Archive for January, 2009

Executive Orders & Memoranda Day 1

January 26, 2009

EXECUTIVE ORDERS

January 21, 2009

Executive Order — Presidential Records

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ExecutiveOrderPresidentialRecords/

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to establish policies and procedures governing the assertion of executive privilege by incumbent and former Presidents in connection with the release of Presidential records by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) pursuant to the Presidential Records Act of 1978, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Definitions. For purposes of this order:

(a) “Archivist” refers to the Archivist of the United States or his designee.

(b) “NARA” refers to the National Archives and Records Administration.

(c) “Presidential Records Act” refers to the Presidential Records Act, 44 U.S.C. 2201-2207.

(d) “NARA regulations” refers to the NARA regulations implementing the Presidential Records Act, 36 C.F.R. Part 1270.

(e) “Presidential records” refers to those documentary materials maintained by NARA pursuant to the Presidential Records Act, including Vice Presidential records.

(f) “Former President” refers to the former President during whose term or terms of office particular Presidential records were created.

(g) A “substantial question of executive privilege” exists if NARA’s disclosure of Presidential records might impair national security (including the conduct of foreign relations), law enforcement, or the deliberative processes of the executive branch.

(h) A “final court order” is a court order from which no appeal may be taken.

Sec. 2. Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records.

(a) When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege. However, nothing in this order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

(b) Upon the passage of 30 days after receipt by the incumbent and former Presidents of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Archivist may disclose the records covered by the notice, unless during that time period the Archivist has received a claim of executive privilege by the incumbent or former President or the Archivist has been instructed by the incumbent President or his designee to extend the time period for a time certain and with reason for the extension of time provided in the notice. If a shorter period of time is required under the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist shall so indicate in the notice.

Sec. 3. Claim of Executive Privilege by Incumbent President.

(a) Upon receipt of a notice of intent to disclose Presidential records, the Attorney General (directly or through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel) and the Counsel to the President shall review as they deem appropriate the records covered by the notice and consult with each other, the Archivist, and such other executive agencies as they deem appropriate concerning whether invocation of executive privilege is justified.

(b) The Attorney General and the Counsel to the President, in the exercise of their discretion and after appropriate review and consultation under subsection (a) of this section, may jointly determine that invocation of executive privilege is not justified. The Archivist shall be notified promptly of any such determination.

(c) If either the Attorney General or the Counsel to the President believes that the circumstances justify invocation of executive privilege, the issue shall be presented to the President by the Counsel to the President and the Attorney General.

(d) If the President decides to invoke executive privilege, the Counsel to the President shall notify the former President, the Archivist, and the Attorney General in writing of the claim of privilege and the specific Presidential records to which it relates. After receiving such notice, the Archivist shall not disclose the privileged records unless directed to do so by an incumbent President or by a final court order.

Sec. 4. Claim of Executive Privilege by Former President.

(a) Upon receipt of a claim of executive privilege by a living former President, the Archivist shall consult with the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel), the Counsel to the President, and such other executive agencies as the Archivist deems appropriate concerning the Archivist’s determination as to whether to honor the former President’s claim of privilege or instead to disclose the Presidential records notwithstanding the claim of privilege. Any determination under section 3 of this order that executive privilege shall not be invoked by the incumbent President shall not prejudice the Archivist’s determination with respect to the former President’s claim of privilege.

(b) In making the determination referred to in subsection (a) of this section, the Archivist shall abide by any instructions given him by the incumbent President or his designee unless otherwise directed by a final court order. The Archivist shall notify the incumbent and former Presidents of his determination at least 30 days prior to disclosure of the Presidential records, unless a shorter time period is required in the circumstances set forth in section 1270.44 of the NARA regulations. Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel). The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 6. Revocation. Executive Order 13233 of November 1, 2001, is revoked.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 21, 2009

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/FreedomofInformationAct/

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT: Freedom of Information Act

A democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency. As Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” In our democracy, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which encourages accountability through transparency, is the most prominent expression of a profound national commitment to ensuring an open Government. At the heart of that commitment is the idea that accountability is in the interest of the Government and the citizenry alike.

The Freedom of Information Act should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The Government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears. Nondisclosure should never be based on an effort to protect the personal interests of Government officials at the expense of those they are supposed to serve. In responding to requests under the FOIA, executive branch agencies (agencies) should act promptly and in a spirit of cooperation, recognizing that such agencies are servants of the public.

All agencies should adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure, in order to renew their commitment to the principles embodied in FOIA, and to usher in a new era of open Government. The presumption of disclosure should be applied to all decisions involving FOIA.

The presumption of disclosure also means that agencies should take affirmative steps to make information public. They should not wait for specific requests from the public. All agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government. Disclosure should be timely.

I direct the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing the FOIA to the heads of executive departments and agencies, reaffirming the commitment to accountability and transparency, and to publish such guidelines in the Federal Register. In doing so, the Attorney General should review FOIA reports produced by the agencies under Executive Order 13392 of December 14, 2005. I also direct the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to update guidance to the agencies to increase and improve information dissemination to the public, including through the use of new technologies, and to publish such guidance in the Federal Register.

This memorandum does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

The Director of the Office of Management and Budget is hereby authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.

Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.

I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive.

This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.

BARACK OBAMA

National Security Archive Report:

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/news/20090121/index.htm

Washington, D.C., January 21, 2009 – On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order and two presidential memoranda heralding what he called a “new era of openness.” Announcing a Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act to reestablish a presumption of disclosure for information requested under FOIA, President Obama said that “every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known.”

The FOIA Memorandum articulates a presumption of disclosure for government records and a hostility to the use of secrecy laws to cover up embarrassing information. It directs the Attorney General to issue new guidelines governing FOIA and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to improve information dissemination to the public.

President Obama also issued an executive order reversing changes made by President George W. Bush to the Presidential Records Act (PRA), stating he would hold himself and his own records “to a new standard of openness.” The PRA order permits only the incumbent president (and not former presidents’ heirs or designees or former vice presidents) to assert constitutional privileges to withhold information, and would provide for review by the Attorney General and the White House Counsel before a president could claim privilege over his or her records.

Finally, President Obama also today issued a Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government which recognizes that “[o]penness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” It directs the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Chief Technology Officer, and the Administrator of the General Services Administration to develop an Open Government Directive within 120 days to implement the memo.

“This is the earliest and most emphatic call for open government from any president in history,” said Archive director Tom Blanton. “President Obama has reversed two of the most dramatic secrecy moves of the Bush initiatives, one that told agencies to withhold whatever they could under FOIA and the other that gave presidential heirs and vice presidents the power to withhold presidential records indefinitely.”

In November 2008, the National Security Archive and a coalition of more than 60 organizations called on President Obama to reverse the secrecy trend and issue new directives on openness on Day One of his presidency. Today, President Obama heeded that call and took decisive action to ensure that openness, transparency, and accountability would be the rules and not the exceptions for his administration.

“President Obama is doing what he said he would do from the campaign trail. He is trying to transform how the public will learn about government decisions and actions” said Meredith Fuchs, the Archive’s General Counsel. “I hope his decisive leadership on these issues pushes the bureaucracy to make these principles a reality — to give us an accountable, democratic, national government.”

