Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ben Franklin - First Wikileaker

The first Wiki leaker  - Ben Franklin  and the Hutchinson Letters Affair

While in England Ben Franklin obtained private letters of Massachusetts governor Thomas Hutchinson and lieutenant governor Andrew Olivethat proved they were encouraging the Crown to crack down on the rights of Bostonians.

Franklin sent them to America, where they escalated the tensions. The British began to regard him as the fomenter of serious trouble. Hopes for a peaceful solution ended as he was systematically ridiculed and humiliated by Solicitor-General Alexander Wedderburn, before the Privy Council on January 29, 1774. He returned to Philadelphia in March 1775, and abandoned his accommodationist stance,

Hutchinson Letters Affair

Political cartoon from 1774 by Paul Revere, depicting Death attacking Governor Thomas Hutchinson

The Hutchinson Letters Affair was an incident that increased tensions between the colonists of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and the British government prior to the American Revolution. In June 1773 letters written several years earlier by Thomas Hutchinson and Andrew Oliver, governor and lieutenant governor of the province at the time of their publication, were published in a Boston newspaper. The content of the letters was propagandistically claimed by Massachusetts radical politicians to call for the abridgement of colonial rights, and a duel was fought in England over the matter.

The affair served to inflame tensions in Massachusetts, where implementation of the 1773 Tea Act was met with resistance that culminated in the Boston Tea Party in December 1773. The response of the British government to the publication of the letters served to turn Benjamin Franklin, one of the principal figures in the affair, into a committed Patriot.

Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay Thomas Hutchinson, author of some of the inflammatory letters

During the 1760s, relations between Great Britain and some of its North American colonies became strained by a series of Parliamentary laws (including the 1765 Stamp Act and the 1767 Townshend Acts), intended to raise revenue for the crown, and to assert Parliament's authority to pass such legislation despite a lack of colonial representation. These laws had sparked strong protests in the Thirteen Colonies; the Province of Massachusetts Bay in particular saw significant unrest and direct action against crown officials. The introduction of British Army troops into Boston in 1768 further raised tensions that escalated to the Boston Massacre in 1770.

In the years after the enactment of the Townshend Acts, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson and his colonial secretary (and brother-in-law) Andrew Oliver wrote a series of letters concerning the acts, the protests against them, and containing suggestions on how to respond, to Thomas Whately, an assistant to Prime Minister George Grenville. Whateley died in 1772, and his papers were turned over to his brother William. Whateley at one point gave access to his brother's papers to John Temple, another colonial official who sought to recover letters of his own from those papers.

Hutchinson was appointed governor of Massachusetts in 1770, following the critical publication by opposition politicians of letters written by his predecessor, Francis Bernard. Over the next two years Hutchinson engaged in an extended and rancorous written debate with the provincial assembly and the governor's council, both of which were dominated by radical leadership hostile to Parliamentary authority. The debate centered on the arbitrariness of executive prerogative and the role of Parliament in colonial governance, and greatly deepened divisions in the province.

Benjamin Franklin, portrait by David Martin, 1767

The Massachusetts debate reached a pitch in England when the colonial secretary, Lord Dartmouth, insisted that Benjamin Franklin, then acting as agent for Massachusetts in London, demand that the Massachusetts assembly retract its response to a speech the governor gave early in 1772 as part of this ongoing debate. Franklin had acquired a packet of about twenty letters that had been written to Whately. Upon reading them, Franklin concluded that Hutchinson and Oliver had mischaracterized the situation in the colonies, and thus misled Parliament. He felt that wider knowledge of these letters would then focus colonial anger away from Parliament and at those who had written the misleading letters. Franklin sent the letters to Thomas Cushing, the speaker of the Massachusetts assembly, in December 1772. He insisted to Cushing that they not be published or widely circulated. He specifically wrote that they should be seen only by a few people, and that he was not "at liberty to make the letters public."

The letters arrived in Massachusetts in March 1773, and came into the hands of Samuel Adams, then serving as the clerk of the Massachusetts assembly. By Franklin's instructions, only a select few people, including the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence, were to see the letters. Alarmed at what they read, Cushing wrote Franklin, asking if the restrictions on their circulation could be eased. In a response received by Cushing in early June, Franklin reiterated that they were not to be copied or published, but could be shown to anyone.


A longtime opponent of Hutchinson's, Samuel Adams narrowly followed Franklin's request, but managed to orchestrate a propaganda campaign against Hutchinson without immediately disclosing the letters. He informed the assembly of the existence of the letters, after which it designated a committee to analyze them. Strategic leaks suggestive of their content made their way into the press and political discussions, causing Hutchinson much discomfort. The assembly eventually concluded, according to John Hancock, that in the letters Hutchinson sought to "overthrow the Constitution of this Government, and to introduce arbitrary Power into the Province", and called for the removal of Hutchinson and Oliver. Hutchinson complained that Adams and the opposition were misrepresenting what he had written, and that nothing he had written in them on the subject of Parliamentary supremacy went beyond other statements he had made. The letters were finally published in the Boston Gazette in mid-June 1773, causing a political firestorm in Massachusetts and raising significant questions in England.
Content of the letters 

Andrew Oliver, portrait by John Singleton Copley, c. 1758

The letters were written primarily in 1768 and 1769, principally by Hutchinson and Oliver, although the published letters also included some written by Charles Paxton, a customs official and Hutchinson supporter, and Hutchinson's nephew Nathaniel Rogers. The letters written by Oliver (who became lieutenant governor when Hutchinson became governor) proposed a significant revamping of the Massachusetts government to strengthen the executive, while those of Hutchinson were ruminations on the difficult state of affairs in the province. Historian Bernard Bailyn confirms Hutchinson's own assertion that much of the content of his letters expressed relatively little that had not already been publicly stated.

According to Bailyn, Hutchinson's ruminations included the observation that it was impossible for colonists have the full rights they would have in the home country, essentially requiring an "abridgement of what are called English liberties". Hutchinson, unlike Oliver, made no specific proposals on how the colonial government should be reformed, writing in a letter that was not among those published, "I can think of nothing but what will produce as great an evil as that which it may remove or will be of a very uncertain event." Oliver's letters, in contrast, specifically proposed that the governor's council, whose members where then elected by the assembly with the governor's consent, be changed to one whose members were appointed by the crown.

19th century engraving depicting Benjamin Franklin's appearance before the Privy Council

In England, speculation ran rampant over the source of the leak. William Whately accused John Temple of taking the letters, which Temple denied, challenging Whately to a duel. Whately was wounded in the encounter in early December 1773, but neither participant was satisfied, and a second duel was planned. In order to forestall that event, Franklin on Christmas Day published a letter admitting that he was responsible for the acquisition and transmission of the letters, to prevent "further mischief". He justified his actions by pointing out that the letters had been written between public officials for the purpose of influencing public policy.

