Tuesday, February 7, 2017

This is a new internal discussion started by OIC senior member John Hankey which I am making public because there is no reason why I shouldn't. It concerns the important issue of what JFK would have done about Vietnam had he lived. It's often said that JFK was planning to pull out, and I understand the basis for it, but here John provides reasons why that is far from certain. His point about the assassination of South Vietnamese President Diem is well taken: if JFK was involved in that, if he gave the order for it, then all bets are over concerning his intention to pull out of Vietnam. RC

Dear Vince , Marty Ralph, Larry etc. 

I thought I'd share something that I came across recently of some note.
Prouty describes how, in crafting NSAM 263, he worked closely and carefully with JFK and Krulak to come up with just the right phraseology to get the CIA out of Vietnam.  
I was looking into this issue of Johnson's character; and to what extent, in affirming NSAM 273, he was aware of the extent to which he was reversing nsam 263.  273 says, after all,  right in the first paragraph, that it is simply a re-affirmation of Kennedy's policies -- so that no one should suspect, or harbor hope even, that there might  be a change under the new president.  Johnson told interviewers (Chronkite maybe?)  he believed that he was carrying on Kennedy's plan, which did not include withdrawal, and cited Kennedy's having told Chronkite, and others, that withdrawal was a bad idea, 2 weeks before his murder.  

When you resort to 263 itself, to settle the issue, it refers you to the McNamara/Taylor report, crafted by Kennedy, Krulak, and Prouty, and handed to McNamara & Taylor when they stopped over in Hawaii on their way back from Vietnam.  And while the McNamara/Taylor report talks about removing 1,000 troops, and about removing "the bulk of the military" by December '65, it does not say what Prouty describes: a complete withdrawal that includes CIA operatives.  Ask Obama about "withdrawing the bulk of the military" and whether it means being "out".

It is my observation, then, that good, honest, sincere people argued over whether Kennedy planned to withdraw or not.  I very much respect Peter Dale Scott, and turned to him and his research, specifically his article in the Gravel edition of the Pentagon papers; and while arguing that Kennedy planned to withdraw, he persuaded me of the opposite, that he did not.  What tipped the scales for me, was the question of why, if he planned to withdraw, Kennedy would approve the murder of Diem.  The decision to support a coup, which the documentary record lays squarely on Kennedy's shoulders, does not signal disengagement, in my book.  Precisely the opposite.  Stewart Alsop attacked Diem for negotiating with the North.  So overthrowing him, to me, is a sign of a very firm commitment to a military escalation.

But I continued to nose around.  And I found an article by James Galbraith, the ambassador's son.  He tries to make the case that Kennedy was going to get out.  And he quotes McNamara, in a 21st century speech, saying that Kennedy wanted "complete withdrawal."  Which is what Prouty says.  Which is interesting, that both men should make the same misstatement.  That is, "complete withdrawal" is not what 263/McNamara/Taylor says.
And then finally Galbraith gets around to it, and unveils a memo from Maxwell Taylor.

Galbraith wrote:

There followed, on October 4, a memorandum titled “South Vietnam Actions,” from General Maxwell Taylor, to his fellow Joint Chiefs of Staff, Generals May, Wheeler, Shoup, and Admiral McDonald, that reads:

b. The program currently in progress to train Vietnamese forces will be reviewed and accelerated as necessary to insure that all essential functions visualized to be required for the projected operational environment, to include those now performed by U.S. military units and personnel, can be assumed properly by the Vietnamese by the end of calendar year 1965. All planning will be directed towards preparing RVN forces for the withdrawal of all U.S. special assistance units and personnel by the end of calendar year 1965. (Emphasis added.)  

THAT is what I recall Colonel Prouty describing, in talking about the struggle to word the McNamara/Taylor report in such a way that it would require the complete removal of all forces, including the CIA from Vietnam.  The extant 263 and McNamara/Taylor report contain nothing that remotely resembles this description. This Oct 4 Taylor memo very neatly matches what the Colonel describes: wording that would require the complete removal of the CIA.   Withdrawing 1000 troops is nothing, if done the way they ultimately did it, which was to count men being rotated out as being "withdrawn", which was a fraud.

On this same point, the next paragraph of Taylor's memo reads:

c. Execute the plan to withdraw 1,000 U.S. military personnel by the end of 1963 per your DTG 212201Z July, and as approved for planning by JCS DTG 062042Z September. Previous guidance on the public affairs annex is altered to the extent that the action will now be treated in low key, as the initial increment of U.S. forces whose presence is no longer required because (a) Vietnamese forces have been trained to assume the function involved; or (b) the function for which they came to Vietnam has been completed. (Emphasis added.)

The use of the words "initial increment" is an attempt by Kennedy (and I assume Krulak and Prouty) to obliterate the notion of the withdrawal of 1,000 as being in any way special, separate, or isolated; but that it is merely the first increment of the complete withdrawal that will start in December 63 and be complete by December 65.  So, this memo says, the withdrawal of the 1,000 troops is not newsworthy.  The news of substance is that is that they are ALL  getting out, by December '65, and that they will start in December '63,  with 1,000, as part of the "All planning will be directed towards ... withdrawal of all U.S. special assistance units and personnel"

You cannot get anything remotely resembling a feeling for what this memo expresses, with such electric force and clarity, by looking at the official record. Galbraith, further, makes the observation that Taylor was a major hawk, disagreed with this decision, and would not have written these words if there were any wiggle room in the Taylor/McNamara report for him to state the case less emphatically and clearly.  

 McNamara said "complete withdrawal" in a poorly attended speech.  And Colonel Prouty said it to his small but attentive audience.  But the McNamar/Taylor report does not say it. And who are you going to believe?  Prouty and McNamara's aging memories, or your lying eyes?
In this October 4 memo, we have a most explicit confirmation from Maxwell Taylor, that matches Prouty's detailed description to a "T".

We all know the autopsy report, x-rays, and photos were altered.  The laws of physics were altered to accommodate the single bullet theory. It cannot come as any sort of surprise that NSAM 263 and the McNamara/Taylor report were altered.

 Many people are waking up to the fact that the Zapruder film was altered to hide the limo stop in front of the grassy knoll.  Larry Rivera has found audio tape of all the motorcycle cops saying the limo stopped, and that the Secret Service descended from their stopped vehicle and came forward.  Joseph McBride has just published his interview with Senator Yarborough, who says exactly the same thing! that the limo stopped, and the Secret Service dismounted their car and came forward.  He casually observes that the Zapruder film was, clearly, altered, since it shows none of this.
53 years.  And we keep chipping away layer after layer of deception.
And I have still found no one to address in a serious way, what to me is perhaps the most profound question of the investigation:  if they removed the limo stop, why did they leave in the violent motion of Kennedy's body, backward and to the left?  McBride adds another mystery, the 1966 publication of an article, with a banner on the cover, challenging the single bullet theory (and therefore, the entire Warren Commission report).  In LIFE magazine!!!  My answer is that we have been had, gentleman.
The CIA/killers were coming at Johnson on all sides, calling for nuclear war:
  --  tapes of Oswald in Mexico, plotting with the Russians and Cubans
  --  letters written by Oswald, to the Russians, plotting Kennedy's murder.
  --  and mountains of false evidence showing Oswald to be a Marxist killer.
Johnson's response, no doubt under pressure from unknown-to-him, and possibly unwitting, agents of the killers, was to form the Warren Commission; to settle the issue of foreign conspiracies requiring a nuclear response.  And having pushed Johnson into that trap --   in 1966 and 1967, they sprung it, helping good people like myself, to vilify Johnson and help get Richard Nixon elected.  LOL


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