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Chomsky's lies about JFK and the CIA


Paul Rigby
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Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (London: Verso, 1993), p.144

Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the CIA “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and in the CIA’s mission to carry them out.” JFK promised to “redouble his efforts” and to “improve” covert operations. He fired the CIA’s harshest critic (Chester Bowles) and appointed as Director the respected John McCone, who “revitalized the intelligence process,” though persistent failures kept the Agency from returning to the “golden age.” Nevertheless, the CIA was “re-established…in White House favor” and became a “significant voice in policy making” under Kennedy, particularly in 1963, “as covert actions multiplied in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and Africa” (including new instructions in June 1963 to increase covert operations against Castro). Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principal participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations is, of course, notorious.

From any other source, such crudely tendentious nonsense would have been the subject of mockery, and ripped to shreds. In fear-filled America, however, the book Rethinking Camelot scarce elicited a protest.

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Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (London: Verso, 1993), p.144
Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the CIA “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and in the CIA’s mission to carry them out.” JFK promised to “redouble his efforts” and to “improve” covert operations. He fired the CIA’s harshest critic (Chester Bowles) and appointed as Director the respected John McCone, who “revitalized the intelligence process,” though persistent failures kept the Agency from returning to the “golden age.” Nevertheless, the CIA was “re-established…in White House favor” and became a “significant voice in policy making” under Kennedy, particularly in 1963, “as covert actions multiplied in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and Africa” (including new instructions in June 1963 to increase covert operations against Castro). Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principal participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations is, of course, notorious.

From any other source, such crudely tendentious nonsense would have been the subject of mockery, and ripped to shreds. In fear-filled America, however, the book Rethinking Camelot scarce elicited a protest.

Who funded the Gnome of MIT's research?

Roy Lisker, “Is Language a ‘Language’ Language? On the Analytic Systems of Noam Chomsky and Heinrich Schenker,” Steamshovel Press, #5, (Summer 1992), p.71:

“The celebrated radical activist Noam Chomsky initially obtained his research monies (and for all I know still does) from the US Army Signal Corps, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research. These enormous humanitarian foundations were interested in uncovering grammatical flaws applicable to all languages because this might save time and effort in the design of computer software for language translation. That might help them to know what our enemies were up to so we could murder them first.”
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You're one step removed from the actual source, Paul, if the following is to be believed:

But this project was actually funded NOT by the military, but by the CIA and

NSA. From a prior post, ³Manovich on Chomsky's CIA Ties,² which observes

that Chomsky, who worked on the program, took some of the ideas he helped

develop for the CIA and NSA to his work on ³mechanical translation,² a

full-fledged intelligence program directed against the Soviet Union:

http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv....m/msg95382.html

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You're one step removed from the actual source, Paul, if the following is to be believed:
But this project was actually funded NOT by the military, but by the CIA and

NSA. From a prior post, ³Manovich on Chomsky's CIA Ties,² which observes

that Chomsky, who worked on the program, took some of the ideas he helped

develop for the CIA and NSA to his work on ³mechanical translation,² a

full-fledged intelligence program directed against the Soviet Union:

http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv....m/msg95382.html

Ta, Greg, appreciated: I rather suspected as much, but couldn't find a source to extend the link to CIA.

Further contributions to improving my knowledge of the perp welcome.

Paul

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Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (London: Verso, 1993), p.144
Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the CIA “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and in the CIA’s mission to carry them out.” JFK promised to “redouble his efforts” and to “improve” covert operations. He fired the CIA’s harshest critic (Chester Bowles) and appointed as Director the respected John McCone, who “revitalized the intelligence process,” though persistent failures kept the Agency from returning to the “golden age.” Nevertheless, the CIA was “re-established…in White House favor” and became a “significant voice in policy making” under Kennedy, particularly in 1963, “as covert actions multiplied in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and Africa” (including new instructions in June 1963 to increase covert operations against Castro). Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principal participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations is, of course, notorious.

From any other source, such crudely tendentious nonsense would have been the subject of mockery, and ripped to shreds. In fear-filled America, however, the book Rethinking Camelot scarce elicited a protest.

