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Warren and 40 million dead


John Dolva
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The story goes that Warren was beaten into taking on the Commission with a reference to 40 million dead from a nuclear war.

This has always puzzled me as to where this figure came from. A global conflagration would cause many more deaths. Other studies talked of 100's of millions.

Perhaps a clue is in Ted Soerensens 'Kennedy" where a figure of 40 million is given as the result of a U.S.A. <FIRST STRIKE>

Why would a conspiracy finding cause a first strike?

It's a hawkish move. Pre-emptive, either in anticipation of such from the other side or as a part of a strategy.

EDIT:: perhaps the question is better put

which of the possible conspiracy scenarios contemplated/indicated to Johnson could result in a first strike?

Edited by John Dolva
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The story goes that Warren was beaten into taking on the Commission with a reference to 40 million dead from a nuclear war.

This has always puzzled me as to where this figure came from. A global conflagration would cause many more deaths. Other studies talked of 100's of millions.

Perhaps a clue is in Ted Soerensens 'Kennedy" where a figure of 40 million is given as the result of a U.S.A. <FIRST STRIKE>

Why would a conspiracy finding cause a first strike?

It's a hawkish move. Pre-emptive, either in anticipation of such from the other side or as a part of a strategy.

EDIT:: perhaps the question is better put

which of the possible conspiracy scenarios contemplated/indicated to Johnson could result in a first strike?

Great spot. Presumably the Cuban-Russian embassy visits?

Likely scenario:

CIA first manufactures the link, then rides to rescue of LBJ et al by nulllifying said link with photo of man manifestly not Oswald entering embassy.

Paul

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Food for thought, Paul. Are you suggesting an unprovable red herring that seeds suspicion and makes probing of it a matter of national security while being a kind of 'black hole' that would tie up any future enquiry? Do I read you right?

In hindsight one could look at the events and persons that created that false trail, and through their connections to other matters see it's genesis. Or to take it further, see the creation of it itself as a false trail ad infinitum, leading nowhere except to confusion?

_____________________

I reread my original post and found some poorly stated parts so restating my question, hopefully a bit more clearly:

The story goes that Warren was beaten into taking on the Commission with a reference to 40 million casualties in the first day as a result of a nuclear exchange.

This has always puzzled me as to where this figure came from. A global conflagration would cause many more casualties. Other studies talked of 100's of millions.

Perhaps a clue is in Ted Soerensens 'Kennedy" where a figure of 40 million is given as the result of a U.S.A. <FIRST STRIKE>

Why would a conspiracy finding lead to a first strike?

What Commission Report conclusion scenario was Johnson contemplating that has a first strike as an option?

Could Johnson have said to Warren something like "Unless you find that Oswald acted alone, those who are in position to do so will launch a first strike on the Soviet Union."

In other words, what had happened was a coup, and Warren was fully aware of this and he was warned what would happen should there be an indication that the conspirators scenario was not underwritten by a presumed august body? IOW blackmail of a most serious nature.

Edited by John Dolva
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John Dolva Posted Today, 08:07 AM

What Commission Report conclusion scenario was Johnson contemplating that has a first strike as an option?

Could Johnson have said to Warren something like "Unless you find that Oswald acted alone, those who are in position to do so will launch a first strike on the Soviet Union."

In other words, what had happened was a coup, and Warren was fully aware of this and he was warned what would happen should there be an indication that the conspirators scenario was not underwritten by a presumed august body? IOW blackmail of a most serious nature.

John, you said it, the full exchange must have included something of this nature, i.e. in order to prevent a nuclear war, they (the WC) had to resolve the case quickly and kill all rumors regarding Soviet/Communist/Cuban involvement, which equates to: find Oswald guilty.

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Food for thought, Paul. Are you suggesting an unprovable red herring that seeds suspicion and makes probing of it a matter of national security while being a kind of 'black hole' that would tie up any future enquiry? Do I read you right?

In hindsight one could look at the events and persons that created that false trail, and through their connections to other matters see it's genesis. Or to take it further, see the creation of it itself as a false trail ad infinitum, leading nowhere except to confusion?

