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How Intelligent is Robert Charles-Dunne?


Tim Gratz
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Yesterday Robert Charles-Dunne wrote:

What I've done in Castro's case is to repeatedly point out for the benefit of others that the case you make against the Cubans is non-existent, and that all you do is regurgitate the script prepared by CIA. That it is baseless is clear to any schoolchild with a small modicum of mental acuity

************************************

The following is excerpted from Ronald Goldfarb's review of "Ultimate Sacrifice" from the San Francisco Chronicle, that I posted in the "Books" section: (Please see my comment below.)

We do not know fully and precisely what happened that

fateful day. We may never know indisputably what

happened. Indeed, a recently released German

documentary, "Rendezvous With Death," reportedly

included an interview with a former Cuban secret

service agent who said the Cuban secret service was

responsible for the JFK assassination, using Oswald as

its hired gun. It could be that after Fidel Castro is

out of power, Cuban records -- if they exist -- could

corroborate that story. Castro told an Associated

Press reporter days before the Kennedy assassination

that he knew plans were afoot to assassinate him and

that if the United States pursued those plans -- plans

we know did exist, and which the Waldron-Hartmann book

document -- our president's life would be in danger.

Might the mob have been in cahoots with Castro, even

though his control over Cuba hurt their financial

interests there? Might the Mafia have cared more about

ending the U.S. war against organized crime than

regaining its profitable business in Cuba? I think so.

From Charles-Dunne's ridiculous statement, Mr. Goldfarb must have less intelligence than a schoolchild (just like Joseph Califano and Joseph Trento and Gus Russo).

Mr. Goldfarb's biography is set forth in a following post. I seriously doubt that Charles-Dunne's intelligence comes close to that of Goldfarb.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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The distinguished biography of Mr. Goldfarb:

Ronald Goldfarb is a Washington, D.C. attorney, author, and literary agent. He is listed in Who's Who In the United States, Who's Who In Law, and other listings of prominent Americans, writers and scholars.

Born in New Jersey and educated in its public schools, he began college (at age 16) at Syracuse University. Combining his last year of undergraduate work (BA 1954) with his first year of law school, he graduated (LLB) in 1956 and was one of the youngest to be admitted to the New York bar that year. He continued his education at Yale Law School, where he earned Masters (LLM, 1960) and Doctorate (JSD, 1962) degrees from Yale. He was later admitted to the California and District of Columbia and United States Supreme Court bars.

Goldfarb's work at Yale Law School was interrupted when he accepted a commission and served three years in the United States Air Force JAG, where he prosecuted and defended numerous courts-martial, cases running the gamut from AWOL to murder and desertion (capital offenses).

For a year, after completing his military service and graduation from Yale, Goldfarb was the Arthur Garfield Hays Fellow at New York University Law School where he worked on his first book, The Contempt Power, published in 1963 by Columbia University Press and in 1971 in paperback by Anchor Books. ("This book is a clear and eloquent presentation of the history of the contempt power and the dangers inherent in that power as it is being used at present. The book will prove to be as interesting to laymen as it is to lawyers-Thurman Arnold, The New Republic) During that year at New York University, he also worked as legal counsel for the American Jewish Congress, Commission on Law and Social Action, a civil rights and civil liberties organization based in New York City.

In 1961, Goldfarb was recruited to join the New Frontier. He was a member of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy's Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice for almost four years, and conducted grand jury investigations and successful multi-defendant criminal trials in federal courts in Florida, Kentucky, and Ohio. For several months in 1964, the Justice Department delegated Goldfarb to the Presidential Task Force which created the Office of Economic Opportunity under the guidance of Sargent Shriver. When Robert F. Kennedy ran for the U.S. Senate in New York, he recruited Goldfarb to work on that campaign as a speech writer. He resigned from the Justice Department to do so. Goldfarb's book (Perfect Villains, Imperfect Heroes) about those Justice Department experiences was published in 1995 by Random House, paperback in 2002 by Capital Books. "Mr. Goldfarb's descriptions of the investigative and prosecutorial processes are dead-accurate and engrossing. He richly details the intellectual, ethical and emotional challenges." -Lloyd George Parry, The Baltimore Sun; "...a compelling piece of work, strongly evocative of an era that seems, more and more, to have been one of the most extraordinary periods in our history." - Don Delillo, author, Underworld, White Noise, and The Body Artist; "You caught him well, and no one else has remotely touched what you have done about the fight against organized crime. So it is important as well as moving." - Anthony Lewis, The New York Times.

After the successful Kennedy senate campaign, Goldfarb handled select cases (successfully arguing one appeal in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. v. Harris), and wrote two books: the award winning, Ransom, A Critique of the American Bail System (introduction by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg) published by Harper & Row (1965), paperback by John Wiley (1967). ("Bail is a barnacle on the back of the poor. In this book Ronald Goldfarb brilliantly describes how the poor suffer from this iniquitous anachronism and tells why it should be uprooted from our law."-J. Skelly Wright, United States Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals). "Ransom is a deep indictment of current bail practices. It blends scholarship and commitment in pointing the way toward fulfilling the promises of the Constitution, and the ancient pledges of Anglo-American liberties. I hope all lawyers, and concerned citizens, will read his book." - Robert F. Kennedy, United States Senator. He also co-wrote Crime and Publicity-The Impact of News on the Administration of Justice, with Alfred Friendly, the managing editor of The Washington Post (1967), a book published and sponsored by The Twentieth Century Fund. Paperback by Vintage (1968).

The Justice Department delegated Goldfarb to the interagency Task Force which worked on the creation of the poverty program, OEO, under Sarge Shriver who would later become Goldfarb's client in the writing of his biography, Sarge

In 1966, Goldfarb founded a law firm with Stephen Kurzman (formerly legislative assistant to New York Senator Jacob Javits) which specialized in special legal assignments (both worked on the Kerner Commission study of riots; Goldfarb was a consultant to The Brookings Institution on Courts and The Administration of Justice, and to the California Legislature's Study of Courts and The Administration of Justice in California). He was appointed Special Counsel to the United States House of Representatives Inquiry into the charges against Representative Adam Clayton Powell. He taught at many colleges as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow for one week periods.

The firm changed members in ensuing years-Goldfarb & Singer, Goldfarb Singer, & Austern, Goldfarb, Kaufman, & O'Toole-until the present time, Goldfarb & Associates. He specialized in public interest law, particularly in correctional reform (trying a landmark Eighth Amendment case condemning conditions at the D.C. Jail, peacefully negotiating a hostage-taking riot at the jail, organizing an ex-offender organization which has operated successfully for about forty years). With a Ford Foundation grant he co-authored a book on correctional reform, After Conviction, (Simon & Schuster, 1973) with a colleague, Linda Singer (paperback in 1977). "After Conviction contains not only a massive indictment of the criminal justice system, but also recommendations for sensible and workable reforms. Ron Goldfarb is one of the most thoughtful and knowledgeable people writing on the criminal justice system today. After Conviction is a real contribution to the field."-Tom Wicker. [After Conviction] is magnificent...well written...authoritative. It is a sort of book that really hadn't existed until Ron Goldfarb put it together." - Karl Menninger.

Again for The Twentieth Century Fund, he wrote Jails-The Ultimate Ghetto, Doubleday (1975; Anchor paperback, 1976).

Judge Charles Richey, D.C. federal district court, appointed Goldfarb Chairman of a Special Review Committee created to implement a major nationwide court order against the Department of Labor regarding the improvement of living and work conditions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers. For two years, he conducted hearings around the United States on behalf of the court. Goldfarb's work for the court was praised by Judge Richey. The Ford Foundation supported Goldfarb's later book on the subject, A Caste of Despair, Migrant Farm Workers in the United States, Iowa State University Press (1981). "Here is a strongly, worded, trenchant, discerning, fair-minded analysis of a major American social problem. Here, too, is a kind of exemplary witness-what is means to be a compassionate, high-minded lawyer and what it means, as a matter of fact, to remember in one's mind and heart, in one's working life as an attorney, as a citizen, those words engraved on the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.: "Equal Justices Under Law.: One concludes the reading of this book wishing (hope against hope!) that it will be the very last one written and wishing, too, that those who practices the law could claim more colleagues such Ronald Goldfarb-a moral example to a profession, to all of us."-from the Foreword by Robert Coles.

Goldfarb created a course for judges and lawyers on legal writing which was conducted for many years under the auspices of the National Center for State Trial Judges, and later privately. With Professor James Raymond, Goldfarb wrote Clear Understandings-A Guide to Legal Writing, published by Random House (1983).

Goldfarb's law practice evolved into representing writer's organizations, The Washington Independent Writers for many years and Associated Writing Programs to the present. He has represented hundreds of writers as well, as their attorney and agent. His literary practice evolved into an active literary agency bearing his name. He co-authored The Writer's Lawyer, Essential Legal Advice for Writers and Editors in all Media with a colleague Gail Ross (Times Books, 1989). "When writers want to make sure they've got it absolutely right, Ron Goldfarb is the one they turn to. And The Writer's Lawyer is the book they should read."-Nick Kotz, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Wild Blue Yonder: Money, Politics, and the B-1 Bomber.

