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CIA WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ASSASSINATION OF


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Thank you, Monk. I've been looking forward to having a discussion with you like this for a decade...Waiting for the right subject matter.

Well, after a decade we better make it a good show... :D

[snip]

When Kennedy went along with Harriman and the overthrow of Diem, and the back channel talks with Castro, the plug was pulled on the Chicago, Tampa and Miami plots.[snip]

I tend to believe that no one was more in shock that Diem was assassinated than JFK. We know that a series of cables were exchanged over the weekend between the WH and Ambassador Lodge in Saigon. We know that these were "ill advised" cables since several of those in Washington, who should have been in "the loop" were away, ostensibly, for the weekend. This led, as incredibly as it may sound, to a "rough draft" actually being sent. Because these cables contained communications whose meaning could be stretched enough to be interpreted as support for an immediate coup, which was the course to which Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was already inclined, US support for same was communicated to General Big Minh and his co-conspirators in Saigon--and it was off to the races. This is hardly evidence of JFK's complicity, JFK's acquiescence to a Harriman plan against Diem (although Harriman clearly supported such a plan on behalf of the State Department), or a JFK "order" to eliminate Diem.

As for back channel talks with Castro...I agree that JFK and Harriman both agreed same was desirable for US interests and "business" interests, respectively. I might add, same was also desirable in the eyes of Kruschev who was fighting his own battles with Soviet hard liners in his own country. If Castro and Kennedy could find a way to rapproachment Kruschev would no longer be faced with the bleak prospect of another "showdown" with the west, which could potentially force another choice between political defeat or global thermo-nuclear war.

IMO: the main entity that viewed themselves as "losing" from a policy that sought to disengage from further entanglement in Vietnam was the US Military. The main entity that viewed themselves as "losing" from a policy of seeking rapproachment with Cuba was the US Military. The coup in Vietnam, therefore, was designed to "upset" the planned withdrawal of US support from that region. IMO: it was an Operation Northwoods type action that suffered from a public relations guffaw. It was never credibly "blamed" on the North--in fact, no such credible attempt was ever made. However, had JFK survived Dallas, it would have been packaged that way. Note that as soon as JFK was dead, CUBA was no longer even a small concern for the military. It was ALL Vietnam, which was a much preferred "theater" of action than was Cuba. And LBJ was their perfect little "Pork Chop" to go along with the program.

(snip...) The 1,000 troop withdrawal at the end of '63 would have given the Republicans a campaign issue in '64 -- it was never going to happen -- but it was a bargaining chip to set the end of '65 date in stone in exchange for Kennedy going along with the Diem coup. (emphasis mine)

But, IT DID HAPPEN! The first 1,000 troops that JFK ordered out of Vietnam by the end of 1963 were, in fact, withdrawn. This was AFTER LBJ had signed NSAM 273--the 1,000 were STILL withdrawn.

In short: Kennedy made a political trade with the State Department foreign policy establishment so they got their damn coup and Kennedy got NSAM 263 and a withdrawal time-table as official US policy.

I disagree. I think this is backwards from the way that things actually work. I don't see the State Department as cynically as others do, perhaps. The Secretry of State "serves at the pleasure" of the POTUS. Unlike many of the "old guard" in the Intelligence Community (DULLES, BISSEL, ANGLETON--even HOOVER), who were all "in place" before JFK took office, the Cabinet members, including Rusk at State and Bobby in the Justice Department, were selected because they were his own personal preferences. JFK's withdrawal policy (NSAM 263 of October 11, 1963) went into place BEFORE the Diem's were assassinated (3 weeks later on November 1, 1963).

Harriman got his way with the over-throw of the Ngo brothers. Diem was negotiating with the North on his own, and Harriman feared Diem would ask the Americans out because that was something Kennedy would have accepted, Buddhist repression be damned.

I agree with this part. But even though Diem was negotiating with the North on his own, again: JFK's withdrawal policy (NSAM 263 of October 11, 1963) went into place BEFORE the Diem's were assassinated (3 weeks later on November 1, 1963). So, there was NO NEED to assassinate Diem since JFK had already enacted the policy BEFORE Diem requested it!

Moreover, I am not convinced that this "evidence" proves that JFK ordered, approved, or caved into pressure--to have Diem murdered. Quite the contrary. I believe it was a message being sent to JFK: "We will have our war in Vietnam with or without Diem, his brother, or you--or else..."

Harriman had no reason to have Kennedy shot at that time, post-Diem coup. Harriman was okay with the end of '65 pull-out date because Gulf of Tonkins are difficult -- but not impossible -- to produce. Two years gave Harriman plenty

of time, just like in Iran and the Shah's two year wait for Mossadegh to be overthrown. Around the Harriman house-hold they called for NSAM 263 every time they ran out of toilet paper.

Now, Cliff, there you go being "entertaining" again! The toilet paper story is the funniest thing I've ever heard about that--indeed about ANY--NSAM in my life!

