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FTR #1054, FTR #1055 and FTR #1056 Interviews #23, #24 and #25 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

These are the twenty-third, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth (and concluding program) in a long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing.

The first interview begins with a telling editorial written for “The Washington Post” by former President Harry Truman.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 378-379.

. . . . On December 22, 1963, Harry Truman wrote an editorial that was published in the Washington Post. The former President wrote that he had become “disturbed by the way the CIA had become diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of government.” He wrote that he never dreamed that this would happen when he signed the National Security Act. he thought it would be used for intelligence analysis, not “peacetime cloak and dagger operations.” He complained that the CIA had now become “so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue–and a subject for Cold War enemy propaganda.” Truman went as far as suggesting its operational arm be eliminated. He concluded with the warning that Americans have grown up learning respect for “our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over out historic position and I feel hat we need to correct it.” . . . .

Former CIA Director (and then Warren Commission member) Allen Dulles visited Truman and attempted to get him to retract the statement. He dissembled about then CIA chief John McCone’s view of the editorial.

The focal point of the first two programs is the dramatic changes in U.S. foreign policy that occurred because of JFK’s assassination. Analysis in FTR #1056 continues the analysis of Kennedy’s foreign policy and concludes with riveting discussion of the striking policy undertakings of the Kennedy administration in the area of civil rights. Jim has written a marvelous, 4-part analysis of JFK’s civil rights policy.

Discussion of JFK’s foreign policy and how his murder changed that builds on, and supplements analysis of this in FTR #1031, FTR #1032 and FTR #1033.

Lyndon Baines Johnson reversed JFK’s foreign policy initiatives in a number of important ways.

When the United States reneged on its commitment to pursue independence for the colonial territories of its European allies at the end of the Second World War, the stage was set for those nations’ desire for freedom to be cast as incipient Marxists/Communists. This development was the foundation for epic bloodshed and calamity.

Jim details then Congressman John F. Kennedy’s 1951 fact-finding trip to Saigon to gain an understanding of the French war to retain their colony of Indochina. (Vietnam was part of that colony.)

In speaking with career diplomat Edmund Gullion, Kennedy came to the realization that not only would the French lose the war, but that Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh guerrillas enjoyed great popular support among the Vietnamese people.

This awareness guided JFK’s Vietnam policy, in which he not only resisted tremendous pressure to commit U.S. combat troops to Vietnam, but planned a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam.

Perhaps the most important change made after JFK’s assassination was Johnson’s negation of Kennedy’s plans to withdraw from Vietnam.

LBJ cancelled Kennedy’s scheduled troop withdrawal, scheduled personnel increases and implemented the 34A program of covert operations against North Vietnam. Executed by South Vietnamese naval commandos using small, American-made patrol boats, these raids were supported by U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, which were electronically “fingerprinting” North Vietnamese radar installations.

The electronic fingerprinting of North Vietnamese radar was in anticipation of a pre-planned air war, a fundamental part of a plan by LBJ to involve the United States in a full-scale war in Southeast Asia.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 368-371.

. . . . Clearly now that the withdrawal was imminent, Kennedy was going to try and get the rest of his administration on board to his way of thinking. Not only did this not happen once Kennedy was dead, but the first meeting on Vietnam afterwards was a strong indication that things were now going to be cast in a sharply different tone. This meeting took place at 3:00 p.m. on November 24. . . . Johnson’s intent was clear to McNamara. He was breaking with the previous policy. The goal now was to win the war. LBJ then issued a strong warning: He wanted no more dissension or division over policy. Any person who did not conform would be removed. (This would later be demonstrated by his banning of Hubert Humphrey from Vietnam meetings when Humphrey advised Johnson to rethink his policy of military commitment to Vietnam.) . . . . The reader should recall, this meeting took place just forty-eight hours after Kennedy was killed. . . .

. . . . Therefore, on March 2, 1964, the Joint Chiefs passed a new war proposal to the White House. This was even more ambitious than the January version. It included bombing, the mining of North Vietnamese harbors, a naval blockade, and possible use of tactical atomic weapons in case China intervened. Johnson was now drawing up a full scale battle plan for Vietnam. In other words, what Kennedy did not do in three years, LBJ had done in three months.

Johnson said he was not ready for this proposal since he did not have congress yet as a partner and trustee. But he did order the preparation of NSAM 288, which was based on this proposal. It was essentially a target list of bombing sites that eventually reached 94 possibilities. By May 25, with Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater clamoring for bombing of the north, LBJ had made the decision that the U.S. would directly attack North Vietnam at an unspecified point in the future. But it is important to note that even before the Tonkin Gulf incident, Johnson had ordered the drawing up of a congressional resolution. This had been finalized by William Bundy, McGeorge Bundy’s brother. Therefore in June of 1964, Johnson began lobbying certain people for its passage in congress. . . .

National Security Memorandum 263

. . . . Johnson seized upon the hazy and controversial events in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first week of August to begin he air war planned in NSAM 288. Yet the Tonkin Gulf incident had been prepared by Johnson himself. After Kennedy’s death, President Johnson made a few alterations in the draft of NSAM 273. An order which Kennedy had never seen but was drafted by McGeorge Bundy after a meeting in Honolulu, a meeting which took place while Kennedy was visiting Texas. . . .

. . . . On August 2, the destroyer Maddox was attacked by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Although torpedoes were launched, none hit. The total damage to the Maddox
was one bullet through the hull. Both Johnson and the Defense Department misrepresented this incident to congress and the press. They said the North Vietnamese fired first, that the USA had no role in the patrol boat raids, that the ships were in international waters, and there was no hot pursuit by the Maddox. These were all wrong. Yet Johnson used this overblown reporting, plus a non-existent attack two nights later on the destroyer Turner Joy to begin to push his war resolution through Congress. He then took out the target list assembled for NSAM 288 [from March of 1964–D.E] and ordered air strikes that very day. . . .

. . . . For on August 7, Johnson sent a message to General Maxwell Taylor. He wanted a whole gamut of possible operations presented to him for direct American attacks against the North. The target date for the systematic air war was set for January 1965. This was called operation Rolling Thunder and it ended up being the largest bombing campaign in military history. The reader should note: the January target date was the month Johnson would be inaugurated after his re-election. As John Newman noted in his masterful book JFK and Vietnam, Kennedy was disguising his withdrawal plan around his re-election; Johnson was disguising his escalation plan around his re-election. . . .

In addition to noting that Hubert Humphrey, contrary to popular misconception, was an opponent of Johnson’s war strategy, we note that Robert McNamara was also opposed to it, although he went along with the Commander in Chief’s policies.

