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Former Sen Eugene McCarthy


Tim Gratz
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The December 11, 2006 "New York Times" reports the death, at 89, of former Sen. Eugene McCarthy, whose dramatic showing in the New Hampshire primary caused LBJ to decide not to seek re-election in 1968.

Tim, to bring this around to topic, have you seen this tidbit from Ultimate Sack? (p777)

"...On Che's eight-day trip to the UN in December, he halso had secret meetings with Senator Eugne McCarthy and former ABC reporter Lisa Howard, who had told the White House 'Che has something to say to us.'...."

God Bless Gene McCarthy.

Bk

bkjfk3@yahoo.com

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It is often forgotten that McCarthy originally supported the Vietnam War and had voted in 1964 for the Tonkin Gulf resolution that gave Johnson almost unfettered authority to escalate the conflict.

McCarthy, like many politicians of the time, was converted to the peace cause by his own children (his daughter was an active member of protest movement). When McCarthy formally announced his candidacy on November 30 1967, students began to flock to his colours.

The shock of the Tet offensive, combined with the proximity of Harvard and Yale universities to New Hampshire, brought McCarthy a seemingly endless flood of young campaigners. Nothing like this had been seen in American politics and the opinion polls soon began to show its effect. At the beginning of January 1968, the Gallup poll registered 12% support for McCarthy; by the beginning of March that had grown to 28%. When the returns for the Democratic primary were completed on March 12, McCarthy had secured 42.4% of the vote to Johnson's 49.5%. But, when Republican write-in votes were added, the president had managed to poll only 230 more than McCarthy.

It had an immediate and profound effect. No one had imagined for a moment that an incumbent president might suffer such a humiliation. Four days later, Senator Robert Kennedy announced his own entry into the contest, a move that produced a memorable response from one of McCarthy's student helpers. "After the primary," she said, "it was like Christmas Day. Then, when we went down to the tree, we found Bobby had stolen all our presents." While McCarthy won primary victories in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Oregon, Kennedy won Indiana and then, in June, California. Only hours after his victory, Kennedy was assassinated.

Meanwhile, on March 31, Johnson had announced his withdrawal from the election, and Martin Luther King had, too, been assassinated. The Democratic campaign culminated at its convention in Chicago. There, on August 28, Vice-President Humphrey, who had not entered a single primary, was nominated as the Democratic candidate while the Chicago police, on the orders of Democrat mayor Richard Daley, indiscriminately tear-gassed anti-war demonstrators, delegates and passers-by.

With the deaths of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, the left had their leaders removed and the Military Industrial Congressional Complex was still in control of the United States. 1968 had duplicated what had happened in 1963. All this was achieved by three lone gunman. Or that is what they tell us.

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Thanks for putting that in perspective John. My eyes still water from the teargas.

I called McCarthy's former secretary, (correct name) Jean Stack, but the numbers no longer any good. Found the transcript of the brief phone conversation I had with McCarthy a few years ago, and dug out my McCarthy file, at the bottom of the pit, to see if there's anything there.

Will someone please comment on the McCarthy-Che-Szulc-Howard meeting in NYC? Maybe they read poetry.

- BK

William Kelly conversation with Eugene McCarthy – Friday, November 3, 2000.

Kelly: How are you?

McCarthy: I’m okay.

K: How old are you now?

Mc: I’m 84.

K: I hope to be in Washington next week, perhaps we could get together?

Mc: I maybe in Washington on Monday, I have to be in Princeton later in the week.

K: I got your number through your former secretary Jean Stack.

Mc: I could tell you a lot about her. She was with me for a long time. She was with me when I was in the House of Representatives, before I went to the Senate. I guess overall she was with me many years.

K: She must have been very good at what she did.

Mc: She was very good secretary. She’s the only one who has custody of my telephone number and address.

K: Well, I appreciate her hooking me up with you, it’s been a long time. What are you doing now, she said you have a new book out?

Mc: I have two books out, one is a thesis is that of a proper study of politicians, and the press as animals.

K: I’ll look them up and hope to talk with you again after I read them. What will you do in Princeton next week?

Mc: It’s a tribute to Adele Stevenson; a panel discussion on the influence of Adele Stevenson, he graduated from Princeton in 1925 or something, so there’s a Princeton connection.

K: What about a testimonial to you, will there be one?

Mc: I’ll have to live to be a hundred or something unusual like that.

