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Tim Gratz: Right-Wing Extremist


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"Rendezvous With Death" apparently contends that Cubela recruited Oswald to kill Kennedy.

I respectfully suggest this thread be allowed to die out.

T.C.

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To Robert:

Curious for your source that Desmond Fitzgerald was a conservative Republican who loathed JFK. That is not my understanding.

Dick Russell provides a fairly detailed depiction of FitzGerald in "The Man Who Knew Too Much," which discloses his lifelong party affiliation. I cannot recall off the top of my head the source for the antipathy between FitzGerald and the Kennedys, but when time allows, I will seek it out.

Remember Fitzgerald told some CIA personnel in 1964 that had JFK not been killed, Castro would have been removed from power in Cuba by Christmas of 1963 (supporting the premise of "Ultimate Sacrifice".

No doubt, you read this quote as justification for assuming that the Kennedys encouraged the Cubela plots. However, from a different vantage point, the same quote could be interpreted to mean that with the President's death, the Cuban topic received a more ginger treatment. It is you, after all, who insists that Johnson immediately ordered CIA to cease and desist on the Cuban issue, and perhaps FitzGerald was alluding to that fact, rather than the Kennedys' support for the Cubela operation, which Helms testified neither Kennedy knew about, and that McCone was unaware of as well.

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I think the Fitzgerald quote best supports the "Ultimate Sacrice" thesis that there was a coup scheduled for December of 1963.

As you are probably aware "Ultimate Sacrifice" argues that the CIA did not inform the Kennedys of the plan to use Cubela to kill Castro.

But it also argues that RFK had his own plan to kill Castro immediately before the coup, and perhaps, through Oswald, blame it on the Russians. Hence there could be an entirely different game in play when Oswald allegedly made contact with Kostikov.

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As you are probably aware "Ultimate Sacrifice" argues that the CIA did not inform the Kennedys of the plan to use Cubela to kill Castro.

Is it somehow self-gratifying to continue to make that point under the aegis of a thread entitled, "Tim Gratz: Right-Wing Extremist?"

T.C.

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Tim, I have no idea how this thread got to the point where the discussion is centering on Cubela. These threads seem to often be like meandering streams.

TIM G

Let us go back to the original thread. As we know, you were an active member of the right-wing group, Young Americans for Freedom (YOF). The founder of this organization has recently joined the Forum. You will find several contributions from him here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5892

Over the years Doug has moved to the left because of the corrupt activities of the Republican Party. He has been especially concerned about the way that Republican politicians have worked with the CIA to undermine and remove progressive leaders in the Third World.

When you read about what Republican presidents have done in countries like Guatemala and Chile, don't you begin to have doubts about the way that right-wingers have used the cover of anti-communism to act on behalf of corrupt corporations like United Fruit and ITT?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5945

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Let us go back to the original thread. As we know, you were an active member of the right-wing group, Young Americans for Freedom (YOF). The founder of this organization has recently joined the Forum. You will find several contributions from him here:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5892

Over the years Doug has moved to the left because of the corrupt activities of the Republican Party. He has been especially concerned about the way that Republican politicians have worked with the CIA to undermine and remove progressive leaders in the Third World.

When you read about what Republican presidents have done in countries like Guatemala and Chile, don't you begin to have doubts about the way that right-wingers have used the cover of anti-communism to act on behalf of corrupt corporations like United Fruit and ITT?

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5945

John:

There is a poetic, but sickening unbroken circle to such violence. The item below is from today's Globe & Mail, Canada's national newspaper of record. It illustrates how the very same victims of prior repression are repeatedly victimized by the same forces, and then declared US heroes once martyred. Read it and puke:

No. 1: the story of an American hero

An orphaned Guatemalan who as a marine became the first U.S. soldier to fall in Iraq, is the tragic subject of a film

By LIAM LACEY

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 Posted at 4:16 AM EST

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

PARK CITY, UTAH — On March 21, 2003, hours after the Iraq war began, the first American soldier was shot. He bled to death in a tent near the Iraq-Kuwait border. He was hailed as an American hero, who had followed his dreams from his home in Guatemala to become an American and a marine. A Wall Street Journal editorial, for example, hailed him as an example of a man who was faithful to "the dream that inspires the best within us. And for this he is an American hero."

A new documentary, The Short Life of Jose Antonio Guitterez, is less glorious. Guitterez, had come into the United States illegally, where he lived with several foster families before finishing school and later joining the marines. A so-called "green card" soldier, he was only given his U.S. citizenship posthumously.