When Hutchinson's opponents in Massachusetts read the letters, they seized on key phrases (including the "abridgement" phrase) to argue that Hutchinson was in fact lobbying the London government to make changes that would effect such an abridgement. Combined with Oliver's explicit recommendations for reform, they presented this as a clear indication that the provincial leaders were working against the interests of the people and not for them.

Bostonians were outraged at the content of the published letters, burning Hutchinson and Oliver in effigy on Boston Common. The letters were widely reprinted throughout the British North American colonies, and acts of protest took place as far away as Philadelphia. The Massachusetts assembly and governor's council petitioned the Board of Trade for Hutchinson's removal. In the Privy Council hearing concerning Hutchinson's fate, in which the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party was also discussed, Franklin stood silently while he was lambasted by Solicitor General Alexander Wedderburn for his role in the affair. He was accused of thievery and dishonor, and called the prime mover in England on behalf of Boston's radical Committee of Correspondence. The Board of Trade dismissed Franklin from his post as colonial Postmaster General, and dismissed the petition for Hutchinson's removal as "groundless" and "vexatious". Parliament then passed the so-called "Coercive Acts", a package of measures designed to punish Massachusetts for the tea party. Hutchinson was recalled, and the Massachusetts governorship was given to the commander of British forces in North America, Lieutenant General Thomas Gage. Hutchinson left Massachusetts in May 1774, never to return. Andrew Oliver suffered a stroke and died in March 1774

Thomas Pownall, who may have given Franklin the letters

Gage's implementation of the Coercive Acts further raised tensions that led to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War in April 1775. Franklin, who had been politically neutral with respect to the colonial radicals prior to his appearance before the Board of Trade, returned to America in early 1775, committed to independence. He went on to serve in the Second Continental Congress and became a leading figure in the American Revolution.

Who gave Franklin the letters? 

A number of candidates have been proposed as the means by which Benjamin Franklin acquired the letters. John Temple, despite his political differences with Hutchinson, was apparently able to convince the latter in 1774 that he was not involved in their acquisition. He did, however, claim to know who was involved, but refused to name him, because that would "prove the ruin of the guilty party."

Several historians (including Bernard Bailyn and Bernard Knollenberg) have concluded that Thomas Pownall was the probable source of the letters. Pownall was Massachusetts governor before Francis Bernard, had similar views to Franklin on colonial matters, and had access to centers of colonial administration through his brother John, the colonial secretary. Other individuals have also been suggested, but all appear to have an only tenuous connection to Franklin or the situation. Historian Kenneth Penegar believes the question will remain unanswerable unless new documents emerge to shed light on the episode.

Alexander, John (2011). Samuel Adams: The Life of an American Revolutionary. Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield. 
Bailyn, Bernard (1974). The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bell, Whitfield (1997). Patriot-Improvers: Biographical Sketches of Members of the American Philosophical Society. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. 
Danver, Steven (2010). Revolts, Protests, Demonstrations, and Rebellions in American History. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Fischer, David Hackett (1994). Paul Revere's Ride. New York: Oxford University Press. 
Galvin, John (1976). Three Men of Boston. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell. 
Hosmer, John Kendall (1896). The Life of Thomas Hutchinson. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin. 
Isaacson, Walter (2004). Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. 
Knollenberg, Bernhard (1975). Growth of the American Revolution, 1766–1775. New York: Free Press. 
Morgan, Edmund (2003) [2002]. Benjamin Franklin. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. 
Penegar, Kenneth (2011). The Political Trial of Benjamin Franklin. New York: Algora Publishing. 
Walmsley, Andrew Stephen (2000). Thomas Hutchinson and the Origins of the American Revolution. New York: New York University Press. 
Wright, Esmond (1988). Franklin of Philadelphia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

Further reading 
The Letters of Governor Hutchinson and Lieut. Governor Oliver, etc. London: J. Wilkie. 1774. OCLC 8991384. 1774 London printing of documents of the affair, including the letters of Hutchinson and Oliver, the Massachusetts petitions, Franklin's admission he sent the letters, and Alexander Wedderburn's speech against Franklin.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Rock & Roll at Dealy Plaza

Rock & Roll at DP 
By William Kelly

On the morning of the assassination of President Kennedy a young man later identified as Lee Harvey Oswald - the accused assassin, was waiting for the Top Ten Record store in Oak Cliff to open on. He bought a ticket to Dick Clark’s Rock & Roll show, and left, by bus, but then returned later that day and purchased another ticket, this time, when Dallas Police officer J.D. Tippit was in the store, though they didn’t talk or interact.

If it was Oswald or someone impersonating him, why would he purchase tickets to Dick Clark show? It would certainly seem to indicate he had an accomplice, though it is more likely that it was simply a case of mistaken identity.

If it was a case of mistaken identity though, then maybe the identification of Oswald as the Tippit’s killer was also a case of mistaken identity.  

Dick Clark was said to have had a keen interest in the assassination and was himself a “conspiracy buff.”

When they were in Dallas, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and David Crosby all went to Dealey Plaza to see where President Kennedy was killed. The Beatles ducked in the back of their limo as they drove past the Texas School Book Depository Building and Grassy Knoll and then retired to their rooms at the Dallas Cabana Hotel, where some of the witnesses and suspects had famously stayed on the weekend of the assassination.

When Dylan was looking for Dealey Plaza and the first few Dallas pedestrians couldn’t direct him to the spot, Dylan was perplexed, and then the one that finally could said, “You mean where they killed that son-of-a-bitch?”

Dylan then accused all of Dallas for being responsible for killing Kennedy, but then, in a rambling speech accepting the Tom Paine Award, Dylan sympathized with Oswald, questioned whether he killed Kennedy and discounted the idea we are all responsible for the assassination, as Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones would famously sing, “after all, it was you and me.”

David Crosby was busted for pot in Dallas, and apparently had to go through the same legal rigermorall as Jack Ruby’s girl Candy Barr ? -

Robbie Robertson, the guitarist of the Band, in the course of being interviewed by Martin Scorrsase in “The Last Waltz,” recalled performing at one of Jack Ruby’s joints in Dallas, and while there were only a few patrons, a fight broke out.

The assassination of President Kennedy inspired numerous song writers including Dick Hollar, whose “Abraham, Martin and John,” was a 1968 hit for Dion, better known for his rock n’ roll songs like “Runaround Sue,” sang it live on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour TV show. In introducing it Tommy Brothers said, "We first heard this next song on the radio and we thought so much of it and thought it was such a great song we thought we'd like to have it on the show so that more people could hear it and see it performed."

“One of the most notable versions of this song was an audio collage assembled by Tom Clay, combining ‘What the World Needs Now Is Love’ with ‘Abraham, Martin and John’ along with sound clips associated with the Vietnam War, and the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. Bookending this recording is an adult asking a small child the meaning of segregation, bigotry, hatred and prejudice. Tom Clay's recording, released in 1971, broadened the theme of these songs to address the turmoil of the times, suggesting that the war in Vietnam, the urban rioting and the assassinations of the 1960s were fueled by hatred and bigotry.”