K: Have you been back to Minnesota recently?

Mc: Yes, I was back in the last month I guess.

K: And what do you think of their governor, Jesse Ventura?

Mc: I think he’s an interesting person, and certainly capable of being governor of Minnesota. It’s interesting that he was elected governor of Minnesota, which is considered one of the most responsible electorates in the country.

K: Yes it is, but it seems they have a penchant for radicals, as when you were elected on the Democratic-Farm-Labor ticket.

Mc: Well it’s an earlier tradition than the Progressives, but the only bad thing it did, Minnesota was one of the principle advocates of the Volstead Act, which was the Prohibition amendment. Minnesota doesn’t make for good reformers, but they’re all right for radicals.

K: Jean Stack said she worked for a Socialist Congressman before she worked for you.

Mc: Yea, what was his name – Roark – from Pennsylvania? He was a nice, kind, socialist.

K: Are you on the internet?

Mc: No. Not on my own. Some of my things are on the internet, but I don’t know who put them on.

K: It seems to make things easier today.

Mc: Yea, that’s one of the good things that’s come of it.

K: Do you have a take on the election?

Mc: I always thought you campaigned the best you could and took the results, instead of determining your platform on the basis of polls or measure whether you are going to succeed or not based on polls. As far as I know, in 1968 we didn’t sponsor in the whole campaign.

K: Well, I remember 1968 very clearly, it was one of the most pivotal times in my life.

Mc: It was a critical time, and in fact, if given a free and open chance I think the American people would have demonstrated conclusively that they were prepared to cast judgment on their own policies. The principle of “My country right or wrong,” was not valid. It might have been all right in the War of 1812, but was not valid in 1968.

K: What about the influence of the Third Parties on this election?

Mc: I don’t know. The two major parties are tied to Parkinson’s Law, they’re trying to ensure their survival by legislating themselves into a precarious position. When the heat is on they challenge the independent thing where you will throw the election to one party or the other, instead of saying, let’s change the system so the 50% of the people who are not involved in the American Presidential election will feel they will have a chance to have some influence on it, instead of being passive as they are now.

K: My associate in Washington, John Judge, advocates what they call Real Democracy, in which they suggest the direct election of the President instead of an Electoral College, and that representative democracy is obsolete.

Mc: I think he’s mistaken. I think we should have representative government, and we ought to pick representatives, but we should not do on terms of winner-take-all, state-by-state, but by general national distribution by districts, as the founding fathers intended. If we had direct elections, it would deliver us into the hands and minds of the television people even more than we are now. Direct democracy would mean television democracy.

K: That wouldn’t work either. In any case, we are working on a project now, as the principle people behind the movement to release the JFK assassination files, the JFK Act of 1992, records which we are reading now. We’re trying to get a new Congressional Hearings in the next Congress to review what we have and what they are still withholding.

Mc: On what aspect of the Kennedy case?

K: On the assassination.

Mc: Well Lyndon Johnson was right. He was mistaken in what he did, but he was right in the reason he gave for doing it. He said, ‘If we don’t clear it up with a Commission and do it fast, it will become like the various speculative theories about the Abraham Lincoln assassination. And he was right. But closing it up really didn’t end the questions about it.

K: And we’re still fighting for some of the records, and have concluded that the best way is to try to get Congressional Hearings, possibly with the Government Operations Committee, which you were on at one time, is that correct?

Mc: I was on it for two years, the last two years I was in the Senate.

K: Well, I think they’re the people we’re going to have to go to.

Mc: When I first came to Congress, I was told, “Don’t worry about the big prestigious congressional committees, get on the Government Operations Committee, that’s where most of the work of Congress will occur in the future.”

K: And was it true?

Mc: That’s why I went on it, finally, before I left Congress, twenty years later.

K: The assassination affected you because you were on the short list as a possible candidate for the Vice Presidency in 1964.

Mc: Well, I don’t know about the list. That was a Johnson operation. I always said that I lost by one vote, because there was only one vote cast. So whoever won or lost on that either won or lost by one vote because Johnson controlled that. It was a complicated situation, but I said at the time that when Lyndon said he was going to give new meaning to the office, I lost interest in it. I was content with the old meaning – Thomas Jefferson gave to it. The whole idea of giving new meaning to the vice presidency is….the only new meaning that’s been given to it is that we now expect the vice president to pardon his predecessor if he’s impeached or convicted of some crime. So the vice president used to only have to vote in cases of ties and preside over the Senate, I was surprised that in the debates between Chaney and Liberman, no one asked if either or both of them were willing to pardon Bill Clinton or Albert Gore if they were convicted. It’s a new responsibility for the vice president.