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Dear Mr. President Elect

January 17, 2009

Dear President-Elect Obama,

As quoted in Mr. Michael R. Trioglia’s letter to Representative Nancy Pelosi, We need to take the advice from former President John F. Kennedy who said,” Let us not seek the Republican or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blamefor the past. Let us accept our responsibility for the future.”

I wish to emphasize the words, “but the right answer,” in my comments. In this spirit I ask that the death of President Kennedy be opened to a new and honest investigation and hearings before the American people.

As there is the call to not bring up the past to blame, there is a greater need for the Truth to be brought out, because the past Truths cannot and will not be buried until the American people are told how and why our beloved President was murdered.

I speak from personal knowledge and experience of having been told of the impending assassination of the President seven months before it happened by a Jose A. Rivera, a Civil Service employee of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Blindness of the National Institutes of Health. He was also a former US Army Colonel and member of the US Army Reserves. This information was given to US Secret Service Agent John W. Rice, in the presence of FBI Special Liaison Agent Orrin Bartlett in New Orleans, Louisiana, on Sunday, November 24, 1963. Mr. Bartlett was a liaison between the FBI, the Secret Service , and the White House. Mr. Bartlett called his Headquarters in Washington and the Baltimore Office of the FBI, asking that Mr. Rivera be brought in for Interrogation.

Letters to various Congressional Committees produced no interest or results, as did numerous Freedom of Information letters to the Secret Service, the FBI and the CIA. I testified before the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) in Dallas in 1994. Records of mine and Rivera’s are in the NARA II Collection of Kennedy Documents in Box 18 of the Douglas Horne (ARRB staff member) Section.

In the interest of transparency and the spirit of change and Truth, I now plead that this issue be addressed, and soon, for the sake of all Americans and our future generations.

Most Respectfully,

Adele E. U. Edisen, Ph.D.

Cc: Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Patrick Murphy, Harry Reid,
Steny Hoyer, Eric Cantor, James Clyburn, Robert Byrd,
Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, J. Boehner, Edward Kennedy

This is from the Citizen’s Briefing Book Site (Letters to Obama)

http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/

http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov/ideas/viewIdea.apexp?id=087800000004qh6&srPos=0&srKp=087

Also, visit my friends over at Deep Politics:

http://www.deeppoliticsforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3041#post3041

Where Adele adds:

…Despite Obama’s “centrism” and support from some rich folks, there is something to be said for the “Power of the People.”

Just as the thousands and the millions, who marched, wrote, and demonstrated on behalf of Civil Rights in the ’50s and ’60s when success was so elusive, managed to influence Congress to pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, followed by other laws and Supreme Court decisions. Today such a massive letter-writing, e-mailing, telephoning campaign and movement could overcome the inertia of a sluggish administration and Congress to open remaining files and to re-investigate the John F. Kennedy assassination and other political assassinations.

The American people should not have to live with the untruths and lies and evasions of our political past. Our future generations deserve better than that.

Anyone who is so inclined has my permission to reprint my letter and send it to their local newspaper or news media outlet. I also urge anyone who so wishes to write their own letters to President Obama and their own legislators in the US House and Senate, requesting release of withheld files and honest hearings before the American people.

Adele

Posted with permission from the author. -BK

President Barrack Obama
White House
Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington D.C.

William Kelly
Coalition on Political Assassinations
Washington D.C.

January 25, 2009

Dear President Obama,

While Open Government isn’t a category among your administrative “Briefing Books” on the internet, you made it a national priority when, among your first actions as president, you issued Executive Orders regarding the disposition of Presidential Papers and open government and ordered that these issues be addressed and a report issued by May 20, 2009.

In support of Dr. Adele Edisen’s plea, many significant government records on the assassination of President Kennedy are still being withheld from the public, despite the JFK Act of 1992 and the work and recommendations of the Assassinations Records Review Board (ARRB). All of the withheld records concern the national security of the United States, some of which are designated to be released in 2017.

The national security of the nation today now depends on these records being released to the public, and a proper and independent investigation of the assassination of President Kennedy, so it can be determined how such a crime could have happened, how it was covered up and what the national security implications are today.

The most significant threat to the national security today is the assassination of the President, and it would not be as signficant a danger today if the issues of the murder of President Kennedy were properly resolved, and it will remain so until the assassination of President Kennedy is resolved.

William Kelly

William Kelly

For MLK Day – Free the Files on his Murder

January 16, 2009

For MLK Day – Free the Files on his Murder

When asked about MLK Day being a national holiday, the old Southern sheriff says, “Hell, let’s kill another nigger and take two days off.”

Well now MLK Day is a national holiday, and is the day before the inaguration of the first black American president, calling unprecidented attention to the holiday they ask you to make a day of public service.

If you don’t have anything more important scheduled, consider sitting down and writting your Representative in the House and sentators and asking them to pass the MLK Act releasing the MLK Assassination records of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) and hold the mandated oversight hearings on the JFK Act, which has yet to have one hearing since it was passed over fifteen years ago.

With a Democratically controlled Congress, and a new executive administration coming into office, it appeared that the House Reform and Oversight Committee, responsible for such hearings, would actually get around to holding them. Hearings on the proposed MLK Act are actually scheduled for mid-March, during Open Government Sunshine Week, and hearings on the JFK Act would be naturally held at the same time.

But Henry Waxman (D. Calf.), the hardnosed chairman of the House Oversight committee, is moving on, and his replacement, Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Town (D.NY) has already made known his priorities – holding hearings on the NCAA college football playoffs scheme.

The committee has also held hearings on athletes use of steroids, and took sworn public testimony on the issue, and now the Justice Department has responded to the Committee’s request and has conveined a Federal Grand Jury to determine if there is enough evidence to indict anyone who testified before the committee for perjury.

The HSCA also asked the Justice Department to investigate new evidence and destroyed records in the assassination of President Kennedy, but no such Federal Grand Jury has been similarly conveined to investigate those crimes.

Lie about taking steroids? They’re going to come and get you.

Lie about the evidence in the murder of the president? Nothing.

Well now the House Reform and Oversight Committee is responsible for holding public hearings on the proposed MLK Act and the 15 year old JFK Act, and hasn’t done it yet, so why not write a letter to your congressman and senators and ask them why not?

Why haven’t there been hearings on such important topic as releasing the government records related to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the President of the United States?

Other, apparently more significant issues like the NCAA college football playoffs and the use of steroids by professional athletes are taking precident over the release of the government’s records on the assassinations of President Kennedy and MLK.

But these misplaced priorities can be changed.

They can be changed if people contact their representatives and tell them what’s important.

You can begin with Rep. “Ed” Towns (D. NY) who is over 70 years old, has been in Congress for nearly 30 years, is black, comes from a tough hood, and has served on this committee for twenty years, so he knows what’s going on.

Apparently Rep. Ed has breakfast Sundays after church at Juniors on Flatbush Avenue, where the cheesecakes are the best and “Lords of Flatbush” hang their colors. Perhaps someone who lives near that neigborhood could mossey on over to Juniors and meet Rep. Ed Town for breakfast and explain to him the necessity of holding hearings on the MLK Act and JFK Act? Any takers?

