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John J. McCloy

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Glen Yeadon, The Nazi Hydra in America (2001)

In 1949, John McCloy was appointed High Commissioner of Germany. McCloy was not the first choice. Lewis Douglas, the head of the Finance Division of the Control Council was. However, Douglas agreed to step aside in favor of McCloy. It appears nothing was being left to chance in post war Germany. The governing of post war Germany would be a family affair. The three most powerful men in post war Germany: High Commissioner McCloy, Douglas, Head of the Finance Division of the Control Council and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer were all brother-in laws. All three men had married daughters of the wealthy Fredrick Zinsser, a partner of JP Morgan. The Morgan empire would control the fate of Germany.

What little justice achieved under the Control Council and General Clay would now be rapidly undone. Up until 1940 McCloy had been a member of the law firm Cravath, de Gersdorff, Swaine and Wood. This law firm represented I.G. Farben and its affiliates. In 1940, McCloy was appointed Assistant Secretary of War. At least three other individuals from the same law firm turned up in the War Department. Alfred McCormick and Howard Peterson both served as assistants to the Secretary. Richard Wilmer was commissioned as a colonel after the war started and served in a similar vein.Peterson later served as the finance chairman of the National Committee Eisenhower for President, 1951-1953.

The career of McCloy is one sympathetic to fascism and warrants a closer look. Henry Stimson appointed McCloy as assistant secretary of war. Roosevelt had selected Stimson to head up the War Department in 1940 in an attempt to make the war effort a bipartisan effort and to blunt any criticism of the upcoming war by the Republicans. One of the first acts of Stimson upon taking over the War Department was to appoint McCloy as Special consultant to the War Department on German sabotage. Before 1940 ended McCloy was appointed as assistant secretary. As Secretary of State under Hoover, Stimson would surely have been aware of the cartels of I.G Farben and how the Hoover administration aided their formation. McCloy spent most of the 1930s in Paris working on a sabotage case stemming from WWI. In 1936, he shared a box with Hitler at the Olympics.

In one of his first acts as assistant secretary of war, McCloy helped plan the interment of Japanese Americans. Once the war began, McCloy followed the American troops across North Africa. Such travel by an assistant cabinet secretary was highly unusual. However, McCloy’s actions at the time partially revealed his motivation. While in North Africa, McCloy help forge an alliance with the Vichy France and Admiral Darlan.

McCloy continued to follow the advancing allied troops across Europe and into Germany. In the closing days of the war in Europe McCloy made one of his most noted decisions. After sixteen planes bombed, Rothenburg on March 31 McCloy ordered a stop to any further bombing of the city. According to McCloy, his reason was to preserve the historical medieval walled city. Additionally, McCloy ordered Major-General Jacob L. Devers that he could not use artillery in taking Rothenburg. The city would have to be liberated by infantry alone regardless of the cost in lives of GIs.

However, there are a few facts that McCloy and others since have conveniently left out. For instance, just two days before the bombing a German general with his division of troops left battered Nurnburg for Rothenburg. Together with the Nazi forces already stationed there, the general gave the order to defend the city to the last man. Also located in Rothenburg was Fa Mansfeld AG, a munitions maker that employed slave labor from Buchenwald.

By late 1943, the slaughter of Jews was reaching a feverish pace. The allies were then in a position to bomb the concentration camps to stop the slaughter. John McCloy was almost solely responsible for blocking the bombing of the death camps. Allied planes were already bombing the industrial plants associated with Auschwitz. However, McCoy in written memos advanced a bankers' argument that the cost would be prohibitive. Such missions would risk men and planes with little reduction in the Nazis war effort. McCloy even banned the bombing of the rail lines leading to the death camps.

While still in Europe as Assistant Secretary of War, McCloy helped block the executions of several Nazi war criminals. He returned to the United States and on November 8, 1945 delivered a speech before the Academy of Political Science in New York. McCloy blasted the infamous JCS 1067 directive and the Morganethau Plan in an effort to prevent the decartelization of I.G. Farben and decartelization in general. He belittled the operating capacity of Germany’s industrial plant. Note: the allied bombing of Germany destroyed - at most - twenty percent of Germany’s industrial production.

As Congress was being bombarded with a lobbying effort to go easy on Germany, the agents of the Nazis were proceeding according to the plan. Unfortunately, too many members of Congress were sympathetic to the Nazis. With out exception they were all either conservative Dixiecrats or Republicans. Nebraska’s Senator Kenneth Wherry, Mississippi’s Democrat James Eastland and Indiana’s Republican Homer Capehart were just some of the many Congressmen that stood up and denounced the decartelization of Germany. Capehart was perhaps one of the more vicious in his speech before the Senate he blamed Morganethau for the mass starvation of the German people rather than the Nazis. He continued by claiming that the technique of hate had earned both Morganethau and Bernard Berstien the title of America’s Himmler.

