James Forrestal

James Vincent Forrestal  1892-1949 

Mid-century deaths all linked to CIA?

WHO KILLED JAMES FORRESTAL? Was There A Cover-up? Article by DCDave

New Forrestal Document Exposes Cover-up by DCDave




Mid-century deaths all linked to CIA?

New evidence in Olson case suggests similarities with other incidents

Editor's note: In 1998, WorldNetDaily first reported on the CIA's secret behavior-modification program MK-ULTRA, which included experimentation with LSD on unsuspecting subjects. Authors H.P. Albarelli Jr. and John Kelly's new book deals with the mysterious death of one alleged subject, Dr. Frank Olson. In this installment, the authors' third for WorldNetDaily, Albarelli and Kelly reveal new evidence that suggests a possible link between Olson's death and several other similar deaths in the same time period.
by H.P. Albarelli Jr. and John Kelly
© 2001 H.P. Albarelli Jr. and John F. Kelly

New evidence emerging from the five-year grand jury investigation into the 1953 death of CIA biochemist Frank Olson reveals concerns about several additional puzzling deaths. At least one of those deaths is noted in the CIA's record of its own internal investigation into Olson's fatal plunge from a Manhattan hotel window. That death, detailed in a top-secret CIA report dated December 3, 1953, was Laurence Duggan's.

A former high-ranking State Department employee, Duggan fell screaming from a 16th-floor window of his Manhattan office on Dec. 20, 1948. Duggan's lifeless body was found moments later on a Fifth Avenue parapet. He was dressed in a business suit, overcoat, scarf and only one overshoe. Police found the missing overshoe on the floor of his office.

As with the Olson case, New York City police deemed Duggan's death an "accident or suicide," and the Manhattan Medical Examiner's Office ruled that he had "jumped or fallen." Friends and family of Duggan disputed these findings and claimed that he had been a victim of "foul play."

Ten days before his death, the FBI questioned Duggan about communist espionage in the State Department. From 1935 to 1944, Duggan served as U.S. State Department chief of the Division of American Republics where he oversaw diplomatic relations with Central and South America.

According to FBI documents, Duggan admitted during questioning that he had had contacts with Soviet intelligence agents but denied being a spy and failed to explain why he didn't report the contacts. When pressed for further details Duggan walked out of the interview.

Prominent journalists Drew Pearson and Edward R. Murrow vigorously defended Duggan's reputation after his death and maintained that espionage suspicions about him were totally groundless. Indeed, well into the 1990s, many respected historians defended the Harvard-educated Duggan as a loyal public servant driven to suicide by false accusations.

Then several copiously researched books, including "Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America" by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, were published that amply documented that Duggan was an active Soviet spy for many years. Duggan handed over highly classified information to the Soviets during World War II, including U.S. plans for the invasion of Italy and a possible invasion of Nazi-occupied Norway. Ironically, Duggan's secret code-name given him by his Russian handlers was "Frank."

Duggan's death is noted in the CIA's investigation into Frank Olson's death conducted in late-November and December 1953. CIA security official James McCord wrote on Dec. 3 that the two New York City detectives investigating Olson's fatal fall, James Ward and David Mullee, "were considering the possibility that [Olson] and [CIA official Robert V.] Lashbrook were involved in some committee hearing for they were aware that Sen. McCarthy's Committee was in town around the time [of Olson's death]."

Wrote McCord, "[Detective Mullee] stated that the case of DUGGAN of the State Department came to mind, and as a result [the detectives] called the FBI to see whether or not they knew anything about either Lashbrook or [Olson]."

According to FBI documents concerning the Olson case, detective Mullee spoke with Special Agent Edward A. McShane Jr. about his concerns. McShane, a 38-year veteran with the bureau who died last year, told Mullee that Olson's death was not only similar to Duggan's but also "brought to mind" the "recent deaths of three other government officials" as well as the "odd suicide of James Forrestal."

