Thursday, April 29, 2021

Brute - The Life of Victor Krulak U.S. Marine

 Brute - the Life of Victor Krulak US Marine - (Little Brown, 2010) By Robert Coram. 

Brute: The Life of Victor Krulak, U.S. Marine: Coram, Robert:  9780316067430: Books

General Victor "Brute" Krulak is a relatively obscure but significant player in the JFK assassination drama. 

I first heard his name from Colonel Fletcher Prouty, who I first met at an NYU Law School conference on the assassination, when he gave a lecture in the science hall explaining how you have to understand how covert intelligence operations work in order to learn what really happened at Dealey Plaza. He is the author of a book on the subject called The Secret Team.

Prouty's insights into the assassination were so threatening that they tried to destroy his credibility, but he was a Colonel in the USAF, had an office just down the hall from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and personally knew and worked closely with Generals Krulak and Ed Lansdale, who was head of Operation Mongoose and responsible for getting rid of Castro in Cuba. 

There's a letter from Krulak to Prouty saying that he recognized Lansdale in a photo of Dealey Plaza shortly after the assassination, wondering what he was doing there. 

As detailed in this biography Krulak had an impressive career and life, though I am focused on his association with JFK and his position at the Pentagon 1962-1964 as SACSA - Special Assistant for Counter-Insurgency and Special Activities. 

As explained in his bio, "As the special assistant for special activities, he held one of the most sensitive jobs in the U.S. government: liaison between the military and the CIA. This was the blackest of the black holes and involved some of the most highly classified matters of national defense. It meant that in Vietnam (and Cuba), Krulak was in charge of psychological warfare and covert activities against the enemy, a job that in a few years would be turned over to a much larger group with the innocuous name Studies and Observation Group (SOG)."

"...He was confident enough that when White House staffers suggested he follow the protocol of military officers working in the White House and wear civilian closed, he refused, saying he was serving as a military officer and 'it would diminish the impact of the military for me to wear civilian clothes.'"

"The Krulaks' social life was as busy as ever, but now there was a difference. In Washington, everything is about proximity - about who is close to the president and who has power. It was common knowledge that JFK's time in the Pacific had been the defining moment of his life; he had his closest aides wore tie pins of a miniature PT-109. But going behind enemy lines in the middle of the night to rescue Krulak's Marines had been Kennedy's last big mission in the Pacific, and having been the commanding officer of those Marines gave Krulak a unique cache. Plus, Krulak was the point man, the acknowledged expert, in an area of the highest importance to the Kennedy administration: counterinsurgency." 

As detailed in the book PT-109 by - Robert J. Donovan, and as portrayed in the movie starring Cliff Robertson, Kennedy led his men to the Japanese held Pacific island beach to rescue the stranded Marines, under fire. At the time Krulak promised Kennedy a bottle of whisky for his efforts, but didn't deliver it until JFK was in the White House. 

Hardcover PT 109 : John F. Kennedy in World War II Bookrobert donovan the assassins - AbeBooks

The PT-109 book was written by the same author who wrote The Assassins, a book Allen Dulles took to the first Warren Commission meeting in trying to make the case that unlike politically motivated European assassins, American assassins were generally just crazy lone nut cases, though some of the other commissioners disagreed, pointing to the Lincoln assassination as a case in point. 

While Krulak had an office at the Pentagon and a desk at the White House, the official records show that he only had one on one meetings with the President a dozen or some times, each one on the subject of Vietnam. 

Krulak later told friends that he did meet with the President privately after hours, delivering the promised bottle of whisky, that they shared. 

While most of Krulak's biography deals with his role in the Vietnam war, Krulak was also responsible for counter-insurgency and special activities in Cuba. 

On September 25, 1963, when CIA officer Desmond FitzGerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff on covert operations against Cuba, Krulak sent his adjunct Colonel Walter Higgins to the meeting, and his resulting memo is, I believe, the single most important document released under the JFK Act for multiple reasons. 

It was Krulak's responsibility to provide any military assistance the CIA required in the course of their covert activities, the subject of FitzGerald's briefing. Since General Taylor was on a special mission to Vietnam, the meeting was run by temporary chair, General Curtis LeMay, the Air Force Chief of Staff. 

During the course of his briefing, that touched on many points - FitzGerald said that the CIA was conducting a detailed study of the German military's July 20, 1944 plot to kill Hitler, in order to adapt it for use against Castro. 

