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Greg Burnham

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Everything posted by Greg Burnham

  1. It is a derogatory remark in the US, too. It means relying only on the evidence that supports your preferred theory and concealing the evidence that does not support your theory. The implication is that you are aware of the "other cherries" but are deliberately omitting them.
  2. Surely there is a difference between the inadvertent and/or anomalous omission of a single piece of evidence vs. a pattern of intentionally omitting or distorting numerous items of relevant evidence that would tend to weaken one's argument, particularly after one has been informed of the omission or distortion. It is possible for a single (or very, very few) omission(s) to inadvertently occur innocuously. However, a pattern of Special Pleading becomes problematic from a "reasoning" standpoint. I am not here to judge one's motives for employing such a pattern of omission and distortion. However, such a pattern's fallacious nature undermines the strength of the arguments it has been advanced to promote.
  3. Why resort to speculation as to the purpose of alleged shots from the grassy knoll and/or storm drain? That is entirely off topic. We have evidence that either supports, refutes, or is neutral with respect to various conclusions as to the points of origin of the shots responsible for the President's wounds. In this instance, there is compelling evidence that shots originating from both the front and the rear of Kennedy struck their target. When a researcher disregards, misrepresents, omits, or distorts evidence--including witness testimony--that does not conform to his or her pet theory it is intellectually dishonest AT BEST. In response to the following question elsewhere in the thread: "Does Pat Speer cherry-pick witness testimony?" -- You began your reply with: "Well, who doesn't [cherry pick witness testimony]?" I am appalled by your response on several levels. First, while it would be disingenuous for me or anyone to deny that each of us carries some amount of bias, it is also important to note that an honest broker recognizes this potential bias in themselves, rejects it rather than embraces it, and fights to resist it interfering with their pursuit of the truth. Second, while it would be entirely appropriate for me to object to your position regarding "cherry picking" evidence on purely moral and ethical grounds, I prefer to take a more dispassionate approach. Namely, "cherry picking" is a logical fallacy known as Special Pleading, and is therefore not sound reasoning. Third, your having correctly identified and admitted that Pat Speer is guilty of the logical fallacy of Special Pleading, colloquially also known as "cherry picking," is, at the very least, instructive as to how we should judge the soundness of his arguments and/or the reliability of his conclusions.
  4. The last I heard from Mike was when he introduced himself to me immediately following my presentation in Dallas for COPA on the 50th anniversary. Great guy. I hope he is doing well.
  5. Hi Paul, While it would take an article sized post for me to completely answer your question, let me simply speak to a few points. Accepting the notion that all shots originated from behind Kennedy is but the very first and most important step in concluding that Oswald could have possibly acted alone. Without that fundamental premise there is no "Oswald was the lone gunman" argument. Even though the lone gunman conclusion has been destroyed several times over in many different ways by many different persons, the fact that a concerted, well orchestrated, plan existed to fabricate evidence in support of that preordained conclusion is profound in the big scheme of things. For if the conclusion is false--that all shots originated from the rear--then the medical evidence was deliberately tampered with for the purpose of obstructing justice. It also strongly indicates how high up the military chain of command the "pre-planning of the cover-up" reached. If the military colluded in a conspiracy to obstruct justice in the murder investigation of its own Commander-in-Chief, such a scenario reveals a lot more to us about the nature and scope of this conspiracy. It eliminates "Plan B" suspects, such as, the mob, the anti-Castro Cubans, and many others who had no control over the military. Dealey Plaza was the setting chosen for an ambush in a military operation. Bethesda was the setting for the destruction and/or fabrication of evidence in deference to obstruction of justice pursuant to a military coup d' e`tat. How we view and approach the entire case should be significantly impacted by this information.
  6. I used to have a member on my forum who was a very nice person. Most of the time. Quite bright. Most of the time. Very patient. Most of the time. A fairly good enough communicator. Most of the time. But sometimes...not so much. Almost like he was a different person. As it turned out, he finally admitted that sometimes he'd post after he'd been drinking. It made him impatient, cloudy in his thinking, adamant that he was right, slightly paranoid, all the while isolating himself away from like-minded people who could have been his allies. But that was just him.
  7. No, but when one's ideas are so poorly communicated that they are confusing, disjointed, or too emotionally packed, they might tend to appear to be false, contrived, or ego-driven--even when they aren't.
