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NATO's Secret Armies, Operation Gladio and JFK


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In the first or second episode of Jim's 25-part series with Dave Emory, Jim talks about JFK's decision to "ratchet down the tension" between the U.S. and Cuba, and the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The phrase struck me, because I had just been reading about the "strategy of tension": something that Kennedy's stance stood in direct opposition to. (And note the connection between Italy and Aginter Press in Portugal):

"By 1969 the theorists of the strategy of tension had already elaborated their doctrine. It is spelled out in graphic terms in an anonymous document entitled "Our Political Action," which was sent from Italy to the Aginter Press, a Lisbon-based agency that gave cover to extremist political activity throughout Europe, in November 1968. The document recommends the promotion of chaos throughout the structures of the regime and the undermining of the economy. 'This will lead to a situation of strong political tension, of fear in the industrial world, of hostility toward the government and all the parties. In our opinion the first action to be involved upon is the destruction of the structures of the state, which should appear to be the action of the communists and the pro-Chinese.' It then goes on to recommend working on public opinion and the armed forces to highlight the inadequacies of the legally constituted government and 'to make us appear as the only ones capable of providing a social, political, and economic solution suited to the needs of the moment.'"
-- Philip Willan, "Puppetmasters," p. 23.

Edited by Rob Couteau
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Perhaps someone who knows more about this author can enlighten me on what follows. While doing research for the essay, I was poking around for information on General Lemnitzer, and came across these curious quotes:

1: “Then, President Kennedy made a most significant move, one perhaps that has had more impact upon events during the past ten years than any other that can be attributed to him or to his successors. He decided to transfer General Lemnitzer to Paris to replace General Lauris Norstad as Allied commander of NATO troops. Lemnitzer was eminently qualified for this task, and it was a good assignment.” (1973)

2: “Lemnitzer and his close friend Gen. David M. Shoup of the U.S. Marine Corps were traditional soldiers. They had never been ‘Cold Warriors’ or Cold War enthusiasts. Nor were they proponents of an Asian ground war.
     “It bothered Lemnitzer not at all to observe that Kennedy had created the office of ‘military adviser to the President’ and had placed Taylor in that office. By the end of 1962, General Lemnitzer was on his way to the NATO command in Europe, while Kennedy, Taylor, and all the others had become mired in the quicksands of Southeast Asia.” (1992)

I find almost all the statements here to be way off the mark. After attempting to push Operation Northwoods onto the President and generally exhibiting (in RFK Jr's words) a "warmongering" attitude across the board, how could Lemnitzer be considered "eminently qualified for this task," and in what way could it be considered "a good assignment”? Then the author states "It bothered Lemnitzer not at all" that JFK had created this special office that in essence allowed JFK to sideline Lemnitzer and instead rely on Maxwell Taylor. From everything I've read, Lemnitzer was livid about this. Finally, he talks about Kennedy being "mired in the quicksands of Southeast Asia." That sort of terminology more describes the situation under LBJ in the mid-to-late Sixties, not Kennedy. ("Mired" in the Vietnamese "quicksands" were terms you'd hear on the news a lot during that later period.) And it makes Kennedy sound like a war hawk.

So paragraph one is L. Fletcher Prouty, "The Secret Team," Page 139. Para. 2 is Prouty, "JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy," p. 214.

I have been aware of Prouty's work for many years, but it wasn't until examining these quotes again recently that I began to wonder why he might be making such statements. Was he attempting to hide some sort of involvement on the military side of the assassination by instead focusing all the blame on the CIA? This may have been discussed at some other point on the Forum and I may have missed it. But would like to hear from anyone who knows more than I do about Prouty.  

 

Edited by Rob Couteau
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Rob,

    From what I remember about Prouty's books (The Secret Team and  JFK, the CIA, and Vietnam) he believed that JFK was murdered by a very high level U.S. government conspiracy involving people who had operational control of security arrangements in Dallas-- including the Secret Service, the military, and those who prevented any real investigation (e.g., scrubbing and confiscating the limo.)

   He was assigned by his boss, Ed Lansdale, to fly on a Congressional mission to Antarctica during JFK's assassination, and became highly suspicious of a carefully organized psy op while reading about the Oswald assassination narrative in a New Zealand newspaper.