_____________________

I reread my original post and found some poorly stated parts so restating my question, hopefully a bit more clearly:

The story goes that Warren was beaten into taking on the Commission with a reference to 40 million casualties in the first day as a result of a nuclear exchange.

This has always puzzled me as to where this figure came from. A global conflagration would cause many more casualties. Other studies talked of 100's of millions.

Perhaps a clue is in Ted Soerensens 'Kennedy" where a figure of 40 million is given as the result of a U.S.A. <FIRST STRIKE>

Why would a conspiracy finding lead to a first strike?

What Commission Report conclusion scenario was Johnson contemplating that has a first strike as an option?

Could Johnson have said to Warren something like "Unless you find that Oswald acted alone, those who are in position to do so will launch a first strike on the Soviet Union."

In other words, what had happened was a coup, and Warren was fully aware of this and he was warned what would happen should there be an indication that the conspirators scenario was not underwritten by a presumed august body? IOW blackmail of a most serious nature.

This topic has come up before. The 40 or 39 million dead numbers came from McNamara. Johnson requested he come up with the figures, and the ultimate bean-counter crunched away and out came 39 million. The thinking was presumably that IF Castro did it, Johnson would have to attack Cuba, and then Russia would have to retaliate. The whole thing is obvious BS, and only a chump falls for it, IMO. If Castro had really killed Kennedy, Johnson would have had a GOLDEN opportunity to present his case to the UN and OAS, whereby he would probably get permission to retaliate. If not, at the very least, he would be able to further isolate Castro and minimize his influence in Latin America.

The blackmail argument rings true, but not as an overt threat. Johnson may simply have laid out the facts for Warren..."There's something fishy about this whole thing--some people are gonna try and say that I did it, and de-stabilize the country, but you know I had nothing to do with it, don't you Earl? Of course, you do. So what I need you to do is to investigate this thing as best you can, but the public has gotta be satisfied that I had nothing to do with it, because you know what happens if those right-wingers get ahold of this, don't you? They'll use it to get this Goldwater elected, and you know how he is. He's saying we can use the nuclear bomb strategically in South East Asia. That's crazy talk. Next thing you know he'll have us in a war with the Russians. Well, I don't know but I just had a talk with Bob McNamara and he says such a war will cause at least 40 million deaths. Now we can't have that on our conscience, can we, Earl? It's time we both serve our coutry. There's tough work to be done, and we need to do it. Now I'm your president, and I'm asking for your help. We need to calm the people down and prevent this war on our horizon. Before things get out of hand."

Edited by Pat Speer
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No, that's just it Pat, this figure is already worked out during the Kennedy years, it, among other calculations of other types of exchanges is already known. and they relate specifically to a first strike scenario. That's the point I'm trying to make here. First strike is not retaliation. The escalating scenario is different., it places both sides on alert. In first strike, only the instigator is ready.

EDIT:: ref p673 + "Kennedy". and interpret. It seems the figure was arrived at midterm budget, when elements in the airforce were seeking FS capability.

Antti: "resolve the case quickly and kill all rumors regarding Soviet/Communist/Cuban involvement, which equates to: find Oswald guilty"

or, as Paul appears to suggest (my interpretation), as a way of cementing a suspicion into the scenario that serves a different purpose again.

EDIT2 What IS first strike?

Kennedy argues for a capability that ensures a successful second strike, never FOR first strike. This is the significance. For Johnson to talk of FS after Kennedy is dead represents a significant change in thinking.

"Mutual Deterrence" Speech by Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara, San Francisco, September 18, 1962 defining FS.

http://www.radiochemistry.org/speech_archi..._mcnamara.shtml

"first-strike capability is an important strategic concept. The United States must not and will not permit itself ever to get into a position in which another nation, or combination of nations, would possess a first-strike capability against it. Such a position not only would constitute an intolerable threat to our security, but it obviously would remove our ability to deter nuclear aggression.

We are not in that position today, and there is no foreseeable danger of our ever getting into that position. Our strategic offensive forces are immense: 1,000 Minuteman missile launchers, carefully protected below ground; 41 Polaris submarines carrying 656 missile launchers, with the majority hidden beneath the seas at all times; and about 600 long-range bombers, approximately 40 percent of which are kept always in a high state of alert.