Goldfarb also has presided over MainStreet, A Television Production Company, organized with Hodding Carter in 1987. It is still run by Goldfarb after Carter left in 1998 to preside over the Knight Foundation. Goldfarb hosted a weekly discussion show on public television, Devil's Advocate, and produced documentaries on Sam Ervin and Claude Pepper. MainStreet has produced many television shows and documentaries, some of which have won awards, most recently Desperate Hours, winner of the District of Columbia Independent Film Festival Award in 2002.

In 1998, Goldfarb wrote TV or Not TV, Television, Justice and the Courts, again with support from the Century Fund, and published by New York University Press. "Going beyond the obvious controversies of recent years, Goldfarb surveys the role of television in courtrooms with cool, but crisp detachment. He brings historical context, legal analysis, and rich experience to bear on the issue, concluding that courts are public institutions that do not belong exclusively to the judges and lawyers who run them. His persuasive argument for greater openness is bound to influence future debate on the topic."-Sanford J. Ungar, Dean, School of Communication, American University. "A tour de force, a one-stop repository of the history, facts and the law of the matter. I plan to plagiarize from it shamelessly. This is an important subject, and Goldfarb's book provides the first comprehensive, in-depth study of the issue." - Fred Graham, Chief Anchor and Managing Editor, Court TV. "Goldfarb argues persuasively for cameras in the courtroom, O.J. notwithstanding. He is aware of the problems but believes strongly that the more open a courtroom, the more open and free our society. The challenge, which he describes so well, is to balance the new demanding technology against our traditional dedication to democracy." - Marvin Kalb, Director, Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, Harvard University.

Goldfarb has contributed chapters to several books, and selections to several encyclopedias, and is the author of many law journal articles, and about 300 newspaper articles and op-eds. He writes a regular monthly book review or article for The Washington Lawyer. He is an active board member of The Alliance For Justice, and has served on other boards such as Common Cause, American Jewish Committee, Yale Law School Association. He also worked on several Presidential Commissions.

Goldfarb has contributed chapters to several books, including a chapter on Politics At The Justice Department in the book, Conspiracy: The Implications of the Harrisburg Trial for the Democratic Tradition, edited by John Raines; he wrote the Foreword to Freedom For Sale, A National Study of Pretrial Release by Paul B. Wice, and How To Try A Criminal Case, American Trial Lawyers Association book, 1967. He has contributed selections to several encyclopedias on law and government, including The Encyclopedia of Criminology, edited by Raymond Corsini, Macmillan, 1994, The Encyclopedia of the United States Congress, Commission of the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution Project, Simon & Schuster, 1994, The Encyclopedia of Publishing and Book Arts, Henry Holt, Spring 1995, The Macmillan Encyclopedia, 1997, The Constitution and Its and Amendments and Cameras in Courts, and in the Yale Biographical Dictionary of Law, a sketch on Fred Rodell.

As of January 1, 2006, Goldfarb will begin work on his 11th book which Yale University Press will publish in 2007 or 2008. It will be an analysis of confidential communications and privilege in the context of competing social interests in privacy and in openness. It is tentatively entitled In Confidence.

He is the author of many law journal articles, and about 300 newspaper articles and op-eds. He writes a regular monthly book review for Washington Lawyer. He was a board member of The Alliance For Justice, Common Cause, American Jewish Committee, and was president of the Yale Law School Association of Washington D.C. He also worked on several Presidential Commissions, including the National Advisory Commission of Civil Disorders, Commission to Revise Federal Criminal Law, and The Agenda for the Eighties.

Goldfarb lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia and Key Biscayne, Florida. He is married to Joanne Jacob, an award-winning architect. They have three children, Jody, a social worker, Nicholas, a television and movie writer and producer, and Maximilian, an artist.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Ron, I fail to understand.

No intelligent person can dispute that there are intelligent people who believe there may have been Cuban involvement in the assassination. Robert Charles-Dunne's assertion to the contrary must stand as one of the most bizarre posts made here. I should have probably put it under James Richard's thread: "Bizarre Behavior."

Never have I ever indicated that intelligent people cannot possibly believe that the CIA did it; that LBJ did it; etc. etc. Charles-Dunne's implied assertion that only fools can believe that Castro did it shows either that he is disingenuous or that he is foolish himself. At least it was a very foolish statement to make.

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There are, of course, other authors who have intimated some level of allegiance towards this theory. The author of "Fidel" attributes a statement made by Alexander Haig, something not included in the WR, that Oswald was seen with DGI agents prior to the assassination. I think I may have put forth earlier the possibility that the theory of "Castro getting Kennedy first" may not be entirely accurate if one recognizes that the DGI could have been operating outside of Castro's awareness and that his "this is very bad" statement after Kennedy was killed...was genuine. That is, Castro's intelligence apparatus killed the president WITHOUT Castro's direct knowledge. Food for thought. Jason Vermeer

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Jason, it is certainly a good point that someone may have acted to protect Castro's life without the express approval of Castro himself.

It must also be remembered that "Ultimate Sacrifice" posits that there was a plot to kill Castro on December 1, 1963 in co-ordination with the Kennedy-endorsed "AMWORLD" plot for a coup.

It is clear that I consider Castro a brutal tyrant who has allowed few civil liberties in Cuba. It seems hard for folks to understand that assessment has nothing to do with my belief that there was probably Cuban involvement in the assassination. Regardless of Castro's record, if the leader of any foreign state (regardless of his record re civil liberties) becomes aware of a plot by another state to assassination him and invade his country, the possibility of preventing such an attack through "pre-emptive retaliation" if I can call it that would certainly be considered.

If the premise of "Ultimate Sacrifice" is correct about a Kennedy-endorsed December 1, 1963 planned assassination of Castro, what did Castro have to lose if he attempted to prevent it through regime change in the US?

And whether or not Castro was involved in the November 22, 1963 "regime change" in the United States, "Ultimate Sacrifice" does make it clear that the murder of John F. Kennedy spelled the end of the AMWORLD plot. So Castro was a prime beneficiary of the JFK assassination, whether or not he or his people were involved.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Yesterday Robert Charles-Dunne wrote:

What I've done in Castro's case is to repeatedly point out for the benefit of others that the case you make against the Cubans is non-existent, and that all you do is regurgitate the script prepared by CIA. That it is baseless is clear to any schoolchild with a small modicum of mental acuity

************************************

The following is excerpted from Ronald Goldfarb's review of "Ultimate Sacrifice" from the San Francisco Chronicle, that I posted in the "Books" section: (Please see my comment below.)

We do not know fully and precisely what happened that

fateful day. We may never know indisputably what

happened. Indeed, a recently released German

documentary, "Rendezvous With Death," reportedly

included an interview with a former Cuban secret

service agent who said the Cuban secret service was

responsible for the JFK assassination, using Oswald as

its hired gun. It could be that after Fidel Castro is

out of power, Cuban records -- if they exist -- could

corroborate that story. Castro told an Associated

Press reporter days before the Kennedy assassination

that he knew plans were afoot to assassinate him and

that if the United States pursued those plans -- plans

we know did exist, and which the Waldron-Hartmann book

document -- our president's life would be in danger.

Might the mob have been in cahoots with Castro, even

though his control over Cuba hurt their financial

interests there? Might the Mafia have cared more about

ending the U.S. war against organized crime than

regaining its profitable business in Cuba? I think so.

From Charles-Dunne's ridiculous statement, Mr. Goldfarb must have less intelligence than a schoolchild (just like Joseph Califano and Joseph Trento and Gus Russo).

Mr. Goldfarb's biography is set forth in a following post. I seriously doubt that Charles-Dunne's intelligence comes close to that of Goldfarb.

**********************************************

"(just like Joseph Califano and Joseph Trento and Gus Russo)."

T.G., what you're doing here is only succeeding in making yourself look like a dingbat! And, a very un-funny one, at that!

I'm going to post something associated with Califano, whom I abhor to the nth degree. It is quite long and tedious, yet it may shed some light on how both democrats and republicans are at liberty and in complicity when it comes to implementing public policy, regardless of how the outcome may affect their constituency. This transpired under the auspices of Jimmy Carter's administration and managed to pull the safeguards out from under the only form of national healthcare we might have been afforded in our retirement. But, also succeeded in ruining the livelihoods, professions, access to updated equipment for, and the inevitable result in the closure of, many medical centers serving those of lesser means and/or access to healthcare. This, as opposed to those who can afford to go to Cedars-Sinai, Saint Johns, and/or other more prestigious private non-profit medical centers. In other words, those who can afford major medical/surgical plans that most employers are loathed to, or cannot afford to, carry for their employees. This, in turn, and by the early 1980's, led to the formation of DRG's (Diagnostic Related Groups) which made access to healthcare less viable for the uninsured. By the 1990's the formation of HMO's, which in my opinion stands for Healthy Members Only, were the eventual outcome. Below are the reasons why I particularly distrust Joseph Califano. But, of course, you'll probably find absolutely nothing wrong with the way he conducted "business as usual, on the beltway." And, yes, I realize this may not seem to have anything whatsoever to do with the initial subject matter of this thread. But, your continual referencing to Califano is what prompted me to post this. He's not the great guy you seem to be bent on promoting.

_____________________________________________________________

HCFA Oral History Interview

INTERVIEW WITH DON WORTMAN IN WASHINGTON, DC ON JULY 11, 1995

INTERVIEWED BY AIMEE TURNER

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Berkowitz: The questions we want to focus on have to do with the establishment of HCFA. We'll talk a little bit about your background before this because we know that Joseph Califano called on you in 1977 to work on that HCFA organization, so one of the questions we would ask is why. Where are you from originally?

