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You have cited Halberstam’s masterful The Powers That Be as a reference.  But have you read the book?  If so, you would know that Henry Luce was not the knee-jerk right winger you seem to think he was.

Either I didn't read the book, which I did and loved, or there is room for interpretation before questioning my veracity. I'm not sure Halberstam himself would agree with your interpretation that Henry Luce was not a knee-jerk right winger. Life was certainly not Bircher level right wing, otherwise that magazine would have become rather unsuccessful.

Tim Carroll

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You have cited Halberstam’s masterful The Powers That Be as a reference.  But have you read the book?  If so, you would know that Henry Luce was not the knee-jerk right winger you seem to think he was.

Either I didn't read the book, which I did and loved, or there is room for interpretation before questioning my veracity. I'm not sure Halberstam himself would agree with your interpretation that Henry Luce was not a knee-jerk right winger. Life was certainly not Bircher level right wing, otherwise that magazine would have become rather unsuccessful.

Tim Carroll

Tim, debating buddy, we do agree on a lot if we get by the semantics (which is not to say there are a lot of things with which we (hopefully) respectfully disagree.)

Halberstam's book about the media is a great read (as are all of his books).

THe simplest point that I believe demonstrates that Luce was not an ideological conservative (even if he was a firm anti-communist) was his support for Eisenhower over Taft at the 1952 Republican convention. That's almost as much a litmus test as whether one supported Barry Goldwater or one of his opponents at the 1964 Republican convention.

I was around when (in 1963, I believe) William F. Buckley read the "Birchers" out of the conservative movement. There certainly were some "nutty" right-wingers in the 1960s but they did not represent the vast majority of the conservative movement.

My perspective, for what it is worth, forty years later, is that Goldwater was a man of integrity and we would not have been in the Vietnam quagmire if he had been elected. LBJ was corrupt (and we now find out even he was concerned about going to jail). Nevertheless, and despite the lives lost in the War in Vietnam, I believe it was good for our country that LBJ was elected because of his work in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

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You have cited Halberstam’s masterful The Powers That Be as a reference.  But have you read the book?  If so, you would know that Henry Luce was not the knee-jerk right winger you seem to think he was.

Either I didn't read the book, which I did and loved, or there is room for interpretation before questioning my veracity. I'm not sure Halberstam himself would agree with your interpretation that Henry Luce was not a knee-jerk right winger. Life was certainly not Bircher level right wing, otherwise that magazine would have become rather unsuccessful.

Tim Carroll

Tim Gratz:

It is difficult to mistake the semantics or tone of your remark: "You have cited Halberstam’s masterful The Powers That Be as a reference. But have you read the book?" So I will work on my semantics and tone if you will.

You said: "I was around when (in 1963, I believe) William F. Buckley read the "Birchers" out of the conservative movement. There certainly were some "nutty" right-wingers in the 1960s but they did not represent the vast majority of the conservative movement.... " It is all a matter of degree, and I would hope we don't need to argue that the extreme right wingers were at the conservative end of the spectrum. I don't mean to really be saying that Luce was a right wing nut in the sense of a Gen. Walker. I believe that the word "interpretation" would facilitate kinder, gentler debate between us.

You said: "The simplest point that I believe demonstrates that Luce was not an ideological conservative (even if he was a firm anti-communist) was his support for Eisenhower over Taft at the 1952 Republican convention." I believe that to be a far too simplistic interpretation. I will have to recheck my history for your basic premise that Taft was further to the right than Eisenhower. Politically, Eisenhower was largely undefined and incredibly popular; like Colin Powell, he could have had either party's nomination. When it came to jingoistic McCarthyism, Eisenhower was anything but a profile in courage.

You said: "My perspective, for what it is worth, forty years later, is that Goldwater was a man of integrity and we would not have been in the Vietnam quagmire if he had been elected." I admire Goldwater as a great man of integrity, certainly far more integrity than I would ever attribute to LBJ. However, and this is the area where you never answered my questions, is that Goldwater would have resorted to a nuclear solution far more readily than his more liberal counterparts. I have an overriding concern that once the slippery slope of nuclear warfare begins, there are not sufficient command and control, let alone psychological safeguards in place to limit it. In the atmosphere of those times, the concept of limited nuclear war was recognized by many as untenable.

Tim

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You have cited Halberstam’s masterful The Powers That Be as a reference.  But have you read the book?  If so, you would know that Henry Luce was not the knee-jerk right winger you seem to think he was.

