Jump to content
The Education Forum
Sign in to follow this  
James DiEugenio

Vietnam Declassified: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon

Recommended Posts

Mr Payette:

If you want to continue your ersatz debate with WN, please do it elsewhere.  

It is very easy to open a new thread here as I am sure you know.

If you have nothing to contribute of any value to the subject at hand--and you do not--then do not clutter a valuable information PP with your snark and slurs about people like David Ray Griffin.

If you do start a thread on such a subject, I will be glad to debate you there.  So, with my blessings, please do.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To get back to the subject at hand:

Something I did not include in the PP, but which I did talk about in SanFran is the role of Bobby Kennedy.

After Galbraith stole the Rostow/Taylor report off of Rostow's desk, he took it back to his hotel room and read it in horror.  

He then called up JFK and said something like, "You are not really going to do this are you?"  JFK said that no he did not want to and asked JKG to write him a memo on the subject to counter the people who did.

As Galbraith did that, Kennedy postponed the showdown meeting on the subject until he showed the memo to Bobby Kennedy.

At the meeting, RFK now became the attack dog.  When Rusk would venture to ask for combat troops, Bobby would step forward and utter the memorable eight words:

"There will be no combat troops in Vietnam."

According to the Parker bio of Galbraith, he did this like three times.  This is important information for historic purposes and it was not in Newman's book;  it came from notes that were discovered later.  See in John Bohrer's biography of RFK, he wrote that RFK was trying to tell LBJ in 1964 not to militarize Indochina.  Now it becomes much more clear as to where that came from.  Since RFK was in on that same policy from November of 1961.

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim,

Megathanks for this easy-to-read yet comprehensive view of JFK’s decision to withdraw from Vietnam. It clearly shows how what should have been a big part of his legacy was destroyed by not one but two of his successors.

The usual culprits here will say things such as, “Well, it was only a plan based on training the Asians to do our bidding, which probably wouldn’t have worked and therefore would have been never fully implemented.” But, of course, they’re only making excuses.

As McNamara told Bundy on 10/2/63: “We need a way to get out of Vietnam.  This is a way of doing it.”  It was clear that the decision had been made and this document was just a rationale.

I remember—it must have been more than 20 years ago now--showing NSAM 263 to a member of my extended family who had been seriously wounded in the Vietnam War and was still suffering from the effects of those wounds.  Right after reading the short document, he said something like, “The scary thing is, few people will ever know about this.”

But we have to try to tell them.  Your Powerpoint-style presentations are particularly effective ways of melding historic images, documents, and narration into a single, effective package. Thanks again!

image+22.jpeg.jpg?format=1500w

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Jim.  Spread it around if you can.

But you know although this captures a lot of the story, there is still more out there.  

John Newman told me that McNamara gave him access to top secret debriefs about Vietnam that almost no one had ever seen before.  They are in his revised book JFK and Vietnam and also in a talk he did at UT which I have not seen yet.  But I  will write about them later.

Isn't it incredible how all  this was covered up for three decades? I remember when Garrison used to talk about this or write about it and I used to think, c'mon Jim, isn't that stretching it?

Well, not at all.  It was Hallin's Spheres at work.  And it took Oliver Stone and Fletcher Prouty and Newman to expose it.

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim,

    Any thoughts about why Robert McNamara didn't set the historical record straight years ago?

    Was McNamara being threatened or blackmailed by LBJ & Co.?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, as I noted in my PP presentation, I think McNamara began to show signs of stress and depression over this in late 1966 at a dinner he had with Schlesinger, Kaysen, Goodwin, and Galbraith.  They noted that McNamara realized that Rolling Thunder was not working and America was actually losing the war.  But Johnson was still intent on escalating.

In Ellsberg's book Secrets, he continues this theme and actually has McNamara crying on his desk in 1967 and burying his face in a curtain.  He probably got this from John McNaughton, DOD deputy until he died in the summer of 1967.

I have talked to Newman about his discussions with McNamara in the eighties and nineties, and its really like McNamara had PTSD over what he had done.  He even mumbled to John, "When did I know?" 

It was that mental state that caused him to commission the Pentagon Papers and to keep them a secret from LBJ, who he knew would terminate them. I think that was his way of expiating his guilt.  But both he and Bundy got it on the record before they died that Kennedy was not going to commit to Vietnam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

IMO, as I noted in my PP presentation, I think McNamara began to show signs of stress and depression over this in late 1966 at a dinner he had with Schlesinger, Kaysen, Goodwin, and Galbraith.  They noted that McNamara realized that Rolling Thunder was not working and America was actually losing the war.  But Johnson was still intent on escalating.

In Ellsberg's book Secrets, he continues this theme and actually has McNamara crying on his desk in 1967 and burying his face in a curtain.  He probably got this from John McNaughton, DOD deputy until he died in the summer of 1967.

I have talked to Newman about his discussions with McNamara in the eighties and nineties, and its really like McNamara had PTSD over what he had done.  He even mumbled to John, "When did I know?" 

It was that mental state that caused him to commission the Pentagon Papers and to keep them a secret from LBJ, who he knew would terminate them. I think that was his way of expiating his guilt.  But both he and Bundy got it on the record before they died that Kennedy was not going to commit to Vietnam.

 

I wonder how much McNamara knew, or suspected, about the plot to murder JFK.

I also wonder if he was being blackmailed or threatened to keep his mouth shut about NSAM 263 and its reversal after 11/22/63.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that is always a possibility.

But I have not seen any evidence of that.