  8. Millicent Cranor's response to Ollie Curme follows. ===================================== To Oliver D. Curme: Thank you for providing – in writing – your unique interpretation of my comments. This is useful to our research. The people I hear from say they have had no problem understanding what I wrote about Pat Speer and they say they find your reaction to it instructive. What I criticize: Speer’s deceptive methods – not his theories. This post contains only a small sampling of these methods. My position: Kennedy’s head wound was extensive, and included the top right, side, and back of the head, to an area just above the EOP. Basis for my position: Statements from qualified witnesses who saw the most. Speer’s position: The head wound was “primarily a temporal wound.” Basis for Speer’s position: ( a ) Suspect autopsy photographs and X-rays “authenticated” by a company closely associated with a suspect organization, the CIA; ( b ) misrepresented statements from the autopsy report; ( c ) statements from the least qualified witnesses who saw the least ( d ) misrepresented statements from the most qualified witnesses who saw the most. It would be pointless to discuss item ( a ). I have already commented on item ( b ) which you apparently did not understand, and so I will give you a sample from items ( c ) and ( d ): USES LEAST INFORMED WITNESSES Speer promotes the views of Kenneth Salyer, a Parkland doctor who recently claims, with great confidence, that the wound was confined to the right temple He wasn’t always so confident. (http://www.patspeer.com/chapter18b%3Areasontobelieve) Is Salyer qualified to say the wound was confined to the right temple only? Take a good look at his more candid remarks made under oath to the Warren Commission. How well did he see the wound? Notice all the qualifiers – other doctors were in the way, they were more close to JFK; he was on the left side -- not on the side of the wound; and he used the words “seemed to be” and “at least from the point of view that I could see him.” Asked what exactly he saw of the head wound, he said: "I came in on the left side of him and noticed that his major wound seemed to be in his right temporal area, at least from the point of view that I could see him, and other than that—nothing other than he did have a gaping scalp wound—cranial wound.” (Vol 6 WCH, p 81) What was that point of view, and why was it so limiting? It is clear from his response to questions about the throat wound: “… I think there were a lot of people – a lot of doctors more closely around him… right after I arrived, Dr. Clark and Dr. Grossman also arrived” “There were a lot of doctors standing around and I didn’t really get to observe the nature of the wound in the throat.” Obviously, Kenneth Salyer is not qualified to comment on the full extent of the wound – but you would not learn that from Pat Speer. (Speer also quotes Elm Street witnesses, all of whom saw the more spectacular damage on the top right side of the head – but none of whom ruled out damage in the back. And they all hit the ground right after the head shots were fired, so they were hardly in a position to assess all the damage.) MISREPRESENTS MOST QUALIFIED PARKLAND DOCTOR William Kemp Clark, the chief neurosurgeon, was the most qualified of the Parkland doctors, and he obtained the closest look at hole in JFK’s head. From his position behind JFK, he looked through the hole in the skull at the brain. Testifying on the brain damage, he mentioned occipital lobes, parietal lobes, and cerebellum. Clark also described where the large defect was in relation to the entrance wound, which he was told was just above the EOP and 2.5cm to the right of it. Clark said the larger wound was “above such a wound [the entrance] and lateral to it.” (Vol VI WCH, p.25) The following paragraph shows how Speer completely misconstrues Clark’s testimony. I’m reproducing it here intact, and comment on it further below. He had thereby claimed the wound he examined was entirely above the EOP, and more than an inch to its right. Well, this would be well above and to the right of where so many theorists propose the wound to have been located. It would, in fact, rule out the Harper fragment's being occipital bone. Clark was then asked if his observations were consistent with the autopsy report's conclusion of a bullet entering near the EOP, and "exiting from the center of the President's skull." He replied: "Yes, sir." When brought back four days later, and asked about a February 20 article in the French paper L'Express, where it was claimed he'd told the New York Times the first bullet entered at the knot of Kennedy's tie and penetrated Kennedy's chest, and that the second bullet hit "the right side of his head" and caused a "tangential" wound of both entrance and exit, furthermore, Clark disagreed with its characterization of his statements regarding the first bullet, but said nothing about its characterization of the second. In sum, then, while Clark's report and testimony suggest he saw a wound on the back of the head, a closer look at his testimony shows he was agreeable that this wound was at the top right side of the head, and consistent with the wound described in the autopsy report. 1. “He had thereby claimed the wound he examined was entirely above the EOP…” Yes, but because the large wound was also “lateral to it” that means the lower part of it began at a level “just above” the EOP. In other words, LOW 2. “and more than an inch to its right.” Clark just said it was “lateral” to it – he did not describe the direction. This could mean either to the right -- or to the left of it (as long as it stayed on the right side of the skull). If the lower portion of the defect was a narrow area, it would have fit on either side of the alleged entrance wound. 3. “Well, this would be well above and to the right of where so many theorists propose the wound to have been located. It would, in fact, rule out the Harper fragment's being occipital bone.” Well above? Absolutely false. What is unclear is the upper border of the rim, not the lower border. 4. “Clark was then asked if his observations were consistent with the autopsy report's conclusion of a bullet entering near the EOP, and "exiting from the center of the President's skull." He replied: "Yes, sir." Once again, Speer omits an important qualifier; that the question was posed hypothetically and if Clark “assumed the additional facts I have brought to your attention.” 5. “When brought back four days later…[Clark said] the second bullet hit ‘the right side of his head’ and caused a ‘tangential’ wound of both entrance and exit, furthermore, Clark disagreed with its characterization of his statements regarding the first bullet, but said nothing about its characterization of the second. In sum, then, while Clark's report and testimony suggest he saw a wound on the back of the head, a closer look at his testimony shows he was agreeable that this wound was at the top right side of the head, and consistent with the wound described in the autopsy report.” Top right side? Clark never said, nor implied, “top.” He never indicated where the upper border was, though, clearly he was aware that the defect included parietal bone. But Clark did indicate the lowest border was in an area “just above” the EOP. That is certainly low. Speer also implied Clark just couldn’t remember what he saw since he took no notes in the ER, that when he wrote his report, he somehow imagined the wound had included occipital bone, instead of occipital. I note that he does not question the memory of Kenneth Salyer, who neither took notes nor even saw the wound very well.
