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Lone Gunman podcast: L. Fletcher Prouty a xxxx?


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13 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

However its pretty clear that anything that doesn't fit Prouty's personal narrative, his views on Lansdale or the conspiracy is not going to be well received in this thread so I'll just butt out once again....

Larry,

Not everyone is a Prouty fan. I put him and Antonio Veciana in the same skeptics box.

Steve Thomas

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45 minutes ago, W. Niederhut said:

Larry,

    Anything that is true about the history of JFK's assassination would be "well received" by me on this forum.  If Prouty was wrong about Lansdale's history after 1961, so be it.  I'm not invested in defending Prouty, if he was mistaken.

    Can you be more specific about your disagreement with Prouty's beliefs about what Lansdale was doing from 1961-63?

     Inquiring minds want to know.

     

?

 

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14 minutes ago, Larry Hancock said:

I don't know that I disagree at all about Lansdale's activities in that period, I actually thought I had said that earlier but maybe not....what I do find questionable are Prouty's remarks about presidential protection, about the activation of the 112th and its then being shut down etc...the points he appears to me to have recanted in his ARRB remarks.

That has little to nothing to do with his identification of Lansdale in Dallas or of his speculation about Lansdale and a conspiracy.  I'm ambivalent about that; if somebody can prove that it was Lansdale in Dallas (I did dabble in that for a time, fruitlessly) and in the photo that would be very interesting...but then you need to take that and work it into a full hypothesis on his role, his contacts, the larger picture of the conspiracy.

Which is why I don't really have anything to contribute beyond that point other than personal opinions...when I hit that point in a thread it seems a good time for me to move on.

 

You can't avoid varying degrees of personal opinion in debating facts or credibility questions and taking any kind of personal belief stand ... imo.

Sharing conclusory and at times even speculative discussion is what drives this forum as much as copied and pasted dry paper documents, testimony ( including so-called expert scientific analysis testimony ), photos and other hard physical evidence.

I have mentioned before the need for a thorough "scientific " comparative analysis study of the suspected Lansdale/ Three Tramp/Dealey Plaza photo by top experts in the field.

Which has never been done to my knowledge.

And probably never will because of the expense.

I would imagine that the science of personal identification through comparative photo analysis is quite advanced now.

And I think the photos of the tall fedora wearing motorcade sidewalk bystander ( who many feel could be Rip Robertson ) should be analysed in this way as well.

Ahh, if only I was financially well off. I would personally pay for these top expert personal identity studies.

Lastly, did I read that Lansdale had some covert action dealings with William Harvey? 

Imo, anyone who dealt with JFK and RFK hating / Johnny Roselli respecting William Harvey in any way and who gave him their loyalty and respect even after JFK's death, should be suspect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

I certainly go with the idea of "secret teams" but I think to a large extent they were situational.  For example in Nicaragua we effectively saw a secret team formed under North which included field CIA personnel (acting against orders),  CIA paramilitary assets (some former, some still on call, the use of CIA cover companies (without their even realizing it) and the cooperation and active support of high level military officers (some retired; some still serving).

My take would be that common political beliefs and agendas tend to generate such teams (which are self organizing) rather than their existing in a straight line sense. You could find another example in the first Afghanistan experience.

However their are incubators for such teams which do exist long term, the World Anti Communist League was one that I explored in Shadow Warfare.  These days I suspect several of the neo-Conservative think tanks serve the same function of pulling people together who form their own teams and then secure their own political, financial and other assets.

My usual long winded way of saying, yes...

 

Thank you, Larry.  Good points.  If one looks at what Richard Secord and John Singlaub were doing in promoting and fostering the support of anti-communist organizations before and during the Contra war, you can see the common agendas in action, similar to PNAC and other groups ahead of 9/11 and the Iraq and Afghanistan actions.

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1 hour ago, Larry Hancock said:

I don't know that I disagree at all about Lansdale's activities in that period, I actually thought I had said that earlier but maybe not....what I do find questionable are Prouty's remarks about presidential protection, about the activation of the 112th and its then being shut down etc...the points he appears to me to have recanted in his ARRB remarks.

That has little to nothing to do with his identification of Lansdale in Dallas or of his speculation about Lansdale and a conspiracy.  I'm ambivalent about that; if somebody can prove that it was Lansdale in Dallas (I did dabble in that for a time, fruitlessly) and in the photo that would be very interesting...but then you need to take that and work it into a full hypothesis on his role, his contacts, the larger picture of the conspiracy.

Which is why I don't really have anything to contribute beyond that point other than personal opinions...when I hit that point in a thread it seems a good time for me to move on.

 

    As I see it, Prouty proposed a serious hypothesis to Garrison about Lansdale being a primary suspect in the plot to murder JFK.  He presented some significant details about Lansdale's long-term relationship with Allen Dulles, and his skills as a black ops and psy ops expert.

