bc. Jean has written documentation approved by JFK for her “context”. You do not. All you have is the record of the Camelot Shiners saying, “Jack told me so”. Well, Jack didn’t tell his Secretary Of State that. He didn’t even tell his younger brother that according to the oral history given by Bobby.

            bc. The fact that you claim these Camelot Shiners are the larger context is….well, you know what it is.

            And those who knew him well state unequivocally that Kennedy was determined to withdraw militarily from Indochina.

            bc. Are you claiming that Bobby didn’t know him well? Better than anyone? I hope not.

            All of this is swept under the rug by you and your comrades. And I submit to this forum that this is completely disingenuous on your part.

            bc. Really Willy? You really want to speak of “disingenuous” after your false claim about NSAM 263?

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 21, 2015 at 6:23 pm

            I quote from, “Choosing War; he Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam” by Fredrik Logevall.

            Page 12; “The period from early 1962 to mid-1963 witnessed a more forthcoming North Vietnamese position on the subject of diplomacy than had been seen previously.

            Page 12; Key elements in the northern leadership in mid-1963 sincerely hope for a political solution to the conflict and were prepared to compromise—by agreeing to a delay in unification—-in order to get it.

            Page 12; Thus in August, Ho Chi Minh suggested publicly that a cease fire be worked out in the South. Robert Thompson captured the DRV’s basic motivation well” to ensure an American withdrawal he told officials at the American embassy, Hanoi would pay almost any price.

            So, if JFK wanted to negotiate why didn’t he do it? This was the best shot he had. But he didn’t do it. It is not what a man says but what he does or does not do that counts.

            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.

            Page 22; Far from merely hoping a meeting would not be convened, they (JFK & company) actively sought to prevent it.

            This gentlemen is why you cannot find this phantom order from JFK withdrawing everyone by the end of 1965 come what may. But Logevall also presents the broad picture.

            Page 23; It was not that John F. Kennedy was eager to take on the communist in Vietnam. Quite the contrary.

            I also believe this to be true.

          • David Regan says:

            Jacqueline Kennedy book: JFK scorned Lyndon Johnson and doubted Vietnam victory – http://s.masslive.com/oabJ7LM

          • David Regan says:

            Bill, I believe JFK would have pursued a negotiated settlement after reelection. These are the opinions of men like Ted Sorenson, Daniel Ellsberg, Roger Hilsman, Mike Mansfield, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.,etc.

            Obviously, he had concerns about the political fall out and attacks from the right if he attempted this before the 1964 elections. After the election was a different matter.

            These are the opinions of men like Ted Sorenson, Daniel Ellsberg, Roger Hilsman, Mike Mansfield, Arthur Schlesinger Jr.,etc.

            He made strong indications Vietnam would not become an ‘American’ war right up to his last press conference on 11/14/63.

            Jacqueline Kennedy also indicated that her husband was highly skeptical about victory in Vietnam. She said that JFK, a Democrat, had named Henry Cabot Lodge, a Republican he had defeated for a Massachusetts Senate seat in 1952, as U.S. ambassador to Vietnam because JFK was so doubtful of military success there.

            JFK also expressed fears of an LBJ presidency and what it could mean for the country – turns out his concerns were not unfounded.

  17. Mariano says:

    McNamara has also claimed in a documentary decades later that he believed JFK would have pulled out of Vietnam much earlier than LBJ. I believe of anyone who could validate on the thought processes of JFK with respect to Vietnam, McNamara would be among the most competent to articulate.

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Mariano
      April 15, 2015 at 8:14 am

      You have a good point Mariano but one must remember that McNamara was one of the biggest self serving liars to come down the road.

      And he went even farther than the documentary you mention. In a speech at the LBJ Library McNamara claimed that at the time JFK made the decision to withdraw the 1,000 men from Vietnam he also made the decision to withdraw all troops by 1965.

      Two problems here. 1. McNamara forgot to include this jewel in his infamous book. I wonder why. 2. This isn’t heard on the Miller Center Tapes of the drafting of NSAM 263. We hear the 1,000 man withdrawal but we don’t hear this “all the troops”. Indeed we hear McNamara tell LBJ that we will have 3,500 men left in Vietnam. Obviously JFK wouldn’t leave a brigade of Americans in Vietnam to fight 20 NVA Divisions.

    • Paul Turner says:

      That’s true, as Mac served under both Presidents, but I’m confused as to the “much earlier than LBJ” part, as LBJ pulled us IN.

  18. No matter what evidence is produced to support the known fact that John Kennedy was determined to pull the military out of Indochina, there is a contingent of alleged “experts” on ‘military history’ who have some scurrilous argument to apply against it.

    We are NOT speaking to the narrow topic of “military history” here, we are speaking to the larger topic of history in general. And that history shows that everyone close to Kennedy insists that he was in fact serious and determined to pull back militarily from not just Indochina, but on more general terms in an effort to bring peace before the planet was consumed in nuclear flames.

    Half truths are no less lies, and the full picture is not simply in the military record, although it has clues that if properly interpreted in light of the civilian history of this matter will show the Whole Truth.
    \\][//

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Willy Whitten
      April 15, 2015 at 8:32 am

      No matter what evidence is produced to support the known fact that John Kennedy was determined to pull the military out of Indochina, there is a contingent of alleged “experts” on ‘military history’ who have some scurrilous argument to apply against it.

      bc. That would be because what little evidence you have is this “Jack told me” crap. NSAM 263 and the White House tapes are hardly a “scurrilous” argument.

      We are NOT speaking to the narrow topic of “military history” here, we are speaking to the larger topic of history in general.

      bc. Nice diversionary attempt here Willy. What we ARE speaking to is you making a false statement about what NSAM 263 says. If you are going to reference NSAM 263 you should do so accurately. You don’t get to reference it and then plug in your own disinformation. Not and remain credible.

      Half truths are no less lies, and the full picture is not simply in the military record, although it has clues that if properly interpreted in light of the civilian history of this matter will show the Whole Truth.

      Last time I looked NSAM 263 was NOT a military record. Did you miss that?

  19. I think I have some insight on Landsdale. I think he was misguided, but I don’t think he was evil. I think he truly believed he was working for liberation for common peoples. But as they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I also think Landsdale designed the coup. I don’t think he was happy about it, I think he was under orders, and an offer he couldn’t refuse by those far above, not the political, but the money powers, who are really at the very top of the chain of command.

    I also think that was him in Dealey Plaza. And I think it was seen as a tragedy beyond his control, but he did the job he felt he had to do.

    And the world still suffers for it.
    \\][//

  20. Justin Hall says:

    I want to add one compelling detail about Prouty and Krulak. They INDEPENDENTLY identified Landsdale in the Dealey Plaza picture. Their identification of Lansdale was independent of each other, and they both knew him well. It’s a shame that they didn’t track down Lansdale track down Lansdale and confront him, as he was still alive.

  21. leslie sharp says:

    Jean, where does Oswald fit into your context relating to Vietnam? Had he determined that Kennedy’s policies in Southeast Asia were an anathema to his political beliefs?

    Oh, I understand: you are suggesting that there was no conspiracy behind the assassination because Kennedy had no plans to pull out of Vietnam ergo no one but a lone nut – that would be LHO – wanted him removed from office?

    I’m curious why you are entering into this area of the debate at this late date?

    • Jean Davison says:

      Leslie,

      As usual, I do not follow your reasoning, which seems to be based on your suspicion and not on anything I’ve actually said.

      “Oh, I understand: you are suggesting that there was no conspiracy behind the assassination because Kennedy had no plans to pull out of Vietnam ergo no one but a lone nut – that would be LHO – wanted him removed from office?”

      I’m suggesting no such thing. You are “reading things between the lines” that aren’t actually there — they exist only in your imagination.

      “I’m curious why you are entering into this area of the debate at this late date?”

      What “late date”? I’ve been making the same basic argument about JFK’s Vietnam policy for years because I think the documentary record has been distorted through quotes out of context.

      What Kennedy would’ve actually done about Vietnam had he lived, nobody knows or can know. (I’ve said that before, too.)

      • Bill Clarke says:

        Jean Davison
        April 22, 2015 at 12:41 pm

        I’ve said that before also but they don’t seem to want to hear it. I really don’t think JFK knew what he was going to do about Vietnam and this is backed up by the oral history of Bobby which resides at the JFK Library.

