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TOM DOOLEY - GAY & CIA?

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Tom Dooley was one of the most revered heroes and role models of his time. In a popular opinion pole Dooley was recognize in the same league as Dwight D. Eisenhower, Winston Churchill and Pope John XXIII.

And now, more than 30 years after his death, we learn that he not only received an Undesirable Discharge from the Navy because he was homosexual, but he may have worked for the CIA while administering to the refugees in Southeast Asia.

The allegations are contained in a book, Conduct Unbecoming - Gays & Lesbians in the U.S. Military (St. Martin's Press, 1993) by Randy Shilts, who died of AIDES shortly before the book was published.

Shilts notes how the details of Dooley's dismissal from the Navy were discovered by a researcher reviewing Dooley's military files for a movie, which now won't be made because of the developing facts. But his short life was extremely siginificant and inspirational, and Dooley should be given more recognition, rather than less, because of his homosexuality and CIA associations.

Born in St. Louis, Mo., and educated at Notre Dame, Thomas Dooley entered medical school with the idea of becoming an obstetrician and suburban society doctor. After his older brother was killed in Germany near the end of World War II, Dooley became a medic in the U.S. Navy stationed in Japan.

A temporary assignment to help transport refugees fleeing Communists North Vietnam led Dooley to establish a series of temporary hospitals. Inspired by the work of Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa, Dooley set up tent cities to hosue and care for the thousands of people who wanted to leave North Vietnam before the Communist Viet Minh took over in May, 1955.

Confiscating supplies from other Navy vessels, Dooley and his small staff cared for tens of thousands of refugees, most of whom had never before received even redimentary medical treatment. With the administering of this care Dooley told every patient he treated, "Dai la My-quock Viet-tro," or "This is American aid."

To his patients he was called, "Bac Sy My," - "the American doctor," who was and still is revered as a saint to those whose lives he saved or influenced.

With publicity from Life Magazine and Reader's Digest, Dooley was portrayed as an anti-Commuist humanitarian who countered the more common percepton of the greedy, careless and disinterested "Ugly American" that was then prevalent in Southeast Asia.

The rumors of his homosexuality however, instigated an investigation by the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), who planted an undercover agent in a gay bar that Dooley was known to frequent when he was in New York.

Shortly thereafter Dooley voluntarily resigned from the Navy and started a new organization called MEDCO, which established hospitals in remote areas of Laos and in other third world countries.

Dooley asked for and received supplies from varioius medical supply companies, toured the country giving speechs and accepted donations of food and clothing that he took to Laos with him, ensuring that the victims he treated knew "This is American aid."

Dooley's MEDCO was at first established as part of the International Refugee Committee (IRC), whose longtime director Leo Cherne has numerous connections to the U.S. ingelligence community. The IRC was originally established to assist those fleeing Nazi occupied Europe, but after World War II the IRC worked closely with the CIA's Operation Wringer, which debriefed refugees fleeing Communist East Europe and Soviet Russia.

Cherne served on the board of MEDCO and the Tom Dooley Foundation, was close friends and associates with William F. Buckley, Jr. and other cold warriors, and was appointed to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board under Presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush I.

Cherne and his IRC were the recipients of three letters from ex-patriot American Lee Harvey Oswald when he was in the Soviet Union seeking assistance home. Oswald had left the USMC with an Honorable Discharge that was later changed to "Undesirable" after he had defected, and he too made attempts to have his discharge status changed.

According to Shilts, Dooley's CIA file indicates that he was very upset about his Undesirable Discharge from the Navy, and when he met with his CIA contacts, often inquired about the status of his discharge, which he wanted changed to honorable, to no avail.

After achieving even more fame with the publication of three best selling books, Deliver Us from Evil, The Edge of Tomorrow and The Night They Burned the Mountain, Dooley was honored for his work by the Pope, President Eisenhower and the Presidents of Vietnam and Laos.

When he was diagnosed with cancer, Dooley went public with the fact, and even allowed his operation to be filed and broadcast on television, which generated even more assistance to his cause.

But even while laying in his deathbed, Dr. Dooley asked only that his Undesirable Discharge be changed to Honorable, a wish that was finally granted on the day before he died in January, 1961.

The next day, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated President, and with his assassination, the war in Vietnam would overshadow much of the humanitarian work that Dooley acomplished. "The American Doctor," as Dooley was known to his patients, always reminded people that he was only human, like anyone else, and that anyone with the desire, ambition and determination, can accomplish seemingly impossible tasks.

The story of Dooley, being blackmailed for being gay by the ONI, sounds similar to the story of Donald Norton, who was blackmailed for being gay in the military and became entwined in New Orleans shennigans. It also rings true to Oswald's situation, regarding his discharge and attempts to have it changed.

