Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.
The tag 'Vietnam' is associated with 42 posts.

FTR #1076 Surveillance Valley, Part 2: Mauthausen on Our Mind

The pro­gram begins with recap of the adap­ta­tion of IBM’s Hol­lerith machines to Nazi data com­pi­la­tion. (We con­clud­ed FTR #1075 with dis­cus­sion of this.): ” . . . . Germany’s vast state bureau­cra­cy and its mil­i­tary and rear­ma­ment pro­grams, includ­ing the country’s grow­ing con­cen­tra­tion camp/slave labor sys­tem, also required data pro­cess­ing ser­vices. By the time the U.S. offi­cial­ly entered the war in 1941, IBM’s Ger­man sub­sidiary had grown to employ 10,000 peo­ple and served 300 dif­fer­ent Ger­man gov­ern­ment agen­cies. The Nazi Par­ty Trea­sury; the SS; the War Min­istry; the Reichs­bank; the Reich­spost; the Arma­ments Min­istry; the Navy, Army and Air Force; and the Reich Sta­tis­ti­cal Office — the list of IBM’s clients went on and on.

” ‘Indeed, the Third Reich would open star­tling sta­tis­ti­cal venues for Hol­lerith machines nev­er before insti­tut­ed — per­haps nev­er before even imag­ined,’ wrote Edwin Black in IBM and the Holo­caust, his pio­neer­ing 2001 exposé of the for­got­ten busi­ness ties between IBM and Nazi Ger­many. ‘In Hitler’s Ger­many, the sta­tis­ti­cal and cen­sus com­mu­ni­ty, over­run with doc­tri­naire Nazis, pub­licly boast­ed about the new demo­graph­ic break­throughs their equip­ment would achieve.’ . . . .

“Demand for Hol­lerith tab­u­la­tors was so robust that IBM was forced to open a new fac­to­ry in Berlin to crank out all the new machines. At the facility’s chris­ten­ing cer­e­mo­ny, which was attend­ed by a top U.S. IBM exec­u­tive and the elite of the Nazi Par­ty, the head of IBM’s Ger­man sub­sidiary gave a rous­ing speech about the impor­tant role that Hol­lerith tab­u­la­tors played in Hitler’s dri­ve to puri­fy Ger­many and cleanse it of infe­ri­or racial stock. . . .”

In that same arti­cle, Yasha Levine notes that the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s pro­posed changes in the 2020 cen­sus sound as though they may por­tend some­thing akin to the Nazi cen­sus of 1933: ” . . . . Based on a close read­ing of inter­nal Depart­ment of Com­merce doc­u­ments tied to the cen­sus cit­i­zen ques­tion pro­pos­al, it appears the Trump admin­is­tra­tion wants to use the cen­sus to con­struct a first-of-its-kind cit­i­zen­ship reg­istry for the entire U.S. pop­u­la­tion — a deci­sion that arguably exceeds the legal author­i­ty of the cen­sus. ‘It was deep in the doc­u­men­ta­tion that was released,’ Robert Groves, a for­mer Cen­sus Bureau direc­tor who head­ed the Nation­al Acad­e­mies com­mit­tee con­vened to inves­ti­gate the 2020 cen­sus, told me by tele­phone. ‘No one picked up on it much. But the term ‘reg­istry’ in our world means not a col­lec­tion of data for sta­tis­ti­cal pur­pos­es but rather to know the iden­ti­ty of par­tic­u­lar peo­ple in order to use that knowl­edge to affect their lives.’ Giv­en the administration’s pos­ture toward immi­gra­tion, the fact that it wants to build a com­pre­hen­sive cit­i­zen­ship data­base is high­ly con­cern­ing. To Groves, it clear­ly sig­nals ‘a bright line being crossed.’ . . .”

In the con­clu­sion to Sur­veil­lance Val­ley, Yasha Levine notes how IBM com­put­ing tech­nol­o­gy facil­i­tat­ed the Nazi slave labor oper­a­tions through­out the Third Reich. The epi­cen­ter of this was Mau­thausen.

The sys­tem­at­ic use of slave labor was cen­tral to Nazi Ger­many’s indus­tri­al infra­struc­ture: ” . . . . But in the 1930s, Mau­thausen had been a vital eco­nom­ic engine of Hitler’s geno­ci­dal plan to remake Europe and the Sovi­et Union into his own back­yard utopia. It start­ed out as a gran­ite quar­ry but quick­ly grew into the largest slave labor com­plex in Nazi Ger­many, with fifty sub-camps that spanned most of mod­ern-day Aus­tria. Here, hun­dreds of thou­sands of prisoners–mostly Euro­pean Jews but also Roma, Spaniards, Rus­sians, Serbs, Slovenes, Ger­mans, Bul­gar­i­ans, even Cubans–were worked to death. They refined oil, built fight­er air­craft, assem­bled can­nons, devel­oped rock­et tech­nol­o­gy, and were leased out to pri­vate Ger­man busi­ness­es. Volk­swa­gen, Siemens, Daim­ler-Benz, BMW, Bosch–all ben­e­fit­ed from the camp’s slave labor pool. Mau­thausen, the admin­is­tra­tive nerve cen­ter, was cen­tral­ly direct­ed from Berlin using the lat­est in ear­ly com­put­er tech­nol­o­gy: IBM punch card tab­u­la­tors. . . .”