While General Clay had reduced the sentences of numerous war criminals it was when John McCloy arrived as the High Commissioner of Germany that the doors of Landsberg prison were thrown. Even before McCloy arrived in Germany, he had blocked some executions of war criminals. Both Clay and McCloy acted with their respective advisory committees.

General Clay was advised by the Simpson Committee. Sitting on the Simpson Committee were Judge Edward Leroy van Roden, of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and Justice Gordon Simpson, of the Texas Supreme Court. The committee was appointed after Lieutenant Colonel Willis N. Everett, Jr., the defense counsel for the seventy-four defendants charged in the Malmedy massacre petitioned the United States Supreme Court that that the defendants had not received a fair trial. The Supreme Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction but Everett’s petition forced the Secretary of the War, Royall to appoint the commission. The only evidence that the Simpson Committee relied upon came from the defendants and German clergy working to free all war criminals. In post-war Germany the clergy was uniformly sympathetic to the Nazis. The dissenters had been sent to the concentration camps where many of them perished.

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Here is an interview that John J. McCloy gave to CBS Television on 28th June, 1967:

There have been a number of suggestions that the Commission, for example, was only motivated by a desire to put - to make things quiet, so as to give comfort to the Administration, or give comfort to the people of the country, that there was nothing vicious about this. Well, that wasn't the attitude that we had at all.

I know what my attitude, when I first went down, I was convinced that there was something phony between the Ruby and the Oswald affair, that forty-eight hours after the assassination, here's this man shot in the police station. I was pretty skeptical about that. But as time went on and we heard witnesses and weighed the witnesses - but just think how silly this charge is.

Here we were seven men, I think five of us were Republicans. We weren't beholden to any Administration. Besides that, we - we had our own integrity to think of. A lot of people have said that you can rely upon the distinguished character of the Commission. You don't need to rely on the distinguished character of the Commission. Maybe it was distinguished, and maybe it wasn't. But you can rely on common sense. And you know that seven men aren't going to get together, of that character, and concoct a conspiracy, with all of the members of the staff we had, with all of the investigative agencies - it would have been a conspiracy of a character so mammoth and so vast that it transcends any - even some of the distorted charges of conspiracy on the part of Oswald.

I think that if there's one thing I would do over again, I would insist on those photographs and the X-rays having been produced before us. In the one respect, and only one respect there, I think we were perhaps a little oversensitive to what we understand was the sensitivities of the Kennedy family against the production of colored photographs of the body, and so forth.

But those exist. They're there. We had the best evidence in regard to that the pathology in respect to the President's wounds. It was our own choice that we didn't subpoena these photographs, which were then in the hands of the Kennedy family. I say, I wish - I don't think we'd have subpoenaed them. We could have gotten - Mr. Justice Warren was talking to the Kennedy family about that at that time. I thought that he was really going to see them, but it turned out that he hadn't.

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Ashton, didn't that same FBI

Ashton, you've got your conspiracies mixed up. I'm only a CIA apologist when it comes to Watergate. They don't pay me enough to cover their butts on Watergate AND the Kennedy assassination.

At last, the truth. He admits he's a "CIA apologist". What a way to begin my day. Think I just may need a second cup of coffee.

Good stuff Ash. Now please TRY to straighten out your conspiracies here for Pat will ya? :)


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Now please TRY to straighten out your conspiracies here for Pat will ya? :)

Oh, that's easy: John J. McCloy was a primary mover in setting up the core of CIA as early as late September or early October 1945 as an extra-political, extra-ideological covert machine for the sole purpose of continuing to serve the most powerful international banking, oil, and arms dynasties that these same core people had served during the war, without regard to national boundaries or political or economic ideologies or systems.

This isn't even "secret." This entire forum, and God knows how many internet pages devoted to the connections and links of these people and their cronies, puts it so completely in your face that you have to work around the clock to make believe it's some other way.

That's all CIA has ever been or done, its programs and activities coinciding with the intent and directions of American presidents and congresses only when those happened to be in alignment with their actual mandates, plans, programs, and targets—set not by any congress or president, but by moneyed interests whose internationally-generated fortunes depend entirely on being operated amorally and apolitically across any and all boundaries, real or conceptual. When these dual "masters" have been at odds, CIA uniformly has gone right on with its own agenda, and demonstrated the most blatant, arrogant contempt for any American agency, official, or body that ever has had the unmitigated gall to question its activities or demand accountability or disclosure.

