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Lone Gunman podcast: L. Fletcher Prouty a xxxx?


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14 hours ago, David Andrews said:

All right, but "anybody can write anything," and Forrestal has been accused - in past threads on this forum - of being in the Bundy camp, not in Kennedy's.  Does the McNamara/Taylor report exist to be compared to Forrestal's and Prouty's varying accounts?

Kennedy handpicked McGeorge Bundy to be NSA...and he was a Republican. They liked and respected each other so much, Bundy offered to switch parties to be Democrat and was devastated at hearing of Kennedy's murder. NSAM 263 was drafted by Bundy from the McNamara/Taylor report...so my guess is it exists somewhere. Probably the Kennedy library.

 

14 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

Rob,

      Prouty writes at length in his book JFK, the CIA, and Vietnam about his involvement with General Victor Krulak in the writing of the McNamara/Taylor Report.

     I don't want to further transcribe the (paperback) book by hand, but there is an on-line transcript of Prouty's March 6, 1990 letter to Jim Garrison, including the following quote...

"In October 1963, JFK ... had just published National Security Action Memorandum #263 saying...among other things...that he was taking 1000 troops home from Vietnam by Christmas 1963 and ALL AMERICANS out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. That cost him his life.

JFK came to that... conclusion in the Summer of 1963 and sent Gen Krulak to Vietnam for advance work. Krulak and I (with others) wrote that long "Taylor-McNamara" Report of their "Visit to Vietnam" (obviously they did not write, illustrate and bind it as they traveled). Krulak got his information daily in the White House. We simply wrote it. That led to NSAM #263. This same Trip Report is Document #142 and appears on page 751 to 766 of Vol. II of the Gravel Edition of the Pentagon Papers. NSAM #263 appears on pages 769-770."

https://spartacus-educational.com/JFKprouty.htm

 

Again, Prouty got history wrong...the Krulak/Mendenhall mission occured before the McNamara/Taylor mission. Two totally separate things...Next....

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Rob - See the several past threads here on McGeorge and Bill Bundy, and also on Michael Forrestal.  This group is seen as allegiant to the Harriman-Lodge-CIA attitude toward South Vietnam, not Kennedy's more deliberative one.  You might find some source reading in those threads that challenge your view.  Members put in some considerable research on these people.

I met McGeorge Bundy c. fall 1979, when he started as a lecturer at NYU.  For what it's worth, he seemed a bit high-strung, and perhaps sorry he was reduced to teaching Poli Sci I and II (and not in the Ivy League!), once his moment had passed.  A naive question about the JFKA made him anxious.

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Rob, I'm not a "Prouty supporter".  I know precious little about him. He had a respectful military career, and was a decorated pilot. He knew many of the principals of the JFK and Vietnam stories. He wrote some books (none of which I've read), and he was suspicious of the CIA (as anyone who seriously researches this case should be).  I don't put him on a pedestal or rely upon a movie to develop my opinions about the assassination. If you read my earlier post, I stated that he has always seemed too good to be true and so I view his "allegations" with some measure of skepticism.  Perhaps he embellished things a bit (who hasn't, at some point in their life).  It therefore seems rather harsh to label him as a fraud and a xxxx ...  but I would agree that the AARB interview was a bit disappointing. 

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4 hours ago, Rob Clark said:

Kennedy handpicked McGeorge Bundy to be NSA...and he was a Republican. They liked and respected each other so much, Bundy offered to switch parties to be Democrat and was devastated at hearing of Kennedy's murder. NSAM 263 was drafted by Bundy from the McNamara/Taylor report...so my guess is it exists somewhere. Probably the Kennedy library.

 

Again, Prouty got history wrong...the Krulak/Mendenhall mission occured before the McNamara/Taylor mission. Two totally separate things...Next....

Geez, Rob, get a clue.

Prouty didn't get that chapter in American military history wrong.  He was part of that history-- i.e., the preparation of the McNamara/Taylor Report.  The data from the "Krulak/Mendenhall mission" was incorporated by General Krulak, et.al., into the McNamara/Taylor Report.

The moral of this story for me is, "Never debate about a historical subject with someone who hasn't even read the primary source material."  This is especially true for subjects like the JFK assassination, where disinformation has been so abundant during the past 57 years.

