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Michael Craig Ruppert
Born February 3, 1951 Washington, D.C.
Died April 13, 2014 (aged 63) Calistoga, California
From 1999 until 2006, Ruppert edited and published From The Wilderness, a newsletter and website covering a range of topics including international politics, the CIA, peak oil, civil liberties, drugs, economics, corruption and the nature of the 9/11 conspiracy. It attracted 22,000 subscribers.Michael Craig Ruppert (February 3, 1951 – April 13, 2014) was an American writer and musician, Los Angeles Police Department officer, investigative journalist, political activist, and peak oil awareness advocate known for his 2004 book Crossing The Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil.
Ruppert was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Collapse, which is based on his book A Presidential Energy Policy and received The New York Times' "critics pick". He served as president of Collapse Network, Inc. from early 2010 until he resigned in May 2012. He also hosted The Lifeboat Hour on Progressive Radio Network until his death in 2014.
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Published on May 27, 2016
Nugan Hand Bank was an Australian merchant bank that collapsed in 1980 after the suicide of one of its founders, Australian lawyer Francis John "Frank" Nugan, resulting in a major scandal. News stories suggested that the bank had been involved in illegal activities, including drug smuggling, arranging weapons deals, and providing a front for the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Speculation grew when it became known that the bank had employed a number of retired United States military and intelligence officers, including former CIA director William Colby.
Investors' losses and the speculation surrounding the bank's activities led to three major government investigations over the next five years. The bank's co-founder, former U.S Green Beret Michael Jon "Mike" Hand, and two other bank employees were indicted for conspiring to "pervert the course of justice" by destroying or removing bank records. Hand fled abroad in June 1980. In 1985 a royal commission of inquiry found that while the bank had committed numerous violations of banking laws, the allegations of drug-smuggling, arms dealing, and involvement in CIA activities were not substantiated. In 2000, Brigadier General Erle Cocke, former head of Nugan Hand’s Washington branch, gave a court deposition admitting that he carried out long-term, clandestine banking activities for numerous agencies including the CIA and FBI. In December 2011, Michael Hand’s military colleague and Nugan Hand ‘fixer’, Douglas Sapper, confirmed that Nugan Hand Bank had been a conduit for CIA money
In June 1973, Frank Nugan and Mike Hand met up with prominent Australian businessman and racehorse owner John Needham to discuss setting up a company that could act as a merchant bank. On 6 July 1973, the trio incorporated Nugan Hand Needham and took expensive offices at 55 Macquarie Street, in the heart of the Sydney CBD. The first year of operation was so disorganized that Needham asked to be released from the partnership. Following Needham's departure, the firm was renamed Nugan Hand Ltd.
According to writer Alfred W. McCoy, the bank was formed with a fraudulent claim of $1m in share capital: "With only $80 in the company's bank account and just $5 in paid-up capital, Frank Nugan wrote his own company a personal check for $980,000 to purchase 490,000 shares of its stock. He then covered his massive overdraft by writing himself a company check for the same amount." Kings Cross restaurateur Bernie Houghton was also involved in the bank from the beginning.
The Nugan Hand Bank attracted investors with promises of up to 16% interest rates on their deposits and assurances of anonymity, tax-free accounts, specialist investment assistance, along with more surreptitious services such as money laundering.
Category People & Blogs
Murkier Waters than bottom of the harbour- Age from Melbourne, Victoria on May 12, 1989
May 12, 1989
A Publisher Extra Newspaper
The Age from Melbourne, Victoria · Page 11
Publication: The Age i
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Issue Date: Friday, May 12, 1989
Page: Page 11
BAGMAN - CARONE VS - George Bush CIA Mafia Connections
On the surface they will be seen as tax cheats, says DAVID WILSON, but the activities of Francis Ward and Keith Knight raise many more questions than tax avoidance.
In 1977, Ward and Dunn left the bank and a year later set up in the taxation business with Knight. It should be stressed that in no way was Dunn associated with the illegal activities of Ward and Knight. There appears to have been an arrangement, although not documented, whereby the Ward and Knight group took over some of the Nugan Hand clients, particularly in the tax-advice area. In late 1978, a highly unlikely character entered the scene. Brian Raymond Durston had not long been out of jail, after being convicted on a false imprisonment count. Durston, along with a then Melbourne justice of the peace and real estate agent, Guy Keith Campbell, were directors of a $2 company called Camper Timber and Trading. In October 1978 an agreement was reached between Camper Timber and Ward and Knight that the company was to "exclusively service" Ward and Knight in "washing" of income or other services. In effect. Camper Timber became Ward and Knight's "laundering agent". The agreement estimated that the amount of income to go through the businesses was expected to be not less than $150 million. As part of the agreement it was decided that companies associated with and passing through Ward and Knight which were stripped of their assets would end up with Camper Timber. Durston would then arrange for another company to be issued for arms dealing … investigators, after raiding the Ward-Knight-Dunn Offices investigators found a folder on an Israeli aircraft deal. The folder made reference to a company, Hainan Ltd., which was registered in Hong Kong and of which Ward and Knight were both directors. ON 13 February 1980, Knight- wrote to a colleague in Hong Kong. In the letter, he said: "The negotiations between our Melbourne client and the Israeli arms manufacturer were discontinued and the $750,000 profit did not-eventuate. We were quite incorrectly instructed in this matter, and have voiced our protest quite strongly through our Melbourne office." : . Investigators also found documentation on a Ward-Knight com-, pany which revealed a project to develop gun racks for sale to Indonesia. Another interesting sidelight to Ward and Knight is that they dabbled in industrial and residential projects. On each investment. one company was bought for $440,000, but within two years it was in liquidation and its shares were worthless. A venture into the travel agency industry also flopped. While the tax-avoidance matters were thoroughly and successfully investigated, the other more murky matters remain much of a mystery. Ward: first job at the Bathurst post office. a vacant block, while others were sent to two brothers, known as Johnson, in Brisbane. The Johnsons, according to evidence, did not exist. The worlds of Ward and Knight crashed in May 1983 when they were each declared bankrupt. They have since been discharged. But behind the tax schemes there emerges a shadowy world of much greater concern. Whether or not it was of their own choosing. Ward and Knight allowed well-known criminals to hold ac- Knight: started out in a wholesale vegetable business. counts with them. For example, a long-time convicted drug-runner, said by police to have been responsible for the importation of 12 kilograms of heroin, was found to have bank books in six different aliases with the Ward and Knight group. The assumption at first appears that the drug-runner was using the group for income tax preparation advice. But the person had not filled in a tax form for the better part of a decade and Ward and Knight did not act as tax agents, in Opportunity for a rising star. N the surface, Francis Dennis Ward and Reginald Keith Knight will be seen as tax cheats. Ward and Knight were, like Queenslander Brian James Maher and Sydney-sider John Walker Wynyard, leading lights in the bottom-of-the-harbor tax-avoidance industry: an industry which on some estimates turned over thousands of millions of dollars. But unlike Maher and Wynyard, more and more questions are being asked, and remain unanswered, about Ward and Knight. In a nutshell. Was the Ward-Knight bottom-of-the-harbor business just a sideline to what could have been a vast, flourishing criminal enterprise? Why would Ward and Knight, running a domestic tax business in Sydney and Melbourne, need to establish companies scattered throughout Asia? Why would Knight need to travel abroad almost 30 times, many of them for a few days at a time to Singapore and the Philippines, in the space of a few years? Why would a United States businessman, in an undated telex, outline to Ward and Knight a proposal to supply the Indonesian Government with 250 Corvette destroyers? Why would two supposedly smart money men buy a financially crippled fishing lodge on the tip of North Queensland where access is virtually limited to light aircraft? And why did Ward and Knight allow their Melbourne office to include corporate rogues, like Robert Sterling, convicted of fraud, and Brian Raymond Durston, once nominated as a key figure on the Melbourne waterfront, and in the painters and dockers? Knight was born in Geeveston in northern Tasmania on 26 February 1937. He was the eldest of seven children. An above-average student, he matriculated and moved into insurance before starting a wholesale vegetable business. He married on New Year's Eve 1960. He left the vegetable business to do a part-time economics course at the University of Tasmania in Hobart. He drove taxis to help support his wife and two daughters. His first brush with the law came in November 1968 when he opened bank accounts in false names and then tried to milk them through an unsophisticated round-robin. He was convicted on four charges of obtaining goods by false pretences and was given a suspended sentence of 12 months' imprisonment. Knight returned to his studies. completing the course in 1970. He then moved to Sydney, worked in an accountancy practice and studied law and accountancy part-time. TARD was born at Wel- lington in central New T T South Wales on 2 May 1937. While a toddler, his family moved to Bathurst He left school after gaining his Intermediate Certificate. At 18, he was convicted of fraudulent misappropriation while working at the local post office. He then began work with a food-processing firm, studying accountancy part-time. In 1967 he was posted to Sydney in a middle-level management position. He married in 1970. In the early 1970s, Ward was introduced to Frank Nugan, who was then trying to establish a merchant bank. In November 1974, Ward became a director and company secretary of the then fledging Nugan Hand Bank. In 1975, Ward wooed a colleague, Peter Milton Dunn, to Nugan Hand. ,,, Wakoola Pty. Ltd., to end up with the effective company shells provided by Ward and Knight. The directors of Wakoola were well-known painters and dockers, including Johnny Johanson, a key waterfront criminal. Business boomed. Keith Knight drove a white Rolls-Royce, owned a $500,000 home in Sydney, a share in an ocean-going yacht, and in a bank statement in 1980 estimated his net worth at $1,862 million. Ward also gained sudden wealth, estimating in July 1980 his worth at $2.8 million. Durston and Campbell effectively left the tax-avoidance game by late 1979. Ward and Knight continued. In late 1979, Ward and Knight had a leading Sydney Queen's counsel examine the validity of the Camper Timber scheme. In March the following year, the QC advised that the scheme was highly illegal and Ward and Knight could be charged with conspiracy to defraud the Tax Office. To many, that might have been the end of the rort, but not to Ward and Knight. They continued to market avoidance schemes, deliberately lying to prospective clients that the QC's opinion supported the legality of the schemes. One scheme, which was at the hub of the conspiracy to defraud charges they were sentenced on yesterday, was technically called "a sluzkin". It worked by stripping the assets from companies so the companies still had tax liability but no capacity to pay. The charges against Ward and Knight centred on 71 companies being stripped of their assets between 1978 and 1980 and the Tax Office being deprived of about $21.5 million. The Crown prosecutor, Mr Nicholas Cowdery, QC, told the trial in Sydney that internal documents of Ward and Knight referred to documents being consigned to a "watery grave". Some of the documents ended up at a Sydney address which was Financial Planning Consultant software, proven range of investment products, subsidised loans after short qualifying period, computer leasing, excellent package with productivity incentives. 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Two bankers : found guilty in $21 million tax fraud case