After detailed discussion of the human and environmental damage inflicted on Vietnam and the strategy implemented by LBJ after Kennedy’s assassination, the discussion turns to Johnson’s reversal of Kennedy’s policy with regard to Laos.

The fledgling nation of Laos was also part of French Indochina, and Jim notes how outgoing President Eisenhower coached President-Elect Kennedy on the necessity of committing U.S. combat forces to Laos.

Again, Kennedy refused to commit U.S. ground forces and engineered a policy of neutrality for Laos.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 54.

. . . . At his first press conference, Kennedy said that he hoped to establish Laos as a “peaceful country–an independent country not dominated by either side.” He appointed a task force to study the problem, was in regular communication with it and the Laotian ambassador, and decided by February that Laos must have a coalition government, the likes of which Eisenhower had rejected out of hand. Kennedy also had little interest in a military solution. He could not understand sending American troops to fight for a country whose people did not care to fight for themselves. . . . He therefore worked to get the Russians to push the Pathet Lao into a cease-fire agreement. This included a maneuver on Kennedy’s part to indicate military pressure if the Russians did not intervene strongly enough with the Pathet Lao. The maneuver worked, and in May of 1961, a truce was called. A few days later, a conference convened in Geneva to hammer out conditions for a neutral Laos. By July of 1962, a new government, which included the Pathet Lao, had been hammered out. . . .

Whereas JFK had implemented a policy affording neutrality to Laos–against the wishes of the Joint Chiefs, CIA and many of his own cabinet, LBJ scrapped the neutralist policy in favor of a CIA-implemented strategy of employing “narco-militias” such as the Hmong tribesmen as combatants against the Pathet Lao. This counter-insurgency warfare was complemented by a massive aerial bombing campaign.

One of the many outgrowths of LBJ’s reversal of JFK’s Southeast policy was a wave of CIA-assisted heroin addicting both GI’s in Vietnam and American civilians at home.

LBJ also reversed JFK’s policy toward Indonesia.

In 1955, Sukarno hosted a conference of non-aligned nations that formalized and concretized a “Third Way” between East and West. This, along with Sukarno’s nationalism of some Dutch industrial properties, led the U.S. to try and overthrow Sukharno, which was attempted in 1958.

Kennedy understood Sukarno’s point of view, and had planned a trip to Indonesia in 1964 to forge a more constructive relationship with Sukharno. Obviously, his murder in 1963 precluded the trip.

In 1965, Sukarno was deposed in a bloody, CIA-aided coup in which as many as a million people were killed.

Of particular interest in connection with Indonesia, is the disposition of Freeport Sulphur, a company that had enlisted the services of both Clay Shaw and David Ferrie in an effort to circumvent limitations on its operations imposed by Castro’s Cuba:

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 208-209.

. . . . In Chapter 1, the author introduced Freeport Sulphur and its subsidiaries Moa Bay Mining and Nicaro Nickel. These companies all had large investments in Cuba prior to Castro’s revolution. And this ended up being one of the ways that Garrison connected Clay Shaw and David Ferrie. This came about for two reasons. First, with Castro taking over their operations in Cuba, Freeport was attempting to investigate bringing in nickel ore from Cuba, through Canada, which still had trade relations with Cuba. The ore would then be refined in Louisiana, either at a plant already in New Orleans or at another plant in Braithwaite. Shaw, an impressario of international trade, was on this exploratory team for Freeport. And he and two other men had been flown to Canada by Ferrie as part of this effort. More evidence of this connection through Freeport was found during their investigation of Guy Banister. Banister apparently knew about another flight taken by Shaw with an official of Freeport, likely Charles Wight, to Cuba. Again the pilot was David Ferrie. Another reason this Freeport connection was important to Garrison is that he found a witness named James Plaine in Houston who said that Mr. Wight of Freeport Sulphur had contacted him in regards to an assassination plot against Castro. Considering the amount of money Freeport was about to lose in Cuba, plus the number of Eastern Establishment luminaries associated with the company–such as Jock Whitney, Jean Mauze and Godfrey Rockefeller–it is not surprising that such a thing was contemplated within their ranks. . . .

LBJ reversed Kennedy’s policy vis a vis Sukarno. It should be noted that Freeport had set its corporate sights on a very lucrative pair of mountains in Indonesia, both of which had enormous deposits of minerals, iron, copper, silver and gold in particular.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 374-375.

. . . . Shortly after, his aid bill landed on Johnson’s desk. The new president refused to sign it. . . .

. . . . In return for not signing the aid bill, in 1964, LBJ received support from Both Augustus Long and Jock Whitney of Freeport Sulphur in his race against Barry Goldwater. In fact, Long established a group called the National Independent Committee for Johnson. This group of wealthy businessmen included Robert Lehman of Lehman Brothers and Thomas Cabot, Michael Paine’s cousin. . . . Then, in early 1965, Augustus Long was rewarded for helping Johnson get elected. LBJ app[ointed him to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. This is a small group of wealthy private citizens who advises the president on intelligence matters. The members of this group can approve and suggest covert activities abroad. This appointment is notable for what was about to occur. For with Sukarno now unprotected by President Kennedy, the writing was on the wall. The Central Intelligence Agency now bean to send into Indonesia its so called “first team.” . . . .

. . . . Suharto now began to sell off Indonesia’s riches to the highest bidder. Including Freeport Sulphur, which opened what were perhaps the largest copper and gold mines in the world there. . . . Freeport, along with several other companies, now harvested billions from the Suharto regime. . . .

Yet another area in which JFK’s policy outlook ran afoul of the prevailing wisdom of the Cold War was with regard to the Congo. A Belgian colony which was the victim of genocidal policies of King Leopold (estimates of the dead run as high as 8 million), the diamond and mineral-rich Congo gained a fragile independence.

In Africa, as well, Kennedy understood the struggle of emerging nations seeking freedom from colonial domination as falling outside of and transcending stereotyped Cold War dynamics.

In the Congo, the brutally administered Belgian rule had spawned a vigorous independence movement crystallized around the charismatic Patrice Lumumba. Understanding of, and sympathetic to Lumumba and the ideology and political forces embodied in him, Kennedy opposed the reactionary status quo favored by both European allies like the United Kingdom and Belgium, as well as the Eisenhower/Dulles axis in the United States.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 28-29.