I'll go one of those "angles" better, Monk. Looks to me possible that George H. W. Bush was assigned to help abort the assassination and he screwed the pooch. (snip...)

Which pooch, Barney or Miss Beazley? I shouldn't need to ask, but I've heard rumors he was... But, seriously, I have real trouble with this concept of "abort teams" being placed. By whom? By those who are going to relay a "pardon" at the last minute that was granted by the "top" co-conspirator? Under what POSSIBLE conditions would such a "stop" order be issued?

I really don't think the following (invented) scenario or any similar version is likely:

"Before JFK left AF 1 at Love Field he sent a memo to McGeorge Bundy reversing his withdrawal from Vietnam policy. We intercepted the communication and have, therefore, "changed our minds" about killing him. Get this abort order to George H W Bush who is on the ground in Dallas immediately."

Nah... I really don't think so. If it was true, then the military/intelligence/National Security apparatus was already in control of the executive branch of the government even BEFORE Dallas. If JFK had caved in on Vietnam before the assassination to save himself, then he was never (or no longer) the commander-in-chief, and thus there would have been NO NEED to assassinate him. But they did. I don't buy the idea that it wouldn't have happened but for a "failed abort" signal.

Edited by Greg Burnham
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"Before JFK left AF 1 at Love Field he sent a memo to McGeorge Bundy reversing his withdrawal from Vietnam policy. We intercepted the communication and have, therefore, "changed our minds" about killing him. Get this abort order to George H W Bush who is on the ground in Dallas immediately."

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Hi Greg,

I just wanted to copy and paste something from Col. Prouty, a letter exchange between you and him from Len's site, that I've kept in my files for years.

It deals with some of the heavy hitters, and explains how and why Korea, and Vietnam were in the planning stages as far back as The Teheran Conference

in October 1943. I've taken the liberty of "bolding" the names, and color highlighting the parts that seemed relevant to me at the time.

Thanks go out to Len Osanic, and to you, Greg.

Ter

Here it is:

An interesting reply from Col. Prouty

Reply to Greg Burnham

This is the response to the good paper we have received from Greg Burnham on the subject of Marine Colonel Jack Hawkins, and other special operations matters

TO: Gregory Burnham:

You ask about Col. Jack Hawkins. I certainly do remember him mostly from the Bay of Pigs days. I have looked in a 1963 Pentagon telephone book and find him listed for that year. He was the tactical man we got from the Marines to plan the landing of the Anti-Castro unit and train them. I knew that he was against the project, as many of us were for purely tactical reasons. These Cubans in the USA were not military trained and the restrictions placed upon the project were too severe.

Actually Bissell's comment to Hawkins about "air support ready to strike, if needed" was accurate. We had provided the rebels with 16 B-26's that I had put through a transition project in Arizona. They had 8 50 Cal. machine guns in each nose. (With this is mind,) Castro had only 10 capable combat aircraft Kennedy ordered them all to be destroyed before the landing. On Sat., a.m., May 15th they were attacked and all of 7 were destroyed. We scoured Cuba with U-2 reconnaissance and found that three jets that Castro had left were all that he had; but these armed jets could easily shoot down the B-26's. Therefore Kennedy made it very clear on May 16th that the landing could not take place until the Rebel's B-26's had totally destroyed the last three Castro jets...ON THE GROUND. (If this had been done, as ordered by the President then the 16 bombers could have supported the invasion and the Cuban rebels would have had a more than even chance to beat Castro's ground troops and their equipment by bombardment.

Bissell had not lied to JFK; but McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, then Deputy Director of the CIA and told him that the bombing must not take place until the invaders had landed at the Bay of Pigs. It was about 3:30 am then and Cabell was having trouble locating Rusk to get his opinion. Of all things, Allen Dulles was out of the country.

That is the basic mistake. I won't carry it further here. All of the details are in my book "The Secret Team" and in my new CD-ROM. They will tell you the rest of the story. I can send you the CD if you want ($34.95)

You have printed an interesting line: "there was a high motivation for the Agency to compromise JFK politically." The story is more than that. In late Dec. 1959, when Castro and his rebels were marching into Havana, a group of us in the Special Ops business were ordered into an office. There we were told that if Castro did take over Havana we were going to be ordered to form a rebel force. Recall this was under Eisenhower and Nixon.

Well no call came and after midnight when we had the office TV on and were watching the "New Years" celebrations we were told we could go home. Castro was the new ruler of Cuba. Later in the spring of 1960, Castro came to New York City to speak at the United Nations. Following that speech, he went to Washington and had a meeting with Nixon. After that meeting, Nixon commented with reporters saying, more or less, that if Castro was not a Communist he was close to it. That set the tone for the Eisenhower people to order the CIA to prepare to over-throw his Government.

A little later a team from the CIA came to my office in the Pentagon (At that time I was the Special Operations officer there for the Air Force). They asked me if we had an airfield that could be used for a base to train aircrews and to get aircraft for them for a Cuban anti-Castro rebel group. This started it all.

