I do remember how US Senator Frank Church saw the implication of CIA domestic operations and the NSA using its technology in violation of its charter to spy on Americans.
That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesnt matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.
I dont want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return. -- Frank Church, 1975
Gee. That foreshadowed all the domestic full-spectrum domestic spying operations to come.
Oh. Almost forgot: Something that is no theory: The ONE and ONLY Telcom executive to oppose the illegal surveillance got railroaded on insider trading -- the very same law that all the Wall Street insiders and their toadies on Capitol Hill somehow circumvent. What a coincidence!
JFK Cuba crisis tapes released
By Jon Marcus
A ssociated Press
BOSTON (AP) -117 At the height of the Cuban missile crisis, one of President John F. Kennedy's top military commanders warned him that failing to invade the island would be like backing down to Hitler's initial demands in Europe.
"This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis LeMay told Kennedy on Oct. 19, 1962, according to newly declassified White House tape recordings released Thursday.
LeMay's comment "was an amazing thing to say to any president, but it was a particularly amazing thing to say to this president," said Sheldon Stern, historian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, where the tape recordings were released. "It's a deep personal insult."
Kennedy's father, Joseph P. Kennedy, served as U.S. ambassador to Britain at the time of the 1938 Munich conference, where the British and French agreed to let Nazi Germany take land from Czechoslovakia in exch ange for a short-lived promise of peace. The elder Kennedy's support of appeasement later was strongly criticized and may have cost him any hope of running for national office.
LeMay, like other military leaders, advocated immediate military intervention to destroy the Soviet missiles and unfinished silos that had been detected by aerial reconnaissance in Cuba. He said blockading ships bound for Cuba, as other presidential advisers urged, would lead to war anyway.
President Kennedy, who privately called LeMay "field marshal," did not respond to the remark and the meeting went on to cover other military and diplomatic issues.
'Arrogant' CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam
A bit of history from the last weeks of President Kennedy's life,
courtesy of The Education Forum by DUer John Simkin :
'SPOOKS' MAKE LIFE MISERABLE FOR AMBASSADOR LODGE
'Arrogant' CIA Disobeys Orders in Viet Nam
The Washington Daily News, Wednesday, October 2, 1963, p.3
SAIGON, Oct.2 - The story of the Central Intelligence Agency's role in South Viet Nam is a dismal chronicle of bureaucratic arrogance, obstinate disregard of orders, and unrestrained thirst for power.
Twice the CIA flatly refused to carry out instructions from Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, according to a high United States source here.
In one of these instances the CIA frustrated a plan of action Mr. Lodge brought with him from Washington because the agency disagreed with it.
This led to a dramatic confrontation between Mr. Lodge and John Richardson, chief of the huge CIA apparatus here. Mr. Lodge failed to move Mr. Richardson, and the dispute was bucked back to Washington. Secretary of State Dean Rusk and CIA Chief John A. McCone were unable to resolve the conflict, and the matter is now reported to be awaiting settlement by President Kennedy.
It is one of the developments expected to be covered in Defense Secretary Robert McNamara's report to Mr. Kennedy.
Others Critical, Too
Other American agencies here are incredibly bitter about the CIA.
"If the United States ever experiences a 'Seven Days in May' it will come from the CIA, and not from the Pentagon," one U.S. official commented caustically.
("Seven Days in May" is a fictional account of an attempted military coup to take over the U.S. Government.)
CIA "spooks" (a universal term for secret agents here) have penetrated every branch of the American community in Saigon, until non-spook Americans here almost seem to be suffering a CIA psychosis.
An American field officer with a distinguished combat career speaks angrily about "that man at headquarters in Saigon wearing a colonel's uniform." He means the man is a CIA agent, and he can't understand what he is doing at U.S. military headquarters here, unless it is spying on other Americans.
Another American officer, talking about the CIA, acidly commented: "You'd think they'd have learned something from Cuba but apparently they didn't."
Few Know CIA Strength
Few people other than Mr. Richardson and his close aides know the actual CIA strength here, but a widely used figure is 600. Many are clandestine agents known only to a few of their fellow spooks.