When evaluated against the above, every single known "outrageous crime" of CIA (not to mention 4 million linear miles of REDACTION helping to hide the still-unexposed ones) is seen to be not an "outrageous crime" at all, but "business as usual." At least the way the CIA does business. Drug running, arms running, murder, kidnapping, assassination, torture, coups, manufactured wars, double agents, psychiatric atrocities, attempts at mind control: Hey—it's what makes their world go 'round and keeps the coffers full.


Edited by Ashton Gray
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Why would Bush make such a call after the assassination? It's highly suspicious.

If you'd heard some loudmouth talking about killing a political figure, would you immediately call the police? I wouldn't. If the political figure was killed shortly afterwards, however, and it looked like it may have been a conspiracy, I probably would call the police and tell them what I'd heard.

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Some information on McCloy's early career. He was born in Philadelphia, on 31st March, 1895. He graduated from Amherst College in 1919, and Harvard Law School in 1921. McCloy joined the leading law firm, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. George Wickersham was a former attorney general and Henry W. Taft was the brother of President William Howard Taft.

In 1924 McCloy joined Cravath, Henderson & de Gersdorff. The three senior partners were Paul Cravath, Hoyt Moore and Carl de Gersdorff. During this period he became friendly with W. Averell Harriman and Robert A. Lovett. In 1927 McCloy was sent to establish an office in Milan. Over the next few years he traveled throughout Italy, France and Germany on business. According to Anton Chaitkin (George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography) McCloy worked as an advisor to the fascist government of Benito Mussolini.

McCloy developed the view that German Reparations as a result of the First World War werre both unwise and unfair. According to McCloy: "Practically every merchant bank and Wall Street firm, from J. P. Morgan and Brown Brothers on down, was over there (Germany) picking up loans. We were all very European in our outlook, and our goal was to see it rebuilt." McCloy argued that if this did not happen, Germany would be taken over by the communists, who were getting support from the Sovet Union.

In his dealings with Germany, McCloy worked closely with Paul M. Warburg, the founder of M. M. Warburg in Hamburg, who argued that the "United States should throw open its doors to European imports and pay for them with the gold the Allies had used to pay for U.S. war material". Warburg argued that this strategy would result in New York becoming the world's financial and commercial centre.

In July, 1929, McCloy became a partner in the Cravath, Henderson & de Gersdorff law firm. He was rewarded with a salary of $15,000. This was a time when fewer than 6% of Americans earned more than $3,000 a year. McCloy did not put his money into stocks and shares and was unaffected by the 1929 Wall Street Crash.

McCloy's brother-in-law, Lewis W. Douglas, was a member of the Democratic Party and in March, 1933, he was appointed Director of the Budget by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, Douglas became convinced that the New Deal had been infiltrated by communists. Douglas told McCloy that "He (Roosevelt) is surrounded with the young Harvard Law School group, all of whom are communists."

Douglas also believed that the New Deal was part of a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the capitalist system. He talked about the "Hebraic influence" and claimed that "most of the bad things which it (the administration) has done can be traced to it. as a race they seem to lack the quality of facing an issue squarely." As a result of his beliefs, Douglas resigned from the government in August, 1934.

According to his biographer, Kai Bird (The Chairman: John J. McCloy: The Making of the American Establishment), McCloy shared these views: "He (McCloy) was a man of his times and class. And in Wall Street during the 1930s, few men challenged the notion that, as a rule, Jews were socially pushy and arrogant, particularly when placed in positions of power and influence."

However, McCloy remained close to Jews such as James Warburg. He also worked as an adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt until 1934. The following year, Warburg wrote a book where he suggested that the 1936 election would come down to a choice between dictatorship or democracy.

In 1936 the Republican Party nominated Alfred Landon as their presidential candidate. Landon's first choice as a running mate, Lewis W. Douglas, was vetoed by party leaders. McCloy remained a party loyalist, and supported Landon against Roosevelt.

McCloy continued to specialize in German cases and in 1936 Mccloy traveled to Belin where he had a meeting with Rudolf Hess. This was followed by McCloy sharing a box with with Adolf Hitler and Herman Goering at the Berlin Olympics. McCloy's law firm also represented I.G. Farben and its affiliates during this period.

In 1941 Henry L. Stimson selected McCloy to become assistant secretary of war. In this role he was involved in the decision to pass the Lend-Lease Act and the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans. He was later criticized for opposing the plan to bomb the railroads leading to Auschwitz.

