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Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:52 AM

Dodd and Dulles vs. Kennedy in Africa

Here's a 16-year old piece from a now defunct magazine ..
Dodd and Dulles vs. Kennedy in Africa

During Kennedy’s six years in the House, 1947-1952, he concentrated on domestic affairs, bread and butter issues that helped his middle class Massachusetts constituents. As Henry Gonzalez noted in his blurb for Donald Gibson’s Battling Wall Street, he met Kennedy at a housing conference in 1951 and got the impression that young Kennedy was genuinely interested in the role that government could play in helping most Americans. But when Kennedy, his father, and his advisers decided to run for the upper house in 1952, they knew that young Jack would have to educate himself in the field of foreign affairs and gain a higher cosmopolitan profile. After all, he was running against that effete, urbane, Boston Brahmin Henry Cabot Lodge. So Kennedy decided to take two seven-week-long trips. The first was to Europe. The second was a little unusual in that his itinerary consisted of places like the Middle East, India, and Indochina. (While in India, he made the acquaintance of Prime Minister Nehru who would end up being a lifelong friend and adviser.) ...

Enter Thomas Dodd

At this point, another figure emerged in opposition to Kennedy and his Congo policy. Clearly, Kennedy’s new Congo policy had been a break from Eisenhower’s. It ran contra to the covert policy that Dulles and Devlin had fashioned. To replace the Eisenhower-Nixon political line, the Belgian government, through the offices of public relations man Michael Struelens, created a new political counterweight to Kennedy. He was Senator Thomas Dodd of Connecticut. As Mahoney notes, Dodd began to schedule hearings in the senate on the "loss" of the Congo to communism, a preposterous notion considering who was really running the Congo in 1961. Dodd also wrote to Kennedy’s United Nations ambassador Adlai Stevenson that the State Department’s "blind ambition" to back the UN in Katanga could only end in tragedy. He then released the letter to the press before Stevenson ever got it.

One of the allies that Dodd had in his defense of the Katanga "freedom fighters", was the urbane, supposedly independent journalist William F. Buckley. As Kwitny wittily notes, Buckley saw the spirit of Edmund Burke in the face of Moise Tshombe. Dodd was a not infrequent guest on Buckley’s television show which was then syndicated by Metromedia. Buckley’s supposed "independence" was brought into question two decades ago by the exposure of his employment by the CIA. But newly declassified documents by the Assassination Records Review Board go even further in this regard. When House Select Committee investigator Dan Hardway was going through Howard Hunt’s Office of Security file, he discovered an interesting vein of documents concerning Buckley. First, Buckley was not a CIA "agent" per se. He was actually a CIA officer who was stationed for at least a part of his term in Mexico City. Second, and dependent on Buckley’s fictional "agent" status, it appears that both Hunt and Buckley tried to disguise Buckley’s real status to make it appear that Buckley worked for and under Hunt when it now appears that both men were actually upper level types. Third, when Buckley "left" the Agency to start the rightwing journal National Review, his professional relationship with propaganda expert Hunt continued. These documents reveal that some reviews and articles for that journal were actually written by Hunt, e. g. a review of the book The Invisible Government.

In other words, the CIA was using Buckley’s journal as a propaganda outlet. This does much to explain that journal’s, and Buckley’s, stand on many controversial issues, including the Congo crisis and the Kennedy assassination. It also helps to explain the Republican William F. Buckley allying himself with Democrat Tom Dodd in defending the Katanga "freedom-fighters." ...


Although this article is worthwhile on it's own merits it has gained new relevance and context given a couple of stories that came out this weekend.