Former Secretary of Defense James Vincent Forrestal died on May 22, 1949, after falling from the 13th floor of the U.S. Naval Hospital at Bethesda, Md. Forrestal's broken, bloodied body was found clad in pajamas and a bathrobe. The cord of the robe was wound tightly around his neck. He had been hospitalized due to "operational fatigue" attributed to "excessive work."

Forrestal's death was ruled a suicide, but the matter for many people, including members of Forrestal's family, remained far from resolved. Forrestal's brother, Henry, told reporters at the time of the death that he "believed that someone threw my brother out the window" and that he considered it quite strange that his brother died "just a few hours before I was to take him home." Additionally, James Forrestal's spiritual adviser, Monsignor Maurice Sheehy, told reporters that an unidentified Navy warrant officer at the hospital told him that Forrestal "didn't kill himself."

Over the past several decades, speculation has focused on the possibility that Forrestal might have been an unwitting victim of the greatly overlooked top-secret Project CHATTER, operated by the Office of Naval Intelligence. CHATTER was a precursor program to the CIA's Projects Bluebird, ARTICHOKE and MK/ULTRA. CHATTER was modeled on bizarre Nazi experiments conducted at concentration camps and OSS truth drug programs. The object of the project was to devise the means to "eliminate free will in targeted individuals," causing them to do anything desired, including assassination and suicide.

At least two of the three deaths of "government officials" noted by McShane to detective Mullee, but not specifically identified in documents, may have been those of James Speyer Kronthal and John C. Montgomery. Both men died under unusual circumstances only months before Frank Olson.

Kronthal, a high-ranking CIA official, who worked under the cover of a post at the State Department, was discovered dead in his Georgetown home in Washington, D.C. on April 1, 1953. Kronthal's fully clothed body was found with an empty vial beside it by two CIA employees, Gould Cassal and McGregor Gray, after they went to his home to see why he had not come to work.

According to D.C. police files, shortly before his death Kronthal wrote letters to CIA directors Allen Dulles and Richard Helms. The contents of those letters have never been revealed. An autopsy of Kronthal's body failed to reveal the cause of death or the contents of the empty vial. Police ruled the death a suicide.

Kronthal during World War II and after worked closely with then-OSS official Allen Dulles in Bern, Switzerland. Kronthal was an Army captain assigned to the OSS, precursor to the CIA. At the time of his death, the Washington Post wrote that Kronthal was "mentally upset" because of "work pressures."

But there was more to the story. In 1975, Rockefeller Commission investigators learned that long-concealed CIA files revealed that Kronthal was a Soviet spy who had been blackmailed into service by the KGB and that Kronthal had had dinner privately with Allen Dulles on the evening of his death. According to informed sources, Rockefeller Commission director David W. Belin was debriefed in 1975 on the facts surrounding Kronthal's death by CIA Security Office officials. Ironically, Belin died in a freak fall in a hotel room in November 1998.

James C. Montgomery, ostensibly head of the State Department's Finnish desk but believed to actually have been a CIA employee, died of strangulation on Jan. 24, 1953, in his Washington, D.C., home. His nude body was found with a bathrobe cord around his neck. Montgomery's death was ruled a suicide by D.C. police, but U.S. Congressman Fred E. Busbey of Illinois called for a full House investigation into the death. Busbey told the Washington Post six-days after Montgomery died, "There are stories being bruited about that the police have been told not to talk." Busbey's fellow House members declined to take up an investigation.

The third "death" mentioned by McShane might have been a reference to the "attempted suicide" of CIA security analyst Frederick E. Crockett. On April 8, 1953, just seven days after Kronthal's death, Crockett was discovered semi-conscious in his gas-filled D.C. apartment on Wisconsin Avenue. Police ruled that Crockett had attempted to kill himself. The CIA told reporters that "there was no reason to believe" that Crockett's attempt to kill himself had anything to do with Kronthal's death. Crockett survived the incident and lived until Jan. 17, 1978.