Or visit him in Washington, a popular destingation of late.

Or visit him on the web, and send him an email.

Let him know you’re alive and have an interest in this issue.

http://oversight.house.gov/

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D.NY)
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5051

Towns gets brownie points and a feather for his cap since he has already passed two pieces of legislation that await passage in the Senate and the new President’s signature:

http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=2304

You might even be able to relate with what he has to say. In his first speech as new chairman he said, “We need to quickly end this era of secrecy. This secret approach to government has failed the majority of American people and has led to decisions that beneffit small and elete sectors of our society…” and “…one simple recomendation of properly auditing Defense communications contracts could save over $800 milion dollars alone….”

Chairman Towns Speech on Oversight Priorities
The Willard Hotel, Washington, D.C.
January 14, 2009

OPEN GOVERNMENT TAKES THE SUNDAY MORNING TEST – By Rep. Edolphus Towns

I am pleased to be here this morning to discuss the role of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the 111th Congress.

We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. Last November, the American people did some soul searching and for the second election in a row voted for change—demanding that those unique American ideals we all believe in—freedom, liberty and justice for all—be used to restore our faith in government and our standing to the international community.

I say all this because I am very excited about the role that the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will play in the new Congress working with the incoming administration. I have been a member of this Committee for 26 years – in the majority and the minority, through six chairmen and a few name changes along the way. I have been preparing for this opportunity throughout my entire tenure in Congress and I am ready.

I wanted to take our time here today to share what is going to be a robust agenda for the Committee this year and for this Congress.

Allow me to begin with the word on everyone’s mind—OVERSIGHT.

Let me be clear to everyone — our committee will provide vigorous oversight of the new administration, corporate wrongdoing and other timely issues.

I feel strongly—as does the new President Elect—that Congressional oversight should not go away just because the Administration and Congress are run by the same party. Constructive oversight can expose and solve small challenges before they become national catastrophes. Congress has a responsibility to the citizens of this nation—to be a check on the executive branch.

Looking back, the Republican Congress did the Bush Administration a disservice by turning a blind eye to problems created in the executive branch. At this point, many Republicans would admit and agree on this…..

….Everyone in Washington agrees on the need for government to run more efficiently and restore that trust to our constituents. There certainly is no quick fix or silver bullet but the first step on this journey is to bring more transparency to federal programs, and stop sweeping our problems under the rug—I believe that Americans can in fact handle the truth! AND we need to tell them the truth! It’s not really that complicated—especially when you follow what I like to call the “Sunday Morning Test.”

The Sunday Morning Test is not whether the pundits on Meet the Press or Face the Nation understand and agree with what the government is doing. My Sunday morning test involves my constituents who talk to me after church on Sunday morning or at breakfast at Junior’s on Flatbush Avenue understanding what their government is doing—***And let me state for the record—if you have EVER been to Brooklyn, you know that people are not shy about telling you what is on their minds!!!

But THAT is why I go back home every weekend. I listen to the stories of working people as they share their experiences and concerns about the future of their families, their communities and their country.

One can see pretty quickly how the Sunday Morning Test can help guide our work, making government more understandable and more approachable, which hopefully will encourage more participation in our democracy!

Constructive congressional oversight should be a dialogue between the people’s representatives and their government. That is why I am heartened to have developed a friendship with my ranking member, Congressman Darrell Issa, who is equally committed to working in a bi-partisan fashion for the continued success of the Committee and for the benefit of the American people.

We need to quickly end this era of secrecy. This secret approach to government has failed the majority of American people and has led to decisions that benefited small and elite sectors of our society, with the hope that these benefits would trickle down to the majority of the American people.

We have already made strides in this regard; in our first week, we passed three bills, issued an oversight report, and launched an investigation—AND this is only the beginning.

The very first bills to pass the House were H.R. 35, the Presidential Records Amendments Act, and H.R. 36, the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act. These bills will ensure that records from this and future administrations will be made available to the public in a timely fashion. Presidents must understand that their records, library donors and visitor logs belong to the nation, not simply to the safety deposit box of their choosing.

These two pieces of legislation are a down payment on the types of open government initiatives supported by the public, who in addition to expecting the truth from their government; want a smart, effective government. And….transparency will always be the foundation to success………All of these pressing matters I’ve shared with you show why leading the Oversight Committee at this critical juncture in history means so much. We have the opportunity to go right to the core of the problems facing our country—Americans are eager to believe again and I for one feel that there is room for all of us to work together to make that a reality.

Thank you for your time this morning.

Rep. Ed Towns Chair.

Subcommitte on:

Information Policy, Census, and National Archives
Jurisdiction includes public information and records laws such as the Freedom of Information Act, the Presidential Records Act, and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Census Bureau, and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Wm. Lacy Clay, Chairman
Paul E. Kanjorski
Carolyn B. Maloney
John A. Yarmuth
Paul W. Hodes
Michael Turner, Ranking Minority Member
Chris Cannon
Bill Sali

Issues and Investigations
As set forth in House Rule X, clause 4, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform may, at any time, conduct investigations of any matter regardless of whether another standing committee has jurisdiction over the matter. In 1998, Rep. Waxman formed the Special Investigations Division to conduct investigations into issues that are important to members of the Oversight Committee and other members of Congress.

Bill Kelly
bkjfk3@yahoo.com

Valkyrie At Dealey Plaza

January 10, 2009

The new movie Valkyrie takes its name from the code word for the Nazi generals plot to assassinate Hitler, which resulted in the July 20, 1944 bombing at the Wolf’s Lair bunker.(1)

In an article I wrote some years ago I detail how some of those individuals involved in this plot to kill Hitler were also entwined with the events at Dealey Plaza.
[July 20, 1944 – November 22, 1963](2)

What happened at Dealey Plaza was either the work of a lone, deranged madman or a carefully designed and succesfully conducted conspiracy. If a conspiracy, one of my hypothesis is that it was done by those who had done it before and have done it since, serial political assassins. While first instincts took me directly to Guatemala and Cuba, all providing not only scenarios but veterans who are bit players in the Dealey Plaza drama, the July 20, 1944 attempt on Hitler stands out uniquely.

It was Volkmar Schmidt who first mentioned to me in an interview [See: Volkmar Schmidt Interview](3), that he brought up the subject of the Hitler assassination plot with the accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, at a private party one evening in February of 1963.

Kelly: You mentioned General Walker when you talked with Oswald?

Schmidt: Yes, Professor Kuetemeyer told me you know, to deal with people like this who are disturbed, you have to use empathy, be slightly over zealous yourself to like up with them and that total insanity, towards reality. When I heard how hateful he was towards Kennedy and Cuba, which was kind of irrational, I tried to say “hey, there’s something much more real to be concerned about,” because I don’t know about Castro, but I know about this Walker, he’s kind of a Nazi, yea? Not so bad as those Nazis in Germany, but I had specifically mentioned to Lee Harvey Oswald, that Walker had given a speech to the students at the Mississippi campus and those guys went off and killed a couple of journalists….