      • “What Kennedy would’ve actually done about Vietnam had he lived, nobody knows or can know. (I’ve said that before, too.)” ~Jean Davison

        We know Kennedy wouldn’t have escalated the war in Indochina as Johnson did.
        Again you are ignoring the larger picture, Kennedy was going for a negotiated settlement with the Soviets, Cuba; and that would certainly have included the situation in Indochina as a matter of completing that circle.
        \\][//

        • Bill Clarke says:

          Willy Whitten
          April 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

          We know Kennedy wouldn’t have escalated the war in Indochina as Johnson did.

          bc. No Willy, you most certainly do not KNOW this at all. The fact that you make such a rash statement isn’t good for credibility here. I also don’t think JFK would have done as Johnson did but I certainly do not know that. I also don’t think JFK was abandoning SV.

          Again you are ignoring the larger picture, Kennedy was going for a negotiated settlement with the Soviets, Cuba; and that would certainly have included the situation in Indochina as a matter of completing that circle.

          bc. I assume the larger picture also uses “careful and couched” language. And if you think the Soviets could have controlled the communist in Vietnam you are unaware of the history. JFK, wisely, was trying to tone down the nuculear threat to the world. JFK did all he could do to overthrow Castro before he sought peace there. To me that takes the shine off the Cuba affair.

          Do you have any evidence that JFK attempted to or did talk to the Vietnamese communist? No, I don’t believe you do.

      • leslie sharp says:

        Jean, I predicted that your linear thought process would dominate to the exclusion of the suppleness necessary to pursue an abstract and potentially constructive debate.

        In deference, I will spell it out for you as linearly as I am able:

        You purport to have solved the investigation of the assassination. You claim that you have identified the assassin. You insist you know the motivation of Lee Oswald. Why then would you choose to debate matters related to Kennedy’s policy in Southeast Asia if it has no relevance to Lee Oswald’s motivation? Was Oswald concerned about that region of the globe as well, or was he a one-issue kind of Marxist – focused solely on Cuba? If he wasn’t concerned about Vietnam, why is this area of the debate of any interest to you? A cursory search of “Oswald’s Game” produces two hits for “Vietnam,” and one of those comes from Norman Mailer, the other in your opening paragraph, Chapter One when you assert that Vietnam was a side note in the 1959 election and of no significance to the media. So I’m extremely curious why you don’t simply bow out of this particular discussion?

        Could your reasons be found in the following?

        If in the autumn of 1963 President Kennedy was planning a complete withdrawal from Vietnam anytime soon, the deep state complex made up of members of the military and of industry and finance may have been alarmed significantly enough to consider removing him from office; and in fact the MIFC may have been alarmed to the degree that it might have plotted to assassinate him.

        And further, if President Kennedy had intimated that he intended to wait and see what happened after the ’64 elections, that could also send alarms to the aforementioned because once in office for a second/lame duck term with no political motive to appease them, Kennedy upon re-election might well have rolled back the war machine immediately and significantly. The possibility of a conspiracy to murder him in order to resolve that uncertainty is not far fetched by any stretch …. of anyone’s imagination.

        IF – however – Kennedy was sending signals to his military and by extension those who would benefit most from war that he planned an escalation in SE Asia, what possible reason would any of them have to plot to assassinate him? Insisting that Kennedy was hawkish on Southeast Asia and that his NSAM was proof that he intended to escalate matters is in effect an argument that there was absolutely NO impetus for elements of the MIFC to authorize, orchestrate or cover up his assassination.

        In that scenario, but for the fact of a lone assassin, Vietnam was actually on course, and Kennedy was an admired, respected and exalted Commander in Chief.

        No grand conspiracy. Enter Lee Harvey Oswald, right Jean?

        • leslie sharp says:

          To Bill Clarke I would say that for what it’s worth I’m persuaded you have nothing other than an honourable purpose in challenging the interpretation of the NSAM’s. I believe you made sacrifices, you had faith in your government, and you have had the courage to question everything about your service in Vietnam with dignity. To my knowledge, you have never equated Vietnam with the assassination nor with LHO’s role or non role in Kennedy’s murder.

          To Jean Davison however I would ask why Vietnam matters at all if you have concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin? And for the record, I questioned ‘this late date’ because on a previous lengthy thread, the term “Vietnam” appears dozens of times and your name is referenced at least 70 times on that same thread, yet you did not engage once during that intense debate over Kennedy’s policies in Vietnam.

        • leslie sharp says:

          “Oswald’s Game” Chapter One: “On a crisp clear day, 1959 . . . John Kennedy talked about his decision to make a run for the 1960 Democratic nomination . . . There was a small group of US military advisors in South Vietnam, but this would not be a campaign issue. Earlier that year, the milestone of the first American casualties – two GIs killed by a Vietcong bomb – made front page news. However the conflict there soon dropped to the back pages.

          Jean, Is this a suggestion that Vietnam was a sleepy little international kerfuffle that actually escalated significantly during John Kennedy’s first term?

          • Jean Davison says:

            Leslie,

            There you go again, putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my head. If you want to dispute the accuracy of what I wrote there, go for it. I’m not responsible for whatever you imagine I meant. I meant what I said, that’s all.

            You also seem to think that I shouldn’t discuss any subject that’s not connected to Oswald and that if I didn’t discuss Vietnam in one thread, I shouldn’t discuss it in another. I think that’s weird reasoning, but please don’t try to explain it to me.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            leslie sharp
            April 24, 2015 at 12:17 am

            Jean, Is this a suggestion that Vietnam was a sleepy little international kerfuffle that actually escalated significantly during John Kennedy’s first term?

            Of course JFK escalated significantly during his only term. All one has to do is look at the numbers to prove my case.

            JFK went from less than 1,000 true advisers in Vietnam to more that 16,500, many of these engaged in combat. See our increasing number of KIA each year JFK was president for proof of this combat.

            In 1962 JFK formed the MACV command in Vietnam. He sent bombers, jet fighters and helicopter units all with pilots, sent the M-113s. This changed our role in Vietnam from advisory to actual combat. Nothing advisory about a bomber. This is probably the most significant escalation by JFK.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Bill Clarke, I just came from the JFK Library site, and the synopsis on Vietnam reflects your numbers with minor adjustment: 700 advisors when Ike left office, and 16,000 during Kennedy’s first 3 years. That is 25 times increase, and it cannot be ignored by anyone. Can you direct me to the documents that reflect precisely how these advisors ended up in Vietnam during Kennedy’s administration? I assume the term deployment applies even to ‘advisors’ so someone within the military signed off on the deployment of these people into Vietnam. Would those papers have crossed Kennedy’s desk? Leaving aside how many he might or might not have wanted to pull out, can you provide a source that indicates he knew exactly how many Americans had been sent into Vietnam during his administration?

          • David Regan says:

            Q. Mr. President, will you go to Congress for approval before committing combat troops in Viet-Nam or elsewhere?

            THE PRESIDENT. Well, if–coming back to the phrase, if you mean would I go to the Congress before committing combat troops, as you know, there are a good many Americans who are now there who have not, as I said before in a press conference, fallen under the description which is generally used in using the phrase “combat troops.” I have described what their mission is and what instructions they’re operating under. If there is a basic change in that situation in Viet-Nam which calls for a constitutional decision, of course I would go to the Congress.” — The President’s News Conference March 14, 1962

          • Bill Clarke says:

            leslie sharp
            April 24, 2015 at 8:40 pm

            Leslie, I’ve learned it best not to depend on the accuracy of any numbers you get on Vietnam. I’ve seen numbers from 14,000 to even 18,000 men in Vietnam at the time of the assassination. Seems that most writers list from 16,000 to 17,500 and I would guess that somewhere in this range rest the correct number. I can accept the JFK Library numbers as easily as the ones I posted.

            Certainly someone signed orders for these men to report to Vietnam but I’m not sure who that was. Best I can remember the Department of Army sent down personnel requirements by name to the local command (my Division, the 1st Armored Division) and the 1st AD actually cut the orders.

            Off the top of my head I don’t know of any document showing JFK was aware of the number in Vietnam. However, as close as he was on combat troop not going I would think he kept a close watch of the numbers he had in Vietnam. Plus Max Taylor was Chief of Staff about this time and he was close to JFK. I don’t think he would have tried an end run around JFK. But that is just my opinion.

            I’ll make a run at this tomorrow but I don’t have much hope I can answer your questions. But we’ll hope for the best.

