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Jim Root

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I always wondered what on earth they had on Earl Warren to cause him to cry. I guess it was really that simple: convince him that if he did not head the commission and satisify the public then nuclear war was a possible next step. It sounds insane to me, that a man of Warren's intelligence and legal reasoning could have been so conned, but I have yet to hear a better explanation for why he permitted his name to become synonymous with the lie of the century.

Dawn

Dawn:

One of my very favorite movies, Seven Days In May, was showing on cable this past weekend; I watched it twice. During the key confrontation between the president and the Chairman of the JCS, when the president suggests that the general stand by the constitution and run for the office in a year, the general's retort is that the president is too much a "weak sister" [like Shanet's unfitness framework] to last that long. The president then makes the argument: to paraphrase, the president asks "Did it occur to you that if the Soviets saw the U.S. govt. taken over by a military coup, you wouldn't have to wait for them to attack?" That is a reasonable recitation of the geopolitical reality existant in 1963; if the Soviets believed that the U.S. had been taken over by a military coup, they would have concluded that the preemptive first strike so long resisted by JFK was now imminent. This is an interpretation of the "40 million dead" argument used on Warren that is not generally recognized. Usually, analysts have seen the argument as being that if we admitted that it was a Cuban plot we'd have had no choice but to invade Cuba, which would then trigger nuclear war. The Seven Days In May analysis provides a better explanation of the condition with which Earl Warren was presented. LBJ was covering up a military coup.

Tim

__________________

Tim:

I totally agree, but I still think LBJ was also participating, in so far as we can ever really know. (Perhaps I am also just holding onto my first view, very much reinforced since moving to Tx. and studying the case from that perspective.)

Funny you should mention that movie, I was talking with a close pal in Boston on Sat and John and I were discussing that movie. In fact later that day it was one of two I asked my husband to rent, the other was Spiderman 2, which he did rent.

Will rent "7 Days" for next weekend.

Dawn

ps Am looking into scanning Yankee/Cowboy War onto computer. Carl gave the ok today, just have to locate the publisher.

I think the Gahlen docs may be online too, will call Jim Lasar tomarrow to find out.

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LBJ was covering up a military coup.

I totally agree, but I still think LBJ was also participating, in so far as we can ever really know.

Dawn:

Is saying that "LBJ was covering up a military coup" not sufficiently consistent with thinking that "LBJ was also participating?"

Tim

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LBJ was covering up a military coup.

I totally agree, but I still think LBJ was also participating, in so far as we can ever really know.

Dawn:

Is saying that "LBJ was covering up a military coup" not sufficiently consistent with thinking that "LBJ was also participating?"

Tim

LBJ was covering up a military coup: many would agree with that.

Sad event. Handed him a fait accompli then he called everybody in for WC and the 25th amendment.

By 1968 all Lyndon Johnson could say in his first memoirs was that Vietnam's heavy US casualties were a fair price for vigilance in Indonesia and Asia,

Funk and Wagnalls 1969.

Richard Russell and the Root brothers personify the closed door censored secret tax based expenses that run unchecked, unbridled.

Anti Trust enforcement has dwindled to nothing, Martin Marietta, Lockheed all bundled now in giant international conglomerates. That is really the beneficiary, the large corporate private US industry firms, the revolving door beltway elites.

Anti Trust enforcement was Robust in the early 1960s non existent today.

the Keratsu, the german, dutch, swiss and british multinational organizations (under free trade) largely unregulated, or regulated by hostile obstructionists.

A corporate military coup.

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When you say "one had the power to do so, the other did not (Diem)," are you comparing Taylor and Lansdale, or Diem and Thieu?  Who is the one and who is the other?

Tim

I guess you could look at it either way. I was actually refering to Lansdale and Taylor.

Jim Root

From Beschloss, The Crisis Years, pgs 652-653:

"Ngo Dinh Nhu warned South Vietnamese generals in August that the Limited Test Ban might foretell wholesale American 'appeasement' of communism and that Saigon must be ready to stand alone. Diem declared martial law. Nhu's shock troops raided pagodas in five cities and arrested 1,400 Buddhist monks and nuns. Harriman concluded that the U.S. could no longer support the Diem-Nhu govt. On Saturday, August 24, he and Roger Hilsman...drafted a cable...signed by George Ball authorizing Lodge in Saigon to set the wheels in motion for a coup. The message informed the new envoy that the 'U.S. government cannot tolerate a situation in which power lies in Nhu's hands.' If Diem refused to remove him and redress the Buddhist problem, 'we must face the possibility that Diem himself cannot be preserved.' Lodge was asked to carry this message to 'key military leaders' and also to 'make detailed plans as to how we might bring about Diem's replacement should this become necessary.'