K: Kennedy tried to give Johnson new responsibilities because he was going from being a powerful person in Congress to vice president.

Mc: He was willing to take it, but they really didn’t give him much authority. He didn’t think he was where he should have been when he was vice president.

K: Do you think we will ever have a resolution to the assassination of President Kennedy?

Mc: I don’t think so because there are too many people who were witness to it who are dead.

K: Well, I’m going to go out and get your books and get back to you when I’m in Washington, and I look forward to meeting with you again.

Mc: Thank you, and I’ll see you when I can.

Xxxyyyzzz

Edited by William Kelly
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Oddly McCarthy supported Ronald Reagan in 1980 and backed the stratigic defense initive (Star Wars). In 2005, he was listed as a member of the board of advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform a right-wing anti-immigration group.

Maybe McCarthy was talking with Che about Cuban immigration.

Can anyone document any references whatsoever for McCarthy meeting Che, Tad and Lisa in NYC?

BK

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Maybe McCarthy was talking with Che about Cuban immigration.

Can anyone document any references whatsoever for McCarthy meeting Che, Tad and Lisa in NYC?

BK

Bill - I found this on the State Dept. site. I highly recomend reading the entire page it's facinating Szulc and dity tricks against Cuba are mentioned. Before you thank me I'd like to thank you if you hadn't brought it up I never would have found out about this

Len

(EDIT; To disable emoticons)

293. Memorandum of Conversation/1/

Washington, December 17, 1964.

/1/ Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL CUBA–US. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Woods on December 18.

SUBJECT

Meeting with Che Guevara, Cuban Minister of Industry

PARTICIPANTS

Under Secretary George W. Ball

Senator Eugene McCarthy

Thomas C. Mann, Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs

R. E. Woods, Staff Assistant to the Under

Secretary Senator McCarthy outlined the main points of his December 16 conversation with Che Guevara, Cuban Minister of Industry. The meeting was arranged directly with the Senator by Lisa Howard and took place in her New York apartment.

The Senator said he believed the purpose of the meeting was to express Cuban interest in trade with the US and US recognition of the Cuban Regime. Mr. Ball agreed this was plausible, saying that because of the state of the Cuban economy, the Cuban Regime was interested in reviving its trade relations with the US to obtain convertible currency. Further, he felt that Guevara probably recognized that any dealings with the US would add respectability to the regime in the eyes of other Latin American States.

Guevara told Senator McCarthy the Alliance for Progress would fail because it merely underwrites vested interests and the status quo. He said that Venezuela and the Central American States in particular needed revolutions. Chile was one state that was undertaking reforms that might make a revolution unnecessary. He noted that Chile would recognize Cuba if it were not for United States pressure.

Guevara did not attempt to conceal the subversive activities which Cuba was undertaking. He explicitly admitted that they were training revolutionaries and would continue to do so. He felt that this was a necessary mission for the Cuban Government since revolution offered the only hope of progress for Latin America.

Guevara attacked United States' overflights but not in particularly belligerent terms. He said that Cuba had the means to shoot down the planes, but had not taken any action against the United States. He insisted that there was no juridical basis for the overflights and that such a juridical basis was not furnished by OAS approval. Guevara mentioned only one specific "violation of sovereignty", this being when a US helicopter landed "over the line" (presumably at Guantanamo). He said that in this case, after some talk of firing upon the helicopter, it was permitted to leave Cuban territory.

Guevara said he knew the CIA was in Cuba. He stated that most of Cuba's enemies worked for the oil and power companies. He said the regime could identify them and they in turn knew they would be shot if they resorted to sabotage.

Guevara took issue with a statement that Ambassador Stevenson had made that the US was not withholding shipments of drugs to Cuba. Mr. Mann commented that drug shipments may have been cut back and that this was one area in which the Cubans could score on us. Mr. Ball said there was no reason why we should not sell drugs or medicines to Cuba, and Mr. Mann said he would look into the matter.