The Age from Melbourne, Victoria · Page 32
Publication: The Age i
Location: Melbourne, Victoria
Issue Date: Tuesday, May 2, 1989
Page: Page 32
Two bankers : found guilty in $21 million tax fraud case Two merchant bankers were found guilty yesterday of conspiring to defraud the Commonwealth of more than $21 million In tax. After considering its verdict for six hours, a jury in the Central Criminal Court in Sydney found Francis Dennis Ward, 51, and Reginald Keith Knight, 52, guilty , of the charges against them. The. trial had lasted several weeks. Mr Justice Loveday remanded, the men in custody to be sentenced, with a third man, Paul Richard Russell, 39, of Baulkham Hills, on 11 May. Russell has' pleaded guilty to the same charge. Ward, of Centennial Park In' Sydney's east, and Knight, of the'.' Gold Coast, had both pleaded not guilty to conspiring to defraud the. Commonwealth of tax between 19 April 1978 and 19 December 1980. ; The prosecution alleged that : the pair were principals of the: merchant bank Ward, Knight and Dunn, which marketed tax' schemes aimed at those interested in reducing their tax liability.' Although their scheme was" technically called a "Slutzkin" after a High Court case of the: same name it was also referred to as a "bottom of the harbor". It ' operated by stripping the assets, from companies so they still had a tax liability, but no resources to pay. The Crown Prosecutor, Mr Nicholas Cowdery, QC, said the scheme allowed businessmen,' with a current-year tax liability, to transfer money. Plant equipment to a new company .' usually with a similar name and carry on with no tax problem.: The original companv. with tax liability, would be sold through a ' second company to a third company or individual. With no assets, no tax could be paid and there could be no recourse against the original . shareholders because of the legal concept of limited liability. Mr Cowdery said there were references in Ward, Knight and Dunn internal, documents to a, "company undertaker" and to a company being consigned to a . "watery grave". There was no evidence that any of the company documents went to the "bottom of the harbor", although many did turn up in a ' caravan on a property west of Sydney, he said. Mr Cowdery said 71 companies were stripped of their assets in two years, depriving the Commonwealth of $21.5 million in tax. Ward and Knight denied any wrongdoing, saying they were acting as agents with the belief that the ultimate owners of the 71 companies would deal with the tax liabilities. Both said there had been administrative inefficiency, but not dishonesty in the bank. No trial date has been fixed for a fourth man, Mr Emod Tarisz-nyas, 55, of Nerang, Queensland, who has pleaded not guilty to the same charge.
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Result of Operation Pointblank
The prolonged attacks on the German aircraft industry had reduced production by 60 per cent. According to records, 5,000 enemy aircraft had been destroyed between early November and D-Day. These facts, together with the continuous attacks on enemy aircraft and the enemy losses of trained pilots, meant that there was no longer any need to fear the actions of the German Luftwaffe during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
|Date||14 June 1943 – 19 April 1944|
USAAF P-47 Thunderbolt fighters, assigned to protect 8th Air Force bomber formations and to hunt for German fighters.
The Pointblank directive authorised the initiation of Operation Pointblank, the code name for the primary portion of the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive intended to cripple or destroy the German aircraft fighter strength, thus drawing it away from frontline operations and ensuring it would not be an obstacle to the invasion of Northwest Europe. The Pointblank directive of 14 June 1943 ordered RAF Bomber Command and the U.S. Eighth Air Force to bomb specific targets such as aircraft factories, and the order was confirmed when the Allies met at the Quebec Conference, 1943.
Up to that point, the RAF and USAAF had mostly been attacking the German industry in their way – the British by broad night attacks on industrial areas and the US in "precision attacks" by day on specific targets. The operational execution of the Directive was left to the commanders of the forces. As such, even after the directive, the British continued in night attacks. The majority of the attacks on German fighter production and combat with the fighters were down to the USAAF.
In practice, the USAAF bombers made large-scale daylight attacks on factories involved in fighter aircraft production. The Luftwaffe was forced into defending against these raids, and its fighters were drawn into battle with the bombers and their escorts. It was these battles of attrition that reduced the Luftwaffe fighter pilot strength despite increases in German aircraft production
The father of Stephen Carew-Reid, the Author of the controversial Books called The Triumph pf Truth (Who Is Watching The Watchers?) worked with Leroy Flecture Prouty, the author of the books The Secret Team, which exposed the inner workings of the CIA, in masterminding and controlling the the Top Secret Operation Point Blank Operation Pointblank which was the major reason the USA and Britain won the 2nd World War.
'Pointblank' was the Allied combined bomber offensive undertaken by the British and US strategic bomber forces in Europe in accordance with a directive fixed at the 'Symbol' conference in Casablanca (14 June 1943/19 April 1944).
The initial result of the directive resulting from the Casablanca conference was the 'Combined Bomber Offensive' agreed by the Allied Combined Chiefs-of-Staff, and the British Air Ministry issued the Casablanca directive on 4 February. This stated that the objective was 'The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic systems and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened. Every opportunity to be taken to attack Germany by day to destroy objectives that are unsuitable for night attack, to sustain continuous pressure on German morale, to impose heavy losses on German day fighter force and to conserve German fighter force away from the Russian and Mediterranean theatres of war.
End date: 19 April 1944
Nature: Strategic, Bombing
The primary object of the 'Pointblank Directive', which was formally issued by the Combined Chiefs-of-Staff on 14 June 1943 to supersede the 'Combined Bomber Offensive' directive, was to organise British and US strategic bombing efforts to ensure 'the progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system, and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened'.
Overall control of the offensive was entrusted to the British Chief of the Air Staff, Marshal of the RAF Sir Charles Portal, though the real implementation of the scheme was left to Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris and Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, commanding RAF Bomber Command and the US 8th AAF respectively. Although the two air forces should have been able to dovetail their activities nicely, the British operating at night and the Americans by day, there remained fundamental differences of strategic aim, and this bedevilled the whole 'Pointblank' campaign, for whereas the Americans believed in selective attack on key industries and transport centres using precision daylight attacks, the British remained firmly wedded to the concept of general area attack by night in the belief that there were no vital industries whose destruction could not be compensated by the use of alternatives, dispersed production and stockpiles. Harris thus opted for general attack which, he believed, would ultimately result in the total dislocation of the German war-making capability and thus the attainment of the objective of 'Pointblank'.
Within the original 'Pointblank' directive, the primary objectives for Allied bombing were listed as U-boat construction yards, the German aircraft industry, transportation, oil plants and other targets in Germany’s war industry, while secondary targets which were mentioned included U-boat bases in the western part of German-occupied France, Berlin, industry in the northern part of Italy, German warships in harbour, and (when the Allies invaded the continent) any targets tactically advantageous for continental operations.
The directive was reviewed at the 'Trident' (3rd Washington) conference in May 1943, and though the basic objects remained relatively unaltered, it was decided that the Allied bomber forces should also concentrate on the destruction more specifically of German fighter aircraft in the course of air combat, and on the production centres for such aircraft, the rationale being that the destruction of Germany’s air strength was 'essential to our progression to the attack of other sources of the enemy war potential'. In other words, only the destruction of the Luftwaffe would permit the bomber forces to concentrate effectively on those targets whose destruction was sought in the original directive.
The plan was adopted in definitive form after 14 June 1943, but was never implemented fully as a result of the tactical latitude given to the bomber force commanders in the UK, and in Italy when Major General James H. Doolittle’s (from 3 January 1944 Major General Nathan F. Twining’s) US 15th AAF started to operate from bases in that country: the 8th and 15th AAFs then became Lieutenant General Carl A. Spaatz’s US Strategic Air Forces in Europe. The Americans therefore continued with precision attacks, and the British with general attacks, and only rarely were the efforts co-ordinated so that the two different attack techniques were applied to the same targets.
'Pointblank' came to an end in April 1944 when the Allied strategic air forces came under the command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower for support of the 'Overlord' campaign.
The primary objective of Operation Pointblank was to weaken or destroy the German presence in the airspace. This was to prevent the Germans from providing air support to the front lines and to ensure that the Luftwaffe would not play a significant role in the invasion of Western Europe (D-day).
In July 1943, COSSAC expressed its concern:
“The main characteristic of the German air force in Western Europe is the unceasing growth of the fighter strength which, if not checked, could reach such a size that an amphibious landing is unthinkable. It is therefore necessary, in the first place, that German air strength be reduced and diminished between now and the time of the attack … That condition, more than any other, will determine whether an amphibious assault can be launched at a given date.”
About a month earlier, it had become clear at a higher level that unless the enemy’s air strength was broken, ‘it would be literally impossible to carry out the planned bombing raids’. A new plan was drawn up, called Operation Pointblank, which gave priority to the destruction of the German Luftwaffe without losing sight of the goal of the bombing offensive.
