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John F. Kennedy Library


Jim Root
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I have been recently surprized by an odd fact. Within the John F. Kennedy Library there are very few examples of written documents pertaining to communication between John F. Kennedy and John J. McCloy (only two that I located). Yet it seems that McCloy was a close advisor and involved in most major decisions that were made during the Kennedy administration.

There is no "oral" history record that was taken from McCloy although many of the "oral" records were recorded by persons that recount their experiences with Kennedy while many were in the presence of McCloy as well.

As I ponder this lack of historical documentation, my mind can wonder toward many unsavory conclusions. Primary amoung them would be that documents may have been removed for some reason.

Does anyone else find this strange? What are you thoughts on why there would be so little information in the Kennedy Library about McCloy?

Jim Root

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Jim,

I have no answer to your question but this letter from McCloy I found very interesting. He apparently wasn't interested in finding the truth to the assassination or in any potential new evidence and held firm to what the Warren Commission reported.

Also given the date, he obviously didn't think Garrison had anything either.

I also found it curious that he didn't mention John Kennedy by name or that the assassination was a tragedy. IMO, good manners and respect for Kennedy's Presidency and indeed the man himself would suggest that a passing reference would not only be courteous but dutiful.

I'm not sure we can read too much into that but it may go some way to revealing how McCloy truly felt about JFK.

FWIW.

James

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James

While I only find two pieces of written correspondence between JFK and McCloy in the JFK Library, as you know, I did find one piece of written correspondence between McCloy and Edwin Walker in Walker"s files. The McCloy to Walker letter was written five months before the assassiantion and goes to great lengths to distance them from each other. Why?

I have felt, for years now, that McCloy was on the top of the Intelligence heap in America since the days of World War II. If this is true he would, one could assume, have the ability to cleanse the records of an assassinated President of any communication that would lead someone to suggest that he may have had "differences" with the President on any subject. The lack of correspondence between JFK and McCloy stored within the JFK Library could support this hypthosis while, at a minimun, seeming highly unusual on any count.

Could it be that the fox was guarding the Chicken coop?

Is this a piece to the puzzle? I could suggest more.

Jim Root

Edited by Jim Root
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James

While I only find two pieces of written correspondence between JFK and McCloy in the JFK Library, as you know, I did find one piece of written correspondence between McCloy and Edwin Walker in Walker"s files.  The McCloy to Walker letter was written five months before the assassiantion and goes to great lengths to distance them from each other.  Why?

I have felt, for years now, that McCloy was on the top of the Intelligence heap in America since the days of World War II.  If this is true he would, one could assume, have the ability to cleanse the records of an assassinated President of any communication that would lead someone to suggest that he may have had "differences" with the President on any subject.  The lack of correspondence between JFK and McCloy stored within the JFK Library could support this hypthosis while, at a minimun, seeming highly unusual on any count.

Could it be that the fox was guarding the Chicken coop?

Is this a piece to the puzzle?  I could suggest more.

Jim Root

You might be right on the money there, Jim.

Walker seems to right in the mix here and I look forward to your posts regarding this man. Keep up the good work.

James

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James

My reexamination of John J. McCloy began when I read the declassified reports written by John B. Hurt.

If you look up the historical meeting that took place between Harry Truman and his advisors when the decision about dropping the atomic bomb on Heroshima was discussed we find an interesting anomaly. McCloy was opposed to the use of the “bomb” and made a case for a negotiated peace with Japan within a certain framework. The framework suggests an intimate knowledge on the part of McCloy of a series of messages that had been decrypted and then translated by Hurt that dwelt with Japans desire to reach a negotiated peace. Very few people had access to those most important and specific messages.

Did McCloy know John B. Hurt?

Let’s go a step further. McCloy first worked with Earl Warren in 1941/42 during the relocation of the Japanese. McCloy then, it seems, helped orchestrate Warren's rise in politics and then to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

McCloy played a major role in developing the National Security Act and was involved in the creation of the CIA which Allen Dulles would lead. Dulles worked under McCloy while station chief in Bern during WWII on these same messages that were being collected on Japans desire to reach a negotiated peace.

It seems that the three Warren Commissioners that attended the most meetings and had, arguably, the greatest influence on the findings were led by (or at least may have owed their positions in life) to John J. McCloy who quite possibly knew John B. Hurt that shared a name with a person that Lee Harvey Oswald attempted to contact the night of the assassination.

And then McCloy's records, it seems, have been cleansed from the official JFK records stored in the JFK Library.

Why?

Jim Root

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Jim,

Very interesting indeed.

The History Channel in this country had been running a series titled 'Secrets of War'. One of the episodes concerned the Japanese codebreakers which mainly focused on William Friedman but men like John B. Hurt were also discussed.

It is definitely worth a look if you haven't already seen it. Charlton Heston was the narrator.

FWIW.

James

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Just for the record I thought I would add this statement from NuclearFiles.org about John J. McCloy.

"John J. McCloy was born on March 31, 1895 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1921 and practiced law on Wall Street. Perhaps his most important case, "Black Tom" was also the catalyst for his political career. In the "Black Tom" case, McCloy proved that German agents sabotaged a US munitions factory in New Jersey in 1916. After winning the law suit, he served as an advisor to every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Ronald Regean.

He was appointed Assistant Secretary of War on April 22, 1941. By 1945, McCloy was spending most of his time working on issues involving postwar Germany. With the Secretary of War Henry Stimson's health failing, McCloy became increasingly involved in the War Department.

McCloy was a key player in deciding whether or not to drop the bomb. He was one of the few civilians to know about the project. During a meeting on June 18, 1945, Truman approved the invasion of mainland Japan. McCloy pushed for an alternative diplomatic approach to achieve a Japanese surrender. He wrote, "everyone was so intent on winning the war by military means that the introduction of political consideration was almost accidental." On the advice of President Truman, McCloy took his ideas to Secretary of State James Byrnes, who rejected them.

The Committee of Three, composed of Henry Stimson, James Forrestal, and Joseph Grew, was assigned by President Truman to explore alternatives to make Japan surrender. McCloy wrote a proposed surrender demand that was incorporated into Article 12 of the Potsdam Proclamation. The original draft of the Proclamation included language that would have allowed Japan to keep its emperor, a condition that would have greatly increased the chances of Japan's acceptance of surrender. After the atomic bombings, McCloy believed for the rest of his life that "we missed the opportunity of effecting a Japanese surrender, completely satisfactory to us, without the necessity of dropping bombs."

Between 1947 and 1949 McCloy served as president of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the World Bank). From 1949 to 1952 he served as US military governor and high commissioner for Germany and helped rebuild the country. In 1961, McCloy became President Kennedy's principal disarmament advisor. He negotiated terms for the resumption of East-West disarmament talks and drafted a bill that led to the establishment of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

McCloy died on March 11, 1989 in Stamford, Conneticut."

Jim Root

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