Like most socialists who lived during the early 1960s, including myself, Chomsky saw John and Robert Kennedy as just typical Cold War warrior politicians. The evidence available at the time fully supported this viewpoint. This was especially true during the Cuban Missile Crisis when it seemed that JFK was willing to risk the outbreak of a nuclear war in order to halt the spread of communism.

Chomsky’s passage on JFK and the CIA is fundamentally correct. However, we now know that JFK did deeply distrust the CIA and was involved in exploring secret negotiations with the Cuban government in 1963. This was meant to be kept secret from the CIA. However, as they had bugged the UN rooms where these primary talks were taking place, they did know what was going on and this could have been one of the reasons for JFK’s assassination.

David Kaiser’s book American Tragedy also shows that after the Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK did attempt to follow a different type of foreign policy to his predecessors. LBJ of course abandoned this foreign policy and returned to the strategy of backing anti-communist dictators in the Third World and using US armed troops in Vietnam (JFK had only sent advisers).

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You're one step removed from the actual source, Paul, if the following is to be believed:
But this project was actually funded NOT by the military, but by the CIA and

NSA. From a prior post, ³Manovich on Chomsky's CIA Ties,² which observes

that Chomsky, who worked on the program, took some of the ideas he helped

develop for the CIA and NSA to his work on ³mechanical translation,² a

full-fledged intelligence program directed against the Soviet Union:

http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv....m/msg95382.html

I couldn't get your link to work, Greg, but the following seems to cover the same ground:

http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJu...911sep2002.html

Subject: Proof of Chomsky's CIA Past

10 Sep 2002

More on the great hero Chomsky an expert in "artificial intelligence" if I ever saw one. He was ushered into MIT by the JASON group, another DoD top secret advisory group. No wonder he supported Deutch to head the CIA and never talks about assassination conspiracies. Lately he has said that the idea that the government had any foreknowledge of 9/11 is preposterous. Couldn't it have been a-priori like language is? Somewhere deep inside there must have been a suspicion someone might get angry and respond.

Subject: Fwd: Proof of Chomsky's CIA Past

Date: Sun, 01 Sep 2002 14:35:06 +0000

From: beatrice w

I was unaware of the details in Chomsky's background as specified below. It helps to explain alot. I never understood why Chomsky's ideas were so readily accepted in academic, linguistic circles. They always seemed highly dubious, circumspect and controversial to me. Altho I haven't read his material in linguistics, I have heard him speak on the subject a few times, and, I've heard his ideas discussed by others in the context of language acquisition, etc. It always appeared to me that he was a-historical, anti-materialist, and completely inapplicable to the historical, contextual realities of language development, history, acquisition, promulgation, etc. Yet, nobody every seemed to question his almost Kantian approach, a seemingly "idealist," universalist, a-priori, innate category, or, categories which appeared to have no applicability in reality. I could say more, but, will leave it at that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Alex Constantine

To: Mike Ruppert

Subject: Proof of Chomsky's CIA Past

Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2002 16:47:38 -0700

From the WBAI People message board: "The text you posted does not say Chomsky worked for the CIA" - Anonymous

It is well known that during the 1950s, the CIA funnelled finances for its classified research projects through the military. It is also well known, as reported in Barsky¹s biography of Noam Chomsky, that the budding MIT linguist worked on a "machine translation" project at MIT funded ostensibly by the Pentagon, but as will be shown, in fact by the CIA and NSA.

"Ironically," the project was the very sort of intelligence activity Chomsky has criticized publicly:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From the Barsky bio: www.alexconstantine.50megs.com [Noam Chomsky, A Life of Dissent, by Robert Barsky, MIT Press, 1998]

"Chomsky was made an assistant professor [at MIT] and assigned, ironically, to a MACHINE TRANSLATION PROJECT of the type he had often criticized. The project was directed by Victor Yngve and was being conducted at the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, which was subsidized by the U.S. military."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But this project was actually funded NOT by the military, but by the CIA and NSA. From a prior post, "Manovich on Chomsky's CIA Ties," which observes that Chomsky, who worked on the program, took some of the ideas he helped develop for the CIA and NSA to his work on "mechanical translation," a full-fledged intelligence program directed against the Soviet Union:

"... The idea of computer vision became possible and the economic means to realize this idea became available only with the shift from industrial to post-industrial society after World War II. The attention turned from the automation of the body to the automation of the mind, from physical to mental labor. This new concern with the automation of mental functions such as vision, hearing, reasoning, problem solving is exemplified by the very names of the two new fields that emerged during the 1950s and 1960s -- artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology. The latter gradually replacing behaviorism, the dominant psychology of the "Fordism" era. The emergence of the field of computer vision is a part of this cognitive revolution, a revolution which was financed by the military escalation of the Cold War. This connection is solidified in the very term "artificial intelligence" which may refer simultaneously to two meanings of "intelligence": reason, the ability to learn or understand, and information concerning an enemy or a possible enemy or an area. Artificial intelligence: artificial reason to analyze collected information, collected intelligence. In the 1950s, faced with the enormous task of gathering and analyzing written, photographic, and radar information about the enemy, the CIA and the NSA (National Security Agency) began to fund the first artificial intelligence projects. One of the earliest projects was a Program for Mechanical Translation, initiated in the early 1950s in the attempt to automate the monitoring of Soviet communications and media. The work on mechanical translation was probably the major cause of many subsequent developments in modern linguistics, its move towards formalization; it can be discerned in Noam Chomsky's early theory which, by postulating the existence of language universals in the domain of grammar, implied that translation between arbitrary human languages could be automated."

 Alex Constantine

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Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (London: Verso, 1993), p.144

Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the CIA “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and in the CIA’s mission to carry them out.” JFK promised to “redouble his efforts” and to “improve” covert operations. He fired the CIA’s harshest critic (Chester Bowles) and appointed as Director the respected John McCone, who “revitalized the intelligence process,” though persistent failures kept the Agency from returning to the “golden age.” Nevertheless, the CIA was “re-established…in White House favor” and became a “significant voice in policy making” under Kennedy, particularly in 1963, “as covert actions multiplied in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and Africa” (including new instructions in June 1963 to increase covert operations against Castro). Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principal participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations is, of course, notorious.

Chomsky’s passage on JFK and the CIA is fundamentally correct. However, we now know that JFK did deeply distrust the CIA and was involved in exploring secret negotiations with the Cuban government in 1963.

How can Chomsky's characterisation of JFK's relationship with the Agency be considered "fundamentally correct," John, when he omits such "minor" details as the post-Bay of Pigs removal of Dulles, Bissell and Cabell - three of the most senior CIA figures - the transfer of responsibility for covert-ops of any size to the Joint Chiefs, and the restatement of Ambassadorial primacy overseas? And that's just within a small period of 1961.

Secondly, why were you and others on the left so unaware of what was written in papers such as The Times and the New Statesman? Here's an 1961 example from the former. JFK's war with the CIA began long before 1963:

From Our Washington Correspondent, “Drawing the Teeth of the C.I.A.,” The Times, Wednesday, 20 December 1961, p.11

The Central Intelligence Agency has moved into its large and handsome new headquarters on the other side of the Potomac river, suitably signposted for the convenience of visiting spies and curious reporters, and apparently with its clandestine powers little diminished. Its mysterious Mr. Bender, who is often said to have organised the Cuban invasion, is still employed, and the replacement of the former director, Mr. Allen Dulles, by Mr. John McCone, a chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission in the last Administration, is the only obvious price the agency has paid for the adventure it conceived and directed so disastrously.

Soon after the fiasco there were many demands that the agency be broken up, or at least reorganized, and the Congress is yet to have its last word. It is unlikely to be persuasive; the Defence Department has meanwhile combined the Service intelligence organization in one agency on the grounds of efficiency and economy, and the Administration is obviously in a mood to consolidate rather than sanction the creation of a number of small and perhaps conflicting civilian agencies. If the report of General Maxwell Taylor’s committee is accepted, however, responsibility for para-military operations will pass from the C.I.A. to the Defence Department, which already has a group somewhere in the Pentagon known as the department of dirty tricks.