  9. Millicent Cranor's reply to Pat Speer: =========================== You must think your readers have the attention span of a flatworm, and will therefore not notice the extent of your scams. Let’s start with this one: PS: “And why has she chosen to cite some perceived inconsistency in my writings--where I fail to regurgitate every alternative viewpoint that I've previously rejected…” MC: By using the expression “alternative viewpoint”, you imply theories – which were clearly not what I was talking about. What you fail to include are relevant statements from the official record that contradict your interpretation of other statements from that very same record. It’s cherry picking. You are highly manipulative and untrustworthy for this reason. You know your arguments would not be very compelling if you laid out all the facts. This does not mean that I necessarily believe what is on record, but I try to quote it completely and accurately before arguing against it. I am the opposite of you. I believe in providing readers what they need to know in order to make up their own minds. For example, when I wrote about Kennedy’s throat wound, I expressed my opinion that it was probably an entrance. But I also provided references and photos proving that exit wounds can be small. So size is not a good enough reason to consider the wound an entrance. (I have better reasons.) Some people were not happy when I reported this, but I don’t believe in suppressing information. Here are a few more facts concerning wounds by jacketed bullets from centerfire rifles, facts that Lone Nutters try to suppress: ( a ) entrance wounds need not have abrasion collars, and ( b ) they need not be necessarily round and smooth. They can be somewhat jagged. PS: “I mean, really. It's not okay for me to write something on my website which leaves out HER argument.” MC: Again you try to give the impression I am talking about mere opinion, my “argument” – when I am clearly referring to your misleading reporting. PS: “… she STILL won't admit she thinks Mantik's conclusions are nonsense… So, let's keep this real simple. Was the Harper fragment occipital bone, Ms. Cranor, yes or no? MC: You can try to change the subject, but I won’t play. Right now, it is specimens from you that I am collecting. (And the person who wants them will have other scholars independently vet everything I write.) PS: “… she essentially agrees with me on a number of key points, and is only attacking me to win brownie points with some unnamed person.” MC: I believe in neither the Lifton Hole – nor the Speer Hole. I believe the strange large hole in Kennedy’s head was the result of two or three perforating shots. Cavitation explains only part of the damage. Exploding bone fragments cut scalp on the way out, etc. (Two of them were reported to have semi-circular notches on the periphery of each, indicative of the passage of a bullet. This is impossible to confirm.) MC: When you try to interpret Fisher and Spitz, you sound about as logical as Sarah Palin: PS: “Medicolegal Investigation of Death, by Fisher and Spitz, specifies that scalp is missing at entrance wounds but not at exits…..So … why the heck hasn't she pointed out that the absence of scalp and skull she finds so compelling, and seems to believe was on the back of the head was proof for an ENTRANCE on the back of the head, and NOT an exit.” MC: No one -- not even Spitz -- would consider the reported large defect an entrance wound! When I first read the nonsense you wrote about the large defect being an entrance, I thought maybe you were trying to be funny. But when I read your comment about what Clint Hill saw, I realized the joke is on you: PS: “…Hill, who'd climbed onto the back of Kennedy's limo just after the fatal shot was fired, wrote a report that included an often-overlooked detail. He wrote: "As I lay over the top of the back seat I noticed a portion of the President's head on the right rear side was missing and he was bleeding profusely. Part of his brain was gone. I saw a part of his skull with hair on it lieing in the seat." Hmmm... This bone fragment, which had quite clearly been sprung from the large defect on the right side of Kennedy's head, had hair on it. This marked it as an entrance.” MC: I have often complained about that fragment being “cleaned” of clinging scalp before it was brought to the autopsy. The skin, often called “the body’s historian” could have told part of the story. And the length of hair could have helped orient it. But, never mind that. Back to you… Above you say the “absence of scalp and skull…was proof for an entrance.” Now you are saying the presence of scalp (with hair) is proof of an entrance? You’re calling a hairy bone fragment – the whole thing -- an entrance? Surely not. Maybe you’re just being sloppy. Maybe you’re trying to say the fragment contained a bullet hole? Even so, you are still not making sense. The scalp supporting the hair would have a hole in it – a round hole with NO hair or anything else. Obviously you have not grasped what Spitz was talking about, even though it is very basic: Why scalp is missing from bullet entrance wounds: the skin is crushed between bullet and bone and what’s left of it is carried into the wound along with a plug of bone. The amount of skin missing due to this process is very small -- about the size of the diameter of the bullet if it strikes nose-on, longer if hits on a tangent.