Asked to comment about these deaths and their possible connection to the investigation into Frank Olson's death, a spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office declined to comment, citing a "long standing policy of not discussing or commenting about on-going investigations."

This article is drawn from the forthcoming book, "A TERRIBLE MISTAKE: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Cold War Experiments" by H.P. Albarelli Jr. and John F. Kelly.

Reproduced gratefully from: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=24305




Assassinations and Cover-up

Was There A Cover-up?

Article by DCDave

The two highest-ranking government officials in the history of the American republic to have "committed suicide" are Deputy White House Counsel, Vincent W. Foster,Jr. on July 20, 1993, and Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal, on May 22, 1949. Actually, Forrestal was not a government official at the time of his death. He had been rather abruptly removed from office on March 28, and after almost immediately suffering some kind of breakdown, he had been kept against his will since April 2, a period of more than 7 weeks, on the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Since he was no longer a government employee, it is unclear upon what authority he was being "cared for" at this U.S. military facility.

Though technically no longer a government official at the time of his death, Forrestal was a far more prominent and powerful man than Foster. Independently wealthy since his days as president of Dilon, Read, and Company on Wall Street, as Secretary of the Navy he had graced the cover of Time magazine on October 29, 1945. In September of 1947, even though he had opposed the legislation that created the department, Forrestal was made America's first Secretary of Defense. Widely acclaimed as an extraordinarily dedicated and effective administrator, he rivaled Secretary of State, George C. Marshall, as the best known member of President Harry Truman's cabinet.

Both Foster and Forrestal are said to have been suicidally depressed. Indeed, this is usually the first thing that will be mentioned when the matter of the death of either of these two men is brought up. The evidence that either of them was is such a disturbed mental state that he would resort to such an extreme solution is actually quite weak. In Foster's case, it rests heavily upon the very doubtful authenticity of a disjointed, sophomoric note belatedly "found" in a briefcase that had previously been emptied out in full view of a number of people. In Forrestal's case, the public was told in the very first press announcement of his death that he had stopped in the middle of copying over a classical poem, one that seems to welcome, in certain circumstances, the ending of one's life. We have never been told how anyone knows that Forrestal actually wrote what he is said to have written, although author Arnold Rogow (James Forrestal, A Study of Personality, Politics, and Policy, 1963), the man most

responsible for fixing in the public mind the notion that Forrestal was mentally unbalanced, has written, without the first bit of evidence for it, that Forrestal was seen writing it, Authors, Townsend Hoopes and Douglas Brinkley (Driven Patriot, the Life and Times of James Forrestal, 1992) have also stated that Forrestal was seen writing it, but by a different person from the one cited by Rogow, although they give Rogow as their source. Curiously, nowhere on the public record are the actual would-be witness or witnesses themselves quoted directly on this matter.

Defenders of the official line on Foster's death almost never refer to the known evidence. Rather, they allude to the "depression" as though it were a proven fact; they invoke authority, either the authority of the family, most of whom have publicly, at least, accepted the official conclusion, or of the authority of the various official "investigations" that have been made of his death, and they raise questions about the motive. If Foster was murdered, who did it and why?

Equivocal Voice of Authority

Is is perhaps a measure of how much more innocent a time it was in America in 1949 that, although such arguments against murder in the Forrestal case are far weaker than in the Foster case, the official suicide line seems to have gone generally unchallenged. Take, for instance, the reaction of the Forrestal family. Perhaps the person closest to James Forrestal in the whole world was his brother; Henry. This is from the obscure book, The Death of James Forrestal (1966), by Cornell Simpson, one of the few people who did question the suicide conclusion.