K: So do you think your conversation with Oswald about Walker may have instigated him to take a pot shot at him?

S: Yes, he did, and naturally it was a terrible responsibility, and for years when I drove past the underpass I literally had to cry because, you know. But I exonerate myself completely because I had the best intent, embarrassed Kennedy, and I certainly didn’t tell him to take a pot shot at him…I may have triggered it. Actually, a few days after I talked with him, he bought his weapons.

As for Volkmar Schmidt’s association with those in the plot to kill Hitler, Schmidt mentions Professor Kuetemeyer, who “…was certainly, and many of his friends were in the circle of those who tried to kill Hitler, Stauffenberg, and several of his close friends were executed, and one of the sons of his friends, lived at his house and became and is still a very close friend of mine. Fritz from Holland…Fritz first name Frederick, Von – the symbol of nobility, Von Halen. He was actually arrested before the plot came out. He knew about the plot and was tortured to death. And another gentleman who was involved was Von Trott, a friend of Kuetemeyer.” (4)

Also heavilly involved in Valkyrie was one Dr. Hans Bernd Gisevius. A Gestapo officer assigned to Switzerland, Gisevius tried to get Allen Dulles, the OSS chief of Bern, to eleminate Hitler, broker a separate peace between Germany and the Western Allies, and fight the Russians together. This plot evolved into the July 20th bomb explosion at the Fuhrer’s “Wolfschanze” bunker headquarters near Rastenburg, Germany. (5)

Col. Claus Schenk Grav von Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb under the map table next to Hitler, left the bunker, witnessed the explosion and the flew back to Berlin where he met with Gisevius. Together they drew up press releases to counter Goebel’s propaganda, but when it became clear that the bomb failed to kill Hitler (the heavy wooden table leg saved his life), those responsible were rounded up and executed. Many hundreds, some say thousands were eventually implicated, but somehow, Gisevius went underground and eventually escaped using false identification provided to him by Allen Dulles, though his personal assistant Mary Bancroft. (6)

Mary Bancroft, the stepdaughter of the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, was also Dulles’ mistress at the time, and served as a intermediary between Dulles and Gisevius. As related in her own Autobiography of a Spy Mary Bancroft was a close personal friend of Michael Paine’s mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young. Their close friendship dated from the 1920s when Ruth Forbes Paine was married to New York architect Lyman Paine, one of the founders of the Trotyskite movment in the U.S. and father of Michael Paine. Bancroft and Ruth Forbes Paine traveled extensively overseas and were together on board an ocean liner when Bancroft met her future husband, a Zurich businessman. Once set up in Switzerland, she hooked up with Dulles.(7)

And once set up in Texas, back from the USSR, Oswald met Volkmar Schmidt and Ruth Hyde Paine at the same party. Schmidt would give Oswald a history lesson, applying the Hitler assassination analogy to General Walker, and Ruth Paine would become Oswald’s benefactor.

Just think, Schmidt asked Oswald, how history would have changed if Hitler had been assassinated?

VALKYRIE – The Movie

Now with the Hollywood version of the conspiracy up on the big screen and a certifiable superstar playing the romantic hero Von Stauffenberg, in what’s reputed to be a historically faithful script, there’s suddenly new interest in this once obscure, failed assassination attempt, and how it’s changed history.

July 20, 1944 just doesn’t ring as true as December 7th or September 11th, but that was the date Hitler was suppose to die, and because he didn’t the world has never been the same. Just think how things would be as equally different today if John F. Kennedy slouched down on his wife’s lap instead of taking a bullet to the head, and got out of Dealey Plaza alive? How many people would have been implicated in the conspiracy?

Well, after July 20, 1944, hundreds if not thousands of Germany’s elte, often nobel class, including Gen. Rommel, were implicated in the conspiracy, and in some cases, their entire families executed. It is telling that both Wolf’s Lair and Dealey Plaza operations were not only political assassinations, but coup d’etats designed to take over the administrative powers of government and change policy, with one being successful and the other not.

While the movie does not appear to be a box office sensation, it is in the popular mainstream, and has garnered favorable reviews, including one by Kurt Loder at MTV News, and the other, by Phil Villarreal.

Loder incorrectly asserts that the Day of the Jackel is fictional, as there really is Carlos the Jackel and there were covert attempts to assassinate DeGaul by the OAS over Algeria. (8)

In his review of the movie, Phil Villarreal notes that “There is a certain satisfaction in watching the plot come together. Amazingly it was actually Hitler who signed off on his own potential death warrent by authorizing changes in a contingency plan that set reserve troops into action to suppress a government takeover. Von Stauffenberg and his confederates wanted to use the troops to stifle the SS after Hitler’s death.” (9)

Indeed. Besides the characters involved in both Valkyrie and Dealey Plaza, an attribute of the Valkarie plot adapted into the Dealy Plaza plot was a Northwoods false flag variation to blame the assassination on the opposition (the SS and Castro), and having the intended victim actually administratively approve the operation.

They convinced Hitler to alter the contingency plan in a national emeregency, what we now know as the Continunity of Government (COG) to allow for the change in leadership in the event of Hitler’s assassination, thus getting him to sign his own death warrent, which he escaped.

Kennedy wasn’t as lucky once he was convinced to approve certain (maritime) covert actions against Cuba that were originally congingency plans, and evidently used against him at Dealey Plaza. These specific operations were administratively approved by JFK, but also personally exposed to RFK as the director of the Cuban operations, so he was effectively blackballed from responding to his brother’s assassination. (10) [See: JFK Assassination – The Administrative Details ]

Former Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schewiker once said that “there are fingerprints of intelligence” all over the assassination of President Kennedy, and some of those fingerprints are found in other, similar operations. Valkyrie had only been a decade prior to Dealey Plaza, so its quite understandable how the same players could be involved in both, but it also fits nicely into the historicial glove.

Both Valkyrie and Dealy Plaza included getting the victm to sign off on the operations used, and a false flag, Northwoods angle to blame the assassination on the opposition, the SS in Hitler’s case, and Castro by framing Oswald as the assassin.

That these facits were built into the Dealey Plaza operation show how complicated it really was, and their similarities give us clues to who was behind it, and shows how it is still effecting us today. Now we have to deal with the contemporary continuation of the same psychological warfare oprations, like those posed by Brothers In Arms and Legacy of Secrecy, both new books about the assassination that mention the Valkarie plot.

In her (January 6, 2008 column) Liz Smith gave Lamar Waldron’s Legacy of Secrecy a thumbs up write up, in which she wrote, “YOU MAY WONDER why the FBI and CIA withheld information from the committee. By the time of JFK’s murder, dozens of (Carlos)Marcello associates had infiltrated a CIA operation code-named AMWORLD, a project started by JFK himself. Writer Waldron revealed this back in 2005. This was the CIA’s top-secret plan to cooperate with Cuba’s army commander, Juan Almeida, to stage a coup against Fidel Castro on Dec. 1, 1963. That was 10 days after JFK’s trip to Dallas. (The CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff even referred to the World War II plot to kill Hitler as their role model for getting rid of Castro. You can see that story told by Tom Cruise in the new movie ‘Valkyrie.’)” (11)

Now I’m looking for that reference in Legacy of Secrecy, but it jumped right out at me when I was reading Brothers In Arms.