Unfortunately, when a FOIA request was made for that detailed study, it appears the CIA has lost it, which to me, confirms Peter Dale Scott's Negative Template thesis that hold the most important records are the ones being withheld or were destroyed or missing. 

When I get a chance I will post some excerpts from the Krulak biography at my other blogs 

Monday, April 26, 2021

Hemingway and JFK

Hemingway and JFK - Hemingway at Dealey Plaza? 

OSS Col. David Bruce (Left) and Hemingway on the way to Paris 

Ken Burn's new three part PBS documentary on Ernest Hemingway sparked me to write about the aspects of Hemingway's life as they reflect on the assassination of President Kennedy. 

While they actually never met in person, Hemingway and JFK are intimately entwined. For one, many of Hemingway's papers and artifacts are housed at the JFK Presidential Library in Boston, there at the reqest of his fourth wife, Mary, and for good reasons. 

The key connection between Hemingway and JFK, as it is with JFK, Oswald and Ruby, is Cuba. My favorite book about Hemingway is Arnold Samuelson's With Hemingway - One Year in Key West and Cuba. Samuelson, a college student during the Depression, hopped a freight train to Key West to visit Hemingway, and was promptly arrested when he arrived. Eventually he got to see Hemingway, who took him down to the docks and permitted him to stay aboard his fishing yacht, The Pilar. 

Samuelson's manuscript however, even though Samuelson became an English teacher, wasn't discovered by his daughter in the attic until after his death, and she arranged for it to be published. One of the things Hemingway taught Samuelson I found useful, was his advice to not write everything in one sitting, as if you know where the story is going, save some for the next day, and you will have something to begin with. 

Hemingway's military intelligence life began when he ventured to China, then engaged in war with Japan, and reported back on what he learned. Then he began working with ONI - the Office of Naval Intelligence, who supplied him with gasoline and weapons for the Pilar in order for Hemingway to report on any Nazi submarine sightings in the Caribbean while he was fishing. 

One of Hemingway's sons became a JEDBURG - a British trained commando parachuted behind the enemy lines in order to organize bands of anti-Nazi partisan resistance. Unfortunately young Hemingway was captured by the Germans and became a prisoner of war.

Then Hemingway became a war correspondent for Colliers and NANA - the North American Newspaper Alliance, that also included at various times, others involved in this story - Priscilla Johnson McMillan, Ian Fleming of 007 fame, and JFK's paramour Inga Avid. 

For more info on NARA here's a link to an article I wrote with John Judge - JFKCountercoup2: Bottlefed by Oswald's NANA

Although such correspondents were not supposed to have weapons or engage in combat, Hemingway sported a pistol and a machine gun, much to the dismay of other correspondents. 

At some point - probably in the village of Rambouillet, 30 miles southeast of Paris, Hemingway hooked up with OSS - Office of Strategic Services Colonel David Bruce, as there is a photo of them together there. Bruce found Hemingway had accumulated a band of French partisan fighters - some 60 or so, who Hemingway provided intelligence to in order for them to fight the Germans. In a few trucks and Bruce's jeep they made their way to Paris, stopping at every cafe and hotel bar for a drink along the way. 

Bruce would be a major player in this story, as he would be Hemingway's best man at his fourth wedding, and be JFK's ambassador to the Court of St. James in London, where he would be briefed by Art Lundahl of the NPIC - National Photo Interpretation Center on the Soviet missiles in Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Bruce also served as US Ambassador to France and West Germany. 

While the French Army entered Paris and accepted the surrender of the German generals, Hemingway wanted to liberate the bar at the Ritz Hotel, where he had spent many hours drinking and eating with his pal F. Scott Fitzgerald in the 20s and 30s. 

Lee  Harvey Oswald even mentions Hemingway in his letter from Russia to then Navy Secretary John Connally, saying that he went to the Soviet Union as Hemingway went to Paris. Priscilla Johnson assumed that Oswald was referring to Hemingway's life in Paris as a writer, but he also could have been referring to Hemingway's visit with David Bruce, the colonel in the OSS - General Donovan's predecessor to the CIA. 

On August 25, 1944 they arrived at the Ritz, they say Hemingway entered the small alcove bar where there is now a statute of him, and knew the bartender. He placed his machine gun on the bar, looked around at Bruce and his motley group of partisans, and ordered sixty martinis, shaken not sturred. 

