Jump to content
The Education Forum

Family Jewels : JFK Abuses


Recommended Posts

There are those who believe that unless one is of the opinion that JFK could do no wrong one cannot be truly interested in solving his assassination. That premise can be compared with the liquid with which one would bathe a sus.

I offer the following not to "bash'" the murdered president but simply to point out that there may have been more truth to the title of the Lasky book "It Didn't Starft with Watergate" than Lasky knew when he penned it. (Now before people jump all over me, let me say that based on the currently available information, the abuses of the Nixon administration probably exceeded those of the JFK and LBJ administrations.)

From the NY Times article written by Philp Taubman:

The degree to which senior officials were involved in authorizing the spying is powerfully evident in tape recordings of White House meetings led by President John F. Kennedy on Aug. 1, 1962, and Aug. 22, 1962. In the first session, Kennedy approves a plan proposed by two advisers, James R. Killian Jr. and Clark Clifford, to establish a special investigative group to spy on reporters. In the later meeting, Kennedy presses the director of central intelligence, John McCone, and Gen. Maxwell Taylor to update him on planning for the spy unit. In both meetings, Kennedy endorses the idea.

[/i]

A closing note: In June of 1973 Clifford proposed an elaborate scheme in which both Nixon and Agnew would resign. Clifford justified his elaborate plan on the grounds that "the promotion of Mr. Agnew to the presidency would result only in a truncated operation composed of the remnants of the Nixon Administration." Under his proposal, "there would be no implied admission of personal guilt on the part of Mr. Nixon, but simply a recognition that misconduct by high officials of the Nixon Administration has fatally compromised its ability to function in the national interest." For Clifford, who was apparently the primary sponsor of the illegal spying on reporters in the Kennedy administration, the only adjective that comes to mind is "hypocrite!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest David Guyatt

Not a "22" or a "33" in sight.

Phew, that's a relief. ;)

Signed

David

Outlandish Coincidental Conspiracies Plc

dated 22 November 1963

Dallas, Texas, 33rd Parallel.

Edited by David Guyatt
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest David Guyatt
Well, David, you did not read it close enough, then.

It was on August 22 1962 when JFK pressed DCI McCone and Gen Taylor to update him on the spying program.

See how cunning I am at coercing people to adopt a conspiracy theory, Tim...

Yours in beguilement

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By golly, you did suck me in!

Did you ever consider the JFK hatred among segregationists almost all of whom lived south of the Freemason-Dixon . . .oh, excuse me, that's the Mason Dixon Line!

Notice also we're only one letter away from Nixon, that letter being an "N" (November?)

This is ridiculous!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim : "...spy on reporters." Which Reporters? Why?

Spy? is the writer sure? Could it instead be 'provide information in order to understand their agendas?'

Kennedy used recordings of phone conversations with Gov. Barnett in sep-oct 1962, that if publicly released at that time would put Barnett in a most embarrasing position. The Kennedy's called Barnetts bluff, and contained the Oxford insurrection. It was a minute by minute series of events that if Barnett had got his way would have put Kennedy in a much more difficult position. The Kennedy Library does nothing to hide this, nor the transcriptions of Barnett-RFK conversations. So, the recording of conversations is old news.

A byproduct was a much smoother transition in Alabama, which in those days was really THE KKK stronghold.

____________________

One could say that Kennedy keeping the knowledge of the Cuban Missiles a secret as long as he did while completing a detailed response, allowed him to capitalise on Kruschevs and his UN ambassadors provable misdirections and force an accpeptable solution where everyone to some extent 'saved face'. Ie Kennedy as Statesman, not Intriguer.

____________________

Kennedy was a Winner. He wasn't in the habit of losing.

One reason he just about always won is that he came to the table fully prepared with broad detailed research. AFAIK, he really only 'lost' once, and that was the Bay of Pigs which was an op that had gotten under way during the preceding presidency and he was deliberately misled, and also as President: 'did the right thing' and assumed responsibility.

Even such as his 'Algerian speech' pre-presidency, while then highly controversial and perhaps 'risky', won him a lasting respect from what may otherwise be bitter opponents.

So: Kennedy taping and recording covertly and using such as leverage is nothing new. In fact, it is arguably a sign of wisdom, born perhaps of bitter experience. Perhaps what he could but didn't disclose as a result of being the person he essentially was, is more relevant.

Accusing him of some degree of naivetee, as opposed to some kind of abuser of powers, is more appropriate IMO.

(BTW perhaps a topic on the "the CIA's "Family Jewels" " should be started. It seems like an interesting subject.)