Wortman: You talking about career-wise?

Berkowitz: Where did you grow up?

Wortman: I and my wife are small town folk. We grew up in Lacota, Iowa, a town of around 400 folks and we just celebrated, by the way, our 50th high school reunion out there in a restaurant appropriately named The Barn. Out of our class of 11, two are deceased, and of the 9 remaining 8 were there, with or without spouses. Our roots are very deep in small town Iowa, and our mothers were pregnant together. My wife was valedictorian of my class of 11. So I'm quite a contrast to these big city products who graduated from high schools which had two to four hundred in their class like my kids did, you know.

Berkowitz: Can I ask what year you were born?

Wortman: Yes, 1927. I'm 67.

Berkowitz: OK, and you grew up in Iowa and somehow got to Washington.

Wortman: Grew up in Iowa. Went into the military service right after high school. My folks were very proud. I enlisted when I was 17 with their consent, and I'm very fortunate the Japanese surrendered shortly thereafter. In July of '45 I enlisted and the Japanese surrendered in August of '45. By the way, this Enola Gay exhibition gets me right down in here, that's not up here, because I wouldn't be here had Truman not found a way to end that war. There's no question in my mind. I was bound for the infantry. Then after the war I joined my brother at Macalester College in St. Paul and graduated from there in '51 with a major--co-major--political science and economics. The Macalester liberal arts experience had much to do with shaping my objectives and values in life, and two professors specifically, G. Theodore Mitan and J. Huntley Dupre. Then I went on to the University of Minnesota Public Administration Center for a master's degree. It is now called the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public and International Affairs, much more prestigious name now. I then sought employment in the federal government and finally got it through an intern program at the Atomic Energy Commission. My federal career can be summarized: 12 years with the AEC, both in Washington and Albuquerque, then 5 years with OEO--no wait, it was closer to 6 years, I think, with OEO under Sargent Shriver and Don Rumsfeld and Frank Carlucci, and then 2 years with the Price Commission/Cost of Living Council with bosses like Jack Grayson, John Dunlop, Rumsfeld again, George Schultz, and then 5 years at the Department of HEW which is now HHS, and there I did all kinds of things. For Weinberger, I ran the inflation effort that Ford had called WIN which was "really a big winner." I must say I say that with some degree of cynicism. I ran the Social Rehabilitation Service for 6 months while they were looking for a new political appointee, and then I got involved for Cap [Caspar Weinberger] in the replacement, relocation of the Vietnamese refugees. I ran that for him. And then Ford came into power and David Matthews became secretary and I concluded my work on the Vietnamese refugee task force for Matthews and then I became head of his office of regulatory reform. Then I did a lot of special assignments for David Matthews. Then Joe [Califano] and Hale [Champion] came on board, and immediately they talked to me about going back to run the old SRS, but it wasn't until after January 20th, probably the first few days, that Joe and Hale one evening assembled me, Jack Young, then the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget, also a career officer of the government by the way, and Tom Morris who'd worked with Joe at DOD under McNamara. Tom had been Assistant Secretary for Manpower and he'd also been Assistant Secretary for Logistics I think. He'd done a number of different things for McNamara. Joe assembled us in his office one night and said, "I want to undertake a major reorganization of the department consistent with President Carter's intent, campaign promise you might say," and we talked about ideas on that. With some foresight, Jack Young had had his organization and management staff do some analysis of alternative models of how you might run HEW, so there was some sort of staff work done, a major book that Jack had done, and he'd done it with David Matthew's approval. But Jack was very careful in that work not to recommend an alternative, so we then proceeded to meet with Joe and Hale, and in order to keep secret always after working hours.

Berkowitz: When are we talking about? Are we talking about March?

Wortman: No, we're talking about January.

Berkowitz: January. So this is very soon after?

Wortman: This whole thing was done in less than two months. They took office on January 20th and announced this major reorganization on March 8th.

Berkowitz: So he started meeting with you between January 20th and January 30th?

Wortman: Yes, I would say, I'll bet you I was called to that meeting within three or four days.

Berkowitz: And it was directly with Califano, in his office?

Wortman: Directly. Just the five of us. He trusted Tom implicitly because they were old colleagues. He had done enough--Joe was not one of those political appointees, since he'd been in government, who brought a lot of baggage about distrust of careerists. He just doesn't have that. He's prepared to charge ahead. I'm sure he checked us all out and then he may have known Jack a little bit. Jack was in key roles at the old BOB. Jack was a senior officer at BOB, was known to a lot of people, had been at NASA. He may have known Jack. He didn't know me although I had strong endorsements from people like Shriver. He may have checked that out, I don't know.

Berkowitz: You think that would have been a positive thing for Califano? An endorsement from Shriver?

Wortman: I would assume so, yes.

Berkowitz: You don't think they were at loggerheads in the Johnson White House quite a bit?

Wortman: Maybe that's just a supposition I'm making. He would have checked me out though, but I'd pretty well established my career identity as an executive who could work with both parties by that time. Ever since OEO I'd been working at the highest levels of government as an interface with the political level and in fact, most people don't know this, but in 1967 I relinquished voluntarily under Sarge my career status. I was dependent on the good will of my political masters. There were a few times when it didn't look like I was going to survive, and I started looking in the private sector for work. So, anyway, Joe met with us, and he's a hard charger, and he had us developing alternatives and I must say that my life was damn near impossible because the whole thing was to be super-secret. Joe did not want the constituent elements to get wind of this because they are so powerful and influential. He didn't trust, and there was a whole history of this, he and Hale did not trust the embryonic development of the White House staff. Joe had been there, and he knew that he had to be the first horse out of the gate if he was going to get something done, otherwise he'd be stymied by the White House staff and BOB, the old BOB, and, so, the emphasis on secrecy was intense. Yet you can't do a major reorganization without developing data, and early on, for instance, I told Joe we couldn't proceed without legal counsel. Just couldn't proceed, because he was looking at such bold alternatives that I wasn't one to assure him, and neither was Jack or Tom, that he could do all this statutorily. And, so, it wasn't too long before they authorized a senior member of the General Counsel staff who was a political appointee, Dick Beatty, to come and help us. But that was after we'd sort of of decided on a direction.

Berkowitz: That's interesting, because in other initiatives Califano seemed always to depend on lawyers. Another issue of that same period was signing regulations for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. For those kinds of questions he depended very, very heavily on lawyers. You might sense that that was his way, just to reach out to some lawyers. His staff was very weighted with lawyers wasn't it?

Wortman: It certainly was, numerous young, bright lawyers.

Berkowitz: So you're saying this was an exception to that style?

Wortman: I would guess so. You're a better observer of all that. He did have a lot of bright lawyers around him, but this was an exception. You're right. Tom didn't have to fulfill operational obligations during the day like Jack and I did. I'd taken over a major maligned organization of government, the Social and Rehabilitation Service, which I'd run six months earlier for six months before Bob Fulton came in, unfortunately a career friend of mine. He took a presidential appointment thinking Ford might be reelected.

Berkowitz: This was not a full-time job, this reorganization. You were also running SRS?

Wortman: Oh, I was running SRS, yes, and I had to, I couldn't leave SRS. There was no deputy either, I mean, I'm there. State welfare officers would call me. We were in the middle of a major contest between the federal government and many states, in fact most all states, on a two to four billion dollar set of social services claims, a dispute over what was allowable under federal regulations.

Berkowitz: The thing that later became uncontrollable spending for social services, that episode?

Wortman: The congress had to put a stop to that.

Then we had to negotiate out of that, and I had these high priced Arnold & Porter lawyers coming and I had issues, issues galore.

Berkowitz: And rehab people coming to see you probably trying to figure out what's happening.

Wortman: Oh, yes, and Long had his pet program there--Child Support Enforcement. If I didn't pay attention to that, give due service to Child Support Enforcement which at that time was still developing as a major national initiative (and it's interesting historically, the liberals were anti that program, then the conservatives, then the feminist movement came along and the liberal tone started to get more mottled and mixed. It was sort of fascinating, and now today it's OK to go get those guys.)

Berkowitz: So, in this SRS they had vocational rehabilitation, Medicaid, Social services, yes?

Wortman: Medicaid, Keith Weikle ran that. Title XX. Social services, AFDC, and those were the major pieces of the pie.

Berkowitz: So now were you considered in this reorganization an expert on Medicaid?

Wortman: No, I would have to assume you'd have to talk to others about that. I assume that I was considered a strong executive, and I assume that they knew that I tended in my manner to gain the trust and the engagement of my employees. That's one of the reasons why Cap sent me into SRS in the first place, because it had become a much dispirited organization. He sent me over there after some of the California crowd left.

Berkowitz: Jack Svahn sounded very tough on that child support item, I know.