Our alert forces alone carry more than 2,200 weapons, each averaging more than the explosive equivalent of one megaton of TNT. Four hundred of these delivered on the Soviet Union would be sufficient to destroy over one-third of her population and one-half of her industry. All these flexible and highly reliable forces are equipped with devices that ensure their penetration of Soviet defenses.

Now what about the Soviet Union? Does it today possess a powerful nuclear arsenal? The answer is that it does. Does it possess a first-strike capability against the United States? The answer is that it does not. Can the Soviet Union in the foreseeable future acquire such a first-strike capability against the United States? The answer is that it cannot. It cannot because we are determined to remain fully alert and we will never permit our own assured-destruction capability to drop to a point at which a Soviet first-strike capability is even remotely feasible.

Is the Soviet Union seriously attempting to acquire a first-strike capability against the United States? Although this is a question we cannot answer with absolute certainty, we believe the answer is no. In any event, the question itself is -- in a sense -- irrelevant: for the United States will maintain and, where necessary strengthen its retaliatory forces so that, whatever the Soviet Union's intentions or actions, we will continue to have an assured-destruction capability vis a vis their society."

Edited by John Dolva
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This topic has come up before. The 40 or 39 million dead numbers came from McNamara. Johnson requested he come up with the figures, and the ultimate bean-counter crunched away and out came 39 million.
PS

Pat, not saying you're wrong, but Manchester has LBJ telling Warren that he got the figure from the head of the AEC. At the time, this would have been Glenn Seaborg, a Kennedy appointee despite a newspaper article claiming he was part of Nixon's brain trust. After the assassination, he had a very close relationship with Johnson.

"I [Warren] saw McGeorge Bundy first. He took me in, and the president told me how serious the situation was. He said there had been wild rumours, and that there was the international situation to think of. He said he had just talked to Dean Rusk, who was concerned, and he also mentioned the head of the Atomic Energy Commission, who had told him how many millions of people would be killed in an atomic war. The only way to dispel these rumours, he said, was to have an independent and responsible commission, and there was noone to lead it except the highest judicial officer in the country. I told him how I felt. He said that if the public became aroused against Castro and Khrushchev there might be war..."

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AEC

1946

August 1: President Truman signs Atomic Energy Act which establishes the Atomic Energy Commission.

1961

Glenn T.Seaborg, AEC chairman

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/release...2-26-1999a.html

Nobel Prize winner

He also served as chancellor of UC Berkeley from 1958 to 1961, when President Kennedy appointed him to chair the Atomic Energy Commission. He was reappointed by both Presidents Johnson and Nixon, serving as chairman until 1971. In all, he served as an advisor to 10 presidents, from Franklin Roosevelt through George Bush.

so the question remains. As a highly respected scientist, he would not throw figures around. IOW as the figure 40 million refers to the FS scenario, either that is what he was asked about or that was the one out of the figures provided that was chosen.

the USSR did not have FS capability : McNamara :: "Can the Soviet Union in the foreseeable future acquire such a first-strike capability against the United States? The answer is that it cannot. It cannot because we are determined to remain fully alert and we will never permit our own assured-destruction capability to drop to a point at which a Soviet first-strike capability is even remotely feasible."

Edited by John Dolva
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No, that's just it Pat, this figure is already worked out during the Kennedy years, it, among other calculations of other types of exchanges is already known. and they relate specifically to a first strike scenario. That's the point I'm trying to make here. First strike is not retaliation. The escalating scenario is different., it places both sides on alert. In first strike, only the instigator is ready.

I have a section of a timeline in progress that has an account of a rather peculiar meeting between McGeoge Bundy and Daniel Ellsberg of RAND within weeks of the Kennedy inaguration. I located the primary source cited in the timeline for the event and am going to just quote the relevant passage. Although it isn't mentioned here, this is at almost the same time that Bundy was negotiating for one of Ellsberg's mentors, Kissinger, to be a part-time consultant for the Kennedy adminstration. That was arranged within weeks of this meeting between Bundy and Ellsberg, although within a year Kissinger was released from that arrangement because of a diplomatic faux pas he made while on a trip to India in January 1962. (I don't have the specifics of that incident to hand, but I believe it was on the subject of nuclear weapons.)