Edited by John Dolva
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, I will research and tell you which reports he was using the CIA and the military to spy upon.

Sorry, it's more than naivette; even more than an abuse of powers. It's downright ILLEGAL. Which is why it is in the "Family Jewels" which purports to be a compilation of illegal actions taken by the CIA.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest David Guyatt
John, I will research and tell you which reports he was using the CIA and the military to spy upon.

Sorry, it's more than naivette; even more than an abuse of powers. It's downright ILLEGAL. Which is why it is in the "Family Jewels" which purports to be a compilation of illegal actions taken by the CIA.

"Purports" being exactly the right word to exhale in the same breath as "a compilation of illegal actions taken by the CIA".

I'll wager there's nothing in the report concerning, for example, certain near perfect one hundred dollar bill printing plate negative that was recovered, over thirty years after it began life, by yon US Treasury but which had a robust life in a certain white supremacist nation in Africa -- especially when it was joined up with an Intaglio printing press that Nixon authorised be exported/shipped to the Shah of Iran. And that then, darn it, got all kinda lost after the men with funny hats took over power. And talking about funny, I was briefly allowed to listen to the arrest of the master plate mechanic of said dollar bills which was recorded as it happened and later copied on to a micro-cassette. But the arrest itself never hit the media. Not once. Not ever. Nada. Funny eh?

Nothing to see, folks. Move along (stolen from Danny Hopsicker).

Then we could talk about a certain US Treaury CUSIP also circa Nixon times, that has a long and notorious history and includes such names as well, Meyer Lansky and which involved subjects like, well, money laundering -- not to put too fine a point on it. And then many years later the US Treasury went so far as to announce that certain numbers of this CUSIP that were still circulatiion were, well, fake! Imagine that!

Nothing to smell, folks. Move along.

But there are those who earnestly think that the bulk of the CUSIP was covertly hoovered up and placed safely in banks where it would never see the light of day again. Banks like Bankers Trust, where good ol' boy, Buzzy Krongard, enjoyed an all too brief berth before moving on to pastures new in the upper realms where really big time swanky bankers cut deals and chuff down iced mineral water. That being the three letters bank headquartered in Langley, Virginia.

Someone tell me please that I'm wrong and that these family jewels are mentioned in the Fammily Jewels report? Otherwise, I'm going to have to go back to my stock in trade ------ number "22" and number "33". And no one wants that. Not even the Spanish inquisition.

David

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tim: "John, I will research and tell you which reports he was using the CIA and the military to spy upon.

Sorry, it's more than naivette; even more than an abuse of powers. It's downright ILLEGAL. Which is why it is in the "Family Jewels" which purports to be a compilation of illegal actions taken by the CIA."

No, Tim, you will tell me which documents have been released that touch on the subject at hand.

You will tell me the documents "which reports he was using the CIA and the military to spy".

That is a far cry from "Kennedy used the CIA and the mititary to spy on reporters" as being the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Believe them, sans skepticism, at your leisure.

I suggest see them in context, and while doing that, remember that the CIA is not at sleep, never has been, and is far ahead of the game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, what's going on? Over an hour before you posted your somewhat sarcastic reply, I made reference to the Document No. (Document No. 21) in my Post # 8. Did you read it?

And by the way there are tape recordings of the meetings. I understand the spying on reporters including illegal wiretaps.

It is of course well known that RFK authorized illegal wiretaps on Martin Luther King so this "Operation Mockingbird" was not an isolated incident.

Edited by Tim Gratz
Link to comment
Share on other sites

John, Doug Caddy posted this in a separate thread. The article (from today's New York Times) It has a partial transcript of the Oval Office tapes.

You can no longer be a doubting Thomas, I guess!

Word for Word | Spying on Reporters

J.F.K. Turns to the C.I.A. to Plug a Leak

By TIM WEINER

The New York Times

July 1, 2007

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/01/weekinre...ef=weekinreview

THE unsealing by the C.I.A last week of the documents it called its “family jewels” was an only-in-America moment. A secret intelligence service freely admitted its crimes and blunders. Americans were reminded of a piece of living history: the time in the 1960s and 1970s when presidents turned the spying powers of American intelligence on the United States itself, searching for an enemy within.

As the “family jewels” make clear, this web of intrigue began in the Kennedy White House.

Another treasure trove, however, was already in public view — tapes that President John F. Kennedy himself recorded in the Oval Office. Here are edited transcripts — and a link to the tapes themselves — of two August 1962 conversations in which Kennedy took steps to spy on the national security reporter for The New York Times, Hanson Baldwin. The president was furious. He wanted to stop secrets from leaking.