Mau­thausen’s IBM machines were, in turn, cen­tral to Ger­man indus­try’s use of slave labor: ” . . . . the camp had sev­er­al IBM machines work­ing over­time to han­dle the big churn of inmates and to make sure there were always enough bod­ies to per­form the nec­es­sary work. These machines didn’t oper­ate in iso­la­tion but were part of a larg­er slave labor con­trol-and-account­ing sys­tem that stretched across Nazi-occu­pied Europe con­nect­ing Berlin to every major con­cen­tra­tion and labor punch card, tele­graph, tele­phone, and human couri­er. This wasn’t the auto­mat­ed type of com­put­er net­work sys­tem that the Pen­ta­gon would begin to build in the Unit­ed States just a decade lat­er, but it was an infor­ma­tion net­work nonethe­less: an electro­mechan­i­cal web that fueled and sus­tained Nazi Germany’s war machine with blaz­ing effi­cien­cy. It extend­ed beyond the labor camps and reached into the cities and towns, crunch­ing moun­tains of genealog­i­cal data to track down peo­ple with even the barest whiff of Jew­ish blood or per­ceived racial impu­ri­ty in a mad rush to ful­fill Adolf Hitler’s dri­ve to puri­fy the Ger­man peo­ple, but they made the Nazi death machine run faster and more effi­cient­ly, scour­ing the pop­u­la­tion and track­ing down vic­tims in ways that would nev­er have been pos­si­ble with­out them. . . .”

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 over­lap­ping DARPA projects that spawned Agent Orange, the Inter­net was nev­er intend­ed to be some­thing good. Its gen­er­a­tive func­tion and pur­pose is counter-insur­gency. ” . . . . In the 1960s, Amer­i­ca was a glob­al pow­er over­see­ing an increas­ing­ly volatile world: con­flicts and region­al insur­gen­cies against US-allied gov­ern­ments from South Amer­i­ca to South­east Asia and the Mid­dle East. These were not tra­di­tion­al wars that involved big armies but gueril­la cam­paigns and local rebel­lions, fre­quent­ly fought in regions where Amer­i­cans had lit­tle pre­vi­ous expe­ri­ence. Who were these peo­ple? Why were they rebelling? What could be done to stop them? In mil­i­tary cir­cles, it was believed that these ques­tions were of vital impor­tance to Amer­i­ca’s paci­fi­ca­tion efforts, and some argued that the only effec­tive way to answer them was to devel­op and lever­age com­put­er-aid­ed infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy. The Inter­net came out of this effort: an attempt to build com­put­er sys­tems that could col­lect and share intel­li­gence, watch the world in real time, and study and ana­lyze peo­ple and polit­i­cal move­ments with the ulti­mate goal of pre­dict­ing and pre­vent­ing social upheaval. . . .”

In this land­mark vol­ume, Levine makes numer­ous points, includ­ing:

1.–The har­vest­ing of data by intel­li­gence ser­vices is PRECISELY what the Inter­net was designed to do in the first place.
2.–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.
3.–The big tech com­pa­nies all col­lab­o­rate with the var­i­ous intel­li­gence agen­cies they pub­licly scorn and seek to osten­si­bly dis­tance them­selves from.
4.–Edward Snow­den, the Elec­tron­ic Fron­tier Foun­da­tion, Jacob Appel­baum, the milieu of the Tor Net­work and Wik­iLeaks are com­plic­it in the data har­vest­ing and sur­veil­lance.
5.–Snowden and oth­er pri­va­cy activists are dou­ble agents, con­scious­ly chan­nel­ing peo­ple fear­ful of hav­ing their com­mu­ni­ca­tions mon­i­tored into tech­nolo­gies that will facil­i­tate that sur­veil­lance!

The pro­gram notes that counterinsurgency–the func­tion­al con­text of the ori­gin of the Internet–is at the foun­da­tion of the gen­e­sis of Nazism. At the con­clu­sion of World War I, Ger­many was beset by a series of socialist/Communist upris­ings in a num­ber of cities, includ­ing Munich. Respond­ing to that, under­ground Reich­swehr units com­mand­ed by Ernst Rohm (lat­er head of the SA) sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly assas­si­nat­ed the lead­ers of the rev­o­lu­tion, as well as promi­nent social democ­rats and Jews, such as Walther Rathenau. In Munich, an under­cov­er agent for the polit­i­cal depart­ment of the Reich­swehr under Gen­er­al Von Los­sow infil­trat­ed the rev­o­lu­tion­ar­ies, pre­tend­ing to be one of them.

Fol­low­ing the crush­ing of the rebel­lion and occu­pa­tion of the city by Reich­swehr units, that infil­tra­tor iden­ti­fied the lead­ers of the rev­o­lu­tion, who were then sum­mar­i­ly exe­cut­ed. The infil­tra­tor’s name was Adolf Hitler.

After the sup­pres­sion of the rebel­lion, Hitler, Rohm and under­cov­er Reich­swehr agents infil­trat­ed a mori­bund polit­i­cal par­ty and turned it into an intel­li­gence front for the intro­duc­tion of the sup­pos­ed­ly de-mobi­lized Ger­man Army into Ger­man soci­ety for the pur­pose of gen­er­at­ing polit­i­cal reac­tion. That front was the Ger­man Nation­al Social Work­ers Par­ty.

The broad­cast re-capit­u­lates (from part of Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Show M11) Hitler’s speech to the Indus­try Club of Dus­sel­dorf. This speech, which won the Ger­man indus­tri­al and finan­cial elite over to the cause of the Nazi Par­ty, equat­ed democ­ra­cy with Com­mu­nism.

Man­i­fest­ing a Social Dar­win­ist per­spec­tive, Hitler opined that the [assem­bled] suc­cess­ful, accom­plished were, by def­i­n­i­tion supe­ri­or to oth­ers. If those, by def­i­n­i­tion, infe­ri­or peo­ple were allowed to con­trol the polit­i­cal process, they would struc­ture the social and eco­nom­ic land­scape to their own ben­e­fit.

This, accord­ing to Hitler, would be counter-evo­lu­tion­ary.


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.’. . . .”