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Walter Cronkite and the CIA
Poe.com ^ | February 26, 2008 | Richard Lawrence Poe

Posted on 02/26/2008 1:15:37 PM PST by Richard Poe

by Richard Lawrence Poe
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
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FORMER CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite is 91 years old and ailing. Poor health prevented him from accepting his Lifetime Achievement Award in person on January 19. At such a moment, I would prefer to speak charitably of Cronkite. But the times call for candor. Cronkite's intrigues have cost the lives of countless American soldiers. Even worse, it appears that our Central Intelligence Agency assisted Cronkite in his betrayals. Americans need to know why.

Born in Saint Joseph, Missouri, Cronkite grew up in Kansas City and Houston, Texas. He dropped out of the University of Texas in 1935 to become a journalist.

Cronkite covered World War II for the United Press. He reported from North Africa; landed at Normandy in 1944; flew B-17 bombing raids over Germany and landed in a glider behind German lines in Holland. After the war, Cronkite covered the Nuremberg Trials, and served as Moscow bureau chief from 1946-48.

Then he got into television. In her 1979 book Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire, investigative journalist Deborah Davis reports that CIA co-founder Allen Dulles brokered a deal between the Washington Post and CBS News in 1948. Through this arrangement, the Washington Post became sole owner of all CBS radio and TV outlets in our nation's capital. The Post's CBS affiliate WTOP-TV hired Cronkite in 1950, giving him his first job in television.

Allen Dulles -- who served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1953-61 -- carefully nurtured his ties with the two media companies he had brought together. Davis writes:

"The Post men continued to see Paley and Cronkite every Christmas at a dinner given by Allen Dulles at a private club called the Alibi. ... in the middle of downtown Washington..."

Investigative reporter Carl Bernstein wrote in 1977:

"CBS was unquestionably the CIA's most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS President William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees... Paley’s designated contact for the Agency was Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News between 1954 and 1961. ... [CBS News president Richard] Salant... continued many of his predecessor's practices..."

Sig Mickelson was Cronkite's first mentor at CBS. Richard Salant appointed Cronkite anchorman for CBS evening news in 1962.

In my last column, "How the CIA Lost Vietnam", I recounted Cronkite's infamous conduct following the communist Tet Offensive of 1968. American and South Vietnamese forces had routed the enemy. North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin later wrote in his memoirs:

"Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise. ... Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out by all the fighting in 1968. It took us until 1971 to re-establish our presence..."

Cronkite reported the opposite. "We are mired in stalemate," he told Americans on February 27, 1968. America's only hope, said Cronkite, was to "negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who... did the best they could".

Cronkite's message reached Hanoi loud and clear. The communists understood that Cronkite spoke for official Washington. In their darkest hour, he gave them hope. They resolved to fight on.

Nearly 30,000 American soldiers would die in Vietnam over the next five years. Then Nixon ended the war with the Paris Peace Accords of January 17, 1973. South Vietnam was safe. As long as Nixon remained in office, the communists did not dare break the treaty.

But the press had another trick up its sleeve; Watergate. Early Watergate reports in the Washington Post aroused little interest. Then Cronkite stepped in. “The story was fading from the papers and we thought we needed to revive it", Cronkite told PBS’s Frontline in 1996.

Under Cronkite’s direction, CBS News aired a twenty-two-minute, two-part summary of the Watergate scandal in October 1972. It rekindled the scandal, forcing President Nixon's resignation on August 8, 1974.

Predictably, North Vietnam invaded the South in December 1974. Saigon fell on April 30, 1975.

Cronkite's CIA connection surfaced briefly during the Congressional Pike Committee hearings of 1975-76. CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr, who covered the hearings, later wrote:

"A former CBS correspondent, Sam Jaffe, said that the CIA had gotten him a job at CBS and that the list of current and former journalist-spies included Walter Cronkite. Cronkite heatedly denied that..."

In theory, I see no reason why journalists should avoid helping the CIA in matters of national interest. But who defines the national interest? The tragic story of Walter Cronkite teaches us that CIA spymasters may be poor judges at best.

Richard Lawrence Poe Richard Lawrence Poe is a contributing editor to Newsmax, an award-winning journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. His latest book is The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and Sixties Radicals Siezed Control of the Democratic Party, co-written with David Horowitz.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aidandcomfort; cia; cronkite; enemedia; richardpoe; shadowgovernment; vietnam; vietnamwar
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1 posted on 02/26/2008 1:15:42 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: Richard Poe

What’s left unsaid is why the CIA would want to bring about a US defeat in Vietnam. ???