Abraham, Martin & John  - By Dick Hollar

Anybody here seen my old friend Abraham?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lotta people but it seems the good they die young
You know I just looked around and he's gone

Anybody here seen my old friend John?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed a lotta people but it seems the good they die young
I just looked around and he's gone

Anybody here seen my old friend Martin?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
He freed lotta people but it seems the good they die young
I just looked around and he's gone

Didn't you love the things that they stood for?
Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?
And we'll be free some day soon
It's gonna be one day

Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby?
Can you tell me where he's gone?
I thought I saw him walkin' up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin, and John

Dick Hollar also performed with Johnny Rivers, Jimmy Clanton, Mac Rebennack (Dr. John), Bobby Darin, Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis and was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Hollar also wrote, ‘Snoopy vs. The Red Baron,’ The Bellamy Brothers’ ‘Crossfire,’ ‘The Greatest Song I Ever Heard,’ by Cher and ‘Mama Where Will The Love Come From’ by Glenn Yarbrough

Phil Ochs wrote “Crucifixion,” in which he compares JFK with Jesus Christ, and when Ochs ran into JFK on an airplane, he sang the song for RFK, which made him cry.

More recently a hip-hop recording artist was arrested for streaking naked across the Grassy Knoll as a publicity stunt for a music video.

Most peculiar was the guy, and Oswald look-a-like, imposter or impersonator, who, early on the morning of Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, walked into a store on Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff and bought a ticket to the Dick Clark Rock & Roll show. He left “by bus,” but then  returned later on and bought another ticket while J. D. Tippit was also in the store.

An hour later a man identified as Lee Harvey Oswald entered a Jiffy Store on Industrial Blvd. and purchased some candy and two beers, using a drivers license to prove how old he was to buy the beer - a driver’s license for Lee H. Oswald (or O. H. Lee)

7:30 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) J. W. “Dub” Stark, owner of the Top Ten Record Shop at 338 W. Jefferson Blvd. in Oak Cliff says that LHO is waiting at his store when Stark arrives. Stark says that LHO buys a ticket to the Dick Clark Show and leaves by bus.

Dub Stark says that LHO returns a short time later and buys another ticket to the Dick Clark Show. This time, Officer J.D. Tippit is in the store, but does not speak with LHO.

J.D. Tippit will return to this same store at 1:11 PM, makes a phone call and then leaves hurriedly.

8:30 AM (Nov. 22, 1963) LHO enters a Jiffy store located at 310 S. Industrial Blvd. Fred Moore, the store clerk says “identification of this individual arose when he asked him for identification as to proof of age for purchase of two bottles of beer. Moore said he figured the man was over 21 but the store frequently requires proof by reason of past difficulties with local authorities for serving beer to minors. This customer said, sure I got ID and pulled a Texas drivers license from his billfold. Moore said that he noted the name appeared as Lee Oswald or possibly as H. Lee Oswald. As Moore recalled, the birth date on the license was 1939 and he thought it to have been the 10th month.”

9:00 (Nov. 22, 1963) LHO reportedly returns to the Jiffy Store. Oswald returns to buy two pieces of Peco Brittle at five cents each which he consumes on the premises. Moore remarks to him (Oswald) in the form of a question, Candy and beer? as he considers this to be an odd combination. The man seems to be nervous while in the store pacing the aisles as he eats the candy. (Interview of Fred Moore by SA David Barry 12/2/63)

All of which comes into play later that afternoon when, in the same neighborhood, the real Lee Harvey Oswald is arrested just down the street at the Texas Theater, and others, later identified as Oswald, were seen shooting Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit, dropping a jacket under a car, ducking into a shoestore and entering a theater without buying a ticket.

If Oswald is credited with killing the President, Officer Tippit and sneaking into the Texas Theater without buying a ticket, and was known to be riding in a car to work when the Oswald-Look-a-like-Impersonator was buying a ticket to the Dick Clark Rock & Roll Show, WHO WAS THAT GUY? - the guy who bought the Dick Clark tickets and was he the same guy who bought the candy and beer with a Texas drivers license with Oswald’s name and date of birth on it?

Another witness to see Oswald’s drivers license, or a Texas drivers license with Oswald’s name on it, was the insurance guy whose office was right across the street from Oswald’s rooming house, who said Oswald inquired about auto insurance for a car he was going to buy. The insurance agent believes Oswald showed him a driver’s license with the name “O. H. Lee,” which is the name he used in signing in to the hotel in Mexico City and the name he gave to rent the room in Oak Cliff.

There were many - possibly dozens of cases of mistaken identity involving Oswald, especially after the assassination, but there are also a number of clear cases of intentional impersonation of Oswald - some of the most peculiar include a foreign women like Marina and two children, one recently born, and other peculiar characteristics.

What was the purpose of these impersonations? There had to be a purpose, what was it?

The cases of mistaken identity and possible intentional impersonation of Oswald in Oak Cliff on the day of the assassination is especially troublesome in light of the murder of Dallas policeman J.D. Tippit. 

Who killed Tippit? Oswald or one of those mistaken for him, or one of those who intentionally impersonated him?

Wm. Boardman -No One Knows

Kennedy Assassination. 50th Anniversary Commemoration. No One Knows the Full Story of What Happened
by William Boardman

“Whatever events are held, whether formal or impromptu, they will all have one thing in common: no one knows the full story of what happened. The official version put out by the Warren Commission, is long since discredited, but independent investigations have yet to present a coherent alternative narrative. That there is such a narrative is certain, since that would be the event as it happened. One reason we don’t know what happened is that our government has kept assassination-related material secret – protecting national security secrets say secrecy defenders. Others say stonewalling.”

Fifty Years Later, Kennedy Shooting Less Certain than Lincoln Conspiracy

50th anniversary commemorations of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will include a tickets-only memorial at the scene of the crime, Dealey Plaza, in Dallas, Texas. No doubt there will also be celebrations in some places, just as there were in the aftermath of the November 22, 1963, killing.

Whatever events are held, whether formal or impromptu, they will all have one thing in common: no one knows the full story of what happened. The official version put out by the Warren Commission, is long since discredited, but independent investigations have yet to present a coherent alternative narrative.

That there is such a narrative is certain, since that would be the event as it happened. One reason we don’t know what happened is that our government has kept assassination-related material secret – protecting national security secrets say secrecy defenders. Others say stonewalling.

Polling in April 2013 suggests a waning interest in the Kennedy assassination, since only 59% of Americans now believe the official version is false. That number is considerably lower than a 2003 Gallup poll in which 75% of Americans said the Kennedy killing was a conspiracy.