The hotel manager, who knew Hemingway, said that the German generals had just left a few hours previous, and that he had kept the best wines from them, so Hemingway said, "Lets have some." 

After the war Hemingway went back to Key West and Havana, where he kept homes, but after the Bay of Pigs disaster, never returned to Cuba. Instead he went to Ketchum, Idaho, where he enjoyed hunting and fishing, though his health was failing and he was being treated for depression with electro shock therapy. In an act of depression, Hemingway killed himself, in a manner very similar to the way George deMohrenschildts committed suicide - shotgun to the head. 

After Hemingway's death, his wife Mary received special permission to travel to Cuba to go to their house there and retrieve manuscripts, art and artifacts that she wanted to keep, and later donated to the Kennedy Library. While there, she was visited by Castro himself, who drove up in a jeep and informed Mary Hemingway they had plans to make the home a museum. 

When Mary informed Edward R. Morrow, head of the US Information Agency, he informed the CIA and Ed Lansdale, then head of Operation Mongoose assigned to get rid of Castro. They discussed a plan to use this information as part of a plot, possibly a plot to kill Castro, as described in an article The Old Man and the CIA: A Kennedy Plot to Kill Castro (The Nation - March 26, 2001). 

The Old Man and the CIA: A Kennedy Plot to Kill Castro? | The Nation

While I distrust David Corn and Gus Russo's interpretation, I will attempt to get a copy of the original Lansdale memo from Larry Haapanen, the person who found it, and report back. 

Okay, I've obtained scanned copies of the Lansdale memo from Larry and have posted them here: 

JFKCountercoup2: Lansdale Memo 16 March 1962 Re: The Hemingway Plot

More to Come on this. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Much to Agree on by Jeff Morley

 Jeff Morely wrote:  There is much to agree on:

*The president was killed by his enemies.

*This view was widely shared in private by men and women of power including Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Fidel Castro, and Charles de Gaulle, not to mention insiders such as Joe Califano, Win Scott, and John Kerry. They didn't all agree on the causes of JFK's murder but they all agreed the Warren Report is not a credible account of the crime.

* The perpetrators were persons capable of constructing plausible deniabilty around their actions, which means at least some of them belonged to the US intelligence community. 

* Our methodology is empirical, based on the preponderance of available evidence. If and when the government declassifies the last of the JFK files we will be able to fill out the JFK fact pattern, as ably summarized in John's review of David Talbot's Brothers. 

* In a legal perspective, we cannot (at least I cannot) identify any one witting perpetrator who is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of conspiring to kill the president. Those who say this is proof that there was no conspiracy resemble no one much as those legal savants who said the acquittal of OJ Simpson confirmed his innocence.

* The government continues to keep JFK secrets in 2021.

* The still-redacted JFK files document the activities of three categories of CIA officers of continuing interest; 1) those who knew Oswald's biography before 11/22 (and were thus in a position to possibly manipulate him into the role of "patsy" that he claimed); those involved in CIA assassination operations; and those who implicated themselves in the crime.

* We say, without fear of contradiction, that Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, and George Joannides criminally obstructed the investigation of the president’s murder by withholding material evidence from investigators.

* Our conclusions are based on the sturdy foundation laid down by first generation researchers such as Sylvia Meagher and Mary Ferrell; on the groundbreaking reporting of second-generation reporters such as Anthony Summers, Dick Russell, David Lifton, and Gaeton Fonzi; and on the conclusions of the HSCA.

* Our perspective is corroborated by the forensic analysis of Tink Thompson, Cyril Wecht, and Doug Horne, and confirmed by statements of US intelligence operatives themselves: Howard Hunt, Fletcher Prouty and most recently by Rolf Mowatt-Larssen.  Artists such as Oliver Stone, Eryka Badu, Don DeLillo and Bob Dylan have endowed the historical record with resonance of truth-telling. 

* We hope President Biden will do the right thing and orders all the JFK records released without exception in October 2021. This would vindicate the rule of law over the agenda of secret agencies. It would also be popular across partisan lines.

        Of course, the crime has to be seen in the context of the Cold War but understanding it does not require any unanimity about contemporary politics.  

