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Paul Rigby

CIA backed Eugene McCarthy in '68 v. RFK

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Len, you and I have had our differences in the past, but I do want to compliment you on the improved format and readability of your posts. Much simpler to follow and easier on the eyes.

Another essential contribution from the Wackford Squeers of the Education Forum.

My God you do have a sharp tongue Paul.

At the risk of copping a dose myself, I really must stick up for Michael here.

(1) His successful campaign to help Len improve the presentation of his posts has been a blessing for all concerned.

(2) Even if you don't share my fondness for Michael posts, is Wackford Squeers really the appropriate literary analogy?

The British Library reports that headmaster William Shaw was the model for Dickens' hateful character. In 1823, Shaw had been prosecuted for beatings and neglect that led to the blinding of two of his pupils.

Wikipedia is similarly unflattering:

A cruel, one-eyed, Yorkshire schoolmaster. He runs “Dotheboys Hall”, a place where unwanted children can be sent away. He mistreats the boys horribly, whipping them regularly. He gets his comeuppance at the hands of Nicholas when he is beaten in retaliation for the whipping of Smike. He travels to London after he recovers and partakes in more bad business, fulfilling his grudge against Nicholas by becoming a close partner in Ralph’s schemes to fake Smike’s parentage and later to hide the will of Madeline Brey. He is arrested during the last of these tasks and sentenced to transportation to Australia.
It's a side of Michael Hogan I have yet to see on the forum. He seems a such a nice guy. Hard to imagine him sadistically whipping other members.

Still, it clearly worked wonders with Len :rolleyes:

Sid, I can only apologise - to Dickens.

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McCarthy knew the Pentagon Papers were nonsense because he was alive and conscious in the period 1961-1963, and was sufficiently concerned with matters CIA to a) oppose the nomination of John McCone; and B) write a lengthy piece on the CIA published in early 1964. Compare and contrast "The CIA is getting out of hand" (Sat Eve Post, 4-11 Jan 1964, pp.6 &10) with his review of the Pentagon Papers. In fairness to McCarthy, his was a common sojourn. Precisely the same rowing back is found, for example, in the case of Senator Gruening. I can think of no other example, however, of a Senate or House opponent of the Agency going quite so far in actively assisting the Agency later on.

To illustrate the point - how McCarthy shifted from intelligent criticism of the Agency, give or take the appalling remark about the Agency's barbarous intervention in Guatemala - here is his Sat Eve Post piece from January 1964. By the time of his Pentagon Papers review, by contrast, we find him in lock-step with Chomsky et al, peddling the line that Langley was both prescient on Vietnam, and confined its role to intelligence gathering. It's a miserable decline.

Saturday Evening Post, 4-11 January 1964, pp.6 & 10

The CIA is getting out of hand

By Senator Eugene McCarthy

A senator charges that the Central Intelligence Agency, a law unto itself, meddles in the framing of US foreign policy.

Wrapped in its cloak of secrecy, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency modestly hints it has overthrown foreign governments, admits that it violates the international law and doesn’t deny that one of its exploits wrecked a summit conference. The CIA, in short, is making foreign policy and, in doing so, is assuming the roles of the President and the Congress. It has taken on the character of an invisible government answering only to itself. This must stop. The CIA must be made accountable for its activities, not only to the President but also to Congress through a responsible committee.

Recent events in South Vietnam raise the questions as to how CIA actions may critically affect U.S. foreign affairs. In early September it was reported that the CIA was giving money – some three million dollars a year in “direct, under-the-table aid” – to the Diem regime’s special corps that raided Buddhist pagodas in Saigon. The CIA payments were made even though the U.S. Government publicly deplored the raids, part of the repression of the Buddhists which helped bring about the downfall of the Diem regime.

In Laos, too, the CIA pursued policies that conflicted with official and public policies of the State Department. In 1958 a highly volatile Laos was governed by a loose coalition headed by neutralist Prince Souvanna Phouma. The situation was hardly ideal, but to Ambassador Horace Smith and the U.S. State Department this coalition government seemed to offer the best hope for a stable Laos. According to Smith, the CIA, with the backing of the Pentagon, threw its support behind right-wing leader Gen. Phoumi Nosavan. In August, 1960, Souvanna Phouma was overthrown, and Phoumi Nosavan installed Prince Boun Oum, an ineffectual leader, as titular head of the government. The Communists then sought to take over the country. Gen. Phoumi Nosavan’s troops proved unwilling to fight. All of Laos appeared on the verge of going Communist. Frantic diplomatic maneuvers restored a coalition government under neutralist Souvanna Phouma in June, 1962, but in the meantime millions of dollars of U.S. aid had been wasted and vast confusion spread about U.S. aims in Laos.

Ambassador Smith is not the only member of the U.S. diplomatic corps to complain about CIA “spooks” who flit through U.S. embassies while pursuing their own brand of foreign policy. Nor is Laos the only country where the CIA has helped engineer a coup. In 1953 the government of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran fell because of CIA efforts, says the CIA. Who, if anyone, authorized the agency to overthrow Mossadegh is unknown. Actually, many authorities dispute the CIA’s role in the Iranian coup, but since the agency hides behind its cloak of secrecy, its claims cannot be effectively challenged.

The CIA also claims to have masterminded the overthrow of the Communist-influenced government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in Guatemala in 1954. In this instance the result undoubtedly benefited the United States, but the question remains as to whether the CIA is the proper tool for such endeavors.

Possibly the mightiest achievement of the CIA was the development of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Surveillance through the U-2 has provided U.S. intelligence with an enormous amount of useful information, and the CIA deserves a great deal of credit for the development of the U-2 as an information tool. But the CIA’s usage of the U-2 is something else again. Shortly before a summit conference between President Eisenhower and Premier Khrushchev in 1960, a U-2 was shot down 1,200 miles inside Soviet territory. At first we denied any plane was missing; then an official statement said a weather plane must have strayed off course; and finally we admitted aerial surveillance and justified it as necessary to defend our country. Apparently nobody in the CIA ever fully evaluated the consequences of a U-2 failure over Soviet soil. We had no cover story, and our President arrived at the Paris summit conference with egg all over his face.

The U-2 failure over Sverdlosk involved far more than a daring gamble to obtain intelligence. Because the flight was scheduled on the eve of the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit meeting, the CIA mission became an uncalculated risk jeopardizing the immediate foreign policy of the United States and trespassing upon the prerogatives of the White House, the State Department and the Congress. The CIA in effect made foreign policy, and we in Congress who are charged with advice and consent for foreign affairs stood by helplessly because we knew nothing of the U-2 activities.