Knowing there was something going on between Valykrie and Dealey Plaza, I was still taken aback when I read the following passage in Gus Russo’s new book Brothers In Arms.

“…But the (Cubala/AM/LASH) plot hurtled forward in hopes of success before the 1964 elections in the U.S. Joseph Califano, of the Pentagon’s Cuban Coordinating Committee, was being pressed by Des FitzGerald for all the Defense Department intel he could get on the key Cuban military officers, scoping for a ‘mole’ within the regime. 52 FitzGerald was about to brief the Joint Chiefs and, although Califano was excluded from the meeting on September 25, Des and the Agency were, according to memos later released, studying how German generals had plotted to kill Hitler, in order to develop a way to organize high-ranking Cuban officers to kill Castro. 53.
(12)

Russo Notes: #52. Califano. p. 124. #53. Califano citing: JCS Memo for the Record, Walter Higgins, “Brifing by Mr. Desmond FitzGerald on CIA Cuban Operations and Planning,” JFK Collection, JCS Papers, J-3, #29, 202-10001-10028, NARA, which Rex Bradford over at the Mary Ferrell Archives has conviently posted on line.

The memo, written by a Col. Higgins, deputy to the late Gen. Krulak,concerned a(Sept. 25, 1963) briefing on Cuban operations given to the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Desmond Fitzgerald. “He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.” (13)

In the assassination of President Kennedy we find that covert anti-Castro Cuban operations, approved by JFK, and intentionally exposed to RFK, were utilized in the assassination of President Kennedy, thus blackballing RFK from retaliation after the death of JFK.

Looking closely at the specific CIA authorized attacks against Castro that were connected directly to what happened at Dealey Plaza I came up with the June, 1963 Bayo-Pawly raid and the Halloween night attack by the raider mother ship Rex.

[See: JFK Assassinaiton – The Administrative Details ] http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5762

On April Fool’s Day, April 1, 1963, those responsible for covert operations against Cuba, the Cuban Coordinating Committee, suggested a number of specific plans to be directed against Castro, some of which were later approved by the President. Some of these specific operations approved by the President, which involved maritime attacks against Cuba from Florida (Bayo/Pawley-Operation Red Cross/the Rex), included agents and operatives who later became entwined in the events of that took place in Dallas.

Lamar Waldron argues that the Mafia dons redirected the plan for a coup in Cuba to kill JFK, while Gus Russo contends that Oswald acted on behalf of Cubans who retaliated in response to the JFK/RFK plots to kill Castro.

(1) Valkyrie the movie. [http://valkyrie-trailer.blogspot.com/]

(2) July 20, 1944-November 22, 1963 [See below]

(3) January, 1995 telepone interview. [http://jfkcountercoup.blogspot.com/2008/01/volkmar-schmidt-interview.html]

(4) According to Schmidt, Keutemeyer was also associated with Herr Von Halen and Dr. Adam von Trott zu Solz, both of whom were captured, tortured and executed because of their roles in the failed assassination and coup of July 20, 1944. (For details of their roles Peter Hoffman’s the History of German Resistance, 1933-1944, MIT Press, 1977).

(5) Autobiography of a Spy (William Morrow, 1983), Mary Bancroft

(6) She also helped Gisevius translate his history of the Third Rich, later published as “Bis zum bittern Ende.” (two volumes, Fretz & Wasmuth, Zurich, 1946, 1954; To the Bitter End,” Richard and Clara Winston, Jonathan Cape, London, 1948; Rutten & Loening, Hamburg, (1964).

(7) Autobiography of a Spy, Bancroft.

(8)Kurt Loder Review of Vaklyrie movie [http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1601846/story.jhtml]

(9)Phil Villarreal review of Valkyrie [http://www.scrippsnews.com/node/39380]

(10)See: JFK Coup – The Administrative Details (See below)
[http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5762 ]

(11) [http://www.nypost.com/seven/01062009/gossi…htm?&page=0]

(12) Gus Russo, Stephen Molton, Brothers In Arms – The Kennedys, The Castros, and the Politics of Murder, p. 294 (Bloomsbury, 2008)

(13)Higgins memo on FitzGerald briefing [http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=10246&relPageId=5]

(14)

Original article:
JULY 20, 1944 – NOVEMBER 22, 1963

The July 20, 1944 plot to kill Adolph Hitler and the November 22, 1963 assassination of President Kennedy are separated by nearly two decades in time, yet they are entwined by a number of common attributes, indeed some of the same individuals were involved in both dramas.

Dr. Wilhelm Keutemeyer, Dr. Hans Bernd Gisevius, Mary Bancroft and Allen Dulles were four participants in the July 20, 1944 attempt to kill Hitler who also became players in the Dealey Plaza tragedy.

When Lee Harvey Oswald was identified as a suspect in the assassination, it was immediately determined that he had spent the previous night at the home of Ruth Hyde Paine. How did the Oswalds come to meet the Paines? We learn they met through the seemingly innocent, yet suspicious efforts of a German immigrant, Volkmar Schmidt.

Volkmar Schmidt was at the time an employee of Magnolia Oil Labs and was a friend and associate of George DeMohrenschildt, who encouraged Schmidt to meet Oswald. A party was set up at Schmidt’s house, which he shared with two other young men who worked in the same business, Everitt Glover and the son of one the founders of Radio Free Europe, Richard Pierce.

Schmidt was recruited in Germany by Magnolia Labs, a branch of the Magnolia Oil Company that was originally founded by a man (Little), whose rich widow was bilked by Jim Braden and his sidekick (Pierria.) They were branded “The Honeymooners” when Braden was kicked out of Dallas for vagrancy by Sheriff Bill Decker, when Braden was living at the widow’s Turtle Creek home, and then again when he was taken into custody as a suspicious person at Dealey Plaza. Magnolia was bought up by a bigger fish – Mobil Oil.

Schmidt arranged a party at his place so Michael Paine could meet Oswald, but neither Schmidet nor Michael Paine were there (though Marina did meet Ruth Paine), so a second party was held (February 20) at DeMohrenschilt’s apartment.

According to E. J. Epstein (in Legend, McGraw-Hill, 1978 p.204) and a telephone interview with Volkmar Schmidt (Bill Kelly interview with Volkmar Schmidt – Jan. 1995), it was a monumental meeting for both men.

Sitting across a table from Oswald, Schmidt had a three hour conversation with him and later said that “almost from the moment Oswald began talking about his experiences in the Soviet Union” Schmidt was impressed by Oswald’s “burning dedication” to what he considered “political truth.”

During the course of their conversation Schmidt said he used a “reverse psychology” technique that he had learned in Germany from Professor Wilhelm Kuetemeyer.