Either I didn't read the book, which I did and loved, or there is room for interpretation before questioning my veracity. I'm not sure Halberstam himself would agree with your interpretation that Henry Luce was not a knee-jerk right winger. Life was certainly not Bircher level right wing, otherwise that magazine would have become rather unsuccessful.

Tim Carroll

Tim Gratz:

It is difficult to mistake the semantics or tone of your remark: "You have cited Halberstam’s masterful The Powers That Be as a reference. But have you read the book?" So I will work on my semantics and tone if you will.

You said: "I was around when (in 1963, I believe) William F. Buckley read the "Birchers" out of the conservative movement. There certainly were some "nutty" right-wingers in the 1960s but they did not represent the vast majority of the conservative movement.... " It is all a matter of degree, and I would hope we don't need to argue that the extreme right wingers were at the conservative end of the spectrum. I don't mean to really be saying that Luce was a right wing nut in the sense of a Gen. Walker. I believe that the word "interpretation" would facilitate kinder, gentler debate between us.

You said: "The simplest point that I believe demonstrates that Luce was not an ideological conservative (even if he was a firm anti-communist) was his support for Eisenhower over Taft at the 1952 Republican convention." I believe that to be a far too simplistic interpretation. I will have to recheck my history for your basic premise that Taft was further to the right than Eisenhower. Politically, Eisenhower was largely undefined and incredibly popular; like Colin Powell, he could have had either party's nomination. When it came to jingoistic McCarthyism, Eisenhower was anything but a profile in courage.

You said: "My perspective, for what it is worth, forty years later, is that Goldwater was a man of integrity and we would not have been in the Vietnam quagmire if he had been elected." I admire Goldwater as a great man of integrity, certainly far more integrity than I would ever attribute to LBJ. However, and this is the area where you never answered my questions, is that Goldwater would have resorted to a nuclear solution far more readily than his more liberal counterparts. I have an overriding concern that once the slippery slope of nuclear warfare begins, there are not sufficient command and control, let alone psychological safeguards in place to limit it. In the atmosphere of those times, the concept of limited nuclear war was recognized by many as untenable.

Tim

Tim, we probably should not turn this Forum into a discussion group of politics but from my knowledge of your reading you are obviously interested in some of the political history.

You can check me but there is NO question that Taft was the clear choice of the ideological conservatives in 1952.

Did you recall that Earl Warren (well I guess this may fit in because of the WC report) was in 1952 the Governor of CA and a "favorite son" candidate for the GOP nomination. He really hoped to get the nomination. In any event, most of the CA delegation rode to Chicago on a train and Congressman Nixon was on the train. He should have been supporting the Gov, but he used the trip to erode Warren's support and push Eisenhower. Which is one of the reasons he was selected as the VEEP candidate. (Thomas Dewey was the "kingmaker" pulling the strings behind the scenes.) Of course, shortly after he was elected, IKe appointed Earl Warren as the CJ of the US Supreme Court.

In one sense I acknowledge your point about the concern about Barry Goldwater and limited nuclear weapons. However, I believe that LBJ was distorting Goldwater's actual position on this issue and others. (But let's not start a big debate on this.)

I am old enough to remember the early 1960s. My memory is that the fear of nuclear war was greatest under JFK and decreased under LBJ in part, ironically, because of the War in Vietnam. It was reassuring that the super-powers were fighting each other (or at least, each other's "clients") and the war did not escalate into a nuclear exchange. IMO, LBJ was trying to "micro-manage" the War whereas BG would have, without "nuking Hanoi". removed the restrictions imposed on the military and allowed the military to fight an offensive war rather than an essentially defensive war. I do not think JFK would have withdrawn from Vietnam but I am not sure how he would have handled the war. I do know that the removal of Diem greatly destabilized South Vietnam and at the same time increased US involvement in the war.

Finally. we may disagree with my ultimate point, but I am sure you agree that Peter Dale Scott is one of the "deep" thinkers re the assassination. In his book, Deep Politics, Scott calls Billings a "man of integrity".

One last thought (and perhaps it belongs elsewhere). I think it would have been devestating to the country in 1964 etc if it was demonstrated that there was either KGB or CIA involvement in the assassination. You know how much J Edgar hated the CIA. I wonder (speculation, of course) if LBJ and Hoover were concerned about possible CIA involvement as well as KGB involvement and it was that joint concern that prompted the cover-up. Perhaps they discussed that in their 11/23/1963 phone call that has been erased. Speculation, to be sure.

