Jump to content
The Education Forum

General Krulak


Recommended Posts

It's my understanding that SGA, the Cuba Project, and Operation Mongoose all refer to the same body of operatives. In a memo dated January 18, 1962 entitled The Cuba Project, Lansdale wrote:

"Status: The President's directive of 30 November 1961 was implemented by creating a U.S. operations team, with Brig. Gen. Lansdale as Chief of Operations, and with tasks promptly assigned. His immediate staff are Mr. Hand and Major Patchell. Representatives of Secretaries and Agency Directors are:

State - Woodward (Goodwin, Hurwitch)

CIA - Helms

Defense - Brig. Gen. Craig

USIA - Wilson"

That's as close as I can find to a list of members in the various official memos about the group contained in The Kennedys and Cuba: The Declassified Documentary History, edited by Mark J. White.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's my understanding that SGA, the Cuba Project, and Operation Mongoose all refer to the same body of operatives. In a memo dated January 18, 1962 entitled The Cuba Project, Lansdale wrote:

"Status: The President's directive of 30 November 1961 was implemented by creating a U.S. operations team, with Brig. Gen. Lansdale as Chief of Operations, and with tasks promptly assigned. His immediate staff are Mr. Hand and Major Patchell. Representatives of Secretaries and Agency Directors are:

State - Woodward (Goodwin, Hurwitch)

CIA - Helms

Defense - Brig. Gen. Craig

USIA - Wilson"

That's as close as I can find to a list of members in the various official memos about the group contained in The Kennedys and Cuba: The Declassified Documentary History, edited by Mark J. White.

____________________________

Ron,

Thanks for that. Interesting that Krulak isn't mentioned...

I asked the question about whether or not Krulak was on the "Special Group (Augmented)" because of what I'd read on the Spartacus webpage about Bradley Ayers:

"[...] In early 1963, Bradley Ayers was selected by the Department of Defense for a sensitive undercover assignment with the Central Intelligence Agency that involved trying to remove Fidel Castro from power in Cuba. According to Ayers he was briefed at the CIA by General Krulak, a personal friend of President John F. Kennedy and a member of the Special Group (SGA)." [...] (emphasis added)

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

Thanks for the input, Ronald. I mean it.

Now, can anyone else here on the Forum help me get a "grip" on this, or am I going to have to put some serious pressure on my father to ask (his good friend) General Krulak, himself? [Truth be told (as you know, Ron, from our private correspondences), I really don't want to do that, and documents are so much more convincing than "hearsay," don't you think?.... (Well..., at least in most cases....

Thanks,

--Thomas

____________________________

Edited by Thomas Graves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thomas,

Krulak was the main man on the 303 Committee which set-up infiltration missions related to national security. In this capacity, Krulak was in charge of co-ordinating the Pentagon's counterinsurgency forces. He was the one who authorized the Cuban raids.

Col. Jack Hawkins was his assistant.

Given that, one would think that all the other variations on a theme would have been under that one main umbrella.

FWIW.

James

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thomas,

Krulak was the main man on the 303 Committee which set-up infiltration missions related to national security. In this capacity, Krulak was in charge of co-ordinating the Pentagon's counterinsurgency forces. He was the one who authorized the Cuban raids.

Col. Jack Hawkins was his assistant.

Given that, one would think that all the other variations on a theme would have been under that one main umbrella.

FWIW.

James


_____________________________________

Hi James,

Thanks for the info.

I haven't read Ayers' books yet, but I do know that he is alleged to have said that in '63 he was briefed by Krulak, "...a member of the Special Group (SGA)."

I guess if someone sat in on and contributed to the SGA on a fairly regular basis, then they could, by definition, be considered a member of the SGA, based on the broad definition of "member."

--Thomas

Edited by Thomas Graves
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thomas,

[ from what I've read, the SGA was a rather loosely-organized group and it was often sat-in-on and contributed-to by various "intelligence services" and other "movers and shakers," and I guess if someone sat in on and contributed to the SGA on a fairly regular basis, then they could, by definition, be considered a member of the SGA, based on the broad definition of "member."

--Thomas

From Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, vol. XII, Western Europe, pp. XXXI-XXXV, April 16, 2001.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/state/covert.html

Notice the line that says, "Membership varied..."