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McCloy was president of the World Bank (1947-49) before replacing Lucius Clay, as High Commissioner for Germany. Soon after taking office McCloy became embroiled in the infamous case of Klaus Barbie, the man who had been Gestapo chief in Lyon during the war.

On 7th June 1943, Barbie had captured René Hardy, a member of the French Resistance who had successfully carried out several acts of sabotage against the Germans. Barbie eventually obtained enough information to arrest three of the most important leaders of the French Resistance, Jean Moulin, Pierre Brossolette and Charles Delestraint. Moulin and Brossolette both died while being tortured and Delestraint was sent to Dachau where he was killed near the end of the war.

As Allied troops approached Lyons in September 1944, Barbie destroyed Gestapo records and killed hundreds of Frenchmen who had first-hand knowledge of his brutal interrogation methods. This included twenty double-agents who had been supplying his with information about the French Resistance.

Barbie fled back to Nazi Germany where he had been recruited by the United States Counter-Intelligence Corps (CIC). Barbie impressed his American handlers by infiltrating the Bavarian branch of the Communist Party. According to the CIC Barbie's "value as an informant infinitely outweighs any use he may have in prison."

René Hardy was tried for treason in 1950. Both the prosecution and the defence teams wanted Barbie to testify. At this time McCloy was concerned about the growth of communism in Bavaria and valued the role played by Barbie in this struggle. Therefore he decided to reject the requests being made by the French authorities to hand over Barbie. During the trial, Hardy's defence lawyer exposed what was happening by announcing in court that it was "scandalous that the U.S. military authorities in Germany were protecting Barbie from extradition for security reasons."

Barbie was in fact in hiding in a CIC safe house in the American zone in Germany. McCloy denied any knowledge of where Barbie was and instead announced that the case was under investigation. McCloy was informed by CIC that: "This entire Hardy-Barbie affair is being pushed as a political issue by left-wing elements in France. No strong effort has been made by the French to obtain Barbie because of the political embarrassment his testimony might cause certain high French officials." In other words, Barbie had information that would show how prominent French politicians who during the war had collaborated with the Gestapo. The American government also were worried about what Barbie might say about his involvement with the CIC in Germany.

On 8th May, 1950, René Hardy was acquitted. As Kai Bird pointed out (The Chairman: John J. McCloy: The Making of the American Establishment): " The enraged French public blamed the Americans for not allowing Barbie, the star witness against Hardy, to be extradited from Germany. By the end of May, under pressure from French resistance veterans, the French government had once again requested Barbie's apprehension."

McCloy was now in a difficult position. He was reluctant to admit that the CIC was employing an accused war criminal. In fact, it was more serious than that. According to one CIC document, Barbie had "personally directed CIC's counterintelligence operations aimed at infiltrating French intelligence." CIC told McCloy that "a complete disclosure by Barbie to the French of his activities on behalf of CIC would... furnish the French with evidence that we had been directing intelligence operations against them."

Throughout the summer and autumn of 1950 McCloy told the French that "continuous efforts to locate Barbie are being made". In reality, no search of any kind was conducted as they knew where he was living. In fact, he continued to draw a CIC salary during this period. In March, 1951, Barbie was smuggled out of Germany and given a new life in Bolivia.

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In 1950 John McCloy began receiving communications from people in Germany calling on him to release Nazis from prison. This pressure came from senior figures in the new West German government. Two figures they were especially concerned about were German industrialists, Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick, who had both been convicted of serious war crimes at Nuremberg.

Alfried Krupp and his father Gustav Krupp ran Friedrich Krupp AG, Germany's largest armaments company. Krupp and his father were initially hostile to the Nazi Party. However, in 1930 they were persuaded by Hjalmar Schacht that Adolf Hitler would destroy the trade unions and the political left in Germany. Schacht also pointed out that a Hitler government would considerably increase expenditure on armaments. In 1933 Krupp joined the Schutzstaffel (SS).

During the Second World War Krupp ensured that a continuous supply of his firm's tanks, munitions and armaments reached the German Army. He was also responsible for moving factories from occupied countries back to Germany where they were rebuilt by the Krupp company.

Krupp also built factories in German occupied countries and used the labour of over 100,000 inmates of concentration camps. This included a fuse factory inside Auschwitz. Inmates were also moved to Silesia to build a howitzer factory. It is estimated that around 70,000 of those working for Krupp died as a result of the methods employed by the guards of the camps.

In 1943 Adolf Hitler appointed Alfried Krupp as Minister of the War Economy. Later that year the SS gave him permission to employ 45,000 Russian civilians as forced labour in his steel factories as well as 120,000 prisoners of war in his coalmines.

