Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

General Discussion

Showing Original Post only (View all)

Kid Berwyn

(15,669 posts)
Tue Nov 23, 2021, 12:39 PM Nov 2021

After JFK assassination, President Truman put his concerns about CIA in print. [View all]

One month after the assassination, President Harry S Truman expressed public concern CIA had strayed off the reservation from intelligence gathering of foreign news sources to cloak-and-dagger operations.



Limit CIA Role To Intelligence

By Harry S Truman
The Washington Post, December 22, 1963 - page A11

INDEPENDENCE, MO., Dec. 21 — I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency—CIA. At least, I would like to submit here the original reason why I thought it necessary to organize this Agency during my Administration, what I expected it to do and how it was to operate as an arm of the President.

I think it is fairly obvious that by and large a President's performance in office is as effective as the information he has and the information he gets. That is to say, that assuming the President himself possesses a knowledge of our history, a sensitive understanding of our institutions, and an insight into the needs and aspirations of the people, he needs to have available to him the most accurate and up-to-the-minute information on what is going on everywhere in the world, and particularly of the trends and developments in all the danger spots in the contest between East and West. This is an immense task and requires a special kind of an intelligence facility.

Of course, every President has available to him all the information gathered by the many intelligence agencies already in existence. The Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, Interior and others are constantly engaged in extensive information gathering and have done excellent work.

But their collective information reached the President all too frequently in conflicting conclusions. At times, the intelligence reports tended to be slanted to conform to established positions of a given department. This becomes confusing and what's worse, such intelligence is of little use to a President in reaching the right decisions.

Therefore, I decided to set up a special organization charged with the collection of all intelligence reports from every available source, and to have those reports reach me as President without department "treatment" or interpretations.

I wanted and needed the information in its "natural raw" state and in as comprehensive a volume as it was practical for me to make full use of it. But the most important thing about this move was to guard against the chance of intelligence being used to influence or to lead the President into unwise decisions—and I thought it was necessary that the President do his own thinking and evaluating.

Since the responsibility for decision making was his—then he had to be sure that no information is kept from him for whatever reason at the discretion of any one department or agency, or that unpleasant facts be kept from him. There are always those who would want to shield a President from bad news or misjudgments to spare him from being "upset."

For some time I have been disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas.

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 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.

With all the nonsense put out by Communist propaganda about "Yankee imperialism," "exploitive capitalism," "war-mongering," "monopolists," in their name-calling assault on the West, the last thing we needed was for the CIA to be seized upon as something akin to a subverting influence in the affairs of other people.

I well knew the first temporary director of the CIA, Adm. Souers, and the later permanent directors of the CIA, Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg and Allen Dulles. These were men of the highest character, patriotism and integrity—and I assume this is true of all those who continue in charge.

But there are now some searching questions that need to be answered. I, therefore, would like to see the CIA be restored to its original assignment as the intelligence arm of the President, and that whatever else it can properly perform in that special field—and that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.

We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic position and I feel that we need to correct it.

SOURCE: http://www.maebrussell.com/Prouty/Harry%20Truman's%20CIA%20article.html



That would be better known, but for some reason it got left out of the afternoon edition and out of most all of the nation’s other newspapers.

To put some emphasis on Truman’s essay, former CIA Director Allen Dulles tried to get a retraction:



Are Presidents Afraid of the CIA?

By Ray McGovern
December 29, 2009

Excerpt…

Fox Guarding Hen House

The well-connected Dulles got himself appointed to the Warren Commission and took the lead in shaping the investigation of JFK’s assassination.

Documents in the Truman Library show that he then mounted a small domestic covert action of his own to neutralize any future airing of Truman’s and Souers’s warnings about covert action.

So important was this to Dulles that he invented a pretext to get himself invited to visit Truman in Independence, Missouri. On the afternoon of April 17, 1964, Dulles spent a half-hour trying to get the former President to retract what he had said in his op-ed. No dice, said Truman.