          • leslie sharp says:

            Bill Clarke, I’m still waiting to hear from the JFK Library. I have spoken with two people on the research desk; they have assured me that my request is ‘in process.’ Specifically I have asked for the documentation that would support the numbers outlined in the Vietnam overview that is posted on their site. I queried why there wouldn’t be a direct link to the supporting dox. In addition to being assured the request was in the hands of the appropriate department of the library, I was also referred to the National Security Archives as well as the JFK Presidential Papers that are available on the library site; so far I have not found the documents that specify the methods and signatories involved with the increase in advisers from 700 to 16,000 during Kennedy’s three years in office. If you’ve located any official documents related to these numbers, I would be very interested. tks.

            http://www.jfklibrary.org/JFK/JFK-in-History/Vietnam.aspx

    • David Regan says:

      Leslie, arguing the Vietnam issue with WC apologists is like beating a dead horse. For while they continue endorsing a lost cause that has not only been abandoned by the majority of the American public, government officials and even WC members themselves, they try to push a conspiracy of ‘Camelot shiners’ who falsely state what JFK would have done in Indochina. Of course they should know better than Ted Sorenson, Roger Hilsman, Mike Mansfield, Daniel Ellsberg, Arthur Schlesinger, John Kenneth Galbraith and others. Surely these men must all be lying.

      “Newly uncovered documents from both American and Polish archives show that President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet Union secretly sought ways to find a diplomatic settlement to the war in Vietnam, starting three years before the United States sent combat troops.

      A lengthy February memo from the Soviet politburo reported on the Galbraith-Rapacki discussions. It concluded that Kennedy and ”part of the administration . . . did not want Vietnam to turn into a second Korea” and appeared interested in a diplomatic settlement akin to one reached in 1962 about Laos, Vietnam’s neighbor.

      ‘”It is apparent that Kennedy is not opposed to finding a compromise regarding South Vietnam,” the memo said, according to Gnoinska’s translation. ”It seems that the Americans have arrived at the conclusion that the continued intervention in Vietnam does not promise victory and have decided to somehow untangle themselves from the difficult situation they find themselves in over there.”

      It went on to say that ”neutralizing” the crises ”could untangle the dangerous knot of international tensions in Southeast Asia.” – Papers reveal JFK efforts on Vietnam, Boston Globe, June 6, 2005

      If JFK did not want out of Vietnam, why bother initiating NSAM 263 in the first place, which by the way, finally came to fruition more than a year after Kennedy had asked for such a plan to be developed. The JCS dragged their feet on this before McNamara pressed the matter, and had to refuse their first proposed timeline of withdrawal past the end of 1965.

      Regardless of what RFK stated in his 1964 oral history, he sang an entirely different tune in 1967 for an interview with Daniel Ellsberg for research on the Pentagon Papers.

      • Jean Davison says:

        David,

        “Of course they should know better than Ted Sorenson, Roger Hilsman, Mike Mansfield, Daniel Ellsberg, Arthur Schlesinger, John Kenneth Galbraith and others.”

        AND

        “Regardless of what RFK stated in his 1964 oral history, he sang an entirely different tune in 1967 for an interview with Daniel Ellsberg for research on the Pentagon Papers.”

        RFK wasn’t the only one whose tune changed around 1967. I think that’s the point.

        Sorensen’s book “Kennedy,” published in 1966, ended its discussion of Vietnam with this:

        QUOTE
        Obviously, then, in November 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. In his Senate floor speech of 1954, he had criticized French and American generals for similar “predictions of confidence which have lulled the American people.” The Communists, he knew, would have no difficulty recruiting enough 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. Yet at least he had a major counter-guerrilla effort under way, with a comparatively small commitment of American manpower. 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.”
        He could show little gain in that situation to pass on to his successor…. But if asked why he had increased this nation’s commitment, he might have summed up his stand with the words used by William Pitt…. “We have gained everything that we would have lost if we had not fought this war.” In the case of Vietnam, that was a lot.
        UNQUOTE
        pp. 660-661 here:

        http://www.amazon.com/Kennedy-Biography-Perennial-Political-Classics/dp/006196784X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429830645&sr=1-2&keywords=sorensen+kennedy#reader_006196784X

        Schlesinger’s “A Thousand Days” (1965) is also searchable at Amazon.

        http://www.amazon.com/Thousand-Days-Kennedy-White-House/dp/0618219277/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429819769&sr=1-1&keywords=schlesinger+thousand+days#reader_0618219277

        I couldn’t find anything there saying that JFK was planning to withdraw from Vietnam. Schlesinger quotes JFK’s saying at a press conference: “In my opinion, for us to withdraw from that effort would mean a collapse not only of South Vietnam but Southeast Asia. So we are going to stay.”

        I also noticed that he mentions Galbraith’s advice to JFK at the time: Galbraith thought the problem was poor leadership from Diem. As Schlesinger put it, Galbraith thought that “If there were effective leadership the situation would be far from hopeless…” (pp. 547-548)

        It’s sad to read all that now.

        If I’ve overlooked something in the those books about JFK’s plans to withdraw from Vietnam, please point it out to me.

        • David Regan says:

          Ted Sorensen: JFK Wouldn’t Have Sent Combat Troops to Vietnam https://youtu.be/ceIsdWSMaQA

          JFK Press Conference, November 14, 1963 — SUBJECT: Vietnam https://youtu.be/aa5k1fga7ew

          “I don’t recall anyone who was strongly against sending combat troops, except one man and that was the President. The President just didn’t want to be convinced that this was the right thing to do….It was really the President’s personal conviction that U.S. ground troops shouldn’t go in.” Maxwell Taylor, in recorded interview by L.J. Hackman, 11/13/69

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 24, 2015 at 7:50 am

            Taylor protested loudly when Johnson sent our combat units to Vietnam.

          • David Regan says:

            What Would J.F.K. Have Done?
            By THEODORE C. SORENSEN and ARTHUR SCHLESINGER Jr.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/opinion/04sorensen.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

          • Jean Davison says:

            David,

            “Ted Sorensen: JFK Wouldn’t Have Sent Combat Troops to Vietnam https://youtu.be/ceIsdWSMaQA

            I don’t doubt that JFK didn’t want to send more troops, but notice what Sorensen didn’t say — that JFK had planned to withdraw from Vietnam, come what may.

          • “I don’t doubt that JFK didn’t want to send more troops, but notice what Sorensen didn’t say — that JFK had planned to withdraw from Vietnam, come what may.”~Jean Davison

            What does the term “withdraw” mean? Do you consider it to mean “abandon”? To leave the situation unsettled?

            I don’t think anyone is suggesting that is what Kennedy had in mind. Remaining engaged diplomatically, intensifying negotiation and political pressure is what Kennedy constantly referred to as his preferred policy.

            As mentioned before, Kennedy had been successful with such tactics before in Laos, and during the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, even the Bay of Pigs.

            Why is anyone surprised that this would have been the course Kennedy would have taken with Vietnam and all of Indochina?
            Kennedy obviously favored negotiated settlement over military force. He had made himself clear on this topic since his speech against Empire as a Senator in 1957, and as late as his speeches on world peace during 1962-1963.
            It was the military industrial complex that profited from war, that insisted on war. A war they got after getting rid of Kennedy in Dallas.
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            David Regan
            April 24, 2015 at 10:45 pm

            You couldn’t have picked any more devoted Camelot Shiners than these two.

            He justifiably excoriates the sycophantic courtier Schlesinger, whose histories “repeatedly manipulated and obscured the facts” and whose accounts—“profoundly misleading if not out-and-out deceptive”—were written to serve not scholarship but the Kennedys.
            http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/01/the-real-cuban-missile-crisis/309190/
            By Benjamin Schwarz

          • Jean Davison says:

            David,

            “What Would J.F.K. Have Done?
            By THEODORE C. SORENSEN and ARTHUR SCHLESINGER Jr.
            http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/04/opinion/04sorensen.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

            This article claims that “Eventually [JFK] began to understand that withdrawal was the viable option. From the spring of 1963 on, he began to articulate the elements of a three-part exit strategy.” Unfortunately, the JFK quotes used to support this claim are taken out of context. IMO, it’s actually pretty shocking how misleading this article is.

            For instance, the authors wrote, “In September 1963, Kennedy said of the South Vietnamese: ‘In the final analysis, it is their war. They are the ones who have to win it or lose it.'”

