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Tom Dunkin


Tim Gratz
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Tim, I have no idea what Hunt was trying to do to forge documents re the overthrow of Diem.  First, Kennedy was clearly responsible. As you said above, in late August 1963 the State Dept (probably without JFK's) consent sent out a cable endorsing a coup against Diem.  The military and JFK's own brother argued vigorously against the coup, but for two months JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable.  In the meantime, Lodge continued to meet with the generals plotting the coup.  It cannot, I submit, get much clearer than that.  It is not simply a question of JFK's vicarious responsibility for the actions of the people in his State Dept.  He had personal knowledge of the cable and plenty of opportunity to reverse it. 

Second, what was Hunt going to do with the forged document anyway?  Use it to try to solidify the history of White House involvement in the coup?  Use it against Ted Kennedy?  That whole thing makes no logical sense. 

You say "JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable" despite the previous citation that "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.'"

My issue with you, Mr. Gratz, is you pick and choose your history when it has just been stated. I don't get your agenda, but it ain't accuracy. You've asked for sources and had them provided, while you still fail to provide any, other than general silly challenges about which books we've read. As source means interview, date and place, or book, with page number and publishing references.

Tim Carroll

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Tim, I have no idea what Hunt was trying to do to forge documents re the overthrow of Diem.  First, Kennedy was clearly responsible. As you said above, in late August 1963 the State Dept (probably without JFK's) consent sent out a cable endorsing a coup against Diem.  The military and JFK's own brother argued vigorously against the coup, but for two months JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable.  In the meantime, Lodge continued to meet with the generals plotting the coup.  It cannot, I submit, get much clearer than that.  It is not simply a question of JFK's vicarious responsibility for the actions of the people in his State Dept.  He had personal knowledge of the cable and plenty of opportunity to reverse it. 

Second, what was Hunt going to do with the forged document anyway?  Use it to try to solidify the history of White House involvement in the coup?  Use it against Ted Kennedy?  That whole thing makes no logical sense. 

You say "JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable" despite the previous citation that "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.'"

My issue with you, Mr. Gratz, is you pick and choose your history when it has just been stated. I don't get your agenda, but it ain't accuracy. You've asked for sources and had them provided, while you still fail to provide any, other than general silly challenges about which books we've read. As source means interview, date and place, or book, with page number and publishing references.

Tim Carroll

Tim you havre to read this stuff carefully. (I confess earlirer tonight I apparently offended you by answering "Nope" to a question with which you would agree with my nope, but I missed that my "nope" was apparently subject to some misinterpretation because you were also answering a question of mine. My nope was intended, I thought clearly, as an answer to your question but I in no way fault you for the way you read it.)

In any event, what you miss here is that the quotation you make came from ROBERT KENNEDY not President Kennedy. My previous posts here make clear that RFK several times protested the planned coup in South Vietnam but his protests went unheeded by his brother the President.

Here is the exact quote from "The Crisis Years" (copied from your previous post):

"[President] 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.'" The "he"s clearly relate to RFK not JFK. If JFK thought the coup was bad policy he would have rescinded the cable and fired Lodge, Harriman and Hilsman. (Harriman was largely involved in the Hilsman memo too. AS I recall, Angleton thought Harriman could be a Soviet mole.)

Robert Kennedy protested the proposed coup. Jack Kennedy did nothing to reverse the Hilsman cable of August 24, 1963 and allowed Lodge to assure the coup planners of the US government's support for their actions.

The Thomas book also states that RFK was pressing the military for increased covert action in North Vietnam. RFK was correct in his judgments and instincts re Vietnam.

But there's no connection between the coup in Vietnam and the Kennedy assassination! At least IMO (was that less presumptuous?).

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Tim, I have no idea what Hunt was trying to do to forge documents re the overthrow of Diem.  First, Kennedy was clearly responsible. As you said above, in late August 1963 the State Dept (probably without JFK's) consent sent out a cable endorsing a coup against Diem.  The military and JFK's own brother argued vigorously against the coup, but for two months JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable.  In the meantime, Lodge continued to meet with the generals plotting the coup.  It cannot, I submit, get much clearer than that.  It is not simply a question of JFK's vicarious responsibility for the actions of the people in his State Dept.  He had personal knowledge of the cable and plenty of opportunity to reverse it. 