In any event, I enjoyed youir post!

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In one sense I acknowledge your point about the concern about Barry Goldwater and limited nuclear weapons.  However, I believe that LBJ was distorting Goldwater's actual position on this issue and others. (But let's not start a big debate on this.)

I am old enough to remember the early 1960s.  My memory is that the fear of nuclear war was greatest under JFK and decreased under LBJ in part, ironically, because of the War in Vietnam....  IMO, LBJ was trying to "micro-manage" the War whereas BG would have, without "nuking Hanoi". removed the restrictions imposed on the military and allowed the military to fight an offensive war rather than an essentially defensive war....  I do know that the removal of Diem greatly destabilized South Vietnam and at the same time increased US involvement in the war.

My way of expressing what I would guess Goldwater's approach to Vietnam to have been is that it would have been anything but the hamstrung perpetual warfare wrought by LBJ. He would have allowed the military to try to win rather than maintain such a despicable status quo. My guess on Kennedy is that he would have been sneakier, but still not inclined to have perpetual war.

I do defend that JFK had a tough fight realigning our defense strategy away from Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). While that worked for awhile, it couldn't have lasted forever, and just one nuclear holocaust would have been one too many. JFK inherited an absolutist policy with Joint Chiefs the likes of LeMay, who changed the face of human warfare with the saturation fire bombings and then nuclear attacks in WWII. If you think of what JFK inherited in real time, with the Bay of Pigs, assassinations of foreign leaders and Berlin getting hotter by the moment, I believe he bequeathed a safer world, but paid a deep price for doing so. It was masterful how he hoodwinked Khrushchev into putting up the Wall, which many in the West thought we should tear down. Actually, the Wall solved the Berlin issue as a red hot nuclear trigger. Just remember the reception JFK received in that city during his last summer.

I have posted elsewhere on the Diem assassination, and the resultant destabilization. Suffice it to say that Nixon wouldn't have needed to give E. Howard Hunt a White House office and exacto knife to rewrite the history of that affair to blame Kennedy if the truth was sufficiently damning. Diem and Nhu were negotiating with Ho, which was to JFK's favor, given the hope that the Vietnamese leadership could be set up to ask us to leave. It was classic Kennedy cleverness.

Tim Carroll

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In one sense I acknowledge your point about the concern about Barry Goldwater and limited nuclear weapons.  However, I believe that LBJ was distorting Goldwater's actual position on this issue and others. (But let's not start a big debate on this.)

I am old enough to remember the early 1960s.  My memory is that the fear of nuclear war was greatest under JFK and decreased under LBJ in part, ironically, because of the War in Vietnam....  IMO, LBJ was trying to "micro-manage" the War whereas BG would have, without "nuking Hanoi". removed the restrictions imposed on the military and allowed the military to fight an offensive war rather than an essentially defensive war....  I do know that the removal of Diem greatly destabilized South Vietnam and at the same time increased US involvement in the war.

My way of expressing what I would guess Goldwater's approach to Vietnam to have been is that it would have been anything but the hamstrung perpetual warfare wrought by LBJ. He would have allowed the military to try to win rather than maintain such a despicable status quo. My guess on Kennedy is that he would have been sneakier, but still not inclined to have perpetual war.

I do defend that JFK had a tough fight realigning our defense strategy away from Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD). While that worked for awhile, it couldn't have lasted forever, and just one nuclear holocaust would have been one too many. JFK inherited an absolutist policy with Joint Chiefs the likes of LeMay, who changed the face of human warfare with the saturation fire bombings and then nuclear attacks in WWII. If you think of what JFK inherited in real time, with the Bay of Pigs, assassinations of foreign leaders and Berlin getting hotter by the moment, I believe he bequeathed a safer world, but paid a deep price for doing so. It was masterful how he hoodwinked Khrushchev into putting up the Wall, which many in the West thought we should tear down. Actually, the Wall solved the Berlin issue as a red hot nuclear trigger. Just remember the reception JFK received in that city during his last summer.

I have posted elsewhere on the Diem assassination, and the resultant destabilization. Suffice it to say that Nixon wouldn't have needed to give E. Howard Hunt a White House office and exacto knife to rewrite the history of that affair to blame Kennedy if the truth was sufficiently damning. Diem and Nhu were negotiating with Ho, which was to JFK's favor, given the hope that the Vietnamese leadership could be set up to ask us to leave. It was classic Kennedy cleverness.