2 posted on 02/26/2008 1:19:22 PM PST by saganite (Lust type what you what in the “tagline” space)
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To: Richard Poe

Conkrite is one of those I will not shed a tear for when he dies. There will be a special place in hell for him and his ilk.


3 posted on 02/26/2008 1:23:04 PM PST by Free Vulcan (Don't think I can vote for you John, I'm feelin' like a maverick.)
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To: Richard Poe
The communists understood that Cronkite spoke for official Washington. In their darkest hour, he gave them hope. They resolved to fight on.

While I loathe the antics of Cronkite, who is to blame for losing Vietnam? If Cronkite was the mouthpiece for the Johnson Administration and CIA Cronkite was merely the tool who relayed the message they wanted the North Vietnamese to hear.

4 posted on 02/26/2008 1:23:38 PM PST by Obadiah
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To: Richard Poe

Why would the CIA want to lose in Vietnam and to oust Nixon?


5 posted on 02/26/2008 1:23:55 PM PST by Greg F (Do you want a guy named Hussein to fix your soul? Michelle Obama thinks you do.)
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To: Richard Poe

Uncle Walter is a liberal Democrat who wore his political affilation on his sleeve. Along with NBC’s Huntley and Brinkley he helped perfect the image of young John Kennedy and foisted that phoney on the public.

Turning on the Vietnam War in the late sixties, Cronkite was later part of the media clique who refused to report the slaughter of America’s allies in the mid seventies.

Two million, maybe more dead as a result of the US pullout. Not news though. If the MSM doesn’t cover it, it must not be happening.


6 posted on 02/26/2008 1:24:05 PM PST by kjo
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To: Richard Poe
the communist Tet Offensive of 1968. American and South Vietnamese forces had routed the enemy.... Cronkite reported the opposite. "We are mired in stalemate," he told Americans on February 27, 1968. America's only hope, said Cronkite, was to "negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who... did the best they could". Cronkite's message reached Hanoi loud and clear. The communists understood that Cronkite spoke for official Washington. In their darkest hour, he gave them hope. They resolved to fight on.

And his young protege's spew out the same traitorous lies today regarding Iraq.

7 posted on 02/26/2008 1:24:46 PM PST by AmericaUnited
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To: Greg F

To answer your question there is a great book now out of print called THE YANKEE AND COWBOY WAR. Written just after Watergate it goes into the issues dividing the nation and how intermural war broke out after the Kennedy assassination when it became clear to some that there had been a coup.

Wish I could think of the author’s name.


8 posted on 02/26/2008 1:26:41 PM PST by kjo
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To: saganite
walter kronkite is a traitor, worse than Benedict Arnold, and as soon as he dies, I believe that satan will welcome him to eternal fire.

That bastard caused more damage to the US than LBJ. I hate few people, but uncle walter is one that has earned my enmity.

9 posted on 02/26/2008 1:27:34 PM PST by USS Alaska (Nuke the terrorist savages - In Honor of Standing Wolf)
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To: saganite
saganite writes: "What’s left unsaid is why the CIA would want to bring about a US defeat in Vietnam."

I touched upon that topic in some previous columns:

How the CIA Lost Vietnam

Why Liberals Love the CIA

CIA Bloggers for Hillary

10 posted on 02/26/2008 1:28:07 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: Richard Poe

My Father did 2 tours in Vietnam and tried to inform me of Cronkite’s disdain for America. I was 12, 13 at the time and thought my Dad was full of it. I know better now. Cronkite already has his 1st class, one way to hell. Enjoy you SOB!


11 posted on 02/26/2008 1:30:04 PM PST by albie
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To: saganite

I wonder if they were infiltrated. The Soviets had people everywhere else in our govt it seems.


12 posted on 02/26/2008 1:30:18 PM PST by Free Vulcan (Don't think I can vote for you John, I'm feelin' like a maverick.)
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To: saganite

Maybe they didn’t want a defeat, per se, but to keep it dragging on and on and on, until the cash cow had no more to give. I remember things I saw and was involved in that leads me to this supposition.


13 posted on 02/26/2008 1:30:19 PM PST by Safetgiver (Lord, I'll give to the poor when they stop wanting to be poor.)
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To: Richard Poe
So, the CIA was crap back then too. Considering the Plame disgrace, not much has changed.
14 posted on 02/26/2008 1:31:17 PM PST by Berlin_Freeper (Mike Huckabee: ‘I Majored In Miracles’)
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To: saganite
“What’s left unsaid is why the CIA would want to bring about a US defeat in Vietnam. ???”

