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John J. McCloy

Jim Root

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As many of you know I am intrigued by the U-2 downing on May 1, 1960, the launching of the Tiros I Satellite on April 1, 1960 and the launching of the Midas Satellite on May 22, 1960.

Midas and the U-2 were, of course designed to provide intelligence information and the Tiros was for "weather" purposes (although built by the Army).

I was intrigued to find that John J. McCloy (later to be a member of the Warren Commission) was a member of the 1957 Gaither Committee that was establised by President Eisenhower after the successful launch by the Soviets of Sputnik.

The Gaither Committee had been tasked to evaluate the feasibility of civil defense during a nuclear attack but had broadened its scope to include survivability of US nuclear forces. The committee's final report pointed out the extreme vulnerability of US forces to nuclear attack due to lack of a fast-reaction bomber force and the means to detect missile attack before the missiles impacted. These obvious problems greatly concerned Congress. The report remained classified until the late 1970's.

McCloy's roll in producing a classified report that helped to generate additional funding that would be used for satellite programs using infrared technology to detect missle launchings is of interest, at least to myself, in supporting a theory of why Oswald went to Russia and why the U-2 may have been downed.

Jim Root

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