Tim Carroll

I agree with you a lot here, Tim! Your analysis of BG and JFK on Vietnam is perceptive. I think a lot of blame for the Vietnam mess falls squarely on the shoulders of Robert Strange McNamara.

Never thought about the Berlin Wall that way before. Your view merits consideration. The Berlin Wall certainly prevented a lot of people from escaping to freedom, but it sure was a good propaganda symbol for the US.

I think JFK's speech at Berlin was one of his greatest.

I disagree re the degree of JFK responsibility for the Diem coup, but I want to reread the references before posting a response. I believe both LBJ and RFK argued against replacing Diem. Have you read Triangle of Death? I don't agree with its central premise that the Diem family plotted the JFK assassination, but it does have a lot of good information in it re Souetre, Mertz, Trafficante and the drug connection, etc.

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I disagree re the degree of JFK responsibility for the Diem coup, but I want to reread the references before posting a response.  I believe both LBJ and RFK argued against replacing Diem.  Have you read Triangle of Death?  I don't agree with its central premise that the Diem family plotted the JFK assassination, but it does have a lot of good information in it re Souetre, Mertz, Trafficante and the drug connection, etc.

I have not read Triangle of Death, but the book Tears of Autumn contains the theme of the Nhus prearranging to "spit from the grave" at JFK. LBJ talked this up a bit before changing to the Murder Inc. in the Caribbean theme. We need to pursue the Trafficante-Castro drug connection, as it turns the whole idea of Roselli and the CIA killing JFK upside down. As for Diem, from a previous post of mine:

From Beschloss, The Crisis Years, pgs 652-653:

"Ngo Dinh Nhu warned South Vietnamese generals in August that the Limited Test Ban might foretell wholesale American 'appeasement' of communism and that Saigon must be ready to stand alone. Diem declared martial law. Nhu's shock troops raided pagodas in five cities and arrested 1,400 Buddhist monks and nuns. Harriman concluded that the U.S. could no longer support the Diem-Nhu govt. On Saturday, August 24, he and Roger Hilsman...drafted a cable...signed by George Ball authorizing Lodge in Saigon to set the wheels in motion for a coup. The message informed the new envoy that the 'U.S. government cannot tolerate a situation in which power lies in Nhu's hands.' If Diem refused to remove him and redress the Buddhist problem, 'we must face the possibility that Diem himself cannot be preserved.' Lodge was asked to carry this message to 'key military leaders' and also to 'make detailed plans as to how we might bring about Diem's replacement should this become necessary.'

Harriman and Hilsman wanted to send the message immediately to prevent Nhu from strengthening his position. Rusk, McNamara, McCone, and Bundy were all out of town....

On Monday morning at the White House, Kennedy was astonished when McNamara, McCone, and Taylor all loudly objected to the sending of the cable. Taylor charged that an 'anti-Diem group centered in State' had exploited the absence of principal officials to send out a message that would otherwise have never been approved. They did not receommend that the President embarrass himself by revoking the cable. Forrestal offered to resign and take the blame. Kennedy snapped, 'You're not worth firing....' Robert Kennedy noted that after what he called 'that famous weekend,' Harriman seemed to age ten years.

Kennedy later told Charles Bartlett, 'My God, my government's coming apart!' Robert Kennedy recalled that week as 'the only time, really, in three years that the government was broken in two in a disturbing way.' He later said, 'Diem was corrupt and a bad leader...but we inherited him.' He thought it bad policy to 'replace somebody we don't like with somebody we do because it would just make every other country as can be that we were running coups in and out.'

General Taylor had sent a cable to Saigon saying that 'authorities are now having second thoughts' about Diem. This infuriated the President, who did not wish to appear as if he was waffling. Lodge replied, 'We are launched on a course from which there is no respectable turning back: the overthrow of the Diem government....' Kennedy cabled Lodge, 'I know that failure is more destructive that an appearance of indecision.... When we go, we must go to win, but it will be better to change our minds than fail.'"

In this we see that Taylor and Lansdale, along with Nixon's V.P. candidate and former JFK senatorial opponent Henry Cabot Lodge, were of a single mind with regard to support for Diem. In October, JFK issued the order for withdrawal of U.S. troops. The policy was due for overall review the weekend of November 23-24, but by then Diem and Nhu had been murdered and Kennedy's body (supposedly) was lying in state in the East Room of the White House. By November 26, NSAM 273 reversed JFK's policy on Vietnam.