Again, the CIA overplayed its legitimate role in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Those who condemn the CIA for the tactical failures of this fiasco blame the agency for the wrong errors. Its first mistake was to assume the authority to raise an army on U.S. soil, even though the troops were Cuban refugees, without both presidential and congressional approval. The responsibility for organizing and sustaining armed forces lies with Congress, not a supersecret intelligence agency. Second, the CIA was engaged in an invasion which might possibly be construed as an act of war; only Congress has the right to declare war. Because the CIA operates in the way it does, very few of us in Congress had advance knowledge of the invasion plans or were consulted as to the wisdom of such a venture.

When Congress created the CIA in 1947, it gave the agency no power to make foreign policy. The purpose of the CIA was to centralize the collection and evaluation of intelligence. Less than 20 years later – with 14,000 employees, including specialists in intelligence analysis and espionage, U-2 pilots and assassins – the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is rated one of the half dozen most powerful men in Washington. And as Stewart Alsop reported [CIA, THE BATTLE FOR SECRET POWER, The Saturday Evening Post, July 27-Aug. 3, 1963], “The CIA spends a lot more money than the State Department, and at times it has had more real power and influence on high policy.”

Defenders of the activities of the CIA say we can no longer afford the luxury of foreign policy conducted according to the rules of the U.S. Constitution. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war and the responsibility to give advice and consent to the President in making treaties with foreign nations. Congress is also the source of all foreign-policy legislation, including all appropriations for foreign affairs.

The authors of the Constitution, admittedly lived in a different era. The Cold War, with its highly developed tactics of espionage, counterespionage and subversion, presents problems which go far beyond the imaginings of the men who wrote the Constitution. A new clandestine organization devoted to the gathering and evaluating of intelligence must impinge somewhat upon the functions of some of the traditional agencies.

This information center, however, has no business taking over the roles of the State Department, Defense Department and Congress as well as carrying the nation to the edge of war. In any event, if we must revise the functions of the recognized government agencies, then let us do it through proper legislative channels, not by covert acts of the CIA.

In theory the President, with the help of his cabinet and the National Security Counsel, controls and directs the CIA. But the President is the nominal head of hundreds of agencies and cannot be kept fully informed at all times of the activities of an agency as large and powerful as the CIA. Even if the CIA were fully under presidential control, the basic question of the right and duty of Congress to participate in decisions regarding the many Central Intelligence Agency activities would remain unanswered. The issue is not one of executive control or of efficient administration of the CIA. It is the fundamental question of congressional responsibility. Do or do not the elected representatives of the people have the right to know what a critically important agency is doing?

I believe the only means of keeping the CIA within its proper limits without jeopardizing its need for secrecy is a congressional watchdog committee. Procedures should be established to insure that the judgment and will of Congress are reflected in the major decisions and actions of the CIA. Such controls would also end conflicts between the CIA and other U.S. operations abroad. We who must appropriate funds for the CIA would be provided with enough information to determine whether effective use is made of the money. If the United States should suffer foreign policy reverses, it would be possible to assess the damage, determine who was to blame and take steps to prevent future mistakes.

A watchdog committee would also stop some of the irresponsible talk concerning U.S. activities abroad. The presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba 18 months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, for example, loosed a torrent of oratory on the magnitude of the Soviet threat in Cuba. If the CIA had briefed a watchdog committee, certain inaccurate statements which stemmed from ignorance of the facts would never have been uttered.

Opponents of the watchdog proposal argue that the CIA already reports to subcommittees of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services committees. At best such reports are superficial. The CIA decides for itself just how much or how little Congress ought to know.

In April, 1956, during the course of a discussion on the Senate floor of the advisability of establishing a joint watchdog committee, Sen. Mike Mansfield raised the question, “How many times does the CIA request a meeting with the particular subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee and the Armed Services Committee?” Sen. Leverett Saltonstall, a member of both committees, replied, “…at least twice a year that happens in the Armed Services Committee and at least once a year it happens in the Appropriations Committee. I speak from knowledge during the last year or so…”

After the U-2 episode Sen. Willis Robertson, a member of the Appropriations Committee, said on the floor of the Senate, “I have been hearing testimony presented before the Committee on Appropriations by the Central Intelligence Agency for thirteen years. Never were we told during that time what the money was to be used for. It was a deep, dark secret. I did not know, and today I asked a number of members of our defense subcommittee if they knew that the Central Intelligence Agency owned and operated planes, and they said that they did not.” We do not permit other government operations, no matter how sensitive, to feed us only the information they think is good for us. The Central Intelligence Agency ought not to be privileged to do so.

How might such a watchdog committee function? In the early years of the Eisenhower Administration, a task force headed by Gen. Mark W. Clark conducted a thorough study of the CIA for the Hoover Commission. The task force recommended that “a small permanent bipartisan commission, composed of members of both houses of Congress and other public-spirited citizens commanding the utmost national respect and confidence, be established by act of Congress to make periodic surveys of the organizations, functions, policies, and results of the government agencies handling foreign-intelligence operations; and to report, under adequate security safeguards…The proposed ‘watchdog commission’ should be empowered by law to demand and receive by law to demand and receive any information it needed for its own use.”

The Hoover Commission itself differed somewhat from the recommendations of the Clark task force. It recommended the establishment of two agencies: a committee charged with reporting to the President periodically and a permanent “watchdog” joint committee of the House and the Senate. Incidentally, among those who at the time supported such control over the CIA was Sen. John F. Kennedy.

Congress has never adopted the watchdog-committee recommendation, largely because some of its members fear that the security of the CIA inevitably would be compromised by such a committee. Such fears are, I believe, unwarranted. The watchdog-committee arrangement has worked well in the case of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, which handles highly sensitive and secret information. That committee has an excellent security record. Its 18 members have proved to be fully as reliable as the hundreds of civil-service personnel, military personnel and presidential appointees who have knowledge in this highly sensitive field.

A small, select joint committee on intelligence would provide the necessary safeguards against abuses of power by the CIA. It would enable Congress to acquire the knowledge needed for an evaluation of our intelligence activities. More than that, it would, in keeping with our constitutional system, insure that Congress is included in the making of decisions vital to the security and well-being of the United States.

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McCarthy knew the Pentagon Papers were nonsense because he was alive and conscious in the period 1961-1963, and was sufficiently concerned with matters CIA to a) oppose the nomination of John McCone; and B) write a lengthy piece on the CIA published in early 1964. Compare and contrast "The CIA is getting out of hand" (Sat Eve Post, 4-11 Jan 1964, pp.6 &10) with his review of the Pentagon Papers. In fairness to McCarthy, his was a common sojourn. Precisely the same rowing back is found, for example, in the case of Senator Gruening. I can think of no other example, however, of a Senate or House opponent of the Agency going quite so far in actively assisting the Agency later on.

To illustrate the point - how McCarthy shifted from intelligent criticism of the Agency, give or take the appalling remark about the Agency's barbarous intervention in Guatemala - here is his Sat Eve Post piece from January 1964. By the time of his Pentagon Papers review, by contrast, we find him in lock-step with Chomsky et al, peddling the line that Langley was both prescient on Vietnam, and confined its role to intelligence gathering. It's a miserable decline.