Could it be that the CIA has alway been loaded down with a bunch of liberals who actually do not have our best interests at heart? Probably the same reason the CIA tried to buck Bush every step of the way during his presidency.

15 posted on 02/26/2008 1:33:25 PM PST by HwyChile
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To: Richard Poe
Vietnam is the case study in the illogic of the liberal left. Also in their immorality.

Nixon had them beat, the communists and the American left, and then there was the collapse of Watergate. But certainly Nixon showed how the left could be beaten through direct confrontation and condemnation.

16 posted on 02/26/2008 1:35:41 PM PST by Williams
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To: USS Alaska
I hate few people, but uncle walter is one that has earned my enmity.

And mine as well!

Great post!

17 posted on 02/26/2008 1:37:06 PM PST by Bigun (IRS sucks @getridof it.com)
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To: Berlin_Freeper

CIA has been a preserve of the idiot elites from Yale for decades. I believe every CIA operative in the Soviet Union was executed while the CIA ignored the obvious presence of a mole at Langley. Faceless elitist beauracrats don’t do a good job running anything.


18 posted on 02/26/2008 1:38:42 PM PST by Williams
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To: Williams

Watergate was an orchestrated collapse. It was a nothing event that the press wasn’t interested in until after McGovern’s defeat. The WaPo and NYTimes saw it as an opportunity to overturn an election. CBS agreed. I remember the tremendous media campaign of ‘73 and ‘74. A liberal full court press forcing Nixon to resign.

Nixon could never quite understand how he allowed them to trap him; after all FDR used the FBI time and again for “black bag jobs”. Read Conrad Black’s FDR.

Nixon could never quite get the fact that there were two sets of rules, one for the Kennedys and their like, another for him.


19 posted on 02/26/2008 1:41:11 PM PST by kjo
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To: kjo
Carl Oglesby is the author of one named that and the rest of this title is Conspiracies from Dallas to Watergate. There are 6 used ones on Amazon from $74.70. Is this the one you are thinking of?
20 posted on 02/26/2008 1:41:23 PM PST by MamaB
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To: AmericaUnited

Just want to mention that the Johnson administration and its eggheads were a pathetic bunch as well. Think of all the “brilliant” minds who left that supposedly war-minded administration and emerged as total leftists and defeatists. They screwed everything up.


21 posted on 02/26/2008 1:42:25 PM PST by Williams
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To: MamaB

It is, thank you. I read it about 1982 and let someone borrow it...never got it back. I certainly recommend it.


22 posted on 02/26/2008 1:43:09 PM PST by kjo
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To: Bigun; USS Alaska
I hate few people, but uncle walter is one that has earned my enmity.

And mine as well!

Great post!

Well, that's three of us!!

23 posted on 02/26/2008 1:44:09 PM PST by pilipo (I am officially a man without a country.)
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To: kjo

Everything you say is correct, except Nixon was guilty. The republicans in Congress abandoned him and I agreed with them at the time. Then we had the spectacle of what democrats do when their president commits criminal acts in plain view - they rally around him and turn the rule of law on its head. Also all rules of morality.


24 posted on 02/26/2008 1:45:12 PM PST by Williams
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To: Williams

Nixon WAS guilty. He was trapped by the media and Dems through his own foolishness. Had he stepped up in early ‘74 and fired some people he would have had a terrible six weeks and then finished out his second term.

My point is...Nixon thought the old dodge of “national security” that FDR used with J Edgar Hoover to find out dirt on his enemies was still good...it wasn’t.

The rules changed without anybody telling Dick.


25 posted on 02/26/2008 1:58:25 PM PST by kjo
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To: Richard Poe

bump


26 posted on 02/26/2008 1:59:57 PM PST by cll (Carthage must be destroyed)
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To: Williams
Everything you say is correct, except Nixon was guilty.

To the far left in this country (that would include CBS, the Washington Post, the NY Times, large elements of the US Department of State, and elements within the CIA) Nixon was guilty of deeds far worse than covering up a break in of DNC headquarters at the Watergate hotel. He was guilty of helping that bastard Joe McCarthy. They never forgave him for that and Watergate was the pay back.