            But here’s more of what JFK said in the same interview that the writers left out:

            QUOTE
            … in the final analysis it is the people and the government itself who have to win or lose this struggle. All we can do is help, and we are making it very clear, but I don’t agree with those who say we should withdraw. That would be a great mistake. I know people don’t like Americans to be engaged in this kind of an effort. Forty-seven Americans have been killed in combat with the enemy, but this is a very important struggle even though it is far away.

            We took all this–made this effort to defend Europe. Now Europe is quite secure. We also have to participate–we may not like it–in the defense of Asia.
            UNQUOTE

            http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=9388

            Does anybody here think that sounds like an “exit strategy”?

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            April 25, 2015 at 2:32 pm

            What does the term “withdraw” mean? Do you consider it to mean “abandon”? To leave the situation unsettled?

            I don’t think anyone is suggesting that is what Kennedy had in mind. Remaining engaged diplomatically, intensifying negotiation and political pressure is what Kennedy constantly referred to as his preferred policy.

            Willy, you can not win at the table what you can’t win on the battle ground. We were losing on the battle ground so that makes negotiations a moot point. JFK and LBJ knew we had to have a stronger position on the battle field and that is why they worked to avoid negotiations.

            As mentioned before, Kennedy had been successful with such tactics before in Laos, and during the Berlin Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, even the Bay of Pigs.

            I would greatly appreciate it if you could point out the success in Laos and even the Bay of Pigs. The Bay of Pigs?

        • gerry campeau says:

          Jean Davison you said “Yet at least he had a major counter-guerrilla effort under way, with a comparatively small commitment of American manpower. He was simply going to weather it out, a nasty, untidy mess to which there was no other acceptable solution” That counter-guerrilla effort was replaced in Dec/63 with Peer deSilve Operation Phoenix plan based on Boris Pash PB-7 assassinations and kidnapings. JFK stated he could not have critical move in VN until after 64 election.

          • Jean Davison says:

            Gerry,

            Just to be clear, the quote starting “Yet at least he had a major counter-guerrilla effort underway…” was written by Ted Sorensen in 1966, not by me.

  22. Bill Clarke says:

    David Regan
    April 22, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Part I

    Leslie, arguing the Vietnam issue with WC apologists is like beating a dead horse.

    Bc. And I could say the same about the Camelot Shiners. I should have put a copyright on “Camelot Shiners” I guess.

    For while they continue endorsing a lost cause that has not only been abandoned by the majority of the American public, government officials and even WC members themselves, they try to push a conspiracy of ‘Camelot shiners’ who falsely state what JFK would have done in Indochina. Of course they should know better than Ted Sorenson, Roger Hilsman, Mike Mansfield, Daniel Ellsberg, Arthur Schlesinger, John Kenneth Galbraith and others. Surely these men must all be lying.

    Bc. I’m not a WC apologist. In fact, I fail to see the connection of the WC and the Vietnam policy of JFK. Ted Sorenson wrote a best seller and allowed JFK to take all the credit. Roger Hilsman had Ngo Dinh Diem’s blood on his hands. Ellsberg had his own problems and I’ve quoted the article that claims Schlesinger served not history but the Kennedy family. Galbraith recommended withdrawal; it was in his interest to claim it was going to happen. Every one of these people had, besides a worship of JFK but had their own career to think of. Yes, I think they were lying.

    “Newly uncovered documents from both American and Polish archives show that President John F. Kennedy and the Soviet Union secretly sought ways to find a diplomatic settlement to the war in Vietnam, starting three years before the United States sent combat troops.

    Bc. Three years before 1965 would be 1962. Funny that that is the year JFK formed the MACV command in Vietnam, sent the bombers and jet fighters to Vietnam with American pilots, the helicopter units with their pilots and the M-113s. And a good many more “advisers”. Hardly the actions of a man wanting to talk peace. You have anything that says JFK ever talked to the Vietnamese communist about peace? I don’t think so.

    • JohnR says:

      For Mr. Clark and Ms. Davison: I’ve been having a thought bouncing around in my head. I’ll try to articulate it. It seems to me that it was not necessary for JFK to have actually been planning to withdraw from Vietnam in order for that planning to influence the motive of the guilty. A rumor would have sufficed. It’s difficult to factor into one’s thought process, but remember, no matter who killed JFK, that individual, or individuals, did not have all the information we have now. It’s not a stretch to wonder if he or they acted on a misinterpretation.

  23. Bill Clarke says:

    David Regan
    April 22, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    Part 2.

    If JFK did not want out of Vietnam, why bother initiating NSAM 263 in the first place, which by the way, finally came to fruition more than a year after Kennedy had asked for such a plan to be developed. The JCS dragged their feet on this before McNamara pressed the matter, and had to refuse their first proposed timeline of withdrawal past the end of 1965.

    bc. Why bother removing Diem from power and getting him killed in the process? This might shock you but NSAM 263 is actually a plan to win the war and a withdrawal plan as ARVN became strong enough to handle the war. All you boys see is the withdrawal plan which hinged on the success of ARVN which you boys never see. I’ve posted the NSA tapes of the drafting of NSAM 263 in which JFK says “if 1965 doesn’t work then we’ll get a new date”. NSAM 263 didn’t start showing progress until the VC went into the meat grinder of TET 68.

    Regardless of what RFK stated in his 1964 oral history, he sang an entirely different tune in 1967 for an interview with Daniel Ellsberg for research on the Pentagon Papers.

    Bc. Think about it David. In 1964 I know of no reason Bobby would lie about this. In 1967 he was preparing to notch up his political career. By then the war had turned ugly and he had a need to make the Kennedy family look good. An attempt to make his brother look good about Vietnam. If you take note, the Camelot Shiners you mention didn’t come out with their “Jack would have saved us” BS until the war turned ugly.

  24. In the late afternoon of Thursday, November 21, Forrestal spoke with the president in the Oval Office, just hours before his departure for Texas . Looking to the near future, the president asserted, “I want you to come and see me because we have to start to plan for what we are going to do now in South Vietnam . I want to start a complete and very profound review of how we got into this country, and what we thought we were doing, and what we now think we can do. I even want to think about whether or not we should be there.” The election campaign precluded any “drastic changes of policy, quickly,” but I want to consider “how some kind of a gradual shift in our presence in South Vietnam [could] occur.”

    Just as the withdrawal plan moved to implementation, President Kennedy was assassinated, bringing the process to a close. His successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, followed the advice of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to revise NSAM 273 by shifting the focus from the Vietcong to covert actions against Hanoi . The proposal, code-named OPLAN 34A, became what the Pentagon Papers later termed “an elaborate program of covert military operations against the state of North Vietnam,” which led to the establishment of a “black” sabotage organization code-named the Studies and Observations Group (SOG) that engineered more than 2000 covert assaults on the north and its military installations in Laos and Cambodia.
    – See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/3446#sthash.B6fdGxmO.dpuf
    \\][//

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Willy Whitten
      April 24, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      Willy, are you aware that we were very careful that no American go north of the 17th parallel in OPLAN 34-A?

      The embryonic OPLAN-34-A under JFK was operated by the CIA. It was a flop. In hopes of improvement under LBJ it was placed under military control (SOG). Instead of “an elaborate program of covert military operations against the state of North Vietnam,” The operation remained a flop. A pinprick as Dr. Edwin Moise calls it. And this is what LBJ did to reverse the policy of JFK before Jack was cold in his grave.

  25. President Kennedy feared that an immediate withdrawal would cause another witch hunt similar to that following China ‘s conversion to communism in 1949. In the Oval Office, he admitted to Mansfield that his call for a total military withdrawal was correct. “But I can’t do it until 1965—after I’m reelected.” Otherwise, there would be a “wild conservative outcry” in the election campaign that would have severe political repercussions. After Mansfield left the room, Kennedy confided his intentions to O’Donnell. “In 1965, I’ll become one of the most unpopular Presidents in history. I’ll be damned everywhere as a Communist appeaser. But I don’t care. If I tried to pull out completely now from Vietnam , we would have another Joe McCarthy Red Scare in our hands, but I can do it after I’m reelected. So we had better make damned sure I am reelected.” – See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/3446#sthash.B6fdGxmO.dpuf
    \\][//

    • Photon says:

      Of course the quoted conversation occurred a year prior to the Diem coup.
      What I can’t understand is how the revisionist line completely ignores the events of Nov. 1-2, 1963.
      The Diem coup was authorized by JFK. He saw it as a way to eliminate a back door settlement with the Communists and to strengthen the South Vietnamese fight against the Communists by removing what he felt was a source of domestic opposition to that fight.
      There is no way that he would have authorized that coup if he was planning a secret pullout.By leaving Diem in place he would have gotten what the revisionists claimed he wanted-a way out. JFK and his advisors were concerned that Diem and Nhu were negotiating a deal with the Communists that would keep them in power-at least temporarily. The cost of the deal was for Diem to get rid of the Americans.Presto-JFK had his withdrawal and an excuse for the withdrawal.
      But he threw it away.Why? Because despite the claims he had no intention of turning South Vietnam over to the Communists.
      Actions speak louder than words-even falsely interpreted words.