With that, here is the account of Ellsberg's meeting with Bundy at the very inception of the Kennedy administration, quoted from "The Color of Truth" by Kai Bird, with the caveat that I don't believe the motivations for the meeting were quite as posed, and the primary caveat that there is no record of the actual substance of the meeting:

  • n late January 1961, Bundy had been given an extraordinary briefing by Daniel Ellsberg, a twenty-nine-year-old analyst working for the RAND Corporation, a think tank that did classified studies for the federal government. A junior fellow at Harvard, and an expert in game theory, Ellsberg was one of only a handful of civilians who had seen the Joint Chiefs' operating war plans, known as the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP). What he saw sickened his stomach. The war plans called for the swift destruction of every city of any consequence in the Soviet Union, China and Eastern Europe. "It was just a trucking plan," Ellsberg said, "for moving thermonuclear explosives as fast as possible to every urban center in the Eastern bloc." Moscow alone was to receive 170 atomic and hydrogen bombs. There were no intermediate steps, no flexibility and no warnings. He called it a first-strike plan because it was the Joint Chiefs' planned response to any level of "armed conflict with the Soviet Union." The chiefs' planned response to a division-level Soviet attack on West Berlin, for instance, would be the annihilation of hundreds of millions of civilians. Ellsberg thought there were few safeguards against an accidental triggering of the JSCP. Worse, he had been told that Eisenhower had given individual commanders written authorization to use their nuclear weapons if in their best judgments they were under attack and out of communication with the White House. Ellsberg knew that the commander of the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific, for instance, was out of communications with Washington on average a few hours each day. So it was entirely possible that a nuclear war could be initiated by an isolated admiral without the president's knowledge.
    Ellsberg was worried. Within days of Kennedy's inauguration, he had convinced Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze that he ought to see the JSCP. Nitze authorized his deputy, Harry Rowen, and Ellsberg, working under him, to study the whole problem.
    Almost immediately, Ellsberg and Rowen were stymied; after requesting a copy of the war plan for Nitze's reading, Ellsberg was told by a two-star army general working for Nitze, "No, he can't see it. He has no need to know." Nitze was not the kind of man who liked to be told no, and when he learned of this rebuff, Rowen arranged for Ellsberg to see Mac Bundy in the White House. When Ellsberg arrived, he began by trying to explain how he had received access to a document as sensitive as the general war plan. Bundy interrupted and said coldly, "Is this a briefing or a confessional?"
    Ellsberg pulled himself together and replied, "There is a plan which no president has read, and which no secretary of defense has read, and it has the following characteristics." He then reeled off the bare facts of the plan, emphasizing how small of an armed conflict could initiate full-scale nuclear war. Within thirty seconds Bundy took out a pad of paper and began scribbling notes.
    A briefing that was scheduled to last ten minutes stretched to an hour and a half. Mac was particularly astonished by Ellsberg's assertion that Eisenhower had issued presidential authorization in writing that would allow individual commanders to launch nuclear weapons.
    Soon after Ellsberg left, Bundy picked up the phone and called the staff director of the Joint Chiefs. When he got a deputy, he said, "This is Mac Bundy; the president wants to see the JSCP." There was a long silence at the other end of the line until the general replied, "Oh, we never release that." Bundy responded, "No, I don't think you understand. I'm calling for the president and he wants to see the JSCP." Again the general said, "But we don't release that." Dumbfounded, Bundy shouted, "I don't think I'm making myself clear." At this point the general offered a compromise, "Well, we could give the president a briefing on the JSCP." Bundy snapped, "The president is a great reader; he wants to read the JSCP."
    Bundy never did see the full war plan, but he wrote a memo to Kennedy describing a summary of the plan he had been given by the Joint Chiefs. He called it "dangerously rigid and, if continued without amendment, may leave you with very little choice as to how you face the moment of thermonuclear truth."