In 1978, the U.S. House Select Committee on Assassinations’ lengthy inquiry concluded that JFK “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” The official version holds that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and fired only three shots. The House Committee produced evidence that at least four shots were fired. While coming to the inevitable, evidence-based conclusion that a conspiracy killed Kennedy, the committee did not reach a conclusion as to who was part of the conspiracy.

We Know It Was a Conspiracy, But Not Who Were The Conspirators

Myriad books have been published arguing various versions of events, but for the most part the big money from publishers has gone to writers (Gerald Posner, Vincent Bugliosi). But other, conspiracy-centered writers (Mark Lane, Jim Marrs, Anthony Summers) have far out-sold the official version.

That’s perhaps to be expected when the majority of Americans have believed for almost 50 years that their government is lying to them about the Kennedy assassination, just as the government has lied about so many other important things, such as the Viet-Nam war, and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and assassination by drone.

A couple of Hollywood movies are in the works, both based on books: Legacy of Secrecy with Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro (the Mafia did it) and Parkland with Colin Hanks and Paul Giamatti (Oswald did it alone). Academy

Award winner Erroll Morris is working on a documentary of the assassination (he hasn’t said who did it).

From the start, other suspects have included the CIA (because Kennedy wanted to get out of Viet Nam), Castro (because the CIA was trying to assassinate him), and the KGB (because they’re Russian or something).

Another popular suspect has long been Lyndon Johnson, who was Kennedy’s Vice President at the time, when there were rumors that Kennedy was going to replace him on the 1964 presidential ticket. Johnson is the most obvious first choice, at least based on the traditional analysis of means, motive, and opportunity.

Texas attorney Barr McClellan put the case against LBJ pretty strongly in his 2003 book, Blood, Money & Power. McClellan was one of LBJ’s personal lawyers, but his book did not get wide notice in the mainstream media at the time – when his son, Scott McClellan was serving as White House Press Secretary for President Bush.
Blood, Money & Power did not appear on 2003 Bestseller Lists

The New York Times referred to McClellan’s book dismissively in early 2004: “It is the most serious of public accusations, but it is so serious that serious people dismiss it as nuts. “

The only reason the Times brought it up then was that Barr McClellan had repeated his accusation on a History Channel program about the Kennedy assassination, “The Guilty Men.” The Times was reporting on serious, and eventually effective pushback against the program by “Bill Moyers and other powerful men who worked for President Johnson,” as the Times put it.

Early in May 2013, the same charge against LBJ was lodged by Roger Stone, in early publicity for his book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy – The Case Against LBJ, due out in the fall. The publisher, Skyhorse Publishing in Manhattan, begins its description of the book this way:

 “Lyndon Baines Johnson was a man of great ambition and enormous greed, both of which, in 1963, would threaten to destroy him. In the end, President Johnson would use power from his personal connections in Texas and from the underworld and from the government to escape an untimely end in politics and to seize even greater power. President Johnson, the thirty-sixth president of the United States, was the driving force behind a conspiracy to murder President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.”
Skyhorse started publishing in 2006. In 2011, the company issued a paperback edition of Barr McClellan’s Blood, Money & Power. Skyhorse has some 2,000 titles in print, including Guns Across the Border (about Operation Fast and Furious), Hit List by Richard Belzer (about mysterious deaths of JFK assassination witnesses), Shooter’s Bible, and Big Breasts & Wide Hips (a novel).

Roger Stone hinted at running for governor of Florida as a Libertarian as described on Huffington Post, “Roger Stone is a legendary American Republican political consultant who has played a key role in the election of Republican presidents from Richard Nixon to Ronald Reagan to George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. Long an outspoken libertarian Republican Stone stunned the political world when he announced he would leave the GOP over its lurch to the far-right on social issues and join the Libertarian Party. The Libertarians will be on the ballot in all 50 states.”

Roger Stone (along with Karl Rove) worked for the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), Richard Nixon’s 1972 campaign committee. Reportedly, Stone has a tattoo of Nixon on his back.

According to Stone, when Nixon was in the House, Johnson told him to hire Jack Ruby, which Nixon did. In 1963, Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald in the Dallas police department.

Richard Nixon was in Dallas on business for his client Pepsi Cola at the time of the assassination, leaving Dallas on the morning of November 22.

There was a fingerprint on the rifle found in the “sniper’s nest” in the Texas School Depository on November 22, 1963, that did not belong to Lee Harvey Oswald. That fingerprint belong to an associate of the vice president, a convicted murderer named Malcolm (Mac) Wallace, according to Barr McClellan and others.

[Note: The fingerprint said to belong to Mac Wallace was not on the rifle but a box in the “sniper’s nest.”]

According to LBJ biographer Robert Caro: “In attaining this influence, [LBJ] displayed a genius for discerning a path to power, an utter ruthlessness in destroying obstacles in that path, and a seemingly bottomless capacity for deceit, deception and betrayal in moving along it.”

“JFK Assassination 50th Anniversary” is the name of a facebook page dedicated to encouraging a grassroots letter writing campaign to get the U.S. to release all its information relating to the 1963 assassination. Started in August 2012, this page had 286 “likes” as of late May 2013.

Reprinted from Global Research
June 3, 2013

Victor Marchetti's Propaganda and Disinformation:

Propaganda and Disinformation:
How the CIA Manufactures History
By Victor Marchetti

In the eyes of posterity it will inevitably seem that, in safeguarding our freedom, we destroyed it. The vast clandestine apparatus we built up to prove our enemies' resources and intentions only served in the end to confuse our own purposes; that practice of deceiving others for the good of the state led infallibly to our deceiving ourselves; and that vast army of clandestine personnel built up to execute these purposes were soon caught up in the web of their own sick fantasies, with disastrous consequences for them and us.  - Malcom Muggeridge, May 1966    
That, in a nutshell, sums up what the CIA has accomplished over the years through its various clandestine propaganda and disinformation programs. It has unwittingly and, often, deliberately deceived itself -- and the American taxpayer.

The CIA is a master at distorting history -- even creating its own version of history to suit its institutional and operational purposes. It can do this largely because of two great advantages it possesses. One is the excessively secret environment in which it operates, and the other is that it is essentially a private instrument of the presidency.

The real reason for the official secrecy, in most instances, is not to keep the opposition (the CIA's euphemistic term for the enemy) from knowing what is going on; the enemy usually does know. The basic reason for governmental secrecy is to keep you, the American public, from knowing -- for you, too, are considered the opposition, or enemy -- so that you cannot interfere. When the public does not know what the government or the CIA is doing, it cannot voice its approval or disapproval of their actions. In fact, they can even lie to your about what they are doing or have done, and you will not know it.

As for the second advantage, despite frequent suggestion that the CIA is a rogue elephant, the truth is that the agency functions at the direction of and in response to the office of the president. All of its major clandestine operations are carried out with the direct approval of or on direct orders from the White House. The CIA is a secret tool of the president -- every president. And every president since Truman has lied to the American people in order to protect the agency. When lies have failed, it has been the duty of the CIA to take the blame for the president, thus protecting him. This is known in the business as "plausible denial."