During this period summer of 1960, we were coming up on a presidential election time and JFK nominated by the Democrats. The Republicans were certain that they would win; so they began to put all the new, and huge appropriations into the next year for "President" Nixon; but in a surprise he was not elected and I never saw such emotional feelings as then. I was then working in the office of the Secretary of Defense, in the Office of Special Operations.

In the halls of the Pentagon you could hear the dislike of the new President; and the realization of the fact that JFK had inherited billions of dollars of procurement money for high cost items such and the $6 or $7 billion dollar TFX aircraft buy. In one tactical move the Republicans changed the Anti-Castro plans from small over-the-beach and air drop tactics to a major invasion. In no time they had built up a 3,000 man force that had to be trained and equipped, and dumped it all in JFK's lap.

They did not realize that JFK already knew the Anti-Castro leaders who had been guests of the Kennedy's at their big Florida resort home. One day I was sent to the Senate Office building to a certain room number to pick up four men and have them driven to the Pentagon and to the Secretary of Defense, Gates. The office turned out to be Senator Kennedy's office and the four men were the leaders of the Cuban Exile group: Artime, Varona, Mendonca and one more. Here it was only early summer of 1959, and JFK had yet be nominated for the Presidency by the Democrats, and he was entertaining them in his family's winter home in West Palm Beach and in his Senate office building. People did know how well JFK knew them.

The most influential debate he had before the election with Nixon was the third, when they debated the Cuban Problem. Kennedy just made Nixon look ridiculous; and that debate alone perhaps won for JFK his narrow managing in the election.

Shortly after the election a team of top level CIA officials came to my office and requested that I get base facilities for at least 3,000 Cuban exiles, and enough aircraft for them. They built the Cuban force immediately by those numbers and then with Kennedy's inauguration they dumped it all in his lap.

By April 1961 the invasion plan had been worked out under the leadership of Jack Hawkins. It was all predicated on the fact that the Invasion Force would destroy all of Castro's aircraft BEFORE the invasion took place. This was the plan that was briefed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, approved by them and taken to Kennedy. Kennedy said little about it except on Sunday, April 17th he finally approved the invasion with the strict proviso that all of Castro's jets would be destroyed; or the invasion force would not be landed on the beach. We all understood that.

For some reason, at 9:30PM McGeorge Bundy called Gen. Cabell, Deputy Director of the CIA and told him that the invasion was off until the men were on the beach. B-26 invasion planes that had been put on stand-by in Nicaragua were not to be released until dawn. This of course was against Kennedy's orders, because the three jets that Castro had could easily destroy them.

Gen. Cabell left the office in an attempt to locate Sec. of State Rusk. He knew that order had to be changed. While he was doing that the hours passed, and I got a telephone call from the air commander in Nicaragua who was all upset. He knew if the B-26's were not there by dawn the jets would take off and down them. I could hear the B-26 engines running in the background. I made many calls around Washington to get help with this essential problem. As the clock kept running it became too late for the B-26's to arrive before dawn while the T-33 jets were on the ground. Meanwhile the troops were landing at the Bay of Pigs. The whole thing was a disaster...and it was not Kennedy's fault. The last order he had given that day was "The B-26's must destroy the jets before they take off or the invasion must be cancelled," This was the military approved plan and Kennedy's orders.

You are correct also about the Power's U-2. That flight was made to fail by a shortage of the proper fuel. The engine stopped when Powers was about one half way to his goal in Norway. He did not use his parachute, because he could fly the plane to the ground. That also caused the important Paris Conference on May 1, 1960 that had been planned between Eisenhower and Khrushchev to be cancelled

As you may know, the Korean War and the Vietnam War were both planned at the Teheran Conference in Oct 1943. When the Japanese surrendered on Sept 2, 1945 the enormous supply of equipment and arms-stockpiled for 500,000 men, were divided in half and one half was sent to Korea and the other half to Vietnam. In later years both were used in wars in which the U.S. was heavily involved and both Presidents were blamed for them. This created especially opposition against Kennedy in the year 1963, and led to his death.

Kennedy had already issued Presidential Directives during Oct 1963 to the effect that 1000 American personnel would be out of Vietnam by Christmas 1963, and that all American personnel would be out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. This was the final action that caused his assassination by the powers that wanted to continue the costly, and profitable... to them... warfare in Vietnam.

You are correct about the Bay of Pigs landing disaster, except for the details that the Cuban rebels were equipped with armed B-26 's; and if used while Castro's jets were still on the ground on the morning o April 18th that would easily been destroyed. Then the landing force would have had, little or no real opposition and they would have defeated Castro.

The JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff. My emphasis. TM] and Kennedy had both ordered that if the jets were not destroyed there would be no invasion. Kennedy had ordered that no "active duty USA aircraft would be used in that invasion". This was a firm order that we all understood. You are correct that Kennedy's NSAM #263 would have had us out of Vietnam for sure. I was one of its writers. I know how determined he was, but that was Oct 11,1963. Kennedy was dead on Nov 22, 1963.

We all can see the connection.

L. Fletcher Prouty

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Thank you, Monk. I've been looking forward to having a discussion with you like this for a decade...Waiting for the right subject matter.

Well, after a decade we better make it a good show... B)

So far so good...

[snip]

When Kennedy went along with Harriman and the overthrow of Diem, and the back channel talks with Castro, the plug was pulled on the Chicago, Tampa and Miami plots.[snip]

I tend to believe that no one was more in shock that Diem was assassinated than JFK. We know that a series of cables were exchanged over the weekend between the WH and Ambassador Lodge in Saigon. We know that these were "ill advised" cables since several of those in Washington, who should have been in "the loop" were away, ostensibly, for the weekend. This led, as incredibly as it may sound, to a "rough draft" actually being sent. Because these cables contained communications whose meaning could be stretched enough to be interpreted as support for an immediate coup, which was the course to which Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was already inclined, US support for same was communicated to General Big Minh and his co-conspirators in Saigon--and it was off to the races. This is hardly evidence of JFK's complicity, JFK's acquiescence to a Harriman plan against Diem (although Harriman clearly supported such a plan on behalf of the State Department), or a JFK "order" to eliminate Diem.

Gareth Porter, The Perils of Dominace, pg. 178 (emphasis added):

(quote on)

Kennedy's withdrawal strategy was based...on the premise that the Diem regime

would not be overthrown by a military coup, and that its repressive character and

political weakness probably would provide a convenient rationale for early withdrawal.

Immediately after Kennedy had achieved the objective of legitimizing the withdrawal

plan (contained in the 10/2/63 McNamara-Taylor Report-cv), the CIA reported

on Oct. 5 that Saigon generals were now moving ahead with a coup plan. Kennedy

was reluctant to oppose a coup plan that had already been set in motion. Instead, he

tried to tread a fine line between not "thwarting" a coup and encouraging such a coup.

Once the United State decided to establish liaison with the coup plotters, however, this

line was meaningless. Even though Kennedy tried to insist shortly before the coup that

Lodge discourage the generals unless it was certain to succeed, the administration was

irrevocably compromised by such contacts.

(quote off)

What I gather from the above is that JFK placed the withdrawal plan at the top of

his priorities. Prior to the Oct. 5 CIA report on the So. Vietnam coup moves, JFK

had been happy to let his top advisers McNamara and Taylor carry his water for

a phased withdrawal. After Oct. 5 JFK "went along" with Harriman and State on

the Diem coup -- maintaining a hands-off "fine line" -- in order to more aggressively

push for the phased withdrawal. And in pursuit of that, NSAM 263 was issued on Oct. 11.

As for back channel talks with Castro...I agree that JFK and Harriman both agreed same was desirable for US interests and "business" interests, respectively. I might add, same was also desirable in the eyes of Kruschev who was fighting his own battles with Soviet hard liners in his own country. If Castro and Kennedy could find a way to rapproachment Kruschev would no longer be faced with the bleak prospect of another "showdown" with the west, which could potentially force another choice between political defeat or global thermo-nuclear war.

Agreed.

IMO: the main entity that viewed themselves as "losing" from a policy that sought to disengage from further entanglement in Vietnam was the US Military. The main entity that viewed themselves as "losing" from a policy of seeking rapproachment with Cuba was the US Military. The coup in Vietnam, therefore, was designed to "upset" the planned withdrawal of US support from that region.

Agreed. But Kennedy looked at the coup as a means to establish a withdrawal

timetable as official US policy.

IMO: it was an Operation Northwoods type action that suffered from a public relations guffaw. It was never credibly "blamed" on the North--in fact, no such credible attempt was ever made. However, had JFK survived Dallas, it would have been packaged that way. Note that as soon as JFK was dead, CUBA was no longer even a small concern for the military.

Not for lack of trying to make Cuba of supreme importance on 11/22/63!

I'm convinced the killers of JFK fully intended to blame the assassination on agents

of Fidel Castro, one of whom would have been Lee Harvey Oswald had he not been

captured.

There is your measure of spook incompetence, Monk -- they failed to kill the patsy

who'd carefully been sheep-dipped as a pro-Castro Commie.

It was ALL Vietnam, which was a much preferred "theater" of action than was Cuba. And LBJ was their perfect little "Pork Chop" to go along with the program.

The assassination was a failure in regards to Cuba, the ultimate target.

(snip...) The 1,000 troop withdrawal at the end of '63 would have given the Republicans a campaign issue in '64 -- it was never going to happen -- but it was a bargaining chip to set the end of '65 date in stone in exchange for Kennedy going along with the Diem coup. (emphasis mine)

But, IT DID HAPPEN! The first 1,000 troops that JFK ordered out of Vietnam by the end of 1963 were, in fact, withdrawn. This was AFTER LBJ had signed NSAM 273--the 1,000 were STILL withdrawn.