. . . . By 1960, a native revolutionary leader named Patrice Lumumba had galvanized the nationalist feeling of the country. Belgium decided to pull out. But they did so rapidly, knowing that tumult would ensue and they could return to colonize the country again. After Lumumba was appointed prime minister, tumult did ensue. The Belgians and the British backed a rival who had Lumumba dismissed. They then urged the breaking away of the Katanga province because of its enormous mineral wealth. Lumumba looked to the United Nations for help, and also the USA. The former decided to help, . The United States did not. In fact, when Lumumba visited Washington July of 1960, Eisenhower deliberately fled to Rhode Island. Rebuffed by Eisenhower, Lumumba now turned to the Russians for help in expelling the Belgians from Katanga. This sealed his fate in the eyes of Eisenhower and Allen Dulles. The president now authorized a series of assassination plots by the CIA to kill Lumumba. These plots finally succeeded on January 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy was inaugurated.

His first week in office, Kennedy requested a full review of the Eisenhower/Dulles policy in Congo. The American ambassador to that important African nation heard of this review and phoned Allen Dulles to alert him that President Kennedy was about to overturn previous policy there. Kennedy did overturn this policy on February 2, 1961. Unlike Eisenhower and Allen Dulles, Kennedy announced he would begin full cooperation with Secretary Dag Hammarskjold at the United Nations on this thorny issue in order to bring all the armies in that war-torn nation under control. He would also attempt top neutralize the country so there would be no East/West Cold War competition. Third, all political prisoners being held should be freed. Not knowing he was dead, this part was aimed at former prime minister Lumumba, who had been captured by his enemies. (There is evidence that, knowing Kennedy would favor Lumumba, Dulles had him killed before JFK was inaugurated.) Finally, Kennedy opposed the secession of mineral-rich Katanga province. . . . Thus began Kennedy’s nearly three year long struggle to see Congo not fall back under the claw of European imperialism. . . . ”

In the Congo, as in Indonesia, LBJ reversed JFK’s policy stance, and the corporate looting of the Congo resulted under General Joseph Mobutu, himself a beneficiary of the piracy.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse Publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 372-373.

. . . . But in October and November [of 1963], things began to fall apart. Kennedy wanted Colonel Michael Greene, an African expert, to train the Congolese army in order

to subdue a leftist rebellion. But General Joseph Mobutu, with the backing of the Pentagon, managed to resist this training, which the United Nations backed. In 1964, the communist rebellion picked up steam and began taking whole provinces. The White House did something Kennedy never seriously contemplated: unilateral action by the USA. Johnson and McGeorge Bundy had the CIA fly sorties with Cuban pilots to halt the communist advance. Without Kennedy, the UN now withdrew. America now became an ally of Belgium and intervened with arms, airplanes and advisers. Mobutu now invited Tshombe back into the government. Tshombe, perhaps at the request of the CIA, now said that the rebellion was part of a Chinese plot to take over Congo. Kennedy had called in Edmund Gullion to supervise the attempt to make the Congo government into a moderate coalition, avoiding the extremes of left and right. But with the Tshombe/Mobutu alliance, that was now dashed. Rightwing South Africans and Rhodesians were now allowed to join the Congolese army in a war on the “Chinese-inspired left.” And with the United Nations gone, this was all done under the auspices of the United States. The rightward tilt now continued unabated. By 1965, Mobutu had gained complete power. And in 1966, he installed himself as military dictator. . . . Mobutu now allowed his country to be opened up to loads of outside investment. The riches of the Congo were mined by huge Western corporations. Their owners and officers grew wealthy while Mobutu’s subjects were mired in poverty. Mobutu also stifled political dissent. And he now became one of the richest men in Africa, perhaps the world. . . .

In FTR #1033, we examined JFK’s attempts at normalizing relations with Cuba. That, of course, vanished with his assassination and the deepening of Cold War hostility between the U.S. and the Island nation, with a thaw of sorts coming under Barack Obama a few years ago.

There is no more striking area in which JFK’s murder reversed what would have been historic changes in America’s foreign policy than U.S.-Soviet relations.

JFK had implemented a ban on atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, bitterly opposed by the Pentagon, In a June, 1963 speech at American University, JFK called for re-evaluating America’s relationship to the Soviet Union, and cited the U.S.S.R’s decisive role in defeating Nazi Germany during World War II.

JFK was also proposing joint space exploration with the Soviet Union, which would have appeared to be nothing less than treasonous to the Pentagon and NASA at the time. After JFK’s assassination, the Kennedy family used a backchannel diplomatic conduit to the Soviet leadership to communicate their view that the Soviet Union, and its Cuban ally, had been blameless in the assassination and that powerful right-wing forces in the United States had been behind the assassination.

Perhaps JFK’s greatest contribution was one that has received scant notice. In 1961, the Joint Chiefs were pushing for a first strike on the Soviet Union–a decision to initiate nuclear war. JFK refused, walking out of the discussion with the disgusted observation that “We call ourselves the human race.”

In FTR #’s 876, 926 and 1051, we examined the creation of the meme that Oswald had been networking with the Cubans and Soviets in the run-up to the assassination. In particular, Oswald was supposedly meeting with Valery Kostikov, a KGB official in charge of assassinations in the Western Hemisphere.

This created the pretext for blaming JFK’s assassination on the Soviet Union and/or Cuba. There are indications that JFK’s assassination may well have been intended as a pretext for a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union.

JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass; Touchstone Books [SC]; Copyright 2008 by James W. Douglas; ISBN 978-1-4391-9388-4; pp. 242-243.

. . . . As JFK may have recalled from the National Security Council meeting he walked out of in July 1961, the first Net Evaluation Subcommittee report had focused precisely on “a surprise attack in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.” Kennedy was a keen reader and listener. In the second preemptive-war report, he may also have noticed the slight but significant discrepancy between its overall time frame, 1963-1968, and the extent of its relatively reassuring conclusion, which covered only 1964 through 1968. . . .

. . . . In his cat-and-mouse questioning of his military chiefs, President Kennedy had built upon the report’s apparently reassuring conclusion in such a way as to discourage preemptive-war ambitions. However, given the “late 1963” focus in the first Net Report that that was the most threatening time for a preemptive strike, Kennedy had little reason to be reassured by a second report that implicitly confirmed that time as the one of maximum danger. The personally fatal fall JFK was about to enter, in late 1963, was the same time his military commanders may have considered their last chance to “win” (in their terms) a preemptive war against the Soviet Union. In terms of their second Net Report to the President, which passed over the perilous meaning of late 1963, the cat-and-mouse game had been reversed. It was the generals who were the cats, and JFK the mouse in their midst.