As for Kennedy's attitude toward "the nuke":

One of my very favorite movies, Seven Days In May, was showing on cable this past weekend [again just last night]; I watched it twice. During the key confrontation between the president and the Chairman of the JCS, when the president suggests that the general stand by the constitution and run for the office in a year, the general's retort is that the president is too much a "weak sister" [like Shanet's unfitness framework] to last that long. The president then makes the argument: to paraphrase, the president asks "Did it occur to you that if the Soviets saw the U.S. govt. taken over by a military coup, you wouldn't have to wait for them to attack?" That is a reasonable recitation of the geopolitical reality existant in 1963; if the Soviets believed that the U.S. had been taken over by a military coup, they would have concluded that the preemptive first strike so long resisted by JFK was now imminent. This is an interpretation of the "40 million dead" argument used on Warren that is not generally recognized. Usually, analysts have seen the argument as being that if we admitted that it was a Cuban plot we'd have had no choice but to invade Cuba, which would then trigger nuclear war. The Seven Days In May analysis provides a better explanation of the condition with which Earl Warren was presented. LBJ was covering up a military coup.

In addition to the quote from Ted Dealey about the president being a "weak sister," there is also the Dealey phrase: "we need a man on horseback." The mention of General Walker in the same sentence with McCarthy is also telling. It's important that we not forget the environment and cultural mindset with which JFK struggled. Within hip Pentagon circles, as noted by David Halberstam, it was recognized that "Kennedy was afraid of the nuke." They discussed a trip to a silo at which the President had literally "blanched" at the site of the missile. This ties directly to Shanet's "unfitness" framework, in which a president who lacked the constitution to convincingly play the game of nuclear "brinksmanship" had to be removed for the nation's good, necessitating the 25th amendment. I recommend the book "The Best And The Brightest" to anyone interested in this area. I unfortunately shed myself of shelves full of books a few short months ago, full of personal notes and annotation, and can therefore not cite the above passage's page number. The book opens with a great scene involving Robert Lovett and his recommendation of McNamara for Secretary of Defense, after being offered the position himself.

Tim Carroll

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[billings is certainly an interesting figure, but as for Life magazine wishing it could "break the case," that seems highly unlikely. Tim

Tim, we've discussed Life's interest (or lack thereof) in investigating the JFK assassination, in several posts in this thread.

I just discovered, in the "Books" section of the Forum, (on page 13 of the discussion of Someone Would Have Talked) several posts (primarily between between Mr. Simkin and Mr. Hancock) re the extensive Life investigation, and where the Life file is now located. Worth reading.

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[i have not read [i]Triangle of Death[/i], but the book Tears of Autumn contains the theme of the Nhus prearranging to "spit from the grave" at JFK.  LBJ talked this up a bit before changing to the Murder Inc. in the Caribbean theme.  We need to pursue the Trafficante-Castro drug connection, as it turns the whole idea of Roselli and the CIA killing JFK upside down.  As for Diem, from a previous post of mine:

From Beschloss, The Crisis Years, pgs 652-653:

"Ngo Dinh Nhu warned South Vietnamese generals in August that the Limited Test Ban might foretell wholesale American 'appeasement' of communism and that Saigon must be ready to stand alone. Diem declared martial law. Nhu's shock troops raided pagodas in five cities and arrested 1,400 Buddhist monks and nuns. Harriman concluded that the U.S. could no longer support the Diem-Nhu govt. On Saturday, August 24, he and Roger Hilsman...drafted a cable...signed by George Ball authorizing Lodge in Saigon to set the wheels in motion for a coup. The message informed the new envoy that the 'U.S. government cannot tolerate a situation in which power lies in Nhu's hands.' If Diem refused to remove him and redress the Buddhist problem, 'we must face the possibility that Diem himself cannot be preserved.' Lodge was asked to carry this message to 'key military leaders' and also to 'make detailed plans as to how we might bring about Diem's replacement should this become necessary.'

Harriman and Hilsman wanted to send the message immediately to prevent Nhu from strengthening his position. Rusk, McNamara, McCone, and Bundy were all out of town....