Wortman: They sent me over there. It was interesting--just a little anecdote--this is going to sound like I'm puffin' my own balloon, but these are meaningful events to me. At the conclusion of my first six months as acting administrator of SRS, they had a big ceremony in the old North building, that's before the Humphrey building was built, in the auditorium there and Wilbur Cohen was there. It was a big ceremony and they were announcing the appointment of my good friend Bob Fulton to be the new administrator of SRS and what happened caught David Matthews by surprise. I was sitting in the audience. I wasn't asked to sit up front and that was appropriate. The focus was on my buddy Fulton. You're talking about one of my best buddies. We go back to Atomic Energy Commission together, so I didn't want to steal any of his thunder either. I'm a great believer that once you've led an organization and you go, you GO. You leave it behind. But anyway, there was a spontaneous standing ovation for me, and I think it caught Matthews by surprise that there was this much affirmation of affection for me based on my six months there, and maybe Joe heard about that. I don't know, because you've got to worry about the union and how people are going to react to these things when you consider major reorganization.

Berkowitz: You'd studied public administration at Minnesota. You also studied about the famous reorganizations of 1939. Did you have ideas then about how this should go?

Wortman: Myself? Going into it?

Berkowitz: Maybe breaking up the power of the Social Security Administration for example?

Wortman: No, I did not. I guess you'd have to say as an old careerist, somewhat shaped by events, I came at it and was attuned at that point in time, I'm sure, to be suspicious about reorganization as a solution to public policy matters. Just as I am suspicious about it today. Too often reorganization is used as a cover for insoluble or lack of political will in public policy issues. So, I probably was a little skeptical going into this. I generally approach reorganization with all the ballyhoo, and Joe put a hell of a lot of ballyhoo in his statements, I was probably skeptical. Now when we started talking to Joe, and Joe had the ideas, not Hale. Joe is the one who was pressing. It was clear from the outset he wanted to put these health financing programs together, Medicaid and Medicare. What else he wanted to do wasn't so clear. One evening he asked me to look at and price out moving Medicaid to Social Security. I'll never forget that. I sort of winced when he said it and then I went back in and showed him the dollar data. I said--I don't know if you know what a strong ego this man has?

Berkowitz: Yes, I'm aware of that.

Wortman: But I said, in a very nice way, I didn't point a finger at him, "Let me tell you, Joe, in all honesty, if you do all this and put this all under the commissioner of social security you'll be going to staff meetings in Baltimore. And that's the last we heard about it. Beause there are what? 98% of the dollars and 99% of the staff all in one big organization of government.

Berkowitz: Did you get a sense that one gets in retrospect, that Califano wanted to break up that Social Security Administration? He didn't like these people that were sort of still players in social security?

Wortman: Oh, that's true, that's true.

Berkowitz: And as Secretary of HEW, he realized that if he was going to get to play he was going to have to break up that agency.

Wortman: I do not recall that so explicitly. I do recall his frustration with Ball, Cohen.

Berkowitz: Nelson Cruikshank?

Wortman: Yes, I do recall he was very worried. There was a view that Tom Tierney, head of Medicare, a powerful bureau, had his own political base in House Ways and Means, and Joe and Hale and I talked about that, and they were very concerned that this was going to be too difficult for me to handle. There was some truth to that. In fact, my inner circle of friends love to remember the anecdotes about how Tierney tried to upstage me, and he used to call me Dan. He used to call me Dan, I think on purpose and Anne Marie Hummel, who's still at HCFA says, "I've never seen you so mad. I've only seen you really mad twice in your whole government experience," and she's worked with me in a lot of capacities. And she says, "Don, you looked up there and you said, 'God damn it, Tom, my name is Don. It's not Dan,'" or something like that. I don't know what all I said. So they were worried about Tierney. And they did not trust Cardwell at first. Remember now, Bruce is another very able career officer.

Berkowitz: He was the Commissioner of Social Security?

Wortman: He was the Commissioner of Social Security. He had been comptroller of HEW. Came up through FDA, an extremely fine person. And they didn't trust Cardwell. Even after we got this thing under way they started talking to me saying you're going to go out there as deputy commissioner into another holding action I suppose. Go from one holding action to another holding action and what thanks do you get? You get sent to CIA. But, anyway, they were making clear they didn't trust Bruce all that much, and I was going to go out there as their person at Social Security until they can resolve some things. I never was privy to the fact that Hale had his eye on that job. I don't know if you know that anecdote, but Hale Champion wanted to be commissioner and Stan Ross would come in as under secretary. Joe's law partner, friend through the legal business.

Berkowitz: And colleague at the White House, wasn't he also?

Wortman: Oh, is that right, OK, that's some background I didn't know. So anyway, the White House rejected that. I'm not exactly sure I know the whole story there. I had a little feeling it was a little payback for the sort of one-upmanship that Joe and Hale kept pulling on BOB and the White House staff. See when Joe got this reorganization to the point he was comfortable with it and had it all sort of shaped, he arranged a meeting with the president two days before the press conference, something like that. Let's see my note from the president. It's 3/3, so it was a few days before.

Berkowitz: March 3, 1977?

Wortman: Yes. The note to Joe from the president was written March 3rd, and I assume that may have been the day after or the day of the briefing Joe gave him. As I understand it, nobody else was in there so this made Joe look awfully good to Carter, awfully good.

Berkowitz: In other words Joe briefed the president one on one, just by himself?

Wortman: Yes, no staff.

Berkowitz: No HHS staff?

Wortman: No HHS staff.

Berkowitz: No White House staff?

Wortman: No BOB, OMB staff, no domestic policy staff. That was all part of it. Super-secret. And I must tell you, I've never worked on anything except in the early days of AEC on the nuclear stockpiling stuff, I've never worked on anything we held secret so well. Another tribute to careerists whose egos--in other words we're not out there playing some game in the press or something, some long-term game. Tom and Jack and I kept our mouths shut. We had charts all done at Fort Belvoir. We had one secretary, Sammie Bear, loyal to both Tom and Joe, she worked for Joe at the White House. She was loyal to me, she'd been my secretary. She didn't breathe a word.

Berkowitz: Was Eileen Shanahan at the meetings with Califano?

Wortman: Towards the end, the very end. All this formative stuff was conducted with very few in the room and all I recall is Dick Beatty being added. I don't even think Gene Eidenburg--Hale's trusted lieutenant who was very sharp--I don't even recall Gene being at those meetings. It didn't take long for Joe to work through the alternatives, and since Tom and I were very clear he wanted to put Medicaid and Medicare together, once we did that the other pieces fell into place.

Berkowitz: Did he tell you that directly at the first meeting. Say, "I'm very interested in that."

Wortman: Very clear, pretty clear. I recall being pretty clear about that. It's too bad both Tom and Jack are deceased because you've only got me to recollect all that really except for Joe and Hale. Hale was there all the time. I don't recall Hale having particularly strong views. He was more like us, sort of weighing them, what the pros and cons were, and what the constituent elements would say and all of that.

Berkowitz: So your job was to take that idea of putting Medicaid and SRS

Berkowitz: We were talking about Califano sending signals about Medicare and Medicaid.

Wortman: So we took it from there and then the idea of putting all the income transfer programs into SSA appealed to him. As you read the press release, of course, the emphasis was on the economies that were going to be affected, highly exaggerated in my view, but it had a lot to do with cutting down fraud and abuse.

Berkowitz: Let me just get a sense of how you worked then. You'd have these meetings at night with Joe Califano, occasionally once a week maybe, more often?

Wortman: Oh, maybe twice.

Berkowitz: Twice a week in that period between say January 25th and March 1. He'd meet with you at night in his office there on the top of the Cohen Building as it's called now. How did you answer substantive questions without having your own staff?

Wortman: Jack had some of that. You know he was in the central management in terms of budget data and employment data. He could get that. He did not engage Cardwell in this. I can't really recall the sequence in which principle officials got briefed. A few days before all this took place. At some point they got brought in but at least for the first month it was pretty hush-hush, just a few of us doing the work. And Jack would produce some of the data and then I'd produce some of the data.

Berkowitz: How about typing drafts? Who typed the drafts?

Wortman: Sammie Bear.

Berkowitz: She worked in Califano's office?

Wortman: Worked for Tom Morris. She was assigned to the task force. She and Tom had an office and we, Jack and I, would meet with Tom. The three of us would meet there, privately. That would be our task force meeting place.

Berkowitz: Meet there in her office?

Wortman: Tom and Sammie had a set of offices up there near Joe.

Berkowitz: Sammie?

Wortman: Sammie Bear. She's now down at Ocean View, Delaware. She was in the Johnson White House, but she was a careerist. She worked for Governor Connolly and so Joe trusted her, and it was a well-deserved trust. She's outstanding. And she became my trusted colleague and worked with me on a lot of these different things I've done. After I left government she continued to work for me for about 10 years.

Berkowitz: And she's where today?

Wortman: She's in Ocean View, Delaware. I have her number. She's retired fully.

Berkowitz: She might be somebody we should talk to.

Wortman: Yes, she'll tell you a lot about Tom and Jack and myself at that time and Joe trusted her implicitly. After this assignment was over she became an advance person for Joe, planning trips and things like that.

Berkowitz: So you had this idea about combining Medicare and Medicaid, and you say you were skeptical about saving money?

Wortman: I was skeptical about all reorganizations. Oh, and the money, that was ridiculous.

Berkowitz: What were the claims that were made?

Wortman: Aw, they were ridiculous, just ridiculous and unfortunately for me then, and some of my reporter friends will tell you--I sat there in the room that day--and some of my staff will tell you too, this press release which I had helped draft, well every night it would come down to me from Joe's office, and have this two billion dollar savings figure in it, and I would just about "throw up."

Berkowitz: What was the date on the press release?