Saturday Evening Post, 4-11 January 1964, pp.6 & 10

The CIA is getting out of hand

By Senator Eugene McCarthy

A senator charges that the Central Intelligence Agency, a law unto itself, meddles in the framing of US foreign policy.

Wrapped in its cloak of secrecy, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency modestly hints it has overthrown foreign governments, admits that it violates the international law and doesn’t deny that one of its exploits wrecked a summit conference. The CIA, in short, is making foreign policy and, in doing so, is assuming the roles of the President and the Congress. It has taken on the character of an invisible government answering only to itself. This must stop. The CIA must be made accountable for its activities, not only to the President but also to Congress through a responsible committee.

Recent events in South Vietnam raise the questions as to how CIA actions may critically affect U.S. foreign affairs. In early September it was reported that the CIA was giving money – some three million dollars a year in “direct, under-the-table aid” – to the Diem regime’s special corps that raided Buddhist pagodas in Saigon. The CIA payments were made even though the U.S. Government publicly deplored the raids, part of the repression of the Buddhists which helped bring about the downfall of the Diem regime.

In Laos, too, the CIA pursued policies that conflicted with official and public policies of the State Department. In 1958 a highly volatile Laos was governed by a loose coalition headed by neutralist Prince Souvanna Phouma. The situation was hardly ideal, but to Ambassador Horace Smith and the U.S. State Department this coalition government seemed to offer the best hope for a stable Laos. According to Smith, the CIA, with the backing of the Pentagon, threw its support behind right-wing leader Gen. Phoumi Nosavan. In August, 1960, Souvanna Phouma was overthrown, and Phoumi Nosavan installed Prince Boun Oum, an ineffectual leader, as titular head of the government. The Communists then sought to take over the country. Gen. Phoumi Nosavan’s troops proved unwilling to fight. All of Laos appeared on the verge of going Communist. Frantic diplomatic maneuvers restored a coalition government under neutralist Souvanna Phouma in June, 1962, but in the meantime millions of dollars of U.S. aid had been wasted and vast confusion spread about U.S. aims in Laos.

Ambassador Smith is not the only member of the U.S. diplomatic corps to complain about CIA “spooks” who flit through U.S. embassies while pursuing their own brand of foreign policy. Nor is Laos the only country where the CIA has helped engineer a coup. In 1953 the government of Premier Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran fell because of CIA efforts, says the CIA. Who, if anyone, authorized the agency to overthrow Mossadegh is unknown. Actually, many authorities dispute the CIA’s role in the Iranian coup, but since the agency hides behind its cloak of secrecy, its claims cannot be effectively challenged.

The CIA also claims to have masterminded the overthrow of the Communist-influenced government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman in Guatemala in 1954. In this instance the result undoubtedly benefited the United States, but the question remains as to whether the CIA is the proper tool for such endeavors.

Possibly the mightiest achievement of the CIA was the development of the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Surveillance through the U-2 has provided U.S. intelligence with an enormous amount of useful information, and the CIA deserves a great deal of credit for the development of the U-2 as an information tool. But the CIA’s usage of the U-2 is something else again. Shortly before a summit conference between President Eisenhower and Premier Khrushchev in 1960, a U-2 was shot down 1,200 miles inside Soviet territory. At first we denied any plane was missing; then an official statement said a weather plane must have strayed off course; and finally we admitted aerial surveillance and justified it as necessary to defend our country. Apparently nobody in the CIA ever fully evaluated the consequences of a U-2 failure over Soviet soil. We had no cover story, and our President arrived at the Paris summit conference with egg all over his face.

The U-2 failure over Sverdlosk involved far more than a daring gamble to obtain intelligence. Because the flight was scheduled on the eve of the Eisenhower-Khrushchev summit meeting, the CIA mission became an uncalculated risk jeopardizing the immediate foreign policy of the United States and trespassing upon the prerogatives of the White House, the State Department and the Congress. The CIA in effect made foreign policy, and we in Congress who are charged with advice and consent for foreign affairs stood by helplessly because we knew nothing of the U-2 activities.

Again, the CIA overplayed its legitimate role in the Bay of Pigs invasion. Those who condemn the CIA for the tactical failures of this fiasco blame the agency for the wrong errors. Its first mistake was to assume the authority to raise an army on U.S. soil, even though the troops were Cuban refugees, without both presidential and congressional approval. The responsibility for organizing and sustaining armed forces lies with Congress, not a supersecret intelligence agency. Second, the CIA was engaged in an invasion which might possibly be construed as an act of war; only Congress has the right to declare war. Because the CIA operates in the way it does, very few of us in Congress had advance knowledge of the invasion plans or were consulted as to the wisdom of such a venture.

When Congress created the CIA in 1947, it gave the agency no power to make foreign policy. The purpose of the CIA was to centralize the collection and evaluation of intelligence. Less than 20 years later – with 14,000 employees, including specialists in intelligence analysis and espionage, U-2 pilots and assassins – the director of the Central Intelligence Agency is rated one of the half dozen most powerful men in Washington. And as Stewart Alsop reported [CIA, THE BATTLE FOR SECRET POWER, The Saturday Evening Post, July 27-Aug. 3, 1963], “The CIA spends a lot more money than the State Department, and at times it has had more real power and influence on high policy.”

Defenders of the activities of the CIA say we can no longer afford the luxury of foreign policy conducted according to the rules of the U.S. Constitution. Under the Constitution, Congress has the power to declare war and the responsibility to give advice and consent to the President in making treaties with foreign nations. Congress is also the source of all foreign-policy legislation, including all appropriations for foreign affairs.

The authors of the Constitution, admittedly lived in a different era. The Cold War, with its highly developed tactics of espionage, counterespionage and subversion, presents problems which go far beyond the imaginings of the men who wrote the Constitution. A new clandestine organization devoted to the gathering and evaluating of intelligence must impinge somewhat upon the functions of some of the traditional agencies.

This information center, however, has no business taking over the roles of the State Department, Defense Department and Congress as well as carrying the nation to the edge of war. In any event, if we must revise the functions of the recognized government agencies, then let us do it through proper legislative channels, not by covert acts of the CIA.

In theory the President, with the help of his cabinet and the National Security Counsel, controls and directs the CIA. But the President is the nominal head of hundreds of agencies and cannot be kept fully informed at all times of the activities of an agency as large and powerful as the CIA. Even if the CIA were fully under presidential control, the basic question of the right and duty of Congress to participate in decisions regarding the many Central Intelligence Agency activities would remain unanswered. The issue is not one of executive control or of efficient administration of the CIA. It is the fundamental question of congressional responsibility. Do or do not the elected representatives of the people have the right to know what a critically important agency is doing?