   Much of Prouty's direct knowledge of the JFK administration's foreign policies had to do with the Saigon Station, and material later published in The Pentagon Papers.  He was highly suspicious about the reversal of NSAM 263 by McGeorge Bundy and LBJ shortly after JFK's murder, and he knew that JFK had intended to get out of Vietnam after the review of the McNamara/Taylor Report of September 1963.

   My hunch is that Prouty didn't have much direct contact with Lemnitzer or people involved with NATO ops in the early 60s.  (I might be wrong.)

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2 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Rob,

       He was assigned by his boss, Ed Lansdale, to fly on a Congressional mission to Antarctica during JFK's assassination, and ...

 

Landsdale quit in early November, (11-1 I believe), 1963

The Congressional trip, to which you refer, was the Honolulu conference, I believe.

 

Edited by Michael Clark
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We have taken the side os the Sunni Muslims against the Shia Muslims

That is my take.

Muhammed destroyed the pagan establishment, in favor of the tradidition of Abraham.

When he died, his authority was soon split between worshipers of men; Ali Ibn Abu Talib and Ghadir Khumm.

In an historical instant, Muhammad freed men from Paganism, and landed them, upon his death, in the hands of mortals.

Muhammed was not, nor did he claim to be, immortal.

We have decided to destroy Shias.

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14 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Rob,

    From what I remember about Prouty's books (The Secret Team and  JFK, the CIA, and Vietnam) he believed that JFK was murdered by a very high level U.S. government conspiracy involving people who had operational control of security arrangements in Dallas-- including the Secret Service, the military, and those who prevented any real investigation (e.g., scrubbing and confiscating the limo.)

   He was assigned by his boss, Ed Lansdale, to fly on a Congressional mission to Antarctica during JFK's assassination, and became highly suspicious of a carefully organized psy op while reading about the Oswald assassination narrative in a New Zealand newspaper.

   Much of Prouty's direct knowledge of the JFK administration's foreign policies had to do with the Saigon Station, and material later published in The Pentagon Papers.  He was highly suspicious about the reversal of NSAM 263 by McGeorge Bundy and LBJ shortly after JFK's murder, and he knew that JFK had intended to get out of Vietnam after the review of the McNamara/Taylor Report of September 1963.

   My hunch is that Prouty didn't have much direct contact with Lemnitzer or people involved with NATO ops in the early 60s.  (I might be wrong.)

Michael,

      I'll have to go back and check, but I'm fairly certain that Lansdale was the guy who sent Prouty to Antarctica during JFK's assassination black op.

      And, yes, it was Antarctica.  The Honolulu flight was a different, concurrent event.

      Prouty flew back to Christ Church from Antarctica on November 22nd, and recognized the press releases in the New Zealand media as an apparent CIA psy op to frame Oswald, wjo had not even been charged with a crime at the time.

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20 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

Michael,

      I'll have to go back and check, but I'm fairly certain that Lansdale was the guy who sent Prouty to Antarctica during JFK's assassination black op.

      And, yes, it was Antarctica.  The Honolulu flight was a different, concurrent event.

      Prouty flew back to Christ Church from Antarctica on November 22nd, and recognized the press releases in the New Zealand media as an apparent CIA psy op to frame Oswald, wjo had not even been charged with a crime at the time.

From Wikipedia:

Late career and personal lifeEdit

“Lansdale retired from the Air Force on November 1, 1963.”

 

I see this as Landsdale removing himself from, and pulling the plug on some current operations (Northwoodss ?). I honestly see it as a protest and demurment from the impeniding assassination operation against Kennedy.

Landsdale surely could have sent Prouty to Antarctica. It was probably planned in advance. But, at the time of the JFKA, Landsdale, in my view, was Out Of Service, at least as much as a guy like him can get away from such things.

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47 minutes ago, Michael Clark said:

From Wikipedia:

Late career and personal lifeEdit

“Lansdale retired from the Air Force on November 1, 1963.”

 

I see this as Landsdale removing himself from, and pulling the plug on some current operations (Northwoodss ?). I honestly see it as a protest and demurment from the impeniding assassination operation against Kennedy.

Landsdale surely could have sent Prouty to Antarctica. It was probably planned in advance. But, at the time of the JFKA, Landsdale, in my view, was Out Of Service, at least as much as a guy like him can get away from such things.