PAST OPERATIONS

This is not an unimportant recommendation, although a second Cuban invasion is not at present contemplated. It is unlikely that the much-publicized special service troops of the Army will now be dropped over jungles and paddyfields to polish off communist conspirators, save the beautiful princess from a fate worse than death, and establish a local branch of the National Association of Manufacturers – although readers of the American press must be forgiven if they entertain such an enchanting notion. But it should mean that any hard-pressed country such as South Vietnam will in future deal with the departments of State and Defence, and not with a faceless intelligence agent.

The fact remains that para-military operations is a term difficult to define, and other cover operations will continue to be directed by the C.I.A. The memory of past operations conducted by the agency agitates many people. For instance, it has claimed credit for the ousting of Dr. Moussadek, the former Prime Minister of Iran, and for the coup d’état in Guatemala that got rid of the President, Dr. Arbenz, and made the country safe for the United Fruit Company.

Logistic support was provided for Chinese Nationalist troops in Burma, although they were pillaging large areas of a friendly country, and the disastrous counter-revolution in Laos against Prince Souvanna Phouma was engineered. It will perhaps no longer be in a position to direct raids against the Chinese mainland, as it did from the offshore islands, but some agents may believe that they can meddle in the political life of western European countries.

It can be seen why critics in and out of Congress are rather dissatisfied with what is known of plans for the agency’s future. The reappointment of Dr. James Killian as chairman of the President’s Board of Foreign Intelligence Consultants has not reassured them, if only because he occupied the post under General Eisenhower when the agency was notably free of control. Senator Eugene McCarthy has revived an earlier proposal that a congressional joint committee supervise its operations. This will almost certainly prove unacceptable, but it underlines the widespread apprehension here.

FEAR AND SUSPICION

Is it still justified? Part of the answer is provided by the brief catalogue above of the agency’s battle honours, but generally speaking the fears can be divided under two headings. First, there is the belief that it is wrongly organized, that it should not be responsible for both the gathering and evaluation of intelligence, especially overt political intelligence. This, the critics claim with some reason, should be the responsibility of the State Department. It is further believed that the agency should not undertake covert operations upon intelligence it has gathered and evaluated, and for objectives that the agency itself chooses to regard as important.

Under the second heading can be listed objections that are subjective to the extent that they rest upon suspicion fostered by previous activities. On the whole, it is believed that the agency, perhaps because of the stringent security regulations for its staff, is oriented too far to the right. Some people seem to regard it as an official John Birch Society.

The result, it is believed, is that its intelligence reports are unbalanced, and its covert operations designed to support right-wing and often dictatorial regimes overseas without considering the long-term political consequences. A prime example quoted is the Cuban adventure, when liberal elements were firmly excluded , and some indeed detained in a hidden camp until the invasion failed, and Batista supporters were encouraged.

POLITICAL BACKGROUND

In spited of these well-documented stupidities, this belief must be treated with reserve, but the criticism combines in a general charge that the C.I.A. is free to influence foreign policy to a degree that no other western government would tolerate, and to involve the country in adventures both unnecessary and dangerous.

If due allowance is made for over-colourful reports of the agency’s activities, which it helped to circulate, and for the ignorance and apprehension that must surely surround any secret organization, enough it left to disturb the most sophisticated. Yet President Kennedy, who is determined to exercise his authority without departmental usurpation, does not seem over-agitated. He is furthermore cautious, his approach to foreign affairs is enlightened, and his liberal intentions, at least by American standards, have long been evident.

The President is also interested in history, and this perhaps explains why he considers the charges no longer well-founded. Certainly the short history of the agency should be viewed against the political background of the time.

The Central Intelligence Agency was established as the successor to the war-time Office of Strategic Services and the short-lived Central Intelligence Group. Under the National Security Act it was given the three functions of coordinating the work of other intelligence units; performing such other functions relating to the national security as the National Security Council may direct; and acting, through its director, as chief advisor and consultant on intelligence matters to the President and the National Security Council.

The definitions were vague, and some of its first recruits came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in the war years had been much involved in the tracking down of communist as well as German agents. A few of these men later became the bully boys of right-wing organizations. Mr. Allen Dulles had experience of intelligence work, but more significant he was the brother of the messianic Secretary of State, the late Mr. John Foster Dulles. They worked as a close-knit team to the exclusion of the Department of State and other government bodies involved in the making of foreign and defence policy, and under a complaisant President.

