Tag Archive for Harry Truman

The JFK story according to seven U.S. presidents

Before Donald Trump made his false claim that Ted Cruz’s father once associated with accused presidential assassin Lee Oswald, six previous U.S. presidents had offered opinions about who killed JFK. Read more

After JFK was killed, former president Truman called for the abolition of CIA covert operations

Truman's complaint

Truman’s complaint

“For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment,” wrote former president Harry Truman in the Washington Post on December 22, 1963. It was exactly one month after the assassination of President Kennedy.

“It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas,” Truman wrote.

The former president never explicitly linked JFK’s death to the clandestine service, but the timing and venue of his piece was suggestive.

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Bernie channels Harry: In call to abolish CIA, Sanders followed in footsteps of Truman

Bernie Sanders is in good company.

In 1945 Harry Truman initially rejected proposals for a peacetime secret intelligence agency saying he didn’t want to create “an American Gestapo.”

In 1961 John F. Kennedy famously described his desire to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds” after the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

In 1963, a month after JFK was killed under suspicious circumstances–and the CIA’s cover-up of malfeasance in the wrongful death of the president was just beginning–Truman called for the abolition of the clandestine service. Read more

Truman v. CIA

A small data dump from the Harry S Truman Library, courtesy of a regular reader. Read more

The still-secret CIA torture report

The Senate’s report on the CIA torture program remains off-limits to the public, as Politico reports that diverse Washington factions are negotiating what can–and cannot–be shared with the American people about the agency’s actions.  What does one call this?  “Contempt for democracy” says Sullivan.

Harry Truman on the CIA

“The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the President. It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities.” — Harry Truman in a letter to the editor of Look magazine, May 1964.

From the files of the Truman Library, courtesy of a reader.

A ritual of forgetting in Dealey Plaza

Dealey Plaza on the eve of the 50th anniversary

The place where John F. Kennedy was shot and killed has both a gloomy and festive air on the eve of the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of a shocking crime that most Americans regard as unsolved.

The crime scene is being scrubbed.

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