I also wondered whether Dooley was at Notre Dame at the same time as Phil Agee, and whether they were recruited by the same person?

Leo Cherne's papers are at the Ford Library.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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And the nexus to the assassination is?

P.S. Is anyone beside myself old enough to remember the early sixties folk song "Tom Dooley"?

And the nexus to the assassination is?

Tim, Did you even read it?

Oswald, the acccused assassin, wrote three times from USSR to Tom Dooley's associate at MEDCO - Leo Cherne.

Oswald and Dooley were both dissatisfied with their Navy "Undesireable" discharge and wanted it changed but were blackballed by the ONI, and

Dooley's experience being blackmailed by ONI to work undercover is very similar to Donald Norton's reported experience.

What did you miss again?

BK

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BK, the breakfast I planned to eat is on my face! Sorry and thank you.

But--"aides" is the plural form of a person who renders assistance to others; "AIDS" is an often fatal disease. And 1993 was thirteen years ago; hardly counts as "now".

Edited by Tim Gratz
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And the nexus to the assassination is?

P.S. Is anyone beside myself old enough to remember the early sixties folk song "Tom Dooley"?

And the nexus to the assassination is?

Tim, Did you even read it?

Oswald, the acccused assassin, wrote three times from USSR to Tom Dooley's associate at MEDCO - Leo Cherne.

Oswald and Dooley were both dissatisfied with their Navy "Undesireable" discharge and wanted it changed but were blackballed by the ONI, and

Dooley's experience being blackmailed by ONI to work undercover is very similar to Donald Norton's reported experience.

What did you miss again?

BK

It is clear that Tim does not read these posts. All he does is he places himself at the end of the thread so that other people do not read it. (How long will it take for Tim to place himself at the end of this thread?)

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At least I admitted I read it too fast. And my last question to BK was, I believe, an important one.

I still await your explanation why in your thread "Did the Far Right Kill JFK" you claim two businessmen hated JFK when each had died even before JFK became a Senator.

And what a ridiculous generalization that I do not "read these threads". If I did read them, how would I know of the mistake you made re Sterling and Vinson? I had to not only read your post but research the names you posted.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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And the nexus to the assassination is?

P.S. Is anyone beside myself old enough to remember the early sixties folk song "Tom Dooley"?

And the nexus to the assassination is?

Tim, Did you even read it?

Oswald, the acccused assassin, wrote three times from USSR to Tom Dooley's associate at MEDCO - Leo Cherne.

Oswald and Dooley were both dissatisfied with their Navy "Undesireable" discharge and wanted it changed but were blackballed by the ONI, and

Dooley's experience being blackmailed by ONI to work undercover is very similar to Donald Norton's reported experience.

What did you miss again?

BK

It is clear that Tim does not read these posts. All he does is he places himself at the end of the thread so that other people do not read it. (How long will it take for Tim to place himself at the end of this thread?)

10 minutes

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This nonsense no longer merits a response and BK's thread is being hijacked.

My last question to BK before the silliness started was whether he believed LHO was first recruited as an agent after his military discharge was changed. I am glad BK raised this point because the whole issue had troubled me for some time.

If LHO was indeed an agent, why was the govt hassling him over the discharge? If it was because the govt entity that changed his discharge did so just following procedures and not knowing he was an agent, wouldn't LHO know that, and therefore not be upset with his classificcation?

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Notice John has no answers to my post. There! One minute! But where is my answer?

I suggest that NO-ONE answer any of Tim's questions until he makes good on the promises posted to Robert Charles-Dunne and Bill Kelly.

Dawn

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Notice John has no answers to my post. There! One minute! But where is my answer?

I suggest that NO-ONE answer any of Tim's questions until he makes good on the promises posted to Robert Charles-Dunne and Bill Kelly.

Dawn

Good idea. He of course uses these questions to put himself at the bottom of the thread.

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This nonsense no longer merits a response and BK's thread is being hijacked.

My last question to BK before the silliness started was whether he believed LHO was first recruited as an agent after his military discharge was changed. I am glad BK raised this point because the whole issue had troubled me for some time.

If LHO was indeed an agent, why was the govt hassling him over the discharge? If it was because the govt entity that changed his discharge did so just following procedures and not knowing he was an agent, wouldn't LHO know that, and therefore not be upset with his classificcation?

Tim,

I'm not one to speculate on what point Lee Harvey Oswald became an agent, but it is quite clear that they took an early interest in recruiting him into USMC after both his brothers were in the military, and that his testing of "Passive-Aggressive" by Herzog in NYC fit him into the profile the Navy was looking for (See: Lt. Com. Thomas Narut, London Sunday Times).