I believe the only means of keeping the CIA within its proper limits without jeopardizing its need for secrecy is a congressional watchdog committee. Procedures should be established to insure that the judgment and will of Congress are reflected in the major decisions and actions of the CIA. Such controls would also end conflicts between the CIA and other U.S. operations abroad. We who must appropriate funds for the CIA would be provided with enough information to determine whether effective use is made of the money. If the United States should suffer foreign policy reverses, it would be possible to assess the damage, determine who was to blame and take steps to prevent future mistakes.

A watchdog committee would also stop some of the irresponsible talk concerning U.S. activities abroad. The presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba 18 months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, for example, loosed a torrent of oratory on the magnitude of the Soviet threat in Cuba. If the CIA had briefed a watchdog committee, certain inaccurate statements which stemmed from ignorance of the facts would never have been uttered.

Opponents of the watchdog proposal argue that the CIA already reports to subcommittees of the Senate Appropriations and Armed Services committees. At best such reports are superficial. The CIA decides for itself just how much or how little Congress ought to know.

In April, 1956, during the course of a discussion on the Senate floor of the advisability of establishing a joint watchdog committee, Sen. Mike Mansfield raised the question, “How many times does the CIA request a meeting with the particular subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee and the Armed Services Committee?” Sen. Leverett Saltonstall, a member of both committees, replied, “…at least twice a year that happens in the Armed Services Committee and at least once a year it happens in the Appropriations Committee. I speak from knowledge during the last year or so…”

After the U-2 episode Sen. Willis Robertson, a member of the Appropriations Committee, said on the floor of the Senate, “I have been hearing testimony presented before the Committee on Appropriations by the Central Intelligence Agency for thirteen years. Never were we told during that time what the money was to be used for. It was a deep, dark secret. I did not know, and today I asked a number of members of our defense subcommittee if they knew that the Central Intelligence Agency owned and operated planes, and they said that they did not.” We do not permit other government operations, no matter how sensitive, to feed us only the information they think is good for us. The Central Intelligence Agency ought not to be privileged to do so.

How might such a watchdog committee function? In the early years of the Eisenhower Administration, a task force headed by Gen. Mark W. Clark conducted a thorough study of the CIA for the Hoover Commission. The task force recommended that “a small permanent bipartisan commission, composed of members of both houses of Congress and other public-spirited citizens commanding the utmost national respect and confidence, be established by act of Congress to make periodic surveys of the organizations, functions, policies, and results of the government agencies handling foreign-intelligence operations; and to report, under adequate security safeguards…The proposed ‘watchdog commission’ should be empowered by law to demand and receive by law to demand and receive any information it needed for its own use.”

The Hoover Commission itself differed somewhat from the recommendations of the Clark task force. It recommended the establishment of two agencies: a committee charged with reporting to the President periodically and a permanent “watchdog” joint committee of the House and the Senate. Incidentally, among those who at the time supported such control over the CIA was Sen. John F. Kennedy.

Congress has never adopted the watchdog-committee recommendation, largely because some of its members fear that the security of the CIA inevitably would be compromised by such a committee. Such fears are, I believe, unwarranted. The watchdog-committee arrangement has worked well in the case of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, which handles highly sensitive and secret information. That committee has an excellent security record. Its 18 members have proved to be fully as reliable as the hundreds of civil-service personnel, military personnel and presidential appointees who have knowledge in this highly sensitive field.

A small, select joint committee on intelligence would provide the necessary safeguards against abuses of power by the CIA. It would enable Congress to acquire the knowledge needed for an evaluation of our intelligence activities. More than that, it would, in keeping with our constitutional system, insure that Congress is included in the making of decisions vital to the security and well-being of the United States.

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Gene as Splitter?

In 1960, McCarthy nominated Stevenson, improving Johnsons chances, and hampering Kennedy's.

In 1968, while Kennedy and King were still alive, William J. Vanden Heuvel, who served in the Kennedy administartions Justice Department, played a role in keeping King from supporting Gene and instead forming a united front with Kennedy.

Walter Reuther of the UAW, also supported such an alliance as a catalyst for sweeping social changes and an end to the Vietnam war.

"Peace and Prosperity"

-A guaranteed minimum income

-national public works programs

-end to the vietnam war

This alliance was attacked vigorously by the right in the leadup to M. L. King's and R. F. Kennedy's assassination.

Relevant to this issue is also the CIA sponsoring/splitting of the labour movement, (from which Reuther suffered) a major operation overshadowed by the National Students Association's demise after the Ramparts revelations of CIA funding and no-draft assurances to few but significant top leadership of that organisation.

With King and Bobby out of the way, and Johnson damaged by a dramatic national drop in support for the Vietnam war, McCarthy and Humphrey were left to doodle about, probably assuring Nixons victory.

Victims of the 60's Civil Rights fight : Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, John F Kennedy, Martin Luther King jr, Robert F. Kennedy and the many slaughtered innocents and activists.

(image)

Charles Evers, Bobby's friend: "There is a conspiracy going on in this country..."

Paul: "In fairness to McCarthy, his was a common sojourn. Precisely the same rowing back is found, for example, in the case of Senator Gruening. I can think of no other example, however, of a Senate or House opponent of the Agency going quite so far in actively assisting the Agency later on."

People build their careers in a number of ways.

Take Malcolm X for example. He was a black nationalist untl his visit to Mecca where he found that people of all races could come tohether. On his return to the US he was then a unifying force that could form part of the later coalition of Bobby and King and Reuther. He had an epiphany of sorts. It was at this point he became a threat. The Black Nationalists and Rockwells Nazis had previously flirted briefly as they did have a common aim of an apartheid of sorts.

Gene on the other hand showed his mettle in his 1960's behaviour and Charles Evers (Medgar Evers brother and Bobby's friend) discounting of Humphries and Gene after the death of Bobby was probably based on reasons.

The rejection of Gene and the assassination of King, and then Bobby, followed by the victory of Nixon are related events in various ways.

Edited by John Dolva

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Nothing in there about him [Thomas D. Finney] being in the CIA, only that he was mentioned in 2 consecutive pages of a 400+ page book about the OSS. So maybe he worked for that agency.

So, you've moved from "which Thomas Finney, lots of Agency bods called Thomas Finney" to Thomas D. Finney, ex-OSS, at heart of "Clean for Gene" campaign, but...what exactly? Couldn't conceivably have been CIA? Or merely I lack a signed confession?

Strawman - You have yet to turn up any evidence there was anybody in the CIA by that name. Nor is it even a forgone conclusion he was in the OSS. He was just of 460 people mentioned in a 458 page book about the OSS. A certain Kennedy, Robert Francis is also mentioned the book so maybe the CIA had two horses in the race. Other people mentioned who presumably weren’t in the OSS were Benet, Stephen Vincent; Benton, William (D-Ct); Bosch, Juan D; Dies, Martin Jr (Served In Congress During Ww2); Falk Peter (Actor) [aka Lt. Colombo]; Hemingway, Ernest; Lindbergh, Charles A Jr ; Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, Thomas, Norman [perennial Socialist party candidate for president] and Wilder, Thornton (playwright and novelist). Unlike most (but not all) of the known OSS/CIA people in the book’s index he isn’t mentioned in books like Veterans of OSS. List of Members. 1990 , Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Membership Directory. 1983. So he might have been in the OSS and then again he might not have.