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On 11/6/2020 at 3:23 PM, W. Niederhut said:

Geez, Rob, get a clue.

Prouty didn't get that chapter in American military history wrong.  He was part of that history-- i.e., the preparation of the McNamara/Taylor Report.  The data from the "Krulak/Mendenhall mission" was incorporated by General Krulak, et.al., into the McNamara/Taylor Report.

The moral of this story for me is, "Never debate about a historical subject with someone who hasn't even read the primary source material."  This is especially true for subjects like the JFK assassination, where disinformation has been so abundant during the past 57 years.

Niederhut....I have a clue, you sir are the one stuck in Prouty's fantasy world. Again, slower this time, just for you...JFK was not sold on the recommendations from the Krulak/Mendenhall Mission so he sent McNamara and Taylor a week later for a second opinion. Krulak was not with them, not on the plane, not in Honolulu, and had absolutely nothing to do with the writing of the McNamara/Taylor report. Lowly Col. Prouty, plane and boat getter for the CIA, had absolutely nothing to do with drafting any NSAM's...PERIOD!  The moral of this story to me is never debate someone who hasn't done any research and only read a fibber's book. Prouty was one of the OG's of disinformation, and suckers like you are still taken in 50 years later by his "stories"

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9 hours ago, Rob Clark said:

Niederhut....I have a clue, you sir are the one stuck in Prouty's fantasy world. Again, slower this time, just for you...JFK was not sold on the recommendations from the Krulak/Mendenhall Mission so he sent McNamara and Taylor a week later for a second opinion. Krulak was not with them, not on the plane, not in Honolulu, and had absolutely nothing to do with the writing of the McNamara/Taylor report. Lowly Col. Prouty, plane and boat getter for the CIA, had absolutely nothing to do with drafting any NSAM's...PERIOD!  The moral of this story to me is never debate someone who hasn't done any research and only read a fibber's book. Prouty was one of the OG's of disinformation, and suckers like you are still taken in 50 years later by his "stories"

Read the book, Rob.  Stop drinking the Company kool aid denying Prouty's history as a high level Pentagon briefing officer and Joint Chiefs liaison for CIA Special Operations.

Krulak and Prouty wrote the McNamara/Taylor Report in Washington, D.C.

McNamara and Taylor didn't have time to write and assemble that lengthy report.

Prouty discusses that primary source history in considerable detail.

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On 11/9/2020 at 10:46 AM, Rob Clark said:

Niederhut....I have a clue, you sir are the one stuck in Prouty's fantasy world. Again, slower this time, just for you...JFK was not sold on the recommendations from the Krulak/Mendenhall Mission so he sent McNamara and Taylor a week later for a second opinion. Krulak was not with them, not on the plane, not in Honolulu, and had absolutely nothing to do with the writing of the McNamara/Taylor report. Lowly Col. Prouty, plane and boat getter for the CIA, had absolutely nothing to do with drafting any NSAM's...PERIOD!  The moral of this story to me is never debate someone who hasn't done any research and only read a fibber's book. Prouty was one of the OG's of disinformation, and suckers like you are still taken in 50 years later by his "stories"

"JFK was not sold on the recommendations from the Krulak/Mendenhall Mission so he sent McNamara and Taylor a week later for a second opinion."

Rob, there was no single clear-cut recommendation from Krulak and Mendenhall.

 President Kennedy was so taken aback by the completely differing accounts from his two men - men whose mission was to provide support for the president's position that American training of and logistical and technical support for the ARVN could now begin to be scaled back on a major scale - that Kennedy infamously asked of Krulak and Mendenhall "You two did visit the same country, didn't you?"

Krulak's sunny view of the potential for ARVN's success in the field contrasted starkly with Mendenhall's pessimism. Mendenhall focused on the failure of the Diem regime to persuade ordinary South Vietnamese that they were better off with Diem at the helm, instead of the VC.

The U.S. military (for years) had emphasized that with American aid, the ARVN was "winning" the war. The president had planned to use that (false) optimism to justify an American withdrawal. JFK did not believe the cheerful reports, but he saw them as a way to say in effect "OK, our job is done here." 