      • “JFK and his advisors were concerned that Diem and Nhu were negotiating a deal with the Communists”~Photon

        Prove it. What “deal” are you referring to?

        JFK and advisers, were in fact concerned that Diem was loosing the hearts and minds of the people through repressive means, especially the treatment of the Buddhists. JFK was very reluctant to approve the removal of Diem and Nhu, and it was only approved under the terms of their safe flight out of country. We now know that Henry Cabot Lodge had been lying to and deceiving Kennedy all along. Lodge had been in secret cahoots with the CIA since the Eisenhower administration. He is the one who spilled the beans on the backchannel negotiations with Castro.
        Kennedy was going to fire Lodge when he got back from Texas. Lodge knew Kennedy would never leave Texas alive.
        \\][//

        • Photon says:

          That’s nonsense . JFK had to have known that if Diem and especially Nhu were removed by a coup the plotters would most likely eliminate them.They knew that if Nhu survived he would always be a mortal threat to plotters; they had had experiences with Nhu’s way of dealing with failed coup plotters.
          JFK knew the Nhu and especially his wife were the principle obstacles to popular support for the anti-Communistic war. He had to go-his communications with the Communists sealed his fate.. As Diem was joined at the hip to his brother he would by necessity share his fate.

          • leslie sharp says:

            October 1963:
            “Dallas is not on the official itinerary of Mrs. Ngo-Dinh-Nhu, the vainglorious “First Lady” of South Vietnam. She is scheduled to simply change planes at Love Field and continue on her American tour. But Madame Nhu has heard about the great American patriots in Dallas, and she is intrigued. She has also heard about something even more inviting: Neiman Marcus. She orders a brief layover in Dallas . . . General Walker and dozens of his followers are waiting to greet her. . . . ” “Dallas 1963” Bill Minutaglio and Stephen L. Davis

          • “JFK had to have known that if Diem and especially Nhu were removed by a coup the plotters would most likely eliminate them.” ~Photon

            Kennedy gave specific instructions for Diem to be escorted safely out of the country. Those were his official orders. So how can you say he “had to know”? Kennedy was not dealing with “the plotters” he was dealing with Ambassador Lodge. How was Kennedy to know that Lodge was one of the plotters?
            It was only after the Diem assassination that Kennedy figured out that Lodge was playing his own game with the CIA. That is when Kennedy decided it was time to can Lodge.
            \\][//

          • Photon says:

            JFK offered Diem safe passage out of the country if he resigned and could make it to the American Embassy. That’s it. But Diem turned him down, he thought that he could outmaneuver the plotters-or at least he thought his brother could.
            That was the limit of what JFK was willing to do. Once he gave the OK for the coup he was not involved further-for obvious reasons. If he didn’t know what would happened to Nhu and Diem after they were taken prisoner he would have been criminally neglegent for agreeing to it in the first place.

          • “If he didn’t know what would happened to Nhu and Diem after they were taken prisoner he would have been criminally neglegent for agreeing to it in the first place.”~Photon

            Actually no, you are wrong. Lodge was in country running the show, he did no follow Kennedy’s instructions. It Lodge would have secured Diem and Nhu and spirited them away as he was instructed they wouldn’t have been killed. They may have been outraged, but they would have survived.
            The fault falls squarely in the lap of Ambassador Lodge and his CIA compatriots, who were in league with the murderers.
            \\][//

          • Ronnie Wayne says:

            Willy “JFK gave specific instructions to have Diem escorted safely”. This is why the news devastated him. Somewhere there is a picture of him hanging his head upon hearing the news, in disgust, prayer or dismay, maybe all three. He knew he was screwed again. His twice opponent for the Massachusetts Senate seat he defeated, then appointed Ambassador to Vietnam refused to answer inquires from the White House leading up to and during the coup. The actions of the coup were orchestrated by the CIA ans Military.

          • David Regan says:

            On only one occasion did President Kennedy refer to Diem’s possible fate in a coup. At that time – during the last week of August 1963 – he definitely said that Diem should be exiled and that nothing more should happen to him.

            It is one thing to say that Washington failed to protect Diem and quite another to say that Washington ordered his removal and condoned his murder. What we know of Kennedy’s reaction is that he expressed shock and regret at the brutal murders.

            If you want to indict U.S. officials for Diem’s murder, I suggest you take a closer look at Ambassador Lodge’s actions leading up to the coup, including his meeting with Diem the morning of the coup. — FRUS, 1961-1963, vol. IV, p. 517

  26. Is maintaining and intensifying negotiation and political pressure “withdrawal”? This is something no one seems to willing to parse here in these discussions.

    Remaining engaged diplomatically would not be “withdrawal” and it wouldn’t mean military escalation either.

    I think it is more than obvious that Kennedy was on the path of negotiation, and would never have introduced ground forces, nor carpet bombing North Vietnam.

    Remember he had been successful earlier in Laos with that exact strategy.
    \\][//

    • Jean Davison says:

      Willy,

      “I think it is more than obvious that Kennedy was on the path of negotiation, and would never have introduced ground forces, nor carpet bombing North Vietnam.

      Remember he had been successful earlier in Laos with that exact strategy.”

      Is there some pre-assassination document showing that JFK was on a path of negotiation?

      Sorensen said this about Laos and SV in his 1966 book (p. 649).

      QUOTE
      As in Laos, [JFK’s] desire was to halt a Communist-sponsored guerrilla war and to permit the local population peacefully to choose its own future. But South Vietnam was too weak to stand alone; and any attempt to neutralize that nation in 1961 like Laos, at a time when the Communists had the upper hand in the fighting and were the most forceful element in the South as well as the North, would have left the South Vietnamese defenseless against externally supported Communist domination. The neutralization of *both* North and South Vietnam had been envisioned by the 1954 Geneva Accords. But when a return to that solution was proposed by Rusk to Gromkyo, the latter not surprisingly replied that the North was irrevocably a part of the “socialist camp.”

      We would not stay in Southeast Asia against the wishes of any local government, the President often said. But apart from that local government’s interest, free world security also had a stake in our staying there….
      UNQUOTE

      BTW, I’m not a “hawk,” I’m only quoting Sorensen.

      • “Is there some pre-assassination document showing that JFK was on a path of negotiation?”~Jean Davison

        What do you mean a “document” singular? Kennedy’s entire history as a diplomat and politician speak to this. You have just as much access to his speeches and private talks and transcripts thereof as anyone else with an Internet connection.

        We have already gone through the back-channel efforts Kennedy was making to negotiate peaceful settlements with Khrushchev, and Castro. We have his successes with such negotiated settlements I already listed.
        It is you and your comrades here Jean, who are arguing against history.
        \\][//

      • Jean Davison says:

        Willy,

        “What do you mean a “document” singular? Kennedy’s entire history as a diplomat and politician speak to this. You have just as much access to his speeches and private talks and transcripts thereof as anyone else with an Internet connection.”

        Thanks, I’ll take that as a “no.”

        • “Thanks, I’ll take that as a “no.”~Jean Davison

          No, you should rather take it as I put it; ‘many’, too many to list. Many on video from Kennedy’s own mouth. Transcripts of those talks and speeches.
          Kennedy is very clear on his preference for negotiated settlements of political issues, and is always in favor of that rather than military hostilities.