Even if he had been in the OSS that doesn’t prove anything, some surprising names mentioned who were in the OSS were Bunche, Ralph; Child, Julia Mcwilliams (aka “the French Chef”; Dillon, C Douglas; Goldberg, Arthur Joseph; Marcuse, Herbert; Rostow, Walt Whitman and Schlesinger, Arthur Meier Jr. AFAIK none of these people ended up in or worked indirectly forthe CIA. Are we to assume that despite this all their post war endeavors were on the CIA’s behalf including Ms. Child’s cook books and TV programs? Were Marcuse’s “Eros and Civilization” and “One Dimensional Man” as well. Perhaps JFK was also controlled by the CIA since he had at least 4 ex-OSS men among his cabinet/close advisors. Schlesinger was an advisor the RFK as well, hey all the more reason to suspect the he (Bobby) was a CIA stooge as well. Though he’s not mentioned in the book the publisher of the book about Lowenstein claims he had served in the OSS, was the book CIA propoganda? If so can we take seriously its charge Lowenstein had been one of their agents?

And as Bill pointed out even if some ex-CIA people worked for McCarthy that doesn’t mean they were doing so at the agency’s behest. There were a good number of liberal cold warrior types (like Cord Meyer) and it’s not unreasonable to imagine that by 1968 they though the war a bad idea, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin was briefly in the CIA as well.

"Post-McCarthy, Curtis Gans later became the director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate (!)."[/b]

Irrelevant unless you can show the group was tied to the CIA. And that he was part of it well before 1983

Pretty droll, no, to find Gans lecturing others about campaign dependence upon "big money" after serving in campaign utterly dependent upon, er, a small number of large contributors.

That was an unsourced claim by an obscure blogger. “Big money” often refers to corporate and special interest group donations rather than large private ones. But even if you find evidence the claim was true and reject that distinction hypocrisy does not make one an ex-CIA agent. Gans could also claim to have “seen the evil of his ways”

Know who they were? Thought not. So how can you preclude CIA presence?
You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. I’m not saying you’re definitely wrong, just that your evidence is weak. How did Kennedy fund his campaign?
"McCarthy supporters in 1968:

James Woolsey, ex-DCI : the founder and chairman of the Yale Citizens for Eugene McCarthy in 1967-68…

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/internation..._role_1-10.html"

Interesting bit of trivia, good for him. Like many current conservatives he was more progressive in his youth. Got any evidence of his ties to the agency before he was appointed DCI by a democrat 25 years later?

You have a splendidly crude notion of politics: Woolsey was anti-Vietnam in 1967-68, ergo, he must have been a progressive. I suspect a) he was talent-spotted at Yale by CIA; and :tomatoes he was intent upon impressing his elders and betters with his nose for the prevailing wind.

All fizz and no gin, you may suspect he was already CIA back then but have no evidence to back it up. Your condescending tone is neither appreciated nor warranted unless you can back your claims.

The mundane truth is that powerful Washington circles turned against the war in Vietnam on grounds of cost and efficacy; and for fear of war with China.

I’m sure you have boatloads of evidence to back this claim? I could be wrong since I haven’t studied the subject but I doubt the Chinese would have gone to war with the US unless the Americans started occupying North Vietnamese (or Cambodian) territory close to their border. Presumably they would have issued a threat/warning beforehand like they did in Korea and even then fighting was limited to that country.

Your theory is a bit confusing; do you think the CIA backed McCarthy because they opposed the war?

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Nothing in there about him [Thomas D. Finney] being in the CIA, only that he was mentioned in 2 consecutive pages of a 400+ page book about the OSS. So maybe he worked for that agency.

So, you've moved from "which Thomas Finney, lots of Agency bods called Thomas Finney" to Thomas D. Finney, ex-OSS, at heart of "Clean for Gene" campaign, but...what exactly? Couldn't conceivably have been CIA? Or merely I lack a signed confession?

Strawman - You have yet to turn up any evidence there was anybody in the CIA by that name. Nor is it even a forgone conclusion he was in the OSS. He was just of 460 people mentioned in a 458 page book about the OSS. A certain Kennedy, Robert Francis is also mentioned the book so maybe the CIA had two horses in the race. Other people mentioned who presumably weren’t in the OSS were Benet, Stephen Vincent; Benton, William (D-Ct); Bosch, Juan D; Dies, Martin Jr (Served In Congress During Ww2); Falk Peter (Actor) [aka Lt. Colombo]; Hemingway, Ernest; Lindbergh, Charles A Jr ; Rockefeller, Nelson Aldrich, Thomas, Norman [perennial Socialist party candidate for president] and Wilder, Thornton (playwright and novelist). Unlike most (but not all) of the known OSS/CIA people in the book’s index he isn’t mentioned in books like Veterans of OSS. List of Members. 1990 , Assn. Former Intelligence Officers. Membership Directory. 1983. So he might have been in the OSS and then again he might not have.

Even if he had been in the OSS that doesn’t prove anything, some surprising names mentioned who were in the OSS were Bunche, Ralph; Child, Julia Mcwilliams (aka “the French Chef”; Dillon, C Douglas; Goldberg, Arthur Joseph; Marcuse, Herbert; Rostow, Walt Whitman and Schlesinger, Arthur Meier Jr. AFAIK none of these people ended up in or worked indirectly forthe CIA. Are we to assume that despite this all their post war endeavors were on the CIA’s behalf including Ms. Child’s cook books and TV programs? Were Marcuse’s “Eros and Civilization” and “One Dimensional Man” as well. Perhaps JFK was also controlled by the CIA since he had at least 4 ex-OSS men among his cabinet/close advisors. Schlesinger was an advisor the RFK as well, hey all the more reason to suspect the he (Bobby) was a CIA stooge as well. Though he’s not mentioned in the book the publisher of the book about Lowenstein claims he had served in the OSS, was the book CIA propoganda? If so can we take seriously its charge Lowenstein had been one of their agents?

And as Bill pointed out even if some ex-CIA people worked for McCarthy that doesn’t mean they were doing so at the agency’s behest. There were a good number of liberal cold warrior types (like Cord Meyer) and it’s not unreasonable to imagine that by 1968 they though the war a bad idea, the Rev. William Sloane Coffin was briefly in the CIA as well.