“When the conversation turned to the subject of the Kennedy administration, Schmidt expected Oswald would express the usual liberal sentiments about the President’s attempt to bring about constructive reform. Instead, Oswald launched into a violent attack on the President’s foreign policy, citing both the Bay of Pigs in April, 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962 as examples of ‘imperialism’ and ‘interventions.’ He suggested that Kennedy’s actions against Cuba had set the stage for a nuclear holocaust and further, that even after the Soviet missiles had been withdrawn from Cuba, American sponsored acts of sabotage and ‘terrorism’ against Cuba were continuing.”

So Schmidt changed the subject, using a psychological technique learned from Err Professor Kuetemeyer, “He could see that Oswald had extreme and unyielding positions and realized it would do no good to argue with him. Instead, he tried to win his confidence by appearing to be in sympathy with its political views and making even more extreme statements.”

“In an intentionally melodramatic way Schmidt brought up the subject of General Edwin A. Walker, who had been forced to resign from the Army because of his open support for the John Birch Society and other right wing extremist causes. (Schmidt) suggested that Walker’s hate-mongering activities at the University of Mississippi, which the federal government was then trying to desegregate, were directly responsible for the riots and bloodshed – including the deaths of two reporters on that campus. He compared Walker with Hitler and said that they should be treated as murders at large.”

“Oswald instantly seized on the analogy between Hitler and Walker to argue that America was moving towards fascism. As he spoke, he seemed to grow more and more excited about the subject. Schmidt could see he finally got through to Oswald. As he listened to Oswald define more closely his political ideas, he began to work out his ‘Psychological Profile,’ as he called it. Oswald seemed to be a ‘totally alienated individual,’ obsessed with political ideology and bent on self-destruction. Even then, he reminded Schmidt of a Dostoevskian character impelled by his own reasoning towards a ‘logical suicide.’”

Though unknown to Schmidt, within days of their conversation Oswald would order the rifle that was allegedly used to shoot at Walker and kill the President.

“When he returned home that night, Schmidt thought that he might be able to help Oswald if he could ‘get him out of his shell,’ He thought of arranging a small party for him where he could meet and talk with other people interested in political ideas. He particularly wanted (Oswald) to meet Michael Paine, an inventor and ‘creative genius’ at Bell Helicopter (whose father, George Lyman Paine, had been one of the leaders of the Trotskyite movement in the United States), and the two men with whom he shared a house in Dallas: Everett Glover and Richard Pierce.”

So they have a party, and while neither Schmidt nor Michael Paine were present, Ruth Paine met Marina Oswald and became fast friends, though it would take a while longer for Michael Paine to meet Lee Harvey Oswald.

In a footnote, (p. 353), Epstein notes: “Kuetemeyer had been experimenting, according to Schmidt, on a group of schidoids during World War II. The experiments had been interrupted in 1944, when Kuetemeyer had become involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler and had been forced into hiding from the Nazis.”

Dr. Whilhelm Keutemeyer was a professor of psychosomatic medicine and religion at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Keutemeyer’s son was Volkmar Schmidt’s best friend, and Schmidt looked to Keutemeyer as a surrogate father figure. Keutemeyer was also a colleague of Swiss psychoanalysist Carl Jung, who attempted to use his professional associations in attempts to influence Hitler’s behavior. When that failed they just tried to kill him.

Also involved was one Dr. Hans Bernd Gisevius, a Gestapo officer assigned to Switzerland, who tried to get the OSS chief of Bern, Allen Dulles, to broker a separate peace between Germany and the Western Allies, without Hitler, to fight the Russians together. This plot evolved into the July 20th bomb explosion at the Fuhrer’s “Wolfschanze” bunker headquarters near Rastenburg, Germany.

Col. Claus Schenk Grav von Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb under the map table next to Hitler, left the bunker, witnessed the explosion and the flew back to Berlin where he met with Gisevius. Together they drew up press releases to counter Goebel’s propaganda, but when it became clear that the bomb failed to kill Hitler (the heavy wooden table leg saved his life), those responsible were rounded up and executed. Many hundreds, some say thousands were eventually implicated, but somehow, Gisevius went underground and eventually escaped using false identification provided to him by Allen Dulles, though his personal assistant Mary Bancroft.

Mary Bancroft, the stepdaughter of the publisher of the Wall Street Journal, was also Dulles’ mistress at the time, and served as a intermediary between Dulles and Gisevius. She also helped Gisevius translate his history of the Third Rich, later published as “Bis zum bittern Ende.” (two volumes, Fretz & Wasmuth, Zurich, 1946, 1954; To the Bitter End,” Richard and Clara Winston, Jonathan Cape, London, 1948; Rutten & Loening, Hamburg, (1964).

As related in her own “Autobiography of a Spy” (William Morrow, 1983), Mary Bancroft was a close personal friend of Michael Paine’s mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young. Their intimate friendship dated from the 1920s when Ruth Forbes Paine was married to New York architect Lyman Paine, one of the founders of the Trotyskite movment in the U.S. and father of Michael Paine. Bancroft and Ruth Forbes Paine traveled extensively overseas and were together on board an ocean liner when Bancroft met her future husband, a Zurich businessman.

Hans Bernd Gisevius was called to testify for the defense at the Nurenberg trials, but instead of aiding them, he helped send the Nazis to the gallows. He then came to America where Allen Dulles provided him with a $5,000 a month retainer and set him up in the home of his CIA deputy Tom Braden. At the time Braden was head of the International Organizations Division (IOD), and his assistant was Cord Meyer, Jr., who would later take his place. Cord Meyer, Jr. was the co-founder of the World Federalists, which also included it’s Philadelphia adherents, Michael’s mother Ruth Forbes Paine Young and Priscilla Johnson McMillan, when she was a student at Bryn Mawr.

So there you have it – Dr. Wilhelm Keutemeyer, Dr. Hans Bernd Gisevius, Mary Bancroft and Allen Dulles, four direct participants in the July 20, 1944 Hitler assassination attempt and failed coup d’etat, who also became associated with the events that culminated in what happened at Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.

The main difference between the two events is that the July 20, 1944 plot failed, and those responsible or even remotely associated with it were rounded up and executed without trial, while the November 22, 1963 succeeded and those responsible assumed command.

(3) See: Volkmar Schmidt Inteview.


JCS Memo For The Record – Sept. 25, 1963

Russo Notes:
#52. Califano. p. 124.
#53. Califano citing: JCS Memo for the Record, Walter Higgins, “Brifing by Mr. Desmond FitzGerald on CIA Cuban Operations and Planning,” JFK Collection, JCS Papers, J-3, #29, 202-10001-10028, NARA.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/…amp;relPageId=5

OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ASSISTANT FOR
COUNTERINSURGENCY AND SPECIAL ACTIVITY

25 September 1963

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

Subject: Briefing by Mr. Desmond FitzGerald on
CIA Cuban Operations and Planning

• 1. At the JCS meeting at 1400 on 25 September, Mr. Desmond FitzGerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

• 2. Except for General Taylor and Admiral McDonald, the Joint Chiefs were present, as were the Directors and Secretariat. Colonel Higgins from SACSA was the only other officer in attendance.