At his home in Beacon, New York, Henry Forrestal stated to this author that James Forrestal positively did not kill himself. He said his brother was the last person in the world who would have committed suicide and that he had no reason for taking his life. When Forrestal talked to his brother at the hospital, James was having a good time planning the things he would do following his discharge. Henry Forrestal recalled that Truman and [new Defense Secretary Louis] Johnson agreed that his brother was in fine shape and that the hospital officials admitted that he would have been released soon. To Henry Forrestal , the whole affair smelled to high heaven. He remarked about his brother's treatment at the hospital, his virtual imprisonment and the censorship of his visitors. Henry Forrestal had never heard of such treatment and questioned why it should have been allowed. He further questioned why the hospital officials lied about his brother being permitted all the visitors he wanted.

He was bitter when recounting that from the first minute the officials had insisted the death was a result of suicide; that they did not even consider the possibility of murder even though there was no suicide note, though his brother acted perfectly normal when the corpsman saw him only a few minutes before his death, though the bathrobe cord was knotted tightly around his neck.

He considered it odd that his brother had died just a few hours before he, Henry, was to arrive and take James out of the hospital.

Then he repeated his belief that James Forrestal did not kill himself, that he was murdered that someone strangled him and threw him out the window. Henry Forrestal went on to ask why the authorities did not have the decency to admit these things and then try to apprehend the murderer. He lamented the fact that the case was hurriedly hushed up in an apparent attempt to avoid a scandal.

He went on to say that he was a Democrat but nevertheless he blamed the Truman administration for covering up his brother's murder, for letting it happen, and for the way James Forrestal was treated in the hospital. He concluded that he was "damned bitter" about it all but did not know what he could do.

When family members of victims don't agree with the official line, whether it be his case or the Oklahoma City bombing, TWA 800, Pan Am 103, the Martin Luther King Jr., murder or 9-11 we seldom hear much about it in our press. The Forrestal death is an outstanding example of that rule.

The press also typically give great attention to the findings of any official body that has been appointed to make an investigation. The heavily-louted Warren Commission is the best-known instance of this phenomenon. In the Foster death it was first a report by Robert Fiske and then one by Kenneth Starr.

So what do we have with the Forrestal death? It's the Willcutts Review Board, named for Rear Admiral Morton D. Willcutts, the head of the National Naval Medical Center. The Review Board took the testimony of all witnesses and finished its work on May 30. It was not until October 11, however, that its conclusions were released to the public, and here's what was discovered, as related on page 15 of The New York Times of October 12, 1949.

1. That the body found on the ledge outside of Building 1 of the National Medical Center at 1:50 A.M. and pronounced dead at 1:55 A.M. Sunday, May 22, 1949, was identified as that of the late James V. Forrestal, a patient in the neuro-psychiatric service of the United States Naval Hospital National Medical Center.

2. That the late James V. Forrestal died about 1:50 A.M. on Sunday, May 22, 1949, at the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, as a result of injuries, multiple extreme, received incident to a fall from a high point in the tower, Building 1.

3. That the behavior of the deceased during the period of the stay in the hospital preceding his death was indicative of a mental depression.

4. That the treatment and precautions in the conduct of the case were in agreement with accepted psychiatric practice and commensurate with the evident status of the patient at all times.

5. That the death was not caused in any manner by the intent, fault, negligence or inefficiency of any person or persons in the naval service or connected therewith.

That' it folks. Notice what's missing. There is no conclusion of suicide. They just tell us that Forrestal died from a fall from a high point in the building and that he had been depressed, but they don't say who was responsible for the fall. They don't even make mention of the dressing gown sash that was knotted tightly around the body's neck, so they don't have to explain it. There was no police investigation, so this is the official last word on Forrestal's death. The findings upon which these conclusions are based were kept secret, and they remain secret to this day. If anyone did, indeed, witness Forrestal transcribing words from a poem onto a notepad shortly before he took his fatal plunge, it would be in the Review Board testimony. The author's Hoopes and Brinkley, in their extensive Forrestal biography, concealed from the readers the fact that this report has never been made public. Rogow mentioned the fact in passing in a footnote and made nothing of it, as though such things were routine and acceptable in this government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Finally, there is the matter of the motive and the likely suspects. It is no mystery at all Forrestal's greatest enemies were and who benefited immensely from his death.