No problem, thought Dulles. Four days later, in a formal memo for his old buddy Lawrence Houston, CIA General Counsel from 1947 to 1973, Dulles fabricated a private retraction, claiming that Truman told him the Washington Post article was “all wrong,” and that Truman “seemed quite astounded at it.”

No doubt Dulles thought it might be handy to have such a memo in CIA files, just in case.

A fabricated retraction? It certainly seems so, because Truman did not change his tune. Far from it.

In a June 10, 1964, letter to the managing editor of Look magazine, for example, Truman restated his critique of covert action, emphasizing that he never intended the CIA to get involved in “strange activities.”

CONTINUED...

SOURCE: http://www.consortiumnews.com/2009/122909b.html



Truman did not point a finger of blame at CIA, the Mafia or anyone. However, it is difficult to think of an innocent explanation for Mr. Dulles’ response and actions — months before he would be appointed to the Warren Commission.
41 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
I certainly worry about all the intelligence agencies with the secret budgets captain queeg Nov 2021 #1
It really is complicated. We need secrecy, but we also need oversight. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #2
i can't say it was actually the CIA/Oswald CatWoman Nov 2021 #3
With so many suspects, it's possible there was cooperation. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #4
insofar as there was a plot beyond Oswald, it was probably some combination of both Volaris Nov 2021 #13
The Mafia and the CIA has/had a long history of cooperation dflprincess Nov 2021 #15
Had not seen this before. Thanks. nt Hekate Nov 2021 #5
You are welcome! Truman added... Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #18
Dulles and United Fruit jalan48 Nov 2021 #6
What's good for UFCO is good for America. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #19
Unfortunately, too many Americans want to believe in the mythology that the US (CIA) goals jalan48 Nov 2021 #21
There is no doubt in my mind kellytore Nov 2021 #7
+1 moondust Nov 2021 #11
Seven months before Oswald killed JFK he shot at, and missed, General Edwin Walker. Saboburns Nov 2021 #17
Just the Magic Bullet by itself is evidence for conspiracy. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #20
Oswald was not a "trained sharpshooter" former9thward Nov 2021 #39
Give 'em hell, Harry! calimary Nov 2021 #8
You are welcome! What Truman said... Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #22
Indeed! calimary Nov 2021 #26
Read David Talbot's "The Devil's Chessboard" LymphocyteLover Nov 2021 #9
Dulles being on the Warren Commission dflprincess Nov 2021 #16
Oh, I didn't know that, but I was a... electric_blue68 Nov 2021 #36
I was there when Talbot first spoke in public about that book. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #23
Thanks... and there was seriously a media blackout on that book LymphocyteLover Nov 2021 #25
'Breach of Trust' by Gerald D. McKnight also is an important read. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #35
Thanks! LymphocyteLover Nov 2021 #41
From what I've read of Allen Dulles, he was the impetus for the permanent classified secrecy that ancianita Nov 2021 #10
One secret: the NAZI touch on the Warren Commission. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #30
Thanks! Yes, indeed, we have to keep our fascist Nazi war connection in mind as we deal with ancianita Nov 2021 #40
Here's good book about the shenanigans of the CIA under Allen Dulles. Lonestarblue Nov 2021 #12
That's a GREAT book. Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #31
Really interesting articles - thank you for posting! lagomorph777 Nov 2021 #14
MOST interesting reading. "The Devil's Chessboard." calimary Nov 2021 #27
from 'Leave it to Beaver' to Frontline LessAspin Nov 2021 #28
"Dulles had even less respect for Jack Kennedy's authority than he did for FDR's." Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #32
Kick for later reading Poiuyt Nov 2021 #24
CIA Admitted To Lying About JFK's Assassination, But No One Really Noticed Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #33
Bookmarking. A fascinating thread. The Dulles brothers Boomerproud Nov 2021 #29
Talbot "traces the pathology of Dulles and his appalling cabal..." Kid Berwyn Nov 2021 #34
Seems to me that in order to have a better... electric_blue68 Nov 2021 #37
K & R Bookmarked FakeNoose Nov 2021 #38
Latest Discussions»General Discussion»After JFK assassination, ...