This is an excerpt from a Forum held at the American University School of Communication broadcast by C-SPAN2. The complete film recording is here (1:58:47).
[0:03:44] ... I think from my own work, I read the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission, Allen Dulles, when he was asked about releasing the evidence by Hale Boggs, said ‘Go ahead and print it. Nobody will read it anyway.’ And unfortunately, especially now in a post-literate generation, Stone’s film is about the only thing that will reach youth. There are a few of us who read still, but as you well know the FBI is trying to get our name from the library. So this is crossed over the line and it’s why it’s so disturbing.
But let me tell you two stories to end that convinced me that this was not only a conspiracy but a conspiracy well beyond the capability of any mafia goon, of any CIA schlepper, of any renegade element in the U.S. intelligence, of any oilman with a beef; these are the layers of the onion that were planted at the beginning so we’d never see the core.
My mother worked for 30 years altogether, but 25 years for the Deputy Chief of Staff in the Personnel Office of the U.S. Army, directly under the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She was the highest-paid woman employee of the Pentagon; she was five levels above top security. I mentioned to Fletcher Prouty the other day I worked from the bottom up and he worked from the top down, and we met at the Joint Chiefs. My mother’s job was to project overall national draft call figures five years in advance. She had to project an annual national Selective Service call that was right within a hundred people either way five years ahead. She knew from those projections and from the information she got that they were withdrawing from Vietnam.
If you want to get hold of the papers that prove Prouty’s point, I just got this today at the Government Printing Office—Foreign Relations in the United States, 1961-1963. The State Department papers are released in Volume 4 of the Vietnam series. This is August to December, 1963, and the security memoranda are in there that talk about Kennedy’s plan. It’s been backed up by Arthur Schlesinger and more recently—yesterday, I believe, or the day before—in the New York Times by Roger Hilsman.
He was pulling out. My mother knew that because she had to project those kind of figures. I asked her after she retired, “When did they tell you they would escalate in Vietnam?” because she had to be among the first to know. She said, “Late November of ’63.” I said, “The last week in November?” She said, “Yes, the Monday following the assassination.” I said, “Was this a few more advisers, a change in policy?” She said, “I couldn’t believe the figures. I took them back to the Joint Chiefs in what must have been the first protest by the civilian community to the war in Vietnam and said, ‘These can’t be right,’ and they said, ‘You’ll use them.’” They told her November 25, 1963 that the war in Vietnam would last for 10 years and that 57,000 Americans would die and to figure that in.
I also talked to SAC bomber pilots. Strategic Air Command bomber pilots, who have the responsibility of nuclear and emergency response, who are in the air on regular shifts 24 hours a day. These were in the air over Wright-Patterson Air Force Base when they heard the news that Kennedy had been shot. They ran to open lockers that contain a cryptograph code book that allows them to tell whether the president is calling them and to take orders that go all the way out to fail-safe and nuclear war. There was not a pilot in the air that hour—over Wright-Pat anyway—and I would contend this is the case everywhere else; no reason to isolate it—that had a code book in that locker. We know from Pierre Salinger’s book that there was no code book aboard Air Force Two bringing the entire cabinet back from important meetings that changed the course in Vietnam in the next few days. They were in the air and had no way to communicate with the White House or the president. There’s nobody that can touch those books besides the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest levels of defense intelligence.