      According to Col. Prouty (and General Victor Krulak) Ed Lansdale was in Dealey Plaza when JFK was murdered.  One photo shows Lansdale walking by the "Three Tramps," after their arrest in the box car behind the Grassy Knoll.  The other photo shows Lansdale talking to GHWB in Dealey Plaza.

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28 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

      According to Col. Prouty (and General Victor Krulak) Ed Lansdale was in Dealey Plaza when JFK was murdered.  One photo shows Lansdale walking by the "Three Tramps," after their arrest in the box car behind the Grassy Knoll.  The other photo shows Lansdale talking to GHWB in Dealey Plaza.

Hi W., I know Prouty’s ID is very difficult to discount. I don’t. And I also agree that the GHWB ID is remarkable, it looks just like him. I can only imagine what Landsdale was doing there, and Prouty even asked that question.

Landsdale’s resignation from the Air Force, which was his CIA cover, is well documented beyond Wikipedia, although I can’t quicky refer to those sources.

Also, Landsdales resignation meant the end of a particular operation; it was built around him, and did not exist in his absence. That is quite an unusual arrangement. I will now look for that.

Landsdale was, effectively, the head of a fourth branch of the government. I came away from my reading of the documents with that notion. I think his resignation was an attempt to dissolve that extraconstitutional governmental branch.

Those were my perceptions after reading the documents. I did not make any case for this apart from making comments similar to which I am making now

 

 

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I will acknowledge having, arguably,, gone off-topic here; but I will share this doc in support of the above observations that I shared,:and refrain from pursuing this angle on this thread.

On 5/6/2018 at 10:39 AM, Michael Clark said:

General Landsdale report on progress of Operation Mongoose. 

I am becoming very impressed with Landsdale's intellectual genius.

https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/2018/202-10001-10201.pdf

 

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20 hours ago, Rob Couteau said:

Perhaps someone who knows more about this author can enlighten me on what follows. While doing research for the essay, I was poking around for information on General Lemnitzer, and came across these curious quotes:

1: “Then, President Kennedy made a most significant move, one perhaps that has had more impact upon events during the past ten years than any other that can be attributed to him or to his successors. He decided to transfer General Lemnitzer to Paris to replace General Lauris Norstad as Allied commander of NATO troops. Lemnitzer was eminently qualified for this task, and it was a good assignment.” (1973)

2: “Lemnitzer and his close friend Gen. David M. Shoup of the U.S. Marine Corps were traditional soldiers. They had never been ‘Cold Warriors’ or Cold War enthusiasts. Nor were they proponents of an Asian ground war.
     “It bothered Lemnitzer not at all to observe that Kennedy had created the office of ‘military adviser to the President’ and had placed Taylor in that office. By the end of 1962, General Lemnitzer was on his way to the NATO command in Europe, while Kennedy, Taylor, and all the others had become mired in the quicksands of Southeast Asia.” (1992)

I find almost all the statements here to be way off the mark. After attempting to push Operation Northwoods onto the President and generally exhibiting (in RFK Jr's words) a "warmongering" attitude across the board, how could Lemnitzer be considered "eminently qualified for this task," and in what way could it be considered "a good assignment”? Then the author states "It bothered Lemnitzer not at all" that JFK had created this special office that in essence allowed JFK to sideline Lemnitzer and instead rely on Maxwell Taylor. From everything I've read, Lemnitzer was livid about this. Finally, he talks about Kennedy being "mired in the quicksands of Southeast Asia." That sort of terminology more describes the situation under LBJ in the mid-to-late Sixties, not Kennedy. ("Mired" in the Vietnamese "quicksands" were terms you'd hear on the news a lot during that later period.) And it makes Kennedy sound like a war hawk.

So paragraph one is L. Fletcher Prouty, "The Secret Team," Page 139. Para. 2 is Prouty, "JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy," p. 214.

I have been aware of Prouty's work for many years, but it wasn't until examining these quotes again recently that I began to wonder why he might be making such statements. Was he attempting to hide some sort of involvement on the military side of the assassination by instead focusing all the blame on the CIA? This may have been discussed at some other point on the Forum and I may have missed it. But would like to hear from anyone who knows more than I do about Prouty.  

 

 

18 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Rob,

    From what I remember about Prouty's books (The Secret Team and  JFK, the CIA, and Vietnam) he believed that JFK was murdered by a very high level U.S. government conspiracy involving people who had operational control of security arrangements in Dallas-- including the Secret Service, the military, and those who prevented any real investigation (e.g., scrubbing and confiscating the limo.)