Arrested by the Canadian Army in 1945 Alfried Krupp was tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg. He was accused of plundering occupied territories and being responsible for the barbaric treatment of prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates. Documents showed that Krupp initiated the request for slave labour and signed detailed contracts with the SS, giving them responsibility for inflicting punishment on the workers.

Krupp was eventually found guilty of being a major war criminal and sentenced to twelve years in prison and had all his wealth and property confiscated. Convicted and imprisoned with him were nine members of the Friedrich Krupp AG board of directors. However, Gustav Krupp, the former head of the company, was considered too old to stand trial and was released from custody.

By 1950 the United States was involved in fighting the Cold War. In June of that year, North Korean troops invaded South Korea. It was believed that German steel was needed for armaments for the Korean War and in October, McCloy lifted the 11 million ton limitation on German steel production. McCloy also began pardoning German industrialists who had been convicted at Nuremberg. This included Fritz Ter Meer, the senior executive of I. G. Farben, the company that produced Zyklon B poison for the gas chambers. He was also Hitler's Commissioner of for Armament and War Production for the chemical industry during the war.

McCloy was also concerned about the increasing power of the left-wing, anti-rearmament, Social Democratic Party (SDP). The popularity of the conservative government led by Konrad Adenauer was in decline and a public opinion poll in 1950 showed it only had 24% of the vote, while support for the SDP had risen to 40%. On 5th December, 1950, Adenauer wrote McCloy a letter urging clemency for Krupp. Hermann Abs, one of Hitler's personal bankers, who surprisingly was never tried as a war criminal at Nuremberg, also began campaigning for the release of German industrialists in prison.

In January, 1951, McCloy announced that Alfried Krupp and eight members of his board of directors who had been convicted with him, were to be released. His property, valued at around 45 million, and his numerous companies were also restored to him.

Others that McCloy decided to free included Friedrich Flick, one of the main financial supporters of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP). During the Second World War Flick became extremely wealthy by using 48,000 slave labourers from SS concentration camps in his various industrial enterprises. It is estimated that 80 per cent of these workers died as a result of the way they were treated during the war. His property was restored to him and like Krupp became one of the richest men in Germany.

McCloy's decision was very controversial. Eleanor Roosevelt wrote to McCloy to ask: "Why are we freeing so many Nazis? The Washington Post published a Herb Block cartoon depicting a smiling McCloy opening Krupp's cell door, while in the background Joseph Stalin is shown taking a photograph of the event. Telford Taylor, who took part in the prosecution of the Nazi war criminals wrote: "Wittingly or not, Mr. McCloy has dealt a blow to the principles of international law and concepts of humanity for which we fought the war."

Rumours began circulating that McCloy had been bribed by the Krupp's American lawyer, Earl J. Carroll. According to one magazine: "The terms of Carroll's employment were simple. He was to get Krupp out of prison and get his property restored. The fee was to be 5 per cent of everything he could recover. Carroll got Krupp out and his fortune returned, receiving for his five-year job a fee of, roughly, $25 million."

McCloy rejected these claims and told the journalist, William Manchester: "There's not a goddamn word of truth in the charge that Krupp's release was inspired by the outbreak of the Korean War. No lawyer told me what to do, and it wasn't political. It was a matter of my conscience."

One can see why LBJ was so keen to have John McCloy on the Warren Commission. He was clearly someone who was willing to be bribed. The deal concerned events in Brazil. More on this in my next posting.

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Within a few years of his release Alfried Krupp was one of Germany's richest men and his company was the 12th largest corporation in the world.

By 1955 Friedrich Flick owned over 100 companies with an annual turnover of two billion dollars. Flick was reported to be the richest man in Germany and the fifth-richest man in the world. However, he refused to pay any compensation to the families of the people who had died making him wealthy.

Friedrich Flick died at Konstanz on 20th July, 1972. He left over a billion dollars to his playboy son but nothing to the families of the 48,000 people who had died while slave labourers during the Second World War.

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I have been unable to uncover details of McCloy receiving money from Krupp's American lawyer, Earl J. Carroll. However, I have discovered that in 1975 McCloy established the McCloy Fund. The main purpose of this organization was to promote German-American relations. The initial funding came from German industrialists. In 1982, the chairman of the Krupp Foundation, Berthold Beitz, gave the McCloy Fund a $2 million grant.

Three years later, the president of Germany, Richard von Weizsacker, conferred honorary German citizenship on McCloy. He praised McCloy’s “human decency in helping the beaten enemy to recover” and his efforts to build “one of the free and prosperous countries in the world.”