"Post-McCarthy, Curtis Gans later became the director of the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate (!)."[/b]

Irrelevant unless you can show the group was tied to the CIA. And that he was part of it well before 1983

Pretty droll, no, to find Gans lecturing others about campaign dependence upon "big money" after serving in campaign utterly dependent upon, er, a small number of large contributors.

That was an unsourced claim by an obscure blogger. “Big money” often refers to corporate and special interest group donations rather than large private ones. But even if you find evidence the claim was true and reject that distinction hypocrisy does not make one an ex-CIA agent. Gans could also claim to have “seen the evil of his ways”

Know who they were? Thought not. So how can you preclude CIA presence?
You’ve got the burden of proof backwards. I’m not saying you’re definitely wrong, just that your evidence is weak. How did Kennedy fund his campaign?
"McCarthy supporters in 1968:

James Woolsey, ex-DCI : the founder and chairman of the Yale Citizens for Eugene McCarthy in 1967-68…

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/internation..._role_1-10.html"

Interesting bit of trivia, good for him. Like many current conservatives he was more progressive in his youth. Got any evidence of his ties to the agency before he was appointed DCI by a democrat 25 years later?

You have a splendidly crude notion of politics: Woolsey was anti-Vietnam in 1967-68, ergo, he must have been a progressive. I suspect a) he was talent-spotted at Yale by CIA; and :tomatoes he was intent upon impressing his elders and betters with his nose for the prevailing wind.

All fizz and no gin, you may suspect he was already CIA back then but have no evidence to back it up. Your condescending tone is neither appreciated nor warranted unless you can back your claims.

The mundane truth is that powerful Washington circles turned against the war in Vietnam on grounds of cost and efficacy; and for fear of war with China.

I’m sure you have boatloads of evidence to back this claim? I could be wrong since I haven’t studied the subject but I doubt the Chinese would have gone to war with the US unless the Americans started occupying North Vietnamese (or Cambodian) territory close to their border. Presumably they would have issued a threat/warning beforehand like they did in Korea and even then fighting was limited to that country.

Your theory is a bit confusing; do you think the CIA backed McCarthy because they opposed the war?

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"Seymour Hersh, CIA mouthpiece:

http://archive.salon.com/people/bc/2000/01...rsh/index1.html"

I have my doubts about his Kennedy book...

Well done, Len, there's no pulling the wool over your eyes...

I obviously didn’t mean that as a revelation, your sarcasm is unwarranted. And in case you missed it some members of this forum seem tom have been unaware of the book’s problems.

...but I think it highly unlikely that Hersh is a “CIA mouthpiece”. Got any evidence? Was already working for them in ’68?
You mean Colby entrusted his anti-Angleton morsels to a non-CIA journo? But I jump ahead six years. Was he working for the Agency in '68? Highly likely.

Colby claimed that Hersh got the info from someone else and he only confirmed it. Perhaps true, perhaps not. If he wanted to get rid of Angleton I imagine he’d leak the info in away he hoped would have the most impact and Hersh was then a “hot shot” reporter working for the NY Times the most important paper in the US. If indeed he were the original source his control of the story came from the info he provided.

Were his revelations of the Mai Lai massacre and Project Jennifer and his writings about KAL 007, Abu Guarib, “the Samson Option”, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Gulf War Syndrome etc etc at the agency’s behest as well?

Hersh CIA and as far back as 1968? Highly UNlikely unless you can come up with better evidence.

A retired CIA official who knew my father asked me to consider an intelligence analysis career during my senior year in college in spring 1971. I knew why he had retired when he did (December 1967) and why he became the Washington D.C. director of Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign two months later.

http://www.danieldrezner.com/archives/001592.html

Can you do any better than a reply to a blog entry? If true it should he verifiable who was “the Washington D.C. director of Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign” IF true you got one confirmed ex-CIA guy working for McCarthy.

Why don't you just ask him? Or isn't that permitted?

Presuming he gave his real name just how do you propose I track down the guy down?

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McCarthy puff piece in the New Republic for the CIA-scripted Pentagon Papers:

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=19710710&s=mccarthy071071

The Pentagon Papers were CIA propaganda? I suppose you have real evidence to back that claim?
Priceless! Tell you the truth, Len, I left the job of demolishing the Pentagon Papers to some obscure guy called Peter Dale Scott.

Appeals to authority don’t impress me. Scott has done some good work and some crap too. Can you make the case on your own or at least provide a link to what he wrote?

The Pentagon Papers CIA propaganda? Obviously the people who ran Ramparts magazine didn’t think so because they published stuff by Anthony Russo who helped Ellsberg leak them http://www.gusbooks.com/si/015754.html

I don’t get the impression that is John Simkin’s view either; perhaps his “notion of politics” is as “splendidly crude” as mine.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKellsberg.htm

Even if true you would have to show that he knew this when he wrote the article and that it furthered their aims.

McCarthy knew the Pentagon Papers were nonsense because he was alive and conscious in the period 1961-1963, and was sufficiently concerned with matters CIA to a) oppose the nomination of John McCone; and :tomatoes write a lengthy piece on the CIA published in early 1964. Compare and contrast "The CIA is getting out of hand" (Sat Eve Post, 4-11 Jan 1964, pp.6 &10) with his review of the Pentagon Papers. In fairness to McCarthy, his was a common sojourn. Precisely the same rowing back is found, for example, in the case of Senator Gruening. I can think of no other example, however, of a Senate or House opponent of the Agency going quite so far in actively assisting the Agency later on.

I’m still waiting for you to provide real evidence (as opposed to speculation) that the papers were CIA propaganda or that he should have known this.

You said that “McCarthy appears to have harboured a Lasky-like hatred of the Kennedys” but you provided no evidence to back this claim. I suggest that this could well be a case of projection and that you ‘appear to harbor a Lasky-like hatred of McCarthy’.

I hate Clean Gene? Not as much as you hate interrogating received wisdom, or challenging authority. You should try it some time.

I’m not familiar enough with your POV to know if you are such a case but many conspiracists who claim to so “question authority” simply worship different gods and take as gospel the pronouncement of Fetzer, Alex Jones, Jim Marrs and/or Peter Dale Scott etc.

I believe the following are true or probably true:

-The assassinations of JFK and MLK jr. were the results of conspiracies.

-The Bush administration manipulated intelligence over Iraq.

-The Bush, Giulliani and Pataki administrations suppressed information about the toxicity of ‘Ground Zero’ and surrounding areas.

- People tied to Reagan and Bush negotiated with the Iranians to keep the hostages till after the election.

- The CIA used drug money to finance its operations

There is strong evidence to back these theories. On the other hand I’m less inclined to believe that:

- The moon landings were faked

- Contrails are really chemtrails

- The WTC was destroyed via controlled demolition

- The world is secretly run by the Illuminati or shapeshifinting lizard people.

- Queen Elizabeth is a drug dealer.

- A UFO is hidden in area 51 (or Car 54)

- The McCarthy campaign was a CIA plot

Because the evidence for that these ideas are true is weak.