The CIA, functioning as a secret instrument of the U.S. government and the presidency, has long misused and abused history and continues to do so. I first became concerned about this historical distortion in 1957, when I was a young officer in the Clandestine Services of the CIA.

One night, after work, I was walking down Constitution Avenue with a fellow officer, who previously had been a reporter for United Press.

"How are they ever going to know," he asked.

"Who? How is 'who' ever going to know what?" I asked.

"How are the American people ever going to know what the truth is? How are they going to know what the truth is about what we are doing and have done over the years?" he said. "We operate in secrecy, we deal in deception and disinformation, and then we burn our files. How will the historians ever be able to learn the complete truth about what we've done in these various operations, these operations that have had such a major impact on so many important events in history?"

I couldn't answer him, then. And I can't answer him now. I don't know how the American people will ever really know the truth about the many things that the CIA has been involved in. Or how they will ever know the truth about the great historical events of our times. The government is continually writing and rewriting history -- often with the CIA's help -- to suit its own purposes. Here is a current example.

Just last month in Moscow, there was a meeting, a very strange meeting. Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara met with former Soviet foreign minister Andrei Gromyko and a member of the Cuban Politburo. These three men, along with lesser former officials of their governments, has all been involved in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, and they had gathered in the Soviet capital to discuss what has really occurred in that monumental crisis, which almost led to World War III.

Since I, too, had been personally involved in that crisis, I took some interest in the news reports coming out of Moscow concerning the doings of this rather odd gathering of former officials. Much to my surprise, I learned that Robert McNamara was saying that neither he nor the U.S. intelligence community realized there actually had been some 40,000 Soviet troops in Cuba in the autumn of 1962. The former defense chief of the Kennedy administration was also saying that he and the U.S. government did not realize that the few dozen medium and intermediate range missiles the Soviets had tried to sneak into Cuba were actually armed with nuclear warheads and ready to be fired at targets in the U.S.

Furthermore, he was claiming that the U.S. did not understand that this huge military build-up by the Soviets had been carried out to protect Cuba and to prevent the U.S. from attacking the island's Communist regime. He added, for good measure, that he was surprised to learn from the talks in Moscow that the Soviets and Cubans thought the U.S. had plans to bring down the government of Fidel Castro through the use of force. According to McNamara, the entire Cuban missile crisis was a dangerous misunderstanding that came about because of the lack of communication among the governments involved in the near catastrophe.

Well, when I heard what McNamara and the band were playing in Moscow, I said to myself, "Either McNamara is getting a little dotty in his old age and doesn't remember what really happened during the Cuban missile crisis -- or there's some other reason for this." Well, it soon became apparent that McNamara was not senile. What, then, is the reason for these curious - and false - "admissions" in Moscow? The reason is that the United States and the Soviet Union have decided to become friends again, and Washington wants to set the stage for rapprochement with Castro's Cuba.

It has evidently been decided by the powers that be in the U.S. to have a little meeting in Moscow and tell the world that we were all mixed up about Cuba and we didn't know what was going on there in 1962, because we weren't communicating well with the Soviets at the time. Thus, the American people would see how close to war we had come, how we should communicate more with the Soviets, and how they weren't really very bad guys after all. For that matter neither were Fidel and his gang. Therefore, it would follow that we should in a few months from now get on with disarmament and whatever else is necessary to bring about the new internationalism that is forming between east and west. At the same time, we should begin rebuilding the bridge to Cuba, too.

But to create the proper atmosphere for the coming rapprochement with Moscow and, later, Cuba, it was necessary to scare the American public and the world into thinking that the crisis of October 1962 was worse than it really was. To do that, McNamara, Gromyko, et al. were playing a little game -- their own distorted brand of historical revisionism. They were rewriting history to suit the present purposes of their governments.

Now, I thought, what if I were a reporter. Would I be able to see through this little charade that was going on in Moscow? Probably not. I began studying the "knowledgeable" syndicated columnists. They were writing things like, "... My God, we never did understand what the Soviets were up to in Cuba. Yes, we better do something about this." What McNamara and friends were saying in Moscow was now becoming fact. It's becoming fact that we, the U.S. government, did not really know what was going on during the missile crisis. That is a lie.

If there was ever a time when the CIA in the United States intelligence community and the United States Armed Forces really cooperated and coordinated their efforts with each other, it was during the Cuban missile crisis. The Cuban missile crisis is probably one of the few examples -- perhaps the only one -- of when intelligence really worked the way it was supposed to work in a crisis situation.

I was there at the time, and I was deeply involved in this historical event. A colleague and friend of mine, Tack, my assistant at the time, and I were the original "crate-ologists"-which was an arcane little intelligence art that we had developed. We had learned through a variety of tricks of the trade, and some of our own making, to be able to distinguish what was in certain crates on Soviet merchant ships as they went into Cuba, into Indonesia into Egypt, Syria, and other places. We could tell if a crate contained a MIG-21,or an IL-28, or a SAM-2 missile.

We did this in such an amateurish way that we dared not tell anyone our methods. While the National Photographic and Interpretation Center employed 1,200 people in its office in downtown Washington, using state-of-the-art equipment to analyze aerial and satellite photography, Tack and I would sit in our office, feet up on the desk, using a beat-up old ruler to measure photos taken from U.S. submarines. I'd measure a crate on the deck of the Soviet freighter, say about three quarters of an inch in the photograph.

"Tack, do you think they could fit a Mig-21 in there?" He'd thumb through an old Air Force manual and say, "Mig-21, fuselage length 25 feet." "Well?" "Take the tail off, and we can fit it in." "Okay, let's call it a Mig-21."

We were pretty good at this. We had other aids to identification of course. We were able to learn when the Soviets were preparing shipments and from which ports they were sailing. We knew which personnel were involved, and the ships' destinations. Thus we could alert the navy, which sometimes conducted over flights, sometimes tracked them with a submarine.

We had an attaché in Istanbul row out in the middle of the night with a Turk whom he'd hired, looking for three things in a Soviet freighter: its deck cargo, how high it was riding in the water, and its name.

By these and other sensitive we were able to learn, in the summer of 1962, that the Soviets were carrying out an unprecedented arms build-up in Cuba. While some of the other agencies, namely the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, didn’t agree with us, CIA director John McCone was able to get President John Kennedy to authorize more intelligence over flights. The over flights revealed that the Soviets were building

SAM (Surface-to-Air Missiles) launching sites to protect the build-up. Further over flights revealed the construction of launching sites for Soviet MRBMs (Medium Range Ballistic Missiles) capable of carrying nuclear warheads to most cities in the United States.

We know exactly how many there were, where they were, and that they had not yet been armed, because the warheads hadn't arrived yet.