Even Mr. Richardson is a man about whom it is difficult to learn much in Saigon. He is said to be a former OSS officer, and to have served with distinction in the CIA in the Philippines.
A surprising number of the spooks are known to be involved in their ghostly trade and some make no secret of it.
"There are a number of spooks in the U.S. Information Service, in the U.S. Operations mission, in every aspect of American official and commercial life here, " one official - presumably a non-spook - said.
"They represent a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone," he added.
Coupled with the ubiquitous secret police of Ngo Dinh Nhu, a surfeit of spooks has given Saigon an oppressive police state atmosphere.
The Nhu-Richardson relationship is a subject of lively speculation. The CIA continues to pay the special forces which conducted brutal raids on Buddhist temples last Aug. 21, altho in fairness it should be pointed out that the CIA is paying these goons for the war against communist guerillas, not Buddhist bonzes (priests).
Hand Over Millions
Nevertheless, on the first of every month, the CIA dutifully hands over a quarter million American dollars to pay these special forces.
Whatever else it buys, it doesn't buy any solid information on what the special forces are up to. The Aug. 21 raids caught top U.S. officials here and in Washington flat-footed.
Nhu ordered the special forces to crush the Buddhist priests, but the CIA wasn't let in on the secret. (Some CIA button men now say they warned their superiors what was coming up, but in any event the warning of harsh repression was never passed to top officials here or in Washington.)
Consequently, Washington reacted unsurely to the crisis. Top officials here and at home were outraged at the news the CIA was paying the temple raiders, but the CIA continued the payments.
It may not be a direct subsidy for a religious war against the country's Buddhist majority, but it comes close to that.
And for every State Department aide here who will tell you, "Dammit, the CIA is supposed to gather information, not make policy, but policy-making is what they're doing here," there are military officers who scream over the way the spooks dabble in military operations.
A Typical Example
For example, highly trained trail watchers are an important part of the effort to end Viet Cong infiltration from across the Laos and Cambodia borders. But if the trailer watchers spot incoming Viet Congs, they report it to the CIA in Saigon, and in the fullness of time, the spooks may tell the military.
One very high American official here, a man who has spent much of his life in the service of democracy, likened the CIA's growth to a malignancy, and added he was not sure even the White House could control it any longer.
Unquestionably Mr. McNamara and Gen. Maxwell Taylor both got an earful from people who are beginning to fear the CIA is becoming a Third Force co-equal with President Diem's regime and the U.S. Government - and answerable to neither.
There is naturally the highest interest here as to whether Mr. McNamara will persuade Mr. Kennedy something ought to be done about it.
ADDENDUM from Education Forum writer:
The most important consequence of the Cold War remains the least discussed. How and why American democracy died lies beyond the scope of this introductory essay. It is enough to note that the CIA revolt against the presidency of John Fitzgerald Kennedy the single event which did more than any other to hasten its end was, quite contrary to over forty years of censorship and deceit, both publicly anticipated and publicly opposed.
No American journalist worked more bravely to thwart the anticipated revolt than Scripps-Howards Richard Starnes. His reward was effectively to become a non-person, not just in the work of mainstream fellow-journalists and historians, but also that of nominally oppositional Kennedy assassination writers. It could have been worse: John J. McCone, Director of Central Intelligence, sought his instant dismissal; while others within the agency doubtless had more drastic punishment in mind, almost certainly of the kind meted out to CBS George Polk fifteen years earlier.
This time, shrewder agency minds prevailed. Senator Dodd was given a speech to read by the CIA denouncing Starnes in everything but name. William F. Buckley, Jr., suddenly occupied an adjacent column. In short, Starnes was allowed to live, even as his Scripps-Howard career was put under overt and intense CIA scrutiny - and quietly, systematically, withered on the Mockingbird vine.
From Light on a Dry Shadow, the preface to Arrogant CIA: The Selected Scripps-Howard Journalism of Richard T. Starnes, 1960-1965 (provisionally scheduled for self-publication in November 2006).
