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Lone Gunman podcast: L. Fletcher Prouty a xxxx?


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2 hours ago, Chris Barnard said:

Did he say 'insurance' or 'assassination insurance', it was either wit Dean or Colsson but, it was clear what he meant. 

Indeed.  If Nixon had put "Mr. George Bush of the CIA" on the 1968 ticket, we might have witnessed a John Hinckley, Jr. type hit on the POTUS ten years before Reagan was shot.

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5 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

     Speaking of Nixon's fear of the Deep State, I recall reading somewhere that Nixon once said that he had picked Agnew as his running mate as "insurance."

      Can't recall where I read that one.

      But, I think Russ Baker mentioned, in "Family of Secrets," that Prescott Bush-- Nixon's original promoter in the Wall Street GOP establishment-- had wanted his son, GHWB, on the 1968 ticket as Nixon's running mate.

Regarding Nixon and Agnew among others in 72...

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+delegates+convention+'72&docid=608028637682140988&mid=EE2A4F2618AD1FC247A1EE2A4F2618AD1FC247A1&view=detail&FORM=VRAASM&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dconvention%2B72%2Bthe%2Bdelegates%26qpvt%3Dconvention%2B72%2Bthe%2Bdelegates%26FORM%3DVDRE

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1 hour ago, W. Niederhut said:

Indeed.  If Nixon had put "Mr. George Bush of the CIA" on the 1968 ticket, we might have witnessed a John Hinckley, Jr. type hit on the POTUS ten years before Reagan was shot.

Exactly. That whole thing isn't talked about enough, Sirhan Hinkcley Jr. I would love to have heard Reagan's thoughts. 

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I'm encouraged by Larry's comment a few pages back that Mike Swanson is bringing a book out on the Vietnam war. Swanson's The War State was a great, helpful book that covered a lot of ground in an easy to read fashion. If you check the Amazon reviews for it, a lot of people feel the same way. So I'll be keen to see what he has to say about the origins of the war.

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People often confuse Prouty's "secret team" and "high cabal" concepts.  For me, the true "secret team" concept is the best takeaway from Prouty: CIA officers holding military rank and sensitive positions, and also embedded in the worlds of corporate business, including journalism, to accomplish intelligence and military needs.  This is important to the JFKA social climate, and also to efforts such as Operation Mockingbird and its present-day descendants. 

The concept expands into the current culture in which intelligence (not just CIA), military and law enforcement officers, as well as politicians and appointed office holders, move from the world of government service into influential private sector positions, and back again.  We've developed a political and economic culture in which lobbyists are almost redundant, since a not-so-secret team of revolving-door players can achieve the aims of government and business almost openly, as lawmakers and the media accept the dropped barriers without comment.

We used to have a political-economic system with de facto checks and balances, but no more, thanks to advances made upon Prouty's "secret team" model.

Edited by David Andrews
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Jim

I read your excellent critique of the Ken Burns PBS film ... its one of the best summaries of Vietnam that I've  seen.  Such a complex story, so rife with politics and deception, misleading information, and of course tragedy.   In returning to the thread's topic, I struggle with how to judge Edward Lansdale.  Prouty's suspicions appear well-founded.  Lansdale was a creature of the Cold War and its not too difficult to connect him with the Dulles brothers, Nixon and all manner of covert operations.  Lansdale was characterized as a "chameleon" by Prouty in his March 1990 letter to Jim Garrison:

I knew Ed well enough and long enough to know that he was a classic chameleon. He would tell the truth sparingly and he would fabricate a lot.

Its difficult to belive anything published or written about Lansdale, such as Currey's book. He is associated with many of JFK's enemies including Joseph Alsop, Henry Cabot Lodge, Lucien Conein, William Harvey, et al.  His background was public relations and advertising; his specialty was psychological warfare (shades of David Phillips). His wartime OSS experience was followed by the machinations in the PhilippinesInterestingly, Maxwell Taylor arranged for Lansdale to have “early retirement”, but the two men apparently disagreed about what should be done in Vietnam. Dulles intervened to get him promoted.  He didn't get the Ambassadors appointment,Prouty seemed to have a suspect view of Lansdale, and Lansdale's view of Prouty wasn't  flattering either: 

"He was a good pilot of prop-driven aircraft, but had such a heavy dose of paranoia about CIA when he was on my staff that I kicked him back to the Air Force. He was one of those who thought I was secretly running the Agency from the Pentagon, despite all the proof otherwise."  

So, what's you're assessment of Edward Lansdale

Gene

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Gene Kelly said:

Jim

I read your excellent critique of the Ken Burns PBS film ... its one of the best summaries of Vietnam that I've  seen.  Such a complex story, so rife with politics and deception, misleading information, and of course tragedy.   In returning to the thread's topic, I struggle with how to judge Edward Lansdale.  Prouty's suspicions appear well-founded.  Lansdale was a creature of the Cold War and its not too difficult to connect him with the Dulles brothers, Nixon and all manner of covert operations.  Lansdale was characterized as a "chameleon" by Prouty in his March 1990 letter to Jim Garrison:

I knew Ed well enough and long enough to know that he was a classic chameleon. He would tell the truth sparingly and he would fabricate a lot.