The importance of the air force, especially for the success of Operation Overlord, was fully realised in the summer of 1943. The combined bombing offensive was agreed at the Casablanca conference in January. This offensive was intended to destroy the enemy’s economic strength and undermine the morale of the German people, but for the time being the offensive had not yet produced results with which to be satisfied. The order for Operation Pointblank was confirmed at the Quebec Conference in 1943.
Allied air power, especially the bomber, had brought a new dimension to warfare. Despite results that were inconclusive, to say the least, and the continued growth of the enemy fighter force, the commanders of the Allied Strategic Air Force had come to the conclusion that they had the decisive tool in their hands: that they could achieve victory all on their own. General Spaatz, commander of the United States Strategic Air Force (USSTAF), even believed that Overlord was unnecessary.
Air Chief Marshal Harris of RAF Bomber Command, his British counterpart, agreed with him. General Arnold, the US Air Force representative to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had come to a similar conclusion. None of these commanders objected to Overlord; none of them were annoyed by the demands made on their forces. They believed that if they continued with their bombing offensive, things would sort themselves out and the objectives set would be achieved.
Command during Operation Pointblank
The attitude of the ‘barons of Bomber Command’ made it inevitable that a serious command crisis would follow the appointment of a supreme commander for Operation Overlord. General Eisenhower soon pointed out. ‘The strategic air weapon is virtually the only weapon available to the commander-in-chief to influence the general course of the battle’.
No commander-in-chief could have swallowed the attitude of the air force commanders because it infringed on his command authority. If he was not in command of the air force, the commander-in-chief was powerless, could only give the signal for the attack and would then have to wait for days, perhaps even weeks, without being able to effectively influence the course of the battle. Eisenhower’s statement to Churchill on March 3 that he had nothing left ‘but to go home’, and his subsequent message to Washington, dated March 22, that ‘unless the matter was immediately settled, he would ask to be relieved of his command’, was in no way an exaggeration.
The point was that the Commander-in-Chief, in his conflict with the commanders of the strategic air forces, and to some extent with the British Prime Minister and the Chiefs of Staff, emphasised the fact that land, sea and air forces had become three branches of a single weapon. A commander-in-chief had to command all three branches, and in doing so it was inevitable that they would have to give up some of their identity.
Incidentally, the demands of Overlord and of Pointblank were not incompatible. Eisenhower had made it clear that he also wanted command of the air force, but that he was not at all thinking of interfering with Coastal command, for example. He did not agree with the strategic objectives pursued by the bomber commanders to a certain extent, but he and his staff had to have the right to make clear and assert their views on the use of air power in direct connection with Overlord. They had to have control of the air force, at least at the landing stage and especially now, in the last ninety days before.
Result of Operation Pointblank
The prolonged attacks on the German aircraft industry had reduced production by 60 per cent. According to records, 5,000 enemy aircraft had been destroyed between early November and D-Day. These facts, together with the continuous attacks on enemy aircraft and the enemy losses of trained pilots, meant that there was no longer any need to fear the actions of the German Luftwaffe during D-Day and the Battle of Normandy.
At the January 1943 Casablanca Conference, the Combined Chiefs of Staff agreed to conduct the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO), and the British Air Ministry issued the Casablanca directive on 4 February with the object of:
"The progressive destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic systems and the undermining of the morale of the German people to a point where their capacity for armed resistance is fatally weakened. Every opportunity to be taken to attack Germany by day to destroy objectives that are unsuitable for night attack, to sustain continuous pressure on German morale, to impose heavy losses on German day fighter force and to contain German fighter strength away from the Russian and Mediterranean theatres of war".
On 14 June 1943, the Combined Chiefs of Staff issued the Pointblank directive which modified the February 1943 Casablanca directive. Along with the single-engine fighters of the CBO plan, the highest priority Pointblank targets were the fighter aircraft factories since the Western Allied invasion of France could not take place without fighter superiority. In August 1943, the Quebec Conference upheld this change of priorities.
Among the factories listed were the Regensburg Messerschmitt factory (which would be attacked at high cost in August), the Schweinfurter Kugellagerwerke ball-bearing factory in tandem with Regensburg and (attacked again in October and also causing heavy USAAF losses) and the Wiener Neustädter Flugzeugwerke (WNF) which produced Bf 109 fighters.
Fighter Command declines to engage
As part of the Pointblank plans, the USAAF repeatedly pressed the RAF to contribute to the daytime effort by providing fighter escorts, and even suggesting daylight bombing if sufficient escorts were available
Long-range fighter operations are at a natural disadvantage; friendly ground assets like spotters and radar are not available and even radio support can be difficult. The penetrating aircraft have to carry much more fuel, reducing their performance, and the long flight times fatigues the pilots. This led Fighter Command to conclude their assets should be used purely defensively, and in the years leading up to Pointblank this had never seriously been reconsidered. Although escorts had been requested on several occasions by both Bomber Command and Coastal Command, Fighter Command repeatedly returned dubious reports stating the Supermarine Spitfire simply could not be converted. This was especially curious considering the D-model photoreconnaissance versions of the Spitfire were available from 1940 and offered the required range and performance.
For Pointblank, USAAF General Henry H. Arnold requested that allocations of the North American P-51 Mustang to the RAF be directed to provide escort for daytime raids and that British Mustangs put under Eighth Air Force command.Chief of the Air Staff Charles Portal, responded that he could provide four squadrons, not nearly enough for the mission. Arnold wrote back, clearly upset, and stated:
"As presently employed it would appear that your thousands of fighters are not making use of their full capabilities. Our transition from the defensive to the offensive should surely carry with it the application of your large fighter force offensively" ... "We have put long range tanks in our P.47's. Those P.47's are doing some offensive action several hundred miles from England. In their basic design, our P.47's were shorter range aircraft than your Spitfires.
Arnold's letter expressed that he felt the fighters should have been fitted with tanks and bombs and used against the German aircraft on the ground at their airfields. Portal responded saying the day force strength averaged 1,464 fighters and that it had "consistently been employed offensively... mainly in conjunction with medium and light bombers". To which Leigh-Mallory added that the RAF fighter force was designed for air superiority over Northern France in the coming invasion
USAAF General Barney M. Giles met with Portal and offered to convert two Spitfires entirely at the USAAFs expense. Two Mark IX's were shipped to Wright Field in January 1944 and modified, demonstrating their newfound range by flying back to England across the Atlantic. Tests at Boscombe Down were equally successful, but by the time the conversions had been signed off in August, Pointblank had concluded and the Luftwaffe had been conclusively defeated. 
- Gruen, pp. 4(Round 1), 5(Round 2) 24.
- Emerson 1962, p. 4.
- Varley 2005, p. 32.
- Zaloga 2011, p. 12.
- Zaloga 2011, p. 85.
- Harris & Cox 1995, p. 196.
- Darling, p. 181
- Valour and Horror staff 2005 cites "Strategic air offensives", The Oxford Companion to World War II
- Delleman 1995–1998.
- McFarland, Stephen L.; Newton, Wesley Phillips (2006), To Command the Sky The Battle for Air Superiority Over Germany, 1942-1944, p. 139
- Sullivan, John J. (2015), Overlord's Eagles: Operations of the United States Army Air Forces in the Invasion of Normandy in World War II, McFarland, p. 28
- Stubbs, David (April 2014). "A Blind Spot? The Royal Air Force (RAF) and Long-Range Fighters, 1936–1944". Journal of Military History. 78 (2): 673–702.
- Darling, Kev, Aircraft of the 8th Army Air Force 1942-1945, Lulu.com, p. 181, ISBN 978-0-9559840-0-6
- Delleman, Paul (1995–1998), "LeMay and Harris the "Objective" Exemplified", Air & Space Power Journal, Chronicles Online Journal, archived from the original on 2009-09-26, retrieved 2008-07-14
- Emerson, William R. (1962), "Operation POINTBLANK: A Tale of Bombers and Fighters", USAFA Harmon Memorial Lecture, archived from the original on 25 March 2009
- Harris, Arthur Travers; Cox, Sebastian (1995), Despatch on War Operations: 23 February 1942, to 8 May 1945, Routledge, p. 196, ISBN 0-7146-4692-X
- Kreis, John F.; Cochran Jr., Alexander S.; Ehrhart, Robert C.; Fabyanic, Thomas A.; Futrell, Robert F.; Williamson, Murray (1996). Piercing the Fog: Intelligence and Army Air Forces Operations in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Air Force Historical Studies Office. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-4289-1405-6.
- Gruen, Adam L, "Preemptive Defense, Allied Air Power Versus Hitler's V-Weapons, 1943–1945", The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II, pp. 4(Round 1), 5(Round 2), archived from the original on 2009-07-05, retrieved 2007-05-07
- Varley, Michael (2005), "17 Operation Pointblank", Aspects of the Combined British and American Strategic Air Offensive against Germany 1939 to 1945 (subsequently extensively revised ed.), p. 32, archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-13, retrieved 1 August 2012
- Zaloga, Steven J. (2011), Operation Pointblank 1944; Defeating the Luftwaffe, Osprey Campaign Series #236, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84908-385-0
- Valour and Horror staff (20 December 2005), Background: Combined Bomber - World War Two, Valour and Horror, archived from the original on 20 December 2005, retrieved 1 August 2012
- Hansell, Haywood S. (Jr) (1972). The Air Plan That Defeated Hitler. Atlanta: Higgins-McArthur/Longino and Porter. ISBN 0-405-12178-4. Retrieved 2007-01-17.
- Harris, Arthur Travers (2005). Bomber Offensive. Pen & Sword. ISBN 1-84415-210-3.
June: Chapters 7-10
July: Chapters 11-15
August: Chapters 16-19
September: Chapters 20-23
October: Appendices I-III
Preface to the Second Edition
- Intelligence versus Secret Operations
the Seeds of Secret Operations
President Kennedy Attempts to Put the CIA Under Control
the Natural Prey of the Intelligence Community
to Correlate and Evaluate and Disseminate
and to Perform Services of Common Concern . . ."