One about the former director of the CIA (Allen W Dulles) quashing a 'scoop' that the Miami Herald was ready to run that may have averted the Bay of Pigs ..
@MiamiHerald · CIA stopped Miami Herald scoop on Bay of Pigs invasion http://hrld.us/1DgoF3y

The other pertains to Senator Thomas Dodd's son (Sen Chris Dodd) stemming from Wikileaks' release of the hacked Sony docs as reflected in these DU threads:


REVEALED: Ex-Sen. Chris Dodd HELPED ‘Liberal Hollywood’ RAISE MONEY FOR THE GOP

5 replies, 1573 views

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Reply Dodd and Dulles vs. Kennedy in Africa (Original post)
MinM Apr 2015 OP
Octafish Apr 2015 #1
MinM Apr 2015 #2
swilton Apr 2015 #3
MinM Apr 2015 #4
MinM Mar 2016 #5

Response to MinM (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 11:13 AM

1. What a difference that story would have made.

Great work, as always, MinM.

If I may add, when it comes to Dallas, CIA calls up its assets in the media.

CIA Document #1035-960, marked "PSYCH" for presumably Psychological Warfare Operations, in the division "CS", the Clandestine Services, sometimes known as the "dirty tricks" department.

CIA Instructions to Media Assets

RE: Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report

1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.

2. This trend of opinion is a matter of concern to the U.S. government, including our organization. The members of the Warren Commission were naturally chosen for their integrity, experience and prominence. They represented both major parties, and they and their staff were deliberately drawn from all sections of the country. Just because of the standing of the Commissioners, efforts to impugn their rectitude and wisdom tend to cast doubt on the whole leadership of American society. Moreover, there seems to be an increasing tendency to hint that President Johnson himself, as the one person who might be said to have benefited, was in some way responsible for the assassination. Innuendo of such seriousness affects not only the individual concerned, but also the whole reputation of the American government. Our organization itself is directly involved: among other facts, we contributed information to the investigation. Conspiracy theories have frequently thrown suspicion on our organization, for example by falsely alleging that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for us. The aim of this dispatch is to provide material countering and discrediting the claims of the conspiracy theorists, so as to inhibit the circulation of such claims in other countries. Background information is supplied in a classified section and in a number of unclassified attachments.

3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active addresses are requested:

a. To discuss the publicity problem with (?)and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.

b. To employ propaganda assets to and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (II) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing that Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)

4. In private to media discussions not directed at any particular writer, or in attacking publications which may be yet forthcoming, the following arguments should be useful:

a. No significant new evidence has emerged which the Commission did not consider. The assassination is sometimes compared (e.g., by Joachim Joesten and Bertrand Russell) with the Dreyfus case; however, unlike that case, the attack on the Warren Commission have produced no new evidence, no new culprits have been convincingly identified, and there is no agreement among the critics. (A better parallel, though an imperfect one, might be with the Reichstag fire of 1933, which some competent historians (Fritz Tobias, AJ.P. Taylor, D.C. Watt) now believe was set by Vander Lubbe on his own initiative, without acting for either Nazis or Communists; the Nazis tried to pin the blame on the Communists, but the latter have been more successful in convincing the world that the Nazis were to blame.)

b. Critics usually overvalue particular items and ignore others. They tend to place more emphasis on the recollections of individual witnesses (which are less reliable and more divergent--and hence offer more hand-holds for criticism) and less on ballistics, autopsy, and photographic evidence. A close examination of the Commission's records will usually show that the conflicting eyewitness accounts are quoted out of context, or were discarded by the Commission for good and sufficient reason.

c. Conspiracy on the large scale often suggested would be impossible to conceal in the United States, esp. since informants could expect to receive large royalties, etc. Note that Robert Kennedy, Attorney General at the time and John F. Kennedy's brother, would be the last man to overlook or conceal any conspiracy. And as one reviewer pointed out, Congressman Gerald R. Ford would hardly have held his tongue for the sake of the Democratic administration, and Senator Russell would have had every political interest in exposing any misdeeds on the part of Chief Justice Warren. A conspirator moreover would hardly choose a location for a shooting where so much depended on conditions beyond his control: the route, the speed of the cars, the moving target, the risk that the assassin would be discovered. A group of wealthy conspirators could have arranged much more secure conditions.