Once in the service, it appears that he was connected with the strange death of a fellow marine, and according to Kerry Thornley, once back in San Deigo, Oswald and fellow USMC David Bucknell were recruited into a special unit that concentrated on Cuban operations.

GPH claims to have run into LHO at the Cuban conusulate in San Diego and recognized that he too was involved in such special ops at that point.

As US State Dept. officer John McVicker said, Oswald's travels via Helsinki indicated that he had been advised "by persons or persons unknown" that that was the way to go to USSR at that particular time.

What Oswald's mission to USSR was all about I don't know, but once he was there for a awhile and was running around Moscow and Minsk without being monitored - when his photo was taken by Mrs. Hyde in both places within days - photos that ended up in CIA files, then he was an extremely valuable agent-asset boots-on-the-ground behind the lines.

As for his Navy discharge status - post defection it was changed from honorable to Undesirable - the same change in status made to Tom Dooley and Don Norton.

From USSR LHO wrote to former Navy Secs John Connally and Fred Korth, both of whom knew of the defection of their fellow Texan from news reports, requesting his discharge be reviewed, and also to Leo Cherne, the IRC and Tom Dooley Foundation trustee and US intelligence associate of Buckley/Dulles/Ford/Reagan/Bush.

So LHO had contacts with Connally, Korth and Cherne from USSR.

Once back in the USA, he contined his quest to have his discharge changed from Undesirable to Honorable, as it originally was, after all how can you be declared "undesirable" after you are already out of the service?

One of the lawyers Oswald contacted about his discharge, Dean Andrews, said that Oswald was accompanied by two Cubans when he visited his office, and Andrews is the same lawyer "Clay Bertrand" called and to get him to represent Oswald.

As for the military revising the Undesirable discharge in exchange for favorable agent activity, maybe they kept it "Undesirable" as part of his cover while attempting to infiltrate the Cubans, and the maintaince of his discharge status was an indication that he was to continue working undercover.

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This nonsense no longer merits a response and BK's thread is being hijacked.

My last question to BK before the silliness started was whether he believed LHO was first recruited as an agent after his military discharge was changed. I am glad BK raised this point because the whole issue had troubled me for some time.

If LHO was indeed an agent, why was the govt hassling him over the discharge? If it was because the govt entity that changed his discharge did so just following procedures and not knowing he was an agent, wouldn't LHO know that, and therefore not be upset with his classificcation?

Tim,

I'm not one to speculate on what point Lee Harvey Oswald became an agent, but it is quite clear that they took an early interest in recruiting him into USMC after both his brothers were in the military, and that his testing of "Passive-Aggressive" by Herzog in NYC fit him into the profile the Navy was looking for (See: Lt. Com. Thomas Narut, London Sunday Times).

Once in the service, it appears that he was connected with the strange death of a fellow marine, and according to Kerry Thornley, once back in San Deigo, Oswald and fellow USMC David Bucknell were recruited into a special unit that concentrated on Cuban operations.

GPH claims to have run into LHO at the Cuban conusulate in San Diego and recognized that he too was involved in such special ops at that point.

As US State Dept. officer John McVicker said, Oswald's travels via Helsinki indicated that he had been advised "by persons or persons unknown" that that was the way to go to USSR at that particular time.

What Oswald's mission to USSR was all about I don't know, but once he was there for a awhile and was running around Moscow and Minsk without being monitored - when his photo was taken by Mrs. Hyde in both places within days - photos that ended up in CIA files, then he was an extremely valuable agent-asset boots-on-the-ground behind the lines.

As for his Navy discharge status - post defection it was changed from honorable to Undesirable - the same change in status made to Tom Dooley and Don Norton.

From USSR LHO wrote to former Navy Secs John Connally and Fred Korth, both of whom knew of the defection of their fellow Texan from news reports, requesting his discharge be reviewed, and also to Leo Cherne, the IRC and Tom Dooley Foundation trustee and US intelligence associate of Buckley/Dulles/Ford/Reagan/Bush.

So LHO had contacts with Connally, Korth and Cherne from USSR.

Once back in the USA, he contined his quest to have his discharge changed from Undesirable to Honorable, as it originally was, after all how can you be declared "undesirable" after you are already out of the service?

One of the lawyers Oswald contacted about his discharge, Dean Andrews, said that Oswald was accompanied by two Cubans when he visited his office, and Andrews is the same lawyer "Clay Bertrand" called and to get him to represent Oswald.

As for the military revising the Undesirable discharge in exchange for favorable agent activity, maybe they kept it "Undesirable" as part of his cover while attempting to infiltrate the Cubans, and the maintaince of his discharge status was an indication that he was to continue working undercover.

You asked me to speculate and so there you have it.

John Judge, as someone who counsels the military on draft, C-O and discharge status, knows a lot more about this issue than I do.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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