Major Assigned Role of the CIA
- From the Pines of Maine to the Birches of Russia:
- The Nature of Clandestine Operations
and the Real-Life Clandestine Operator
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
the Penetration of the Mutual Security Program
AUTHOR'S NOTE: 1997
We can very properly call World War I the million dollar war and World War II the billion dollar war and World War III (Cold War) the trillion dollar war.
This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they are able to operate under the canopy of an ever-present "enemy" called "Communism". And then, to top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations.
L. Fletcher Prouty
Alexandria, VA 1990
PREFACE: "THE SECRET TEAM II" 1997
Like it or not, we now live in the age of "One World". This is the age of global companies, of global communications and transport, of global food supply and finance and ... just around the corner ... global accommodation of political systems. In this sense, there are no home markets, no isolated markets and no markets outside the global network.It is time to face the fact that true national sovereignty no longer exists. We live in a world of big business, big lawyers, big bankers, even bigger money-men and big politicians. It is the world of "The Secret Team" and its masters. We are now, despite common mythology to the contrary, the most dependent society that has ever lived, and the future of the viability of that infrastructure of that society is unpredictable. It is crumbling.As one of the greatest historians of all time, Ibn Khaldun, wrote in his unequaled historical work The Muqaddimah of the 14th Century:God created and fashioned man in a form that can live and subsist only with the help of food ... Through cooperation, the needs of a number of persons, many times greater than their own number, can be satisfied.As this One World infrastructure emerges it increases the percentage of our total dependence upon remote food production capacity to the mass production capability and transport means of enormous companies operating under the global policy guidance of such organizations as the Chartered Institute of Transport in London, and the international banking community. As individuals, few of us would have any idea where to get a loaf of bread or yard of fabric other than in some supermarket and department store ... and we are all dependent upon some form of efficient transport, electric power, gasoline at the pump, and boundless manufacturing capacity and versatility. Let that system collapse, at any point, and all of us will be helpless. A cooperating, working system is essential to survival; yet over-all it is a system without leadership and guidance.At the same time the traditional family farm, and even community farms and industries, have all but vanished from the scene. This has created, at least in what we label, the advanced nations, a dearth of farmers and of people who have that basic experience along with that required in the food and home products industries. Furthermore, as this trend is amplified, the transport of farm produce has become increasingly assigned to the trucking industry, which has its over-land limits ... mostly as applied to the tonnage limits of rural bridges, and the economical availability of petroleum.As a result, something as simple as a trucking industry strike that keeps trucks out of any city for seventy- two hours or more, will lead to starvation and food riots. None of us know where to get food, if it is not in the nearby supermarket; and if we do have a stored supply of food locked in the cellar, we shall simply be the targets of those who do not. Food is the ultimate driving force. Under such predictable conditions, there will be waves of slaughter and eventually cannibalism. Man must eat, and the only way he can obtain adequate food supplies is through cooperation and the means to transport and distribute food and other basic necessities. This essential role is being diminished beyond the borderline. The lack of food supplies has already resulted in a form of covert genocide in many countries. Other essential shortages unavoidably follow.As Rudyard Kipling has said: "Transport is Civilization." The opposite is equally true, "Without reliable transport we are reduced to the state of barbarism."These are fundamental statements of fact. In such a world, the Secret Team is the functional element of the dominant power. It is the point of the spear and is neither military nor police. It is covert: and the best (or worst) of both. It gets the job done whether it has political authorization and direction, or not. In this capacity, it acts independently. It is lawless. It operates everywhere with the best of all supporting facilities from special weaponry and advanced communications, with the assurance that its members will never be prosecuted. It is subservient to the Power Elite and protected by them. The Power Elite or High Cabal need not be Royalty in these days. They are their equals or better.Note with care, it is labeled a "Team". This is because as with any highly professional team it has its managers, its front office and its owners. These are the "Power Elite" to whom it is beholden. They are always anonymous, and their network is ancient and world-wide. Let us draw an example from recent history.During the Senate Hearings of 1975 on "Alleged Assassination Ploys Involving Foreign Leaders," Senator Charles C. Mathias' thoughts went back to November 22, 1963 and to the coup d'etat brought about by the surgical precision of the death of President John F. Kennedy, when he said:Let me draw an example from history. When Thomas Becket (Saint Thomas Becket, 1118-1170) was proving to be an annoyance, as Castro; the King said "Who will rid me of this man?" He didn't say to somebody, go out and murder him. He said who will rid me of this man, and let it go at that. (As you will recall, Thomas Becket's threat was not against the King, it was against the way the King wanted to run the government.)With no explicit orders, and with no more authority than that, four of King Henry's knights, found and killed "this man", Saint Thomas Becket inside of his church. That simple statement ... no more than a wish floating in air ... proved to be all the orders needed.Then, with that great historical event in mind, Senator Mathias went on to say:... that is typical of the kind of thing which might be said, which might be taken by the Director of Central Intelligence or by anybody else, as Presidential authorization to go forward ... you felt that some spark had been transmitted ...To this Senator Jesse Helms added:Yes, and if he had disappeared from the scene they would not have been unhappy.There's the point! Because the structure, a "Power Elite", "High Cabal" or similar ultimate ruling organization, exists and the psychological atmosphere has been prepared, nothing more has to be said than that which ignites that "spark" of an assumed "authorization to go forward." Very often, this is the way in which the Secret Team gets its orders ... they are no more than "a wish floating in air."This book is about a major element of this real power structure of the world and of its impact upon the CIA and its allies around the world. It is based upon much personal experience generally derived from my military service from mid-1941 to 1964: U.S. Army Cavalry, U.S. Army Armored Force, U.S. Army Air Corps and Army Air Force, and finally the U. S. Air Force; and more specifically from my special assignments in the Pentagon from 1955 to 1964. At retirement, I was the first Chief of Special Operations with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of these duties, during those Pentagon years, were structured to provide "the military support of the world-wide clandestine activities of the CIA." They were performed in accordance with the provisions of an Eisenhower era, National Security Council Directive No. 5412/2, March 15, 1954.Since this book was first published in 1973, we have witnessed the unauthorized release of the Defense Department's official " history of United States involvement in Vietnam from World War II to 1969" popularly known as the "Pentagon Papers," "Watergate" and the resignation of President Nixon, the run away activities of the "Vietnam War," the "Arab Oil Embargo" that led to the greatest financial heist in history, the blatantly unlawful "Iran Contra" affair, and the run-away banking scandals of the eighties. Many of these were brought about and master minded by renegade "Secret Team" members who operated, without Presidential direction; without National Security Council approval so they say; and, generally, without official Congressional knowledge. This trend increases. Its scope expands ... even today.I pointed out, years ago in public pronouncements, that the ClA's most important "Cover Story" is that of an "intelligence" agency. Of course the CIA does make use of "intelligence" and its assumed role of "intelligence gathering," but that is largely a front for its primary interest, "Fun and Games" ... as the "Old Boys" or "Jedburgh's" of the WW II period Office of Strategic Services (OSS) called it.The CIA is the center of a vast, and amorphous mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations ... or as Allen Dulles always called it,"Peacetime Operations." In this sense, the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level High Cabal, that may include representatives and highly skilled agents of the CIA and other instrumentality's of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. It is this ultimate Secret Team, its allies, and its method of operation that are the principal subject of this book.It must be made clear that at the heart of Covert Operations is the denial by the "operator," i.e. the U.S. Government, of the existence of national sovereignty. The covert operator can, and does, make the world his playground ... including the U.S.A.Today, in the mid-1990's, the most important events of this century are taking place with the ending of the "Cold War" era, and the beginning of the new age of "One World" under the control of businessmen and their lawyers, rather than under the threat of military power and ideological differences. This scenario for change has been brought about by a series of Secret Team operations skillfully orchestrated while the contrived hostilities of the Cold War were at their zenith.Two important events of that period have been little noted. First, on Feb. 7, 1972 Maurice Stans, Nixon's Secretary of Commerce opened a "White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead, A Look at Business in 1990." This three-day meeting of more than fifteen hundred of the country's leading businessmen, scholars, and the like were concluded with this memorable summary statement by Roy L. Ash, president of Litton Industries:... state capitalism may well be a form for world business in the world ahead; that the western countries are trending toward a more unified and controlled economy, having a greater effect on all business; and the communist nations are moving more and more toward a free market system. The question posed during this conference on which a number of divergent opinions arose, was whether 'East and West' would meet some place toward the middle about 1990.That was an astounding forecast as we consider events of the seventies and eighties and discover that his forecast, if it ever was a forecast and not a pre-planned arrangement, was right on the nose.This amazing forecast had its antecedent pronouncements, among which was another "One World" speech by this same Roy Ash during the Proceedings of the American Bankers Association National Automation Conference in New York City, May 8,9,10, 1967.The affairs of the world are becoming inextricably interlinked ... governments, notably, cannot effectively perform the task of creating and distributing food and other essential products and services ... economic development is the special capability and function of business and industrial organizations ... business organizations are the most efficient converters of the original resources of the world into useable goods and services.The flash of genius, the new ideas, always comes from the marvelous workings of the individual brain, not from the committee sessions. Organizations are to implement ideas, not to have them.As a Charter Member of the American Bankers Association's Committee on Automation Planning and Technology I was a panelist at that same convention as we worked to convert the 14,000 banks of this country to automation and the ubiquitous Credit Card. All of these subjects were signs of the times leading toward the demise of the Soviet Union in favor of an evolutionary process toward One World.In addition to the 1972 White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead a most significant yet quite unnoticed action took place during that same year when President Nixon and his then-Secretary of the Treasury, George Shultz, established a Russian/American organization called the "USA USSR Trade and Economic Council." Its objective was to bring about a union of the Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers of this country, among others, such as the hierarchy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with their counterparts in the Soviet Union. This important relationship, sponsored by David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank and his associates, continues into the "One World" years.This bilateral activity increased during the Reagan/Shultz years of the Eighties despite such "Evil Empire" staged tantrums as the Korean Airlines Boeing 747 Flight 007 "shootdown" in 1983.It is this "US-TEC" organization, with its counterpart bilateral agreements among other nations and the USSR, that has brought about the massive changes of the former Communist world. These did not go unnoticed. During a speech delivered in 1991, Giovanni Agnelli, chief executive officer of the Fiat Company and one of the most powerful men in Europe, if not the world, remarked:The fall of the Soviet Union is one of the very few instances in history in which a world power has been defeated on the battlefield of ideas.Now, is this what Nixon, Stans, Shultz, Ash, Rockefeller and others had in mind during those important decades of the sixties, seventies and eighties. For one thing, it may be said quiet accurately, that these momentous events marked the end of the Cold War and have all but shredded the canopy of the nuclear umbrella over mankind.The Cold War was the most expensive war in history. R. Buckminister Fuller wrote in Grunch of Giants:The power structure that kept the Cold War at that level of cost and intensity had been spearheaded by the Secret Team and its multinational covert operations, to wit:We can very properly call World War I the million dollar war and World War II the billion dollar war and World War III (Cold War) the trillion dollar war.This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called "Communism." It will be interesting to see what "enemy" develops in the years ahead. It appears that "UFO's and Aliens" are being primed to fulfill that role for the future. To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations
-L. Fletcher Prouty
Alexandria, VA 1997PART I - The Secret TeamChapter 1 The "Secret Team" -- The Real Power StructureThe most remarkable development in the management of America's relations with other countries during the quarter-century since the end of World War II has been the assumption of more and more control over military, financial and diplomatic operations at home and abroad by men whose activities are secret, whose budget is secret, whose very identities as often as not are secret -- in short, by a Secret Team whose actions only those implicated in them are in a position to monitor and to understand.For the purposes of this historical study, the choice of the word "Team" is most significant. It is well known that the members of a team, as in baseball or football, are skilled professionals under the direct control of someone higher up. They do not create their own game plan. They work for their coach and their owner. There is always some group that manages them and "calls the plays". Team members are like lawyers and agents, they work for someone. They generally do not plan their work. They do what their client tells them to do. For example: this is true of agents in the Central Intelligence Agency. It is an "Agency" and not a "Department" and its employees are highly skilled professionals who perform the functions their craft demands of them. Thus, the members of the highest level "Secret Team" work for their masters despite the fact that their own high office may make it appear to others that they, themselves are not only the Team but the Power Elite. This recalls a story related by the Rt. Hon. Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls, of Great Britain, during WW II.Winston Churchill had left the Admiralty to become Prime Minister. Frequently he would come down to the Admiralty basement on his way from #10 Downing Street, to his underground, bomb-proof bedroom. He made it his practice to visit the Officer in Charge for up-to-date Intelligence and then stroll into the Duty Captain's room where there was a small bar from which he sometimes indulged in a night-cap, along with his ever-present cigar.On this particular night there had been a heavy raid on Rotterdam. He sat there, meditating, and then, as if to himself, he said, "Unrestricted submarine warfare, unrestricted air bombing -- this is total war." He continued sitting there, gazing at a large map, and then said, "Time and the Ocean and some guiding star and High Cabal have made us what we are."This was a most memorable scene and a revelation of reality that is infrequent, at best. If for the great Winston Churchill, there is a "High Cabal" that has made us what we are, our definition is complete. Who could know better than Churchill himself during the darkest days of World War II, that there exists, beyond doubt, an international High Cabal? This was true then. It is true today, especially in these times of the One World Order. This all-powerful group has remained superior because it had learned the value of anonymity. For them, the Secret Team and its professionals operate.We may wish to note that in a book "Gentleman Spy, the Life of Allen Dulles" the author, Peter Grose cites Allen Dulles response to an invitation to the luncheon table from Hoover's Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson. Allen Dulles assured his partners in the Sullivan & Cromwell law firm, "Let it be known quietly that I am a lawyer and not a diplomat." He could not have made a more characteristic and truthful statement about himself. He always made it clear that he did not "plan" his work, he was always the "lawyer" who carried out the orders of his client whether the President of the United States, or the President of the local bank.The Secret Team (ST) being described herein consists of security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data, when it seems appropriate to them, with paramilitary plans and activities, e.g. training and "advising" -- a not exactly impenetrable euphemism for such things as leading into battle and actual combat -- Laotian tribal troops, Tibetan rebel horsemen, or Jordanian elite Palace Guards.Membership on the Team, granted on a "need-to-know" basis, varies with the nature and location of the problems that come to its attention, and its origins derive from that sometimes elite band of men who served with the World War II Office of Strategic Services (OSS) under the father of them all, General "Wild Bill" William J. Donovan, and in the old CIA.The power of the Team derives from its vast intragovernmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses. The Secret Team has very close affiliations with elements of power in more than three-score foreign countries and is able when it chooses to topple governments, to create governments, and to influence governments almost anywhere in the world.Whether or not the Secret Team had anything whatsoever to do with the deaths of Rafael Trujillo, Ngo Dinh Diem, Ngo Dinh Nhu, Dag Hammerskjold, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and others may never be revealed, but what is known is that the power of the Team is enhanced by the "cult of the gun" and by its sometimes brutal and always arbitrary anti-Communist flag waving, even when real Communism had nothing to do with the matter at hand.The Secret Team does not like criticism, investigation, or history and is always prone to see the world as divided into but two camps -- "Them" and "Us". Sometimes the distinction may be as little as one dot, as in "So. Viets" and "Soviets," the So. Viets being our friends in Indochina, and the Soviets being the enemy of that period. To be a member, you don't question, you don't ask; it's "Get on the Team" or else. One of its most powerful weapons in the most political and powerful capitals of the world is that of exclusion. To be denied the "need to know" status, like being a member of the Team, even though one may have all the necessary clearances, is to be totally blackballed and eliminated from further participation. Politically, if you are cut from the Team and from its insider's knowledge, you are dead. In many ways and by many criteria the Secret Team is the inner sanctum of a new religious order.At the heart of the Team, of course, are a handful of top executives of the CIA and of the National Security Council (NSC), most notably the chief White House adviser to the President on foreign policy affairs. Around them revolves a sort of inner ring of Presidential officials, civilians, and military men from the Pentagon, and career professionals of the intelligence community. It is often quite difficult to tell exactly who many of these men really are, because some may wear a uniform and the rank of general and really be with the CIA and others may be as inconspicuous as the executive assistant to some Cabinet officer's chief deputy. Out beyond this ring is an extensive and intricate network of government officials with responsibility for, or expertise in, some specific field that touches on national security or foreign affairs: "Think Tank" analysts, businessmen who travel a lot or whose businesses (e.g. import-export or cargo airline operations) are useful, academic experts in this or that technical subject or geographic region, and quite importantly, alumni of the intelligence community -- a service from which there are no unconditional resignations. All true members of the Team remain in the power center whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe.Thus, the Secret Team is not a clandestine super-planning-board or super-general-staff. But even more damaging to the coherent conduct of foreign and military affairs, it is a bewildering collection of semi-permanent or temporarily assembled action committees and networks that respond pretty much ad hoc to specific troubles and to flash-intelligence data inputs from various parts of the world, sometimes in ways that duplicate the activities of regular American missions, sometimes in ways that undermine those activities, and very often in ways that interfere with and muddle them. At no time did the powerful and deft hand of the Secret Team evidence more catalytic influence than in the events of those final ninety days of 1963, which the "Pentagon Papers" were supposed to have exposed.The New York Times shocked the world on Sunday, June 13, 1971, with the publication of the first elements of the Pentagon Papers. The first document the Times selected to print was a trip report on the situation in Saigon, credited to the Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, and dated December 21, 1963. This was the first such report on the situation in Indochina to be submitted to President Lyndon B. Johnson. It came less than thirty days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and less than sixty days after the assassinations of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and his brother and counselor Ngo Dinh Nhu.Whether from some inner wisdom or real prescience or merely simple random selection, the Times chose to publish first from among the three thousand pages of analysis and four thousand pages of official documents that had come into its hands that report which may stand out in history as one of the key documents affecting national policy in the past quarter-century -- not so much for what it said as for what it signified. This report is a prime example of how the Secret Team, which has gained so much control over the vital foreign and political activities of this government, functions.Most observers might have expected that the inner group of men who had worked so closely with President Kennedy for three years would have lost heart in those days following his tragic death. On the contrary, they burst forth, as though from strong bonds and fetters and created this entirely new report, thus shaping the future of the Indochina conflict. Their energy and their new sense of direction seemed almost to rise from the flame of Kennedy's tomb in Arlington.During those hectic months of late summer in 1963 when the Kennedy Administration appeared to be frustrated and disenchanted with the ten-year regime of Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon, it approved the plans for the military coup d'état that would overthrow President Diem and get rid of his brother Nhu. The Kennedy Administration gave its support to a cabal of Vietnamese generals who were determined to remove the Ngos from power. Having gone so far as to withdraw its support of the Diem government and to all but openly support the coup, the Administration became impatient with delays and uncertainties from the generals in Saigon, and by late September dispatched General Maxwell D. Taylor, then Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and Secretary of Defense McNamara to Saigon.Upon their return, following a brief trip, they submitted a report to President Kennedy, which in proper chronology was the one immediately preceding the remarkable one of December 21, 1963. This earlier report said, among other things "There is no solid evidence of the possibility of a successful coup, although assassination of Diem and Nhu is always a possibility." The latter part of this sentence contained the substantive information. A coup d'état, or assassination is never certain from the point of view of the planners; but whenever United States support of the government in power is withdrawn and a possible coup d'état or assassination is not adamantly opposed, it will happen. Only three days after this report, on October 5, 1963, the White House