Wortman: March 8, 1977. Here, this is the key paragraph. "Although it is not possible at this time to give a precise estimate (that's me, I finally got that in) the savings for the US taxpayer related to these reorganization initiatives, especially those involving efforts to eradicate fraud and abuse [here we go, it'll all be fraud and abuse, if you want to do anything about public policy which is saleable] will be at least one billion dollars over the next two years and will reach a total of at least two billion annually by 1981." That is off by a factor of 10!

Berkowitz: That was supposed to be fraud and abuse mainly in Medicaid? Is that the notion there?

Wortman: Well, fraud and abuse, it was the whole bit. Medicaid, Medicare was the primary thing. Need to get more uniform policies that would apply to the third party providers and all that stuff. It was all of that. Then there'd be improved application of criteria for eligibility in SSI and AFDC. By putting them together you'd have improved administration, and you get the child support and AFDC and it would all be beautiful. Then if you could pull in food stamps, man, we could have this thing licked for a change. You've heard that before?

Berkowitz: In other words, these are savings from both income maintenance and from the medical costs?

Wortman: Yes, we hoped.

Berkowitz: Surely the food stamps, the Department of Agriculture was not about to give you that?

Wortman: Oh, no, no. Cap Weinberger had made that pitch and got soundly pushed back, and Joe never did. He never made a pitch for food stamps.

Berkowitz: Does that press release mention the Health Care Financing Administration by name?

Wortman: Yes. That, by the way, is my creation.

Berkowitz: Is it? Can you tell us about that?

Wortman: And I don't like it. But it's the best I could come up with. I don't like the acronym which I also came up with, HCFA [as pronounced], it doesn't have, it's a little bit like the GSA's SLUC [as pronounced]. Have you ever heard of SLUC? It doesn't have a ring to it I like. SLUC was Standard Level Users Charge which most Americans would call rent but the government can't call it rent. It was SLUC. So we had all these titles and we're running down to the wire and Joe didn't seem to focus on this as much as I thought he would, because he's pretty creative on the PR side of life. So I came up with the Health Care Financing Administration, HCFA. That sort of won the day although I've never been too happy, too pleased about it.

Berkowitz: When did you come up with it? Early on?

Wortman: Oh, no, no. Late, late, late, late. Like days before this thing. Days. We were still kicking around different things.

Berkowitz: Did you take the problems in order? Did you look at first income maintenance and then health?

Wortman: First health financing, then income maintenance, then social services, then these educational programs, consolidation, that kind of stuff.

Berkowitz: So in some ways health was the top priority.

Wortman: Yes. Clearly. That's the way I think it reads. It starts out with health care. Have you got this stuff?

Berkowitz: No.

Wortman: Before we leave here today you may want to run and make a copy of a few things here. I've got these notes that Carter wrote to Joe and Joe wrote to me.

Berkowitz: What do we have here? This is a fact sheet?

Wortman: No, you have there the explanatory material that accompanied the statement. Here's the press statement and then attached to it, which you have right there, is no different than this. This is the whole package that Joe had at the press conference along with these charts.

Berkowitz: Right. Now this was March 8 that you had the press conference? This was an HEW press conference, I take it?

Wortman: Right.

Berkowitz: The President sort of let Califano have the ball on this?

Wortman: Especially to see where we put the emphasis you know. This, I must say, in a historical sense, this emphasis on making significant savings in so-called fraud and abuse, and under this reorganization we created an Inspector General and that was before an Inspector General became a statutory requirement. HEW once again was sort of out front of something that became government policy. Joe created an Inspector General and appointed his good friend Tom Morris to the job. Tom was an outstanding civil servant, but that whole climate then led Tom to produce his first major report on potential savings on fraud and abuse throughout the department, and rather than saying something would reach two billion annually, Tom comes out and says there's two billion dollars of readily identifiable savings. Well, that whole climate got Tom and Joe in "deep yogurt" because the Congress, the Appropriations Committee, even though it was the same party, what would you do if you're up there looking for money? They took it. You're such a good manager, Joe, you've done all this reorganization to save money, you've attested to it yourself, we'll take the two billion. Now we're talking real money. We're not talking press release money. We're talking real money, right out of your program hide. It was the biggest fiasco in Tom Morris's career. It embarrassed him mightily. I'm sure if he could write about it he'd say he regretted that one. It put us, put me and him, people with high regard for each other, it put us in very tense circumstances, because I thought the whole thing was a bad idea in the first place. Sort of an over-eagerness to identify looseness in your own programs, so I just want to make a point, Ed, that this sort of led from one thing to the other and it ended up accumulating as quite a problem for Califano. He had to go personally up there to the Hill and use a hell of a lot of chips to get a lot of that money restored, if not all of it. I forget how it all worked out. Difficult circumstances and they made the bed, they made their bed there.

Berkowitz: Well, did anyone say,when these discussions were going on, was it open ended? Did you debate one another? Did anybody say this putting Medicaid and Medicare together is not going to produce that much change?

Wortman: Oh, I did.

Berkowitz: You did?

Wortman: Oh, yes. Jack Young and I never bought those figures. Tom was, after all, new to the place, and by this time I'd been there three years now doing all kinds of things. I knew the department quite well because I'd done so darn many things. And Jack Young and I didn't buy these figures. Jack is not a very bashful person. He's sort of the one who called Joe to task about buying new equipment for the kitchen and paying a cook so damn much money. Remember that story?

Berkowitz: This also happened right around the same time?

Wortman: Yes, Jack was not a very timid executive.

Berkowitz: Well did you confront Califano on this, in these meetings with him and say, "Joe, it's not going to happen, let's not over sell this?"

Wortman: I would not want to overstate our confrontation. I would say that we--I'm going to have to speculate a little bit here, but I'm sure Jack and I registered some disbelief initially at the kind of savings and then the train starts to run down the track. We're running towards a lot of deadlines to get all this legal work done, that package prepared, big charts done all out at Fort Belvoir. Starting to brief everybody. By this time you had to brief the senior staff. You can't have your own staff caught by surprise. You're doing briefings and running around and every night, though, the people working for me I'm sure they'll remember how I used to cuss. Late at night I'd get this thing one more time and I'd scratch out two billion and put maybe two hundred million. Every time I did it I kept upping my own estimate because I was trying to find some middle ground with the boss. I think I probably got up to two hundred million, factor of ten different than two billion. And then, sure enough, I don't know who the AP guy was, but he knew me well. I'd been at the department for three years and worked on a lot of sort of hot issues, like the refugees and initiatives for different secretaries. I think I, well, one of the things I pride myself on is I tried to talk straight to the press. They might not get any answer from me, but at least they were told they weren't going to get any answer from me. I didn't mess around. And sure enough, the AP guy called me down and said, "What do you have backing up this estimate of two billion in savings?" And all I said was, "You son of a bitch." I wasn't going to talk about it.

Berkowitz: I'd like to ask you also about the administrative side of all this. Did you see in your mind as you were thinking about this, that means we've got to get most people to Woodlawn?

Wortman: You're talking about Medicare?

Berkowitz: Medicare and Medicaid too. Bring those Medicaid people from wherever they were in Washington, from the Switzer Building or wherever they were over to Woodlawn, or did you think that through?

Wortman: Oh, yes.

Berkowitz: Was that in your bailiwick?

Wortman: That's another anecdote. It had to do with SSA. I do not recall Joe and Hale talking about consolidation building-wise or geographic-wise. I do recall them worrying about Tierney, and a number of times they asked me, "Don, if he's giving you too much of a problem we'll find a solution for you." But I could tell they weren't eager to do that because they themselves were uncertain about what can of worms that might open. So I got the feeling, "Work this out, Don, as distasteful as you find it," and I did find it distasteful to work with him[Tierney]. He was not a very cooperative person and yet the man had a fantastic sense of humor. I must say that even though I was charged up going into some of those staff meetings about all I had to get done and then he'd call me Dan, and then he'd smoke in the meetings, and by that time this old devil had this terrible cough. So he'd be sitting there and I'm giving these orders, you can imagine this, all these confidants of mine--Dave Weinman, McDonough, Anne Marie Hummel, John Berry, Carolyn Betts--and all these people who were my trusted inner circle to make sure I can get all this done, and all these people were sitting there on the periphery because they were my task force to get everything I had to do done. People I trusted. I met with them every morning and then I'd meet with this big staff that I inherited every other day or so. So any way, I'd get going with everything we had to do, and Tierney would make some goddamn quip and just cut me to ribbons, you know. Very clever. And sometimes I'd have to laugh because some of it was so damn funny. And he's like an old ward boss, you know, and then he'd sit there, [exaggerated cough]. Here again I was making a big statement, [another exaggerated cough]. I still remember the last one. Oh, I was glad I could laugh, look back on it and laugh. Anyway, soon after Bruce [Cardwell] left in December of 77, and I'd been out there for about 6 months I became Acting Commissioner of SSA. I went on June 17th.

Berkowitz: What was your title up to then?

Wortman: I went out as Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. You asked when the reorganization was complete. From two other items I've extracted from my files I'd say June 17th.

Berkowitz: 1977?

Wortman: I'm basing this on a letter that was sent to all SRS employees on June 17th from Virginia Smith, my acting deputy administrator of SRS and HCFA. She'd been regional administrator for SRS and everybody trusted her and I did too. So she came up at my request to help me. You also note my immediate appointment to SSA on June 19th, so we sent the letter and disbanded SRS and I gave every employee a little memento of appreciation, because it had been a much maligned and under appreciated organization for ten years.