PRESIDENT’S RULE

They also worked together in an emotional atmosphere made more tense by witch hunts and the charges of treachery at home and abroad. Communism was improperly understood; the idea that a revolutionary party may in certain circumstances win a popular following was violently rejected. It was not surprising, also given the widespread ignorance of foreign affairs and intelligence work, and the suspicion of permanent foreign service officers, that the C.I.A. developed as it did – the private army of the Dulles brothers.

Today in Washington the situation is very different. President Kennedy is not only determined to rule, but is committed to strengthening the State Department. Communism remains the personification of evil, but it is better understood. Aid is furnished to under-developed countries, but they are urged to carry out land reform, adopt centralized economic planning, and introduce the income tax. At the administrative level, the National Security Council has been down-graded, and the task form system ensures that no policy is initiated without the President’s knowledge and reference to appropriate departments.

The old ogre known as the Central Intelligence Agency was in fact killed the moment President Kennedy’s administration

began to function as he wanted it to function. For many Mr. McCone may remain an undesirable choice, the agency not as efficient as others, and much of its staff unsuitable. Only time will show and make improvements possible, but in the unlikely possibility that crew-cut cloak-and-dagger men are once again let loose on an unsuspecting world President Kennedy will be really responsible.

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So Paul can you show that any of Chomsky's "errors" were lies as opposed to honest mistakes? Any evidence that he had ties to CIA AFTER the 1950's when he merely worked on a project they funded. Far more recently truthers like Barrett and Jones received funding or grants from the State Department and DoE.

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So Paul can you show that any of Chomsky's "errors" were lies as opposed to honest mistakes? Any evidence that he had ties to CIA AFTER the 1950's when he merely worked on a project they funded. Far more recently truthers like Barrett and Jones received funding or grants from the State Department and DoE.

"Late, but in earnest," as the Salisbury motto has it, eh, Len?

Yes, I can: Chomsky lies principally by omission.

Vast areas of inconvenient knowledge are systematically plunged down the memory hole by MIT's answer to Orwell's Goldstein. Example: To read Rethinking Camelot one would think that attempts to assassinate and remove Diem began in 1963; were motivated by a desire to terminate peace negotiations between Hanoi and Saigon; and were the sole responsibility of JFK.* Nothing could be further from the truth. CIA sought to overthrow Diem in November 1960. Attempts to assassinate him began no later than 1957. Kennedy backed Diem's peace moves with Hanoi.

It speaks volumes for the racism and intellectual dishonesty of Chomsky that he won't let his readers see and read South Vietnamese sources who attest to both CIA involvement in the paratroopers' putsch of November 1960, and/or Kennedy's backing of Diem's negotiations with Hanoi.

And while your in full flood on the source of funding - nice touch that, by the way, on the subject of Barrett and Jones - who/what has been funding Chomsky's research since the 1950s? If you can't tell us, the presumption must be that his funding's ultimate sources remain much as before.

* Of course, Chomsky can't even hold this line with any conviction in Rethinking Camelot. At one point in its erratic, preposterous progress, he informs the reader that "Kennedy left decisions on Vietnam largely in the hands of his advisers" (London: Verso, pbk, 1993, p.116). Compare and contrast with the rest of the book:

“Kennedy escalated” (p.2); “John F. Kennedy’s escalation” (p.23); “Kennedy’s escalation” (p.27); “Kennedy…escalated the war” (p.37); “JFK raised the level of US attack” (p.43); “As he prepared to escalate the war…in late 1961” (p.46); “Kennedy’s 1961-62 escalation” (p.51); “his 1961-1962 escalation” (p.67).

Just in case his less nimble readers missed the point, the Gnome served up a variation on the theme. Subtlety, as is clear, really isn't his strongpoint:

”Kennedy’s war” (p.2); “Kennedy’s war” (p.36); “Kennedy’s war” (p.39); “Kennedy’s war” (p.52); “Kennedy’s war” (p.53); “Kennedy’s war” (p.69); “Kennedy’s war” (p.73); “Kennedy’s war” (p.81); “Kennedy’s war” (p.86); “Kennedy’s war” (p.105).