These Oval Office transcripts were published in October 2001 by the Miller Center of Public Affairs. But that was the month after 9/11, and they went largely unnoticed — until last week, when the more closely guarded “family jewels” were released.

Those documents include a description of Project Mockingbird, which involved the C.I.A.’s wiretapping of two unnamed Washington reporters. This surveillance began on March 12, 1963, under the authority of John A. McCone, the director of central intelligence, and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, both of whom were present in the Oval Office in August 1962.

It was 45 years ago. But it seems like yesterday. And it is.

In December 2005, The Times revealed that the executive branch was once again using its foreign intelligence powers to spy within the borders of the United States, also by warrantless wiretapping. We may learn the full story a generation from now, if and when the first of the 21st century’s “family jewels” are revealed. TIM WEINER

The chief protagonists in the transcripts:

President John F. Kennedy

John A. McCone, director of central intelligence.

James Killian, chairman of the president’s foreign intelligence advisory board.

Clark Clifford, adviser to Democrats since the Truman administration, and a member of the intelligence advisory board.

Hanson Baldwin, military analyst for The New York Times since 1937, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his dispatches from Guadalcanal and the western Pacific in 1943, a dependably pro-military reporter. He had infuriated the president with an article on the Soviets’ efforts to protect their intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites with concrete bunkers. His reporting accurately stated the conclusions of the C.I.A.’s most recent national intelligence estimate. He is not present; he is the object of the participants’ anger and concern.

Aug. 1, 1962, 5:35 p.m.-6:25 p.m., President Kennedy meets with his foreign intelligence advisory board. Present: the president, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, Clark Clifford, Dr. James Killian, Dr. Edwin H. Land, a physicist, and Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, the president’s military representative and soon to be his chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Killian: We would say to you unequivocally that this has been a tragically serious breach of security.

J.F.K.: What I find is incomprehensible ... that someone of Baldwin’s experience and stature and the status of The Times would do it. ...

Killian: The F.B.I. may not be the best agency to conduct investigations of leaks to this kind. ... We would suggest, therefore, that the director of central intelligence be encouraged to develop an expert group that would be available at all times to follow up on security leaks.

Clifford: I think this is the most effective recommendation that the group makes: that there be a full-time small group, devoting themselves to this all the time. I believe that that group could become knowledgeable about the pieces that these various men write, like Baldwin. ...

Killian: There are many things that such a sensitized group could do ... They could follow the press and see evidence of ——

Taylor: We’d know the trends, where their contacts ——

J.F.K.: That’s a very good idea. We’ll do that.

...

Clifford: They can find out who are Hanson Baldwin’s contacts. When he goes over to the Pentagon, who does he see? Nobody knows now. The F.B.I. doesn’t know. But I think it would be mighty interesting ... To my knowledge it’s never been done before and it is long overdue.

Aug. 22, 1962, 6:10-6:37 p.m.,meeting on intelligence matters. Present: The president, McCone, General Taylor.

J.F.K.: How are we doing with that set-up on the Baldwin business?

McCone: Well, I’ve got a ... finally got a plan in which C.I.A. is completely in agreement with. It does a number of things that were recommended, including the setting up this task force, which would be a continuing investigative group reporting to me. ...

J.F.K.: Would you have supervision over the leakage from the Department of Defense?

McCone: As far as intelligence information is concerned. ...

J.F.K.: Then anyone who had intelligence would have to log their meetings?

McCone: That’s right ... I get a log every week of all the contacts they make and memoranda of the discussions.

Taylor: Do you?

McCone: I write a memoranda ——

Taylor: Has that ever been revealed to the press? [Have] you ever been ——

McCone: Oh, no ——

Mr. McCone then awkwardly returned to the subject of the task force or investigative group the president wanted him to create. It was arguably illegal, and almost inarguably prohibited by the C.I.A.’s charter. That charter was signed on July 26, 1947, and Mr. Clifford was among those who helped to write it. The charter commanded the C.I.A. to protect intelligence sources and methods, but barred it from operating within the United States, spying on Americans, or behaving like secret police. Mr. McCone mumbles, and the tape is unclear.

McCone: It’s clearly a, it’s kind of a, of a directive that ... [to] avoid getting involved, you or your office getting involved ... [unclear] I can do under the law — there’s nothing wrong [with it] — By the National Security Act, I’m charged with [unclear].