Second, what was Hunt going to do with the forged document anyway?  Use it to try to solidify the history of White House involvement in the coup?  Use it against Ted Kennedy?  That whole thing makes no logical sense. 

You say "JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable" despite the previous citation that "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.'"

My issue with you, Mr. Gratz, is you pick and choose your history when it has just been stated. I don't get your agenda, but it ain't accuracy. You've asked for sources and had them provided, while you still fail to provide any, other than general silly challenges about which books we've read. As source means interview, date and place, or book, with page number and publishing references.

Tim Carroll

Tim you havre to read this stuff carefully. (I confess earlirer tonight I apparently offended you by answering "Nope" to a question with which you would agree with my nope, but I missed that my "nope" was apparently subject to some misinterpretation because you were also answering a question of mine [correctly]. My nope was intended, I thought clearly, as an answer to your question but I in no way fault you for the way you read it.)

In any event, what you miss here is that the quotation you make came from ROBERT KENNEDY not President Kennedy. My previous posts here make clear that RFK several times protested the planned coup in South Vietnam but his protests went unheeded by his brother the President.

Here is the exact quote from "The Crisis Years" (copied from your previous post):

"[President] 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.'" The "he"s clearly relate to RFK not JFK.

Tim Gratz:

The "he's" do not relate to RFK, who I have plentifully proposed was working divergently from his brother on this issue, as well as Cuba, toward the end. Hubris can be a bitch. Bobby had far worse than survivor's guilt for the rest of his days. My interpretation is that "what you miss here" is that distinction, repeatedly.

Tim Carroll

Edited by Tim Carroll
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Tim, I have no idea what Hunt was trying to do to forge documents re the overthrow of Diem.  First, Kennedy was clearly responsible. As you said above, in late August 1963 the State Dept (probably without JFK's) consent sent out a cable endorsing a coup against Diem.  The military and JFK's own brother argued vigorously against the coup, but for two months JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable.  In the meantime, Lodge continued to meet with the generals plotting the coup.  It cannot, I submit, get much clearer than that.  It is not simply a question of JFK's vicarious responsibility for the actions of the people in his State Dept.  He had personal knowledge of the cable and plenty of opportunity to reverse it. 

Second, what was Hunt going to do with the forged document anyway?  Use it to try to solidify the history of White House involvement in the coup?  Use it against Ted Kennedy?  That whole thing makes no logical sense. 

You say "JFK did nothing to rescind the State Dept cable" despite the previous citation that "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.'"

My issue with you, Mr. Gratz, is you pick and choose your history when it has just been stated. I don't get your agenda, but it ain't accuracy. You've asked for sources and had them provided, while you still fail to provide any, other than general silly challenges about which books we've read. As source means interview, date and place, or book, with page number and publishing references.

Tim Carroll

Tim you havre to read this stuff carefully. (I confess earlirer tonight I apparently offended you by answering "Nope" to a question with which you would agree with my nope, but I missed that my "nope" was apparently subject to some misinterpretation because you were also answering a question of mine [correctly]. My nope was intended, I thought clearly, as an answer to your question but I in no way fault you for the way you read it.)

In any event, what you miss here is that the quotation you make came from ROBERT KENNEDY not President Kennedy. My previous posts here make clear that RFK several times protested the planned coup in South Vietnam but his protests went unheeded by his brother the President.

Here is the exact quote from "The Crisis Years" (copied from your previous post):

"[President] 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.'" The "he"s clearly relate to RFK not JFK.

Tim Gratz:

The "he's" do not relate to RFK, who I have plentifully proposed was working divergently from his brother on this issue, as well as Cuba, toward the end. Hubris can be a bitch. Bobby had far worse than survivor's guilt for the rest of his days. My interpretation is that "what you miss here" is that distinction, repeatedly.

Tim Carroll

The "he"s do refer to RFK. First, they follow the reference to RFK, not to JFK.

So grammar rules dictate that conclusion. Second, it was RFK who objected to the coup, so the context also dictates that conclusion. But Bechcloss, fine writer that he is, could have made the paragraph a bit clearer.

After seven pages, we're arguing about who a he refers to! You gotta love it! Bill Clinton would. Remember his quibble over the meaning of "is" or whatever it was?

Edited by Tim Gratz
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You gotta love it!    Bill Clinton would.  Rremember his quibble over the meaning of "is" or whatever it was?