The explicit assumption of the first Net Report was “a surprise attack in late 1963, preceded by a period of heightened tensions.” The focus of that first-strike scenario corresponded to the Kennedy assassination scenario. When President Kennedy was murdered in late 1963, the Soviet Union had been set up as the major scapegoat in the plot. If the tactic had been successful in scapegoating the Russians for the crime of the century, there is little doubt that it would have resulted in “a period of heightened tensions” between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Those who designed the plot to kill Kennedy were familiar with the inner sanctum of our national security state. Their attempt to scapegoat the Soviets for the President’s murder reflected one side of the secret struggle between JFK and his military leaders over a preemptive strike against the Soviet Union. The assassins’ purpose seems to have encompassed not only killing a President determined to make peace with the enemy, but also using his murder as the impetus for a possible nuclear first strike against that same enemy. . . .

With the GOP and Trump administration openly suppressing voting rights of minorities, African-Americans in particular, the stellar efforts of JFK and the Justice Department in the area of civil rights is striking. JFK’s civil rights policy was exponentially greater than what had preceded him, and much of what followed.

The conclusion of the discussion in FTR #1056 consists of Jim’s discussion of his marvelous, 4-part analysis of JFK’s civil rights policy.


Birds of a Feather: The So-Called Internet “Privacy Activists,” the Intelligence Services and Big Tech

Yasha Levine’s recent book “Surveillance Valley” is a MUST READ! Relatively short and very much to the point, this volume–subtitled “The Secret Military History of the Internet”–chronicles the fact that the Internet is a weapon, developed as part of the same group of overlapping DARPA/Pentagon projects as Agent Orange. In posts and programs to come, we will more fully develop the basic themes set forth in the excerpt recapped in this post: 1 )The Internet is a weapon, developed for counter-insurgency purposes. 2) Big Tech firms network with the very intelligence services they publicly decry. 3) Big Tech firms that data mine their customers on a nearly unimaginable scale do so as a direct, operational extension of the very surveillance function upon which the Internet is predicated. 4) The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum were developed by the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect. 5) The technologies touted by the so-called “Privacy Activists” such as Edward Snowden and Jacob Applebaum–such as the Tor Internet function and the Signal mobile phone app– are readily accessible to the very intelligence services they are supposed to deflect. 6) The organizations that promote the alleged virtues of Snowden, Applebaum, Tor, Signal et al are linked to the very intelligence services they would have us believe they oppose. 7) Big Tech firms embrace “Internet Freedom” as a distraction from their own willful and all-embracing data mining and their ongoing conscious collaboration with the very intelligence services they publicly decry.


Agent Orange and the Internet: The Spawn of Project Agile

In his book–one of the most important in recent memory–Yasha Levine sets forth vital, revelatory information about the development and functioning of the Internet. Born of the same DARPA project that spawned Agent Orange, the Internet was never intended to be something good. Its generative function and purpose is counter-insurgency. In this landmark volume, Levine makes numerous points, including: The harvesting of data by intelligence services is PRECISELY what the Internet was designed to do in the first place. The harvesting of data engaged in by the major tech corporations is an extension of the data gathering/surveillance that was–and is–the raison d’etre for the Internet in the first place. The big tech companies all collaborate with the various intelligence agencies they publicly scorn and seek to ostensibly distance themselves from. Edward Snowden, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Jacob Appelbaum and WikiLeaks are complicit in the data harvesting and surveillance. Snowden and other privacy activists are double agents, consciously channeling people fearful of having their communications monitored into technologies that will facilitate that surveillance!


FTR #1031 Interview #1 with Jim DiEugenio about “Destiny Betrayed”

The first of a planned long series of interviews with Jim DiEugenio about his triumphal analysis of President Kennedy’s assassination and New Orleans DA Jim Garrison’s heroic investigation of the killing, this program begins with discussion of President Kennedy’s precocious political vision. Possessed of a deep understanding of how the struggle for, and desire for, national independence by colonial possessions of America’s World War II allies undercut the casting of these nations’ affairs in a stark “East vs. West” Cold War context, Kennedy put his political vision into play in many instances. It was his attempts at realizing his political vision through concrete policy that precipitated his murder.

(Listeners can order Destiny Betrayed and Jim’s other books, as well as supplementing those volumes with articles about this country’s political assassinations at his website Kennedys and King. Jim is also a regular guest and expert commentator on Black Op Radio.)

When the United States reneged on its commitment to pursue independence for the colonial territories of its European allies at the end of the Second World War, the stage was set for those nations’ desire for freedom to be cast as incipient Marxists/Communists. This development was the foundation for epic bloodshed and calamity.

Jim details then Congressman John F. Kennedy’s 1951 fact-finding trip to Saigon to gain an understanding of the French war to retain their colony of Indochina. (Vietnam was part of that colony.)

In speaking with career diplomat Edmund Gullion, Kennedy came to the realization that not only would the French lose the war, but that Ho Chi Minh and the Viet Minh guerrillas enjoyed great popular support among the Vietnamese people.

This awareness guided JFK’s Vietnam policy, in which he not only resisted tremendous pressure to commit U.S. combat troops to Vietnam, but planned a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam. (We have covered this in numerous programs over the decades, including–most recently–FTR #978.)

In future discussion, we will analyze at greater length and in greater detail how Lyndon Baines Johnson reversed JFK’s Vietnam policy and authorized the enduring carnage that was to follow.

The fledgling nation of Laos was also part of French Indochina, and Jim notes how outgoing President Eisenhower coached President-Elect Kennedy on the necessity of committing  U.S. combat forces to Laos.

The CIA was already backing the Hmong tribesmen and financing their guerrilla warfare by assisting in the marketing of their primary revenue-earning crop–opium. (We discussed this at considerable length in AFA #24, among other programs.)

Again, Kennedy refused to commit U.S. ground forces and engineered a policy of neutrality for Laos.

 Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; p. 54.

” . . . . At his first press conference, Kennedy said that he hoped to  establish Laos as a “peaceful country–an independent country not dominated by either side.’ He appointed a task force to study the problem, was in regular communication with it and the Laotian ambassador, and decided by February that Laos must have a coalition government, the likes of which Eisenhower had rejected out of hand. Kennedy also had little interest in a military solution. He could not understand sending American troops to fight for a country whose people did not care to fight for themselves. . . . He therefore worked to get the Russians to push the Pathet Lao into a cease-fire agreement. This included a maneuver on Kennedy’s part to indicate military pressure if the Russians did not intervene strongly enough with the Pathet Lao. The maneuver worked, and in May of 1961, a truce was called. A few days later, a conference convened in Geneva to hammer out conditions for a neutral Laos. By July of 1962, a new government, which included the Pathet Lao, had been hammered out. . . . ”

A former Dutch colony, Indonesia was another emerging nation at the epicenter of the tug of war between East and West. Sukarno sought to remain a neutral, or non-aligned country, along with other leaders of what we call the Third World, such as India’s Nehru. Not seeking to align with the Soviet Union nor the West, Sukarno remained on good terms with the PKI, the large Indonesian communist party.