Edited by Len Colby

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The Pentagon Papers CIA propaganda? Obviously the people who ran Ramparts magazine didn’t think so because they published stuff by Anthony Russo who helped Ellsberg leak them http://www.gusbooks.com/si/015754.html

Delighted you've raised the subject of Ramparts. By sheerest coincidence, you understand, two of Ramparts biggest backers - the noted admirer of all things Arab/Islamic, Martin Peretz, and a lady routinely described, somewhat patronisingly I can't help feeling, as a "San Fransiscan socialite," or "heiress," June Degnan, were also two of Clean Gene's moneybags. Here's Time magazine on who ostensibly financed CG, from a piece entitled "Unforeseen Gene," published in its edition of 28 March 1968:

“Key moneymen: Dreyfus Fund President Howard Stein, who is said to have raised some $100,000; Arnold Hiatt, executive vice president of Boston's Green Shoe Manufacturing Co.; independently wealthy Harvard Social Scientist Martin Peretz; and San Francisco Heiress June Degnan.”

Source:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...,828460,00.html

Peretz's finances are a seeming puzzle. It was his wife's money, it would appear, that funded his purchase of The New Republic, yet he is above described as "independently wealthy." Oddly, Peretz fails to mention his significant contribution to Clean Gene's campaign in his TNR obit-cum-tribute to McCarthy, which can be found here:

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20060116&s=diarist011605

Peretz's piece at least has the virtue of admitting that the Kennedy-McCarthy rivalry was "old and deep," a fact sometimes overlooked by McCarthy hagiographers - see here for a classic piece of that kind http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAmccarthyE.htm - a point then more than negated by the Peretzian tripe which follows: "A few minutes after his victory statement at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Kennedy was assassinated by a Palestinian terrorist. Gene went off to a monastery to reflect. I never again heard an unkind word from him about Bobby."

Eugene Thane Cesar was a Palestinian terrorist? Well I never! And that bit about the monastery - in fact, the saintly McCarthy dumped Abigail, his wife, following the 1968 campaign, as she recounts in her 1972 memoir, "Private Faces Public Place" : "He wanted to cut off everything and that is what he did …. He had to be against his party, against his home state, people — and against his wife. It was a dividing point in his life — and he had to divide from so much to do it … so many things that mattered." During the campaign itself, he had an affair with "a devout Catholic woman who had covered the campaign." As so often with JFK and RFK, scratch an inveterate opponent and you find a real adulterer. See here for more on the saintly McCarthy's marriage: http://marriage.about.com/od/politics/p/eugenemccarthy.htm

And as for Clean Gene's failure to utter "an unkind word" about RFK, this tells us rather more about Peretz's hearing than CG's real attitude to RFK in particular, and the three brothers in general.

One web source reveals him to have been little more than obsessive about RFK: "If you ever got to speak to McCarthy in later years, it always seemed like you were in a time machine. The conflict, the drama, the personal slights of 1968 were never far from the surface. And the conversation rarely was about Vietnam or Lyndon Johnson. It was almost always about Bobby Kennedy."

http://www.legendarysurfers.com/sr/2005_12_01_archive.html

From another source, we find this highly flattering description of Clean Gene's motivations and aims: "McCarthy's true motivation may have been a great deal less magnanimous than it appeared. According to one account, he told a friend, "I wanted Teddy to take it and then be beaten. It would have broken the chain." Asked about this eighteen years later, McCarthy replied, "I think I might have said, 'Well if he wins, it's fine, if he loses, why, you're going to have to run him sometime, and that this would be a test.' I think I said something like that." If that had happened, McCarthy explained, "he'd never run now," adding, "It's still going on twenty years later."

http://www.orlok.com/tribe/insiders/chapter11.html

Elsewhere, we find it even more disturbingly expressed. Of RFK's assassination, we are offered this Clean Gene verdict: "He brought it on himself, demagoguing to the last." The same Amazon reviewer - of Dominic Sandbrook's "Eugene McCarthy and the Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism" (Anchor, 2005) - offers many other titbits ordinarily airbrushed out of the plaster saint's history, from the vigorous anti-Communism of his early political career to his long, consistent history of spite and duplicitousness.

http://www.amazon.ca/Eugene-Mccarthy-Postw...m/dp/1400077907

Still, at least McCarthy's proposed cabinet would have been a sight to behold. Yarborough later characterised it as "six millionaires and about six Republicans," a coalition of "all the talents" eerily reminiscent of the post-putsch government proposed by those who sought to overthrow Harold Wilson in 1968.

To be continued...

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This is fascinating stuff, Paul.

Keep it coming.

So Ramparts was part of the Empire too?

How much more of the 'left' in recent generations, I wonder?

The story of our times gets murkier every day.

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So Paul are we to gather from your last post that you are abandoning your ‘McCarthy was backed [probably knowingly] by the CIA’ theory?

As I’ve previously noted when facts don’t go someone’s way in a ‘debate’ like this they often change the subject, which you apparently have done. Your new point seems to be ‘[he might not have been a pawn of the CIA but] he sure was a screwed-up @$$hole! That might well be the case. I never disputed that. However I still take issue with one of your major points, which seems to have been ‘he was a bad husband, therefore he was a bad person’ couldn’t the same ‘logic’ be applied to JFK, RFK, MLK jr, Gary Hart and Bill Clinton? Politicians shouldn’t be judged by their private lives

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Some memorable quotations by and about Eugene McCarthy:

My personal favorate: "The only thing that saves us from the beauracracy is its inefficency."

"Politics is like football -- you have to be smart enough to understand the game, but not smart enough to lose interest."

- McCarthy

The Vietnam War and the suffering it produced were "morally indefensible," McCarthy told his youthful audiences as he traveled the country to prepare his run against President Lyndon Johnson. "Party unity is not a sufficient excuse for silence."

McCarthy's iconoclasm may have peaked in the early 1980s when he endorsed Ronald Reagan for the White House and described fellow Minnesotan Walter Mondale as having "the soul of a vice president."

Asked if he would attend the Democrats' 1996 convention in Chicago, he replied dryly: "I wasn't invited. But then, I wasn't invited the last time [in 1968] either."

"There are altogether too many technicians in Washington now," he said in 1949 after being elected to the U.S. House. "I guess I agree with Plato that it's the philosopher who should rule."

McCarthy reflected on the 1968 campaign: "The press wondered if I had a deep, burning interest in being president. I had it for two days before the primary in Wisconsin. It never recurred after that."

Political biographer Theodore White wrote of McCarthy: "All through the years, one's admiration for the man grew -- and one's affections lessened."

After straining to describe the whole of McCarthy, journalist Jim Naughton once wrote: "To get it right you would say that for a few months in 1968, Eugene McCarthy stood at the flash point of history with a book of matches in his hand."

