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Author Topic: Kennedy vs the CIA  (Read 1557 times)

Offline Barry Pollard

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2018, 01:37:55 AM »
All of SE Asia was considered.
Letting Vietnam decide for itself who it would trade with was worse than bombing it to bits. The former sets a bad example to others who may follow it's lead, the latter teaches a valuble lesson on who they shouldn't mess with and like Cuba they've never been allowed to recover, no way, thus continuing the lesson for future generations.
The rotten apple theory.

Was the US out to win it? Well I think Kennedy was, right till the end. In his last press conference, he said as much and I have no trouble believing him.
New government, new situation "and we hope [as if he didn't know] an increased effort in the war..."
Never tried to understand Johnson or Nixon and doubt I ever will.

Reporter sees "Coup" but says "Shoe" :)
@7:40

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2018, 01:37:55 AM »


Online Mitch Todd

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2018, 03:39:05 AM »
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Facts are stubborn things. From Jim DiEugenio:

"The whole idea that JFK “approved the coup” is dealt with in John Newman’s masterly book JFK and Vietnam.

It details the whole saga behind the Saturday Night Special, the famous “coup cable”. No one can understand how the coup occurred unless you understand this story.

Max Taylor understood it too late and failed to call JFK that night. But he later wrote that he understood what had occurred: the cabal in the State Department who were anti Diem had arranged to send the cable that night with all the principals out of town knowing it would never have been cleared under normal circumstances. Further, the plotters lied to Kennedy about who had signed off on it. He had rigid guidelines as to what he would approve and these were broken.. This is why he was so furious when he got back and said, “This xxxx has to stop!”

One of the guys who was in on it, Forrestal, offered to resign. JFK said, “You are not worth firing. You owe me something.”

According to Lodge, Kennedy then sent a cancellation cable to Saigon. But Lodge and Conein had again broken with instructions and showed the cable to the generals that weekend, and without talking to DIem first. Conein told the Watergate Committee that he was getting conflicting instructions all the way through. The State Dept wanted him to move ahead, the White House didn’t. FInally Kennedy and Bundy tried to stop all other communications and direct everything through the Oval Office. But by then it was too late. The coup was on.

No historian can tell this story without including these important facts. And Gordon Goldstein in his book on Bundy says that 1.) There was no question in Bundy’s mind JFK was getting out and 2.) The coup had no impact on his decision.

That is agreed to by both McNamara and Taylor. All three of Kennedy’s military advisors said he was getting out and would never commit combat troops.

This was reversed by LBJ within three months. He had full scale scale war plans delivered to his office by the Pentagon in March. Which is something JFK refused to contemplate in three years.

Further, in the Blight book, it is revealed that LBJ himself knew he was reversing JFK’s policy and tried to con McNamara into denying that fact.

Taylor, McNamara, Bundy, LBJ? How many witnesses do you need?"

You used "DiEugenio" and "facts" on the same line. Those two words aren't even on the same planet.

Anyway, Cable 243 was sent on August 24, 1963. The coup would not occur until the first of November. Even then, the August cable referred to a coup plot that had unraveled by the end of August. There was plenty of opportunity to walk away from Cable 243 after September 1st. The administration chose to continue down the road to November 1.

And yes, JFK was mad at Hilsman, Harriman, and Forrestal, but not so much that any of them were canned (as you've noted) or even demoted. On the other hand, at a meeting of administration grandees on 31 August after the first coup fizzled, Paul Kattemberg became the first administration official to opine that the best course would be "to get out honorably." Kattenberg's reward was to be summarily exiled from any further advisory role by Rusk and McNamara.

Cable 243 essentially advised Lodge to tell Diem that the US wanted Nhu out. If Diem would not remove his brother from any position of power, then Lodge was then to signal to the ARVN generals that the US would be OK with Diem's replacement via coup. Lodge read the tea leaves, realized that Diem would never cash out his own brother, and skipped the first bit. From what I recall, he consulted with Harkins and Richardson on the matter and they backed his judgement as to the strength of Diem's relationship with Nhu. In fact, I can't think of anyone who figured that the US would have been able to get Diem to turn out his brother, so you can't really fault Lodge for going straight to Plan B. 

As for whether or not JFK would have committed troops, that's beyond the scope of this particular topic.


 

Offline Richard Rubio

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2018, 05:28:35 AM »
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You used "DiEugenio" and "facts" on the same line. Those two words aren't even on the same planet.

Anyway, Cable 243 was sent on August 24, 1963. The coup would not occur until the first of November. Even then, the August cable referred to a coup plot that had unraveled by the end of August. There was plenty of opportunity to walk away from Cable 243 after September 1st. The administration chose to continue down the road to November 1.

And yes, JFK was mad at Hilsman, Harriman, and Forrestal, but not so much that any of them were canned (as you've noted) or even demoted. On the other hand, at a meeting of administration grandees on 31 August after the first coup fizzled, Paul Kattemberg became the first administration official to opine that the best course would be "to get out honorably." Kattenberg's reward was to be summarily exiled from any further advisory role by Rusk and McNamara.