    Like any serious hypothesis, Prouty's hypothesis about Lansdale should be analyzed in relation to the data.  Has this been done during the past 30 years since Prouty wrote his letter to Garrison?

    

     

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I don't think that is what Fletcher was really trying to say.

If you read not just his books, but his magazine series, which I had a collection of at one time, he did not just mean the CIA and the paramilitary branches that were allied with it.

What he meant was how the CIA had extended itself into the so called civilian arena. In other words, how they could pull off an assassination and make it look like an accident; because they would get one of their doctors to fake an autopsy and then one of their lawyers and or politicians, to run a fake inquest. And this would all be done officially but it was really a covert action.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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12 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

David, this thread is about Prouty, both for and against.

Let us keep it that way. 

Oh, honestly, Jim.  Censorious about one sentence encouraging Larry to do one of the things he does best for us.  And apply it to Prouty.

Edited by David Andrews
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16 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

My favorite part of the film JFK is the walk Mr X takes with Garrison through the park with the overhanging tree branches.

In that brief four minutes, the American public got their first look at what the secret government really did for about 15 years in the name of democracy.

That role was to be played by Brando.  He wanted too much money, plus he could have never memorized all those lines, and there was nowhere to write the monologue down.  Unless you wanted to put a truck in front of them with revolving huge cue cards.

Brando declining was a blessing in disguise. Sutherland was just excellent.  If Costner had been anywhere up to his level, that scene would have been a textbook in an acting class.  But according to my sources, Stone tried and tried but could not really get Costner to deliver.  Once, when Sutherland walked out of earshot, he said, "Maybe if he understood what he was saying he'd be more convincing." That is how smart Sutherland is.

 

Jim, stop derailing. Reveries about Stone and Brando are not Prouty.

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22 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

I should add this though.

If I had been advising Oliver at that time, I would have told him not to go that route.  I would have said, have Sutherland play Nagell.  And you can still get in most of the Cuba angle.  

I would have then said, after Garrison gets home, have him open up a letter from a college professor from Ohio University. 

Have Garrison cut it open at his desk, and start reading it. Its night, and he lights up his pipe, puts on a desk light. As he reads on the voice track you can cut from him, to the letter, to the escalation in VIetnam that the author describes.  That way you can get the Vietnam angle in.

The difference is that both of these two things happened at the the time Garrison was investigating the case. That professor was writing about the escalation of the war that was accomplished through JFK's murder. To my knowledge, he was the first person to do that.  I have seen the letter.That is how Garrison got onto that issue. 

I don't think Oliver's research team was aware of that letter. 

Nor does this have anything to do with Prouty.  This is just "insider" bloviating.

Do you own this place now, Big Jim? 

 

Edited by David Andrews
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This thread contains one of the best groups of JFK plot "thinkers" that exist (imho) so we should all be peaceful and respectful.  I'm reminded of Mick Jagger's question posed at Altamont Raceway in December 1969 (i.e. "why are we fighting?").  Maybe that's too heavy of an analogy, but it came to mind. 

On a lighter note, I always enjoy Steve's input ... and am wary whenever "Colonels" are introduced.  I've never given Fletcher Prouty much thought, but his access and affiliations are uniquely interesting.  So is that AARB interview, as well as the later Garrison letter.  But not everyone is convinced of Prouty allegations.

Nonetheless, I would truly suspect Edward Lansdale, as his curriculum vitae are quite clear, and his affiliations/references are infamous.  I suspect he was charming JFK and misleading him with regards to Vietnam.  Playing a "double game" as Sterling Seagrove stated in a 2008 EF thread.  Lansdale's rejection for a senior position in Saigon by other members of JFK's administration was telling. I think it was Dean Rusk who mistrusted Lansdale, and influenced his unsuccessful ambassador quest. My instincts still don't allow me to paint him as a friend or ally of JFK. And his specialty (in PsyOps) was the elaborate drama and scripted misdirection we see occur in Dealey Plaza.  Being "retired" in November 1963 is a tantalizing coincidence.  I'm befuddled by the Tramps photos (in spite of DJ's work), and so don't know quite what to make of it.  There are many comments about Lansdale; one that is interesting is attributed to Daniel Ellsberg

One of those who served under him in this job was Daniel Ellsberg. The two men remained friends until the death of Lansdale. Ellsberg liked Lansdale because of his commitment to democracy. Ellsberg also agreed with Lansdale that the pacification program should be run by the Vietnamese. He argued that unless it was a Vietnam project it would never work. Lansdale knew that there was a deep xenophobia among Vietnamese.