  10. Millicent Cranor responds to Pat Speer: ============================== PS: “Wow. Someone's having a meltdown.” MC: I’m just helping a psychologist who’s looking for specimens of disinformation. He plans to use these examples in a book he’s writing on cognitive processes. Someone alerted him to your website where he found certain typical patterns of deception, but he could not put his finger on the specifics since he doesn’t know the medical evidence. So he asked me to collect more specimens, and to explain them. It’s like sampling polluted water. I can only do so much at a time before the fumes get to me. This kind of work leaves me cold, way below melting temperature. PS: “It appears that Milicent has chosen to in interpret the autopsy protocol in a manner consistent with her favored scenario.” MC: No, that is what you do. I have no “favored scenario.” I just believe in providing relevant information to readers so that they can make up their own minds. PS: “…Which is pretty standard, I suppose. In particular, it seems that she has chosen to believe that the wound stretching "somewhat into the temporal and occipital regions" is the wound described by the Parkland witnesses, a wound primarily on the back of the head. Well, I reject this for a number of reasons. 1) The use of the word "somewhat" suggests to me that this wound barely extended beyond the parietal area.” MC: This is probably what Humes hoped people would think. As I have written elsewhere, he was often vague when it came to reporting information that could contradict the desired conclusions. He used elastic language when describing the location of the back wound, and he feigned ignorance of a bullet wound in the throat on the night of the autopsy. In any case, no matter what a word “suggests” to you, you should never filter it out. You should report all relevant statements, and only then give your opinion. PS: “2. The use of the term "regions" as opposed to bones. It is my understanding that doctors will call the back of the head (yes, even the top of the back of the head--which is the parietal bone) "the occipital region" and that they will similarly call the side of the head by the ear "the temporal region". Well, this suggests to me that the wound was centered on the top right side of the head, and not the far back of the head.” MC: Regardless of your “understanding” – you should still report all relevant statements. PS: “3. The scalp lacerations from this defect didn't stretch to the far back of the head.” MC: That is irrelevant. What you left out is quite relevant: “In this region [parietal somewhat into temporal and occipital] there is an actual absence of scalp and bone… PS: “4. We have no reason for believing the large head wound was measured prior to the scalp being reflected, and skull falling to the table. And yes, I know, the protocol says there was an actual absence of scalp and bone. But it doesn't specify that this bone was missing at the beginning of the autopsy.” MC: Again, you should have reported these critical statements. Their wording indicated the scalp and bone were missing at the beginning. And where would you fit those three late-arriving bone fragments – including one that was 10 cm long, but not including the Harper fragment, which wasn’t turned in that night at all. Prior to exploration that caused additional bone fragmentation, the hole had to be large enough to fit those late-arriving fragments. Even then, they said, there still wasn’t quite enough bone to fill the hole. But maybe you’re right. Maybe there was only a small hole on top – and those bone fragments belong to someone else. But what about the “complete absence of scalp?” Is it your theory that scalp also fell to the table? Or do you believe that when the doctors said there was “a complete absence of scalp” they forgot they had it in their hands? Thank you for this new collection of specimens.
  11. Scott, You post opinions as if they are facts, but when challenged to provide evidentiary support or even proof for your claims, you take offense, become increasingly sarcastic and often condescending--as if you have any reason to assume such a posture. Far from it. I find much in your postings to be rather shallow. I wasn't going to mention it, except that you are now acting superior to several respected members who have done a lot of work on this subject--much of which probably occurred before anyone ever even heard of you.