But these troop movements did not occur in the context of a phased withdrawal,

but happened in the midst of renewed US escalation, and thus did not present

a political problem going into the 1964 election campaign.

In short: Kennedy made a political trade with the State Department foreign policy establishment so they got their damn coup and Kennedy got NSAM 263 and a withdrawal time-table as official US policy.

I disagree. I think this is backwards from the way that things actually work. I don't see the State Department as cynically as others do, perhaps. The Secretry of State "serves at the pleasure" of the POTUS. Unlike many of the "old guard" in the Intelligence Community (DULLES, BISSEL, ANGLETON--even HOOVER), who were all "in place" before JFK took office, the Cabinet members, including Rusk at State and Bobby in the Justice Department, were selected because they were his own personal preferences. JFK's withdrawal policy (NSAM 263 of October 11, 1963) went into place BEFORE the Diem's were assassinated (3 weeks later on November 1, 1963).

But as we see inThe Perils of Dominance NSAM 263 was issued after the rebel generals

had begun to make their move toward coup. Kennedy tried to keep a distance from the

push for the coup but he did in fact "go along" with the US support for the Diem overthrow.

Harriman got his way with the over-throw of the Ngo brothers. Diem was negotiating with the North on his own, and Harriman feared Diem would ask the Americans out because that was something Kennedy would have accepted, Buddhist repression be damned.

I agree with this part. But even though Diem was negotiating with the North on his own, again: JFK's withdrawal policy (NSAM 263 of October 11, 1963) went into place BEFORE the Diem's were assassinated (3 weeks later on November 1, 1963). So, there was NO NEED to assassinate Diem since JFK had already enacted the policy BEFORE Diem requested it!

I think the record is clear that Kennedy didn't expect Diem to be assassinated in

the overthrow. Harriman and the hawks felt the need to get rid of Diem because

his talks with the North had certain "anti-American" implications Kennedy was

willing to ignore.

Moreover, I am not convinced that this "evidence" proves that JFK ordered, approved, or caved into pressure--to have Diem murdered. Quite the contrary. I believe it was a message being sent to JFK: "We will have our war in Vietnam with or without Diem, his brother, or you--or else..."

I believe the view of Harriman was this: "On November 2, 1963, one of two guys

is going to be dead: Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon, or John F. Kennedy in Chicago."

I think the view of Kennedy's killers was this: "We're going to have an invasion

of Cuba and an end to Vietnam withdrawal by killing two birds with one ambush."

And they were going to perform this task with or without Harriman.

Harriman had no reason to have Kennedy shot at that time, post-Diem coup. Harriman was okay with the end of '65 pull-out date because Gulf of Tonkins are difficult -- but not impossible -- to produce. Two years gave Harriman plenty

of time, just like in Iran and the Shah's two year wait for Mossadegh to be overthrown. Around the Harriman house-hold they called for NSAM 263 every time they ran out of toilet paper.

Now, Cliff, there you go being "entertaining" again! The toilet paper story is the funniest thing I've ever heard about that--indeed about ANY--NSAM in my life!

I'll go one of those "angles" better, Monk. Looks to me possible that George H. W. Bush was assigned to help abort the assassination and he screwed the pooch. (snip...)

Which pooch, Barney or Miss Beazley? I shouldn't need to ask, but I've heard rumors he was... But, seriously, I have real trouble with this concept of "abort teams" being placed. By whom?

In my view the ruling elites and the institutions and agencies they control are

not monolithic entities. The military high command and the people running the

CIA were/are not all of like mind. They serve different masters. In that context

I cite the following by Tosh Plumlee:

(quote on -- 'William Plumlee' date='Feb 25 2010, 04:37 PM)

As I have said, I was never at the level, or in the loop to really know the planning stages of the Abort Team and how or who put it together. However, the following are my thoughts and calculated assumptions based on the connections I had from the JM/WAVE, CIA Miami Station and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., at the time.

I believe a group operating out of the Pentagon intercepted Intel information from south Florida concerning a hit to be made on the President around November 17 th. The Special Group (not the 5412th) working MI, then took this information and started their own independent investigations. This was not a CIA, per say team or investigation; nor did the CIA dispatch this team. At the last minute they (Military Intell, Pentagon) put together a "specialized", top secret.., (undercover) team to be dispatched to Dallas. The Secret Service knew of this team but did not work with them, because they (MI) did not have enough information to support their evidence.

(quote off)

A pro-Kennedy and/or pro-Harriman faction within military intel dispatched Tosh Plumlee's

abort team.

By those who are going to relay a "pardon" at the last minute that was granted by the "top" co-conspirator?

Bush was Harriman's man in Texas.

Under what POSSIBLE conditions would such a "stop" order be issued?