Weizsacker had good reason to be thankful to McCloy. His father was Ernst von Weizsacker, a leading official in Adolf Hitler’s government. He was found guilty of crimes against humanity at Nuremberg and sentenced to seven years. Yes, you guessed it, McCloy was the one who arranged for him to be released along with Krupp and Frick and the other Nazis in 1950.

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Donald Gibson, Black Op Radio, Part One

Donald Gibson, Black Op Radio, Part Two

Some interesting stuff, if you have the time.

Gibson says McCloy and Dulles worked for the Rockefellers and Morgans. He says the the Bundy brother, Dean Acheson, the Lodges, McCloy, Dulles, the Rostow brothers were very high up in the "establishment". He also implies LBJ was a corrupt politican, but not a part of this power group that was running the country at the time. He thinks Johnson was used, with or without his knowledge.

Stan, what are the chances of getting a transcript of this done and posted? Is there any way you can do it or get someone to do it?


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Lyndon Johnson discussed the possibility of appointing John McCloy to the Warren Commission in a telephone conversation with Abe Fortas on 29th November, 1963. When Johnson mentioned his name Fortas replied: “I think that’d be great. He’s a wonderful man and a very dear friend of mine. I’m devoted to him.”

The relationship between McCloy and Fortas dates back to 1946. During the war McCloy served under Henry L. Stimson as assistant secretary of war. In this role he was involved in the internment of 120,000 Japanese-Americans. He was later criticized for opposing the plan to bomb the railroads leading to Auschwitz.

In 1945 McCloy was invited by Nelson Rockefeller to join the family law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hope & Hadley. He accepted the offer and the firm became known as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The law firm's most important client was the Rockefeller family's bank, Chase National. As John D. Rockefeller Jr. told his personal lawyer, Thomas M. Debevoise, "McCloy knows so many people in government circles... that he might be in the way to get information in various quarters about the matter without seeking it, or revealing his hand."

The family's main concern was the threat posed against their interests in Standard Oil of California. John D. Rockefeller Jr. owned almost 6 per cent of the stock of the company, making him the single largest shareholder. In 1946 Harold Ickes claimed that Rockefeller was violating the terms of the 1911 dissolution decree. Two other anti-trust lawyers, Abe Fortas and Thurman Arnold, joined forces with Ickes to petition the Justice Department to investigate the matter. John McCloy, was asked to sort the matter out and by the autumn of 1946, he had persuaded Ickes, Fortas and Arnold to drop the matter. No doubt Fortas and the other two men were paid off by the Rockefellers. Therefore, Fortas knew that McCloy was corruptible. He could also be blackmailed. See for example, the cases of Klaus Barbie, René Hardy, Alfried Krupp and Friedrich Flick.

Interestingly, McCloy was an early opponent of the Oswald as the lone-gunman theory. At the Warren Commission meeting on 16th December, 1963, Allen Dulles gave out copies of a ten-year old book that looked at the seven previous attempts on the lives of various presidents. The author argued that presidential assassins typically are misfits and loners. Dulles told his colleagues, “…you’ll find a pattern running through here that I think we’ll find in this present case.” McCloy rightly replied: “The Lincoln assassination was a plot”.

McCloy also told his wife he was having difficulty with the lone-gunman theory. He also informed her that he thought Oswald was having a relationship with the intelligence services before the assassination. McCloy commented that he thought it was “pretty suspicious” that Oswald had found it so easy to obtain an exit visa from the Soviets for his Russian wife. McCloy told his wife that he had heard “a very realistic rumor” that Oswald was not a genuine defector and that he was sent to the Soviet Union by the CIA.

McCloy was also concerned about the workings on the WC. They met only twice in December, 1963. The third meeting did not take place until the third week of January. John McCone reported to Lyndon Johnson on 9th January that McCloy had complained the previous day about this lack of urgency. McCloy told McCone that he feared the “trails of evidence will be lost” and that they have been interviewing witnesses soon after the assassination. In fact, the WC did not get the chance to question witnesses until nearly six months after the event.

McCloy became concerned about the nature of JFK’s wounds. At one meeting he said: “Let’s find out about these wounds, it is just as confusing now as could be. It left my mind muddy as to what really did happen… Why did the FBI report come out with something which isn’t consistent with the autopsy.” At this stage McCloy suspected that at least two men fired at JFK. He said he wanted to visit Dealey Plaza “to see if it is humanly possible for him (JFK) to have been hit in the front.”

It also emerged that McCloy was highly critical of the FBI report on the assassination. He blamed it on the report being “put together very fast”. What McCloy did not know was that Hoover was withholding evidence from the WC. Nor was he aware of the Hoover telephone call to LBJ on 24th November, 1963, when he said: “The thing I am most concerned about… is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassination.”