In 1955, Sukarno hosted a conference of non-aligned nations that formalized and concretized a “Third Way” between East and West. This, along with Sukarno’s nationalism of some Dutch industrial properties, led the U.S. to try and overthrow Sukharno, which was attempted in 1958.

Kennedy understood Sukarno’s point of view, and had planned a trip to Indonesia in 1964 to forge a more constructive relationship with Sukharno. Obviously, his murder in 1964 precluded the trip.

In 1965, Sukarno was deposed in a bloody, CIA-aided coup in which as many as a million people were killed.

Yet another area in which JFK’s policy outlook ran afoul of the prevailing wisdom of the Cold War was with regard to the Congo. A Belgian colony which was the victim of genocidal policies of King Leopold (estimates of the dead run as high as 8 million), the diamond and mineral-rich Congo gained a fragile independence.

In Africa, as well, Kennedy understood the struggle of emerging nations seeking freedom from colonial domination as falling outside of and transcending stereotyped Cold War dynamics.

In the Congo, the brutally administered Belgian rule had spawned a vigorous independence movement crystallized around the charismatic Patrice Lumumba. Understanding of, and sympathetic to Lumumba and the ideology and political forces embodied in him, Kennedy opposed the reactionary status quo favored by both European allies like the United Kingdom and Belgium, as well as the Eisenhower/Dulles axis in the United States.

 Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 28-29.

“. . . . By 1960, a native revolutionary leader named Patrice Lumumba had galvanized the nationalist feeling of the country. Belgium decided to pull out. But they did so rapidly, knowing that tumult would ensue and they could return to colonize the country again. After Lumumba was appointed prime minister, tumult did ensue. The Belgians and the British backed a rival who had Lumumba dismissed. They then urged the breaking away of the Katanga province because of its enormous mineral wealth. Lumumba looked to the United Nations for help, and also the USA. The former decided to help, . The United States did not. In fact, when Lumumba visited Washington July of 1960, Eisenhower deliberately fled to Rhode Island. Rebuffed by Eisenhower, Lumumba now turned to the Russians for help in expelling the Belgians from Katanga. This sealed his fate in the eyes of Eisenhower and Allen Dulles. The president now authorized a series of assassination plots by the CIA to kill Lumumba. These plots finally succeeded on January 17, 1961, three days before Kennedy was inaugurated. 

His first week in office, Kennedy requested a full review of the Eisenhower/Dulles policy in Congo. The American ambassador to that important African nation heard of this review and phoned Allen Dulles to alert him that President Kennedy was about to overturn previous policy there. Kennedy did overturn this policy on February 2, 1961. Unlike Eisenhower and Allen Dulles, Kennedy announced he would begin full cooperation with Secretary Dag Hammarskjold at the United Nations on this thorny issue in order to bring all the armies in that war-torn nation under control. He would also attempt top neutralize the country so there would be no East/West Cold War competition. Third, all political prisoners being held should be freed. Not knowing he was dead, this part was aimed at former prime minister Lumumba, who had been captured by his enemies. (There is evidence that, knowing Kennedy would favor Lumumba, Dulles had him killed before JFK was inaugurated.) Finally, Kennedy opposed the secession of mineral-rich Katanga province. . . . Thus began Kennedy’s nearly three year long struggle to see Congo not fall back under the claw of European imperialism. . . . ”

Finally, the program concludes with analysis of Kennedy’s stance on Algeria. A French colony in North Africa, Algerian independence forces waged a fierce guerrilla war in an attempt at becoming free from France. Once again, Kennedy opposed the Western consensus on Algeria, which sought to retain that property as a French possession.

Destiny Betrayed by Jim DiEugenio; Skyhorse publishing [SC]; Copyright 1992, 2012 by Jim DiEugenio; ISBN 978-1-62087-056-3; pp. 25-26.

“. . . . On July 2, 1957, Senator Kennedy rose to speak in the Senate chamber and delivered what the New York Times was to call the next day, “the most comprehensive and outspoken arraignment of Western policy toward Algeria yet presented by an American in public office.” As historian Alan Nevins later wrote, ‘No speech on foreign affairs by Mr. Kennedy attracted more attention at home and abroad.’ It was the mature fruition of all the ideas that Kennedy had been collecting and refining since his  1951 trip into  the  nooks  and corners of Saigon,  It was passionate yet sophisticated, hard-hitting but controlled, idealistic yet, in a fresh and unique way, also pragmatic. Kennedy assailed the administration, especially John Foster Dulles and Nixon, for not urging France into negotiations, and therefore not being its true friend. He began the speech by saying  that the most powerful  force international  affairs at the time  was not the H-bomb, but the  desire  for  independence from imperialism. He then  said it was a test of  American foreign policy to meet the challenge of imperialism. If not, America would lose the trust of millions in Asia and Africa. . . . He later added that, ‘The time has come for the United States to face the harsh realities of the  situation  and to fulfill its responsibilities as leader of the free world . . . in shaping a course toward political independence for Algeria.’ He concluded by saying that America could not win in the Third World by simply doling  out foreign aid  dollars, or selling free enterprise, or describing the evils of  communism, or limiting its  approach  to military pacts. . . .” 

The French people were divided over the Algerian struggle, and those divisions led to the fall of the Fourth Republic and the rise of Charles De Gaulle. De Gaulle granted Algeria its independence and then faced down the lethal opposition of the OAS, a group of military officers grounded in the fascist collaborationist politics of Vichy France. De Gaulle survived several assassination attempts against him and there are a number of evidentiary tributaries leading between those attempts and the forces that killed Kennedy.

Maurice Brooks Gatlin–one of Guy Banister’s investigators–boasted of having transferred a large sum of money from the CIA to the OAS officers plotting against De Gaulle. In addition, Rene Souetre–a French OAS-linked assassin was in the Dallas Fort Worth area on 11/22/1963.


FTR #1005 What the Hell Does Dave Emory Mean by “The So-Called Progressive Sector”?