• 3. General LeMay opened the meeting by referring to papers recently discussed by the Joint Chiefs on policy and actions concerning military support of the CIA for operations against Cuba. General LeMay expressed the JCS position as had been reflected in the memoranda to Mr. Vance which in effect is that the Joint Chiefs do not believe that the operations to date are of a size and importance enough to justify the use of military support for protection.

• 4. Mr. FitzGerald then discussed his personal feelings as to changed conditions in Cuba. Essentially, he believes that Castro’s hold in Cuba has been seriously weakened since last July. He believes that the minor raids conducted by the CIA have contributed to this deterioration in Castro’s influence and stability. He is firmly convinced that Castro will fall at some future, not too distant, date, and that such actions as the CIA are conducting, as well as those of exiles, are contributing to unrest and unsettlement.

• 5. Mr. FitzGerald, in commenting upon criteria as to when the military support should be provided, offered the following. The greatest danger from his point of view is that the mother ships may be captured rather than be sunk. This will result in the capture of crewmen who have too much information and which could result in dangerous publicity for the United States. The location of these raids contributes to the possibility of capture. Hence, only when the raids are conducted in the more vulnerable areas from that point of view, is it likely that the CIA will request military support. He further stated that CIA has no intention of requesting aid for the coming raid.

• 6. General LeMay questioned the danger of capture in view of the capabilities of Cubans and ridiculed the idea that small motor boats should have the capability of such a ship.

• 7. General LeMay and others gave opinions concerning such technicalities as the capability of radar both on land and in the air, capability of ship radar of the U.S. and Cuba, the speed of the mother ship, which was cited as 10 to 12 knots, and other related items.

• 8. Mr. FitzGerald made much of the Cuban volatile nature. He cited that many Cubans are now walking with their heads up and alert because of the realization that there are possibilities of raids and other outside supports, such as the light aircraft raids. He voiced the opinion that Castro would probably take desperate measures as his situation further deteriorates and would turn to creating revolutions in Latin America. He stated that even though his operations may be considered only minor, he thought they were doing about as much as could be done under the present policies. One of his problems was that he felt there was only a total of 50 logical targets and if he conducted as many as 10 raids a month, he would be unable to sustain the build-up of Cuban hopes. He further stated that there were times when certain types of raids were more favorable than others; for instance, on sugar centrals.

• 9. In responding to the question concerning the non-attributality of U.S. equipment, he stated that all equipment they use could be bought on the open market in many countries, even though it was of American origin. He stated that intelligence was not as good yet as they would like to have; however, they are having greater success in having agents enter and depart Cuba.

• 10. General Wheeler injected that he sympathizes with such planners as Mr. FitzGerald because he realizes that many good ideas are never accepted by the cautious policy makers. However, Mr. FitzGerald reported that he believes he had a clearer go-ahead on these operations than he has ever had in his past experience.

• 11. Mr. FitzGerald said that over the next two or three months his plans include critical targets of three classes: electrical systems, sugar centrals, and oil. He cited that electrical systems, although a top priority and a key to the economy, were very difficult targets. The sugar centrals were only of a seasonal nature because unless hit at the peak season, they could be repaired without difficulty or loss of time. In regard to oil, the refineries are most important but were also toughest to hit.

• 12. In response to a comment by General Shoup regarding the sabotage of mines Mr. FitzGerald said there had been a recent case of internal sabotage in a mine. He then explained how the success of his operations can only be measured when internal sabotage is increased. In response to a question, he admitted that there was not any coordination as yet with the internal sabotage program.

• 13. He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.

• 14. General LeMay then questioned the advisability of utilizing a communication technique to install a radio capability which would permit break-in on Castro broadcasts. He stated that an Air Force officer named McElroy was available to talk to Mr. FitzGerald on the matter, and Mr. FitzGerald accepted this offer.

• 15. The conference closed with General LeMay directing that Mr. FitzGerald’s planners meet with General Krulak’s people and work out the details as to how the military can assist in supporting these operations. After Mr. FitzGerald departed, General LeMay gave added directions to Colonel Higgins to initiate necessary steps for planning.

• 16. After the JCS meeting Admiral Riley called Colonel Higgins into his office and read a letter from Mr. McGeorge Bundy which discussed secrecy measures necessary related to Cuba CIA operations. Admiral Riley directed Colonel Higgins to have the nature of this letter put out through SACSA control to SACSA contact points to insure an adequate system for secrecy within the military services. Admiral Riley stated he was returning the letter to Mr. Gilpatric as he did not want written communication by SACSA, but to put this out orally. This was transmitted to Colonel Wyman who will take the action to prepare an appropriate memorandum for the record to be filed with General Ingelido in accordance with further direction by Admiral Riley.

• 17. General Wheeler, Chief of Staff of the Army, called and questioned us concerning SACSA’s access for the knowledge of such operations as mentioned in the McGeorge Bundy letter. I advised him that our Pendulum system was in being but that I would look into it in greater detail to determine that it met the letter as well as the spirit of the memorandum. I stated I believed this was so but had not had reason to do it until this date and therefore did not give him a positive answer at that time.

WALTER M. HIGGINS, JR.
• Colonel, USA

Posted by Bill Kelly at 10:20 AM
1 comments:
Tim Fleming said…
Fascinating stuff, but you left out one other diabolical connection–Walter Dornberger, head of Hitler’s V-2 rocket program at Peenemunde during WWII. He escaped to America through the auspices of Dulles’ Operation Paperclip, and, lo and behold, got a job with Bell Helicopter, working for Micahel Paine. It is widely suspected that the call to Dallas Police fingering Oswald, just 15 minutes after the gunfire died down at Dealey Plaza’s Valkyrie, came from someone at Bell Helicopter.

Tim Fleming
author “Murder of an American Nazi”
eloquentbooks.com
leftlooking.blogspot.com

November 28, 2008 2:42 PM

JCS Memo FitzGerald Briefing 25 Sept. 1963

January 10, 2009

JCS Memo for the Record, Walter Higgins, Brifing by Mr. Desmond FitzGerald on CIA Cuban Operations and Planning, JFK Collection, JCS Papers,J-3,#29,
202-10001-10028NARA.

http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/…amp;relPageId=5

This memo is important in regards to the assassination of President Kennedy for a number of reasons. For starters, it gives us the office responsible for coordinating the covert anti-Cuban maritime operations – the Office of the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (SACASP), and its director Gen. Krulak.

In addition, this memo shows that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Gen. Taylor, was preoccupied with Vietnam and not even at this important meeting on Cuban operations, and that in his place, Air Force General Curts LeMay assumed the chair.

In this role, it is quite apparent that Gen. LeMay also played a significant role in the military’s assistance to the CIA and the anti-Castro Cuban maritime operations, even more so than the Army and Navy.

In reading the entire series of documents, which aren’t in tight chronological order, but should be read in sequence in order to get the full jist of the issues, it seems that LeMay and the Air Force balked at any support to the CIA maritime operations, other than training and basic support, and then offered to run them entirely under the control of the JCS. When it was explained to LeMay that the JCS form strategy and assist in shaping policy, and that operational matters are handled by others – in this case Task Force Alpha, LeMay seems to go along with them.