Guevara told the Senator that while conditions in Cuba were not good, there was no question of the regime collapsing. On the question of refugees, he said Cubans who did not like life on the island were free to leave. Mr. Mann commented that this was not true. Guevara also said the regime did not want any refugees returned to Cuba.

On relations between the Government and the Catholic Church, Guevara said they were good but that Party members could not belong to the Church. He mentioned in passing that they had more problems with Protestants than with Catholics.

On free elections, Guevara said these had not taken place because the revolution had not fully evolved. As to what form of government might eventually develop in Cuba, Guevara said—with pointed reference to Senator McCarthy—there was no interest in a bicameral congress or in anything along the lines of the Supreme Soviet in the USSR. He commented that the latter had no real power.

Mr. Ball asked if any references were made to Cuba's relationship to Moscow. It was mentioned that Lisa Howard had made the point that better relations with the US would give Cuba a more desirable position vis-א-vis Moscow. Mr. Ball said he believed the USSR was becoming fed up with Cuba but felt compelled to continue supporting it because of its symbolic importance as the first country to go communist without pressure of the Red Army.

Mr. Ball emphasized the danger of meetings such as that which the Senator had had with Guevara. There was suspicion throughout Latin America that the US might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American States. This could provide a propaganda line useful to the Communists.

Mr. Ball pointed out that Guevara could not move about without a great many people knowing where he was and whom he was seeing. McCarthy agreed, mentioning the large number of police cars that had gathered when he met Guevara. Mr. Ball asked that McCarthy get in touch with him if any further contacts with Guevara were contemplated. Meanwhile it was essential that nothing be publicly said about the McCarthy–Guevara meeting although there was danger that Guevara himself might leak it.

294. Memorandum From Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, December 18, 1964.

/1/ Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Cuba, Contacts with Cuban Leaders, 5/63–4/65. Secret; Eyes Only. 2 See Document 293.

SUBJECT

Senator McCarthy/Che Guevara

1. John Crimmins gave me a brief read-out (reportedly, more details are to come)2 on the meeting Senator McCarthy had with George Ball about McCarthy's meeting with Che Guevara. After listening to McCarthy, State feels that the conversation was entirely Lisa-generated and that Che really had nothing to tell us. (My own pre-conversation odds, which I transmitted to State, where 7–5 that Che wanted to talk to us but less than even money that he would say anything new to us.)

2. Che exuded confidence with McCarthy.

(a) Latin America, with the possible exception of Chile, is going to collapse. Everything is ripening in Cuba's direction. The U.S. is on the wrong wicket and is going to lose.

( B) Resumption of trade with the U.S. would be good but Cuba can get along without it.

© The U.S. policy on drugs to Cuba is iniquitous. 3. If the McCarthy/Che conversation does become public, it could cause us some problems (e.g. in Latin America) since McCarthy will be viewed by some as an envoy from the Administration. Our line presumably will be to simply stick to the facts—i.e. that we don't control U.S. Senators and newspaperwomen; in this regard, the Senator did not ask for our recommendation before he had his talk with Guevara. About the only plus from the McCarthy/Che meeting is that it was probably an eye-opener for McCarthy.

GC

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/xxxii/44657.htm

Edited by Len Colby
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Hi Len,

And yes, many thanks for coming up with that gem.

I sort a like GC's odds and analysis.

It goes against what Lamar Waldron implies in his Ultimate Sack - That Che was one of the inside guys in on the Dec. 1 'coup'. The only coup took place on Nov. 22, and the Dec. 1 C-Day is growing figment of LM's imagination. Che wasn't Cuban so

GC was in on the original administrative meetings that okayed the anti-Castro Cuban raiders in the spring of 63- April - Nov, which included the Bayo Pawley/Rex missions, and was a middle man with the Castro-Lechuga-Attwood-JFK backchannel meetings, that took place in the same Lisa Howard NYC apartment where McCarthy met Che.

Does anyone have an address for Lisa Howard's NYC apartment? They should put a histoircal plaque there.

I still wish I had known about this when Gene McCarthy was alive so I could have gotten his first hand impression of meeting Che.

And I'm going to run out to the mall and get my Che t-shirt.

BK

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I sort a like GC's odds and analysis.

GC was in on the original administrative meetings that okayed the anti-Castro Cuban raiders in the spring of 63- April

Pardon me for my ignorance but who is (was) GC that was from before I was born.

Does anyone have an address for Lisa Howard's NYC apartment? They should put a histoircal plaque there.

