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For The Record  

FTR#‘s 1279 and 1280: Interviews #16 and #17 with Jim DiEugenio and John Newman

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FTR#1279 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment

FTR#1280 This pro­gram was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: Our ongo­ing series of inter­views with Jim DiEugenio–selected by Oliv­er Stone to write the screen­play for the doc­u­men­tary JFK Revis­it­ed and to write and edit the book derived from the film—presents an extreme­ly enrich­ing guest, John New­man.

Author of among oth­er titles JFK and Viet­nam and Oswald and the CIA, John was deeply involved with Stone’s 1991 opus JFK.

The inter­views begin with review of top­ics pre­vi­ous­ly dis­cussed in this FTR series, includ­ing: Pres­i­dent Eisenhower’s order to kill Patrice Lumum­ba of the Con­go, reach­ing a crescen­do with Ike’s out­burst at a nation­al secu­ri­ty meet­ing demand­ing aloud Lumumba’s ter­mi­na­tion; Pres­i­dents Trump’s and Biden’s balk­ing at the man­dat­ed release of doc­u­ments pur­suant to the ARRB’s man­date; dis­cus­sion of Oper­a­tion North­woods, Lyman Lemnitzer’s and Maxwell Taylor’s planned series of provo­ca­tions designed to pro­voke a U.S. inva­sion of Cuba.

Of par­tic­u­lar note is John New­man’s dis­clo­sure that no record­ings of the meet­ings of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have sur­vived intact!

1.  Next, we review JFK’s Viet­nam pol­i­cy (this, too, has been cov­ered in past talks, how­ev­er we present added depth draw­ing on John’s exper­tise and pub­lished book JFK and Viet­nam.)

 Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: 9 dif­fer­ent sug­ges­tions pre­sent­ed to JFK in 1961 to send U.S. troops into Viet­nam; JFK’s reluc­tance to put troops in Cuba and Viet­nam due, in part, to the U.S. not hav­ing suf­fi­cient forces avail­able in case of a flare­up of ten­sions in Europe; MacArthur and DeGaulle’s advice against send­ing Amer­i­can com­bat troops into Viet­nam; Draft­ing of NSAM 111 in Novem­ber of 1963, com­mit­ting the U.S. to “help­ing the Viet­namese” but avoid­ing an open-end­ed com­mit­ment includ­ing the use of Amer­i­can com­bat units; John Ken­neth Galbraith’s fact-find­ing mis­sion to Saigon to obtain inde­pen­dent analy­sis for JFK; McNamara/Maxwell Taylor’s Saigon trip and sub­se­quent rec­om­men­da­tions to JFK to esca­late the war; JFK’s rebuttal—he want­ed a full with­draw­al to begin; RFK’s cen­tral posi­tion in JFK’s Viet­nam pol­i­cy; JFK’s leak­ing of inten­tion to with­draw from Viet­nam, which even­tu­al­ly reached the press; NSAM 263 and its for­mal cod­i­fi­ca­tion of JFK’s with­draw­al pol­i­cy; The of NSAM 263 to JFK’s “secret” dis­clo­sure of the with­draw­al plan; Bundy’s draft of NSAM 273; Sub­se­quent revi­sions of NSAM 273 in the direc­tion of esca­la­tion; LBJ’s rub­ber stamp­ing of what Maxwell Tay­lor want­ed; Review of LBJ’s duplic­i­ty dur­ing 1964 campaign—Operation Rolling Thun­der, sea-borne raids on North, Gulf of Tonkin incident/Resolution had all been planned even as LBJ was cam­paign­ing on a pledge not to send U.S. troops to Viet­nam; The fact that NSAM 273 being craft­ed on 11/24/1963, the day Ruby shoots Oswald.