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On 10/31/2020 at 2:59 PM, James DiEugenio said:

Gene, thanks for reading that four part article on Burns/Novick.  I actually bought the DVD on that so I could repeat and fast forward at my leisure.  If anyone wants it let me know since i think its pretty worthless.  Very disappointing and it has impacted my view of Burns.  A friend of mine showed it to the narrator Peter Coyote.  After a dialogue with him Coyote told him to send his complements on a job well done.

I am not an authority on Lansdale.  I did read the Currey bio but I think its a sanitized book. Lansdale did want the ambassadorship to Saigon and he and Rostow did a little trick on JFK about a week into his presidency to try and gain it.  Both men were hawks, especially Rostow, who like Nixon was a little nutty about that war seeing it as a Waterloo type situation--which it was not.

Lansdale was interested in the job because his mentor Allen Dulles had sent him there after he and his brother stopped the 1956 elections and created this new country South Vietnam. Lansdale was really CIA.  I once accompanied John Newman to the Hoover institute and we discovered a letter by Lansdale in which he admitted this. Dulles got Lansdale appointed to Brigadier General through the CIA director's relationship with Lemay.

Lansdale was very important to the creation of this ersatz country under this ersatz leader Diem.  He masterminded the scare campaign to frighten hundreds of thousands of catholics in the north to flee to the south in order to bolster Diem. He also rigged elections in the south to make it look like Diem had a massive constituency. Which he did not. Those elections were farces.  Lansdale said, OK we can get you 60 per cent; DIem would say, he wanted 90 and Lansdale would get him ninety--even though more people would vote in a district than actually lived there. When critics would complain about all this not being a democracy, Lansdale would say, that is not what I was assigned to do.

There is no doubt Lansdale was an original and imaginative guy when it came to black ops and psy war.  HIs campaign in Manila is legendary. But when it got to Mongoose, he was faced with a situation where he simply could not climb the wall since he had so few assets on the island. The other thing was that Robert Kennedy was a kind of ombudsman, and he had final approval over all operations.  And he demanded that these be in writing and they be complete, down to how many men, what they were going in with, the beach they would land at, and what the objective was. After Mongoose was pretty much dissipated, Lansdale was kind of drifting until he retired on November 1, 1963.

Newman was once going to write a book on Lansdale but did not.  He told me that Lansdale was in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area at the time of the assassination.  I have no opinion whether or not that is him in those photos.  I also do not have an opinion as to whether or not he was the master planner of the plot.

Jim,

Is it a coincidence that Ed Lansdale "retired" within hours of the Diem brothers' assassinations?

If, as many believe, there was plenty of CIA foreknowledge/involvement with the fate of the Diem brothers on November 1, 1963, then certainly Lansdale must have known. 

James Galbraith wrote two decades ago that there were last minute indications that Ngo Dinh Diem was actually trying to cut a last-second deal with Ho Chi Minh, one that would have led to prompt American Military withdrawal.

If true, then I can easily see why ruthless officers within the CIA, hellbent on an eventual American ground war, would then facilitate the murder of the Diem brothers. 

I can think of no other rational reason why Lansdale "retired" at the exact same time the removal of the brothers was made publice. His "work" was done.

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That whole relationship between Lansdale and Ellsberg is a real puzzler.

See, Nixon got Lansdale to come out of retirement in order to go ahead and do an inspection of Vietnam.

Well, Lansdale called a meeting I think at State, and Ellsberg heard about it, and so he volunteered to go as an observer.

It was on that journey that he decided that the whole US effort there was a joke.  Not only that, but everyone knew it was a joke. In other words, what Jean Paul Vann and David Halberstam had wanted to happen--American involvement-- was failing.So they covered it up in their falsified reports.  That is what convinced Ellsberg upon his return to copy the PP.

Fletcher, because he was so suspicious of Lansdale, always thought there was something weird about this.  And I have to say, that if Ellsberg really said that Lansdale believed in Indochinese democracy, I would really like to know what he based that upon. Because anyone who read the PP would know that it was Lansdale who was instrumental in the rigging of elections to get Diem in and Bao Dai out and then to keep Diem in, even thought people like the Caravelle group objected to Diem's tyrannical and brutal rule. Lansdale did not just ignore that, he helped further it.  So I fail to see how Ed was an advocate for democracy in South Vietnam.  In fact, as Fletcher said, Lansdale was not an advocate of democracy anywhere.  Except for the propaganda works of say Max Boot. And I would have liked to hear Fletcher's reply to Boot.

The bottom line on all this is that the Geneva Accords should have not been violated.  That was a very bad decision in every way.  But if one was willing to design Operation Vulture, then yes, there was almost no alternative one would take to stop Ho Chi Minh from taking power. And Lansdale made the best of a bad situation in propping up a very bad choice for ruler in this American created country of South Vietnam.

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