Jeff and Rex Bradford wrote an update on the looming deadlines for release of the remaining records:

I will be adding my two cents soon - BK 

 any unanimity about contemporary politics.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Colonels at Dealey Plaza (Updated)

 COLONELS AT DEALEY PLAZA - Revised and put in Alphabetical Order 

Colonels are the highest ranking officers on the battlefield – what the snipers call a HPT – High Priority Target – guys who take their insignia off before going out in the open. They are the - Go To guys the Generals personally give instructions and orders and they’re the ones responsible for seeing those orders are carried out.

On the chess board the Colonels are Bishops, Rooks and Knights and capable of maneuvering and striking from different directions and distances.

There were three colonels at the Alamo – Colonel William Barrett Travis, Colonel Jim Bowie and Colonel David Crockett. 

And there were a number of Army and Air Force Colonels directly involved in JFK Assassination – “boots on the ground – in the field" and at the command centers. I intend to get photos and the official files and develop dossiers on each of these men and would appreciate anything you can add to the record.

 Bill Simpich said...No one has done this. The CIA has been done over and over again. Isn't it intriguing that the CIA documents are far more available than those of the military? How many books on military intelligence are out there compared to the CIA? Food for thought. Great project Bill.


     -     Col. William “Bill” Amos USAF knew Gen. Joseph J. Cappucci - who expressed personal knowledge of an LBJ backed conspiracy to kill JFK, 

JFKfacts » Senior Air Force officer saw JFK’s assassination as ‘a military coup’  /  Teknosis: Gen. Joseph J. Cappucci, head of Air Force counterintelligence, told Jan Amos and her husband Col. William Henry Amos, that Lyndon Johnson killed JFK

 - Col. Roy I. Batterton, Jr. - US Naval Mission - Haiti - George deMohrenschildt wrote to him from Dallas.

-  Col. William Bishop – Expressed secret knowledge of the assassination.

-  Col. Frank M. “Brandy” Brandstetter – Texan manager of the Havana Hilton when Castro made it his early residence.

 JFKcountercoup: Col. Frank M. Brandstetter / Brandy, Our Man in Acapulco: The Life and Times of Colonel Frank M. Brandstetter - Rodney P. Carlisle, Dominic J. Monetta - Google Books

 - Col. Howard Burris USAF - Native Texan, LBJ's Military aide - met with deMohrenschilt in DC in late April 1963 (p 80) Joan Mellen

-  Colonel William Castorr – Discussed running guns to Cuba with Nancy Perrin Rich’s husband, with Jack Ruby as the bagman. His wife Trudi was good friends with Sylvia Odio.

 -  Col. Philip J. Corso – Asst chief of USA Foreign Technology Division 1961 – who knew Sen. Kenneth Keating (R. NY)  and shared U2 photos of Soviet missiles in Cuba,JFKCountercoup2: Col. Philip J. Corso and Sen. Kenneth Keating (Rep. NY) / JFKCountercoup2: UFOs at Dealey Plaza

-  Lt. Col. William Corson USMC - wrote early history of American intelligence.

-  Col. Jack Crichton MI, USAR 488th MID, who ran the Command and Control center at the Civil Defense Shelter, Dallas State Fairgrounds, and arranged for investigative translators, 

Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and the ... - Russ Baker - Google Books  /   

Deep Politics and the Death of JFK - Peter Dale Scott - Google Books

-  Col. George Stanton Dorman – LeMay’s aide, whose wife worked at the White House and was there at the time of the assassination, and son who witnessed the burial  of JFK and toured Gen. LeMay’s control and command plane.  /

-  Col. Sheffield M. Edwards – CIA – Project Bluebird - http://spartacus- /

-   Lt. Col. Fons – Deputy Chief of Staff - 4th Army Headquarters – Ft. Sam Houston, Tx -

-  Col. Alexander Haig - staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCSOPS) at the Pentagon 1962-64!topic/alt.assassination.jfk/8150-oOXvjk Captain Pat Gannaway and Alexander Haig, Haig served as a staff officer in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCSOPS) at the Pentagon (1962–64)

-   Col. Walter Higgins – Aide to Gen. Krulak and author of the Higgins Memo, considered by some to be the single most significant “Smoking Document” among the JFK assassination records and the subject of a number of FOIA requests and an ongoing AARC civil suit. JFKcountercoup: JCS Memo FitzGerald Briefing 25 Sept. 1963  /   JFKcountercoup: Valkyrie At Dealey Plaza

-   Col. Robert Ellis Jones – 112th Military Intelligence Group, Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, contacted the FBI and told them Oswald’s MI file, which was later destroyed,  indicated he used the alias A. J. Hidell   [ ] Obituary of Col Robert Ellis Jones.  Jim Loving: From the obit:"upon completion he was assigned to Special Warfare Directorate, Office of the Chief of Staff for Operations, Department of the Army at the Pentagon 1962-1964, then to the Joints Chiefs of Staff J3, actively engaged in planning and operations of the Vietnam Conflict."