McCarthy seemed to take bittersweet delight in his alienation. "I think he has a rejection wish," his friend Maurice Rosenblatt once said. "He wants to reject others and be rejected by them."

McCarthy rebuked Robert Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign as "those sitting by their campfires up on the hillside, throwing notes of encouragement down to those fighting the battle on the valley floor and then coming down to join in shooting the wounded and declaring victory when the battle was won."

Some years ago his dry wit was on display when television interviewer David Frost asked him: "How would you like the first line of your obituary to read?" McCarthy replied: " 'He died,' I suppose. That would be most reassuring."

He repeatedly declined to assess his place in history, insisting the record would stand for itself. "You just kind of let it happen," he said

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So Paul are we to gather from your last post that you are abandoning your ‘McCarthy was backed [probably knowingly] by the CIA’ theory?

Au contraire, Len - as we'll now see.

Biographer Sandbrook would also appear – I haven’t read the book, so I here rely on the Amazon reviewers – to be exercised by the germane question of who exactly funded McCarthy’s campaign. His tentative answer? Hubert Humphrey. This is certainly an answer of sorts, and, in the absence of the book before me, I can’t comment on the quality, or otherwise, of evidence adduced. What does interest me for the moment is the fact Sandbrook alighted on the issue.

The conventional version – see the above Time, March 1968 piece – is thought-provoking in and of itself. The Dreyfus Corporation, according to this link http://www.learn4good.com/jobs/language/fr.../company/18147/ , was founded in 1951, and acquired by the Mellon empire in the 1990s. Its founder and longtime CEO, was Jack Jonas Dreyfus, born in 1913 in Montgomery, Alabama, the son of a candy salesman who worked for a family enterprise, The Dreyfus Brothers Candy Manufacturing Company. The following link offers the ensuing sanitised history: http://www.answers.com/topic/the-dreyfus-corporation

“In 1958 Jack Dreyfus began to suffer from bouts of depression that ranged from mild to severe. In 1963, on little more than a hunch, he asked his doctor to prescribe Dilantin a drug to treat epilepsy. Dreyfus improved dramatically and although he returned to his routine at Dreyfus & Co. and the Dreyfus Fund, an increasing amount of his time and attention was devoted to researching and championing Dilantin.

In 1965 he decided to retire from managing the fund in order to establish the Dreyfus Medical Foundation. He hired a recruiter who presented him four candidates, but in the end he decided that someone in his own organization was better suited to the job, Howard Stein, who would head the company for the next 30 years and propel the fund to new heights.”

Omitted from this corporate PR snowjob is the curious affair of Dreyfus’ subsequent role as unofficial pharmacologist to one Richard Milhous Nixon. Let Jon Wiener, the Nation reviewer of Anthony Summers’ Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon (Viking, 2000), take up the story:

“The book has also made news for its reports that Nixon was seen by a psychotherapist while he was President. However, the media excitement over this has missed the more significant story about a President's search for help. The men around Nixon, Summers shows, were alarmed by Nixon's mental condition, especially when he was deciding to invade Cambodia. After meeting with Nixon to discuss a possible invasion, Henry Kissinger told an aide, ‘Our peerless leader has flipped out.’ There were disturbing reports of Nixon drinking heavily during these days. And after a Pentagon briefing on the first day of the invasion, Army Chief of Staff Gen. William Westmoreland commented obliquely that "the president's unbridled ebullience...required some adjustment to reality.

It was at this point that Nixon called Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, a psychotherapist who had treated him during the fifties. Nixon had read Hutschnecker's bestseller, The Will to Live, written for people ‘in the grips of acute conflict.’ Since Nixon had become President, Hutschnecker had seen him only once, and then to discuss Hutschnecker's views of crime and world peace. Hutschnecker's 1970 White House visit was kept secret, but when the two met, the doctor did not realize that Nixon was seeking treatment. So Hutschnecker started pitching his world peace plans, and Nixon abruptly dismissed him. The President knew he needed help--but didn't get it.

Two days later, with protests engulfing the country, Kissinger worried that the President was ‘on the edge of a nervous breakdown.’ This is the point at which the pill-popping story becomes significant. Jack Dreyfus, a Nixon friend and supporter (and founder of the Dreyfus mutual funds), had given Nixon a bottle of a thousand Dilantins--an anticonvulsant Dreyfus claimed helped overcome anxiety and depression. Dreyfus said he told Nixon they should be prescribed by a doctor, but Nixon replied, ‘To heck with the doctor.’

Dilantin had been approved by the FDA, but for the treatment of epileptic seizures. Documented side effects include ‘slurred speech...mental confusion, dizziness, insomnia, transient nervousness.’ Instead of getting treatment from the one therapist he trusted, Nixon apparently took the Dilantin Dreyfus had given him. He later asked Dreyfus for--and received--another bottle of a thousand 100-milligram tablets.

Dilantin didn't help: Summers reports that concern about Nixon's mental state in 1974 led Defense Secretary James Schlesinger to order military units not to react to orders from the White House unless they were cleared with him or the Secretary of State.”

(Source: Jon Wiener, “Another ‘October Surprise’,” The Nation, posted October 19, 2000 (November 6, 2000 issue). Follow this link for the review in full: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20001106/wiener )

So Dreyfus, “Nixon friend and supporter,” is not merely influencing the President’s mental state at critical junctures of the Nixonian presidency, but, two years before assuming this elevated, if medically unorthodox, status, presumably sat back calmly while Stein, his handpicked successor, pumped money into the alleged peacenik campaign of Eugene McCarthy? And the CIA, Nixon’s nemesis, was uninterested in any of this?

Well, perhaps not entirely. After all, Agency man Charles Colson put Howard Stein, the CEO pumping money into no-hoper Democratic presidential candidates, on Nixon’s infamous enemies list - just before CIA’s Allard Lowenstein.

Len Colby: As I’ve previously noted when facts don’t go someone’s way in a ‘debate’ like this they often change the subject, which you apparently have done. Your new point seems to be ‘[he might not have been a pawn of the CIA but]he sure was a screwed-up @$$hole! That might well be the case. I never disputed that. However I still take issue with one of your major points, which seems to have been ‘he was a bad husband, therefore he was a bad person’ couldn’t the same ‘logic’ be applied to JFK, RFK, MLK jr, Gary Hart and Bill Clinton? Politicians shouldn’t be judged by their private lives.

I don't make that point, and I agree with your dismissal of any easy connection between marital fidelity and presidential competence. What I am pointing out is the utter hypocrisy of those who have made great play of a series of wildly unreliable allegations against JFK and RFK, while remaining silent on the actual, attested infidelities of their opponents. Nothing more, or less.

Paul

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So Ramparts was part of the Empire too?

Absolutely, Sid.

How much more of the 'left' in recent generations, I wonder?

The story of our times gets murkier every day.

Very true. And all the more reason to look the darkness in the eye, unillusioned and undaunted.

Paul

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