Harriman and Hilsman wanted to send the message immediately to prevent Nhu from strengthening his position. Rusk, McNamara, McCone, and Bundy were all out of town....

On Monday morning at the White House, Kennedy was astonished when McNamara, McCone, and Taylor all loudly objected to the sending of the cable. Taylor charged that an 'anti-Diem group centered in State' had exploited the absence of principal officials to send out a message that would otherwise have never been approved. They did not receommend that the President embarrass himself by revoking the cable. Forrestal offered to resign and take the blame. Kennedy snapped, 'You're not worth firing....' Robert Kennedy noted that after what he called 'that famous weekend,' Harriman seemed to age ten years.

Kennedy later told Charles Bartlett, 'My God, my government's coming apart!' Robert Kennedy recalled that week as 'the only time, really, in three years that the government was broken in two in a disturbing way.' He later said, 'Diem was corrupt and a bad leader...but we inherited him.' He thought it bad policy to 'replace somebody we don't like with somebody we do because it would just make every other country as can be that we were running coups in and out.'

General Taylor had sent a cable to Saigon saying that 'authorities are now having second thoughts' about Diem. This infuriated the President, who did not wish to appear as if he was waffling. Lodge replied, 'We are launched on a course from which there is no respectable turning back: the overthrow of the Diem government....' Kennedy cabled Lodge, 'I know that failure is more destructive that an appearance of indecision.... When we go, we must go to win, but it will be better to change our minds than fail.'"

In this we see that Taylor and Lansdale, along with Nixon's V.P. candidate and former JFK senatorial opponent Henry Cabot Lodge, were of a single mind with regard to support for Diem. In October, JFK issued the order for withdrawal of U.S. troops. The policy was due for overall review the weekend of November 23-24, but by then Diem and Nhu had been murdered and Kennedy's body (supposedly) was lying in state in the East Room of the White House. By November 26, NSAM 273 reversed JFK's policy on Vietnam.

Tim

Tim

Food for thought:

The Pentagon Papers

Gravel Edition

Volume 2

Chapter I, "The Kennedy Commitments and Programs, 1961," pp. 98-127

(Boston: Beacon Press, 1971)

"The report Nolting sent on Taylor's final meeting with Diem also contains some interesting material....It leaves the impression that Diem was still not really anxious to get American troops deeply involved, despite his favorable reaction at the meeting of the 24th, which, in turn, was a reversal of his reaction at the meeting on the 19th. Because of this, the impression left by the whole record is that Taylor came to the conclusion that some sort of ground troop commitment was needed mainly because of what he heard from Diem's colleagues and his military people, rather than from Diem himself.

...From MAAG Chief McGarr, Washington received an account of Taylor's meeting with "Big Minh," then Chief of Staff, later Head of State for a while after Diem was overthrown. It is interesting because it was one of the very few reports from Saigon in the available record suggesting that the Diem regime might be in need of more than administrative reforms. Minh complains that the Vietnamese army was "losing the support of the people" as indicated by a "marked decrease in the amount of information given by the population." He warned, further, that "GVN should discontinue favoring certain religions . . ." But McGarr stressed the administrative problems, particularly the need for an "overall plan." His reaction explicitly concerns what he saw as the "military" aspects of Minh's complaints. But Ambassador Nolting's cables and the main paper of the Report show a very similar tendency to take note of political problems, but put almost all the emphasis on the need for better military tactics and more efficient administrative arrangements.