The Chicago plot was aborted, after all. The plots in Tampa and Miami fell through.

There was the teletype to FBI HQ warning of a plot to kill JFK in Dallas. There were

all those hot and heavy rumors in Houston that Kennedy was definitely going

to be killed in Dallas...All of this activity on behalf of saving Kennedy's life is largely

over-looked, imo.

I really don't think the following (invented) scenario or any similar version is likely:

"Before JFK left AF 1 at Love Field he sent a memo to McGeorge Bundy reversing his withdrawal from Vietnam policy. We intercepted the communication and have, therefore, "changed our minds" about killing him. Get this abort order to George H W Bush who is on the ground in Dallas immediately."

I really think this scenario is likely: Harriman: "We have everything going for us in Vietnam

(Diem out), in Laos (the commies have the Ho Trail and we've got the opium fields), and in

Cuba (our back-channel to Castro will enable us to cut our own dope smuggling deals.)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Our reach extends to Chicago, Tampa, Miami and Los Angeles.

Dallas is a problem."

Nah... I really don't think so. If it was true, then the military/intelligence/National Security apparatus was already in control of the executive branch of the government even BEFORE Dallas.

Since the end of WW2, more than likely. All Presidents are ultimately hired hands.

Those who forget this are shot or set up in third-rate burglaries and removed.

If JFK had caved in on Vietnam before the assassination to save himself, then he was never (or no longer) the commander-in-chief, and thus there would have been NO NEED to assassinate him.

Agreed! Which is why I argue that the ultimate goal of the plot was to provide a rationale

for the invasion of Cuba.

But they did. I don't buy the idea that it wouldn't have happened but for a "failed abort" signal.

For the Yankee blue-bloods it was a contingency plan that they attempted

to postpone. For the Texas boys and their military allies it was the last shot

at Castro. Cowboys killed JFK, and their Yankee accessories covered it up.

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  • 3 months later...

Cliff,

After JFK was assassinated, why did we fail to even attempt an invasion of Cuba, then?

My comments in burgandy

Thank you, Monk. I've been looking forward to having a discussion with you like this for a decade...Waiting for the right subject matter.

Well, after a decade we better make it a good show... B)

So far so good...

[snip]

When Kennedy went along with Harriman and the overthrow of Diem, and the back channel talks with Castro, the plug was pulled on the Chicago, Tampa and Miami plots.[snip]

I tend to believe that no one was more in shock that Diem was assassinated than JFK. We know that a series of cables were exchanged over the weekend between the WH and Ambassador Lodge in Saigon. We know that these were "ill advised" cables since several of those in Washington, who should have been in "the loop" were away, ostensibly, for the weekend. This led, as incredibly as it may sound, to a "rough draft" actually being sent. Because these cables contained communications whose meaning could be stretched enough to be interpreted as support for an immediate coup, which was the course to which Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge was already inclined, US support for same was communicated to General Big Minh and his co-conspirators in Saigon--and it was off to the races. This is hardly evidence of JFK's complicity, JFK's acquiescence to a Harriman plan against Diem (although Harriman clearly supported such a plan on behalf of the State Department), or a JFK "order" to eliminate Diem.

Gareth Porter, The Perils of Dominace, pg. 178 (emphasis added):

(quote on)

Kennedy's withdrawal strategy was based...on the premise that the Diem regime

would not be overthrown by a military coup, and that its repressive character and

political weakness probably would provide a convenient rationale for early withdrawal.

Immediately after Kennedy had achieved the objective of legitimizing the withdrawal

plan (contained in the 10/2/63 McNamara-Taylor Report-cv), the CIA reported

on Oct. 5 that Saigon generals were now moving ahead with a coup plan. Kennedy

was reluctant to oppose a coup plan that had already been set in motion. Instead, he

tried to tread a fine line between not "thwarting" a coup and encouraging such a coup.

Once the United State decided to establish liaison with the coup plotters, however, this

line was meaningless. Even though Kennedy tried to insist shortly before the coup that

Lodge discourage the generals unless it was certain to succeed, the administration was

irrevocably compromised by such contacts.

(quote off)

What I gather from the above is that JFK placed the withdrawal plan at the top of

his priorities. Prior to the Oct. 5 CIA report on the So. Vietnam coup moves, JFK

had been happy to let his top advisers McNamara and Taylor carry his water for

a phased withdrawal. After Oct. 5 JFK "went along" with Harriman and State on

the Diem coup -- maintaining a hands-off "fine line" -- in order to more aggressively

push for the phased withdrawal. And in pursuit of that, NSAM 263 was issued on Oct. 11.

As for back channel talks with Castro...I agree that JFK and Harriman both agreed same was desirable for US interests and "business" interests, respectively. I might add, same was also desirable in the eyes of Kruschev who was fighting his own battles with Soviet hard liners in his own country. If Castro and Kennedy could find a way to rapproachment Kruschev would no longer be faced with the bleak prospect of another "showdown" with the west, which could potentially force another choice between political defeat or global thermo-nuclear war.