“In the ’60’s, we had Martin Luther King with ‘I Have a Dream.’ Now, we have Jesse Jackson with ‘I Have a
Scheme.’ “–Mort Sahl

The third of his landmark books about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Dr. William Pepper’s “The Plot to Kill King” is a well-written, investigative tour de force. In this program, we read excerpts of his book highlighting the duplicity and, in some cases, very possibly lethal treachery of some iconic, so-called “progressive” political figures.

In his investigation of King’s murderers, he detailed the apparent role of the late Russell Lee Adkins, a member of the Dixie Mafia in Memphis, Tennessee. (The Dixie Mafia is distinct from the Mafia, per se, that operated in the South, although–as Pepper makes clear–they worked with Mafiosi like New Orleans capo Carlos Marcello and Marcello associate Frank Liberto, like Adkins, an operator in Memphis.)

In “The Plot to Kill King,” Pepper presents a deposition of Ronnie Lee Adkins, Russell’s son.  

In the deposition, Adkins alleged that the room switch to a room overlooking the swimming pool at the Lorraine Motel was effected by Jesse Jackson. In AFA #8, we highlighted how this switch placed King in a perfect position for the assassin to shoot him. This room switch was essential for the successful killing of Dr. King.

1.-” . . . . . . . . Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s Deputy (whom Ronnie was told to call ‘Uncle Clyde’ from the first time he came to visit them in the 1950s) flew into the old airport where the old National Guard planes were based. . . .”
2.-” . . . . Ron said that O.Z. dispensed money to, among others, Solomon Jones, Jesse Jackson and Billy Kyles. The money was paid for their obtaining and passing on information. Tolson told his father that Jones, Jackson, and Kyles were also paid informants of the F.B.I. paid out of the Memphis office, but the money that came from Tolson was separate from the money they received from [Memphis Police and Fire Department head and former FBI agent Frank] Holloman and the Memphis FBI Office. The Adkins money envelopes were wrapped up with rubber bands and paper with initials on it, ‘BK,’ ‘JJ,’ and so forth. . . .”
3.-” . . . . . . . . Ron stated (under oath) that when Dr. King returned to Memphis on April 3, Jesse Jackson was instructed to arrange for the room change from the lower protected room 202, to the balcony room 306. . . .”
4.-” . . . . . . . . Years later, when he asked his mother what the problem was with Jones, she said that Jackson (which was subsequently confirmed by Junior) was paying for everything. He was in charge of the money. . . .”

In FTR #46, we accessed William Pepper’s first book on the King assassination, Orders to Kill. In that volume, Pepper set forth a Special Forces “A” Team deployed to Memphis to kill Dr. King and his aide Andrew Young. Pepper reprises that information in this book, including information given to the Green Beret snipers by a Memphis Police operative that “Friendlies were not wearing ties.” In that context check out Jesse Jackson, photographed alongside Dr. King before the murder: ” . . . . . . . . Warren [one of the snipers] reported that he had spoken over the radio with an MPD officer whose first name he believed was Sam, who was the head of the “city TAC.” (This had to be Inspector Sam Evans, head of the MPD tactical units.) Warren said that Sam provided details about the physical structure and layout of the Lorraine. He also told Warren that “friendlies were not wearing ties.” Warren took this to mean there was an informant or informants inside the King group. . . .”

Pepper devotes much text to analysis of the active suppression of the truth by media outlets. A CNN  “documentary” about the King assassination hosted by Soledad O’Brien consisted largely of blatant disinformation.

After discussing the disheartening CNN documentary Pepper highlights media complicity in the cover-up of this country’s political assassinations, noting that many so-called progressive commentators and outlets adhere to this censorship. ” . . . . The remaining, missing point of this picture of disinformation and information control is the cooperative activity of a number of seemingly progressive, investigative journalists and researchers. These are a coterie of establishment liberal professionals who come on to assist the government’s position in cases and extremely sensitive issues like political assassination. These individuals have usually developed respect and credibility within the progressive community over a period of time as activist opponents of official government positions and actions. They have this developed credibility; thus, when they elect to support–or just ignore–the official government position on a particular issue or action, they have the ability to undercut dissent. . . .”

One of the individuals cited by Pepper is Daniel Ellsberg, although he does not mention him by name in the excerpt we read. Pepper refers to Ellsberg, specifically, in earlier discussion in his book.

Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, which were then publicized by “The New York Times,” as well as The “Washington  Post,” both very closely linked to the CIA.

As discussed in FTR #978, among other programs, we noted that the Pentagon Papers were themselves “second-level” cover-up, falsely maintaining that there was continuity from the Kennedy administration to the Johnson administration with regard to Vietnam war policy.

Douglas Valentine has written extensively about the U.S. national security establishment. Best known for his seminal work on the Phoenix program in Vietnam, he has recently published “The CIA as Organized Crime.”

In his recent volume, Valentine notes Daniel Ellsberg’s long-standing links to the CIA and the inability/unwillingness of what he calls “The Compatible Left” to talk about St. Ellsberg’s connections to Langley.

This underscores why Mr. Emory has, for so long, referred to the “so-called progressive sector.”

1.-” . . . .  Peter Dale Scott had also been marginalized as a result of his 1972 book, The War Conspiracy, and his 1993 book Deep Politics and the Death of JFK. Peter supported me, and a few years after the Phoenix book was published, I mentioned to him that I was writing an article, based on my interviews with Scotton and Conein, about Ellsberg’s deep political association with the CIA. . . .”
2.-” . . . . [Alfred] McCoy [author of The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia] accused CIA officers Ed Lansdale and Lou Conein of collaborating with Corsican drug smugglers in 1965, at the same time Ellsberg was working closely with them. But when I interviewed him, Ellsberg insisted that these CIA officers were not involved in the drug traffic, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. . . .”
3.-” . . . . But more importantly, by  covering up his own CIA connections, he’s reassuring the bourgeoisie that subscribes to these media outlets that everything they assume about their leaders is right. And that’s how symbolic heroes mislead the way. . . .”
4.-” . . . . If Ellsberg were to reveal the CIA’s secrets, he would no longer have the same reassuring effect on the liberal bourgeoisie. So his sponsors never mention that he had an affair with the mistress of a Corsican drug smuggler in Saigon. That’s not in the book or the movie. He denies his CIA buddies were involved in the drug trade, even though they were. . . .”

Pepper concludes the main body of his text with observations about the role of the power elite and the news media in perpetuating the social and economic status quo: ” . . . . “Look” decided to publish my work, but in the interim, Bill met with New Orleans DA Jim Garrison, and was shaken by Garrison’s evidence of the involvement of the CIA in the assassination of John Kennedy. Right after the Garrison meeting, he called Bob Kennedy around 1:00 a.m., and Bob confirmed the conclusion, but said he would have to get to the White House in order to open the case. Bill Atwood had a heart attack about three hours later, around 4:00 a.m., and left “Look.” Needless to say, neither my piece nor Garrison’s were published, and the associate editor, Chandler Brossard, who brought us to Atwood, was let go. . . .”