....Big Minh was pessimistic and clearly and frankly outlined his personal feeling that the military was not being properly supported. He said not only Viet Cong grown alarmingly, but that Vietnamese armed forces were losing support of the people. As example, he pointed out marked decrease in amount of information given by population. Minh said GVN should discontinue favoring certain religions, and correct present system of selecting province chiefs. At this point Minh was extremely caustic in commenting on lack of ability, military and administrative, of certain province chiefs. Minh was bitter about province chief's role in military chain of command saying that although Gen. McGarr had fought for and won on the single . . . command (issue) which had worked for a few months, old habits were now returning. Also, on urging from Gen. McGarr he had gone on the offensive, but province chiefs had not cooperated to extent necessary. He discussed his inability to get cooperation from GVN agencies on developing overall plans for conduct of counterinsurgency. Minh also discussed the need to bring sects back into the fold as these are anti-communist. Although above is not new Minh seemed particularly discouraged....When analyzed, most of Minh's comments in military field are occasioned by lack of overall coordination and cooperation. This re-emphasizes absolute necessity for overall plan which would clearly delineate responsibility and create a team effort....

From "Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990"

"Upon taking office, Kennedy brought Lansdale to the White House for a meeting of top Pentagon, State Department, and National Security Officers, and-apparently to their horror-intimated there that Lansdale could be the next U. S. ambassador in Saigon. The new administration's Undersecretary of Defense, Roswell Gilpatric, reminiscing on his dealings with Lansdale years later for an archive oral history project, explained that although Lansdale was an outcast with his military peers, and perhaps even less esteemed by the State Department, the White House was impressed with him:

"Lansdale was not in favor . . . during my period, with either the military or with the State Department. He was in the doghouse with both of them. And I was convinced they were wrong. I was convinced he was not a wheeler dealer; he was not an irresponsible swashbuckler, and I finally succeeded in getting him his star as a general-very difficult . . . he was the object of some distrust. I thought and still think he was a very able person.... Anyway, he remained active, both in connection with Southeast Asia and Cuba, up until the time I left in January of '64.

"Although General Lansdale's boundless self-confidence that a small nucleus of bold, brave, brilliant Americans led by himself could "turn around" asubversive insurgency survived the long decline of his protege Ngo Dinh Diem, Lansdale would not return to Vietnam until the Johnson administration'sbuildup of U. S. ground forces was well underway. Although publicly acclaimed for his counterinsurgency savvy, by 1964 the military's professional counterinsurgents began to tire of Lansdale's simplistic approach. General Maxwell Taylor, who had replaced Henry Cabot Lodge as ambassador in June 1964, shared McGeorge Bundy's low opinion of Lansdale's schemes, and together they refused to have Lansdale in a position of authority inSaigon. In 1961, Taylor had been asked by President Kennedy to pick up the pieces after the Bay of Pigs invasion, and he chaired a committee of inquiry that was brutally critical of CIA incompetence. Lansdale's handling of his post-Bay of Pigs assignment to kill Castro, in the same gung ho spirit as the invasion, may have been perhaps too much for Taylor to stomach."

Taylor had a tremendous capacity to minipulate situations to his own benifit. Lansdale was no match for Taylor's palace intrigue. Lansdale was moved out of Vietnam and involved in Cuba where he lost credibility. In the meantime, Diem dies, Kennedy dies and Taylor has a "brush fire" war.

Jim Root

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Dawn

From your statement dealing with Earl Warren:

"I always wondered what on earth they had on Earl Warren to cause him to cry. I guess it was really that simple: convince him that if he did not head the commission and satisify the public then nuclear war was a possible next step. It sounds insane to me, that a man of Warren's intelligence and legal reasoning could have been so conned, but I have yet to hear a better explanation for why he permitted his name to become synonymous with the lie of the century."

Dawn

I looked into Warren's life a bit and found some interesting bits and pieces.

A) His father was murdered and the case was never solved.

B) He was in favor of and seems to have worked with John J. McCloy in the relocation of Japanese/Americans during WWII.

C) After his involvement with the establishment group (Japanese relocation) he received the outside financial support to run for and win the Governorship of California

D) Won reelection after winning both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

E) Was Dewey's Vice Presidential running mate in 1948, blasting Truman for his Communist leanings which led to the Smith Act Trials.

F) Made a deal with Eisenhower during the 1952 campaign to support him in exchange for a promise to get the next Supreme Court position.

G) The next Supreme Court position to open just happend to be the Chief Justice - Eisenhower had misgivings

H) Eisenhower nominates and Earl Warren wins approval as Chief Justice without any prior experience as a Judge

I) Warren helps to overturn the Smith Act Cases

J) Courts used to change US social policies toward minorites in a way that mirrored the McCloy changes that were recommended and made in the armed forces.