 Rob, I am sure you know this, but John Newman demonstrated decades ago that the military reporting on the war began to take on a decidedly dark tone after NSAM 263 was issued. They believed (falsely) that the president's policy of a massive reduction of American involvement was based on Kennedy's misreading of the true situation in Vietnam, so if they now chose to reveal the truth to him, then he would change his mind about withdrawal.

But they were wrong - Kennedy already knew the truth: the war was not going well for South Vietnam or the Diem regime. Ultimately it would be up to the South Vietnamese to fight it, not America. For President Kennedy, these new, accurate military reports were irrelevant to his stated policy - we were getting out, regardless.

As to whether Fletcher Prouty himself had a hand in drafting the Taylor/McNamara Report, I don't know. However, I do know that on page 370 of "Death of a Generation" (which I have beside me at this very moment), Howard Jones claimed that Michael Forrestal himself was quoted by Kai Bird in "The Color of Truth" as saying "During the flight, Bundy and others received binders of materials, including a draft of the report that they were to prepare afterwards. Years after the mission, Forrestal asserted that the observations had already been "carefully spelled out, [with] all the statistics to back them up". He described it as a "dreadful visit" where the members attempt to accumulate "phony statistical" evidence of success."

Rob, this is powerful evidence that the Taylor/McNamara Report report indeed was prepared in Washington in advance. And, such preparation could only have done at the express order of President Kennedy. He wanted this optimistic report for the reasons I outlined earlier. 

Maybe Prouty exaggerated his own role in drafting this report, or maybe he didn't. I don't know, but I'm not sure it really matters much - JFK wanted out, and he created the Taylor/McNamara Report to provide the escape route.

 

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On 11/5/2020 at 8:52 AM, Rob Clark said:

Excuses....excuses...is all I hear from Prouty supporters.  The bottom line is he contradicted everything he had said over the years in correspondence,in articles, in books, and on film. He could have easily walked in there and maintained his story. The problem is the ARRB had access to documentation and individuals that could directly make a fool out of Prouty...which is exactly how it went with Col. Reich. He got the CIA a boat when they needed a boat, he arranged for AF transport when needed by the CIA. He wasn't sitting in on the Johnson and Joint Chiefs meetings when writing NSAM's, Lansdale didn't send him to Antarctica, he knew squat about Presidential protection, the trip wasn't unusual, the NZ newspaper stuff was just early reporting mistakes that still happen today...examples of the exact same articles in US papers on Nov. 22 & 23rd with the same exact mistakes are available today, his ID of "Lansdale" in DP means nothing without accompanying documentation he was even or near in Dallas on Nov. 22, 63. Hunt denies knowing him, Reich denies knowing him...he was a fraud. And that hurts some people because Prouty checks some boxes for them that fit into their theory that the big bad CIA was behind the assassination. The mother's milk of the JFK movie that got them interested in the case was spoiled with lies.

we who believe the "big bad CIA" was complicit in the assassination do NOT need Prouty to prove it. You haven't been paying enough attention.

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It looks like people, generally, are still not taking Prouty seriously as an honest, primary source witness of the history of "the CIA, Vietnam, and the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy"-- including his involvement in writing portions of the Pentagon Papers and the McNamara/Taylor Report.

My question.  Why?

Why, for example, would people consider historians like John Newman, or others, more credible sources about events Prouty was involved in than Prouty himself?

The implication is that Prouty was either dishonest, or lacking in discernment.  Both notions seem inaccurate to me.

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18 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

It looks like people, generally, are still not taking Prouty seriously as an honest, primary source witness of the history of "the CIA, Vietnam, and the plot to assassinate John F. Kennedy"-- including his involvement in writing portions of the Pentagon Papers and the McNamara/Taylor Report.

My question.  Why?

Why, for example, would people consider historians like John Newman, or others, more credible sources about events Prouty was involved in than Prouty himself?

The implication is that Prouty was either dishonest, or lacking in discernment.  Both notions seem inaccurate to me.

W. Niederhut,

I can't speak for others on this thread, but my point in citing the extended quote from work of Howard Jones above was to lend support to your claim that Prouty (and Krulak) had a key hand in drafting the Taylor/McNamara Report. 