  12. Greg, Thanks for the thorough response. I've read so many contradictory stories that my memory is muddled regarding the following... Did Bundy actually cancel the dawn raid outright or did he require a successful beachhead prior to allowing the B-26 attack? Did Arleigh Burke order Essex with its sanitized A-4D Skyhawks on station on his own initiative? Tom, The answer to your first question isn't as straight forward as one might expect. The air strikes were both canceled and delayed. Here's what I mean: The B-26's did in fact arrive, but they had been delayed far too long to have accomplished the goal of destroying Castro's planes on the ground. So in terms of "pre-dawn" and "pre-Brigade-landing" air strikes...they were canceled. But since they were eventually allowed to go, they were "delayed" rather than canceled. Adlai Stevenson's argument was indeed that an airstrip needed to be secured in order to promote the notion that the airstrikes originated from within Cuba. Thus the reason to delay their arrival until after a "minimum" amount of real estate could be held. He did not grasp the idea that the Brigade would be unable to capture and hold any territory if Castro controlled the air. However, by the time the 16 B-26's arrived, Castro's air force was alerted to the Brigade's having landed on the beach and were airborne. All 16 of the rebel planes were shot down. If memory serves, 14 were downed by T-33 jets, 1 by a Sea Fury, and one by triple A. The answer to your second question is very elusive. I do not know the answer definitively. However, I suspect that it was part of the "support" forces that were ready to go if--and only if--the Brigade succeeded in accomplishing the minimum requirements to obtain recognition as an interim government from a member of the UN Security Council. Had that occurred the US could have supported the new government legally.
  13. Greg, I've always assumed that Rusk was in the chain of command to Bundy regarding this action, but I have no idea WHY Rusk did this. Can you elaborate? Tom Hi Tom, Yes, I can. And again, I must stress that I prefer not to speculate beyond that which is necessary. In this case some speculation seems in order. Here's what we know, which is not speculation: The best military minds who worked on this project insisted, unequivocally and without exception, that absolute dominance of the airspace over the BOP was paramount else the mission would fail. This was not up for question from the military's point of view, upon whom JFK relied to instruct his decision making. We must take this as a foundational parameter for the rules of engagement. IOW: If air dominance was deemed unachievable for whatever reasons, then the mission would not be successful and should therefore be abandoned. In order to insure air domination, it was therefore decided that Castro's air force needed to be completely eliminated--preferably while it was still on the ground. Why did it need to be taken out while on the ground? Because the anti-Castro Cubans did not possess jet fighters that could dog fight against Castro's T-33 jets. They only possessed the rather lumbering old B-26 bombers that we gave them. These aircraft could not win if Castro's planes were airborne. Their only hope was to take out his planes in a surprise attack before they could get off the ground. That was obviously the only logical option. How to accomplish it without revealing America's hand in it was the tricky part. We couldn't just send in the US Navy unprovoked to blow up Castro's airfields and planes without violating international law. So the modified B-26's would use their 50 caliber machine guns to take out the planes while on the ground during two separate raids. The first raid was scheduled to take place two days prior to D-day. Then the CIA came up with a lame brained plan. In order to incite the disaffection of Castro's military, particularly his pilots, the Agency decided to disguise the anti-Castro Cuban planes as Castro's own aircraft for that first air raid. After the raid was over the B-26's landed in Miami and the pilots claimed to have been defecting from Castro's air force, but decided to blow up as many of his planes as possible on their way out. The Agency figured that would hopefully inspire more defections (only real this time) from Castro's air force. The problem occurred when Castro displayed the differences in the markings on his own planes with those of the "fake" anti-Castro Cuban planes, including the opacity or lack thereof in their noses. Here's where it gets interesting and speaks directly to your question: Our ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson, vehemently denied Castro's claims that the US was behind the attack. No one had "read in" Ambassador Stevenson into the operation so he didn't know. Perhaps it was decided that he was not in a "need-to-know" position. However, when Castro displayed proof that the planes used in the raid were NOT from his own air force, but rather were from the outside, Stevenson was humiliated. He appeared to either be lying or not considered relevant enough to be entrusted with the information about the true nature of the raids. So on the evening before D-Day, when he was "read in" to the plans for pre-dawn (pre-landing) air strikes, he was livid and adamantly opposed any air strikes because of what had just happened. He contacted his boss, Secretary of State Dean Rusk and raised hell about it until he basically got his way. Rusk in turn called Bundy, who called Cabell with the cancellation order. Now here's the speculation part: Did the CIA deliberately botch disguising the planes for the first raid so that Castro could easily humiliate Stevenson? If we give Rusk the benefit of the doubt, which I'm not certain he deserves...but for the sake of discussion, it would have allowed a Secretary of State who was inexperienced in military matters, to grossly under appreciate the devastating consequences of the stand down order.