          Don’t forget Jean, Kennedy inherited the situation in Indochina. The CIA had been involved in machinations there since WWII, they were pushing their agenda and access to heroin. They had Air America, a small air force of their own, that evolved out of Chennault’s flying tigers’s.
          [See; Alfred W McCoy, The Politics of Heroin in South East Asia]

          Escalation was on autopilot, there were many financial interests vying for a stake in this region of the world. Changing that imperial dynamic was Kennedy’s goal.
          These facts are in the open record, not locked away in CIA vaults. Read the history of Imperial France in Indochina. The French had been there since the 16th century. This history sets the real context for Kennedy’s eventual part in this.
          \\][//

          • Bogman says:

            Like the good Irishman that he was, there was no way JFK was going to be sucked into the imperialist role in Vietnam. He was consistent throughout his political career in support of nationalist movements and self-determination in former European colonies. RFK came out against the war in what….1966? With his brother’s broader travels and reading, he would’ve easily beat him to that conclusion by three years. JFK visited Vietnam in the ’50s as Congressman and was drawing analogies to the futility of French colonialism to American involvement then, pre-saging the peace movement by a decade.

            With the ancestral memory of England’s first and last colony (JFK loved Irish rebel songs and knew the country’s history well) and the most free-thinking and visionary president since Jefferson, there is now way in hell JFK would have turned Vietnam into the killing fields for young American GIs and the Vietnamese people.

            That’s as likely that a lone nut deeply involved with U.S. intelligence somehow missed their watchful eye and killed the president all by hisself.

        • Imperialism – The Enemy of Freedom – John F Kennedy
          July 2, 1957 – speech to congress:

          http://www.jfklink.com/speeches/jfk/congress/jfk020757_imperialism.html
          \\][//

      • David Regan says:

        Jean, you may have missed this Boston Globe piece from 2005

        Papers reveal JFK efforts on Vietnam
        http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/06/06/papers_reveal_jfk_efforts_on_vietnam/?page=full

      • “BTW, I’m not a “hawk…”~Jean

        Then why is it you are defending the war hawks in everything you write on this blog?
        \\][//

        • Jean Davison says:

          Willy,

          QUOTE:
          “BTW, I’m not a “hawk…”~Jean

          Then why is it you are defending the war hawks in everything you write on this blog?
          UNQUOTE

          I’m NOT “defending the war hawks” in any way, shape or form. I’m pointing out that the historical record has been distorted, as I believe I’ve demonstrated with quotes in this thread. I don’t care at all what JFK’s policy was, I just want the record to be truthful and based on the evidence, not on wishful thinking. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

          • Ah yes indeed Jean, the “historical record” has indeed been distorted, far beyond anything you can even imagine, and certainly not in the ways that you have tried to frame it.
            http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres7/Barnespwpp.pdf
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            Willy,

            “Ah yes indeed Jean, the “historical record” has indeed been distorted, far beyond anything you can even imagine, and certainly not in the ways that you have tried to frame it.
            http://vho.org/aaargh/fran/livres7/Barnespwpp.pdf

            You didn’t show that anything I wrote was incorrect, even though that’s how you “tried to frame it.”

          • You didn’t show that anything I wrote was incorrect, even though that’s how you “tried to frame it.”~Jean

            I was showing you that there is a larger context of distorting history, that you obviously would rather hand wave than acknowledge.

            This larger distortion and creating of myths to replace the real facts of history is my point. A point that not only applies to the official myths concerning the world wars, but those concerning the “police actions” of Korea and Vietnam…and ESPECIALLY the myth created by the Warren Commission.
            \\][//

          • The permanence of war propaganda during permanent war.

            The former myths of ‘prior war PR’ are dusted off and refurbished to buttress the current false paradigm. As astutely forecast by Orwell.

            Remarkably Orwell originally titled his book 1948. It was during discussions for publishing it that the title was changed to 1984. The ‘Big Brother’ system came to stay in 1948, as a result of the National Security Act in 1947. The conformist plastic people will try to say that the book ‘1984’ is mere science fiction. It is closer to the truth that Official History is science fiction; fiction developed by scientific sociological and psychological propaganda, perception manipulation and deep generational indoctrination.

            Those born into a brainwashed psychopathic society have no other experience than that of being in a constant trance state as a general rule. There always has been some small percentage who have somehow escaped the official matrix. There is another slightly larger percentage of the population who have come partly awake, but retain large vestiges of their former programming in hidden compartments of their minds.

            Whether this System will eventually collapse from rot from within, or will finally come to full fruition is yet to be determined.
            \\][//

          • Jean Davison says:

            I think you’re the one doing the hand waving, Willie.

            My point is that some people in JFK’s administration were saying one thing about Vietnam up until 1966 or so and something quite different later on. Speaking of Orwell, it’s as if their earlier statements (and some of JFK’s) went down a Memory Hole.

            For instance, take a look at this October 1963 Roger Hilsman memo that talks about U.S. policy on two issues: troop withdrawals and the neutralization of Vietnam. Hilsman wrote it, I didn’t, so don’t attack the messenger, Willie.

            http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1961-63v04/d164

          • “It may well be, however, that political suggestions or comments regarding Viet-Nam may be made as obiter dicta in speeches to the General Assembly or during corridor conversations.”
            — DOCUMENT 164

            Do you know what “obiter dicta” is Jean?
            It is a nonbinding aside…

            1: an incidental and collateral opinion that is uttered by a judge but is not binding.
            2: an incidental remark or observation.
            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/obiter%20dictum
            \\][//

          • “some people in JFK’s administration were saying one thing about Vietnam up until 1966 or so..” ~Jean

            But Jean, the JFK administration ended on November 22, 1963 on the streets of Dallas, Texas.

    • Bill Clarke says:

      Willy Whitten
      April 24, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      The Laos negotiations was a success? Please explain Willy.

      Within 6 months they were back to killing each other and they built and improved the Trail through Laos. Hardly a success I think.

      • “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”~John F. Kennedy
        \\][//

      • gerry campeau says:

        Bill Clarke and 5 million tons of bombs over Laos didn’t stop them fron winning, what is Ironic today VN is more an allie to US then to China.

        • Bill Clarke says:

          gerry campeau
          April 26, 2015 at 11:42 pm

          Gerry, me and my boys didn’t lose a fight. Not one fight.

          So please explain to me what else I could have done to save these countries from the communist.

          I’ll tell you one thing; Leaving those people to the communist is a most blatant act of betrayal.

          • gerry campeau says:

            Bill,Ho Chi Minh maybe was communist all his life but to his people he was nationalist who fought Japanese,French and the Americans for Vietnam’s right to have independence,and history has proven that to be true.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            gerry campeau
            April 28, 2015 at 12:29 pm

            True Gerry. Ho was a great nationalist. Trouble was he was also a great communist. Had he not been I doubt we would have ever heard of Vietnam.

        • The war in Vietnam was a war of aggression by the US. Vietnam was never a threat to the United States.
          Wars of Aggression are against international law.

          Ho Chi Minh, as has been discussed before, admired Thomas Jefferson and used the template of the US Declaration of Independence for the one he composed for the people of Vietnam.

          INDEPENDENCE is the central issue here. The peoples of this planet have the right to determine their own destiny.

          As Gerry points out, Vietnam had experienced colonial rule by the French, the Japanese, and then the futile attempt by the warmongering Amerikan military.

          As Kennedy said, the fight was for the people of Vietnam to fight themselves. They did, and they won on their own terms whether the US likes it or not.

          Whether or not Ho Chi Minh would have turned to Communism if the US hadn’t taken up the imperial void left by France is in doubt, considering his admiration for the principles of unalienable rights to liberty as articulated by Jefferson.
          \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Bill Clarke

            Vietnam was never a threat to the United States.

            bc. This is a very simplistic view of geopolitics.

            Whether or not Ho Chi Minh would have turned to Communism if the US hadn’t taken up the imperial void left by France is in doubt,

            bc. It is in doubt, Willy, only by those that know nothing of Ho’s history. May I suggest “Ho Chi Minh” by William J. Duiker and “Ho” by David Halberstam.

            bc. Ho was a founding member of the French Communist Party in 1920. In 1924 he was invited to attend and attended the communist finishing schools in Moscow. He spent the 1930s working for international communism under Brodin in China and later Thailand.

            bc. I assume this “imperial void left by France” occurred in 1954. Subtract 1920 from that and you can see that Ho had been a dedicated communist for over 30 years before we took on the “imperial void left by France”

            bc. I realize this “the U.S. turned Ho into a communist” is camp in the “Ho was just a kindly man trying to put his country back together” group but it simply isn’t true.

          • Whether “the Communists” were friend or foe depends on the fickle and ever morphing “Practical Politics Du Jour”.