Thus McNamara is lying when he claims that the Soviet missiles in Cuba were armed and ready for launch against the United States. On the contrary, we were watching the ships which carried the warheads; American ships enforcing the blockade which President Kennedy had ordered boarded a Romanian ship (which we knew carried no arms), and the Russian ships bringing the nuclear warheads turned around in mid-ocean and went home.

It is also quite untrue that there were forty thousand Soviet troops in Cuba. We knew that there were only ten thousand of them, because we had developed a simple but effective way of counting them.

The Soviets had sent their troops over on passenger liners to disguise the military buildup. Some genius back in Moscow must have then said: "But these guys need to wear civilian clothes; let's put sport shirts on them." But someone at the department store said: We've only got two kinds." So half the troops wore one kind, half of them the other. They weren't very hard to spot.

Then, too, Soviet soldiers are a lot like our own. As soon as the first group got established, the colonel sent them out to paint some rocks white and then paint the name of the unit, 44th Field Artillery Battalion or whatever, on the rocks. All we had to do was take a picture of it from one of our U-2s. So it was easy to establish a Soviet troop strength of far below 40,000. Thus, McNamara is agreeing to a second lie.

The big lie, however, is that the Soviet Union came into Cuba to protect the Cubans. That was a secondary, or bonus, consideration. The primary reason for the build-up was that the Soviets at the time were so far behind us in nuclear strike capability that Khruschev figured he could make a quantum leap by suddenly putting in 48 missiles that could strike every city in America except Seattle, Washington.

Nor did we come as close to war as many think, because Khruschev knew he was caught. His missiles weren't armed, and he hadn't the troops to protect them. Kennedy knew this, so he was able to say: "take them out." And Khruschev had to say yes.

I must admit that at the time I was a little concerned, and so was my buddy Tack. We were manning the war room around the clock, catching four hours of sleep and then going back on duty. My wife had the station wagon loaded with blankets and provisions, and Tack's wife was standing by on alert. If either of them got a phone call with a certain word in it, they were to take our children and drive to my home town in the anthracite region of northeastern Pennsylvania. We figured they'd be safe there: if you've ever seen the coal region with its strip mines you would think it had already been bombed and we were hoping the Soviets would look at it that way too.

Last month's conference in Moscow is an example of how history is being rewritten. Any historian who relies on what he reads in the newspapers, on the statements from McNamara and the Russians and the Cubans will not be learning the truth. The CIA has manufactured history in a number of ways over the years not only through its propaganda and disinformation but through the cover stories it uses for their operations, and the cover-ups when an operation falls through Then there is "plausible deniability," which protects the president.

All these techniques have one thing in common, and depend on one thing: secrecy. Secrecy is maintained not to keep the opposition - the CIA's euphemistic term for the enemy -- from knowing what's going on, because the enemy usually does know. Secrecy exists to keep you, the American public, from knowing what is going on, because in many ways you are the real enemy.

If the public were aware of what the CIA is doing, it might say: "We don't like what you're doing -- stop it!," or You're not doing a good job -- stop it!" The public might ask for an accounting for the money being spent and the risks being taken.

Thus secrecy is absolutely vital to the CIA. Secrecy covers not only operations in progress, but continues after the operations, particularly if the operations have been botched. Then they have to be covered up with more lies, which the public, of course, can't recognize as lies, allowing the CIA to tell the public whatever it wishes.

Presidents love this. Every president, no matter what he has said before getting into office, has been delighted to learn that the CIA is his own private tool. The presidents have leapt at the opportunity to keep Congress and the public in the dark about their employment of the agency.

This is what was at the basis of my book, The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence. I had come to the conclusion, as a member of the CIA, that many of our policies and practices were not in the best interests of the United States. but were in fact counterproductive, and that if the American people were aware of this they would not tolerate it.

I resigned from the CIA in 1969, at a time when we were deeply involved in Vietnam. And how did we get into Vietnam on a large scale? How did President Lyndon Johnson get a blank check from Congress? It was through the Gulf of Tonkin incident The American people were told by President Johnson that North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats had come after two American destroyers on the night of August 4, 1964. This was confirmed by the intelligence community.

The fact of the matter is that while torpedo boats came out and looked at the U.S. destroyers, which were well out in international waters, they never fired on them. They made threatening maneuvers, they snarled a bit, but they never fired. It was dark and getting darker. Our sailors thought they might have seen something, but there were no hits, no reports of anything whizzing by.

That was the way it was reported back: a bit of a scrape, but no weapons fire and no attempt to fire. Our ships had not been in danger. But with the help of the intelligence community President Johnson took that report and announced that we had been attacked. He went to Congress and asked for and received his blank check, and Congress went along. Everyone knows the rest of the story: we got into Vietnam up to our eyeballs.

Every president prizes secrecy and fights for it. And so did President Nixon, in my case. When I came to the conclusion that the American people needed to know more about the CIA and what it was up to, I decided to go to Capitol Hill and talk to the senators on the intelligence oversight subcommittee. I found out that Senator John Stennis, at that time head of the subcommittee, hadn't conducted a meeting in over a year, so the other senators were completely ignorant as to what the CIA was doing. Senators William Fulbright and Stuart Symington would tell Stennis, "Let's have a meeting," but he was ignoring them. The other senators wrote Stennis a letter urging him to at least hear what I had to say in a secret executive session, but he continued to ignore them.

Then I would meet Fulbright - at the barber shop. He was afraid to meet me in his office. I would meet with Symington at his home. I would meet with senators at cocktail parties, as if by chance. But still they couldn't get Stennis to convene the intelligence subcommittee.

Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania told me he had learned more about the workings of the intelligence community in one afternoon of conversation with me than in six years of work on the intelligence subcommittee. That didn't surprise me, because I, several years before, had done the budget for CIA director Richard Helms. It was feared that the Senate appropriations subcommittee might have some hard questions about the growing cost of technical espionage programs. Director Helms had evidently been through this before, however.

As Helms put it, he and the CIA's head of science and technology, Albert (Bud) Wheelon, staged a "magic lantern show" for the committee, complete with color slides and demonstrations of the CIA's most advance spy gadgets: a camera hidden in a tobacco pouch, a radio transmitter concealed in some false teeth, a tape recorder in a cigarette case, and so on. One or two hard questions were deflected by Senator Russell of Georgia, who chaired the committee and was a strong supporter of the agency. There were, of course, no slides or hi-tech hardware to exhibit the programs the CIA wanted to conceal from Congress, and the budget sailed through the subcommittee intact.

What I learned in my dealings with Congressmen, in the CIA and after leaving, was that the men who wanted to change the situation didn't have the power, while those who had the power didn't want any change.

With Congress a hopeless case, and the White House already in the know and well satisfied to let the CIA continue to operate in secrecy, I decided to talk to the press. I gave my first interview to U.S. News and World Report, and that started the ball rolling. Soon I was in touch with publishers in New York, talking about doing a book.