Howard Jones, in his seminal "Death of a Generation: How the Assassinations of Diem and JFK Prolonged the Vietnam War",  did not mention either Prouty or Krulak by name in that passage. However, the Michael Forrestal material confirms that the basics of that report - not merely the outline, but the guts of it - was written in advance, in Washington, D. C., just as Prouty has long claimed. And just as surely, that task was done at the behest of President Kennedy himself. We can not prove that the either Krulak or Prouty was a principal author of the draft copy, but both men had the requisite knowledge and experience to do so.

Prouty's claim to have written the Taylor/McNamara Report in advance is certainly plausible, but probably unprovable beyond any doubt.

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30 minutes ago, Paul Jolliffe said:

W. Niederhut,

I can't speak for others on this thread, but my point in citing the extended quote from work of Howard Jones above was to lend support to your claim that Prouty (and Krulak) had a key hand in drafting the Taylor/McNamara Report. 

Howard Jones, in his seminal "Death of a Generation: How the Assassinations of Diem and JFK Prolonged the Vietnam War",  did not mention either Prouty or Krulak by name in that passage. However, the Michael Forrestal material confirms that the basics of that report - not merely the outline, but the guts of it - was written in advance, in Washington, D. C., just as Prouty has long claimed. And just as surely, that task was done at the behest of President Kennedy himself. We can not prove that the either Krulak or Prouty was a principal author of the draft copy, but both men had the requisite knowledge and experience to do so.

Prouty's claim to have written the Taylor/McNamara Report in advance is certainly plausible, but probably unprovable beyond any doubt.

Paul,

     I mentioned this issue of people doubting Prouty's credibility as a primary source witness because I recall reading some derogatory things about Prouty on-line several years ago, after reading his books.

   I had the impression that there was a smear campaign to impugn Prouty's reputation as a credible, informed witness against the CIA, similar in nature to the media smear campaigns against Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone.

   One source of the disinformation was McAdams.edu, and one of the memes (repeated on this very thread) was Lansdale's line about Prouty being a mere pilot, etc.

 

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On 11/19/2020 at 2:43 PM, W. Niederhut said:

I mentioned this issue of people doubting Prouty's credibility as a primary source witness because I recall reading some derogatory things about Prouty on-line several years ago, after reading his books.

   I had the impression that there was a smear campaign to impugn Prouty's reputation as a credible, informed witness against the CIA, similar in nature to the media smear campaigns against Jim Garrison and Oliver Stone.

 

So let me get this "Niederhut Methodology" of research down...if someone wrote something in a book, then it is an irrefutable fact. if someone says something with no documentation or proof, then it is an irrefutable fact. Despite said subject contradicting everything he has ever said, ever wrote, ever alleged...he wrote it in a book so that negates everything he said to an official government funded document review board. Key witnesses like Col. Reich, Lansdale, and Krulak...yes Krulak (Courtesy of Bart Kamp, I have a 10 minute interview done with Krulak in which he does not support Prouty's theory of Lansdale in Dealey Plaza...called it kooky) But none of that matters because the guy wrote a book. Gotcha...duly noted.

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On 11/18/2020 at 4:56 PM, Allen Lowe said:

we who believe the "big bad CIA" was complicit in the assassination do NOT need Prouty to prove it. You haven't been paying enough attention.

Maybe...but it's one less bullet in the revolver😉

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10 hours ago, Rob Clark said:

yes Krulak (Courtesy of Bart Kamp, I have a 10 minute interview done with Krulak in which he does not support Prouty's theory of Lansdale in Dealey Plaza...called it kooky) 

 

Let's hear Krulack saying the Prouty -Lansdale in Dealey Plaza - theory was kooky.

If you can't link the actual tape, how about a complete transcript of the interview, so we can see the full context of it and Krulak's statements.

Prouty infers that Krulak also saw a strong Lansdale resemblance to the Dealey Plaza man after seeing the 3 tramp walk-bye photo Prouty sent to him?

Prouty made this Krulak reaction up?

So, the point here I assume is that Prouty is about as credible as Judyth Vary Baker?

Embellishing and exaggerating and making things up as he goes along?

Prouty the kook?

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