Strong Motives, Prime Suspects

When someone dies violently and suspiciously, the usual question investigators want to answer is who had a murder motive. Did the deceased have enemies? Had he been threatened by anyone? Was there anyone who stood to gain from his death? If so, did the party or parties in question have anything in their past to indicate that they might be capable of murder, and did they have the opportunity to commit the crime?

In Forrestal's case, the answers are yes, yes, yes, and yes. For over a year he had been subject to a vilification campaign in the press the likes of which hardly any public official has ever had to endure in America. Leading the campaign, from the left and the right, respectively, were America's two best-known and most powerful syndicated columnists, Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell. They painted Forrestal as a corrupt tool of Wall Street and the oil companies who put the interests of is cronies ahead of concern for the well being of refugees from European persecution. His big offense was that he was outspoken in his opposition to the creation of the state of Israel. The entire foreign policy establishment, led by Secretary of State Marshall, felt the same way, but the strong-willed Forrestal was the lightning rod for the supporters of Israel. He had received threatening telephone calls and he complained of being followed and electronically bugged. It has also been credibly reported that the Zionists attempted to blackmail him over the financial assistance that his investment banking firm, Dillon, Read, had given to the Nazis prior to WW II.

One might argue that because Israel had already been recognized by the United States by the time Forrestal died, and because he had been removed from the Truman cabinet and discredited by his breakdown and hospitalization, he was no longer a threat to the supporters of Israel. But he was a man of prominence, wealth, and determination who intended to buy a newspaper and to write a book that threatened to expose a number Roosevelt-Truman administration secrets, especially related to the machinations that brought the United States into World War II and the wartime policies that advanced the interests of the Soviet Union. His voluminous diary was confiscated by the Truman White House and its full contents have never been revealed.

Most important, though, it was feared that he would continue to work against the interests of Israel. The animous toward Forrestal continues to the present day in Zionist circles, who continue to characterize this most able and dedicated of public servants as an anti-semite and a nut.

If anyone within the Truman White House had anything to do with Forrestal's death, the most likely suspect would be the shadowy string-puller David Niles, a man with connections both to the Zionists and to the Communists. The previously mentioned author, Simpson, sees him as a likely suspect primarily because of his Communist affinities, and Simpson provides us with a laundry list of outrages perpetrated by the Communists in pursuit of world domination. But one should not overlook the ruthless record of the Israelis, from the assassinations of Lord Moyne and Count Benadotte and the bombing of the Kind David Hotel, all of which pre-dated the Forrestal death, right up to the more recent massacres in Qana and Jenin and the systematic assassination of Palestinian leaders.

And although the communists might well have had many infiltrators in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, no one has ever suggested that they dominate America's news media. It is the news media that has vigorously sold the story that James Forrestal committed suicide and has kept silent about the fact that the only serious government investigation of the death has been kept secret from the American public. The news media also heavily publicized the books by Rogow and Hoopes and Brinkley, which sell the suicide line, but they published not one single review of the critical book by Cornell Simpson.


                                   Reproduced gratefully from: www.patshannan.com



JV Forrestal PHOTO


New Forrestal Document Exposes Cover-up

“However history may ultimately judge his opposition to the establishment of Israel, by 1949 it was clear that Forrestal was, in a sense, one of the casualties of the diplomatic warfare that had led to the creation of the Jewish state." Arnold Rogow, James Forrestal, A Study of Personality, Politics, and Power, 1963

James V. Forrestal was America's first Secretary of Defense. He was also the leading official in the Truman administration opposing the creation and U.S. recognition of the state of Israel. President Truman relieved Forrestal of his position in late March of 1949. Within a few days he was committed, apparently against his will, to Bethesda Naval Hospital suffering from "exhaustion." In spite of the invaluable service he had rendered to the country during World War II, first as Under Secretary of the Navy and then Secretary of the Navy, he had in 1948 and early 1949 been the subject of an unprecedented press vilification campaign, led by powerful columnists Drew Pearson and Walter Winchell.