Cable 243 essentially advised Lodge to tell Diem that the US wanted Nhu out. If Diem would not remove his brother from any position of power, then Lodge was then to signal to the ARVN generals that the US would be OK with Diem's replacement via coup. Lodge read the tea leaves, realized that Diem would never cash out his own brother, and skipped the first bit. From what I recall, he consulted with Harkins and Richardson on the matter and they backed his judgement as to the strength of Diem's relationship with Nhu. In fact, I can't think of anyone who figured that the US would have been able to get Diem to turn out his brother, so you can't really fault Lodge for going straight to Plan B. 

As for whether or not JFK would have committed troops, that's beyond the scope of this particular topic.


 


Outstanding answer. I do know bits of the history here but I could not tie it together. You are a real asset to the forum. I usually, do not believe in just gratuitous compliments but I've read some of your other answers as well. Very knowledgeable and insightful.

Online Steve Howsley

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2018, 10:17:37 AM »
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Facts are stubborn things. From Jim DiEugenio: .........

DiEugenio has been agitating for months to have DVP served with a permanent ban from that 'other place'. DVP is more than able to stand up for himself so a tag team approach is in play to bully him into submission and eventual banishment. It is plain to see as now there's a mod on board who is sympathetic to their cause.

This forum (The JFK Assassination Forum) is a model democracy in comparison. I wonder if it's because no one here is continually spruiking their latest book. Whatever the reason well done to Duncan.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 10:19:10 AM by Steve Howsley »

Offline Bill Chapman

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2018, 03:03:37 PM »
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DiEugenio has been agitating for months to have DVP served with a permanent ban from that 'other place'. DVP is more than able to stand up for himself so a tag team approach is in play to bully him into submission and eventual banishment. It is plain to see as now there's a mod on board who is sympathetic to their cause.

This forum (The JFK Assassination Forum) is a model democracy in comparison. I wonder if it's because no one here is continually spruiking their latest book. Whatever the reason well done to Duncan.

'Their latest book'

 ???

Are you sure any CTer here could even write a coherent paragraph, let alone a book?

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2018, 03:03:37 PM »


Offline Gary Craig

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2018, 06:33:07 PM »
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Quick sketch of an average fighter for the southern army; he's forced into service, refusal isn't an option, everyone of his "enemies" is potentially a family member who had to flee because of political beliefs, or a cousin, a friend or a neighbor, so every time he's not being watched he's shooting over their heads and if by chance his commander gets shot, they stop shooting and invite the other side across for a chat and some tea. Good luck winning that "war".

Now here's my question regarding Newman and the above(I haven't read it), does he really believe they were just advisors(does anyone?), does he deal with the reality or not and does he go into the report that NSAM-111 originated from?  I'll have to refresh my memory to why but the report/study in the second question has it's own controversy.
Biased, trumped up, one sided, something along those lines.

"Now here's my question regarding Newman and the above(I haven't read it), does he really believe they were just advisors(does anyone?), does he deal with the reality"

 ::)


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THE KENNEDY-JOHNSON TRANSITION:
THE CASE FOR POLICY REVERSAL

 by DR. JOHN M. NEWMAN.

~snip~

"Such arguments blur the crucial distinction between a policy of advising the South Vietnamese army how

to fight the war and a policy using the American army to fight the war.  From any perspective, not the

least of which was the Viet Cong's, the difference between the South Vietnamese army and the American

army was not subtle, and neither was the difference between the Special Forces, on the one hand, and the

Marines or 82D  Airborne Division, on the other.  These differences are fundamental, and to construe a

large increase in advisors as something only slightly less or a little different than brigades and divisions of

ground forces is just nonsense."


~snip~

Offline Barry Pollard

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2018, 12:27:45 AM »
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"Now here's my question regarding Newman and the above(I haven't read it), does he really believe they were just advisors(does anyone?), does he deal with the reality"

 ::)


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...

Thanks Gary and just so it's clear I read carefully what you posted before and the above, it's the Newman book I haven't :)

Offline Barry Pollard

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2018, 12:35:10 AM »
Mitch,
one source for the Diems asking the US to leave was not so secret, a WP interview,
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Note that Rusk complained about the article, so you know it must have been really good.

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2018, 12:35:10 AM »


Online Mitch Todd

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #28 on: July 14, 2018, 06:30:59 AM »
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Mitch,
one source for the Diems asking the US to leave was not so secret, a WP interview,
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Note that Rusk complained about the article, so you know it must have been really good.


That's the  May 12th Unna interview, is it not? It was Nhu's response to the early Western reactions to the Hue Vesak killings. Even then, he only said the US should withdraw half of the advisor force.

Online Mitch Todd

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2018, 07:50:28 PM »
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Outstanding answer. I do know bits of the history here but I could not tie it together. You are a real asset to the forum. I usually, do not believe in just gratuitous compliments but I've read some of your other answers as well. Very knowledgeable and insightful.

Wow. Thank you! I'm not used to getting compliments on discussion boards, which makes the surprise more welcome and the welcome more surprising.

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Re: Kennedy vs the CIA
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2018, 07:50:28 PM »