If you really want to know the NYPL has a collection of old phone books, I don't know if she would have been listed.

I still wish I had known about this when Gene McCarthy was alive so I could have gotten his first hand impression of meeting Che.

It's odd that the meeting is not more well known. I don't remeber seeing it mentioned in any of the obits I read.

And I'm going to run out to the mall and get my Che t-shirt.
LOL You should get some pre-ripped jeans and a saftey pinned jacket to 'match'! "Rebellion" as a mass-market consumor product, nothing is sacred any more.

BK

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I sort a like GC's odds and analysis.

GC was in on the original administrative meetings that okayed the anti-Castro Cuban raiders in the spring of 63- April

Pardon me for my ignorance but who is (was) GC that was from before I was born.

Hi Len,

Gordon Chase was the assistant to JFK and LBJ's National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy, one of the key principles on the inside at the White House and National Security Council.

I hope he's still alive so he can be called to testify about all this stuff.

And Len, BTW, I have a double homicide attributable to Bundy, alledgedly his first, if you're interested.

BK

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Some background information on how Eugene McCarthy got involved with Lisa Howard's negotiations with Fidel Castro.

In April 1963 McGeorge Bundy suggested to President John F. Kennedy that there should be a "gradual development of some form of accommodation with Castro". In an interview given in 1995, Bundy, said Kennedy needed "a target of opportunity" to talk to Fidel Castro.

In April 1963 Howard arrived in Cuba to make a documentary on the country. In an interview with Howard, Fidel Castro agreed that a rapprochement with Washington was desirable. On her return Howard met with the Central Intelligence Agency. Deputy Director Richard Helms reported to John F. Kennedy on Howard's view that "Fidel Castro is looking for a way to reach a rapprochement with the United States." After detailing her observations about Castro's political power, disagreements with his colleagues and Soviet troops in Cuba, the memo concluded that "Howard definitely wants to impress the U.S. Government with two facts: Castro is ready to discuss rapprochement and she herself is ready to discuss it with him if asked to do so by the US Government."

CIA Director John McCone was strongly opposed to Howard being involved with these negotiations with Castro. He argued that it might "leak and compromise a number of CIA operations against Castro". In a memorandum to McGeorge Bundy, McCone commented that the "Lisa Howard report be handled in the most limited and sensitive manner," and "that no active steps be taken on the rapprochement matter at this time."

Arthur Schlesinger explained to Anthony Summers in 1978 why the CIA did not want John F. Kennedy to negotiate with Fidel Castro during the summer of 1963: "The CIA was reviving the assassination plots at the very time President Kennedy was considering the possibility of normalization of relations with Cuba - an extraordinary action. If it was not total incompetence - which in the case of the CIA cannot be excluded - it was a studied attempt to subvert national policy."

Howard now decided to bypass the CIA and in May, 1963, published an article in the journal, War and Peace Report, Howard wrote that in eight hours of private conversations Castro had shown that he had a strong desire for negotiations with the United States: "In our conversations he made it quite clear that he was ready to discuss: the Soviet personnel and military hardware on Cuban soil; compensation for expropriated American lands and investments; the question of Cuba as a base for Communist subversion throughout the Hemisphere." Howard went on to urge the Kennedy administration to "send an American government official on a quiet mission to Havana to hear what Castro has to say." A country as powerful as the United States, she concluded, "has nothing to lose at a bargaining table with Fidel Castro."

William Attwood, an adviser to the US mission to the United Nations, read Howard's article and on 12th September, 1963, he had a long conversation with her on the phone. This apparently set in motion a plan to initiate secret talks between the United States and Cuba. Six days later Attwood sent a memorandum to Under Secretary of State Averell Harriman and U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. Attwood asked for permission to establish discreet, indirect contact with Fidel Castro.

On September 20, JFK gave permission to authorize Attwood's direct contacts with Carlos Lechuga, the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations. According to Attwood: "I then told Miss Howard to set up the contact, that is to have a small reception at her house so that it could be done very casually, not as a formal approach by us." Howard met Lechuga at the UN on 23rd September 23. Howard invited Lechuga to come to a party at her Park Avenue apartment that night to meet Attwood.

The next day Attwood met with Robert Kennedy in Washington and reported on the talks with Lechuga. According to Attwood the attorney general believed that a trip to Cuba would be "rather risky." It was "bound to leak and... might result in some kind of Congressional investigation." Nevertheless, he thought the matter was "worth pursuing."