As far as I am aware, the remarkable example (above) of what Claud Cockburn called preventative journalism has never appeared in its entirety anywhere on the internet. Instead, readers have had to make do with the next-day riposte of the NYTs Arthur Krock. The latter, it should be noted, was a veteran CIA-mouthpiece and messenger boy.
Dick Starnes was 85 on July 4, 2006. He remains, in bucolic retirement, a wonderfully fluent and witty writer; and as good a friend as any Englishman could wish for.
I dedicate the despatchs web debut to Judy Mann, in affectionate remembrance.
The Education Forum is an outstanding resource for those interested in President Kennedy, his administration, and his assassination.
From what we've learned in the last few years is that Lodge also was disregarding orders -- from President Kennedy.
Vietnam and Iraq Wars Started by Same People
Know your BFEE: Hitler s Bankers Shaped Vietnam War
JFK Would NEVER Have Fallen for Phony INTEL!
Old news to you, Overseas. Thank you for the kind reminder, my Friend.
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin's to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.
I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,and the childrenMilly, Jane, and Grundygo to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, "Them colored people were slaves" down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.
As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor's visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams's Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.
In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starveand die, if it come to thatthan have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.
Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.
From your old servant,
The way old slaves were treated by the ownership class helps explain the attitude toward older workers, social security, medicare and medicaid, and anything else that's tarred as "socialism" by the Grover Norquist and the rest of the 1-percent's paid monkey class.
Doubt it, Justice Scalia? Just remember the words of someone who knew, personally, there "was never pay-day for the Negroes any more than for the horses and cows."
"I have become death, the destroyer of worlds," J. Robert Oppenheimer spontaneously said upon witnessing the first detonation of a nuclear bomb on July 16, 1945. The statement is a slight mistranslation of a passage from the classic Hindu text the Bhagavad-Gita. It is hard to imagine that Oppenheimer's declaration is even an overstatement. The bomb has one purpose: to destroy. But even something as seemingly straight forward as the atomic bomb never remains clear for very long and soon enough the questions begin to arise: What does it mean? Why do we feel compelled to build them? Is it protection for ourselves or from ourselves? In a direct way, by looking at Ashland artist's Robert Beckmann's new paintings that are part of a group show at Jim Kempner Fine Art in New York, the viewer is able to come to grips with some of these questions in their own way. More...
Posted by Arcy Douglass on June 13, 2008 at 10:07 | Comments (0)
Painting by Robert Beckmann
by Penn Jones, Jr
The greatest criminal in this nation, we think, is a dishonest newsman. Newsmen have been given the highest gift a nation can give a group: a right. Newsmen have been given this right of freedom of the press and freedom of speech in the expectation they would report the truth as honestly as humanly possible. Ordinary criminals kill individuals, but dishonest newsmen are involved in killing a nation--in this case, this democracy. Which brings us to native Texan Dan Rather, a longtime Houstonian, and his new book, The Camera Never Blinks.
But the biggest distortion is what he said he saw when he was one of the few persons in the world privileged to see the Abraham Zapruder film that Saturday morning, November 23. In his narration of the film as part of CBS nationwide television coverage, Rather said the President's head "went forward with considerable violence." This narration confirmed the so-called "Oswald position" for the nation, but he said nothing about the violent backward motion of the President's head which would have strongly suggested a second gunman at that early date. Rather does take care to tell us again that he took no notes.
His book says this about the incident: "At the risk of sounding too defensive, I challenge anyone to watch for the first time a twenty-two second film of devastating impact, run several blocks, then describe what they had seen in its entirety, without notes. Perhaps someone can do it better than I did that day. I only know that I did it as well and as honestly as I could under the conditions.
"But here is where the case gets tricky. Years later, a group of assassination buffs took an audio tape of my description of what I saw in the office of Zapruder's lawyer and laid it over the film as a narration. So the impression was given that Dan Rather was part of a conspiracy. Either that or he was a Communist dupe, or something, how else could he have seen the film, etc. etc."
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