At around 1:45 am, May 22, some seven weeks after his admission to the hospital, Forrestal plunged from a 16th floor window of the hospital to his death. A belt or cord, said to be from his dressing gown, was tied tightly around his neck.

On May 23, a review board was appointed by Admiral Morton D. Willcutts, the head of the National Naval Medical Center to investigate the death. The board completed its work on May 31, but not until October 11, did it publish a brief, summary report of only a few lines. No explanation of the delay was given. The summary concluded that Forrestal had died from the fall, but it had nothing to say about what caused the fall, except to conclude that no one associated with the Navy was responsible. In short, it did not conclude that he had committed suicide, as initial reports stated and the public is still given to believe. No mention was made in the summary, or in those later October press reports, of the belt around Forrestal's neck.

The Willcutts Report, itself, was kept secret, and, curiously, no hue and cry was raised over that fact. After two unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act tries with the National Naval Medical Center, I was finally able to get the report of the review board from the office of the Navy's Judge Advocate General, and my analysis is at http://www.dcdave.com/article4/040922.html .

At the time of the death, all the press made much of a book containing a morbid poem from Sophocles, "Chorus from Ajax," that Forrestal had supposedly been copying from shortly before his plunge from the window. The press reports all say that the book and a transcription "were found," but they never say by whom. Neither does the Willcutts Report. No witness is produced who claims to have discovered the book or the transcription. Rather, the first person to get a good look at Forrestal's vacated hospital room found broken glass on his bed, a likely sign of some sort of struggle. She also described bedclothes half turned back, but the official "crime scene" photographs taken many hours later, show a bed with a bare mattress, an obvious sign of a cover-up. One can also see that articles were moved around from one picture to the next: http://www.dcdave.com/article4/040916.html . Needless to say, no news report has ever mentioned the broken glass or the laundering of the room before photographs were taken.

Pro-Israel writers like Rogow, Winchell biographer, Neal Gabler, Jack Anderson, Charles Higham, John Loftus, and Mark Aarons have continued the character assassination against Forrestal, falsely characterizing him as an an anti-Semitic nut who had made several previous suicide attempts. This claim of several previous suicide attempts, echoed at this Arlington Cemetery web site: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/jvforres.htm  , is virtually proved to be false by the testimony of Forrestal's Bethesda Hospital doctors in the Willcutts Report. They agree that, from all indications, he had never before attempted suicide.

The indications are very strong that the Roman Catholic Forrestal kept his no-suicide-attempt record intact on May 22, 1949, and became another casualty of the creation of the state of Israel in the same sense that Lord Moyne, Count Bernadotte, Yitzhak Rabin, Rachel Corrie, 34 crewmen on the USS Liberty, and Palestinian leaders on a regular basis have been casualties.

Copies of the Willcutts Report should be available for perusal at the Seeley Mudd Manuscript Library at Princeton University, the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, and the Library of Congress. I have given the appropriate officials at each of these libraries compact discs of the report. I will also mail a copy of the CD, free of charge, to any library requesting it by e-mail to dcdave1@erols.com. The file, with all its exhibits, is too large to e-mail.

David Martin

Courtesy News Watcher and Liberty Forum

Go to "The Death of James Forrestal"
by David Martin

Go to James Forrestal's Handwriting    Go to "Was there a struggle?" pictures



'The command to wipe out Amalek
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DC Dave's Report "American Dreyfus Affair" Very Extensive Well Written and Well Documented Article On Hillary and Foster Article. An Absolute MUST READ!!!


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