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Ron Unz: Our Deadly World of Post-War Politics

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From the article Among those who grow skeptical of establishment media verdicts, there is a natural tendency to become overly suspicious, and see conspiracies and cover-ups where none exist. The sudden death of a prominent political figure may be blamed on foul-play even when the causes were entirely natural or accidental. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” But when a sufficient number of such persons die within a sufficiently short period of years, and overwhelming evidence suggests that at least some of those deaths were not for the reasons long believed, the burden of proof begins to shift.

Excluding the much larger number of less notable fatalities, here is a short list of six prominent Americans whose untimely passing during 1944-1949 surely evoked considerable relief within various organizations known for their ruthless tactics:

  • Wendell Wilkie, lifelong Democrat nominated for President by the Republicans in 1940, Died October 8, 1944, Age 52, Heart attack.
  • Gen. George Patton, highest-ranking American military officer in Europe, Died December 21, 1945, Age 60, Car accident.
  • Harry Hopkins, FDR’s “Deputy President,” Died January 29, 1946, Age 55, Various possible causes.
  • Harry Dexter White, Soviet agent who ran the Treasury under FDR, Died August 16, 1948, Age 55, Heart attack.
  • Laurence Duggan, Soviet agent, Prospective Secretary of State under Henry Wallace, Died December 20, 1948, Age 43, Fall from 16th story window.
  • James Forrestal, former Secretary of Defense, Died May 22, 1949, Age 57, Fall from 18th story window.

I do not think that any similar sort of list of comparable individuals during that same time period could be produced for Britain, France, the USSR, or China. In one of the James Bond films, Agent 007 states his opinion that “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.” And I think these six examples over just a few years should be enough to raise the eyebrows of even the most cautious and skeptical.


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   According to the recent Errol Morris documentary, Wormwood, (about the CIA's execution of Frank Olson) the original edition of the CIA Assassination Manual described a 13 story fall as a highly effective assassination technique.

   So, as in Frank Olson's case a few years later, one has to wonder why James Forrestal was admitted to the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital, for treatment of "depression" (oddly, with Sodium Amytal-- a barbiturate-- and insulin shock therapy.)

   The Israelis, certainly, disliked Forrestal, for his ardent opposition to the partitioning of Palestine, and, of course, he was also a diehard Cold Warrior.

   Alison Weir talks about Forrestal's case at some length in her history of U.S. involvement in the establishment of Israel--  Against Our Better Judgment.

Edited by W. Niederhut
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Every time this Unz, or his ghostwriter, introduces the never before trope ("Never before had I believed in assassination conspiracy"; "Never before had I had any interest in 20th-century history"), something tendentious and agenda-driven is about to become his topic.  Reader, beware of writers with favorite tricks.

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