Berkowitz: So the SRS goes out of existence there. No wonder John Gardner was interested since that was his baby. And it was replaced by Rehabilitation Services Administration at that point?

Wortman: It was gone.

Berkowitz: Just gone? Where was voc rehab after that then?

Wortman: It went with Title XX I suppose. Went over to the Office of Human Development.

Berkowitz: OK, which was created in this reorganization?

Wortman: Or strengthened. I'd have to go back and read my notes on that. Then Bob Derzon came. I was acting administrator. Legally, to do all this, I had to have three titles for awhile. I was acting administrator of SRS, acting administrator of HCFA, and chairman of the reorganization. Those three titles gave me legal grounds to deal with unions, to deal with personnel transfers, to deal with statutory and regulatory obligations, so I could sign all this paper work and keep things moving. And then Derzon showed up. Let's see, March, April, let's say Derzon shows up 15 May.

Berkowitz: May of 1977?

Wortman: Right.

Berkowitz: As head of HCFA, first head of HCFA?

Wortman: First head of HCFA, and then for a few weeks I'm his acting deputy and Derzon's making a big plea for me to stay on as his deputy as he's getting a sense of what all this is about. And Derzon and I do hit it off--as people. In fact, it's interesting that when Derzon came on board, within days after his appointment he had already committed to a major appearance in London. Dorothy and I had already invested big time money on a major trip to England, and I needed a vacation really badly at that time. It was a little stressful, but Joe finally bit his teeth and we both went, and we overlapped for an overnight in London and the Derzons entertained us royally even though I was sound asleep most of the time. But any way, Derzon and I got along, and I liked Bob Derzon. But then my focus shifted over night because I went to SSA In June, and it was clear that Cardwell was on his way out. He knew that. I must say, as often happens with political appointees, and I'm digressing some, Cardwell's competence and objectivity were highly respected by Hale and Joe by the time he left. He was a first class chap, and even though Bruce had not picked me, I think as career executives the two of us were committed to making our relationship work. It was easy for me because I'd respected Bruce from when I first got to know him when I joined HEW in '73. We worked on some things together.

Berkowitz: This is Bruce Cardwell you're talking about?

Wortman: Bruce Cardwell, yes. So we made that work.

Berkowitz: As commissioner and deputy commissioner?

Wortman: Yes. And then when Bruce left--this is a long way to get around to a story. So the story is this, it's a great story if I do say so myself. Anyway, Bruce is about to leave and I'm called to another private chat with Joe. Joe says, "Don, we've got to start bringing all those actuaries and the policy people from SSA down to Washington. And I want you to do that." And I said, "Oh, boy, Joe," and Hale was sitting there, just the three of us. I said, "Oh, boy. If you want me to move those elements in a hurry, Parren Mitchell, Mathias, they'll stop us, they'll just stop us." "No, you can do it, Don. If I can't pull this off then I shouldn't be Secretary of HEW." Well, anyway, so anything like that had to do some analysis, and I knew even if I only had three people in the room, this one I couldn't contain. I was a newcomer to those SSA people in Baltimore. Their loyalties were not to Don Wortman. Maybe if I'd been there a year, some of the people I had work on this would not want to violate a confidence of a trusted boss, but I hadn't built those relationships, had no opportunity. So anyway, I went up there and I knew it was going to leak, and within days or weeks [senator] Mathias put a rider on an appropriation bill that was riding through, I don't know if it was a supplemental or what, that no funds herein shall be in anyway used to transfer any people from Baltimore to Washington. Just a simple one sentence. And I've always wondered if that-- Joe and I never quite got into a trust level like I'd been so successful with a lot of political leaders, I got it with Hale but not with Joe--and I always wondered if he thought I'd played him on that one. I really hadn't. I just knew that was the way it was going to play out. And we never moved on that idea again. I did tell him, if you let me do this over three or four years, I can get some of these elements down here in incremental form. That might have been too bold. Over three or four years? But political officers with their two-year time horizons can't sit still for that. So that's what came to my mind. They never did talk to me about consolidating either geographically or building-wise, these people.

Berkowitz: We're talking about the process of getting out the word about this report on the Health Care Financing Administration. We talked about the fact that there was a statement on March 8 and at some point, maybe late February, these briefings with the people at HEW.

Wortman: Yes, must have. I don't remember that so distinctly, but people like Bruce [Cardwell] had to be brought in and the legislative people and the public affairs people, and at some point Eileen Shanahan was brought in, I'm sure. I would assume these draft press releases that I kept complaining about came from the public affairs people by that time as we got down to the wire. In effect, a lot of the analytical work had been done and the public affairs/legislative people evidently were brought in in small numbers at the last minute and then they sort of took over.

Berkowitz: What about the people sort of right outside the department, like Ball and Cohen and those people?

Wortman: Not a soul. That wouldn't have worked. I'm telling you, you get the American Hospital Association and the Blues and the nurses, you get AFL-CIO, you get all those people involved, they'd stop you.

Berkowitz: Because they've been so comfortable?

Wortman: Yes, constituent interests always sort of work out their accommodations with existing structures, for the most part, and it creates a high degree of uncertainty for them, this kind of change. The surprise of this was masterful whether the public, the political scientists or public administrators, you, or I agree that this is the way major reorganization should be done. That's a separate question, but this was masterful. It caught everybody by surprise, it didn't permit anybody to mobilize against it.

Berkowitz: What about on the Hill?

Wortman: I think it fueled the Hill to, especially [Representative Jack] Brooks to put in legislation which now exists that this kind of thing can't happen without consultation with Congress. I'd have to go back and study that, but it contributed in a significant way to the kinds of steps that Brooks took to stop the executive from doing things this massive.

Berkowitz: And this was legal? The executive had the right to do this without congressional consultation?

Wortman: This was a pretty big thing, creating a big agency. Today in the government you couldn't create an agency or destroy an agency (or a bureau, I use agency/bureau synonymously) without consultation with the Congress.

Berkowitz: Did you at some point tell the Ways and Means and Finance committees you were about to change their programs around?

Wortman: I suspect, knowing Joe and how shrewd he was in Congressional relations, that they were probably given 24-hour notice.

Berkowitz: Really? That's all?

Wortman: Maybe 48, no more. They may not have been. It's amazing. That's why Haynes Johnson wrote about this. "How did you get this done, Don?" I can see him now. "How did you pull this off?" I'd never been a part of anything, especially on the domestic side that had been kept secret so long.

Berkowitz: Wasn't Califano afraid of retaliation from the committees, as indeed there was from Brooks and so on?

Wortman: Yes, he wasn't afraid of retaliation from anybody, and as he says, during the '76 campaign President Jimmy Carter promised the nation significant reorganization of the federal departments as part of his larger commitment to manage a competent, efficient government. That's his first paragraph. He was focused on Jimmy Carter, and Jimmy Carter, you know, wrote this note saying, March 3rd, "To Joe Califano from the White House: I'm very proud of your reorganization effort. Please prepare a brief (3-4 minute) presentation of the charts for our next cabinet meeting. J.C." That's a hand written note. Not too many folks get hand written notes.

Berkowitz: Do you think that Califano maybe thought that this was his way of showing he knew so much more about Washington than the people running the other departments, his rivals in a sense?

Wortman: Good point! Good point. I think that's probably true. He's a very shrewd man, and a pretty complicated individual. That's an interesting point, yes, I think so. And the way he bamboozled the OMB and White House domestic policy staff, he just (cutting sound) right through. Harrison Welford didn't know about this one, and of course he was just getting organized on that big reorganization thing. What's-his-name, the closest advisor to Jimmy?

Berkowitz: Watson?

Wortman: Not Watson.

Berkowitz: Jody Powell?

Wortman: The other guy, the guy that was supposed to be

Berkowitz: Another Georgian?

Wortman: Yes, that guy that

Berkowitz: Not Bert Lance?

Wortman: No, the guy who was his closest political advisor. The one that Sally Quinn did the knife job on that was unfair?

Berkowitz: I can't think of who it was. It'll come to us. [Hamilton Jordan]

Wortman: Well, anyway, at that time he and Watson were vying for the chief of staff role. He tended to be the most powerful, yet he was quite disorganized. Anyway, Joe went by 'em all. And I think your point is well taken.

Berkowitz: When you did this report which we have here on the table in front of us, how much into detail does it go about what HCFA would look like? In other words, does it see the shape of HCFA? Did you think about duplicating things? SSA was full of research capability and had this big research thing on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, and it had several legislative analysis departments and so on.

Wortman: Just to make Medicare, Medicaid and quality control. That was it.

Berkowitz: So the level of detail we're looking at on, let's see what date this would be?

Wortman: March.

Berkowitz: On a March 8, 1977 organization chart and under the Health Care Financing Administration simply three bureaus are listed?

Wortman: Right.

Berkowitz: With then a little bit of elaboration under quality control.

Wortman: Right.

Berkowitz: That was it.

Wortman: You see here again the fraud and abuse, the elevation of quality control.

Berkowitz: In effect the quality control is the only thing in which there are things iterated, like professional standards reviews, nursing home facilities and program integrity.

Wortman: Some of that was iterated because that came from the public health side of the organization. PSRO came over the assistant secretary from Health.