  14. He was giving some speech at a University in Puerto Rico. But I think you might be correct to a point. I think the prevailing perception would have been that if the US (especially CIA) was really behind an "overthrow Castro" plot, the DCI would most assuredly have been available and intimately involved in the operation rather than being out of touch and out of the country. Of course, this is just speculation, which I don't like to do.
  15. Scott, I will not give up. I am not here to engage a petulant child. I am here to help interpret the events as they are revealed through the evidence. That you disagree with me is of no concern, but what is a concern is your refusal to remain civil about it. You do not adhere to any form of intellectual honesty as far as I can tell. When confronted you don't respond persuasively. Rather, you pout and attempt to close down the responses from your critics for whom you have not provided any real answers. The reason this is so important to me is because the last thing we need is yet another under-researched, poorly reasoned, book about the Bay of Pigs. We already have the CIA's ghost writers for that.
  16. Since there are too many issues for me to cover in one post, I will restrict my response to only a portion of what you wrote above. The US outfitted RETIRED aircraft -- 16 B-26 bombers -- GAVE THEM to the anti-Castro Cubans and offered training. These aircraft were no longer in the possession of the US military, they bore no American markings, and they were not piloted by American flyers. They were owned by the anti-Castro Cuban forces, stripped of American identifiers as they no longer belonged to us, and were flown by non-US military personnel. We also acted in an advisory capacity, as well. But that is a far cry from DIRECT US MILITARY INTERVENTION. It was completely legal and in keeping with JFK's "non-direct US intervention policy." -- Emphasis should be placed on the word DIRECT. The difference is HUGE. Direct US intervention means that we would "change the outcome" if it did not suit us by engaging Cuba with overwhelming US military force, including the use of active US equipment, aircraft and service personnel. That is a violation of international law. That is what Kennedy prohibited from start to finish. That Kennedy ordered the mission to be scrubbed if Castro's planes were not destroyed on the ground speaks to his grave concern for the success of the mission and the advice of the best military thinking at the time as to the absolute necessity to control the sky above the BOP. Our best military minds advised that if the Brigade's pre-dawn air attack failed to destroy Castro's planes on the ground, the landing party would have very little chance of success. JFK understood how crucial this phase of the operation was and he issued standing orders based upon it. As far as the number of planes shot down, I am aware of more than 16. However, Prouty can only speak to the 16 that he himself procured and outfitted to be gifted to the anti-Castro Cuban forces.
  17. Dean Rusk. When Bundy spoke with Cabell he specifically told him that any further discussion of the matter (cancellation of the pre-dawn airstrikes) should be taken up with Secretary Rusk (Adlai Stevenson's direct boss).
  18. This is the pertinent text from a letter I received from Fletcher a very long time ago. ============================================================= Dear Greg, You ask about Col. Jack Hawkins. I certainly do remember him mostly from the Bay of Pigs days. I have looked in a 1963 Pentagon telephone book and find him listed for that year. He was the tactical man we got from the Marines to plan the landing of the Anti-Castro unit and train them. I knew that he was against the project, as many of us were for purely tactical reasons. These Cubans in the USA were not military trained and the restrictions placed upon the project were too severe. Actually Bissell's comment to Hawkins about "air support ready to strike, if needed" was accurate. We had provided the rebels with 16 B-26's that I had put through a transition project in Arizona. They had 8 -- 50 Cal. machine guns in each nose. (With this is mind,) Castro had only 10 capable combat aircraft [and] Kennedy ordered them all to be destroyed before the landing. On Sat., a.m., [April] 15th they were attacked and all of 7 were destroyed. We scoured Cuba with U-2 reconnaisance and found that three jets that Castro had left were all that he had; but these armed jets could easily shoot down the B-26's. Therefore Kennedy made it very clear on [April] 16th that the landing could not take place until the Rebel's B-26's had totally destroyed the last three Castro jets...ON THE GROUND. (If this had been done, as ordered by the President then the 16 bombers could have supported the invasion and the Cuban rebels would have had a more than even chance to beat Castro's ground troops and their equipment by bombardment). Bissell had not lied to JFK; but McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, then Deputy Director of the CIA, and told him that the bombing must not take place until the invaders had landed at the Bay of Pigs. It was about 3:30 am then and Cabell was having trouble locating Rusk to get his opinion. Of all things, Allen Dulles was out of the country. That is the basic mistake. I won't carry it further here. You have printed an interesting line: "there was a high motivation for the Agency to compromise JFK politically." The story is more than that. In late Dec. 1959, when Castro and his rebels were marching into Havana, a group of us in the Special Ops business were ordered into an office. There we were told that if Castro did take over Havana we were going to be ordered to a rebel force. Recall this was under Eisenhower and Nixon. Well no call came and after midnight when we had the office