Agreed.

IMO: the main entity that viewed themselves as "losing" from a policy that sought to disengage from further entanglement in Vietnam was the US Military. The main entity that viewed themselves as "losing" from a policy of seeking rapproachment with Cuba was the US Military. The coup in Vietnam, therefore, was designed to "upset" the planned withdrawal of US support from that region.

Agreed. But Kennedy looked at the coup as a means to establish a withdrawal

timetable as official US policy.

IMO: it was an Operation Northwoods type action that suffered from a public relations guffaw. It was never credibly "blamed" on the North--in fact, no such credible attempt was ever made. However, had JFK survived Dallas, it would have been packaged that way. Note that as soon as JFK was dead, CUBA was no longer even a small concern for the military.

Not for lack of trying to make Cuba of supreme importance on 11/22/63!

I'm convinced the killers of JFK fully intended to blame the assassination on agents

of Fidel Castro, one of whom would have been Lee Harvey Oswald had he not been

captured.

There is your measure of spook incompetence, Monk -- they failed to kill the patsy

who'd carefully been sheep-dipped as a pro-Castro Commie.

It was ALL Vietnam, which was a much preferred "theater" of action than was Cuba. And LBJ was their perfect little "Pork Chop" to go along with the program.

The assassination was a failure in regards to Cuba, the ultimate target.

(snip...) The 1,000 troop withdrawal at the end of '63 would have given the Republicans a campaign issue in '64 -- it was never going to happen -- but it was a bargaining chip to set the end of '65 date in stone in exchange for Kennedy going along with the Diem coup. (emphasis mine)

But, IT DID HAPPEN! The first 1,000 troops that JFK ordered out of Vietnam by the end of 1963 were, in fact, withdrawn. This was AFTER LBJ had signed NSAM 273--the 1,000 were STILL withdrawn.

But these troop movements did not occur in the context of a phased withdrawal,

but happened in the midst of renewed US escalation, and thus did not present

a political problem going into the 1964 election campaign.

In short: Kennedy made a political trade with the State Department foreign policy establishment so they got their damn coup and Kennedy got NSAM 263 and a withdrawal time-table as official US policy.

I disagree. I think this is backwards from the way that things actually work. I don't see the State Department as cynically as others do, perhaps. The Secretry of State "serves at the pleasure" of the POTUS. Unlike many of the "old guard" in the Intelligence Community (DULLES, BISSEL, ANGLETON--even HOOVER), who were all "in place" before JFK took office, the Cabinet members, including Rusk at State and Bobby in the Justice Department, were selected because they were his own personal preferences. JFK's withdrawal policy (NSAM 263 of October 11, 1963) went into place BEFORE the Diem's were assassinated (3 weeks later on November 1, 1963).

But as we see inThe Perils of Dominance NSAM 263 was issued after the rebel generals

had begun to make their move toward coup. Kennedy tried to keep a distance from the

push for the coup but he did in fact "go along" with the US support for the Diem overthrow.

Harriman got his way with the over-throw of the Ngo brothers. Diem was negotiating with the North on his own, and Harriman feared Diem would ask the Americans out because that was something Kennedy would have accepted, Buddhist repression be damned.

I agree with this part. But even though Diem was negotiating with the North on his own, again: JFK's withdrawal policy (NSAM 263 of October 11, 1963) went into place BEFORE the Diem's were assassinated (3 weeks later on November 1, 1963). So, there was NO NEED to assassinate Diem since JFK had already enacted the policy BEFORE Diem requested it!

I think the record is clear that Kennedy didn't expect Diem to be assassinated in

the overthrow. Harriman and the hawks felt the need to get rid of Diem because

his talks with the North had certain "anti-American" implications Kennedy was

willing to ignore.

Moreover, I am not convinced that this "evidence" proves that JFK ordered, approved, or caved into pressure--to have Diem murdered. Quite the contrary. I believe it was a message being sent to JFK: "We will have our war in Vietnam with or without Diem, his brother, or you--or else..."

I believe the view of Harriman was this: "On November 2, 1963, one of two guys

is going to be dead: Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon, or John F. Kennedy in Chicago."

I think the view of Kennedy's killers was this: "We're going to have an invasion

of Cuba and an end to Vietnam withdrawal by killing two birds with one ambush."

And they were going to perform this task with or without Harriman.

Harriman had no reason to have Kennedy shot at that time, post-Diem coup. Harriman was okay with the end of '65 pull-out date because Gulf of Tonkins are difficult -- but not impossible -- to produce. Two years gave Harriman plenty

of time, just like in Iran and the Shah's two year wait for Mossadegh to be overthrown. Around the Harriman house-hold they called for NSAM 263 every time they ran out of toilet paper.

Now, Cliff, there you go being "entertaining" again! The toilet paper story is the funniest thing I've ever heard about that--indeed about ANY--NSAM in my life!