I don't have relevant sections of the timeline for the intervening years leading to Kennedy's assassination, but I do recall from several sources that by the time of his famous American University speech in 1963 Kennedy was on a path that he hoped would "put an end to that nightmare of Mutually Assured Destruction [MAD] which appealed to Henry Kissinger, a disgruntled former employee of the Kennedy administration." ("George Bush, The Unauthorized Biography")

Of course MAD had been the monstrous creation of Kissinger's protege, Daniel Ellsberg.

Ashton Gray

Edited by Ashton Gray
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Food for thought, Paul. Are you suggesting an unprovable red herring that seeds suspicion and makes probing of it a matter of national security while being a kind of 'black hole' that would tie up any future enquiry? Do I read you right?

John,

You read me perfectly.

Paul

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I'm not sure if there is any significance to the numbers supplied by Seaborg (through McNamara?) but I feel quite certain that the numbers were immaterial, and that Johnson was just trying to scare Warren into performing some dirty work.

From the next upddate of my presentation:

"While Chief Justice Earl Warren is reported to have told the young lawyers working for his Commission that “truth was their only client,” much evidence has arisen in the years since to indicate this was not so. Warren’s memoirs, for instance, indicate that he was strong-armed into chairing the Commission only after President Johnson told him that if people came to believe there was foreign involvement in the assassination it could lead to a war that would kill 40 million. This, one can only assume, gave Warren the clear signal he was NOT to find for a conspiracy involving a foreign power. While preparing his own biography of Warren, Ed Cray spoke to a friend of Warren’s who claimed there was an even higher priority, quoting Warren as saying “There was great pressure on us to prove, first, that President Johnson was not involved, and , second, that the Russians were not involved.” This quote sounds accurate, and is supported by a 2-17-64 memo of Warren Commission counsel Melvin A. Eisenberg. .In reporting on the Warren Commission’s first staff conference of 1-20-64, Eisenberg wrote of Warren’s “discussing the circumstances under which he had accepted the chairmanship of the Commission.” Eisenberg reported that Warren resisted pressures from Johnson until “President Johnson called him. The President stated that the rumors of the most exaggerated kind were circulating in this country and overseas. Some rumors went as far as attributing the assassination to a faction within the Government wishing to see the Presidency assumed by President Johnson. Others, if not quenched, could conceivably lead the country into a war which could cost 40 million lives.” While Warren was purportedly asked to chair the Commission because as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court he had unparalleled credibility with the American public, the truth is that Warren was probably the last person Johnson would want to deliver the message that the Russians were not involved in the assassination, as those likely to believe communist involvement would not believe anything Warren had to say, and considered him pretty much a communist himself. It seems likely then that Johnson drafted Warren onto the commission chiefly to convince those who trusted Warren, the liberals and intellectuals throughout the world who loved Kennedy and were most suspicious of Johnson, that there was no right wing conspiracy behind the killing. Warren may have even provoked Johnson into taking this action by publicly eulogizing Kennedy within hours of the assassination as having “suffered martyrdom as a result of the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” Johnson, who counted among his supporters many of these very same bigots, could not have been pleased.

And so the Warren Commission was born."

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I'm not sure if there is any significance to the numbers supplied by Seaborg (through McNamara?) but I feel quite certain that the numbers were immaterial, and that Johnson was just trying to scare Warren into performing some dirty work.
PS

Pat, I agree 100% and didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

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Why.?

If it's irrelevant, they must have used a 'pull the number out of the hat' approach, which is ridiculous.

Johnson sought the answer to a question. He was given one and passed it on to Warren who passed it on to the public.

Had Johnson already formed his cabinet? Had he already ditched the previous administration and it's well trained machine?

Youmay be right it is irrelevant. The point of it (this thread) is to resolve an apparent anomaly. Sure it can be resolved by dismissing it as irrelevant, but not when it's just in order to fit a previously adopted position.

________

Forgive me Pat for disecting this, but I think you haven't thought it through properly. I may be wrong, but here goes...

"I'm not sure if there is any significance to the numbers supplied by Seaborg (through McNamara?) but I feel quite certain that the numbers were immaterial, and that Johnson was just trying to scare Warren into performing some dirty work."

In what context would this scare Warren? They've just been through 3 years of Kennedy.