I would refer to Warren as a man who made his pact with the "insiders" by 1942 and helped to "guide" America from that point on. He was a natural for the Warren Commission.

Jim Root

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Nosenko and the bloody brinksmanship, these holds the key.

W\hoever put Oswald in place aat TBS 11/63 knew he was a double agent, ie, unexplainable. The US guys had to have understood that allowing Osald to ingress and debrief so long in Minsk, was the equivalent of, or going to be perceived by, the 1959/1960/1961/1962 Kremlin KGB as a false defector.

They knew he looked like a false defector when they watched him go over in 1959, and so you must assume the 2nd Soviet and the 13th division in USSR thought Oswald was a false defector, a false communist, while he was in Minsk and at Dallas, with Marina.

We know that both sides did this program plans, sent emigrees over, false communists to Russia, false liberals to America...they knew at least he was a risk to have turned. Probably Bishop David Philips Attlee, Desmond FItzgerald, Cubella, Hunt, Hosty and DeMorenscheidt, Cartha DeLoach and capt Siewell all knew this about the unfortunate "lost alleged assassin." Brinksmanship. Worst guy in the world PR wise, not on FBI lists, commie, exile in Russia, this is not good for Hoover.

When it came out that it was this guy, the cabinet level executives had everyone dying to cover it up. Nosenko knew a lot, and Epstein believes Oswald really went to Mexico City, the Russian and Cuban Embassies 10/63.

This was triply agentry.

If Oswald was triple agent the stakes were indeed huge if he were perceved part of team, never thought of it so clearly............He manged to be American, Russian and Cuban all at once....

Tanks Tim Thanks Dawn

Lyndon Baines Johnson was a patsy--- until the 25th exonerated him in 1967.

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When you say "one had the power to do so, the other did not (Diem)," are you comparing Taylor and Lansdale, or Diem and Thieu?  Who is the one and who is the other?

Tim

I guess you could look at it either way. I was actually refering to Lansdale and Taylor.

Jim Root

From Beschloss, The Crisis Years, pgs 652-653:

"Ngo Dinh Nhu warned South Vietnamese generals in August that the Limited Test Ban might foretell wholesale American 'appeasement' of communism and that Saigon must be ready to stand alone. Diem declared martial law. Nhu's shock troops raided pagodas in five cities and arrested 1,400 Buddhist monks and nuns. Harriman concluded that the U.S. could no longer support the Diem-Nhu govt. On Saturday, August 24, he and Roger Hilsman...drafted a cable...signed by George Ball authorizing Lodge in Saigon to set the wheels in motion for a coup. The message informed the new envoy that the 'U.S. government cannot tolerate a situation in which power lies in Nhu's hands.' If Diem refused to remove him and redress the Buddhist problem, 'we must face the possibility that Diem himself cannot be preserved.' Lodge was asked to carry this message to 'key military leaders' and also to 'make detailed plans as to how we might bring about Diem's replacement should this become necessary.'

Harriman and Hilsman wanted to send the message immediately to prevent Nhu from strengthening his position. Rusk, McNamara, McCone, and Bundy were all out of town....

On Monday morning at the White House, Kennedy was astonished when McNamara, McCone, and Taylor all loudly objected to the sending of the cable. Taylor charged that an 'anti-Diem group centered in State' had exploited the absence of principal officials to send out a message that would otherwise have never been approved. They did not receommend that the President embarrass himself by revoking the cable. Forrestal offered to resign and take the blame. Kennedy snapped, 'You're not worth firing....' Robert Kennedy noted that after what he called 'that famous weekend,' Harriman seemed to age ten years.

Kennedy later told Charles Bartlett, 'My God, my government's coming apart!' Robert Kennedy recalled that week as 'the only time, really, in three years that the government was broken in two in a disturbing way.' He later said, 'Diem was corrupt and a bad leader...but we inherited him.' He thought it bad policy to 'replace somebody we don't like with somebody we do because it would just make every other country as can be that we were running coups in and out.'

General Taylor had sent a cable to Saigon saying that 'authorities are now having second thoughts' about Diem. This infuriated the President, who did not wish to appear as if he was waffling. Lodge replied, 'We are launched on a course from which there is no respectable turning back: the overthrow of the Diem government....' Kennedy cabled Lodge, 'I know that failure is more destructive that an appearance of indecision.... When we go, we must go to win, but it will be better to change our minds than fail.'"