Berkowitz: That's another bit of moving stuff around.

Wortman: Right.

Berkowitz: Did anyone give any thought to the fact that SSA had all these little specialized shops that did legislative review and things that go back a long way in terms of research. Ida Merriam was the head of for many years.

Wortman: Right. Jack Carroll.

Berkowitz: Was the idea that these would all be duplicated in HCFA and, if so, how was that going to save money?

Wortman: I picked up Cliff Gaus, who's still in the health business, I saw his name the other day on some organization. As part of this I picked up a statistical unit, maybe out of public health, run by a chap by the name of Cliff Gaus, and I inherited him, too. He was not in SRS. Can't remember, but I did pick up a small statistical unit. Could have been that that was one of those statistical units that was in Merriam or Jack Carroll's shop up there.

Berkowitz: By the Chinese restaurant by the Universal Building?

Wortman: Up by the, not the Radisson, but the hotel up on Connecticut Avenue.

Berkowitz: The Hilton?

Wortman: Probably picked that group up out there.

Berkowitz: So what you're saying is that beyond the idea of moving Medicare and Medicaid and the idea that somehow it was going to contribute to quality control, no thought was really given to how this agency would look once it was established.

Wortman: We didn't have time to do that. That was left to me and people like Bob Derzon to worry that out.

Berkowitz: That's what you did after March, figure out about that?

Wortman: Yes, I started to think about that. How we were going to organize the region. There was a lot of discombobulation in the regions caused by this and we had to think through how we were going to organize the region, how we were going to organize the headquarters. I must say that various times the alignment in headquarters was different than the alignment in the region. And HCFA went through a certain amount of growing pains in terms of organization. People like Len Schaeffer and succeeding administrators will tell you about that. I sure did not perfect it. By the time I left there, I did not perfect that. And I don't recall, other than just sort of limping along, you might say, I don't recall making any great progress on thinking through the organization while I was still there. I don't recall that.

Berkowitz: What about this fundamental merging of Medicare and Medicaid? Surely the idea was that somehow they both make medical payments, and therefore there would be economies of scale.

Wortman: That was the idea.

Berkowitz: Did anyone have a clear idea of how that was going to be?

Wortman: You're aware that for a period of time they tried to organize functionally at HCFA.

Berkowitz: Tell me about that.

Wortman: Well, I'm not the best one, but they had major units for policy and for operations a little bit like SSA had worked. More recently they had recreated the bureau for Medicaid. They recreated the same sort of bureau that Keith Weikle, Dr. Keith Weikle, ran for me the two times I was head of SRS. First they put these programs together and then the nature of the relationship with the states, the nature of the statutory base was so different that the force-fit doesn't work, and then comes a succeeding political appointee and makes a big plus out of recreating the Medicaid bureau. It's all there in the record.

Berkowitz: Right. Isn't that true at SSA as well, that there was, at this time I believe Stan Ross was eager to have different kinds of organization, I believe by program?

Wortman: By function. More by function.

Berkowitz: Similar kinds of things.

Wortman: Stan Ross actually messed up that place coming in for one year and reorganizing. Bad message. But, anyway--personal view. They did for a while try to get those programs working closer together, and when you got one program that's being delivered through 50 state governments plus a few additional territories like Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and you have these different contractual relationships for Medicare, that's a different shape up, a different shape up. And so now today, if you went out to HCFA all I can tell you is you will find a full-fledged Medicaid bureau. And there's a lot of fanfare about recreating it. And if you and I live long enough, Ed, you might, they'll probably merge them again. Sit tight.

Berkowitz: I want to just follow up one thread of this to complete the record. You were at SSA as deputy commissioner beginning in June of 1977. How long did that assignment last? Wortman: Well, Bruce left and then I became acting commissioner on January 1, 1978, and stayed in that capacity until about the end of October when Stan Ross was brought in. Then some signals were sent, just through daily conduct, that I was no longer of value and Mr. Ross, as they do in bureaucratic life, they had a big ceremony, gave me an award, and, thank God for Carlucci, I went to CIA on January 1, 1979, and concluded the last two years of the Carter administration at CIA as the deputy director for administration, one of the four barons, as we call them, of the CIA. I worked for Stansfield Turner and Frank Carlucci there. Just to conclude my story a little bit, then my good friends William Howard Taft and Carlucci told me, who were working on transition for Ronald Reagan, that my name was not surviving well. Remember earlier I told you I no longer had career protection. I'd lost that in 1967. I thought it'd be best to retire rather than go through having [William] Casey fire me, which Casey as I look back in retrospect, would clearly have done, given my image in government. So I was at SSA for 18 months.

Berkowitz: And during those 18 months were you focused on HCFA stuff at all, were you trying to kind of clean out Medicare and give it over to HCFA?

Wortman: No, I was trying to make sure that we provided the necessary support for HCFA. The dependency of HCFA on SSA eligibility apparatus, on SSAs 1300 field offices, all of that where a lot of American people make their first inquiries when they're confused. There's a very important relationship.

Berkowitz: Yes, I hadn't thought about that. But absolutely right. In other words, wherever you have HCFA, people are still getting Medicare through Social Security and therefore their benefit questions are going to be at an SSA district office.

Wortman: Well, they may get referred to some other 800 number at some point. I don't know about all the workings today, but you still have this network of interface with the American people, because HCFA does not relate with the American people except by paper, not face to face.

Berkowitz: It interfaces with fiscal intermediaries and maybe with hospitals and certainly with staffs, not with people.

Wortman: That's right, not with people. And they may have five or six thousand people as compared to seventy thousand in SSA. So I worried about that, but still I had enough to do. I had AFDC to run, and as we all know, maybe, maybe not, welfare reform is ever present. It's probably the longest running show in town, and I had Barry Van Lare running AFDC and Lou Hays on Child Support Enforcement. Senator Long wanted to make sure in this reorganization that priority went to Child Support Enforcement. As I'm sorting out my house now in this move to Albuquerque, I've got all these wonderful photos of Long and Joe and I at a big Child Support Enforcement conference at the Hilton hotel. We had 3000 people and we gave 'em a big pitch about Child Support Enforcement, and there's pictures of Long and Joe and myself on the dais, talking to state and county welfare administrators about the importance of Child Support Enforcement.

Berkowitz: In other words, another hidden place to find billions of dollars?

Wortman: Yes, another place. I'm still not sure, by the way, if you do a real good cost benefit on that program, real good, a Rand type analysis, that it pays off cost-benefit wise. When I left government the dollars invested still had not reached equilibrium as far as dollars gained.

Berkowitz: I can tell you that I once talked to Jack Svahn about this --welfare reform--and I said why are you screwing around with this Child Support. He looked at me and said, "It pays twelve dollars for every dollar spent."

Wortman: That's B.S. Could be more refined now, as far as tracking the absent spouse, I don't know about that. I'm suspicious.

Berkowitz: So you were around for the President's program for better jobs and income?

Wortman: Yes, yes, so anyway, I had to focus heavily on welfare reform. I had to meet with my former boss Bill Morrill and we had many task forces.

Berkowitz: He was head of ASPE, the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation?

Wortman: He'd been my boss. He's my close friend. I'm wrong. He was gone at the time. It would have been the guy at Brookings.

Berkowitz: Henry Aaron?

Wortman: Henry Aaron, it was Henry. Head of ASPE.

Berkowitz: So this involvement with HCFA was really because of having been on this reorganization task force, and then you began to get back into other things.

Wortman: Yea, and here again I was thrust into a role where Joe had a lot of interests and once again I'm acting commissioner. Those were long days. I'd drive up to Baltimore, get there by seven in the morning and by 2 o'clock Joe would be having conniption fits because he wanted to pull my string, have me in meetings in D.C.. For him it was just intolerable that I was in Baltimore. It was intolerable for me trying to be in two places all of the time.

Berkowitz: I'm curious. Did your opinions of Ball and Cohen and Cruikshank change when you became more involved with SSA? Did they seem better or worse to you after that?

Wortman: I've always had this particular affection for Wilbur Cohen. If you ask me to explain all that I don't know, but I've always found in my different jobs involved in welfare administration and at OEO that I could have rather forthright discussions with Wilbur Cohen and I was confident they would never go further. As far as explaining what my personal opinion was on a public policy issue and why, even though publically we may have taken different positions. He was always very respectful and he would understand because he's such an old pro himself.

Berkowitz: Had been there for the creation of SRS, in fact did the staff work.

Wortman: That's right. That's why he was at this function that day with Bob Fulton.

Berkowitz: Did you ever ask him about HCFA? Did you ever ask Wilbur in passing whether he thought, after it was over, whether it was a good idea?

Continued

Edited by Terry Mauro
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Yesterday Robert Charles-Dunne wrote:

What I've done in Castro's case is to repeatedly point out for the benefit of others that the case you make against the Cubans is non-existent, and that all you do is regurgitate the script prepared by CIA. That it is baseless is clear to any schoolchild with a small modicum of mental acuity

************************************

The following is excerpted from Ronald Goldfarb's review of "Ultimate Sacrifice" from the San Francisco Chronicle, that I posted in the "Books" section: (Please see my comment below.)