27 posted on 02/26/2008 2:00:59 PM PST by Bigun (IRS sucks @getridof it.com)
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To: Richard Poe

We have a DIA. The CIA has been proven useless and disloyal.

Time to disband it.

That, and redo the State Department.


28 posted on 02/26/2008 2:04:03 PM PST by exit82 (People get the government they deserve. And they are about to get it--in spades.)
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To: kjo

Carl Oglesby


29 posted on 02/26/2008 2:06:21 PM PST by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Richard Poe

Thanks for the insight. ...very revealing.


30 posted on 02/26/2008 2:06:38 PM PST by TexasCajun
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To: Bigun

You are EXACTLY right.


31 posted on 02/26/2008 2:08:38 PM PST by kjo
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To: kjo
The rules changed without anybody telling Dick.

The rules haven't changed, they just don't apply to Democrats and haven't at least since that Commie Roosevelt.

32 posted on 02/26/2008 2:14:46 PM PST by magslinger (cranky right-winger)
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To: Bigun

all agreed and don’t forget they hated Nixon for prosecuting Soviet spy Alger Hiss.


33 posted on 02/26/2008 2:26:09 PM PST by Williams
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To: Williams
Of course!

I believe that would come under the broad heading of "helping McCarthy".

34 posted on 02/26/2008 2:30:01 PM PST by Bigun (IRS sucks @getridof it.com)
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To: kjo
intermural war broke out after the Kennedy assassination when it became clear to some that there had been a coup

I think the climactic battles of the Cold War were fought within the CIA.

It was the CIA of the Washington Post vs. the CIA of Howard Hunt and the plumbers...left vs. right.

Nixon was the scapegoat.

35 posted on 02/26/2008 2:56:12 PM PST by what's up
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To: Richard Poe

I read this article and the last won you wrote. Where is the evidence that the CIA desired to lose the war in Vietnam? If there is any evidence to support this claim, please highlight it.

The only statement that is related to your claim in the most recent Vietnam article is this quote below.

“The CIA made a fateful choice. Rather than accept President Johnson’s decision, it resolved to stop him (regarding the Vietnam War).”

That appears to be your statement and assumption. Do you have any specific supporting evidence or rationale to make your claim. It’s a bold claim with no evidence in these two articles. If I’m mistaken I’ll be glad to read specific points.


36 posted on 02/26/2008 3:05:56 PM PST by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: Richard Poe
Image hosted by Photobucket.com there is a special place in hell reserved for that old bastard.
37 posted on 02/26/2008 3:24:35 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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.

“Another battle that lasted through and beyond Tet also deserves mention for what some perceived as a historical parallel. As James Griffiths, a veteran of the 11th Armored Cavalry, notes in his book “Vietnam Insights,” gloomy media depictions were not limited to the Saigon area but also occurred at the northern Marine base at Khe Sanh during Tet. Bob Young of ABC and Walter Cronkite of CBS linked the victorious general of Dien Bien Phu, Vo Nguyen Giap, to the siege at Khe Sanh, and Time put him on its cover. It was as if Giap’s presence would cause a Marine defeat at Khe Sanh to be a foregone conclusion. Newsweek jumped on the antiwar bandwag­on with its March 18, 1968, issue. Using the Khe Sanh ammo dump explosion as its cover, it failed to let readers know that the incident had occurred two months earlier, concluding, “Though the U.S. dilemma at Khe Sanh is particu­larly acute, it is not unique. It simply reflects in microcosm the entire U.S. military position in Vietnam. U.S. strategy up to this point has been a failure.””

http://www.11thcavnam.com/education/americanlegion.htm


38 posted on 02/26/2008 3:35:01 PM PST by polymuser (Those who believe in something eventually prevail over those who believe in nothing.)
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To: saganite

“What’s left unsaid is why the CIA would want to bring about a US defeat in Vietnam. ?”

It was and is still full of lefties - they took down Nixon and tried to get Bush, too.


39 posted on 02/26/2008 3:35:42 PM PST by spanalot
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To: USS Alaska

Amen!


40 posted on 02/26/2008 3:36:57 PM PST by spanalot
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To: Free Vulcan

Free Vulcan wrote:

Conkrite is one of those I will not shed a tear for when he dies. There will be a special place in hell for him and his ilk.”

Hell ain’t half full, jump in Walter, and hold Jimmy’s hand when you go.