cabled Ambassador Lodge in Saigon: "There should be... urgent covert effort . . . to identify and build contact with possible alternate leadership." Knowledge of a statement such as this one made by the ostensible defenders and supporters of the Diem regime was all those coup planners needed to know. In less than one month Diem was dead, along with his brother.Thus, what was considered to be a first prerequisite for a more favorable climate in Vietnam was fulfilled. With the Ngo family out of the way, President Kennedy felt that he had the option to bring the war to a close on his own terms or to continue pressure with covert activities such as had been under way for many years. Because the real authors were well aware of his desires, there was another most important statement in the McNamara-Taylor report of October 2, 1963: "It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time...." [the end of 1965] This statement came at a key point in time.Like the others, it was written by Secret Team insiders who knew the President's mind and how far they could go in setting forth ideas which he would accept and yet be acceptable to their own plans. Reports such as the October 2, 1963, document were not written in Saigon and they were not written by the men whose names appeared on them.This pivotal report was written in Washington by members of the ST. Although it contained a lot of updated material from Saigon (some of which had been transmitted to Saigon verbatim for the express purpose of having to then re-transmitted back to Washington for inclusion in the report -- with the all-important Saigon dateline), one may be certain that this report contained a skillful mixture of what the President wanted to hear and what its authors in Washington wanted the President to read. Therefore, when it included the blunt and unequivocal statement that "it should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel by that time", the authors, cover and undercover, were in tune with the times. They knew the President was favorably considering means to extricate the United States from Vietnam.The ST had had its day with Kennedy on the beaches of the Cuban Bay of Pigs. Kennedy had minutely reviewed that debacle, and from that time on he was ever alert for the slightest sign of any undercover operation that might expand and get so out of hand as to involve this country in any more such disasters. The Team had come a long way since that dismal period in April 1961, and had learned well how to use and thrive with Jack Kennedy, in spite of his caution. One way to do this was to be certain to spell things correctly -- meaning hewing close to his line while retaining ST initiative. It is a safe bet to say that this forecast of personnel withdrawal by the end of 1965 was the maneuvering time they wanted and what Kennedy would accept, in their language, so that he too would have time to get re-elected and then carry out his own decisions as he had related them to Senator Mansfield. It appears that Kennedy felt that with the obstacle of the Diem regime out of the way, he would have the opportunity to disengage this nation from the war that he had so far been able to keep from becoming a runaway overt action. Up to the end of 1963, all U.S. Army troops in South Vietnam, with the exception of a small number in the Military Advisory and Assistance Group (MAAG) and a few other such positions, were there under the operational control of the CIA. This was flimsy cover and it was a poor device to maintain that the United States was not overtly involved in military activity in Indochina; but the device did achieve its purpose of keeping the level of the war to a minimum.Within thirty days of the Taylor-McNamara report, Diem and his brother were dead. The Government of South Vietnam was in the hands of the popular and powerful General Duong Van "Big" Minh. Minh was a strong enough man to have made Vietnamization work. But within another thirty days President Kennedy was dead, and the Government of the United States was in the hands of Lyndon B. Johnson. "Big" Minh may have been the man Kennedy wanted in Saigon, but he did not last long with the new Johnson Administration. Four days after Kennedy's death, on November 26, 1963, President Johnson issued an order reaffirming United States policy in South Vietnam and at the same time referring to the new Government of General Minh as a "provisional government", presaging and assuring the inevitability of another change in the near future. President Johnson's advisers wanted a "benevolent" military regime in Saigon, and they wanted one which would be more suitable than Minh's. Kennedy would have had Minh rally around him a popular and strongly independent Vietnamese administration. After Kennedy's death, U.S. policy called for leadership in Saigon which would accept continuing United States participation in the internal affairs of that Government.Less than fifteen days after the death of Kennedy, Secretary of Defense McNamara was on his way back to Saigon to assess the situation under General Minh and to report to the new President of the United States. This time, the McNamara report was, to quote The New York Times, "Laden with gloom". His assessment laid the groundwork for the long haul and included decisions to step up the covert war against North Vietnam in early 1964 and to increase American aid to South Vietnam. Within ninety days the Government of "Big" Minh was eased out of office and replaced by the more tractable General Nguyen Khanh.There are those who say that because he had approved certain covert operations in Indochina, President Kennedy was planning to expand the war. It is true that accelerating cover operations is like stoking the fire; but we should weigh Kennedy's actions against the fact that the United States had been actively involved in clandestine operations in Indochina since 1945 as well as in other areas of the world for many years, and that these activities did not signify that the administration concerned had embarked upon a course leading to open warfare.The paramount condition underlying any approval for clandestine operations is absolute control at the top. The ST will come up with operational schemes all the time and will seek approval for as many as it believes it can get away with. The only way to cope with this is for the President to make it clear that there will be no covert operations without proper approval and that he will always be in a position to cancel or disapprove of any and all operations as he sees fit. Truman and Eisenhower knew this and practiced it. Kennedy learned it at the Bay of Pigs. Eisenhower had terminated major operations in Tibet, Laos, and Indonesia without escalating them into open war. Until his death Kennedy had held the line at the limited level of covert activities in Indochina, and American participation there was restricted to an advisory capacity. (Of course, we all recognize that this advisory role was, in many cases, pure combat.)Clandestine operations that are small and strictly controlled with a fixed and time-limited objective can be terminated at any time, whether they succeed or fail. However, clandestine operations that become large, that are permitted to continue and to be repeated, that become known or compromised -- and yet still continue, as in Laos -- are very dangerous and can lead to open hostilities and even war. Thus, when the ST proposed a vastly escalated covert campaign against North Vietnam in December 1963, they were laying positive plans for the major military action that followed in 1965. Within thirty days after Kennedy's death all of this changed drastically. In his report of December 21, 1963, McNamara stated: "Viet Cong progress had been great during the period since the coup. We also need to have major increases in both military and USOM (United States Operations Mission) staffs."Later, he added, "Our first need would be immediate U-2 mapping of the whole Laos and Cambodian border, and this we are preparing to do on an urgent basis." And then, "One other step we can take is to expand the existing limited but remarkably effective operations on the Laos side, the so-called Operation HARDNOSE... Plans to expand this will be prepared and presented for your approval in about two weeks." And further, "As to the waterways, the military plans presented in Saigon were unsatisfactory, and a special Naval team is being sent a once from Honolulu to determine what more can be done."Then he noted: "Plans for covert action into North Vietnam were prepared as we had requested and were an excellent job. . .General Krulak of the JCS is chairing a group that will lay out a program in the next ten days for your consideration." All of these statements were evidence of typical, thorough ST groundwork.McNamara closed out this report -- which was so vastly different from the earlier October 2 one that he and Maxwell Taylor had submitted to President Kennedy -- by saying: "We should watch the situation very carefully, running scared, and hoping for the best, but preparing for more forceful moves if the situation does not show early signs of improvement."This was not the report of a group that was planing to wind down the war. It was a report that delineated various avenues of endeavor and that looked well into the future. This was the first such report made to President Johnson, and it was not designed to be reassuring. On the same day that the McNamara report was being handed to President Johnson, a former President was writing a totally different statement for the readership of the general pubic. President Harry S. Truman, observing the turn of events since the death of President Kennedy, and pondering developments since his Administration, wrote for the Washington Post a column also datelined December 21, 1963:For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations. Some of the complications and embarrassment that I think we have experienced are in part attributable to the fact that this quiet intelligence arm of the President has been so removed from its intended role that it is being interpreted as a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue and a subject for cold war enemy propaganda.Truman was disturbed by the events of the past ninety days, those ominous days of October, November, and December 1963. Men all over the world were disturbed by those events. Few men, however could have judged them with more wisdom and experience than Harry S. Truman, for it was he who, in late 1947, had signed unto law the National Security Act. This Act, in addition to establishing the Department of Defense (DOD) with a single Secretary at its head and with three equal and independent services -- the Army, Navy, and Air Force -- also provided for a National Security Council and the Central Intelligence Agency. And during those historic and sometimes tragic sixteen years since the Act had become law, he had witnessed changes that disturbed him, as he saw that the CIA "had been diverted" from the original assignment that he and the legislators who drafted the Act had so carefully planned. Although even in his time he had seen the beginning of the move of the CIA into covert activities, there can be little doubt that the "diversion" to which he made reference was not one that he would have attributed to himself or to any other President. Rather, the fact that the CIA had gone into clandestine operations and had been "injected into peacetime cloak-and-dagger operations", and "has been so much removed from its intended role" was more properly attributable to the growing and secret pressures of some other power source. As he said, the CIA had become "a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue".There can be no question that the events just prior to this statement heavily influenced his arriving at these disturbing conclusions. It is possible, but quite improbable, that Harry Truman knew about the McNamara report of the same date. But the coincidence between the appearance of Truman's commentary and of McNamara's report is compelling, especially since McNamara's report was the first selected by The New York Times for publication in its expose of the Pentagon Papers.Now that the McNamara report has been published and has emerged from the depths of security, it can be added that this pivotal report was not written by McNamara; it was not even written in Saigon. This report, like the one dated October 2, was actually written by a group of ST and near-ST members and was drafted by them solely to impress upon the new President their idea of the increasing gravity and frightful responsibility of the war in Indochina. It was not for nothing that the Times noted that this report was "laden with gloom" and that it offered nowhere any easy or quick panacea for early victory in Indochina. It was not untended to do so. In fact, it did just the opposite. It left no room for any course of action other than eventual escalation of the war. This report and the ones that followed close upon it were carefully and skillfully written to instill into the new President an indelible belief that the war in Vietnam was the greatest issue facing the Free World. They hammered home the fanciful belief that if South Vietnam fell before the onslaught of Communism, the whole world would be engulfed.As was common with reports such as this one, the first time McNamara saw it was during a few