Ramsey Clark: Godfather of CIA’s CHAOS and FBI’s COINTELPRO Programs

For decades, we have pointed out the documented fact that much of the so-called progressive sector drools and slobbers over a great many obvious, heinous wolves-in-sheep’s clothing. One of those is former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey Clark, who continues to enjoy a reputation as a liberal/progressive icon. Nothing could be further from the truth. In addition to covering up the assassinations of both Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy–whose murders occurred during his tenure as A.G.–Clark frustrated New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation of the JFK assassination. He also mid-wived the evolution of our present-day counter-terrorism institutions. ” . . . . Ramsey Clark, formed the Interdepartmental Intelligence Unit (IDIU) within the Department of Justice. The IDIU’s job was to coordinate the elements of the CIA, FBI and military that were investigating dissenters. . . . The Phoenix program was created simultaneously in 1967 and did the same thing in Vietnam; it brought together 25 agencies and aimed them at civilians in the insurgency. . . . Starting in 1967, White House political cadres, through the IDIU in the Justice Department, coordinated the CIA’s Chaos program, the FBI’s COINTELPRO Program, and the military’s domestic spying programs. . . .”


Daniel Ellsberg and the CIA

In FTR # 978 (among other programs) we noted that the Pentagon Papers were themselves “second-level” cover-up, falsely maintaining that there was continuity from the Kennedy administration to the Johnson administration with regard to Vietnam war policy. Douglas Valentine has written extensively about the U.S. national security establishment. Best known for his seminal work on the Phoenix program in Vietnam, he has recently published “The CIA as Organized Crime.” In his recent volume, Valentine notes Daniel Ellsberg’s long-standing links to the CIA and the inability/unwillingness of what he calls “The Compatible Left” to talk about St. Ellsberg’s connections to Langley. All of the contents of this website as of 12/19/2014–Dave Emory’s 37+ years of research and broadcasting–as well as hours of videotaped lectures are available on a 32GB flash drive. Dave offers his programs and articles for free–your support is very much appreciated.


FTR #978 The JFK Assassination and the Vietnam War

Considerable attention has been devoted by the media to a TV documentary by Ken Burns about the Vietnam War. What has not been covered by Burns et al is the fact that JFK’s assassination was the decisive pivot-point of the policy pursued by the U.S. in the conflict.

Excerpting The Guns of November, Part 3 (recorded on 11/15/1983), this program notes how Kennedy’s decision to begin a phased withdrawal from Vietnam was one of the central reasons for his murder.

The central element in the broadcast is professor Peter Dale Scott’s skillful discussion (and excerpting) of relevant National Security Action Memoranda pertaining to Kennedy’s Vietnam policy. The program details Kennedy’s plans to phase out direct U.S. military participation in the conflict.

Presiding over severe dissent from within his own administration, as well as from the military and intelligence establishments, Kennedy initiated this U.S. withdrawal seven weeks before his death. Two days after the assassination, Kennedy’s Vietnam policy was reversed and the course of action was determined for what was to follow. In addition to canceling the troop withdrawal and providing for troop increases, the policy shift resumed the program of covert action against North Vietnam that was to lead to the Gulf of Tonkin incident. That alleged attack on U.S. destroyers (never independently verified and widely believed to be fraudulent) precipitated U.S. military escalation.

The principal documents in question are National Security Action Memoranda #’s 111, 249, 263 and 273.

National Security Memorandum 111, dated two years to the day from JFK’s assassination, resolved a long-standing debate within the Kennedy assassination. That memorandum committed the U.S. to “helping” the South Vietnamese government in the war, pointedly avoiding the language “helping the South Vietnamese win the war.”

Although this might appear to an untrained observer as a minor semantic distinction, it was well understood within the Kennedy administration to define the difference between a limited commitment to aiding the South Vietnamese and an unlimited, open-ended commitment to helping the South Vietnamese win. 

Crafted in June 25 of 1963, NSAM 249 suspended covert operations against North Vietnam pending a review of policy.

In National Security Action Memorandum 263 (10/11/1963), Kennedy scheduled the initial withdrawal of 1,000 military personnel by the end of 1963, as part of a phased withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel.

National Security Action Memorandum 273, which was formulated by LBJ on the Sunday after Kennedy’s murder (the day Jack Ruby killed Oswald) and released two days after that, negated the previous three documents. The troop withdrawal formulated in NSAM 263 was cancelled and troop increases were scheduled. The U.S. was committed to “helping the South Vietnamese win,” pointedly using the language avoided by Kennedy in NSAM 111. Furthermore plans were formulated for the program of covert operations against North Vietnam that resulted in the Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution (permitting LBJ to plunge the U.S. into the war).

Covert operations against the North had been suspended  and were resumed in June of 1963 against JFK’s wishes and apparently without his knowledge.

In the roughly 34 years since this program excerpt was recorded, other books have explored how JFK’s assassination reversed U.S. Vietnam policy. One of the best is James Douglass’s “JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters.”

Program Highlights Include:

1.-The intensification in late 1963 of U.S. covert paramilitary operations in Laos.
2.-The intensification in that same period of U.S. covert paramilitary operations against Cambodia.
3.-The Pentagon Papers’ apparently deliberate falsification of U.S. Vietnam policy, maintaining against the historical record that there was continuity of Vietnam policy from JFK’s administration to LBJ’s.
4.-NSAM’s instruction that administration members were to refrain from criticizing American Vietnam policy.


FTR #955 Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack? Not So Fast, Part 2

Supplementing FTR #954, this broadcast continues analysis of the alleged Assad government chemical weapons attack. Key points of discussion include:

1. Further analysis by MIT expert Theodore Postol, who sees the photographic evidence alleged to support the Trump administration’s allegations as questionable. ” . . . ‘This addendum provides data that unambiguously shows that the assumption in the WHR that there was no tampering with the alleged site of the sarin release is not correct. This egregious error raises questions about every other claim in the WHR. … The implication of this observation is clear – the WHR was not reviewed and released by any competent intelligence expert unless they were motivated by factors other than concerns about the accuracy of the report. . . .”