Its difficult to belive anything published or written about Lansdale, such as Currey's book. He is associated with many of JFK's enemies including Joseph Alsop, Henry Cabot Lodge, Lucien Conein, William Harvey, et al.  His background was public relations and advertising; his specialty was psychological warfare (shades of David Phillips). His wartime OSS experience was followed by the machinations in the PhilippinesInterestingly, Maxwell Taylor arranged for Lansdale to have “early retirement”, but the two men apparently disagreed about what should be done in Vietnam. Dulles intervened to get him promoted.  He didn't get the Ambassadors appointment,Prouty seemed to have a suspect view of Lansdale, and Lansdale's view of Prouty wasn't  flattering either: 

"He was a good pilot of prop-driven aircraft, but had such a heavy dose of paranoia about CIA when he was on my staff that I kicked him back to the Air Force. He was one of those who thought I was secretly running the Agency from the Pentagon, despite all the proof otherwise."  

So, what's you're assessment of Edward Lansdale

Gene

 

 

"He was a good pilot of prop-driven aircraft, but had such a heavy dose of paranoia about CIA when he was on my staff that I kicked him back to the Air Force. He was one of those who thought I was secretly running the Agency from the Pentagon, despite all the proof otherwise." 

That's a pretty standard deflection.

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37 minutes ago, Gene Kelly said:

Jim

I read your excellent critique of the Ken Burns PBS film ... its one of the best summaries of Vietnam that I've  seen.  Such a complex story, so rife with politics and deception, misleading information, and of course tragedy.   In returning to the thread's topic, I struggle with how to judge Edward Lansdale.  Prouty's suspicions appear well-founded.  Lansdale was a creature of the Cold War and its not too difficult to connect him with the Dulles brothers, Nixon and all manner of covert operations.  Lansdale was characterized as a "chameleon" by Prouty in his March 1990 letter to Jim Garrison:

I knew Ed well enough and long enough to know that he was a classic chameleon. He would tell the truth sparingly and he would fabricate a lot.

Its difficult to belive anything published or written about Lansdale, such as Currey's book. He is associated with many of JFK's enemies including Joseph Alsop, Henry Cabot Lodge, Lucien Conein, William Harvey, et al.  His background was public relations and advertising; his specialty was psychological warfare (shades of David Phillips). His wartime OSS experience was followed by the machinations in the PhilippinesInterestingly, Maxwell Taylor arranged for Lansdale to have “early retirement”, but the two men apparently disagreed about what should be done in Vietnam. Dulles intervened to get him promoted.  He didn't get the Ambassadors appointment,Prouty seemed to have a suspect view of Lansdale, and Lansdale's view of Prouty wasn't  flattering either: 

"He was a good pilot of prop-driven aircraft, but had such a heavy dose of paranoia about CIA when he was on my staff that I kicked him back to the Air Force. He was one of those who thought I was secretly running the Agency from the Pentagon, despite all the proof otherwise."  

So, what's you're assessment of Edward Lansdale

Gene

 

 

Great post.  I think delving into the Philippines regarding Lansdale reveals his true nature, though I can't provide many details from memory at the moment. 

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48 minutes ago, Chris Barnard said:

"He was a good pilot of prop-driven aircraft, but had such a heavy dose of paranoia about CIA when he was on my staff that I kicked him back to the Air Force. He was one of those who thought I was secretly running the Agency from the Pentagon, despite all the proof otherwise." 

That's a pretty standard deflection.

While there was proof otherwise, and Lansdale proved dispensable to those who weren't benefactors or supporters...note that Lansdale sets Prouty within a plurality who thought he was the spook's spook.

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1 hour ago, Ron Bulman said:

Great post.  I think delving into the Philippines regarding Lansdale reveals his true nature, though I can't provide many details from memory at the moment. 

Ron,

   My recollection, from reading Prouty's books, is that Lansdale was greatly admired by Dulles and others for his successful black ops, false flag guerilla warfare schemes, and psy ops in the Phillippines.  He was then transferred to Saigon Station to help organize the artificial state in South Vietnam, and run various black ops relating to the Strategic Hamlet program.  I distinctly remember Prouty mentioning Lansdale joking about throwing Vietnamese guys out of helicopters.

  Lansdale came across in Prouty's writings as one of the quintessential "Secret Team" members -- guys in various government jobs (including the Pentagon) who were secretly reporting to, and working for, Dulles.  It was described by Prouty as a kind of shadow government working beyond the purview and control of their official government agencies.

   Lansdale's glib comment about Prouty being a "good prop pilot," is precisely what we would expect to hear from a Dulles Secret Team member who was involved in organizing the black op in Dallas.  Needless to say, Prouty had good reasons for being suspicious about Lansdale's work for the CIA, especially since it was directly undermining JFK's policy agenda to end the CIA war in Vietnam!