days stopover in Honolulu on his return trip from Saigon. It had been put together from many sources and drafts, primarily from the CIA and other secret-operations related areas, by the office of the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities (SACSA) in the Joint Staff under the skilled and dedicated direction of Major General Victor H. Krulak. General Krulak was the same man who was designated in the body of the report to chair "a group that will lay out a program of covert action in North Vietnam in the next ten days".In Pentagonese for highly classified matters, General Krulak's office in the Joint Staff was described as being responsible for serving as the JCS point of contact, in his field of interest, with related activities in the Military Departments, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and other agencies of the government. This was the unclassified way of saying that his office was the point of contact within the DOD for the CIA. His contacts in this select circle in the OSD were such men as Major General Edward G. Lansdale, who was McNamara's special assistant for all matters involving the CIA and special operations; William Bundy, who appears throughout the Pentagon Papers as one of the key men of the ST and was at that time a recent alumni of the CIA, with ten years in that Agency behind him; John T. McNaughton, another member of the ST and a McNamara favorite; Joseph Califano, who moved from OSD to the White House; General Richard G. Stilwell of the White House Special Committee (details to follow), and others.The preparations for and the writing of such influential reports as this one attributed to McNamara was a work of skill, perseverance, and high art. Whenever it was decided that McNamara would go to Saigon, select members of the ST sent special messages to Saigon on the ultra-secure CIA communications network, laying out a full scenario for his trip. The Secretary of Defense and his party would be shown "combat devastated villages" that had paths and ruts that had been caused by the hard work and repeated rehearsals -- not battles -- that had taken place in them between "natives", "Vietnamese soldiers", and Americans. McNamara would be taken on an itinerary planned in Washington, he would see "close-in combat" designed in Washington, and he would receive field data and statistics prepared for him in Washington. All during his visit he would be in the custody of skilled briefers who knew what he should see, whom he should see, and whom he should not see.In many cases even the messages relayed from Saigon, ostensibly written by and for McNamara while he was there, had been sent to Saigon from Washington before he had arrived there. When a total communications system such as that available to the ST exists all over the world and is concealed by secrecy, it is not difficult to yield to the urge to "play God" and make everything come out as desired.While McNamara was on his trip, the Special Assistant for Counterinsurgency and Special Activities and his staff, augmented by CIA and others, were working around the clock on the report. There were times when General Krulak himself stayed at his desk for thirty-six hours or more to keep a full staff going while secretaries and typists were shuttled to and from their homes for rest periods to get the massive report done in time.While all of the writing was under way, cartographers and artists were working on illustrative material for the final report and for the big briefing charts that became a part of McNamara's personal style. The final report, perhaps two inches thick, was printed and bound in a legal-size, black goatskin cover, with the name of the President engraved in gold on it.The finished report was rushed by helicopter to Andrews Air Force Base, about twenty miles from the Pentagon, and placed aboard a military jet fighter for a nonstop, midair-refueled flight to Honolulu, where it was handed to Mr. McNamara and his staff. He familiarized himself with the report while his jet flew him to Washington, where he disembarked at Andrews Air Force Base, trotted (with the report tucked under his arm) to the waiting Presidential helicopter and was whisked to the White House lawn to be greeted by the President. As soon as he got into the White House, an aide distributed the closely guarded and controlled copies of the report to those who had the need to know, and discussions began.This recapitulation is worth setting forth in detail because it underscores not only the resourcefulness of the ST but its ability to perform super-miracles in an age when mere miracles are commonplace. The ST always fights for the minds, the time, and the attention of the top-echelon men. It moves fastest and most adroitly when others are off guard. This report of December 21, 1963, was absolutely crucial to the interests of the ST. Twenty-five years of driving, devoted work by ST members through a whole generation of critical events culminated in the Vietnam war. Never before in all the long history of civilization was a country to devote so much of its resources, its men and their lives, its money, and its very prestige in so strange an event as that which is called "The War In Vietnam". It made the coups d'état in Guatemala and Iran, the rebellion in Indonesia, the escape of the Dalai Lama and the underground war in Tibet, the Bay of Pigs, and the wasting war in Laos all pale before its magnitude.President Johnson, for all his experience and native ability, had not yet been singed by the fire of experience as had Jack Kennedy in Cuba or Eisenhower by the U-2. Johnson was a natural "wheeler dealer", with courage and a flair for getting things done; but he had not yet learned how to say "No" and make it stick, rather, he had the inclination to defer the issue to a later day. This was the ideal formula for the ST, and they struck while the iron was hot.There is another important factor to weigh in considering the agility and cunning of the ST. In bureaucratic Washington, few things are worth more than prior information. If a subordinate knows now what his boss is going to know tomorrow, he is in the same position that the gambler would like to be in if he knew which horse was going to win in a future race. The ST has set itself up through the use and control of intelligence data, both real and manufactured, to know now what its bosses are going to know later. This applies most significantly in such events as the McNamara report.As anyone who has perceived the full significance of the routine described earlier will realize, the ST knows what the report of the Secretary of Defense is going to be even before he does, and therefore, before all the rest of official Washington does. This twenty-four to forty-eight hour lead-time of critical and most influential knowledge is a most valuable commodity. Many staffs who have no real responsibilities in the covert activities of this nation break their backs for a glimpse of what the ST is doing, and for this special privilege they pay one way or another.At other times the Team will extract from a report such as has been described a few paragraphs that will be skillfully leaked to the press and to selected businessmen. Background briefings are held, most frequently in some quiet conference room in the New State Building or perhaps in the big executive dining room Allen Dulles had in the old "E" Street headquarters of the CIA; and there a sub-staff of the ST will pour over the language of a brief item designed especially for "Periscope" in Newsweek, or perhaps for its old favorite, Joe Alsop.In any event, advance top-level information is a most valuable and saleable commodity. But nowhere is it more valuable than in the White House itself and in the offices of the Secretary of Defense and of the Director of Central Intelligence. McGeorge Bundy, Mike Forrestal, Joe Califano, Maxwell Taylor, and the others always looked good when they could sit down, calm and composed, with the President and with Rusk and McNamara, already knowing what was in the reports these men were pouring over page by page. McNamara would give one of his classic "fully charted" briefings of his trip, utilizing for his purpose the originals of the artwork in his report, and have the President and other Cabinet officers hanging on his every word -- words he had been learning and rehearsing while he sped by jet from Honolulu. At the same time, the ST members were secure in their knowledge that they already knew every word that McNamara was going to say and that they had staff studies and Presidential messages already drafted to send to the Ambassador and the commanders in Indochina.It may seem strange to readers of the Pentagon Papers to note how often a report from the chairman of the JCS to the Secretary of Defense would be followed the next day by one from the Secretary of Defense to the President -- and then almost on the same day, by a lengthy message to the ambassador in Saigon. What may seem even more strange is that the reply from the ambassador would follow, with all of its detail, within twenty-four hours. This was not a miracle. This was preplanning by the ST. The whole thing was done at the same time, and even the reply from the ambassador had been anticipated by a closely guarded message via CIA channels to a CIA man on the embassy staff in Saigon, giving him the language to use for the ambassadors reply almost as soon as the President's wire arrived. The ST seldom left anything to chance, and since they had the means of the "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", they made it a way of life to use it.The Pentagon Papers reveal in the total listing of names of the principal writers of those papers a good compilation of key members of the ST at that time. However, it would be very misleading to accept this list as complete and meaningful for anything more than this one area of activity. Furthermore, some of the most influential members of the Team are not even mentioned in those pages. There were and are many men who are not in government who are prime movers of Secret Team activity.Only one month after McNamara's report, General Maxwell D. Taylor, then Chairman of the JCS, kept the ball rolling with a report to Secretary McNamara, dated January 22, 1964. It is important to keep in mind that Maxwell Taylor was on the same trip to Saigon with McNamara that resulted in the October 2, 1963, report, the one that contained the "home by end of 1965" theme. Now, less than four months later, he was saying: "It would be unrealistic to believe that a complete suppression of the insurgency can take place in one or even two years." And further, "The United States must make plain to the enemy our determination to see the Vietnam campaign through to a favorable conclusion. To do this, we must prepare for whatever level of activity may be required and, being prepared, must then proceed to take actions as necessary to achieve our purposes surely and promptly.""The JCS believe that our position in Cambodia, our attitude toward Laos, our actions in Thailand and our great effort in South Vietnam do not comprise a compatible and integrated policy for Southeast Asia. U.S. objectives in Southeast Asia cannot be achieved by either economic, political or military measures alone. All three fields must be integrated into a single, broad U.S. program for Southeast Asia."Later, we shall deal in more detail with this new "military" line, which Taylor was here expounding. But while we are weighing these words, we should note that the U.S. military -- more precisely, that part that was closely affiliated with the CIA (and by 1964, General Taylor must be considered to be among them) -- was underscoring here in the United States as well as overseas the new political-social-economic role of the Army. This subject is only inferentially introduced in Taylor's report; but as we shall see later, it had become a dominant theme in the peacetime-operations Army procedure of this period.At the same time it should be noted that Taylor, operating most certainly under the provisions set forth by President Kennedy in his National Security Action Memorandum #55 of June, 1961, is strongly announcing his support of covert actions against North Vietnam. This would have been quite uncharacteristic and unthinkable in the Army before this time. It became Secret-Team-type doctrine, because the Team knew all too well that covert operations of sufficient size and volume could be exploited.Like the carbon rods in a nuclear reactor, to raise or lower the level of "radioactivity" or to heat up a latent insurgency situation to the level desired, this has been done in Laos for fifteen or more years. The policies that have been used in Indochina create and generate more combat than they quench. It has been said that the Vietnamese war is one of "re-counter", the idea being that if you hit someone -- even little, starving, terrorized, and homeless natives -- long enough, they will eventually fight back with whatever bits of remaining strength they have. Thus, Taylor's following words take on certain special significance:It is our [JCS] conviction that if support of the insurgency from outside South Vietnamin terms of operational direction, personnel and material were stopped completely, the character of the war in South Vietnam would be substantially and favorably altered. Because of this conviction, we are wholly in favor