Although I agree its hard to imagine that McNamara could have forgotten about NSAM 263, because he is the guy who was sent by JFK to brief the press about it.  (John Newman, JFK and Vietnam, p. 407)

I have to add, this is really one of the best parts of John's book.  It depicts how Kennedy rammed NSAM 263 through his advisors. Then sent McNamara out to make the announcement  And Kennedy says as he leaves, "And tell them that means all the helicopter pilots too!"

(Geez, think Lancie pooh is going to jump on this one and say, "Oh I love how these conspiracy zealots quote these factoids.  I am going to show how this is all so weakly based if it takes me weeks to do so." Geez I am quaking in terror at this guy.  Pretty soon he will have us all thinking that JFK was a Cold Warrior and the Magic Bullet happened. I will soon be over at Duncan's repenting the error of my previous ways.)

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

Well that is always a possibility.

But I have not seen any evidence of that.

Although I agree its hard to imagine that McNamara could have forgotten about NSAM 263, because he is the guy who was sent by JFK to brief the press about it.  (John Newman, JFK and Vietnam, p. 407)

I have to add, this is really one of the best parts of John's book.  It depicts how Kennedy rammed NSAM 263 through his advisors. Then sent McNamara out to make the announcement  And Kennedy says as he leaves, "And tell them that means all the helicopter pilots too!"

(Geez, think Lancie pooh is going to jump on this one and say, "Oh I love how these conspiracy zealots quote these factoids.  I am going to show how this is all so weakly based if it takes me weeks to do so." Geez I am quaking in terror at this guy.  Pretty soon he will have us all thinking that JFK was a Cold Warrior and the Magic Bullet happened. I will soon be over at Duncan's repenting the error of my previous ways.)

 

Speaking of helicopters, as most people here probably know, Bell Helicopter made a fortune on U.S. military contracts after 11/22/63-- under the management of Michael Paine's stepfather, as I recall.

Col. L. Fletcher Prouty went into great detail about the ill-fated, costly use of Bell helicopters in Vietnam in his book, JFK, the CIA, and Vietnam.

Edited by W. Niederhut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yeah, the inventor as I recall of that helicopter was Arthur Young who was Mike's stepdad. And from my understanding he helped Mike get his security clearance and hs job at Bell Helicopter.  When asked about what type of clearance it was, Mike got selective amnesia.

According to Prouty, the CIA arranged a meeting between a Texas based company called Textron and First National Bank of Boston and the transfer was made as the CIA began to order what was called Huey helicopters for Vietnam.  If I recall, there were very few of them in service in 1960.  But then I think they ended up selling something like 7000 of them for Vietnam.

But, a lot of companies got rich during that endless war.  Both endless and a truly ugly, evil, wasteful war.  As I note in my presentation, it made Vietnam safe for McDonald's.  And also Starbucks and Burger King.

What a pile of baloney the Domino Theory was.

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Josephs just sent me something I had need seen before.

Evidently, the CIA had information that there was a plot by Nhu to assassinate the American ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and the Buddhist leader Thich Tri Quang  in October of 1963.

And then to burn down the embassy,  The idea was to sponsor a student demonstration and then infiltrate about 100 of Nhu's security forces into the building to do the job.

Whew. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTW, I should add while doing Black Op Radio this week, Len Osanic told me that Jerry Ford once said there was no documentary record that Kennedy was withdrawing from Vietnam at the time of his death.

HA HA HA HA :lol:

Which is about as bad as Vince Bugliosi saying there was no evidence that the FBI concealed anything in the JFK murder case

But I find it interesting that somehow Ford who was in on the WC cover up, then later said the same about what Kennedy's policy in Indochina was. Which makes him a twofer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/22/2018 at 1:28 PM, James DiEugenio said:

David Josephs just sent me something I had need seen before.

Evidently, the CIA had information that there was a plot by Nhu to assassinate the American ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge and the Buddhist leader Thich Tri Quang  in October of 1963.

And then to burn down the embassy,  The idea was to sponsor a student demonstration and then infiltrate about 100 of Nhu's security forces into the building to do the job.

Whew. 

 

It was the CIA who instigated the Buddhist-Catholic conflict in the first place, and ran operations out of the pagodas which led to the August ‘63 crackdowns.

The Diem regime resolved its differences with the Buddhists right before the coup.

See Ellen J. Hammer’s A Death in November.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wonder if Nhu had understood by then what Lodge was up to.

Interesting if that was the case.

But if you look at Halberstam's book, The Making of a Quagmire, Nhu was actually working on two coups at the time.  A real one, and a fake one.  The latter was to rally support for the failing Diem regime.

BTW, the guy who is doing some pretty good work on this subject, that is the myriad problems with American support for Diem, is a guy named Seth Jacobs.  Jacobs has written two books on the subject in the new millennium.  He brings up a little noted event that he feels was crucial.  This was the arrest of Pham Quan Dan in 1960.  The important point being that Pham was an anti communist.  This caused the creation of something called the Caravelle Group  which publicly protested the despotism and corruption of the Diem regime and its failure to build any kind of reform movement to benefit the lower classes in South Vietnam.  Jacobs sees this as a really crucial event.  

https://alphahistory.com/vietnamwar/caravelle-manifesto-1960/

 

The other point he sees as key was the Collins mission back in 1955. That sealed Foster Dulles' support for Diem, even though there were other leaders who America could have backed at the time.

For anyone who is interested, although there have been a few books written in the new millennium on this topic, I recommend Jacobs's books.

Edited by James DiEugenio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×