At a meeting with J. Lee Rankin on 22nd January, 1964, McCloy was told that according to the Texas attorney general, Oswald had been an undercover agent of the FBI since September 1962. According to Rankin, his agent number was 179 and was being paid $200 a month.

McCloy was also in communication with the Time-Life executive, C. D. Jackson, about the Zapruder film. Jackson sent McCloy blown-up transparencies of the film that revealed that JFK and Connally had been hit by different bullets. McCloy also questioned Connally’s doctor at the hospital, who was also of the opinion that he had been hit by a separate bullet from JFK.

In an interview he gave on 3rd July, 1967, McCloy said: “I think there’s one thing I would do over again. I would insist on those photographs and the X-rays having being produced before us.” During the investigation members of the WC were told by Earl Warren that the Kennedy family was blocking access to these photographs and X-rays.

McCloy initially dismissed the idea of the magic bullet but he was persuaded to change his mind. So much so, when Russell, Boggs and Cooper said that they had “strong doubts” about the lone gunman theory, McCloy took the side of Ford and Dulles. In fact, McCloy played the main role in persuading the three men to sign the WC report that they did not believe in.

What changed? Was McCloy blackmailed into taking this position? Maybe, but I think he was most likely bribed. It has to be understood that McCloy attended less than half of all WC meetings. The reason was that he was busy working for Rockefeller’s Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy law firm.

During 1964 McCloy was working for one of Milbank’s most important clients, M. A. Hanna Mining Company. McCloy had several meetings with Hanna’s chief executive officer, George Humphrey. The two men had been close friends since Humphrey was Eisenhower’s Treasury Secretary. Humphrey was very concerned about the company’s investment in Brazil. Hanna Mining was the largest producer of iron ore in the country. However, after João Goulart had become president in 1961, he began to talk about nationalizing the iron ore industry.

Goulart was a wealthy landowner who was opposed to communism. However, he was in favour of the redistribution of wealth in Brazil. As minister of labour he had increased the minimum wage by 100%. Colonenel Vernon Walters, the US military attaché in Brazil, described Goulart as “basically a good man with a guilty conscience for being rich.”

The CIA began to make plans for overthrowing Goulart. A psychological warfare program approved by Henry Kissinger, at the request of telecom giant ITT during his chair of the 40 Committee, sent U.S. PSYOPS disinformation teams to spread fabricated rumors concerning Goulart.

McCloy was asked to set up a channel of communication between the CIA and Jack W. Burford, one of the senior executives of the Hanna Mining Company. In February, 1964, McCloy went to Brazil to hold secret negotiations with Goulart. However, Goulart rejected the deal offered by Hanna Mining.

The following month LBJ gave the go-ahead for the overthrow of Goulart (operation Brother Sam). Colonel Walters arranged for General Castello Branco to lead the coup. A US naval-carrier task force was ordered to station itself off the Brazilian coast. As it happens, the Brazilian generals did not need the help of the task force. Goulart’s forces were unwilling to defend the democratically elected government and he was forced to go into exile.

In his book, American Tragedy, David Kaiser points out that LBJ’s actions was a return to Eisenhower’s foreign policy where democratically elected leaders in the third world were removed on behalf of American industrialists. As Kai Bird commented in The Chairman: John J. McCloy: “The Johnson administration had made clear its willingness to use its muscle to support any regime whose anti-communist credentials were in good order.”

Was Brazil the reason that John McCloy became an ardent advocate of the lone-gunman theory?

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Personally, I would assume that John McCloy became an ardent advocate of the "lone-gunman theory" due to the fact that there was not a single iota of forensic; ballistic; pathological; and/or physical evidence to support any other conclusion.


If Brazil was the reason McCloy defended the WC conclusions, there was reason for him to return to his doubts about the lone assassin theory.

In 1978 McCloy told the House Select Committee that, "I no longer feel we had no credible or reliable evidence in regard to a conspiracy." (HSCA, vol. XI, supra note 11, at 14, referenced in "President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Act of 1992" by Charles J. Sanders and Mark S. Zaid, p. 413 footnote # 11).

According to the above mentioned reference, The Records Act, WC members Russell, Boggs, and Cooper also publicly declared doubts about the WC conclusions.

Thank you for that. I was not aware of that quote. There is another possible reason for McCloy arguing that Oswald was the lone-gunman - Clint Murchison. I will explain later.

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After the war McCloy was invited by Nelson Rockefeller to join the family law firm, Milbank, Tweed, Hope & Hadley. He accepted the offer and the firm became known as Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The law firm's most important client was the Rockefeller family's bank, Chase National. As John D. Rockefeller Jr. told his personal lawyer, Thomas M. Debevoise, "McCloy knows so many people in government circles... that he might be in the way to get information in various quarters about the matter without seeking it, or revealing his hand."