2. Particularly suspicious (laughable?) is a picture showing personnel examining the purported sarin attack site with woefully inadequate protective clothing. ” . . . . ‘If there were any sarin present at this location when this photograph was taken everybody in the photograph would have received a lethal or debilitating dose of sarin. The fact that these people were dressed so inadequately either suggests a complete ignorance of the basic measures needed to protect an individual from sarin poisoning, or that they knew that the site was not seriously contaminated. This is the crater that is the centerpiece evidence provided in the WHR for a sarin attack delivered by a Syrian aircraft.’ . . . . ”

3. Questionable analysis in the alleged chlorine gas attacks also attributed to the al-Assad regime. ” . . . In one of the chlorine cases, however, Syrian eyewitnesses came forward to testify that the rebels had staged the alleged attack so it could be blamed on the government. In that incident, the U.N. team reached no conclusion as to what had really happened, but neither did the investigators – now alerted to the rebels’ tactic of staging chemical attacks – apply any additional skepticism to the other cases. In one case, the rebels and their supporters also claimed to know that an alleged ‘barrel bomb’ contained a canister of chlorine because of the sound that it made while descending. There was no explanation for how that sort of detection was even possible. . . .”

4. A British doctor who was a focal point of PR coverage of the alleged sarin attack has a jihadist background. ” . . . . A British doctor who documented a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria was considered a ‘committed jihadist’ by MI6 and was struck off the General Medical Council in 2016. Shajul Islam, 31, posted several videos on Twitter in the aftermath of the Tuesday’s (4 April) attack where he appeared to be treating patients in Khan Sheikhoun. He appeared on several television networks such as NBC to discuss what he saw, but it has now emerged Islam was previously charged on terror offences in the UK. . . .”

4. The underlying strategic reason for some of the Trump/Russian interface, one that dovetails with the Syrian provocation/escalation: ” . . . . The United Arab Emirates arranged a secret meeting in January between Blackwater founder Erik Prince and a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow and President-elect Donald Trump, according to U.S., European and Arab officials. The meeting took place around Jan. 11 — nine days before Trump’s inauguration — in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean, officials said. Though the full agenda remains unclear, the UAE agreed to broker the meeting in part to explore whether Russia could be persuaded to curtail its relationship with Iran, including in Syria, a Trump administration objective . . . .”

5. George W. Bush administration officials are confident another terrorist attack is coming appear to be concerned that the Trump could use terror to grab and abuse executive powers. We present some of their thoughts against the background of our discussion in FTR #953 about Bernie Sanders’ paving the way for Muslim Brotherhood-linked elements: ” . . . . ‘We can assume there will be another terrorist attack in the U.S. If the executive order is in place, he will point to the attack as support for the executive order and the need to expand it to other countries with bad dudes (Muslims). If the executive order has been struck down, Trump will blame judges and Democrats for the attack. . . .’We both wholly believe that Trump needs a bogeyman. But, more importantly, he needs distraction and a blame source. In terrorists, he has his bogeyman. In his control of the prevailing press narrative via tweet, he has distraction. And, in the judiciary, he has a source of blame for why his way was right from the beginning.’ . . . . ‘I am fully confident that an attack is exactly what he wants and needs.’ . . . .”

Whereas the Syrian alleged sarin incident appears to have been effected by some of the West’s al-Qaeda surrogates in the conflict, past provocations have involved more direct involvement by elements of the intelligence community. In May of 1963, with then South Vietnamese president Diem pushing for a reduction in U.S. forces in Vietnam (against American wishes), a bombing occurred at a Hue radio station that was the focal point of Buddhist protests of the government’s policy toward Buddhists. The authorship of that attack and a 1952 Saigon bombing, was not the Vietcong.

Key points of analysis:

1. The May, 1963 attack in Hue: “ . . . . As Dang Sy and his security officers were approaching the area in armored cars about fifty meters away, two powerful explosions blasted the people on the veranda of the station, killing seven on the spot and fatally wounding a child. At least fifteen others were injured. . . .”

2. Forensic analysis of the wounds of the victims: “ . . . Dr. Le Khac Quyen, the hospital director at Hue, said after examining the victims’ bodies that he had never seen such injuries. The bodies had been decapitated. He found no metal in the corpses, only holes. There were no wounds below the chest. In his official finding, Dr. Quyen ruled that ‘the death of the people was caused by an explosion which took place in mid-air, blowing off their heads and mutilating their bodies.’ . . . ”

3. Dr. Quyen’s conclusions about the source of the victims’ wounds in the 1963 attack: “ . . . . The absence of any metal in the bodies or on the radio station’s veranda pointed to powerful plastic bombs as the source of the explosions. . . .”

4. Analysis of the 1952 bombing in Saigon: “ . . . . Who did possess such powerful plastic bombs? An answer is provided by Graham Greene’s prophetic novel The Quiet American, based on historical events that occurred in Saigon eleven years before the bombing in Hue. Greene was in Saigon on January 9, 1952, when two bombs exploded in the city’s center, killing ten and injuring many more. A picture of the scene, showing a man with his legs blown off, appeared in Life magazine as the ‘Picture of the Week.’ The Life caption said the Saigon bombs had been ‘planted by Viet Minh Communists’ and ‘signaled general intensification of the Viet Minh violence.’ In like manner, the New York Times headlined: ‘Reds’ Time Bombs Rip Saigon Center.’ . . .”

5. In the 1952 bombing, the operational coordination between U.S. media outlets and the perpetrators of the attack is noteworthy for our purposes: “ . . . . General The’s bombing material, a U.S. plastic, had been supplied to him by his sponsor, the Central Intelligence Agency. Greene observed in his memoir, Ways of Escape, it was no coincidence that ‘the Life photographer at the moment of the explosion was so well placed that he was able to take an astonishing and horrifying photograph which showed the body of a trishaw driver still upright after his legs had been blown off.’ The CIA had set the scene, alerting the Life photographer and Times reporter so they could convey the terrorist bombing as the work of ‘Viet Minh Communists’ to a mass audience. . . .”

6. South Vietnamese investigation of the May, 1963 attack, arrived at a conclusion similar to Graham Greene’s discovery in the 1952 attack: “ . . . . According to an investigation carried by the Catholic newspaper Hoa Binh. . . . a Captain Scott . . . . had come to Hue from Da Nang on May 7, 1963. He admitted he was the American agent responsible for the bombing at the radio station the next day. He said he used ‘an explosive that was still secret and known only to certain people in the Central Intelligence Agency, a charge no larger than a matchbox with a timing device.’. . . .”


Thompson Agonistes: The Dissent and Subsequent Disappearance of A CIA Officer

Jim Thompson, CIA officer who openly criticized the Agency’s policy in Asia disappeared from the face of the earth.