2. We then high­light Gen­er­al Cur­tis LeMay’s atti­tude toward and behav­ior with regard to JFK.

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: Le May’s 11/22/1963 hunt­ing trip to Cana­da (mis­rep­re­sent­ed as being in Michi­gan); Orders giv­en to LeMay to land at Andrews AFB; LeMay’s land­ing at D.C. air­port instead; Com­man­der Humes smells cig­ar smoke at Bethes­da autop­sy and orders Navy corps­man to tell smok­er to put it out; Smok­er is LeMay, who blows smoke into corpsman’s face.

3. Dis­cus­sion con­cludes with what Sen­a­tor Richard Schweik­er not­ed: that there were “the fin­ger­prints of Intel­li­gence all around Oswald.” An impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tion brack­et­ing this dis­cus­sion con­cerns the CIA’s coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence search/obsession for a KGB mole with­in the Agency. John has writ­ten, and is writ­ing, about that sub­ject. Oswald’s “defec­tion” to the USSR over­lapped that dynam­ic.

Key Points of Dis­cus­sion and Analy­sis Include: Review of State Depart­ment offi­cial Otto Otep­ka and his inter­est in Oswald; Review of treat­ment Otep­ka received, includ­ing Otepka’s dis­missal on 11/5/1963; Detailed review of Oswald’s 201 file; Dis­cus­sion of what a 201 is and the extra­or­di­nar­i­ly unusu­al cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing Oswald’s 201; Oswald’s threat to reveal clas­si­fied info, oth­er communications–information that should have led to cre­ation of a 201 file but did not; CIA offi­cial Bagley & British intel­li­gence vet­er­an Antho­ny Blunt’s dis­cus­sion about Oswald being a “wit­ting” defec­tor; Detailed dis­cus­sion of a coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence gam­bit involv­ing Oswald, “defec­tors” to the Sovi­et Union and the sto­ried CIA coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence search for a KGB “mole;” CIA was keep­ing track of Oswald for four years pri­or to assas­si­na­tion and were get­ting info up to one week before; Fir Play for Cuba Com­mit­tee was cre­at­ed at the same time as Eisen­how­er ordered the over­throw of Cas­tro; Review of Oswald, Guy Ban­is­ter and FPCC; Oswald spy­ing on stu­dent left­ists for Ban­is­ter; An FBI spe­cial agent was going to include info about 544 Camp Street but scratched it out before send­ing to Bureau HQ; FBI doesn’t ask Ban­is­ter about Oswald when the inter­view him (Ban­is­ter was a for­mer FBI agent); Dis­cus­sion of Flash Notice on Oswald’s files at CIA and FBI; FBI’s Mar­vin Gheesling takes it off Oswald’s FBI file in Octo­ber ’63; Sig­nif­i­cance of this action vis a vis Oswald’s 201 file.


6 comments for “FTR#‘s 1279 and 1280: Interviews #16 and #17 with Jim DiEugenio and John Newman”

  1. NB: The kfjc.org web­site is down, prob­a­bly because of the weath­er. It should be up again, present­ly. That is why the audio files are–temporarily–unresponsive. Again, the prob­lem will dis­ap­pear, as soon as the kfjc.org web­site is back up again.

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 7, 2023, 5:09 pm
  2. inter­view 1279 still does­nt work with pop up or oth­er way; pls fi

    Posted by terry noble | January 12, 2023, 8:41 pm
  3. See the nota­tion at the upper right of the front page.

    Posted by Dave Emory | January 13, 2023, 5:03 pm
  4. 1961 was the year Patrice Lamum­ba was assas­si­nat­ed, which kicked off a lot of exposés on the so-called “Cold” War.

    Posted by Atlanta Bill | January 14, 2023, 10:37 pm
  5. Every­thing is back online. Look­ing for­ward to lis­ten­ing to both of these tonight!

    Posted by Hugh | January 15, 2023, 2:54 pm
  6. Dave your back and that is good we hap­pen to be in Rome

    Posted by Belisarius | January 16, 2023, 10:01 pm

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