For Swiss-born, German-based filmmaker Heidi Specogna, who knew Guatemala well, there was obviously something more to be said. She thought of his life with a single phrase: Born in one war, died in another. Her film is a kind of a detective story tracing the path of Guitterez from the Guatemalan streets to the desert of Iraq, finding a link between the two most urgent subjects among this year's documentaries: the growing dissatisfaction with war in Iraq, and the crisis in illegal immigration from the south.

The war films include Iraq in Fragments and The Ground Truth: The Killing Ends. The illegal-immigrant films include Crossing Arizona -- a state where an estimated 4,500 illegal immigrants enter each day into the Sonora desert -- DeNadie, a documentary which traces the dangerous journeys of Central Americans trying to get into los Estados Unidos, and the fictional story of one Mexican peasant's attempt at changing his life, La Tragedia de Macario. Only Specogna though, has looked at the links between the United States' foreign wars.

The veteran documentary journalist in her mid-40s had first developed an interest in Latin American politics when she made a 1991 film, Tanya -- The Guerrilla, a portrait of the East German-born woman who fought and died alongside revolutionary Che Guevara. For several years, she had been trying to make a film about a Latin-American war that bridged the era of Che to the nineties, the devastating 36-year-long Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), a land battle between government-backed landowners and guerrillas, with indigenous Mayan Indian support. More than 200,000 people, mostly Mayans, died or disappeared during the war. Perhaps a million people were made refugees. The United States, fighting its Latin American Cold War, was directly involved throughout. From a CIA-sponsored coup in 1954, the U.S. government supported every successive non-democratic government in the country, with training, money and weapons.

Specogna (who I interviewed along with her writing partner, Erica Harzer, while sitting on the floor in a storage room at the Filmmaker's Lodge) says she had been trying for several years to sell a documentary about the war to European television but "nobody was interested in that kind of socialist-sounding stuff." Then she read the news stories about Guitterez's death and she saw an opportunity to link the two subjects: "Of course, if he had been the second soldier killed in Iraq, we wouldn't have a film."

She began, with the help of Harzer, who had lived in Central America, to put together the pieces of Guitterez's life, using only two photographs: the official marine photo and a childhood photograph of Guitterez. They began in Guatemala, where they interviewed the American director of a God's Child orphanage, who vividly remembered the boy when he was between 8 and 10. They talked to the social workers who knew him, both in Guatemala and later in Los Angeles, and to his friends and foster parents. It became clear Guitterez had a light around him, that the social workers who saw hundreds of kids remembered him well for his creativity, intelligence and charm, and his street kid's mixture of bravado and his need to belong.

Says Specogna: "We didn't know what kind of person we would find. He might have been an asshole, but obviously, he was something else. There was a quality about him that really touched people and after a while, I began to feel that I was touched by his presence as well."

They explain his interest in architecture -- building a home is a common fantasy of homeless children. The filmmakers even find his birth records and interview his only surviving relative, a sister, now living in the United States. They follow his pathway through the underground, 3,200-kilometre journey from Guatemala to the United States.

While early reports refer to him as stowing away on a train, his story was not that simple. He probably rode at least 14 different trains, riding not in a car, but standing between them. He probably stopped and did farm work briefly, and whatever privations he experienced can only be guessed at. The illegal immigrants are subject to robbery, rape and murder, but more often, are hurt by falling under the trains. The camera visits a "train victims' hospice" at Christmas, near the Guatemalan-Mexican border, filled with amputees, many of whom lost their limbs because amputation was cheaper than healing their bones.

Guitterez made it across the border on his third try. When he arrived in Los Angeles, he lived on the streets and eventually found help through church-run street programs. Because of malnutrition and illness (he tested positive for tuberculosis) he was small and able to lie about his age to avoid deportation. When he died in Iraq, he wasn't 22 as was widely reported, but 28 -- even his gravestone has the wrong birth date.

That Guitterez ended up in the military is not unusual: He saw it as his chance to get an education and become an architect. Recruiting stations and Spanish-language posters wait for new immigrants near border cities, offering a fast-track to a green card for those willing to sign up. As his former director to the Nicaraguan orphanage says, he could easily see how Guitterez would be attracted by the marines' message of esprit de corps and belonging.

Guitterez, whose existence was marred by one U.S.-sponsored war, died for his adopted country. The final hard twist to Guitterez's story is that he didn't really die, as early reports said, from enemy bullets. As the marines took over a group of small buildings, the orders became confused and Guitterez was wounded by friendly fire. He died, awaiting medical treatment, while a fellow Guatemalan marine held his hand.

Edited by Robert Charles-Dunne
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