Take the missile crisis for example. His advisors were bunkered for days discussing possible approaches, formulating suggestions which were explored endlessly, minutely, and presented to Kennedy who carefully worked through them and eventually an approach was decided on. These behind the scenes round table discussions plus Kennedys undoubted authority was part of his style. It shaped his government.

He was reshaping the departments not least of which was the armed forces. When he asked for recommendations he insisted on broad approaches with multiple options based on all available information. This realistic fact based style, IMO, was part of his success, and contributed to his downfall as well (IMO) as it had little regard for the status quo, and made little room for divergent agendas, but rather had a regard for 'getting it right'.

So, out of the posssible numbers quoted by Johnson to convince Warren was used one of the lowest numbers. If it was irrelevant and the aim was to pressure Warren (and in an escalating scenario as you suggest, Pat) then the wrong number was used. A mistake? Maybe.

On the other hand if Kennedy still 'shone through' the governmant, an unlikely mistake. They were talking first strike on the USSR. (IMO)

"From the next upddate of my presentation:

"While Chief Justice Earl Warren is reported to have told the young lawyers working for his Commission that “truth was their only client,” much evidence has arisen in the years since to indicate this was not so. Warren’s memoirs, for instance, indicate that he was strong-armed into chairing the Commission only after President Johnson told him that if people came to believe there was foreign involvement in the assassination it could lead to a war that would kill 40 million."

I thin k the WCommission with all it's omissions can be seen as an attempt by Kennedy's men to make sure that doubt would arise. It's like two forces were at play. On the one hand a huge accumulation of data, plus a transparent effort to mould that data into something that obeyed Junta directives.

A war would not lead to 40 million casualties. A premeptive strike would. First strike is not war that is 'led to'. It occurs in relative peace that precludes 'enemy' readiness, like blitzkrieg.

"This, one can only assume, gave Warren the clear signal he was NOT to find for a conspiracy involving a foreign power. While preparing his own biography of Warren, Ed Cray spoke to a friend of Warren’s who claimed there was an even higher priority, quoting Warren as saying “There was great pressure on us to prove, first, that President Johnson was not involved, and , second, that the Russians were not involved.” This quote sounds accurate, and is supported by a 2-17-64 memo of Warren Commission counsel Melvin A. Eisenberg. .In reporting on the Warren Commission’s first staff conference of 1-20-64, Eisenberg wrote of Warren’s “discussing the circumstances under which he had accepted the chairmanship of the Commission.” Eisenberg reported that Warren resisted pressures from Johnson until “President Johnson called him. The President stated that the rumors of the most exaggerated kind were circulating in this country and overseas. Some rumors went as far as attributing the assassination to a faction within the Government wishing to see the Presidency assumed by President Johnson. Others, if not quenched, could conceivably lead the country into a war which could cost 40 million lives.” "

I find Peters idea interesting. A key piece of evidence is supplied, and the directive forestalls any deep investigation doue to the blackmail enforced directive to find against conspiracy. The damning evidence is something that the jury should be directed to disregard, and the genesis of the evidence should be investigated, however, that will never happen. A double whammy if you will.

" While Warren was purportedly asked to chair the Commission because as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court he had unparalleled credibility with the American public, the truth is that Warren was probably the last person Johnson would want to deliver the message that the Russians were not involved in the assassination, as those likely to believe communist involvement would not believe anything Warren had to say, and considered him pretty much a communist himself. It seems likely then that Johnson drafted Warren onto the commission chiefly to convince those who trusted Warren, the liberals and intellectuals throughout the world who loved Kennedy and were most suspicious of Johnson, that there was no right wing conspiracy behind the killing."

perhaps yes. The point though was not to convince of no right wing conspiracy but rather to convince of what a lone nut communist does. IOW 'macarthyism', anti communism.

Warren may have even provoked Johnson into taking this action by publicly eulogizing Kennedy within hours of the assassination as having “suffered martyrdom as a result of the hatred and bitterness that has been injected into the life of our nation by bigots.” Johnson, who counted among his supporters many of these very same bigots, could not have been pleased.

And so the Warren Commission was born."

By hinting at a communist conspiracy, and removing any need to prove any such things by proving a LN communist did it, and veiling the whole thing as a concern for peace, attention is diverted.