41 posted on 02/26/2008 3:38:01 PM PST by redstateconfidential (If you are the smartest person in the room,you are hanging out with the wrong people.)
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To: Chode
Chode wrote: Image hosted by Photobucket.com there is a special place in hell reserved for that old bastard." hell
42 posted on 02/26/2008 3:40:55 PM PST by redstateconfidential (If you are the smartest person in the room,you are hanging out with the wrong people.)
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To: rbmillerjr
rbmillerjr: "Where is the evidence that the CIA desired to lose the war in Vietnam?"

Actually, you are asking the wrong question. You are asking for evidence of the CIA's motivation, which is to say, of the CIA's state of mind. I am far more interested in the CIA's actions than in its words or thoughts.

The pattern of CIA activity from roughly 1964 to 1974, described in my series of articles and further elucidated in the many links I provided, demands an explanation beyond that supplied by mainstream journalists and historians. These actions include, but are not limited to, the following:

1) Officially advising President Johnson in 1964 that the war was lost and that Vietnam should be abandoned to the communists;

2) Creating and funding anti-war front groups, beginning in 1965;

3) Praising and promoting said anti-war front groups via CIA propaganda networks operating through major newspapers and broadcast networks;

4) Ousting President Johnson through the so-called "Dump Johnson" campaign run by CIA contract consultant Allard Lowenstein, who recruited Eugene McCarthy to run against Johnson in the primaries;

5) Creating and leaking the so-called "Pentagon Papers";

6) Hampering Nixon's war efforts and negotiations with a never-ending stream of well-timed and extremely damaging leaks of classified information to the press;

7) Ousting Nixon through the so-called "Watergate" scandal;

All of the activities cited above demonstrate a consistent pattern on the part of our CIA to undermine and sabotage the war effort.

Rather than demanding from me proof of the CIA's motivation -- a topic on which I can only speculate or hypothesize -- I would urge you to pursue a more useful line of inquiry, which would be to consider the facts I have set before you, as well as the many links I provided which supplement those facts, and to ponder what these facts could possibly mean.

If you reject my explanation of these facts, please feel free to supply an alternative explanation of your own.

43 posted on 02/26/2008 3:45:54 PM PST by Richard Poe
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To: Free Vulcan
I wonder if they were infiltrated. The Soviets had people everywhere else in our govt it seems.

What'ya mean "they." They're still here!

44 posted on 02/26/2008 3:55:40 PM PST by subterfuge (LET THE HOARDING BEGIN!!)
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To: Richard Poe

If you ask me, that is pretty evidential stuff you’ve listed.

I doubt there is any other way to explain the so-called **quagmire** that these days is simply refered to as “vietnam.”


45 posted on 02/26/2008 4:03:23 PM PST by subterfuge (LET THE HOARDING BEGIN!!)
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To: Richard Poe

“All of the activities cited above demonstrate a consistent pattern on the part of our CIA to undermine and sabotage the war effort.”

I despise the leftists and Cronkite as much as you or any other good conservative. It is obvious that leftists in our media proactively sought American’s defeat in Vietnam. I would even go as far as to say that much of the Watergate story was concocted to gain attention.

But I don’t see the support for a claim that the CIA, in it’s entirety set out as a policy covert or otherwise to have the US lose or withdrawl in Vietnam. Now, were there leftists within the CIA who may have done things to hinder us? Certainly.

But, to say that the CIA is basically rogue and coopted as an intelligence agency put your line of reasoning in the “CIA killed Kennedy in a coup” type of conspiracy reasoning.

Take your #7) “Ousting Nixon through the so-called “Watergate” scandal”

What is your proof of this claim? To say leftists within the media ousted him could possibly be show to have played a huge part. But you are saying the CIA directly did this?


46 posted on 02/26/2008 4:03:49 PM PST by rbmillerjr ("bigger government means constricting freedom"....................RWR)
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To: Richard Poe

What part did James Angleton (DCI) play?


47 posted on 02/26/2008 4:11:16 PM PST by what's up
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To: Richard Poe

Cronkite. Never heard of him.


48 posted on 02/26/2008 4:16:49 PM PST by ItisaReligionofPeace
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To: redstateconfidential
Image hosted by Photobucket.com yup, he gets the horns...
49 posted on 02/26/2008 4:21:05 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist ©®)
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To: Richard Poe
Conkrite and Rather are two of a kind. It's hard to say which I hate the most. I guess I'd have to go with Conkrite but Rather would be only about ¼ point behind him.
IMHO
50 posted on 02/26/2008 4:26:10 PM PST by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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