In this we see that Taylor and Lansdale, along with Nixon's V.P. candidate and former JFK senatorial opponent Henry Cabot Lodge, were of a single mind with regard to support for Diem. In October, JFK issued the order for withdrawal of U.S. troops. The policy was due for overall review the weekend of November 23-24, but by then Diem and Nhu had been murdered and Kennedy's body (supposedly) was lying in state in the East Room of the White House. By November 26, NSAM 273 reversed JFK's policy on Vietnam.

Tim

Tim

Food for thought:

The Pentagon Papers

Gravel Edition

Volume 2

Chapter I, "The Kennedy Commitments and Programs, 1961," pp. 98-127

(Boston: Beacon Press, 1971)

"The report Nolting sent on Taylor's final meeting with Diem also contains some interesting material....It leaves the impression that Diem was still not really anxious to get American troops deeply involved, despite his favorable reaction at the meeting of the 24th, which, in turn, was a reversal of his reaction at the meeting on the 19th. Because of this, the impression left by the whole record is that Taylor came to the conclusion that some sort of ground troop commitment was needed mainly because of what he heard from Diem's colleagues and his military people, rather than from Diem himself.

...From MAAG Chief McGarr, Washington received an account of Taylor's meeting with "Big Minh," then Chief of Staff, later Head of State for a while after Diem was overthrown. It is interesting because it was one of the very few reports from Saigon in the available record suggesting that the Diem regime might be in need of more than administrative reforms. Minh complains that the Vietnamese army was "losing the support of the people" as indicated by a "marked decrease in the amount of information given by the population." He warned, further, that "GVN should discontinue favoring certain religions . . ." But McGarr stressed the administrative problems, particularly the need for an "overall plan." His reaction explicitly concerns what he saw as the "military" aspects of Minh's complaints. But Ambassador Nolting's cables and the main paper of the Report show a very similar tendency to take note of political problems, but put almost all the emphasis on the need for better military tactics and more efficient administrative arrangements.

....Big Minh was pessimistic and clearly and frankly outlined his personal feeling that the military was not being properly supported. He said not only Viet Cong grown alarmingly, but that Vietnamese armed forces were losing support of the people. As example, he pointed out marked decrease in amount of information given by population. Minh said GVN should discontinue favoring certain religions, and correct present system of selecting province chiefs. At this point Minh was extremely caustic in commenting on lack of ability, military and administrative, of certain province chiefs. Minh was bitter about province chief's role in military chain of command saying that although Gen. McGarr had fought for and won on the single . . . command (issue) which had worked for a few months, old habits were now returning. Also, on urging from Gen. McGarr he had gone on the offensive, but province chiefs had not cooperated to extent necessary. He discussed his inability to get cooperation from GVN agencies on developing overall plans for conduct of counterinsurgency. Minh also discussed the need to bring sects back into the fold as these are anti-communist. Although above is not new Minh seemed particularly discouraged....When analyzed, most of Minh's comments in military field are occasioned by lack of overall coordination and cooperation. This re-emphasizes absolute necessity for overall plan which would clearly delineate responsibility and create a team effort....

From "Instruments of Statecraft: U.S. Guerilla Warfare, Counterinsurgency, and Counterterrorism, 1940-1990"

"Upon taking office, Kennedy brought Lansdale to the White House for a meeting of top Pentagon, State Department, and National Security Officers, and-apparently to their horror-intimated there that Lansdale could be the next U. S. ambassador in Saigon. The new administration's Undersecretary of Defense, Roswell Gilpatric, reminiscing on his dealings with Lansdale years later for an archive oral history project, explained that although Lansdale was an outcast with his military peers, and perhaps even less esteemed by the State Department, the White House was impressed with him:

"Lansdale was not in favor . . . during my period, with either the military or with the State Department. He was in the doghouse with both of them. And I was convinced they were wrong. I was convinced he was not a wheeler dealer; he was not an irresponsible swashbuckler, and I finally succeeded in getting him his star as a general-very difficult . . . he was the object of some distrust. I thought and still think he was a very able person.... Anyway, he remained active, both in connection with Southeast Asia and Cuba, up until the time I left in January of '64.