Edited by John Dolva
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I think the 40 milllion was just a nice fat number that would scare Warren. If I remember correctly, it was originally 39 million but got rounded up in repetition. I think the U.S. mindset at the time was that we would always be on top of things and be able to pull off the first strike, but that we were well aware that the Russians could inflict massive casualties in their losing cause.

I, too, wonder about Oswald's selection. One possibility is that right-wingers whacked Kennedy without Johnson's knowledge in an attempt to start WW3, and Johnson saw through it. Another possibility is that it was Johnson's coup, and that Oswald was his escape hatch, that is, if he couldn't convince the people it was a lone-nut, then he had the option of pinning it on a Communist. By blaming it on a lone-nut who'd been twisted by Communist ideas, Hoover tried to have it both ways. The WC counsel responsibile for developing Oswald's motivation--I think it was Liebeler--however, fell in love with the "great man" theory, and sought to downplay Oswald's interest in Communisim as his primary motivation.

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Re: 40 million Americans, LBJ put this specifically in the context of Mexico City and such, telling Russell on 11/29 for instance that "we've got to be taking it out of the arena where they're testinfying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that and kicking us into a war that can kill 40 million Americans in an hour."

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/...amp;relPageId=2

I think it's clear that, whether LBJ was playacting or not, the game was that the "evidence" that Oswald was working for the Soviets or Cubans could have pushed the U.S. into the position of war, and a first strike was certainly a possible form for that.

Mexico City is crucial here of course and gets less attention than it deserves, partly because the documents have been long-delayed and partly due to the complexities of understanding what was really going on due to the cover-up which ensued. But there are many reasons to believe that the false evidence tying Oswald to a plot to kill Kennedy emanating from Mexico City was stronger than we now have "in the record," and much of that (ultimately false) evidence was later suppressed. Some indications of this:

* The two CIA translators remembered a "third call" not in the record, lengthy, in English, in which Oswald or "Oswald" purportedly tried to get the Soviets to pay for his passage to Russia and hinted at special knowledge he had. Not an assassination call per se, but possibly implying a deeper relationship than the more innocuous visa calls we have.

* Both Hoover and Army Intelligence happened to have false information in their files saying that Oswald had been to Cuba. In the case of Army Intelligence, this resulted in a cable to the U.S. Strike Command in Florida on 11/22.

* Al Haig writes in his memoirs about a memo he saw on 11/23 which put Oswald in Havana in the company of two Cuban agents, and that he had gotten their from Mexico. Was this false information planted in govt. files on the assumption that Oswald would have made it to Cuba instead of being turned back (or that, if he had ended up on the streets of Dallas, papers could have been planted on him to make it look like he had)? I don't know what to make of Haig's assertion, but it indicates that more might have been floating around DC than the Alvarado and other stories we now have.

* There are indications that Elena Garro de Paz may have been telling her story about Oswald and Cubans hanging together as early as 11/22 or 11/23, not a year later as the official chronology has her starting her tale.

* Chief of CIA Station Win Scott wrote in his memoirs a story which completely contradicts the official story about Oswald's trip. Anne Goodpasture, his chief aide, also wrote about things not otherwise in the record, including someone calling the Soviet Embassy and using both the name Lee and the name Harvey.

And on and on. I think we are looking through a different lens than the one the highest levels of govt. had on 11/22. Theirs included more now-buried evidence of commie complicity. Again, I should stress that this was false evidence,and I'm not even saying that LBJ or even Warren believed it. But if the forum for deciding what happened in the Kennedy assassination had been the Senate Internal Security Committee or other venues like that, you can bet that "they'd be testifying that Khrushchev and Castro did this and did that", with government evidence to back it up.

I think we may all be lucky that Oswald ended up in police custody rather than being found dead on 11/22. Then the missiles might really have flown, based on false evidence which could no longer be refuted (including a tape of him talking to the Soviets, with no way for the FBI to determine it wasn't his voice on the tapes, which is what actually happened).

Peter Scott and John Newman have written on this topic, as many people know. Here is a link to some other essays from them and from myself, along with supporting documentation.

http://www.history-matters.com/frameup.htm

Rex

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