On 5th November 5, McGeorge Bundy recorded that "the President was more in favor of pushing towards an opening toward Cuba than was the State Department, the idea being - well, getting them out of the Soviet fold and perhaps wiping out the Bay of Pigs and maybe getting back into normal." Bundy designated his assistant, Gordon Chase, to be Attwood's direct contact at the White House.

Attwood continued to use Howard as his contact with Fidel Castro. In October 1963, Castro told Howard that he was very keen to open negotiations with Kennedy. Castro even offered to send a plane to Mexico to pick up Kennedy's representative and fly him to a private airport near Veradero where Castro would talk to him alone.

JFK now decided to send Attwood to meet Castro. On 14th November, 1963, Lisa Howard conveyed this message to her Cuban contact. In an attempt to show his good will, Kennedy sent a coded message to Castro in a speech delivered on 19th November. The speech included the following passage: "Cuba had become a weapon in an effort dictated by external powers to subvert the other American republics. This and this alone divides us. As long as this is true, nothing is possible. Without it, everything is possible."

JFK also sent a message to Fidel Castro via the French journalist Jean Daniel. According to Daniel: "Kennedy expressed some empathy for Castro's anti-Americanism, acknowledging that the United States had committed a number of sins in pre-revolutionary Cuba." Kennedy told Daniel that the trade embargo against Cuba could be lifted if Castro ended his support for left-wing movements in the Americas.

Daniel delivered this message on 19th November. Castro told Daniel that JFK could become "the greatest president of the United States, the leader who may at last understand that there can be coexistence between capitalists and socialists, even in the Americas." Daniel was with Castro when news arrived that Kennedy had been assassinated Castro turned to Daniel and said:"This is an end to your mission of peace. Everything is changed."

LBJ was told about these negotiations in December, 1963. He refused to continue these talks and claimed that the reason for this was that he feared that Richard Nixon, the expected Republican candidate for the presidency, would accuse him of being soft on communism.

Howard refused to give up and in 1964 she resumed talks with Castro. On 12th February, 1964, she sent a message to LBJ from Castro asking for negotiations to be restarted. When LBJ did not respond to this message she contacted Adlai Stevenson at the United Nations. On 26th June 26, Stevenson sent a memo to LBJ saying that he felt that "all of our crises could be avoided if there was some way to communicate; that for want of anything better, he assumed that he could call (Lisa Howard) and she call me and I would advise you." In a memorandum marked top secret, Gordon Chase wrote that it was important "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages" from Cuba.

In December, 1964, Howard met with Che Guevara to the United Nations. Details of this meeting was sent to McGeorge Bundy. When Howard got no response she arranged for Eugene McCarthy to meet with Guevara in her apartment on 16th December.

This created panic in the White House and the following day Under Secretary George Ball told McCarthy that the meeting must remain a secret because there was "suspicion throughout Latin America that the U.S. might make a deal with Cuba behind the backs of the other American states."

Howard continued to try and obtain a negotiated agreement between Castro and LBJ. As a result she was fired by ABC because she had "chosen to participate publicly in partisan political activity contrary to long established ABC news policy."

Lisa Howard died at East Hampton, Long Island, on 4th July, 1965. It was officially reported that she had committed suicide. Apparently, she had taken one hundred phenobarbitols. It was claimed she was depressed as a result of losing her job and suffering a miscarriage. However, it was another of what Jim Marrs has described as a "convenient" death. Details of these secret negotiations with Castro only emerged when government documents were declassified in the late 1990s.

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John wrote:

Castro even offered to send a plane to Mexico to pick up Kennedy's representative and fly him to a private airport near Veradero where Castro would talk to him alone.

I had previously written that Castro postponed his meeting with Jean Daniel to lunch on November 22, 1963, assuring he would be with Daniel at the exact moment of Kennedy's death. "Ultimate Sacrifice" reveals that Castro had this meeting at Veradero. AND--now get this--the AMWORLD operation, which was being run by RFK--had scheduled Castro to be assassinated on December 1st at Veradero! Yes, that's right, Castro scheduled his meeting with Daniel for the exact time of Kennedy's death and the exact place at which the CIA had intended to kill him less than two weeks later.