The biggest threat, according to FitzGerald, is the possiblity of the Cubans capturing a mother ship, like the Rex, and interrogating the crew and confescating the senstive electronic equimpment and any possible records that might be aboard. It would be another Pueblo incident.

LeMay doesn’t seem to understand the capabilities of small motorboats, and dismisses the possiblity of them becoming a threat, which shows you how he would fail to recognize the threat of such boats in the pirate waters off Africa today.

LeMay does put a lot of credence in the radio programs and operations, and suggests that a project Air Force officer McElroy is working on might be worthwhile. (See McElroy bio).

Besides mentioning that they were studying the Hitler assassination plot to use against Castro, FitzGerald also mentions that the number and types of targets are limited, and even if they attack two to four a month, within a few months they will have exausted such targets, but only refer to oil, electricty, sugar and military targets, with no real mention of Cuban leaders.

General Krulak is to be given responsiblity for ensuring that the military supplies the CIA with all it needs in regards to support for the Cuban maritime raiders.

Then after the meeting, Adml. Riley reads a letter from Bundy/Gilpatrick that is to be returned to Gilpatrick, that apparently concerns security of Cuban operations, and Higgins, the author of the memo, says that he will check Pendulum, which is “in being,” to see if it is adaquate.

OFFICE OF THE SPECIAL ASSISTANT FOR
COUNTERINSURGENCY AND SPECIAL ACTIVITY (SACASP)

25 September 1963

MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD

Subject: Briefing by Mr. Desmond FitzGerald on
CIA Cuban Operations and Planning

1. At the JCS meeting at 1400 on 25 September, Mr. Desmond FitzGerald briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

2. Except for General Taylor and Admiral McDonald, the Joint Chiefs were present, as were the Directors and Secretariat. Colonel Higgins from SACSA was the only other officer in attendance.

3. General LeMay opened the meeting by referring to papers recently discussed by the Joint Chiefs on policy and actions concerning military support of the CIA for operations against Cuba. General LeMay expressed the JCS position as had been reflected in the memoranda to Mr. Vance which in effect is that the Joint Chiefs do not believe that the operations to date are of a size and importance enough to justify the use of military support for protection.

4. Mr. FitzGerald then discussed his personal feelings as to changed conditions in Cuba. Essentially, he believes that Castro’s hold in Cuba has been seriously weakened since last July. He believes that the minor raids conducted by the CIA have contributed to this deterioration in Castro’s influence and stability. He is firmly convinced that Castro will fall at some future, not too distant, date, and that such actions as the CIA are conducting, as well as those of exiles, are contributing to unrest and unsettlement.

5. Mr. FitzGerald, in commenting upon criteria as to when the military support should be provided, offered the following. The greatest danger from his point of view is that the mother ships may be captured rather than be sunk. This will result in the capture of crewmen who have too much information and which could result in dangerous publicity for the United States. The location of these raids contributes to the possibility of capture. Hence, only when the raids are conducted in the more vulnerable areas from that point of view, is it likely that the CIA will request military support. He further stated that CIA has no intention of requesting aid for the coming raid.

6. General LeMay questioned the danger of capture in view of the capabilities of Cubans and ridiculed the idea that small motor boats should have the capability of such a ship.

7. General LeMay and others gave opinions concerning such technicalities as the capability of radar both on land and in the air, capability of ship radar of the U.S. and Cuba, the speed of the mother ship, which was cited as 10 to 12 knots, and other related items.

8. Mr. FitzGerald made much of the Cuban volatile nature. He cited that many Cubans are now walking with their heads up and alert because of the realization that there are possibilities of raids and other outside supports, such as the light aircraft raids. He voiced the opinion that Castro would probably take desperate measures as his situation further deteriorates and would turn to creating revolutions in Latin America. He stated that even though his operations may be considered only minor, he thought they were doing about as much as could be done under the present policies. One of his problems was that he felt there was only a total of 50 logical targets and if he conducted as many as 10 raids a month, he would be unable to sustain the build-up of Cuban hopes. He further stated that there were times when certain types of raids were more favorable than others; for instance, on sugar centrals.

9. In responding to the question concerning the non-attributality of U.S. equipment, he stated that all equipment they use could be bought on the open market in many countries, even though it was of American origin. He stated that intelligence was not as good yet as they would like to have; however, they are having greater success in having agents enter and depart Cuba.

10. General Wheeler injected that he sympathizes with such planners as Mr. FitzGerald because he realizes that many good ideas are never accepted by the cautious policy makers. However, Mr. FitzGerald reported that he believes he had a clearer go-ahead on these operations than he has ever had in his past experience.

11. Mr. FitzGerald said that over the next two or three months his plans include critical targets of three classes: electrical systems, sugar centrals, and oil. He cited that electrical systems, although a top priority and a key to the economy, were very difficult targets. The sugar centrals were only of a seasonal nature because unless hit at the peak season, they could be repaired without difficulty or loss of time. In regard to oil, the refineries are most important but were also toughest to hit.

12. In response to a comment by General Shoup regarding the sabotage of mines Mr. FitzGerald said there had been a recent case of internal sabotage in a mine. He then explained how the success of his operations can only be measured when internal sabotage is increased. In response to a question, he admitted that there was not any coordination as yet with the internal sabotage program.

13. He commented that there was nothing new in the propaganda field. However, he felt that there had been great success in getting closer to the military personnel who might break with Castro, and stated that there were at least ten high-level military personnel who are talking with CIA but as yet are not talking to each other, since that degree of confidence has not yet developed. He considers it as a parallel in history; i.e., the plot to kill Hitler; and this plot is being studied in detail to develop an approach.

14. General LeMay then questioned the advisability of utilizing a communication technique to install a radio capability which would permit break-in on Castro broadcasts. He stated that an Air Force officer named McElroy was available to talk to Mr. FitzGerald on the matter, and Mr. FitzGerald accepted this offer.

15. The conference closed with General LeMay directing that Mr. FitzGerald’s planners meet with General Krulak’s people and work out the details as to how the military can assist in supporting these operations. After Mr. FitzGerald departed, General LeMay gave added directions to Colonel Higgins to initiate necessary steps for planning.

16. After the JCS meeting Admiral Riley called Colonel Higgins into his office and read a letter from Mr. McGeorge Bundy which discussed secrecy measures necessary related to Cuba CIA operations. Admiral Riley directed Colonel Higgins to have the nature of this letter put out through SACSA control to SACSA contact points to insure an adequate system for secrecy within the military services. Admiral Riley stated he was returning the letter to Mr. Gilpatric as he did not want written communication by SACSA, but to put this out orally. This was transmitted to Colonel Wyman who will take the action to prepare an appropriate memorandum for the record to be filed with General Ingelido in accordance with further direction by Admiral Riley.

17. General Wheeler, Chief of Staff of the Army, called and questioned us concerning SACSA’s access for the knowledge of such operations as mentioned in the McGeorge Bundy letter. I advised him that our Pendulum system was in being but that I would look into it in greater detail to determine that it met the letter as well as the spirit of the memorandum. I stated I believed this was so but had not had reason to do it until this date and therefore did not give him a positive answer at that time.

WALTER M. HIGGINS, JR.
Colonel, USA