I'll go one of those "angles" better, Monk. Looks to me possible that George H. W. Bush was assigned to help abort the assassination and he screwed the pooch. (snip...)

Which pooch, Barney or Miss Beazley? I shouldn't need to ask, but I've heard rumors he was... But, seriously, I have real trouble with this concept of "abort teams" being placed. By whom?

In my view the ruling elites and the institutions and agencies they control are

not monolithic entities. The military high command and the people running the

CIA were/are not all of like mind. They serve different masters. In that context

I cite the following by Tosh Plumlee:

(quote on -- 'William Plumlee' date='Feb 25 2010, 04:37 PM)

As I have said, I was never at the level, or in the loop to really know the planning stages of the Abort Team and how or who put it together. However, the following are my thoughts and calculated assumptions based on the connections I had from the JM/WAVE, CIA Miami Station and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., at the time.

I believe a group operating out of the Pentagon intercepted Intel information from south Florida concerning a hit to be made on the President around November 17 th. The Special Group (not the 5412th) working MI, then took this information and started their own independent investigations. This was not a CIA, per say team or investigation; nor did the CIA dispatch this team. At the last minute they (Military Intell, Pentagon) put together a "specialized", top secret.., (undercover) team to be dispatched to Dallas. The Secret Service knew of this team but did not work with them, because they (MI) did not have enough information to support their evidence.

(quote off)

A pro-Kennedy and/or pro-Harriman faction within military intel dispatched Tosh Plumlee's

abort team.

By those who are going to relay a "pardon" at the last minute that was granted by the "top" co-conspirator?

Bush was Harriman's man in Texas.

Under what POSSIBLE conditions would such a "stop" order be issued?

The Chicago plot was aborted, after all. The plots in Tampa and Miami fell through.

There was the teletype to FBI HQ warning of a plot to kill JFK in Dallas. There were

all those hot and heavy rumors in Houston that Kennedy was definitely going

to be killed in Dallas...All of this activity on behalf of saving Kennedy's life is largely

over-looked, imo.

I really don't think the following (invented) scenario or any similar version is likely:

"Before JFK left AF 1 at Love Field he sent a memo to McGeorge Bundy reversing his withdrawal from Vietnam policy. We intercepted the communication and have, therefore, "changed our minds" about killing him. Get this abort order to George H W Bush who is on the ground in Dallas immediately."

I really think this scenario is likely: Harriman: "We have everything going for us in Vietnam

(Diem out), in Laos (the commies have the Ho Trail and we've got the opium fields), and in

Cuba (our back-channel to Castro will enable us to cut our own dope smuggling deals.)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Our reach extends to Chicago, Tampa, Miami and Los Angeles.

Dallas is a problem."

Nah... I really don't think so. If it was true, then the military/intelligence/National Security apparatus was already in control of the executive branch of the government even BEFORE Dallas.

Since the end of WW2, more than likely. All Presidents are ultimately hired hands.

Those who forget this are shot or set up in third-rate burglaries and removed.

If JFK had caved in on Vietnam before the assassination to save himself, then he was never (or no longer) the commander-in-chief, and thus there would have been NO NEED to assassinate him.

Agreed! Which is why I argue that the ultimate goal of the plot was to provide a rationale

for the invasion of Cuba.

But they did. I don't buy the idea that it wouldn't have happened but for a "failed abort" signal.

For the Yankee blue-bloods it was a contingency plan that they attempted

to postpone. For the Texas boys and their military allies it was the last shot

at Castro. Cowboys killed JFK, and their Yankee accessories covered it up.

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Cliff,

After JFK was assassinated, why did we fail to even attempt an invasion of Cuba, then?

Monk,

I think the answer to that question can be found in the Operation Northwoods documents

brought to light by James Bamford in Body of Secrets. From pg 84 of that book,

emphasis added:

On February 20, 1962, [John] Glenn was to lift off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on his historic journey. The flight was to carry the banner of America's virtues of truth, freedom, and democracy into orbit high over the planet. But [Chairman of the JCS Lyman] Lemnitzer and his Chiefs had a different idea. They proposed to [Operation Mongoose chief Edward] Lansdale that, should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, "the objective is to provide irrevocable proof that...the fault lies with the Communists et al Cuba [sic]." This would be accomplished, Lemnitzer continued, "by manufacturing various pieces of evidence which would prove electronic interference on the part of the Cubans." Thus, as NASA prepared to send the first American into space, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing to use John Glenn's possible death as a pre-text to launch a war.

According to the Operation Northwoods playbook "irrevocable proof that the fault

lies with the Communists" was the necessary pretext for an invasion of

Cuba.

When Oswald was captured alive the "irrevocable proof" vanished. Within a couple

of hours the Yankee blue-bloods pulled the plug on any Castro frame-up.

Thanks for reviving the thread, btw. I've done some work on this that may take

another ten years to finish... B)

Edited by Cliff Varnell
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