"Although General Lansdale's boundless self-confidence that a small nucleus of bold, brave, brilliant Americans led by himself could "turn around" asubversive insurgency survived the long decline of his protege Ngo Dinh Diem, Lansdale would not return to Vietnam until the Johnson administration'sbuildup of U. S. ground forces was well underway. Although publicly acclaimed for his counterinsurgency savvy, by 1964 the military's professional counterinsurgents began to tire of Lansdale's simplistic approach. General Maxwell Taylor, who had replaced Henry Cabot Lodge as ambassador in June 1964, shared McGeorge Bundy's low opinion of Lansdale's schemes, and together they refused to have Lansdale in a position of authority inSaigon. In 1961, Taylor had been asked by President Kennedy to pick up the pieces after the Bay of Pigs invasion, and he chaired a committee of inquiry that was brutally critical of CIA incompetence. Lansdale's handling of his post-Bay of Pigs assignment to kill Castro, in the same gung ho spirit as the invasion, may have been perhaps too much for Taylor to stomach."

Taylor had a tremendous capacity to minipulate situations to his own benifit. Lansdale was no match for Taylor's palace intrigue. Lansdale was moved out of Vietnam and involved in Cuba where he lost credibility. In the meantime, Diem dies, Kennedy dies and Taylor has a "brush fire" war.

Jim Root

Jim,

Your writings on the subject of Max Taylor are masterful. Your citing the above relevant passages from the Pentagon Papers has indeed convinced me that there is alot more to the story of Max Taylor than I previously realized. I have generally viewed him favorably, due to my view that the Kennedy administration was struggling mightily to free its choicelessness from the bonds of the absolutist nuclear policies of Mutual Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) and the rigidity of Massive Retaliation. In that environment, any approach was preferable to nuclear "brinksmanship." In this sense, Taylor was well-suited to Kennedy's efforts, and Kennedy himself shares some of the blame for creating an environment better suited to "brushfire wars." Nevertheless, without Kennedy around, Taylor was unfettered in his enthusiasm and influence.

I have always been intrigued by the role of brothers during this period of the late 1950s and early 1960s: The Kennedys, Dulleses, Bundys, Rostows, to name a few. That said, Max Taylor, along with Walt Rostow, had strongly advocated for greater support in Vietnam as early as the fall of 1961. As McNamara said, "Such steps, they noted, would mean a fundamental 'transition from advice to partnership' in the war." [in Retrospect, p. 38] But these proposals were always viewed by Kennedy as a substitute, a cultural sublimation, for the likelihood of what would otherwise be nuclear war. We don't read nearly enough in these analyses of the Bundys and Rostows. But as for Max Taylor, he went from greatly admired by the Kennedys early in the administration, to despised less than three short years later.

I appreciated you picking up the theme of Seven Day In May in this regard. That movie also parallels closely the environment in the U.S. that deadly autumn of 1963, when JFK ratified the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. As I said previously:

One of my very favorite movies, Seven Days In May, was showing on cable this past weekend; I watched it twice. During the key confrontation between the president and the Chairman of the JCS, when the president suggests that the general stand by the constitution and run for the office in a year, the general's retort is that the president is too much a "weak sister" [like Shanet's unfitness framework] to last that long. The president then makes the argument: to paraphrase, the president asks "Did it occur to you that if the Soviets saw the U.S. govt. taken over by a military coup, you wouldn't have to wait for them to attack?" That is a reasonable recitation of the geopolitical reality existant in 1963; if the Soviets believed that the U.S. had been taken over by a military coup, they would have concluded that the preemptive first strike so long resisted by JFK was now imminent. This is an interpretation of the "40 million dead" argument used on Warren that is not generally recognized. Usually, analysts have seen the argument as being that if we admitted that it was a Cuban plot we'd have had no choice but to invade Cuba, which would then trigger nuclear war. The Seven Days In May analysis provides a better explanation of the condition with which Earl Warren was presented. LBJ was covering up a military coup.