On Monday morning at the White House, Kennedy was astonished when McNamara, McCone, and Taylor all loudly objected to the sending of the cable. Taylor charged that an 'anti-Diem group centered in State' had exploited the absence of principal officials to send out a message that would otherwise have never been approved. They did not receommend that the President embarrass himself by revoking the cable. Forrestal offered to resign and take the blame. Kennedy snapped, 'You're not worth firing....' Robert Kennedy noted that after what he called 'that famous weekend,' Harriman seemed to age ten years.

Kennedy later told Charles Bartlett, 'My God, my government's coming apart!' Robert Kennedy recalled that week as 'the only time, really, in three years that the government was broken in two in a disturbing way.' He later said, 'Diem was corrupt and a bad leader...but we inherited him.' He thought it bad policy to 'replace somebody we don't like with somebody we do because it would just make every other country as can be that we were running coups in and out.'

General Taylor had sent a cable to Saigon saying that 'authorities are now having second thoughts' about Diem. This infuriated the President, who did not wish to appear as if he was waffling. Lodge replied, 'We are launched on a course from which there is no respectable turning back: the overthrow of the Diem government....' Kennedy cabled Lodge, 'I know that failure is more destructive that an appearance of indecision.... When we go, we must go to win, but it will be better to change our minds than fail.'"

In this we see that Taylor and Lansdale, along with Nixon's V.P. candidate and former JFK senatorial opponent Henry Cabot Lodge, were of a single mind with regard to support for Diem. Tim Carroll

Tim, respectfully, you have misread who was on which side of the Diem question.

Henry Cabot Lodge, the blue-blooded WASP whom JFK had in 1952 unseated for the Senate (and Nixon's VEEP candidate in 1960), strongly argued for the removal of Diem. Roger Hilsman of the State Department was also a strong advocate of removing Diem. Hilsman got McGeorge Ball to sign an order (from your source: on August 24, 1963) authorizing a coup against Diem, apparently without JFK's express consent. Maxwell Taylor and most of the military brass strongly opposed a coup.

JFK had plenty of time to reverse the Lodge-Hilsman initiative since, as you know, the coup did not take place until November 1, 1963. As Evan Thomas writes in Robert Kennedy: His Life, "Events lurched along through the early autumn, as the coup planners in Saigon were on again, off again, amidtst conflicting signals from Washington and the American embassy in Saigon."

Robert Kennedy strongly argued against the coup in a White House meeting on Friday, October 25, 1963. Threre was another White House strategy meeting in the afternoon of October 29th. Again, Thomas: "[Robert] Kennedy was convinced that Lodge was seriously jeopardizing the American involvement in Vietnam by backing the mysterious coup planners beyond the control of the Kennedy administration." The book then quotes Robert Kennedy's actual words In the October 29 meeting (from the White House tapes): "I may be in the minority. I just don't see that this [coup] makes any sense, on the face of it. We're putting the whole future of the country--and really, Southeast Asaia--in the hands of someone we don't know very well." If the coup failed, warned RFK, "they're going to say the United States was behind it. I woulld think that we're just going down the road to disaster." Robert Kennedy was prescient, of course. I remember in the next year South Vietnam went throuugh two or three governments. The US support of the coup also further tied us into Vietnam.

Jack Kennedy had over two months to reverse the Hilsman memo and call a halt to any American support for the coup planners. But he failed to take his brother's wise counsel. Not only should Kennedy have reversed the Hilsman memo, he should have sacked Lodge.

IMO, Jack Kennedy's acquiesence in the coup against Diem, over the objections of RFK, LBJ and the military brass was one of the worst errors of his presidency, with tragic consequences for our country. Unfortunately, in the week leading up to the coup, Kennedy's attention may have been distracted by a developing scandal over Kennedy's involvement with Ellen Rometsch (we all know, I believe, who she was) since Clark Mollenmhoff printed a story linking her to JFK on Saturday, October 26. We know Rometsch was linked to Bobby Baker whose activities the Senate was then investigating.

On Monday, October 28, Robert Kennedy summoned J. Edgar Hoover to his office and asked Hoover to go to the Senate leadership and caution them of the dangers to the country if word got out (in the words of Evan Thomas) "that senators and executive branch officials were carrying on with a woman accused of spying". Hoover made RFK squirm. Again, Evan Thomas: "The matter was distasteful to him, [Hoover] said. Why shouldn't Kennedy speak to the Senators himself? RFK was obliged to say aloud what Hoover wanted to hear: that only the legendary FBI director had the independent stature and the authority to impress upon the senators the gravity of the situation."