No, I don't "Rremember."

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  • 8 months later...
Tom took ALL of the LIFE pix on the "Baku Op", and Andy focused on the narrative.  I speak with Andy's widow all of the time, and she is in the process of getting the masses of files and pix organized.

I will check with Gordon Winslow on whether the large amount of negatives & pix he recovered at Tom's shack [upon his death] included any of the Comandos "L" Ops -- though I really doubt it, as Andy was very scrupulous in maintaining personal custody of all Ops pix.

Tom was found dead in the front yard of the shack that former Chief Justice Alto Adams [Florida Supreme Court] had provided for him whilst he did the judge's memoirs -- and it turned out to be a thick volume, though tedious to read.  I had set Tom up with the Adams contact after the good Justice became a person of interest in the JFK matter [early 1970s.]  I had done construction work for his Son-in-law [Nat Harrison, Jr.] who was a major contractor in south Florida.

After Winslow arrived [ a couple days after the death was reported] at the shack, he was told that the Coroner suspected Tom was a victim of a "lightening strike ??!!

Winslow found the inside of the shack totally trashed, with pix & negatives strewn all over the place.  Initially, I reminded Gordon that Dunkin was a bit of a slob, and I doubted that it had been a shakedown search -- but, later I wasn't so sure.  After leaving us at No Name, Tom went on to work with Paul Poppenhager [our jumpmaster/pilot] at the Circle-T ranch east of Indiantown.

He logged almost a thousand jumps, and by the 1980s was a volunteer curator at the UDT/SEAL Museum, Ft. Pierce -- where he was well liked by all, and especially by Dick Marcinko's buddy, "Pointman/Patches" BMC Watson. [bosun's Mate Chief, USN - Ret.]

A couple of times I landed Cartel planes [empty of course] on that 33,000 acre cattle ranch just southwest of Vero Beach.  Man, did Tom get pissed at that, with us carrying weapons, etc. -- but the judge thought it was a spook Op and enjoyed the hell out of our infrequent visits.  The best part of the ranch was the very large-high ceilinged law library behind the ranch-house, alongside a bubbling brook.

WARNING:  Heed "Ms. Congenialty's" recent pubic..er..public remonstrations !!

DO NOT believe any of the foregoing, above-mentioned "wannabe SOF/non-mercenary, etc., etc." spurious appearing text -- failure to heed this may result in a severe "hissy-fit rant!!"

Gerry, is it true that Tom Dunkin was also helping Tony Cuesta with his autobiography. They both died in the same year (1994). Do you think there is any connection. Is it possible that some people did not want Cuesta to tell his full story?

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  • 1 year later...

Thought I would revive this one.

Simkin's Spartacus.

Tom Dunkin was born in Los Angeles on 8th January, 1925. Dunkin joined the US Marines in 1942 and took part in the invasion of Okinawa. After the Second World War he was sent to China (1945-46). He also served at the Jacksonville Naval Air Station (1946-47) before becoming squad leader with the Second Marine Division (1947-48).

In 1952 Dunkin graduated with a degree in journalism, from the University of Georgia. He worked as a reporter for the Tampa Tribune (1952-54), Orlando Sentinel (1952-55) and the St Petersburg Times (1955-61). Dunkin covered the Fidel Castro led revolution in Cuba as a photo-journalist. He also did freelance radio and television work while in Cuba (WSUN-TV and WDAE). He also wrote for the Soldier of Fortune magazine and La Gaceta, a Cuban newspaper printed in Tampa.

Dunkin was a close friend of Tony Cuesta and other important figures in the anti-Castro community based in Florida. He was also associated with several members of the Intercontinental Penetration Force. This included Gerry P. Hemming, Roy Hargraves, William Seymour, Steve Wilson, Howard K. Davis, Edwin Collins and Dennis Harber.

Dunkin became editor of the Glades County Democrat in 1961. He took leave of absence in early 1963 so that he could cover the activities of Commandos Liberty, an organization run by Tony Cuesta. Commandos Liberty was involved in the sinking of the Russian merchantman Baku. His articles and photos of these missions appeared in Life Magazine in April, 1963.