            Whether the war against Vietnam was a war of aggression or not is obvious to the clear eyes of history; it was a war of aggression by every sane standard.
            \\][//

          • JohnR says:

            Mr. Whitten and Mr. Clarke: Your arguments have struck upon the heart of the matter. U.S. policy makers, and of course the general public, were simply unable to understand as true statements the following: Ho was a nationalist who happened to be a communist, and was determined to be independent from the Soviet Union and China. To the American mind of the era, this was an irreconcilable oxymoron. My own opinion is that, while the U.S. did not make Ho a communist, it was the war itself that brought about the very alliances with the Soviets and Chinese we so dreaded.

            In my own opinion, I don’t know if it would have been possible to formulate an alliance with Ho similar to that of Tito, but even if it failed, it would have better than what ultimately occurred. Of course, I understand as well, the American mind of the era could not conceive a peaceful end to the Cold War, either. This, I believe, should always be taken into account before judging men of that era. Including those who killed JFK.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            April 30, 2015 at 1:58 pm

            But Willy, we were talking about America turning Ho to communism. Do you have anything on that? Anything besides what I just told you?

          • Bill Clarke,

            What is a “Communist”?

            I am serious Bill, I want to know what you think “Communism” is.
            \\][//

          • “Ho was a nationalist who happened to be a communist, and was determined to be independent from the Soviet Union and China. To the American mind of the era, this was an irreconcilable oxymoron.”~JohnR

            Yes indeed JohnR, and to the American mind that cannot escape that era, it is still an irreconcilable oxymoron.
            \\][//

          • Bill Clarke says:

            JohnR
            April 30, 2015 at 5:27 pm

            Mr. Whitten and Mr. Clarke: Your arguments have struck upon the heart of the matter. U.S. policy makers, and of course the general public, were simply unable to understand as true statements the following: Ho was a nationalist who happened to be a communist, and was determined to be independent from the Soviet Union and China.

            Bc. That was always a concern to Ho, especially the Chinese that had been long time enemies of Vietnam. But for Ho they were the only store in town and he had to have their support. And remember that Ho had worked for the Soviets for several decades in the international communist group. I’ve read that Ho’s life was in danger during Stalin’s purges of the 1930s. Lucky for Ho he was more a doer than a writer and Stalin missed him.

            To the American mind of the era, this was an irreconcilable oxymoron. My own opinion is that, while the U.S. did not make Ho a communist, it was the war itself that brought about the very alliances with the Soviets and Chinese we so dreaded.

            Bc. I think that is true, John but I think you have to go back farther than our involvement. China sent 80,000 porters to carry equipment and ammo to Dien Bien Phu. There are pictures of General Giap and his Chinese advisors at Dien Bein Phu. China sent Ho many artillery pieces after the Korean War, many were our excellent 105s. So I think they had been doing business for a long time before we got there. Of course,as you say, when we got there things heated up considerably and Ho really did need the support of the Soviets and Chinese.

            In my own opinion, I don’t know if it would have been possible to formulate an alliance with Ho similar to that of Tito, but even if it failed, it would have better than what ultimately occurred.

            Bc. I certainly agree. April 30 was the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon. A sad day for me even 40 years later.

            Of course, I understand as well, the American mind of the era could not conceive a peaceful end to the Cold War, either. This, I believe, should always be taken into account before judging men of that era. Including those who killed JFK.

            Bc. Very true. You always have to keep a person in the context of his time.

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            That’s right, Willie.
            The dirty commie Uncle Ho admired Jefferson for the only good thing he ever did in his life, the Declaration of Independence.

            Like the proverbial frog being slowly boiled to death, we in Les Etats Unis don’t notice the military robbing us to death. 4.5% of the world’s population is forced to cough up 45% of the world’s military spending. The other 95.5%, not us, account for the other 55%. (All this is figuring conservatively. The spin-off costs are hard to figure.)

            SO, at the point of a gun, we Americans fork over, every man, woman and child, 17 times more on average for “defense” than anyone else in the world. While we have Third World levels of crime in our own country.

            This idiotic slavery is everywhere but we can’t see it. Our national religion is violence and cruelty. Just look at our movies–a bare breast earns an R rating, but the most heinous torture and mutilation gets a PG-14. Our most popular video games–Call of Duty, War Games and similar paeans to misery and death.

            VA spending went up 233% in nine years from 2006 to 2014, from $74B to $175B, but all you hear is the rotten treatment our military veterans are getting. We don’t realize how military-centric we are. It’s in our commercials. A recent one, a paraplegic whining for donations for one of the 5,000 or so (it seems like) “charitable veterans organizations” (on top of the trillions annually–no one really knows how much): “We was drahvin tru duh desert, n mah Humvee turnt ovah, crushin muh spahn.” Could someone teach these lazy cowards how to drive?! I bet the vast majority of their injuries and deaths are caused by themselves, so-called friendly fire, having a “good time” tearing up the equipment.

            Worst of all, death-worship and war-mongering has destroyed our brains. In no other country would it even be questioned what administration started the Vietnam WAR. Why, even our OWN cost-records figure 1965-75. First combat: Da Nang 1965. On and on. Maybe that’s how the Red Menace Boogeyman got us. The military is our dirty commie overlord.

          • Letter from Ho Chi Minh to President Lyndon Johnson
            Digital History ID 3641

            Author: Ho Chi Minh
            Date:1967

            Annotation: This letter from Ho Chi Minh was a response to a message from Johnson who wanted to begin negotiations to end the war. Ho Chi Minh stated that he would not negotiate until the United States stopped bombing Vietnam.

            Document: To His Excellency Mr. Lyndon B. Johnson, President, United States of America

            Your Excellency:

            On February 10, 1967, I received your message. This is my reply. Vietnam is thousands of miles away from the United States. The Vietnamese people have never done any harm to the United States. But contrary to the pledges made by its representative at the 1954 Geneva conference, the U.S. has ceaselessly intervened in Vietnam, it has unleashed and intensified the war of aggression in North Vietnam with a view to prolonging the partition of Vietnam and turning South Vietnam into a neocolony and a military base of the United States. For over two years now, the U.S. government has, with its air and naval forces, carried the war to the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam, an independent and sovereign country.

            The U.S. government has committed war crimes, crimes against peace and against mankind. In South Vietnam, half a million U.S. and satellite troops have resorted to the most inhuman weapons and most barbarous methods of warfare, such as napalm, toxic chemicals and gases, to massacre our compatriots, destroy crops, and raze villages to the ground. In North Vietnam, thousands of U.S. aircraft have dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs, destroying towns, villages, factories, schools. In your message, you apparently deplore the sufferings and destruction in Vietnam. May I ask you: Who has perpetrated these monstrous crimes? It is the United States and satellite troops. The U.S. government is entirely responsible for the extremely serious situation in Vietnam.

            The U.S. war of aggression against the Vietnamese people constitutes a challenge to the countries of the socialist camp, a threat to the national independence movement, and a serious danger to peace in Asia and the world.

            The Vietnamese people deeply love independence, freedom and peace. But in the face of U.S. aggression, they have risen up, united as one man, fearless of sacrifices and hardships. They are determined to carry on their resistance until they have won genuine independence and freedom and true peace. Our just cause enjoys strong sympathy and support from the peoples of the whole world, including broad sections of the American people.

            The U.S. government has unleashed the war of aggression in Vietnam. It must cease this aggression. This is the only way to restoration of peace. The U.S. government must stop definitely and unconditionally its bombing raids and all other acts of war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, withdraw from South Vietnam all U.S. and satellite troops, recognize the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation, and let the Vietnamese people settle themselves their own affairs. Such is the basis of the five-point stand of the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which embodies the essential principles and provision of the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam; it is the basis of a correct political solution to the Vietnam problem.

            In your message you suggested direct talks between the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the United States. If the U.S. government really wants these talks, it must first of all stop unconditionally its bombing raids and all other acts of war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. It is only after the unconditional cessation of U.S. bombing raids and all other acts of war against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the U.S. could enter into talks and discuss questions concerning the two sides.

            The Vietnamese people will never submit to force, they will never accept talks under threat of bombs.

            Our cause is absolutely just. It is to be hoped that the U.S. government will act in accordance with reason.

            Sincerely,

            Ho Chi Minh
            \\][//

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            RE major math error in my post May 1,2015: there’s been a 133% rise in VA spending the last 9 years, NOT 233%. Two and a third increase equals 133%, NOT 233%.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            April 30, 2015 at 11:44 pm

            Bill Clarke,

            What is a “Communist”?

            It is a person that is a member of the Communist Party; like Ho in 1920 for example.