Still not got it? Chomsky had a third variant on the same basic slogan:

”Kennedy…his aggression” (p.15); “Kennedy moved on to armed attack” (p.25); “JFK’s aggression” (p.32); “JFK’s aggression” (p.35); “Kennedy’s aggression” (p.52); “Kennedy’s aggression” (p.63); “JFK’s 1961-1962 aggression” (p.66); “JFK’s aggression” (p.115).

Impressively sophisticated stuff: If you can’t convince ‘em with the quality of your argument or evidence, beat ‘em into submission by mindless repetition.

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Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (London: Verso, 1993), p.144

Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the CIA “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and in the CIA’s mission to carry them out.” JFK promised to “redouble his efforts” and to “improve” covert operations. He fired the CIA’s harshest critic (Chester Bowles) and appointed as Director the respected John McCone, who “revitalized the intelligence process,” though persistent failures kept the Agency from returning to the “golden age.” Nevertheless, the CIA was “re-established…in White House favor” and became a “significant voice in policy making” under Kennedy, particularly in 1963, “as covert actions multiplied in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and Africa” (including new instructions in June 1963 to increase covert operations against Castro). Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principal participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations is, of course, notorious.

Chomsky’s passage on JFK and the CIA is fundamentally correct. However, we now know that JFK did deeply distrust the CIA and was involved in exploring secret negotiations with the Cuban government in 1963.

How can Chomsky's characterisation of JFK's relationship with the Agency be considered "fundamentally correct," John, when he omits such "minor" details as the post-Bay of Pigs removal of Dulles, Bissell and Cabell - three of the most senior CIA figures - the transfer of responsibility for covert-ops of any size to the Joint Chiefs, and the restatement of Ambassadorial primacy overseas? And that's just within a small period of 1961.

Of course I was only commenting on what Chomsky said, rather than what he did not say.

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Of course I was only commenting on what Chomsky said, rather than what he did not say.

So, then, let me press you on the issue: Is it your view that any account of Kennedy's relations with the CIA can be called honest which omits his removal of Dulles et al, the stripping of Agency responsibility for covert ops of magnitude, and the reassertion of ambassadorial primacy?

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Of course I was only commenting on what Chomsky said, rather than what he did not say.

So, then, let me press you on the issue: Is it your view that any account of Kennedy's relations with the CIA can be called honest which omits his removal of Dulles et al, the stripping of Agency responsibility for covert ops of magnitude, and the reassertion of ambassadorial primacy?

In the passage he quotes he does not mention the fact that Dulles was removed but he does mention the man he replaced him with. As Chomsky says, John McCone “revitalized the intelligence process.” This does not make Chomsky dishonest. As I said earlier, Chomsky, is clearly not aware of how JFK changed his views on the CIA after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It should be pointed out that the CIA wanted JFK as president in 1960. They thought he was a more reliable Cold War warrior than Nixon. That is why Richard Bissell briefed JFK about the proposed CIA action in Cuba. This enabled JFK to portray Nixon as soft on communism concerning Castro during the election. Nixon, who knew about the Bay of Pigs Project was unable to answer these points about Cuba for reasons of "national security".

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So Paul can you show that any of Chomsky's "errors" were lies as opposed to honest mistakes? Any evidence that he had ties to CIA AFTER the 1950's when he merely worked on a project they funded. Far more recently truthers like Barrett and Jones received funding or grants from the State Department and DoE.

"Late, but in earnest," as the Salisbury motto has it, eh, Len?

Yes, I can: Chomsky lies principally by omission.

Vast areas of inconvenient knowledge are systematically plunged down the memory hole by MIT's answer to Orwell's Goldstein. Example: To read Rethinking Camelot one would think that attempts to assassinate and remove Diem began in 1963; were motivated by a desire to terminate peace negotiations between Hanoi and Saigon; and were the sole responsibility of JFK.*

Please cite the passages that would lead one to think these things.

Nothing could be further from the truth. CIA sought to overthrow Diem in November 1960. Attempts to assassinate him began no later than 1957. Kennedy backed Diem's peace moves with Hanoi.

Citations?