By the end of the Eisenhower administration, this group, which became known as the "NSC 5412/2 Special Group" or simply "Special Group," emerged as the executive body to review and approve covert action programs initiated by the CIA. The membership of the Special Group varied depending upon the situation faced. Meetings were infrequent until 1959 when weekly meetings began to be held. Neither the CIA nor the Special Group adopted fixed criteria for bringing projects before the group; initiative remained with the CIA, as members representing other agencies frequently were unable to judge the feasibility of particular projects.

After the Bay of Pigs failure in April 1961, General Maxwell Taylor reviewed U.S. paramilitary capabilities at President Kennedy's request and submitted a report in June which recommended strengthening high-level direction of covert operations. As a result of the Taylor Report, the Special Group, chaired by the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, and including Deputy Under Secretary of State U. Alexis Johnson, Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric, Director of Central Intelligence Alien Dulles, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Lyman Lemnitzer, assumed greater responsibility for planning and reviewing covert operations. Until 1963 the DCI determined whether a ClA-originated project was submitted to the Special Group. In 1963 the Special Group developed general but informal criteria, including risk, possibility of success, potential for exposure, political sensitivity, and cost (a threshold of $25,000 was adopted by the CIA), for determining whether covert action projects were submitted to the Special Group.

From November 1961 to October 1962 a Special Group (Augmented), whose membership was the same as the Special Group plus Attorney General Robert Kennedy and General Taylor (as Chairman), exercised responsibility for Operation Mongoose, a major covert action program aimed at overthrowing the Castro regime in Cuba. When President Kennedy authorized the program in November, he designated Brigadier General Edward G. Lansdale, Assistant for Special Operations to the Secretary of Defense, to act as chief of operations, and Lansdale coordinated the Mongoose activities among the CIA and the Departments of State and Defense. CIA units in Washington and Miami had primary responsibility for implementing Mongoose operations, which included military, sabotage, and political propaganda programs.

Steve Thomas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thomas,

[ from what I've read, the SGA was a rather loosely-organized group and it was often sat-in-on and contributed-to by various "intelligence services" and other "movers and shakers," and I guess if someone sat in on and contributed to the SGA on a fairly regular basis, then they could, by definition, be considered a member of the SGA, based on the broad definition of "member."

--Thomas

From Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, vol. XII, Western Europe, pp. XXXI-XXXV, April 16, 2001.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/advisory/state/covert.html

Notice the line that says, "Membership varied..."

By the end of the Eisenhower administration, this group, which became known as the "NSC 5412/2 Special Group" or simply "Special Group," emerged as the executive body to review and approve covert action programs initiated by the CIA. The membership of the Special Group varied depending upon the situation faced. Meetings were infrequent until 1959 when weekly meetings began to be held. Neither the CIA nor the Special Group adopted fixed criteria for bringing projects before the group; initiative remained with the CIA, as members representing other agencies frequently were unable to judge the feasibility of particular projects.

After the Bay of Pigs failure in April 1961, General Maxwell Taylor reviewed U.S. paramilitary capabilities at President Kennedy's request and submitted a report in June which recommended strengthening high-level direction of covert operations. As a result of the Taylor Report, the Special Group, chaired by the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, and including Deputy Under Secretary of State U. Alexis Johnson, Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric, Director of Central Intelligence Alien Dulles, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Lyman Lemnitzer, assumed greater responsibility for planning and reviewing covert operations. Until 1963 the DCI determined whether a ClA-originated project was submitted to the Special Group. In 1963 the Special Group developed general but informal criteria, including risk, possibility of success, potential for exposure, political sensitivity, and cost (a threshold of $25,000 was adopted by the CIA), for determining whether covert action projects were submitted to the Special Group.

From November 1961 to October 1962 a Special Group (Augmented), whose membership was the same as the Special Group plus Attorney General Robert Kennedy and General Taylor (as Chairman), exercised responsibility for Operation Mongoose, a major covert action program aimed at overthrowing the Castro regime in Cuba. When President Kennedy authorized the program in November, he designated Brigadier General Edward G. Lansdale, Assistant for Special Operations to the Secretary of Defense, to act as chief of operations, and Lansdale coordinated the Mongoose activities among the CIA and the Departments of State and Defense. CIA units in Washington and Miami had primary responsibility for implementing Mongoose operations, which included military, sabotage, and political propaganda programs.

Steve Thomas

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is my understanding that SGA was an interagency group made up of the key military/foreign policy departments, just below cabinet level at its pinnacle, but flexible so as to allow lower level designates to iron out interagency conflicts into actionable plans for approval by higher SGA levels and ultimately the President or his designate, in the 1961-63 period, the AG. This quickly made the CIA fully answerable in theory firstly through Mongoose to Lansdale, Krulak, and JCS, then through the SGA format to in this case Bobby Kennedy.