d. Critics have often been enticed by a form of intellectual pride: they light on some theory and fall in love with it; they also scoff at the Commission because it did not always answer every question with a flat decision one way or the other. Actually, the make-up of the Commission and its staff was an excellent safeguard against over-commitment to any one theory, or against the illicit transformation of probabilities into certainties.

e. Oswald would not have been any sensible person's choice for a co-conspirator. He was a "loner," mixed up, of questionable reliability and an unknown quantity to any professional intelligence service. (Archivist's note: This claim is demonstrably untrue with the latest file releases. The CIA had an operational interest in Oswald less than a month before the assassination. Source: Oswald and the CIA, John Newman and newly released files from the National Archives.)

f. As to charges that the Commission's report was a rush job, it emerged three months after the deadline originally set. But to the degree that the Commission tried to speed up its reporting, this was largely due to the pressure of irresponsible speculation already appearing, in some cases coming from the same critics who, refusing to admit their errors, are now putting out new criticisms.

g. Such vague accusations as that "more than ten people have died mysteriously" can always be explained in some natural way e.g.: the individuals concerned have for the most part died of natural causes; the Commission staff questioned 418 witnesses (the FBI interviewed far more people, conduction 25,000 interviews and re interviews), and in such a large group, a certain number of deaths are to be expected. (When Penn Jones, one of the originators of the "ten mysterious deaths" line, appeared on television, it emerged that two of the deaths on his list were from heart attacks, one from cancer, one was from a head-on collision on a bridge, and one occurred when a driver drifted into a bridge abutment.)

5. Where possible, counter speculation by encouraging reference to the Commission's Report itself. Open-minded foreign readers should still be impressed by the care, thoroughness, objectivity and speed with which the Commission worked. Reviewers of other books might be encouraged to add to their account the idea that, checking back with the report itself, they found it far superior to the work of its critics.

SOURCE: http://www.boston.com/community/forums/news/national/general/cia-instructions-to-media-assets-doc-1035-960/80/6210620

From 2003, first OP on DU I could find on it: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104x765619

I think the world of Knight-Ridder, and now the same for McClatchey Co. Operation MOCKINGBIRD, not so much. I find it interesting that as the older DUers pack off or fade away, the, um, replacements so often are totally unaware of why this history should matter to them.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:28 PM

2. Well said...

It's huge and people have to be diligent about not taking it for granted. Thank you for your efforts in highlighting this issue, Octafish.

Just taking the Bay of Pigs story as an example and the way Allen Dulles was able to spin it in the press shows the need for awareness and accountability. Otherwise we're all just flying blind.

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:50 PM

3. Really Excellent Read


I have read the Kwitny book that the author refers to - ENDLESS ENEMIES - very well sourced and referenced and deals with - since the 1960's (the Congo) the nexus between the CIA, the State Department and Corporate America to formulate US foreign policy.

Other resources that support this research - in foreign film and available through Netflix

On Patrice Lumumba - the Belgian movie Lumumba 2000
Critical resources in the Congo at the time - didn't see this mentioned by the author but mentioned by Kwitny was uranium.

On the French war in Algeria - The Battle of Algiers - 1966; and Intimate Enemies. The Battle of Algiers is a 1960's era film - was 'inside the beltway' viewing prior to the Iraq War - deals with the moral dilemmas of French colonialism..

.Intimate Enemies is sort of a French version of Platoon - but dealing with the Algerian conflict - in this version - an idealist confronts a realist while conducting the counter-insurgency campaign in the deserts of Algeria.


On the US (CIA) involvement in Indo-China - the movie is The Quiet American - starring Michael Caine - deals with US covert involvement in 1950's Indo-China. Movie was based on the book by Graham Greene, himself a British intel officer.


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Response to swilton (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 05:03 AM

4. Thanks

I'll check those out.

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Response to MinM (Original post)

Tue Mar 15, 2016, 10:47 PM

5. Thomas Dodd & Son

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