   He was assigned by his boss, Ed Lansdale, to fly on a Congressional mission to Antarctica during JFK's assassination, and became highly suspicious of a carefully organized psy op while reading about the Oswald assassination narrative in a New Zealand newspaper.

   Much of Prouty's direct knowledge of the JFK administration's foreign policies had to do with the Saigon Station, and material later published in The Pentagon Papers.  He was highly suspicious about the reversal of NSAM 263 by McGeorge Bundy and LBJ shortly after JFK's murder, and he knew that JFK had intended to get out of Vietnam after the review of the McNamara/Taylor Report of September 1963.

   My hunch is that Prouty didn't have much direct contact with Lemnitzer or people involved with NATO ops in the early 60s.  (I might be wrong.)

So Prouty essentially whitewashes Lemnitzer. Hmm. What makes Prouty a strange source is that he was really there, in a position to add much to our knowledge, and he seems very outspoken, yet for all practical purposes it appears he has not been threatened or edited. That’s never quite added up for me. There have also been factual errors in his reportage that he has had to retract. My brain won’t come up with an example. But it looks like his villain of choice was Lansdale. Limited hangout of some sort? I mean, his descriptions of Lemnitzer make no sense whatsoever. 

Edited by Paul Brancato
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16 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

He was assigned by his boss, Ed Lansdale, to fly on a Congressional mission to Antarctica during JFK's assassination

Thanks for this very good summary. And regarding the sentence quoted above, I have a very vague recollection of this being dramatized in Stone's film, although it may be my imagination.

 

Just now, Paul Brancato said:

Limited hangout of some sort? I mean, his descriptions of Lemnitzer make no sense whatsoever. 

Paul, I had the same impression. It also struck me as being very odd. And I've also wondered over the years why and how Prouty escaped so relatively unscathed after such a major act of whistle-blowing. Skimming through the Secret Team, which I have here, he seems more focused on blaming the CIA than the military. Also, I recall reading somewhere (Cottrell's unsourced speculations?) that Lemnitzer was engaging in sort of territorial war with Dulles and the CIA over foreign policy ops, but called a truce with the CIA once he realized they shared a common enemy and goal: the removal of JFK. (Do you recall that in "NATO's Dagger"?) If that is so, Prouty could have served the purpose of pointing the finger at CIA once the deed was done. But I have no idea if any of this is true, so I'm just putting it out there. (I'll have to read Secret Team again.)

Edited by Rob Couteau
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3 hours ago, Michael Clark said:

I will acknowledge having, arguably,, gone off-topic here; but I will share this doc in support of the above observations that I shared,:and refrain from pursuing this angle on this thread.

 

Lansdale was, apparently quite a devious black ops and psy ops genius.  His black ops (and psy ops) played a major role in establishing a U.S. aligned military regime in the Phillipines, before he was brought into the CIA's Saigon Station.

Much of Prouty's text in JFK, the CIA, and Vietnam is about Lansdale's false flag and psy ops in Vietnam's Strategic Hamlet program, including the mass transport of North Vietnamese Catholics to South Vietnam to shore up the CIA's Diem regime.

Prouty, obviously, had concerns about Lansdale's methods-- including his habit of joking about threatening to throw people out of helicopters, etc.

As for the JFK assassination, Prouty was convinced that it was initiated, in part, to reverse JFK's NSAM 263 decision to get out of Vietnam.  He and General Krulak had been intimately involved in drafting the McNamara-Taylor Report behind JFK's NSAM 263 decision in October of 1963.  And Prouty retired from the Air Force, and his  position as the Joint Chiefs Liaison to the CIA, after JFK's murder.

He was a Mr. X, a former JFK administration insider who knew that powerful members of the JFK (and LBJ) administration had conspired to kill JFK.

As for the media, I have seen examples of dubious attacks on Prouty's credibity by sites like McAdams.edu.

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Some good info in this 2016 Consortium piece about links between Greece and Italian Gladio ops and the players involved in the U.S. govt, particularly under Nixon/Kissinger. My favorite line: Luigi Turchi, a fascist deputy, proudly displayed a photo of Nixon on his wall, autographed with a signed dedication, which hung "next to those of Franco and Perón."

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/07/27/coups-inside-nato-a-disturbing-history/

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