Researchers with greater skill, etc, ought to look at different agency cohorts at each operational level, and of course co-opted or contracted participants such as Capt Rosselli at one level and BEA say at another. Within those clusters and that particular chain of command, the operational conspiracy may well be found.

I know it is not as simple as that, but as Bobby Kennedy reportedly said to Haynes Johnson in the hearing of Harry Williams "one of your guys did it" (Ultimate Sacrifice,p 137). Bobby may well have approved an operation involving LHO and a

provocative action in Dallas, which stitched up every agency and participant in the SGA. The possibility of such an action has plagued me for years, without any facts / evidence to back it up. Though it could explain the presence of a few varied characters in the modern mystery play in Dealey Plaza.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the journalist Haynes Johnson: "Robert Kennedy . said,(to Haynes Johnson) `One of your guys did it.'

who was H. Johnson?

He was a journalist.

JOHNSON: I grew up in New York City. I was born in New York of Southern parents. My mother and father were Southerners who went to New York in the 1920s, and I don't usually admit this -- I was the first Northerner in the family in the whole history of the family, I think, since they came here. But I was a New Yorker born in New York and went to school in the Midwest.

LAMB: Where were they from?

JOHNSON: They were from Georgia.

LAMB: And what did they do?

JOHNSON: My father was a newspaperman. My mother was pianist. They were terrific. They're not alive now.

LAMB: Where did your father write and what was his name?

JOHNSON: His name was Malcolm Johnson. He won a Pulitzer Prize for the New York Sun for a series of articles called "Crime on the Waterfront" that you may remember. The Marlon Brando movie was made on that. I was very fortunate and lucky that I later won a Pulitzer for my own reporting from the Washington Star in Selma, Alabama We were the only father and son to be fortunate in that way, so I was very lucky.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive been wondering for a while why Kennedy trusted Landsdale so much, given his ties to so many of the old China Lobby types. In this light it was interesting to read in Gold Warriers that Landsdale, like David Phillips, often tried to hide his right wing leanings with some liberal utterances.

Does anyone suspect that Landsdale may have been a crtitical vortex in undermining the Kennedy's attempt to keep the CIA under thier thumb with the creation of the Special Group? Should we see Lansdale's OSS China ties ( I mean to Willoughby, MacArthur (Helms?) network) as suspicious for someone in SGA?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ive been wondering for a while why Kennedy trusted Landsdale so much, given his ties to so many of the old China Lobby types.

Nathaniel,

Is this the right way to look at the issue? Was it a case of trusting Lansdale, or merely seeking to keep him on a tight leash, close at hand?

I reframe the question because Kennedy was one of relatively few US politicians who maintained a long-standing and informed interest in Vietnam; and thus he could not have been unaware of Lansdale’s role as Allen Dulles’ principal agent in the scuppering of Eisenshower’s attempt to dump Diem in 1955. I strongly suspect it was the Agency, not Kennedy, which wanted Lansdale back in Saigon: Who better to overthrow Diem than the man who had done most to install him?

For details on the affair, see this terrific piece: David L. Anderson, “J. Lawton Collins, John Foster Dulles, and the Eisenhower Administration’s ‘Point of No Return’ in Vietnam,” Diplomatic History, Spring 1988, (12), pp. 127-147. See p. 141 for Lansdale as Allen Dulles “personal representative out there”; and pp. 140-141 for Lansdale’s central role in Diem’s victory.

For a well-informed (ie. CIA-originating) contemporary account of Collins’ hostility to Diem, see C.L. Sulzberger, NYT, 18 April 1955, p. 22.

For Eisenhower’s determination to avoid another Korea, see Ernest K. Lindley, “Washington Tides: Objectives in the Far East ,” Newsweek, 23 February 1953, p. 10: “Many military men have favored the application of…additional force…the Administration wants to move in precisely the opposite direction, disengagement…” From Eisnehower's perspective, establishing another Syngman Rhee, this time in Vietnam, was merely storing up trouble for the future. How right he was.

A couple of final, related questions: To whom are we indebted for our information on the SG(A)? Are the sources reliable?

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 8 months later...
  • 9 years later...
On 3/19/2007 at 1:39 PM, Thomas Graves said:

I can't find any documentation showing that General Krulak was indeed a member of SGA. Links to appropriate document(s), anyone?

Thanks,

--Thomas

___________________________________________

Bumping this thread

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...