     -  Col. Sam Kail – Stationed at US Embassy Havana, ACSI USAR, who met with deMohrenschildt, with Dorothie Matlack. Mentioned by Veciana. Who's Who in the JFK Assassination: An A to Z Encyclopedia - Michael Benson - Google Books

-  Colonel George de Lannurien - French chief of CI - Counter Intelligence SDECE - in NYC (p.161)

-  Col. Edward Lansdale USAF – (Later General USAF) CIA psych and special warfare specialist under Air Force cover. May have stayed in Fort Worth on JFK's last might there and photographed at Dealey Plaza after the assassination.

-  Lt. Col. Rene Leon - Involved in August 1963 invasion of Haiti that included Loren Hall 

-  Lt. Col. Yuriy Ivanovich Moskalevskiy

-  Col. Erickson Nichols – the USAF embassy military officer who Frank Sturgis reported to at the US Embassy Havana;  JFKCountercoup2: Frank Sturgis - Run By US Military not CIA /  Warrior: Frank Sturgis---The CIA's #1 Assassin-Spy, Who Nearly Killed Castro ... - Jim Hunt, Bob Risch - Google Books 

-  Col. Lawrence Orlov – Was with deMohrenschildt when they first sought out Oswald and vistited him, RIF 104-10431-10034

 - Colonel Roy Pate – 112th Military Intelligence Regional Office.

- Col. Boris T. Pash – Led ALSOS mission, /

-   Col. Fletcher Prouty, DOD-CIA liaison officer at the Pentagon, friend of Gen. Krulak.  The Col. L. Fletcher Prouty Reference Site / General Charles "Chuck" C. Krulak / 

- Col. Rudolph M. Reich – Commander 316th INTC Group

- Col. Jose Rivera USAR- Betheda, Md.   medical officer with foreknowledge of Oswald and assassination, who worked on special research project at Fort Deitrick, Md.  A New Oswald Witness Goes Public / JFKcountercoup: Col. Jose Rivera & US Army Service Command / Jose Rivera

-  Colonel Richard Lyle Rolfe (1918-1968) 1960, he was serving on the staff of Major General John M. Williams, Asst. Chief of Staff for Intelligence(ACSI), U.S. Army. (Source: Letter from Maj. Gen. Williams to Allen Dulles, Director, CIA, Oct. 4, 1960.) On Oct. 16, 1962, he briefed Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale on activities of Alpha 66. (Source: Memo from  Col. Jeff W. Boucher, Chief, Collections Branch, ACSI, to Brig. Gen. Lansdale; this doc. is RIF #198-10004-10018}In or around November 1962, he participated in discussions re: Alpha 66 with Brig. Gen. Lansdale, Col. Boucher, and other Army special warfare and intelligence officers. (Source: DOD repot; doc is #180-10104-10394)

-      Lt. Col. William B. Rose – chief of the Army Intelligence Reserve Branch Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence (ACSI USAR) – Pentagon, where most of the field reports end up, especially those of:  JFKCountercoup2: ACSI - Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, USAR

-    Col. John “Rowlins” Roselli – Civilian made Mafia boss attached to CIA case officer William Harvey during training of  Cubans at JMWAVE,  JFKcountercoup: The Second Plot - The Original Cover Story / The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby - Richard D. Mahoney - Google Books /  Bradley Ayers

- Lt. Col. O'Wighton Delk Simpson - USAF Intel officer associated with Burris employed by Martin-Marietta in 1963 AFIO.  Bagman?  Son saw "assassination money."

- Col. Ralph Steakley – With Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Cuban Missile Crisis - - Founded the Joint Reconnaissance Center at Pentagon / /

-  Lt. Col. George  L. Whitmeyer – (USA Reserve) – Commanding officer of the Nothern District of Texas, occupant of the Pilot Car in the Motorcade driven by Capt. Lumpkin of both Dallas Police Department and US Army Intelligence - /