So, was Castro aware of the AMWORLD/coup plot? On another thread, Bill Turner wrote:

Interestingly, General Escalante told me his operative Sgt. Hernandez had Artime's headquarters in Nicaragua so bugged that they knew everything the MRR was planning.

It would be easy to conclude that in both the timing and place of his meeting with Daniel, Castro was sending the US a message.

Also according to "Ultimate Sacrifice", Bobby's friend Harry Williams was scheduled to enter Cuba on November 23rd to meet with the leader of the AMWORLD coup. There was an afternoon meeting scheduled between Williams and top CIA officials for the afternoon of November 22nd. When the news of Kennedy's assassination reached the meeting, it broke up with "all plans [for the coup and Williams' trip to Cuba] put on hold."

As Joseph Trento writes, the Cuban exiles' hope for a Cuba free from Castro died on the streets of Dallas.

Is it not rather clear that Castro knew that while the Kennedys sent Daniels to talk peace to him, they were plotting his demise only ten days later?

And that is why Lisa Howard helped form Democrats for Keating to try to defeat RFK in 1964.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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This article by Marie Cocco in Newsday (13th December, 2005) is worth reading as it links McCarthy's campaign in 1968 with the events in Iraq.

I was a child when Sen. Eugene McCarthy led the "children's crusade."

This does not insulate me from the long, hot blowback against McCarthy's 1968 presidential bid, which forced Lyndon Johnson from office and forced the American public to examine the Vietnam War in a way that it had not examined it before.

From time to time, a reader who disagrees with something I've written on a subject that has nothing whatever to do with Vietnam tells me that I "hate America." I am accused of having been one of the unkempt liberal kids who took to the streets during the tumult of those times, and so ruined the country.

Truth is, I was 12 when McCarthy stunned the political establishment by breaking with his party to oppose the war policy of an incumbent president. My hometown did not send its children safely off to college with deferments but saw its sons get their high school diplomas - followed quickly by their draft notices.

When I was 12 I was not out to transform the world but was engrossed in a transition that involved the abandonment of Barbie dolls in favor of Beatles records.

And so I read the obituaries of McCarthy, who died over the weekend at 89, not with the misty eye of nostalgia but with a deep curiosity about what it was that drove the man to do what he did - take on the Democratic Party, take on its incumbent president, take up the anti-war cause that had been mostly confined to college campuses, the "children's crusade."

For better and for worse, McCarthy's legacy has a sharp and painful edge.

His act of courage changed history, but not nearly fast enough. He would not become president; Richard Nixon would. The Vietnam War continued for another five years, expanding into Cambodia, spawning more domestic turmoil and the killing of students at Kent State and Jackson State universities. About 30,000 Americans had been killed in Vietnam as of January 1969, when Nixon took office. Another 28,000 would die before the American military involvement ended.

Is there anyone now who would call those years between 1968 and 1973 necessary - let alone, victorious? With tens of thousands dead and the country's reputation in tatters, why is it that the political backlash against those who opposed the Vietnam War has endured? It is a fault line deep and damaging, and defines our politics to this day.

The sense of grievance that began coursing through the body politic four decades ago still quickens conservative blood, and politicians on the right exploit it with expertise.

When Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a decorated Vietnam veteran and longtime defense hawk, called recently for a quick withdrawal from Iraq, the White House denounced him as adopting the policies of "Michael Moore and the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party."

When Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, in a radio interview, said "the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong," Republicans attacked - and fellow Democrats ran for political cover. In fact, Dean hadn't advocated withdrawal but a drawdown of U.S. troops over two years, with some re-deployed to Afghanistan.

Besides, what would victory in Iraq look like?

In April 2003, we were led to believe triumph could be seen in the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue. A month later, the president landed on an aircraft carrier festooned with a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished." Last February, congressional Republicans dipped their fingers in purple ink and held them aloft during President Bush's State of the Union speech, effectively proclaiming the U.S. had won because Iraqis had held their first election.

You do not have to have backed McCarthy in 1968 to see the parallels to Vietnam, with its shifting military goals and the empty promise of "peace with honor." But there will not now be another McCarthy.

Few Republicans question Bush's conduct of the Iraq War, and they quibble mostly over details. Democrats are split. They fear the inevitable label of being called "soft on Iraq."

In truth, the bitter legacy of Eugene McCarthy - a man who stood on principle for a cause larger than himself - is that he has been succeeded in politics by men who lack principle, and have as their cause themselves.

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