J.F.K.: Well, I think they’re scared. ... Hanson Baldwin and these fellows who’ve got these very good contacts over there [at the Pentagon]. They’re all well regarded and they talk to them so frankly. So I think if they begin to think they’re going to have to write a report on it, it’s going to have a very inhibiting effect, I think. And especially when I saw from Hoover that they figured that there were 761 people that had this secret information.

After an interrogation from J. Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I. about his New York Times article on Soviet nuclear forces, a shaken Hanson Baldwin told a colleague, in a conversation wiretapped and taped by the bureau: “I think the real answer to this is Bobby Kennedy and the president himself.” A transcript of that conversation was on the attorney general’s desk the next day.

As the newly released “family jewels” and other now public United States government records confirm, the C.I.A. kept watch on reporters and some of their sources for three years after Kennedy and Mr. McCone met. The surveillance continued after the president’s assassination, until 1965.

So now the record is clear: long before President Nixon created his “plumbers” unit of C.I.A. veterans to stop news leaks, President Kennedy tried to use the agency for the same goal. Nevertheless, throughout the decades, reporters have continued to plague the C.I.A. and presidents alike by reporting on secrets of state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's end this B.S. once and for all.

This is war. As it has been and will be.

Quote Eleanor of Aquitaine, as portrayed by Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter: “Of course he has a knife, he always has a knife. We all have knives. It’s eleven eighty-three and we’re barbarians. How clear we make it. Oh, my piglets, we’re the origins of war. Not history’s forces nor the times nor justice nor the lack of it nor causes nor religions nor ideas nor kinds of government nor any other thing. We are the killers; we breed war. We carry it, like syphilis, inside. Dead bodies rot in field and stream because the living ones are rotten. For the love of God, can’t we love one another just a little? That’s how peace begins. We have so much to love each other for. We have such possibilities, my children; we could change the world.”

Who were at the points of the Kennedys' knives?

At whose knifepoints were the Kennedys?

All attempts to draw moral equivalency are by definition doomed.

Pick a side, have the stones to announce your choice to the world, and go at it "tusk to tusk."

But don't you DARE try to tell me or any other thinking, moral human being that the dead of Dealey Plaza and the Ambassador are no different from their killers!

Charles Drago

Edited by Charles Drago
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are those who believe that unless one is of the opinion that JFK could do no wrong one cannot be truly interested in solving his assassination. That premise can be compared with the liquid with which one would bathe a sus.

I offer the following not to "bash'" the murdered president but simply to point out that there may have been more truth to the title of the Lasky book "It Didn't Starft with Watergate" than Lasky knew when he penned it. (Now before people jump all over me, let me say that based on the currently available information, the abuses of the Nixon administration probably exceeded those of the JFK and LBJ administrations.)

From the NY Times article written by Philp Taubman:

The degree to which senior officials were involved in authorizing the spying is powerfully evident in tape recordings of White House meetings led by President John F. Kennedy on Aug. 1, 1962, and Aug. 22, 1962. In the first session, Kennedy approves a plan proposed by two advisers, James R. Killian Jr. and Clark Clifford, to establish a special investigative group to spy on reporters. In the later meeting, Kennedy presses the director of central intelligence, John McCone, and Gen. Maxwell Taylor to update him on planning for the spy unit. In both meetings, Kennedy endorses the idea.

[/i]

A closing note: In June of 1973 Clifford proposed an elaborate scheme in which both Nixon and Agnew would resign. Clifford justified his elaborate plan on the grounds that "the promotion of Mr. Agnew to the presidency would result only in a truncated operation composed of the remnants of the Nixon Administration." Under his proposal, "there would be no implied admission of personal guilt on the part of Mr. Nixon, but simply a recognition that misconduct by high officials of the Nixon Administration has fatally compromised its ability to function in the national interest." For Clifford, who was apparently the primary sponsor of the illegal spying on reporters in the Kennedy administration, the only adjective that comes to mind is "hypocrite!"

"From the NY Times article..." Tim, please, it's a blog. Blogs - even those written by journalists - don't have journalistic standards (such as they are) applied to them.

Here are some facts: it was never put to JFK as a "spy unit", nor as "an investigative unit to spy on reporters". It was simply referred to as an investigative unit. Kennedy therefore, did not press anyone for an update on a "spy unit".

Kennedy endorsed the idea of an investigative unit because it was put to him by Killian and McCone that ( a ) the FBI were not interested in, and not cleared for, this type of work and ( b ) that McCOne had not just the authority under the National Security Act to do it, but an obligation to do it under that act.

see my article on it here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...