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JFK was quite impressed by Lansdale in some early briefing meetings on Vietnam - which is why he picked him to lead the Mongoose inter-agency Cuba effort, where he Lansdale nobody - especially nobody in the CIA.  Later JFL actually proposed him to various parties for a significant role at the CIA station in Saigon and even as ambassador. 

As he turned out he was virtually Lansdale's only champion,  Taylor was jealous of Lansdale's connection and avocation of Diam,  nobody who was comfortable with Diem liked Lansdale including the sitting Ambassador and State Dept staff. 

Basically everyone who JFK approached in regard to Lansdale pushed back on the initiatives to put him in a mainstream position in Vietnam and in the end he ended up stuck on the JCS staff and something of an odd man out, getting a variety of misc jobs. 

 

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2 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

JFK was quite impressed by Lansdale in some early briefing meetings on Vietnam - which is why he picked him to lead the Mongoose inter-agency Cuba effort, where he Lansdale nobody - especially nobody in the CIA.  Later JFL actually proposed him to various parties for a significant role at the CIA station in Saigon and even as ambassador. 

As he turned out he was virtually Lansdale's only champion,  Taylor was jealous of Lansdale's connection and avocation of Diam,  nobody who was comfortable with Diem liked Lansdale including the sitting Ambassador and State Dept staff. 

Basically everyone who JFK approached in regard to Lansdale pushed back on the initiatives to put him in a mainstream position in Vietnam and in the end he ended up stuck on the JCS staff and something of an odd man out, getting a variety of misc jobs. 

 

Larry,

      Can you recommend a good source about Lansdale's history?  The only stuff that I've ever read about him comes from his long-time USAF associate, L. Fletcher Prouty.

      If he was, in fact, closely involved with Dulles and the plot to assassinate JFK, as Prouty believed, there must be a truckload of disinformation out there about who he was and what he did.

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2 hours ago, Larry Hancock said:

Basically everyone who JFK approached in regard to Lansdale pushed back on the initiatives to put him in a mainstream position in Vietnam and in the end he ended up stuck on the JCS staff and something of an odd man out, getting a variety of misc jobs. 

 

Too much of a freebooter, a modern age ad-man*, something of a climber, not from an Eastern Establishment family: not diplomatic service material in the eyes of hereditary statesmen.  Probably the suspicion that under Dulles's patronage Lansdale would serve intelligence community needs first, ahead of other Great Game objectives.

Larry, how do you feel about Prouty's concept of a "secret team" of intelligence officers embedded in the military and in civilian agencies and corporations?  I hope I've defined it adequately in my post above.  Is there considerable reality in Prouty's concept?

++++

*For those who know Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22, Lansdale has always struck me as having some qualities of the Milo Minderbinder character, a slick futurist getting in on the ground floor of a corporate-run post-war world.  Milo would sell your parachute and leave shares in cotton futures in its place, and hires out the Army Air Force to the Luftwaffe, bombing its own air base because it's more cost effective for the Germans.

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14 hours ago, Gene Kelly said:

Jim

I read your excellent critique of the Ken Burns PBS film ... its one of the best summaries of Vietnam that I've  seen.  Such a complex story, so rife with politics and deception, misleading information, and of course tragedy.   In returning to the thread's topic, I struggle with how to judge Edward Lansdale.  Prouty's suspicions appear well-founded.  Lansdale was a creature of the Cold War and its not too difficult to connect him with the Dulles brothers, Nixon and all manner of covert operations.  Lansdale was characterized as a "chameleon" by Prouty in his March 1990 letter to Jim Garrison:

I knew Ed well enough and long enough to know that he was a classic chameleon. He would tell the truth sparingly and he would fabricate a lot.

Its difficult to belive anything published or written about Lansdale, such as Currey's book. He is associated with many of JFK's enemies including Joseph Alsop, Henry Cabot Lodge, Lucien Conein, William Harvey, et al.  His background was public relations and advertising; his specialty was psychological warfare (shades of David Phillips). His wartime OSS experience was followed by the machinations in the PhilippinesInterestingly, Maxwell Taylor arranged for Lansdale to have “early retirement”, but the two men apparently disagreed about what should be done in Vietnam. Dulles intervened to get him promoted.  He didn't get the Ambassadors appointment,Prouty seemed to have a suspect view of Lansdale, and Lansdale's view of Prouty wasn't  flattering either: 

"He was a good pilot of prop-driven aircraft, but had such a heavy dose of paranoia about CIA when he was on my staff

As did JFK!

that I kicked him back to the Air Force. He was one of those who thought I was secretly running the Agency from the Pentagon, despite all the proof otherwise."  

For good reason!

Prouty's serious concerns about Lansdale seem totally rational from what Jim D tells us about Lansdale's true history.

 

 

So, what's you're assessment of Edward Lansdale

Gene

 

 

 

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