Tom Dunkin on an assignment (1962)

After leaving the Glades County Democrat in 1964, Dunkin worked as an undercover agent for for Florida Legislative Investigations Committee. Later that year he joined the Atlanta Journal. His work included the coverage of the Summerhill and North Avenue riots in 1966 and the effort to depose the Francois Duvalier regime in Haiti. He also joined the team that established a base in Haiti with the long-term objective of overthrowing the Fidel Castro government in Cuba.

In 1967 Dunkin joined the Columbus Ledger. It was while working for this newspaper he covered the court-martial at Fort Benning of William Calley. This was followed by work as a photojournalist for Florida Today (1972-74). Dunkin then served a research assistant, secretary and writing collaborator with the Florida Supreme Court Justice, Alto Adams. Together they produced two books, The Fourth Quarter and The Law of the Land.

As well as working as a freelance journalist and photographer, Dunkin worked as a part-time division judge and as a volunteer at the Fort Pierce Police Department.

Tom Dunkin died in 1994.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess this is a question for Larry Hancock or any of the forum members who have access to the various document data bases, but is there anything available on an operation called AMWIDE?

From what I can gather, this was some kind of Agency based propaganda thing which involved Dunkin (as a contract employee) with David Phillips playing a leading role.

There was also a player with the crypto AMHURT-1 who might have been Dunkin but I am only guessing there. Dunkin was asigned a 201 if this helps (201-841921).

James

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  • 4 years later...
Font got between our fistfight, and that is how Andy St. George & our Tom Dunkin made the trip [with a little cash from Billings at LIFE naturally]. (Gerry Hemming)

Gerry,

I did not know that Tom Dunkin was present for the Baku thing. Do you know if his photos are archived anywhere?

I have seen most of the shots taken by Andrew St. George but the Dunkin coverage would be very interesting.

Cheers,

James

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

James:

Tom took ALL of the LIFE pix on the "Baku Op", and Andy focused on the narrative. I speak with Andy's widow all of the time, and she is in the process of getting the masses of files and pix organized.

I will check with Gordon Winslow on whether the large amount of negatives & pix he recovered at Tom's shack [upon his death] included any of the Comandos "L" Ops -- though I really doubt it, as Andy was very scrupulous in maintaining personal custody of all Ops pix.

Tom was found dead in the front yard of the shack that former Chief Justice Alto Adams [Florida Supreme Court] had provided for him whilst he did the judge's memoirs -- and it turned out to be a thick volume, though tedious to read. I had set Tom up with the Adams contact after the good Justice became a person of interest in the JFK matter [early 1970s.] I had done construction work for his Son-in-law [Nat Harrison, Jr.] who was a major contractor in south Florida.

After Winslow arrived [ a couple days after the death was reported] at the shack, he was told that the Coroner suspected Tom was a victim of a "lightening strike ??!!

Winslow found the inside of the shack totally trashed, with pix & negatives strewn all over the place. Initially, I reminded Gordon that Dunkin was a bit of a slob, and I doubted that it had been a shakedown search -- but, later I wasn't so sure. After leaving us at No Name, Tom went on to work with Paul Poppenhager [our jumpmaster/pilot] at the Circle-T ranch east of Indiantown.

He logged almost a thousand jumps, and by the 1980s was a volunteer curator at the UDT/SEAL Museum, Ft. Pierce -- where he was well liked by all, and especially by Dick Marcinko's buddy, "Pointman/Patches" BMC Watson. [bosun's Mate Chief, USN - Ret.]

A couple of times I landed Cartel planes [empty of course] on that 33,000 acre cattle ranch just southwest of Vero Beach. Man, did Tom get pissed at that, with us carrying weapons, etc. -- but the judge thought it was a spook Op and enjoyed the hell out of our infrequent visits. The best part of the ranch was the very large-high ceilinged law library behind the ranch-house, alongside a bubbling brook.

WARNING: Heed "Ms. Congenialty's" recent pubic..er..public remonstrations !!

DO NOT believe any of the foregoing, above-mentioned "wannabe SOF/non-mercenary, etc., etc." spurious appearing text -- failure to heed this may result in a severe "hissy-fit rant!!"

Cheers mate,

GPH

PS: Soon I will respond in kind -- and clue John, et al. in on the great success of the "Gerry Springer, Geraldo Rivera, Christina" wailing & gnashing of teeth, hair pulling, clothes shredding spectacles which seem to get tremendous television ["Telly"] ratings. Hell, we might just double the membership of this Forum if we keep up the pissing contests !!

___________________________________

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