We do not know fully and precisely what happened that

fateful day. We may never know indisputably what

happened. Indeed, a recently released German

documentary, "Rendezvous With Death," reportedly

included an interview with a former Cuban secret

service agent who said the Cuban secret service was

responsible for the JFK assassination, using Oswald as

its hired gun. It could be that after Fidel Castro is

out of power, Cuban records -- if they exist -- could

corroborate that story. Castro told an Associated

Press reporter days before the Kennedy assassination

that he knew plans were afoot to assassinate him and

that if the United States pursued those plans -- plans

we know did exist, and which the Waldron-Hartmann book

document -- our president's life would be in danger.

Might the mob have been in cahoots with Castro, even

though his control over Cuba hurt their financial

interests there? Might the Mafia have cared more about

ending the U.S. war against organized crime than

regaining its profitable business in Cuba? I think so.

From Charles-Dunne's ridiculous statement, Mr. Goldfarb must have less intelligence than a schoolchild (just like Joseph Califano and Joseph Trento and Gus Russo).

Mr. Goldfarb's biography is set forth in a following post. I seriously doubt that Charles-Dunne's intelligence comes close to that of Goldfarb.

**********************************************

"(just like Joseph Califano and Joseph Trento and Gus Russo)."

T.G., what you're doing here is only succeeding in making yourself look like a dingbat! And, a very un-funny one, at that!

I'm going to post something associated with Califano, whom I abhor to the nth degree. It is quite long and tedious, yet it may shed some light on how both democrats and republicans are at liberty and in complicity when it comes to implementing public policy, regardless of how the outcome may affect their constituency. This transpired under the auspices of Jimmy Carter's administration and managed to pull the safeguards out from under the only form of national healthcare we might have been afforded in our retirement. But, also succeeded in ruining the livelihoods, professions, access to updated equipment for, and the inevitable result in the closure of, many medical centers serving those of lesser means and/or access to healthcare. This, as opposed to those who can afford to go to Cedars-Sinai, Saint Johns, and/or other more prestigious private non-profit medical centers. In other words, those who can afford major medical/surgical plans that most employers are loathed to, or cannot afford to, carry for their employees. This, in turn, and by the early 1980's, led to the formation of DRG's (Diagnostic Related Groups) which made access to healthcare less viable for the uninsured. By the 1990's the formation of HMO's, which in my opinion stands for Healthy Members Only, were the eventual outcome. Below are the reasons why I particularly distrust Joseph Califano. But, of course, you'll probably find absolutely nothing wrong with the way he conducted "business as usual, on the beltway." And, yes, I realize this may not seem to have anything whatsoever to do with the initial subject matter of this thread. But, your continual referencing to Califano is what prompted me to post this. He's not the great guy you seem to be bent on promoting.

_____________________________________________________________

Page 2 (continued)

Berkowitz: Did you ever ask him about HCFA? Did you ever ask Wilbur in passing whether he thought, after it was over, whether it was a good idea?

Wortman: No, and he never saw fit to mention his view to me. I'd kept my distance from Bob Ball. He was such a power at SSA and I knew that Joe was feeling curtailed in options he could pursue by this powerful group of Democrats, you might say, so I purposely kept very much arm's length from Ball, Arthur Hess. I had a lot of respect for those people, though. I'm having a little trouble with this because I hold some of these Americans in very high regard even though I found it important for me in doing my job conscientiously with my political masters to keep a distance.

Berkowitz: Yes. It's a shame, because it seems to me that Arthur Hess could really help the HCFA stuff since he put Medicare together.

Wortman: That's right. I always found I had enlightening discussions with Art Hess in terms of policy options.

Berkowitz: Well this is terrific.

Wortman: Always had a feeling with some others that I was being positioned or worked over just a little bit.

Berkowitz: Bob thought in a little more strategic terms.

Wortman: He was goal driven like Arthur Fleming.

Berkowitz: Not quite as certain as Arthur Fleming perhaps.

Wortman: Yes, that's right. They still had the same agenda. Berkowitz: Let me ask you one last question if I might and that is, who should we talk to. We're trying to get this story straight about HCFA's starting and this task force of the initiation. You've mentioned a lot names. I've been trying to write some of them down. Where's Keith Weikle today, for example? Do you know?

Wortman: Yes, Keith is a major executive with a profit-making hospital and, if you want, I could call Aimee on some of these, Ed, and give you some numbers, but I can give you Keith. Keith and I are still friends. He's an extremely fine chap. He would be an interesting person for you to talk to.

Berkowitz: We're going to talk to Joe Califano. We're going to talk to Champion.

Wortman: Hale? Yes.

Berkowitz: We're going to talk to Fred Bohen. Who else should we be talking to. Doesn't have to be such a bigwig, but maybe somebody else.

Wortman: The little task force. Some of their memories are better than mine. John Berry, I used John Berry a lot because he's an MBA type, and Shriver just loved all those charts I'd bring in there. Berry was big on charts. He had milestone charts about how we were going to get this reorganization done. Then he'd come in there with charts about how much we'd gotten completed, we're 70% complete on this, 50% complete. And even though I thought some of those contained a high degree of B.S., Joe seemed to like that stuff so I used Berry a lot. He was very good, and he went on then to live through all of the HCFA reorganizations under different administrators and he only retired I'd say, maybe 7, 8 years ago. And then he became, I think, an administrator in the state of Virginia. You'd have to track John Berry down. Talk to John Berry. Talk to Anne Marie Hummel. She is now up in the front office of HCFA and has worked for various administrators. She's had her career, since leaving me, 15 years with me in different capacities, she's had her career at HCFA.

Berkowitz: OK, so we can get her at HCFA.

Wortman: She's in Washington, although she's increasingly spending more time in Baltimore. Anne Marie Hummel, one of my closest friends in government and a trusted compatriot, is Hummel. Now you've got to remember with these old pals of mine they're gonna laugh about some of the same anecdotes I've told you about.

Berkowitz: That's terrific.

Wortman: Some of them are rich in their mind about how Tierney tried to undermine me one way or another. Another person who was with me in these different efforts and who's in town is Dave Weinman. His associate, Pat Schoeni, also a product of HCFA, was in charge of public affairs there at one point under some administrators. But Dave was with me at SRS and with HCFA and has interesting perspectives on organizations.

Berkowitz: Where would we find him today?

Wortman: He's in Alexandria, Virginia. Dave Weinman, Keith Weikle, another chap who's sort of followed HCFA and who was with me at the start is Larry McDonough who is recently been deposed as the Medicaid administrator in the San Francisco regional office, for reasons I don't fully understand. But McDonough was one of my loyalists from OEO. Dave was too. Whenever I undertook major tasks in government, like refugees, I tried to collect some of these loyalists of mine that I could depend on. And Dave and Larry had been with me, as has Anne Marie, on a lot of special assignments. And Sammie, if you want to talk to her. Sammie would not be a kind of person who would be into the program rationales or organizational rationales. She would be, by her very nature as a wonderful human being, into the people and how they interplayed.

Berkowitz: And where is she these days?

Wortman: She's in Ocean View, Maryland.

Berkowitz: Terrific.

Wortman: If you want to hear anecdotes about LBJ she can even get into that.

Berkowitz: Terrific. Well, thank you very, very much.

Last Modified on Wednesday, March 1996

Edited by Terry Mauro
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Terry,

My point was simple: It is ridiculous to claim that intelligent people cannot believe that Castro did it (or someone acting on his behalf.)

To argue that Califano is not a "nice guy" is irrelevant to whether he is intelligent.

Califano may or may not be a "nice guy" (he was a Democrat after all). But his intelligence, presumably, cannot be doubted.

Nor can the intelligence of Alexander Haig (who also may or may not be a "nice guy").

Ditto the intelligence of Joseph Trento and Gus Russo.

At the risk of immodesty, I am intelligent and I am a nice guy. And I honestly think there is a lot of evidence pointing toward Cuban involvement in the assassination.

To argue that no intelligent people believe that Castro did it one must argue that each of the above is either: a) not intelligent (and that is absurd, of course); or dishonest (although publicly stating they think Castro did it, they do not actually believe that he did.

I suspect that whether or not Castro did it, Califano, Trento and Russo think he did (and Goldfarb at least has his suspicions).

So I understand you do not like Califano but my point stands.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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Tim:

I saw the title to this thread and all I could think was "oh boy, Tim's truly flipped his lid".

I think I speak for all here when I say two things:

RC Dunne is extremely intelligent and

most of us here agree with him that

Castro had zero to do with the murder of JFK.

Tim, really, you need to get a grip, this is beyond desperate.

Dawn

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To Dawn:

I agree with you that most of the members here are intelligent and do not subscribe to the Castro did it scenario.

But that does not mean that there are not intelligent people who DO believe that Castro did it. And that is the point about the foolish statement made by Robert Charles-Dunne.

Let me try an analogy (and I may have the percentages all wrong). Let us assume that, of intelligent psychologists, 80% subscribe to the nature theory of development while only 20% subscribe to the nurture theory. Well, by analogy, Robert essentially said that NO intelligent psychologist subscribed to the nurture theory.

Can you not agree that despite Robert's intelligence or lack thereof no one can in good faith state (as he did in his usual colorful language) that NO INTELLIGENT PERSON HONESTLY BELIEVES THAT CASTRO DID IT. Such an assertion is ridiculous!

If he is as intelligent as you assert, he would enter this discussion and admit he got carried away with his hyperbole, since his statement would be false if there was ONE intelligent person on the face of the planet who believed Castro did it.

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