TV on and were watching the "New Years" celebrations we were told we could go home. Castro was the new ruler of Cuba. Later in the spring of 1960, Castro came to New York City to speak at the United Nations. Following that speech, he went to Washington and had a meeting with Nixon. After that meeting, Nixon commented with reporters saying, more or less, that if Castro was not a Communist he was close to it. That set the tone for the Eisenhower people to order the CIA to prepare to over-throw his Government. A little later a team from the CIA came to my office in the Pentagon (At that time I was the Special Operations Officer there for the Air Force). They asked me if we had an airfield that could be used for a base to train aircrews and to get aircraft for them for a Cuban anti-Castro rebel group. This started it all. During this period, the summer of 1960, we were coming up on a presidential election time and JFK was nominated by the Democrats. The Republicans were certain that they would win; so they began to put all the new, and huge appropriations into the next year for "President" Nixon; but in a surprise he was not elected and I never saw such emotional feelings as then. I was working in the office of the Secretary of Defense, in the Office of Special Operations. In the halls of the Pentagon you could hear the dislike of the new President; and the realization of the fact that JFK had inherited billions of dollars of procurement money for high cost items, such as the $6 or $7 billion dollar TFX aircraft buy. In one tactical move the Republicans changed the Anti-Castro plans from small over-the-beach and air drop tactics to a major invasion. In no time they had built up a 3,000 man force that had to be trained and equipped, and dumped it all in JFK's lap. They did not realize that JFK already knew the Anti-Castro leaders who had been guests of the Kennedy's at their big Florida resort home. One day I was sent to the Senate Office building to a certain room number to pick up four men and have them driven to the Pentagon and to the Secretary of Defense, Gates. The office turned out to be Senator Kennedy's office and the four men were the leaders of the Cuban Exile group: Artime, Varona, Mendonca and one more. Here it was only early summer of 1959, and JFK had yet be nominated for the Presidency by the Democrats, and he was entertaining them in his family's winter home in West Palm Beach and in his Senate office building. People did not know how well JFK knew them. The most influential debate he had before the election with Nixon was the third, when they debated the Cuban Problem. Kennedy just made Nixon look ridiculous; and that debate alone perhaps won for JFK his narrow managing in the election. Shortly after the election a team of top level CIA officials came to my office and requested that I get base facilities for at least 3,000 Cuban exiles, and enough aircraft for them. They built the Cuban force immediately by those numbers and then with Kennedy's inauguration they dumped it all in his lap. By April 1961 the invasion plan had been worked out under the leadership of Jack Hawkins. It was all predicated on the fact that the Invasion Force would destroy all of Castro's aircraft BEFORE the invasion took place. This was the plan that was briefed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, approved by them and taken to Kennedy. Kennedy said little about it except on Sunday, April 16th he finally approved the invasion with the strict proviso that all of Castro's jets would be destroyed; or the invasion force would not be landed on the beach. We all understood that. For some reason, at 9:30PM McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, Deputy Director of the CIA and told him that the invasion was off until the men were on the beach. B-26 invasion planes that had been put on stand-by in Nicaragua were not to be released until dawn. This of course was against Kennedy's orders, because the three jets that Castro had could easily destroy them. Gen. Cabell left the office in an attempt to locate Sec. of State Rusk. He knew that order had to be changed. While he was doing that the hours passed, and I got a telephone call from the air commander in Nicaragua who was all upset. He knew if the B-26's were not there by dawn the jets would take off and down them. I could hear the B-26 engines running in the background. I made many calls around Washington to get help with this essential problem. As the clock kept running it became too late for the B-26's to arrive before dawn while the T-33 jets were on the ground. Meanwhile the troops were landing at the Bay of Pigs. The whole thing was a disaster...and it was not Kennedy's fault. The last order he had given that day was "The B-26's must destroy the jets before they take off or the invasion must be cancelled." This was the military approved plan and Kennedy's orders. You are correct about the Bay of Pigs landing disaster, except for the details that the Cuban rebels were equipped with armed B-26 's; and if used while Castro's jets were still on the ground on the morning of April 17th they would easily have been destroyed. Then the landing force would have had little or no real opposition and they would have defeated Castro. The JCS and Kennedy had both ordered that if the jets were not destroyed there would be no invasion. Kennedy had ordered that no "active duty USA aircraft would be used in that invasion". This was a firm order that we all understood. You are also correct that Kennedy's NSAM #263 would have had us out of Vietnam for sure. I was one of its writers. I know how determined he was, but that was Oct 11,1963. Kennedy was dead on Nov 22, 1963. We all can see the connection. L. Fletcher Prouty ============================ Note: We know today that Castro also had a Sea Fury in addition to the T-33 jets.