In addition to the quote from Ted Dealey about the president being a "weak sister," there is also the Dealey phrase: "we need a man on horseback." The mention of General Walker in the same sentence with McCarthy is also telling. It's important that we not forget the environment and cultural mindset with which JFK struggled. Within hip Pentagon circles, as noted by David Halberstam, it was recognized that "Kennedy was afraid of the nuke." They discussed a trip to a silo at which the President had literally "blanched" a the site of the missile. This ties directly to Shanet's "unfitness" framework, in which a president who lacked the constitution to convincingly play the game of nuclear "brinksmanship" had to be removed for the nation's good, necessitating the 25th amendment. I recommend the book "The Best And The Brightest" to anyone interested in this area. I unfortunately shed myself of shelves full of books a few short months ago, full of personal notes and annotation, and can therefore not cite the above passage's page number. The book opens with a great scene involving Robert Lovett and his recommendation of McNamara for the Secretary of Defense, after being offered the position himself.

Tim

Edited by Tim Carroll

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Tim

"But as for Max Taylor, he went from greatly admired by the Kennedys early in the administration, to despised less than three short years later."

Is this a motive (element) for the crime?

Or, turn it around....from the Seven Days in May thread....Could Taylor have percieved of Kennedy as ungrateful? Undeserving?

Once again:

"...S.L.A. Marshal (Detroit News, a retired brigadier general and one of the nation's leading military historians...., has serious reservations about the man he followed through Normandy, Holland, Belgium and Korea. 'I think I know Max Tayor as well as any man in America. He was an extraordinary battle commander - the most tightly self disciplined officer I ever knew. But Taylor is the wrong man for this job. Taylor is not a conciliator. He's actively interested in the exercise of power for his own sake."

Jim Root

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Tim

"But as for Max Taylor, he went from greatly admired by the Kennedys early in the administration, to despised less than three short years later."

Is this a motive (element) for the crime? 

Or, turn it around....from the Seven Days in May thread....Could Taylor have percieved of Kennedy as ungrateful?  Undeserving?

Jim Root

"Could Taylor have percieved of Kennedy as ungrateful? Undeserving?"

According to Shanet's theory of incapacity, yes; Taylor would have considered JFK "undeserving" after the secret deal with Khrushchev, the no-invasion pledge on Cuba, and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Tim

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Tim

I am perhaps to simple, in my complex way. Taylor perhaps just wanted to assure that he got his Vietnam War. Who knows a successful conclusion and he might become President (Caesar) himself.

Just a thought,

Jim Root

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Tim

I am perhaps too simple, in my complex way.  Taylor perhaps just wanted to assure that he got his Vietnam War.  Who knows a successful conclusion and he might become President (Caesar) himself.

Just a thought,

Jim Root

That really is military thinking, something I've never understood.

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Tim

I am perhaps too simple, in my complex way. Taylor perhaps just wanted to assure that he got his Vietnam War. Who knows a successful conclusion and he might become President (Caesar) himself.

Just a thought,

Jim Root

"That really is military thinking, something I've never understood."

Let's see:

General George Washington

General Andrew Jackson

General William Henry Harrison

General Zachary Taylor

Captain Abraham Lincoln (Black Hawk War)

General Ulysses S. Grant

General Rutherford B. Hayes

General James A Garfield

Quartermaster General Chester A. Arthur

Col. Benjamin Harrison

Col. Theodore Roosevelt

Sec. of War William Howard Taft

General Dwight Eisenhower

In the 1960's the thought of a "war hero" becoming president was not out of the question.

How about PT 109, Artillery Captain Truman, "Tail Gunner Joe," Fighter pilot Bush (1 and 2 for that matter) or "Swift Boats?" Many believed Colin Powell could have been president. If MacArthur had not "faded away" he may have been elected.

The military has been a stepping stone to the presidency since the inception of this country. Taylor was already a World War II war hero and a Korean War Hero. Eisenhower had turned Taylor's dream of being presidential timber into kindling. The successful rise of Kennedy provided Taylor with a new platform and new opportunities. An end to the escalation in Vietnam would distroy any possibility of Max achieving his rightful "triumph." (mens rea)

Jim Root

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The military has been a stepping stone to the presidency since the inception of this country.  Taylor was already a World War II war hero and a Korean War Hero.  Eisenhower had turned Taylor's dream of being presidential timber into kindling.  The successful rise of Kennedy provided Taylor with a new platform and new opportunities.  An end to the escalation in Vietnam would destroy any possibility of Max achieving his rightful "triumph." (mens rea)

Jim Root

Right on Jim! We just had an election in which the history to which you refer was reified. No wartime president has ever lost reelection. As the Prouty character in the movie JFK said, to paraphrase, the ability to make war is the organizing principle of society.