It speaks volumes for the racism and intellectual dishonesty of Chomsky that he won't let his readers see and read South Vietnamese sources who attest to both CIA involvement in the paratroopers' putsch of November 1960, and/or Kennedy's backing of Diem's negotiations with Hanoi.

Please cite these sources and provide evidence Chomsky was aware of them

And while your in full flood on the source of funding - nice touch that, by the way, on the subject of Barrett and Jones

Thanks why doesn't that undermine their credibility, one could argue that by making opponents of Bush and the neo-cons look like idiots to many swing voters they did them a favor

"- who/what has been funding Chomsky's research since the 1950s? If you can't tell us, the presumption must be that his funding's ultimate sources remain much as before."

Paul there is no such basis for such an assumption I assume this means you have no evidence he has received CIA funding in either of our lifetimes? Does the same logic apply to Jones, Barrett and every other truther whoever got money from the USG?

"* Of course, Chomsky can't even hold this line with any conviction in Rethinking Camelot. At one point in its erratic, preposterous progress, he informs the reader that "Kennedy left decisions on Vietnam largely in the hands of his advisers" (London: Verso, pbk, 1993, p.116). Compare and contrast with the rest of the book:"

What's objectionable about that, can you show it is untrue? From context he was obviously disusing specifics not general policy.

“Kennedy escalated” (p.2); “John F. Kennedy’s escalation” (p.23); “Kennedy’s escalation” (p.27); “Kennedy…escalated the war” (p.37); “JFK raised the level of US attack” (p.43); “As he prepared to escalate the war…in late 1961” (p.46); “Kennedy’s 1961-62 escalation” (p.51); “his 1961-1962 escalation” (p.67).

Just in case his less nimble readers missed the point, the Gnome served up a variation on the theme. Subtlety, as is clear, really isn't his strongpoint:

”Kennedy’s war” (p.2); “Kennedy’s war” (p.36); “Kennedy’s war” (p.39); “Kennedy’s war” (p.52); “Kennedy’s war” (p.53); “Kennedy’s war” (p.69); “Kennedy’s war” (p.73); “Kennedy’s war” (p.81); “Kennedy’s war” (p.86); “Kennedy’s war” (p.105).

Still not got it? Chomsky had a third variant on the same basic slogan:

”Kennedy…his aggression” (p.15); “Kennedy moved on to armed attack” (p.25); “JFK’s aggression” (p.32); “JFK’s aggression” (p.35); “Kennedy’s aggression” (p.52); “Kennedy’s aggression” (p.63); “JFK’s 1961-1962 aggression” (p.66); “JFK’s aggression” (p.115).

Impressively sophisticated stuff: If you can’t convince ‘em with the quality of your argument or evidence, beat ‘em into submission by mindless repetition.

Gee Paul how many times have you repeated that? "If you can’t convince ‘em with the quality of your argument or evidence, beat ‘em into submission by mindless repetition"

Prey tell inform us how many US "advisers" were in Vietnam when JFK took office and how many there were when he died? Sorry if you don't like it but he did very much up the US involvement there.

"So, then, let me press you on the issue: Is it your view that any account of Kennedy's relations with the CIA can be called honest which omits his removal of Dulles et al, the stripping of Agency responsibility for covert ops of magnitude, and the reassertion of ambassadorial primacy?"

The book was a history of the US's involvement in Vietnam NOT a history of the CIA,show how any of those actions contradicted his thesis that JFK was a traditional cold warrior.

Of course Paul for all your citations use sources that were available in the early 90's when the book was written. But even if you can show that Chomsky made errors that still doesn't mean those errors were intentional.

And even if you can present evidence that these 'errors' were probablly intellectual dishonesty that doesn't mean he was doing so at the CIA's bidding. I can point to many 'errors' by Griffin, Fetzer, Jones etc that its hard to believe were simple mistakes but I don't doubt their sincerity. Sometimes people can be so wedded to their preconceived notions they don't process info which contradicts them. Such problems are common enough to have names i.e. 'cognitive dissonance' and 'confirmation bias'.

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In the passage he quotes he does not mention the fact that Dulles was removed but he does mention the man he replaced him with. As Chomsky says, John McCone “revitalized the intelligence process.” This does not make Chomsky dishonest. As I said earlier, Chomsky, is clearly not aware of how JFK changed his views on the CIA after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

There are several problems here.