            I am serious Bill, I want to know what you think “Communism” is.

            I’ve seen some of the handiwork of the communist party so please don’t tell me what a swell bunch they are. Communism, Willy, is the most stupid and oppressive style of government I know of. This style government has killed more of it’s own people with their purges and great leaps forward than it’s enemies have killed.

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            Willie, Thanks so much for posting Ho Chi Minh’s 1967 letter responding to Lyin’ Lyndon’s “offer of peace.”
            Uncle Ho’s return missive is the greatest historical and political document I have ever read.

          • “This, I believe, should always be taken into account before judging men of that era. Including those who killed JFK.”~JohnR
            . . . . .
            “The dirty commie Uncle Ho admired Jefferson for the only good thing he ever did in his life, the Declaration of Independence.”~Roy W Kornbluth
            . . . . .
            What we have here is the distinction between ‘Moral Relativity’ and ‘Eternal Principles’.

            It seems that JohnR would give Thomas Jefferson the ‘benefit of his era’, espousing a relation between morals and the time period a human being lives within. So the argument goes; Jefferson was “enlightened for his age” he was farther along on the path to principled thinking than most others of his day, and should not only be celebrated for his “far sighted” moral values. but excused for the “foibles of his times”.

            While no human being is perfect, I have to disagree with this assessment, and pronounce that harsh judgment of Eternal Principle, as I think I detect in the words of Mr Kornbluth. I hold that men of countless era’s have held to and recognized such eternal principles as would be reflected in my stated axiom:

            Liberty is not an INVENTION of Revolution – Liberty is the DISCOVERY of Enlightened Reason.

            In other words the Unalienable Individual Rights of Liberty are one of the penumbra of eternal principles that make us Human.

            It is moral ambiguity that leads to the errors of the concept of the “Just War” as anything that treads one iota beyond clear and obvious self-defense. That such issues are stretched beyond reason are evident in what is called “practical politics”, which is in fact nothing more than the ancient regime of ‘Realpolitik’ and the devious Machiavellian concepts of “Might is Right” & it’s comrade in arms; “Means are justified by the Ends ‘.

            As a lifetime student of Natural Law I have to reject the concepts of Moral Relativity, and assert that there are self-evident Eternal Principles such as those so eloquently put by Thomas Jefferson in the celebrated US Declaration of Independence.

            Finally I must say that those who killed Kennedy must be judged in harshest way, especially as this judgement must now be made posthumously. Their names should be blackened by righteous curses of infamy, and their memory held in the highest contempt. The heritage of their evil ways should be brought down and laid waste to. The National Security State should be abolished, should have been abolished long ago.
            \\][//

          • “I’ve seen some of the handiwork of the communist party so please don’t tell me what a swell bunch they are. Communism, Willy, is the most stupid and oppressive style of government I know of.”~Bill Clarke

            I am utterly opposed to Collectivism of any kind Mr Clarke, so I assure you it is not my intent to tell you, “what a swell bunch [Communists] are”. My purpose here is to expose how history has been misframed by academia, and that there is and has indeed been a conspiracy to bring about a tyrannical global governance. But it is completely different from what you have been conditioned to believe.

            Let me quote Carroll Quigley on this issue:

            There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies…but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.” (Georgetown University Professor Carroll Quigley, Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time, p. 950. 1964.)

            I have developed a page on my blog that delves into these issues. If you wish you can get a more expansive introduction there:
            https://hybridrogue1.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/compulsory-schooling-indoctrination/
            \\][//

          • Roy W Kornbluth says:

            Willy,
            In my post 5/1/15 5:15 am, I should have put quotation marks around “the dirty commie” Uncle Ho at the beginning to make the sarcasm obvious. Ho Chi Minh and General Giap were two of the greatest heroes of our times. Their refusal to lay down for LBJ’s war-machine resulted in US going from the world’s creditor to the world’s debtor.
            We will never get out of the hole dug for us by two Texans, LBJ and Dubya.

          • JohnR says:

            For Mr. Whitten:

            First, I must write that I do indeed give Mr. Jefferson the “benefit of his era.”
            Mr. Jefferson’s enlightenment emerged from the surrounding den of iniquity. The former could not have existed without the latter. The fact that he could not, to your satisfaction, extricate himself from his context reveals him as human, nothing more or less. Alas, the heart runs faster than the head.

            Judging a man by his own era cuts both ways. To the Romans, or Genghis Khan, Hitler would not have been remarkable in any way. In his own era, he was judged harshly. This continues to this day, rightly I believe, but who’s to say what the future holds?

            Which brings me to my next point. Many years from now, future generations may look back at us and think us barbaric primitives. They will draw conclusions based on their own experiences, perhaps believing those conclusions to be a continuation of what they interpret as The Eternal Morality, derived from The Eternal Truth. How are you to be judged by their standards without knowing what they will be?

            Now for the killers of JFK. I have forgiven them their transgressions, whatever their motivations. My sole objective regarding my participation in this forum is the rehabilitation of the innocent, not the guilty. If, in order to see Oswald exonerated, I must forgo the pleasure of garroting the guilty, then I must confess to being a willing participant in the compromise. I’ll leave the judgment to dispassionate future generations.

          • Bill Clarke says:

            Willy Whitten
            May 2, 2015 at 6:04 pm

            I am utterly opposed to Collectivism of any kind Mr Clarke, so I assure you it is not my intent to tell you, “what a swell bunch [Communists] are”. My purpose here is to expose how history has been misframed by academia, and that there is and has indeed been a conspiracy to bring about a tyrannical global governance. But it is completely different from what you have been conditioned to believe.

            Ok Willy, I can buy most of that but I’m not big on the New World Order. Glad to know you don’t support the Collectivism that has starved so many of them.

      • “The extension of the empire has meant the growth of private fortunes. This is nothing new, indeed it is in keeping with the most ancient history” -Gaius Asinius Gallus (The Annals of Imperial Rome)
        \\][//

  27. Alex Burmester says:

    I rather like the posts in this website about the assassination, and have enjoyed reading them for some time. But the Kennedy apologia in so many comments is beside the point and perfectly dispensable. You don’t have to be a Kennedy fanatic – I’m not one, far from that – to smell a rat over events in Dealey Plaza on that fateful day. And the fact that President Kennedy was assassinated does not prove or disprove that he was a great a man, a great president, whatever. May he rest in peace.

    • Ronnie Wayne says:

      Well said, IMHO. I think many here would agree that some of the rats in Dealy Plaza were a small but powerful group representing our own government.

  28. 雅礼协会

    SKULL & BONES & MAO ZEDONG

    Yali School

    HISTORY
    Founded in 1906 by Yale-in-China (雅礼协会 now known as the Yale-china association), Yali School has been known throughout China for its quality instruction, both as an American-owned private school during the first half of the 20th century and as a public school since then. The name Yali 雅礼 (pinyin: Yǎ Lǐ) comes from the Analects of Confucius, meaning elegance of expression (ya 雅) and propriety of conduct (li 礼), and is a transliteration of Yale in early-20th century. Yali’s school colors are blue, white (Yale colors) and red (China), as appear on the school uniform.

    Founded in 1901, the Yale-China Association is a private, nonprofit organization with more than a century of experience contributing to the development of education in and about China and to the furtherance of understanding and knowledge between Chinese and American people.

    Changsha was the site of Mao Zedong’s conversion to communism

    The 1903 Treaty of Shanghai between China and Japan opened the city to foreign trade. Consequently, factories, churches and schools were built. A college was started by Yale University bachelors, and later became a medical center named Xiangya and a secondary school named the Yali School.

    Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China began his political career in Changsha. He was a student at the Hunan Number 1 Teachers’ Training School from 1913 to 1918. He later returned as a teacher and principal from 1920 to 1922. The school was destroyed during the Chinese Civil War but has since been restored. The Former Office of the Hunan Communist Party Central Committee where Mao Zedong once lived is now a museum that includes Mao’s living quarters, photographs and other historical items from the 1920s.

    http://www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Yali-School
    \\][//

  29. Mariano says:

    Had China or Russia been the invading aggressor, Vietnamese would be no less determined to defend their sovereignty. This understanding was absent in the mind of a Cold War power with the mentality that groups or people ought only be assessed as to whether they were sympathetic to communism or not.
    Vietnam was a porn in the colonial and cold war deliberations of world powers that couldn’t help but meddle in her affairs. However well meaning, the degree of destruction and death lacked legitimacy.

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