The family's main concern was the threat posed against their interests in Standard Oil of California. John D. Rockefeller Jr. owned almost 6 per cent of the stock of the company, making him the single largest shareholder. In 1946 Harold Ickes claimed that Rockefeller was violating the terms of the 1911 dissolution decree. Two other anti-trust lawyers, Abe Fortas and Thurman Arnold, joined forces with Ickes to petition the Justice Department to investigate the matter. John McCloy, was asked to sort the matter out and by the autumn of 1946, he had persuaded Ickes, Fortas and Arnold to drop the matter.

After leaving Germany in 1953 McCloy became chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank (1953-60) and the Ford Foundation (1958-65). He also continued to work for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. The company was owned by the Rockefeller family and therefore McCloy became involved in lobbying for the gas and oil industry.

McCloy remained close to Dwight D. Eisenhower and according to Kai Bird (The Chairman: John J. McCloy: The Making of the American Establishment): "On at least one occasion, in February 1954, he (McCloy) used a Chase National Bank plane to ferry himself and the rest of Ike's gang down from New York in order to keep a golf date with the president at the Augusta National range."

It was Eisenhower who first introduced McCloy to Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison. Soon afterwards, Chase Manhattan Bank began providing the men with low-interest loans. In 1954 McCloy worked with Richardson, Murchison and Robert R. Young in order to take control of the New York Central Railroad Company. The activities of these men caused a great deal of concern and the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) eventually held hearings about what was described as "highly improper" behaviour. The takeover was a disaster and Young committed suicide and New York Central eventually went bankrupt.

In 1950 Eisenhower had purchased a small farm for $24,000. According to Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson (The Case Against Congress), several oil millionaires, including W. Alton Jones, B. B. Byers and George E. Allen, began acquiring neighbouring land for Eisenhower. Jonathan Kwitny (Endless Enemies) has argued that over the next few years Eisenhower's land became worth over $1 million: "Most of the difference represented the gifts of Texas oil executives connected to Rockefeller oil interests. The oilmen acquired surrounding land for Eisenhower under dummy names, filled it with livestock and big, modern barns, paid for extensive renovations to the Eisenhower house, and even wrote out checks to pay the hired help."

In 1956 there was an attempt to end all federal price control over natural gas. Sam Rayburn played an important role in getting it through the House of Representatives. This is not surprising as according to John Connally, he alone had been responsible for a million and a half dollars of lobbying.

Paul Douglas and William Langer led the fight against the bill. Their campaigned was helped by a speech by Francis Case of South Dakota. Up until this time Case had been a supporter of the bill. However, he announced that he had been offered a $25,000 bribe by the Superior Oil Company to guarantee his vote. As a man of principal, he thought he should announce this fact to the Senate.

Lyndon B. Johnson responded by claiming that Case had himself come under pressure to make this statement by people who wanted to retain federal price controls. Johnson argued: “In all my twenty-five years in Washington I have never seen a campaign of intimidation equal to the campaign put on by the opponents of this bill.” Johnson pushed on with the bill and it was eventually passed by 53 votes to 38. However, three days later, Dwight D. Eisenhower, vetoed the bill on grounds of immoral lobbying. Eisenhower confided in his diary that this had been “the most flagrant kind of lobbying that has been brought to my attention”. He added that there was a “great stench around the passing of this bill” and the people involved were “so arrogant and so much in defiance of acceptable standards of propriety as to risk creating doubt among the American people concerning the integrity of governmental processes”.

The decision by Dwight D. Eisenhower to veto this bill angered the oil industry. Once again Sid Richardson and Clint Murchison began negotiations with Eisenhower. In June, 1957, Eisenhower agreed to appoint their man, Robert Anderson, as his Secretary of the Treasury. According to Robert Sherrill in his book, The Accidental President: "A few weeks later Anderson was appointed to a cabinet committee to "study" the oil import situation; out of this study came the present-day program which benefits the major oil companies, the international oil giants primarily, by about one billion dollars a year."

According to Jonathan Kwitny (Endless Enemies) from 1955 to 1963, the Richardson, Murchison, and Rockefeller interests (arranged by John McCloy) and the International Basic Economy Corporation (100% owned by the Rockefeller family) gave "away a $900,000 slice of their Texas-Louisiana oil property" to Robert B. Anderson, Eisenhower's Secretary of the Treasury.

One can now see why LBJ was so keen for McCloy to be a member of the Warren Commission.

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