  19. Good article, Jim, except for a very important detail. The armed Marines were not a contingency plan to be used in case the invasion failed. They were a part of the MAIN plan if the Brigade was able to successfully declare themselves a government in exile. Or perhaps a better term would be an interim government. To do that plausibly they needed to control a minimum amount of real estate (beachhead and airstrip), hopefully enlist the help of the disgruntled masses (who actually did not exist), and overcome any resistance from Castro. However, once their sovereignty could be marginally recognized, JFK needed the Marines ready to go. In that event, they may have needed direct US support but only after we quickly recognized them in the UN. Remember the birth of Israel? We were the first to recognize them as a sovereign state immediately upon their proclamation. If memory serves, it was at midnight. So the "sending in the Marines" plan is true. But it was NOT a contingency to rescue a failing mission. It was to be a support of the newly recognized government following a successful mission. Such a scenario is the only legal way he could have directly aided the anti-Castro Cubans with US military support.
  20. It doesn't get any clearer than this. The President unequivocally stated, and those in charge of the operation understood, and the Brigade members themselves agreed: NO US INTERVENTION UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
  21. Oh pleeeeze! Scott, I have read everything that has been declassified on the subject. You don't seem to be familiar with the Cuban Study Group's report or the Inspector General, Lyman Kirkpatrick's report, either. There are dozens of oral histories by eyewitnesses to the event. As for living witnesses, Hemming has been dead for nearly a decade. As for those eyewitnesses that I have interviewed and /or knew very well, the list is rather long, but include, Colonel L Fletcher Prouty USAF (Chief of Special Operations Office of the JCS) who was responsible for obtaining and outfitting all of the Brigade's modified B-26 bombers, among other things. HIs office was literally two doors down the hall from the office used by the Cuban Study Group investigation. Many of the witnesses stopped by to chat with him about it both before and after they gave their testimony. I also spoke extensively to my own father, who was a Special Aid to Eisenhower. It took me decades to confirm what he and Prouty reported because the documents were classified top secret or higher for so long. Upon release, the documents bore out what these witnesses reported quite well. Your witnesses are telling you what they believe to be true from their perspective. But, they were not on the inside of the US military intelligence apparatus like Colonel Prouty and my father were.
  22. Whatever you do don't consider any additional evidence, no matter how relevant, to the contrary.
  23. Even Jake Esterline disagrees with this assessment and he wasn't particularly fond of JFK. Read his oral history of the event here. In that oral interview, among other things, he tells CIA Historian, Jack B. Pfeiffer, the following regarding the Bay of Pigs: “I am one of those who feel it is very wrong to pick too much on Jack Kennedy because it was Nixon who, if we had kicked off as we had hoped for, between November and January of 60-61, it might not have worked, but it would not have been a major disaster.” — Jake Esterline ​Remember that Nixon was in charge of this operation from the start. It was supposed to have taken place long before April of 1961. However, JFK embarrassed Nixon in the debate by having accused Eisenhower of "inaction" against Castro. Today we know that the action that was being planned--Trinidad and others--were so top secret that Nixon could not respond. Once the election was lost Nixon sought revenge against Kennedy and, apparently, in an act of pure spite, postponed action against Castro until after Ike left office. But, during the lame duck period, he ordered the CIA to build the operation up from about a 350 man affair to a more than 3,000 man amphibious assault invasion force! That had never been Ike's plan. But it was Nixon's revenge. The CIA convinced Kennedy that the (Nixon) plan was actually Ike's plan, which it was not. Who was JFK to question the amphibious assault plan of the former president who had been a 4 Star Army General and the Supreme Commander during the largest successful amphibious assault in the history of the world at Normandy? Well, he was the new president and so he did question it. The Agency lied. The rest is distorted history.
  24. Now you're just making this up or you have failed to do your homework. Scott, the PROOF in documentation exists as it is now public record and declassified. You have the ability to correctly report the matter if you just do the work instead of stubbornly clinging to your ill conceived conclusions. Have you even read the Taylor Report from the Cuban Study Group? It is spelled out in detail there. To wit: McGeorge Bundy, by tendering his own resignation letter shortly thereafter, admitted to JFK that he had failed to serve him (best interests) during the Bay of Pigs! I have a copy of that resignation letter. JFK did not accept the resignation probably because he was already getting rid of so many in his National Security apparatus: Cabell, Bissell and Dulles. If he had allowed Bundy to go, too, he would have appeared to have chosen his national security advisors very poorly.
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