of executing the covert actions against North Vietnam which you have recently proposed to the President. [These were the covert actions which the group chaired by General Krulak had developed.] We believe, however, that it would be idle to conclude that these efforts will have a decisive effect on the Communist determination to support the insurgency; and it is our view that we must therefore be prepared fully to undertake a much higher level of activity, not only for its beneficial tactical effect, but to make plain our resolution, both to our friends and to our enemies.Following this statement, which like others was written by his special staff and by his CIA associates, General Taylor listed ten activities which he said the United States must make ready to conduct in Southeast Asia. One of these was to "... commit U.S. forces as necessary in support of the combat action within South Vietnam." He added, "The past few months have disclosed that considerably higher levels of effort are demanded of us if U.S. objectives are to be attained."In the inner chambers of the Government, where secret operations are cloaked in sufficient cover-story language to keep even the experts and top echelon leaders in a state of unreality, nothing ever more closely approached the "emperor's new clothes" syndrome than did the ST's work on Johnson, Rusk, McCone, and McNamara.Townsend Hoopes, who spent years in the Pentagon in this awesome environment, wrote in the Washington Post of August 17, 1971, "The altered alignments in the Communist world were much clearer in 1964 than in 1960, making it, again in theory, easier for Johnson to take a fresh look. But the abrupt and tragic way in which he had come to the White House, the compulsions of the 1964 presidential campaign, and his own lack of a steady compass in foreign affairs (not to mention the powerful and nearly unanimous views of his inherited advisers) effectively ruled out a basic reappraisal of our national interests in Vietnam. Like each predecessor, Johnson decided, as one analyst put it, "that it would be inconvenient for him to lose South Vietnam this year".There is a fine point to add to Mr. Hoopes' perceptions. Johnson not only did not make "a basic reappraisal of our national interests in Vietnam", but he did not check out the compass to assure himself that the Ship of State was on the same course that it had been sailing before he took the helm of office. He never took the time nor made the effort to check out the ST. He just took it for granted that it was on the same course after Kennedy's death as before. This was his first big oversight.The point is subtle, and the change was at each turn slight; but the long-range course was being altered dynamically. Each report he received gave the semblance of normalcy, and each report was a reasonable part of the pattern with which he was somewhat familiar. No one would deny that Lyndon Johnson was not an intimate of Jack Kennedy's and that, especially in matters pertaining to Vietnam, he really did not know the Presidents mind. The fact that he had been to Vietnam may actually have been more of a cover story and a handicap for him than a view of reality.Brainwashing was the business of the ST in South Vietnam. No less than Robert McNamara, Robert Kennedy, Vice-President Johnson, and John McCone were thoroughly indoctrinated on South Vietnam by hardheaded experts who thought nothing of sharpening the scenarios skillfully drawn for consumption by top-level officials. Allen W. Dulles meant it when he called his book The Craft of Intelligence. To him and his inner ring of confidants and paramilitary experts, big-time intelligence was craftily managed. As a result, these carefully drawn reports told the President that things were getting much worse in Southeast Asia and that there was a strong possibility of a Communist take-over of all of South Asia if South Vietnam and Laos and then Cambodia succumbed to the insurgency which, the Team said, was running rampant there.After the reports and briefings of December 1963 and January 1964, it became evident that Johnson was giving way before the pressures of the CIA and the "military" who were working with the Agency.It is essential that the term "military" be clarified for use throughout this book. Many military men are regularly assigned to the CIA, in their primary roles as intelligence experts, for their own experience and training and to flesh out areas where the Agency can use them. These are legitimate military assignments, and such men are openly identified with the CIA. There is another group of military men who are fully assigned to the Agency, meaning their pay and allowances are reimbursed to the parent service by the CIA, but they appear to be with regular military units or other normal assignments so that their assignment to the CIA will not be revealed to those unwitting of their real task.These men are on cover assignments. Some of them are completely detached from the service for the period of their assignment although they will get promotions and other benefits similar to those of their contemporaries. Then there are other military personnel working with the CIA who are really Agency employees but who are permitted to wear the uniform and rank or grade of their Reserve or National Guard status. And lastly, there are other CIA personnel who for special reasons are permitted to assume the uniform or at least the identity of one of the military services, with rank as is necessary, even though they have no real service connection.There are few of these latter individuals; but they do exist. It is also true that for certain practical purposes nearly all CIA personnel carry the identification of the Department of Defense or some other government agency in order that they will have simple cover for such things as credit cards and banking accounts so they will not have to reveal their employment with the CIA. This category is simply a technical expedient and is not intended in the first instance to be used for clandestine purposes.This strong military bias of the Agency plays a very important part in the operations of the ST and will be discussed more fully in later chapters. It probably played an impressive role in the winning of President Johnson's mind soon after be took office. He no doubt, as did most others, looked to such men as General Maxwell Taylor, General Victor Krulak, General William Rosson, General Edward Lansdale, General William Peers, General Richard C. Stilwell, General William Dupuy, and many many others as straight-line military officers. Although without question they all were military men, they all also had assignments of various types that made them effective CIA operators. By the very nature of their work, they worked with, for, and in support of the CIA. It was their first allegiance. Those mentioned above form but a brief list of the great number of senior officers in this category.After these first reports of December 1963 and early 1964, the next round of Secret Team maneuvers was planned as they worked to up-grade the war. It became time for McNamara to bring things up to date with the White House. On March 16, 1964, he made a report to the President, "On Steps to Change the Trend of the War". This report was long and discursive. It even included the line, "Substantial reductions in the numbers of U.S. military training personnel should occur before the end of 1965." Notice how the words were put! This report had the ring of the old "home by the end of 1965" report of October 2, 1963, but with a significant difference. In October, Taylor and McNamara had said to Kennedy that it should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U S. personnel. The key word is "personnel", as opposed to the March 16 "military training personnel".The Vietnam war has always been a most unusual one from the standpoint of its being a non-typical war. A very large number of U.S. personnel in this war were not military. There were thousands from other government agencies. There were tens of thousands of civilian workers of all kinds. The helicopter maintenance support alone required fantastic numbers of civilian maintenance personnel and contract workers. Kennedy knew this, and when he was told that "U.S. personnel" would be coming home, he knew that meant a comprehensive and meaningful number. However, when McNamara told Johnson that "substantial reductions in. . . military training personnel" would take place, he was talking about a small slice of the pie.Even if all of the training personnel came home, there would still be a lot of U.S. manpower there. The distinction was meaningful. It was brainwashing and misleading, and intentionally so. Lines such as this were added simply for flavoring. The ST writers would not expect the President to notice the difference. He would hear the words "reductions" and "personnel" only.Meanwhile, the ST had a safety valve in their report in the event they had to account for this report at a later date, something they always planned for, but seldom, if ever, had to do. After all of the words, recent history of Indochina involvement, and some philosophizing continued in this lengthy McNamara report, the final paragraph held the meat of the proposition:12. To prepare immediately to be in position on 72 hours notice to initiate the full range of Laotian and Cambodian "Border Control" actions beyond those authorized in Paragraph 11 above and the "Retaliatory Actions" against North Vietnam, and to be in a position on 30 days' notice to initiate the program of "Graduated Overt Military Pressure" against North Vietnam.This was another big step forward on the way to inevitable escalation. It is one thing for a nation to plan for a clandestine operation with an agent or agents and to arrange for its success, or in the event of failure, to totally deny involvement. All such activities are planned in such a way that the nation taking the action may be able to disclaim plausibly to the entire world that it had anything to do with such an action. But the action above is serious international business, because at the very root of the plan is the intent to violate the sovereignty of another nation. Wars have been started by such events. When a nation feels that it must resort to clandestine activities, it does so with great caution and then only with agents who are specially prepared for such work. In no case, or in the very rarest cases, are members of the diplomatic service and of the uniformed military service ever used for such acts. Honor and honesty in the society of nations demand that the diplomatic corps and the military services be beyond reproach. The paragraph quoted above from McNamara's March 16 report not only proposed more or less routine covert activity against Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam, but it added that the United States should plan for "overt military pressure" against North Vietnam, thus carrying through the momentum of action initiated with his December 21, 1963, report. The die was cast. The Gulf of Tonkin incident occurrect on August 4, 1964, and from that time on to the President's announcement of the massive build-up of forces, there could be no doubting the course laid out for the United States in Indochina.This course was set by the winds of change as this Government responded to and reacted to various intelligence-data inputs from as far back as 1945. Vietnam was not so much a goal as it was a refuge and backlash of everything that had gone wrong in a quarter-century of clandestine activities. There can be no questioning the fact that Vietnam inherited some of the Korea leftovers; it inherited the Magsaysay team from the Philippines with its belief in another Robin-Hood-like Magsaysay in the person of Ngo Dinh Diem; it fell heir to the Indonesian shambles; it soaked up men and materials from the Tibetan campaign and from Laos in particular, and it inherited men and material, including a large number of specially modified aircraft, from the Bay of Pigs disaster. In its leadership it inherited men who had been in Greece in the late forties or during the Eisenhower era and who felt that they knew Communist insurgency when they saw it. The nation of South Vietnam had not existed as a nation before l954, rather it was another country's piece of real estate. South Vietnam has never really been a nation. It has become the quagmire of things gone wrong during the past twenty-five years.In the August 7, 1971, issue of The New Republic, the Asian scholar Eugene G. Windchy says, "What steered the nation into Vietnam was a series of tiny but powerful cabals." What he calls a sense of tiny but powerful conspiracies, this book puts all together as the actions of the Secret Team. That most valuable book by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross calls this power source "The Invisible Government", and in the chapter on the various intelligence organizations in the United States they use the term "Secret Elite".The CIA did not begin as a Secret Team, as a "series of tiny but powerful cabals", as the "invisible government", or as members of the "secret elite". But before long it became a bit of all of these. President Truman was exactly right when he said that the CIA had been diverted from its original assignment. This diversion and the things that have happened as a result of it will be the subject of the remainder of this book