Tim Carroll

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If it were to be proven that Lee Harvey Oswald had been an agent of the Soviet Union or the United States, a cold chill might replace the warming climate for negotiations that were currently in progress.  As Lyndon Johnson would say to Chief Justice Earl Warren, there was the possibility of thirty-nine million deaths.

The LBJ telephone tapes show that despite the evidence that Hoover has provided linking Oswald with left-wing groups, the KGB, the Soviets, Castro’s Cuban government, etc., Johnson was determined to believe that Oswald was the lone gunman.

Johnson wants people to believe the reason for this is his fear of a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. Russell and Halleck do not question the logic of this argument. What Johnson appears to be saying is that if the public becomes convinced that Oswald was part of a conspiracy that involved Fidel Castro, he would come under such political pressure he will be forced to order an invasion of Cuba. If he does this, the Soviet Union will order a nuclear attack on the United States. As this will result in the deaths of 40 million Americans in the first hour, he therefore has to cover this conspiracy up and instead convince the world that Oswald was a lone assassin.

Yet the historical evidence suggests that this would never have happened if the United States invaded Cuba. The Soviets would have reacted in the same way as the American did when they invaded Hungary in 1956? The whole of the Cold War shows that both sides were given freedom to control their own geographical area. The argument that unless Oswald is found guilty of being the lone assassin, there will be a nuclear war is ridiculous. Yet, Johnson uses it over and over again.

Why then was Johnson so keen to believe that Oswald was a lone assassin? Why did he not take the opportunity to invade Cuba?

____________________________

John:

Because LBJ knew full well that LHO was not the lone assassin, and that Castro had no part in the murder. But it was a good ploy to blackmail people to do the WC whitewash. I always wondered what on earth they had on Earl Warren to cause him to cry. I guess it was really that simple: convince him that if he did not head the commission and satisify the public then nuclear war was a possible next step. It sounds insane to me, that a man of Warren's intelligence and legal reasoning could have been so conned, but I have yet to hear a better explanation for why he permitted his name to become synonymous with the lie of the century.

Dawn

Unless you take the position that LBJ plotted JFK's murder, how, pray tell, did LBJ know, immediately after the assassination, that Castro was not behind it? There was evidence coming out of Mexico City (whether true or false is beyond the point UNLESS LBJ knew the evidence was false) that LHO had been encouraged by Castro agents or even KGB agents to kill Kennedy. Some people argue that some CIA agents were planting this evidence either to precopitate an invasion of Cuba or to precipitate a cover-up. In either event, it was not unreasonable for LBJ to fear foreign involvement in the assassination.

The possibility of Cuban involvement in the assassination increased dramatically with the revelation of all of the CIA's efforts to kill Castro, giving Castro the strongest possible motive (self-defense) to kill Castro.

Your statement that immediately after the assassination LBK knew that LHO was not a lone assassin and that Castro was not behind it simply defies logic (and common sense, for that matter).

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Tim

I will take a different position from your comment:

"Unless you take the position that LBJ plotted JFK's murder, how, pray tell, did LBJ know, immediately after the assassination, that Castro was not behind it?"

If Oswald was an intelligence asset of the US (my thought is that he had been an unknowing agent along the lines of Angleton's "orchid man"), the CIA or others in the government (McCloy and Dulles types) would have known a great deal about Oswald and when he was captured, would have to cover the trail wihtout creating an international conflict.

Their greatest fears may have been realized....a person who had been used by the US to penetrate a Soviet intelligence cell....who may in fact be well known to Soviet intelligence....shoots first at his contact (Edwin Walker)....then kills the President. If allowed to speak freely in a trial the Cold War covert methods employed by the US and the Soviets would be exposed to the world. Everyone is involved without being involved. Everyone has motive to cover up the crime because the truth is more unbelivable than the fiction.

LBJ was in an unwinable position....especially if the truth was similar to what I suggest. The whole mess could be pinned on Johnson just as easily as anyone else and the public would buy it.

The only thing that the CIA types would not want you to believe is that Oswald did it and had a motive. That could unravel everything. Negligence that leads to murder is, I believe, what brings a charge of manslaughter. And there was plenty of guilt to go around in this case.

Jim Root

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