In addition to his stature and authority, as RFK knew, Hoover had the files.

That afternoon, Hoover met secretly with Senate Dem leader Mike Mansfield and GOP leader Everett Dirksen. To avoid reporters, they met in Mansfield's home. Hoover told them that the FBI investigation produced no evidence that Rometsch was a spy (TIM-true) or that she had sex with any White House official (TIM--probably false). He then told the Senators the names of Senators (from both parties) with whom Romestsch had had alliances, together with dates and places. Mansfield and Dirksen concluded the Committee investigating Baker would stay away from the sex angle.

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Tim, respectfully, you have misread who was on which side of the Diem question.

Tim Gratz:

Have you already forgotten my suggestion in a previous post that you learn the word interpretation? Or that you not adopt manichean narratives that ignore the timeframe? In the previous post which your above quoting doesn't include, I put forward my interpretation that Kennedy was secretly in favor of the Nhus negotiation with the north, and hoped for the regime to ask the U.S. to leave. That is my rendition of a vintage JFK solution. You left out the part in which I noted that by all accounts JFK was appalled by the fate of the Nhus (family name for Diem as well).

Tim Carroll

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Tim, respectfully, you have misread who was on which side of the Diem question.

Tim Gratz:

Have you already forgotten my suggestion in a previous post that you learn the word interpretation? Or that you not adopt manichean narratives that ignore the timeframe?

Tim Carroll

Tim, again let me emphasive "respectfully" bit it is quite clear that Henry Cabot Lodge (who bears great responsibility since he was the man in Saigon whose advise JFK was counting on) wanted Diem out, as did most of the State Departrment officials, while Maxwell Taylor and the military brass were against removing Diem. I do not believe this is a question of interpretation.

I think, however, this debate does not advance any relevant information about the assassination. Suffice it to say that Republican Henry Cabot Lodge bears a lot of the responsibility. The State Dept backed Lodge. The military was against the coup. So was RFK and LBJ.

Because I don't think the Diem family had anything to do with the JFK assassination, for us to try to figure out what went wrong and who was on whose side, I think, may waste our time.

Trivia question: Who wrote the foreward to Jack Kennedy's book Why England Slept?

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Trivia question:  Who wrote the foreward to Jack Kennedy's book Why England Slept?

If we're playing 20 questions, it was either Henry Luce or Arthur Krock. You posted your response to quickly to let me finish my editing. The point of which would again miss my point about timeframes, since you're referring to 1940.

By the way, do you like the way Posner co-opted the title of Kennedy's book for his 9/11 tome?

Tim

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Trivia question:  Who wrote the foreward to Jack Kennedy's book Why England Slept?

If we're playing 20 questions, it was either Henry Luce or Arthur Krock. You posted your response to quickly to let me finish my editing. The point of which would again miss my point about timeframes, since you're referring to 1940.

By the way, do you like the way Posner co-opted the title of Kennedy's book for his 9/11 tome?

Tim

NOPE!!

I think we're buddies again--give me a call sometime. Have you ever read Why England Slept? It sounds like a very interesting book. (Luce wrote the foreward.)

Another trivia I picked up in my reading today up was that the boat named after Jack's oldest brother was used in the Cuban missile crisis.

I know you are very widely read. I would also commend to you the (huge) Hugh Thomas history of Cuba. I have not reread it recently but it probably has information on the issue of when Fidel became a Communist and what led to the very early deterioration of our country's relationship with his regime.

Castro's photo was on the front page of the Miami Herald today. He is still confined to his wheelchair and certainly does not look in the best of health.

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This thread paints a context, a moment in time; circa one month before Dallas, the real-life cinema verite image that historians now know about these characters. It was a day at the office, for the Attorney General and the FBI Director to twist the arms of the Senate leadership over the Ellen Rometsh. Meanwhile Henry Cabot Lodge is backing the coup d'etat on the ground in Saigon. Thus the power of the Chief of Mission. The news of Diem's capture and murder surely anchors the history of November 1963. The organized crime figures that were forming the habitus of the post-war cultures in the ascendency. Brinksmanship.

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Trivia question:  Who wrote the foreward to Jack Kennedy's book Why England Slept?

If we're playing 20 questions, it was either Henry Luce or Arthur Krock. Tim

NOPE!!

What do you mean "NOPE!!"?

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