First, Kennedy sought major reform of the CIA post-Bay of Pigs – well over a year before the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Second, the removal of Dulles et al was part of a package of measures: you continue to ignore the other two elements, to wit, the stripping of CIA control of covert ops of any significance (a hugely controversial move, as Prouty, among others, has documented, in his case, from a vantage point of considerable credibility, whatever his motivation); and the reassertion of the primacy of US ambassadors. The entire package is utterly irreconcilable with the view that Kennedy held the CIA in anything approaching trust or respect.

Third, McCone was not Kennedy’s first choice – that honour went to Fowler Hamilton* – and was thus the product of considerable jockeying and pressure.

Fourth, what is the evidence for your contention, following Chomsky, that McCone “revitalized the intelligence process”? Have you checked the cited sources for Chomsky’s assertion? If not, I suggest a quick look. It’s instructive.

Fifth, given the availability of considerable, consistent evidence, much of it contemporaneous, of Kennedy’s war with the CIA, Chomsky’s scholarship and ethics are simply unacceptable.

* AP, "Retirement of CIA Chief Announced," Washington Post, (Tuesday), 1 August 1961, p.A2: Salinger yesterday announced retirement of Allen Dulles, claiming retirement in November 1961 had been Dulles' intention when accepted JFK's offer to stay on. Salinger declined to answer questions concerning Fowler Hamilton. Hamilton, according to forthcoming issue of Newsweek (August 7), due to succeed Dulles in October "after several months of working with Dulles".

It should be pointed out that the CIA wanted JFK as president in 1960. They thought he was a more reliable Cold War warrior than Nixon. That is why Richard Bissell briefed JFK about the proposed CIA action in Cuba. This enabled JFK to portray Nixon as soft on communism concerning Castro during the election. Nixon, who knew about the Bay of Pigs Project was unable to answer these points about Cuba for reasons of "national security".

Again, problems.

There is no reliable evidence that “the CIA wanted JFK as president in 1960.” Bissell’s claim to have briefed Kennedy “about the proposed CIA action in Cuba” is powerfully contested, manifestly self-serving, and almost certainly a lie.

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Please cite the passages that would lead one to think these things.
Nothing could be further from the truth. CIA sought to overthrow Diem in November 1960. Attempts to assassinate him began no later than 1957. Kennedy backed Diem's peace moves with Hanoi.

Citations?

There is a really outstanding thread on this forum going by the name of "'Arrogant' CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam." Within it, you'll find many goodies, not least the articles and citations pertaining to them, which cover all three claims advanced above. Once you've found them, intellectual scruple will, of course, compel you to acknowledge as much.

It speaks volumes for the racism and intellectual dishonesty of Chomsky that he won't let his readers see and read South Vietnamese sources who attest to both CIA involvement in the paratroopers' putsch of November 1960, and/or Kennedy's backing of Diem's negotiations with Hanoi.
Please cite these sources and provide evidence Chomsky was aware of them.

I take it you're aware of Chomsky's obsession with the NYT? Good, now take another look at the thread cited above and let me know what you find. A hint: we're talking a late October 1963 piece.

On the broader point, and given Chomsky's repeated posturings to the effect history is written by the winners, why is there nothing from the Diem camp in Chomsky's work? After all, no one was better placed to comment on who and what was trying to overthrow them, not least because they retained a very extensive and effective intelligence gathering network almost to the bitter end.

So where is the material from these sources, and on what grounds is it entirely ignored by Chomsky?

Paul there is no such basis for such an assumption - PR- "who/what has been funding Chomsky's research since the 1950s? If you can't tell us, the presumption must be that his funding's ultimate sources remain much as before." - I assume this means you have no evidence he has received CIA funding in either of our lifetimes?

Len translated: I don't know who funds Chomsky, and I'm not going to find out. You have only precedent, which means less than my insistence that you have no proof.

Actually, Len, and this may come as a surprise, the reason we don't have publicly available chapter and verse on the sources of Chomsky's funding is because he is an ongoing operation. If he wasn't, it would be out there.

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