I soon got a telephone call from Admiral Rufus Taylor, who had been my boss in the agency, but by that time had retired. He told me to meet him at a motel in the Virginia suburbs, across the Potomac from Washington. My suspicions aroused by the remoteness of the room from the office, I was greeted by Admiral Taylor, who had thoughtfully brought along a large supply of liquor: a bottle of scotch, a bottle of bourbon, a bottle of vodka, a bottle of gin ... "I couldn't remember what you liked," he told me, "so I brought one of everything."

I began to make noise: flushing the toilet, washing my hands, turning on the television. Admiral Taylor was right behind me, turning everything off. I kept making noise, jingling the ice in my glass and so on, until the admiral sat down. There was a table with a lamp on it between the admiral's chair and the one which he now told me to sit down on. He looked at me with a little twinkle in his eye: the lamp was bugged, of course.

We talked, and Admiral Taylor told me the CIA was worried about what I might write in my book. He proposed a deal: I was to give no more interviews, write no more articles, and to stay away from Capitol Hill. I could write my book, and then let him and other retired senior officers look it over, and they would advise me and the agency. After that the CIA and I could resolve our differences. I told him, "Fair enough." We had a drink on it, and went out to dinner. That was our deal.

What I didn't know was that a few nights later John Erlichman and Richard Nixon would be sitting in the White House discussing my book. There is a tape of their discussion, "President Nixon, John Ehrlichman, 45 minutes, subject Victor Marchetti," which is still sealed: I can't get it. Ehrlichman told me through contacts that if I listened to the tape I would learn exactly what happened to me and why.

Whatever the details of their conversation were, the president of the United States had decided I should not publish my book. I was to be the first writer in American history to be served with an official censorship order served by a court of the United States, because President Nixon did not want to be embarrassed, nor did he want the CIA to be investigated and reformed: that would have hampered his ability to use it for his own purposes. A few days later, on April 18, 1972, I received a federal injunction restraining me from revealing any "intelligence information." After more than a year of court battles, CIA and the Cult of Intelligence was published. The courts allowed the CIA to censor it in advance, and as a result the book appeared with more than a hundred holes for CIA-ordered deletions. Later editions show previously deleted words and lines, which the court ordered the CIA to restore in boldface or italics. The book is therefore difficult to read, indeed something of a curiosity piece. And of course all the information which was ordered cut out ended up leaking to the public anyway.

All this was done to help the CIA suppress and distort history, and to enable presidents to do the same. Presidents like Harry Truman, who claimed falsely that "I never had any thought when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations," but who willingly employed the agency to carry out clandestine espionage and covert intervention in the affairs of other countries. Or Dwight Eisenhower, who denied that we were attempting to overthrow Sukarno in Indonesia, when we were, and was embarrassed when he tried to deny the CIA's U-2 over flights and was shown up by Khruschev at Paris in 1960. John F. Kennedy, as everyone knows by now, employed the CIA in several attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. We used everyone from Mafia hoods to Castro's mistress, Marita Lorenz (who was supposed to poison the dictator with pills concealed in her cold cream -- the pills melted). I have no doubt that if we could have killed Castro, the U.S. would have gone in.

There was a fairly widespread belief that one reason Kennedy was assassinated was because he was going to get us out of Vietnam. Don't you believe it He was the CIA's kind of president, rough, tough, and gung-ho. Under Kennedy we became involved in Vietnam in a serious way, not so much militarily as through covert action. It is a fact that the United States engineered the overthrow of Ngo Dinh Diem, South Vietnam's premier, and Ngo Dinh Nhu, his powerful brother. A cable was sent out to the ambassador which said, "If Lou Conein goofs up [Lucien Conein was a key CIA operative in Saigon], it's his responsibility." So when E. Howard Hunt faked these memos and cables when he was working for the "plumbers" on behalf of President Nixon (and against the Democrats), he knew what he was doing. That was his defense, that he wasn't really forging or inventing anything. "Stuff like that really existed, but I couldn't find it," he said. Of course Hunt couldn't find it by that time the original documents were gone. But Hunt knew what he was doing.

President Nixon's obsession with secrecy led to the end of his presidency, of course. As indicated earlier, Nixon was determined to suppress my book. On several occasions after his resignation, Nixon has been asked what he meant when he said that the CIA would help him cover up the Watergate tapes, because "they owed him one." He has responded, "I was talking about Marchetti," in other words the efforts (still secret) to prevent The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence from being published.

Another instance of the Nixon administrations' attempts to suppress history is the ongoing attempt to cover up the details of the administration's "tilt" toward Pakistan in its conflict with India in the early 1970's. Although the basic facts soon emerged, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh's account of the affair in his unflattering book on Henry Kissinger revealed that Morarji Desai, an important Indian political leader who later became Prime Minister, was a CIA agent. Kissinger spurred Desai to sue Hersh, and the case is still dragging on today, seven years later. I know what the truth is; Hersh knows as well, but as a conscientious journalist refused to reveal his sources. Here historical truth is caught between official secrecy and Hersh's loyalty to his informants; nevertheless, I have a great deal of admiration for Hersh for his firm stand.

It is a fact that a good many foreign leaders, including those often seen as "neutral" or even hostile to the United States, have been secretly on the CIA's payroll. For instance, when Jimmy Carter came into office, he claimed he was going to reform the CIA. No sooner than was he in the White House, they decided to test him: the news that Jordan's King Hussein had been paid by the CIA was leaked. President Carter was outraged, because now it was his CIA. His efforts to deny the relationship were defeated by Hussein's nonchalant frankness. He told the press, "Yes, I took the money. I used it for my intelligence service. And that's all I'm going to say on that subject."

There were a lot of other national leaders in Hussein's category. As I revealed for the first time in my book, Joseph Mobutu, a corporal in the Belgian forces in the Congo before its independence, went on the CIA payroll. That is why he rules Zaire today. The CIA paid the late Jomo Kenyatta, ruler of Kenya, fifty or a hundred thousand dollars a year, which he'd spend on drink and women. Therefore we ended up paying Kenyatta twice as much, telling him: "This is for you and this is for your party."

The CIA has funded individuals and movements across the political spectrum in West Germany. A prime example is Willy Brandt, former chancellor of the Federal Republic, who received much CIA support when he was mayor of West Berlin. Axel Springer, the Christian Democratic-minded press and publishing magnate, who pointed the finger at Brandt for working with CIA, was also a CIA asset, who used his publications to spread CIA propaganda and disinformation. It was a case of the pot calling the kettle black: I knew his case officer quite well.

This is the way the CIA sees its mission, the job it was created to do. The CIA is supposed to be involved with everyone, not merely the Christian Democrats or the Social Democrats. The agency is supposed to have its fingers in every pie, including the Communist one, so that they can all be manipulated in whichever way the U.S. government desires.

