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James Schlesinger


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James Schlesinger was born in New York City on 15th February, 1929. Educated in Harvard University he obtained a B.A. (1950), M.A. (1952), and Ph.D. (1956) in economics. Between 1955 and 1963 he taught economics at the University of Virginia and in 1960 published the book The Political Economy of National Security. In 1963 he moved to the Rand Corporation and later became director of strategic studies at the organization.

In 1969 President Richard Nixon appointed Schlesinger as his assistant director of the Bureau of the Budget. Two years later he became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).

During the Watergate Scandal Nixon became concerned about the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. Three of those involved in the burglary, E. Howard Hunt, Eugenio Martinez and James W. McCord had close links with the CIA. Nixon and his aides attempted to force the CIA director, Richard Helms, and his deputy, Vernon Walters, to pay hush-money to Hunt, who was attempting to blackmail the government. Although it seemed Walters was willing to do this, Helms refused. In February, 1973, Nixon sacked Helms. His deputy, Thomas H. Karamessines, resigned in protest.

Schlesinger now became the new director of the CIA. Schlesinger was heard to say: “The clandestine service was Helms’s Praetorian Guard. It had too much influence in the Agency and was too powerful within the government. I am going to cut it down to size.” This he did and over the next three months over 7 per cent of CIA officers lost their jobs.

On 9th May, 1973, Schlesinger issued a directive to all CIA employees: “I have ordered all senior operating officials of this Agency to report to me immediately on any activities now going on, or might have gone on in the past, which might be considered to be outside the legislative charter of this Agency. I hereby direct every person presently employed by CIA to report to me on any such activities of which he has knowledge. I invite all ex-employees to do the same. Anyone who has such information should call my secretary and say that he wishes to talk to me about “activities outside the CIA’s charter”.

There were several employees who had been trying to complain about the illegal CIA activities for some time. As Cord Meyer pointed out, this directive “was a hunting license for the resentful subordinate to dig back into the records of the past in order to come up with evidence that might destroy the career of a superior whom he long hated.”

Was it this directive that encouraged senior CIA operatives to leak information to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein about Nixon's attempt to cover-up the Watergate Scandal. On 16th May, 1973, Deep Throat has an important meeting with Woodward where he provides information that was to destroy Nixon. This includes the comment that the Senate Watergate Committee should consider interviewing Alexander P. Butterfield. Soon afterwards told a staff member of the committee (undoubtedly his friend, Scott Armstrong) that Butterfield should be asked to testify before Sam Ervin.

On 25th June, 1973, John Dean testified that at a meeting with Richard Nixon on 15th April, the president had remarked that he had probably been foolish to have discussed his attempts to get clemency for E. Howard Hunt with Charles Colson. Dean concluded from this that Nixon's office might be bugged. On Friday, 13th July, Butterfield appeared before the committee and was asked about if he knew whether Nixon was recording meetings he was having in the White House. Butterfield reluctantly admitted details of the tape system which monitored Nixon's conversations.

The appointment of Schlesinger as Director of the CIA created a great deal of unrest in the agency and after three months Nixon decided to replace him with William Colby.

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I believe there could be a connection between the Schlesinger directive and the current plight of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Like Schlesinger, Rumsfeld is trying to reduce the power of the CIA. It is claimed that he is trying to reshape the duties of the organization. This includes using US special forces in areas that has been in the past been the domain of the CIA.

Is it possible that the CIA is behind attempts to destabilise Rumsfeld and Bush. Tyler Drumheller, who was once the highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe, told CBS’s 60 Minutes programme that the White House deliberately ignored intelligence that showed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war in Iraq. He also said that the White House shifted its focus to regime change in the months before the invasion.

Of course we all know this is true, the surprising thing is that the CIA are giving this information to the media. Is Bush, like Kennedy and Nixon being removed from office by the CIA?

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I believe there could be a connection between the Schlesinger directive and the current plight of George Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. Like Schlesinger, Rumsfeld is trying to reduce the power of the CIA. It is claimed that he is trying to reshape the duties of the organization. This includes using US special forces in areas that has been in the past been the domain of the CIA.

Is it possible that the CIA is behind attempts to destabilise Rumsfeld and Bush. Tyler Drumheller, who was once the highest-ranking CIA officer in Europe, told CBS’s 60 Minutes programme that the White House deliberately ignored intelligence that showed that there were no weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the war in Iraq. He also said that the White House shifted its focus to regime change in the months before the invasion.

Of course we all know this is true, the surprising thing is that the CIA are giving this information to the media. Is Bush, like Kennedy and Nixon being removed from office by the CIA?

I have been having the same thoughts for some months now.

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