An obvious area of disinformation and deception exists in our relationship with a nation often represented as our closest ally, Israel. I have often been asked about the relationship between the CIA and its Israeli counterpart, the Mossad. The CIA maintains some kind of liaison with virtually every foreign intelligence agency, including the KGB. These relationships vary from case to case, but our relationship with the Mossad was always a peculiar one.

When I was in the agency, the Mossad was generally not trusted. There was an unwritten rule that no Jews could work on Israeli or near Eastern matters; it was felt that they could not be totally objective. There was a split in the agency, however, and Israel was not included in the normal area division, the Near Eastern Division. Instead it was handled as a special account in counterintelligence. The man who handled that account, James Jesus Angleton, was extremely close to the Israelis. I believe that through Angleton the Israelis learned a lot more than they should have and exercised a lot more influence on our activities than they should have.

For his trouble, James Angleton, who died last year, was honored by the Israelis, in the way that the Israelis customarily honor their Gentile helpers. They decided to plant a whole forest for Angleton in the Judean hills, and they put up a handsome plaque in several languages, lionizing Angleton as a great friend of Israel, on a nearby rock.

Israeli's intelligence chiefs, past and present, attended the dedication ceremony. Later on, a television reporter of my acquaintance sought out Angleton's memorial during an assignment in Israel. After some difficulty, he was able to locate it, but something seemed odd about it. On closer inspection, Angleton's plaque turned out to be made, not of bronze, but of cardboard. Nor was the setting particularly flattering to Israel's late benefactor: the trees and plaque were at the edge of a garbage dump. My friend's British cameraman put it best "This guy sold out his country for the bloody Israelis, and this is the way they pay him back!"

The CIA has distorted history in other ways than by outright coverups and suppression of the truth. One method was to produce its own books. For instance, one of its top agents in the Soviet Union was Colonel Oleg Penkovsky. Penkovsky was eventually captured and executed. But the CIA was unwilling to let it go at that The agency decided to write a book, which it published in 1965, called The Penkovsky Papers. This was purported to be drawn from a diary that Penkovsky had kept, a diary in which Penkovsky revealed numerous espionage coups calculated to embarrass the Soviets and build up the CIA.
Spies do not keep diaries, of course, and the Soviets were not likely to believe the exaggerated claims made for Penkovsky and the CIA in The Penkovsky Papers. Who was taken in? The American public, of course. More than once people have come up to me after a lecture and shown me the book as if it were gospel. I've told them, "I know the man who wrote it." "You knew Penkovsky?" they invariably ask, and I tell them, "No, I didn't know Penkovsky. But I know the man who wrote the book."

Not just ordinary citizens were taken in by the Penkovsky deception, either. Senator Milton Young of North Dakota, who served on the CIA oversight subcommittee, said in a 1971 Senate debate on cutting the intelligence budget: And if you want to read something very interesting and authoritative where intelligence is concerned, read The Penkovsky Papers ... this is a very interesting story, on why the intelligence we had in Cuba was so important to us, and on what the Russians were thinking and just how far they would go.

Perhaps the most startling example of the ClA's manipulation of the publishing world is the case of Khrushchev Remembers. Khrushchev is still widely believed to have been the author. He is supposed to have dashed it off one summer and then said to himself, "Where will I get this published? Ah! Time-Life!" The tapes reached Time-Life, we all read it, and we told ourselves, "Isn't that interesting."

A little thought should be sufficient to dispel the notion that the KGB would allow Khrushchev to sit in his dacha dictating tape after tape with no interference. He certainly dictated tapes, but the tapes were censored and edited by the KGB, and then a deal was struck between the U.S. and the USSR, after it was decided, at the highest level, that such a book would be mutually beneficial. Brezhnev could use against some of the resistance he was encountering from Stalinist hardliners, and Nixon could use it to increase support for detente.

The CIA and the KGB cooperated in carrying out the operation. The tapes were given to the Time bureau in Moscow. Strobe Talbot, who appears on television frequently today and is Time's bureau chief in Washington, brought the tapes back with him. I was present in an apartment in which he hid them for a couple of days. The tapes were then translated and a manuscript developed. During this period Time refused to let people who had known Khrushchev personally, including White House staff members, listen to the tapes.
Knowledgeable people began to tell me. "I don't believe this." "There's something mighty fishy here." When they read what Khrushchev was supposedly saying, they were even more incredulous. But the book came out, Khrushchev Remembers, accompanied by a massive publicity campaign. It was a great propaganda accomplishment for the CIA and the KGB.

I touched on Khrushchev Remembers in my book. I did not go into any great detail, merely devoting several tentative paragraphs to the affair. Just before my book was published Time was considering doing a two-page spread on me until they learned of my expressed reservations on the trustworthiness of Khrushchev Remembers. I began to get phone calls from Talbot and Jerry Schaechter, then Time's bureau chief in Washington, telling me I should take out the offending passages.

I had written, correctly, that before publication Strobe Talbot had taken the bound transcripts of the Khruschhev tapes back to Moscow, via Helsinki, so that the KGB could make one final review of them. I told Schaechter and Talbot that if they came to me, looked me in the eye, and told me I had the facts wrong, I would take out the section on Khruschhev Remembers. Neither of them ever came by, the paragraphs stayed in my book, and in any event Time went ahead with the two-page spread anyway.

As I pointed out in the preface to The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence in 1974, democratic governments fighting totalitarian enemies run the risk of imitating their methods and thereby destroying democracy.

By suppressing historical fact, and by manufacturing historical fiction, the CIA, with its obsessive secrecy and its vast resources, has posed a particular threat to the right of Americans to be informed for the present and future by an objective knowledge of the past.

As long as the CIA continues to manipulate history, historians of its activities must be Revisionist if we are to know the truth about the agency's activities, past and present.

From The Journal of Historical Review, Fall 1989 (Vol. 9, No. 3), pages 305- 320.
This paper was first presented at the Ninth IHR Conference, Feb. 1989, in Huntington Beach, California.

About the Author

For 14 years Victor Marchetti worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, where he rose to be executive assistant to the deputy director.

He joined the CIA in 1955, working as a specialist on the USSR. He soon became a leading CIA expert on Third World aid, with a focus on USSR military supplies to Cuba. In 1966 Marchetti was promoted to the office of special assistant to the Chief of Planning, Programming, and Budgeting.

After becoming disillusioned with the CIA’s policies and practices, Marchetti resigned in 1969. He wrote a novel, The Rope Dancer (1971 that was critical of the CIA. He is also the author – with John D. Marks – of the book The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence, published in 1973. Before its publication, the CIA demanded the removal of 399 passages, but Marchetti stood firm and only 168 passages were censored. This was the first book the US federal government ever tried to censor before publication through court action. The publisher (Alfred A. Knopf) chose to issue it with blanks for censored passages and with boldface type for passages that were challenged but later uncensored.