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Article: 561 of
From: (dave "who can do? ratmandu!" ratcliffe)
Subject: "The Sabotaging of the American Presidency" -- the U-2 debacle
Keywords: G. Powers' 5/1/60 U-2 flight deliberatly dashed Ike's hopes 4 peace
Organization: Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1992 15:25:32 GMT
Lines: 990

I include this article by Fletcher Prouty as access to more of the history that has been "classified" and hence stolen from all of us just as the truth about the assassinations has been. Stone's inclusion of Ike's farewell address is right to the point. Fletcher Prouty has written quite a bit about the U-2 downing and how it was a harbinger of the kinds of overt moves the national security establishment would make as it carried out the political assassinations of the 60s and beyond, and its own increasing bid for absolute power.


    *     *     *     *     *     *     *

The pictures Khrushchev showed to the public and to newsmen gave away the ruse. The industrial installations and the rows of aircraft exhibited were tiny dots on regular film, and even with the best enlargement, they would never have met Dr. Cline's criterion of twelve inches from 30,000 feet.
        This is a crucial point. The U-2 incident was a clever and sinister deception. Its perpetrators intended for the Russians to find the U-2 and to think Powers was doing a spy's work. Yet, these perpetrators were far enough up in Government circles to know that it was the technology of the camera which must not be given away.

President Eisenhower looked forward to visiting the Soviet Union during May of 1960, along with increasing the level of dialogue with Premier Krushchev regarding implementation of a genuine halt to the arms race. His Crusade for Peace was intended to reach a new level of understanding ushered in with the planned meeting in Paris on May 16, followed by a tour of Russia many expected to be a resounding success for both sides. Charles Bohlen (Russian ambassador from 4/53 to 12/56) recalls, "I was certainly enthusiastic about Eisenhower's scheduled trip to the Soviet Union. Eisenhower was not only a President, he was also a war hero. The Russians would have loved him." [Witness to History, p.462]

But despite all the effort and planning the President of the United States was pinning his forty-five years of government service on the successful outcome of, he found himself outmatched by a very tight-knit group of people operating within the newly-birthed powers of the National Security State complex. When, in his farewell address, he spoke of "guard[ing] against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex", he was not describing some abstract concept about what might lie ahead -- he was going as far as he dared in speaking publicly about his own painful experiences. When he stated "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist" he was alluding to his own ordeal of crushed hopes for a better world for all.

The urgency of these words -- to take nothing for granted, to call for an alert and knowledgeable citizenry as the only protection against an unwarranted and unaccountable exercising of power, "to compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals" -- these words were spoken by a man who, although Commander-In-Chief, and "leader of the free world," was not truly the one deciding what agendas the United States would pursue and who would benefit by those agendas.

Regarding the following article's discussion of the U-2 overflight on May 1, 1960 -- in direct contravention to President Eisenhower's express orders banning all such flights before his summit conference with Kruschev on May 16 -- the following sums up the essence of the the misuse of constitutional powers in the executive branch of our federal government via the rubric of "assumption of authorization":

Here is the most astonishing piece of evidence about the misuse of Presidential authority to come to light, including the Nixon tapes. The powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee was asking the Director of Central Intelligence where he got his authority for this infamous flight, and all Allen Dulles could reply was, "Well, we had a group." Then, when Senator Gore asked if Dulles knew whether the men in that group hat the proper authority to issue such orders, all that the Director of the CIA could say was, "I assume that he did." There is the whole crux of the U-2 flight, the breakup of the summit conference, the chance for peace.

Because actual authorization could be bypassed by the assumption of authorization, and this has become standard procedure, illegal acts like the U-2 incident can be committed by those whose motives are to undermine the power and the process of the elected Government. . . .

In this ominous byplay, we see the shadow of hands behind the scenes. If Eisenhower did not order the flight, who did? If Dulles didn't know whether the men whom he said authorized the flight had that authority, who knew? If someone had the inside knowledge to get away with launching an unauthorized flight, who was it? And if those people knew that the cameras must be protected, who were they? By the time you answer those questions, even by the time you ask them, you can draw the strings tightly around that very small group who actually did operate the U-2's in 1960. There were only three or four men able to do those things, and their names are in the Pentagon telephone book of 1960. I will not name names as it is not my intention to jeopardize these men's lives.

the following appeared in the January, 1978 issue of Gallery.


by L. Fletcher Prouty
reprinted with permission of the author

In 1960, the Secret Team, terrified that President Eisenhower was coming to terms with the USSR, resolved that there must be no peace. A surefire plan was needed to destruct the upcoming summit conference. What better way to show American bad faith than by arranging for a US "spy" plane to be forced down over the USSR on the Russian's most important national holiday.

More than one-third of all the Federal Taxes you and I pay goes into something called "Defense"; yet, we have almost no defense at all. We do have some offense, though, and that offense is supposed to operate on a "fail-safe" system. How safe is fail-safe? What happens when fail-safe fails?

Within the chambers of Government there are channels. Underground, moles burrow from agency to agency and in and out of the White House. They are master bureaucrats who know their way around blindfolded. While Congress and the President work at controlling the Government by manipulating the Budget, these bureaucrats benefit from what our tax money buys.

Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, and Eisenhower had their power as President jerked out from under them by these underground forces. Nixon was the victim of a piece of tape on a Watergate door; Johnson lost to the runaway madness of the Vietnam War; Kennedy was wiped out by the hired guns of Dallas; and Eisenhower was broken down by a secret team who launched an unauthorized U-2 flight.

The power of the Presidency is elusive and Presidents are never sure when they really have it. Momentous acts, presumably carried out with Presidential knowledge and approval, can in fact be committed without the President's authorization. In many cases, the presumption of authorization is standard operating procedure for action.

After a lifetime of Government service, President Eisenhower went to bed on the night of April 30th, 1960 secure in the belief that he, Macmillan of Britain, DeGaulle of France, and Khrushchev of the USSR would meet in Paris on May 16th in a summit conference that would seal agreements for peace throughout the world. Eisenhower was believed to be a powerful world figure whose dedication to this Crusade for Peace would succeed. But as he slept, fail-safe failed.

Three or four moles in the Pentagon, doing the bidding of their masters, flashed coded signals across the world to send out a lone U-2 plane on one of the longest and most impossible missions ever attempted by a U-2 -- a 3,900-mile journey from Peshawar, Pakistan across the Soviet Union to Bodo, on the northern tip of Norway. These men's actions neatly bypassed the entire ultra-secret system and launched a plane that had been rigged to come down in the heart of the USSR on one of its most important holidays, May Day. Thus were destroyed the summit conference and Eisenhower's Crusade for Peace.

New information, including recently obtained Congressional testimony, has come to light that uncovers details of this monstrous scheme.

In 1944 when General Dwight D. Eisenhower threw the armada of the West against the Nazi stronghold on the French beaches of Normandy, even Hitler's army could not stop the onslaught.

But in 1960 when President Eisenhower launched his Crusade for Peace to bring about a lasting detente with the Soviet Union, one U-2 airplane, one pilot, and the invisible enemy shattered his dream. That U-2, flown into the USSR on May 1, 1960 by Francis Gary Powers was not on a spy mission as had been alleged. It was launched for the sole purpose of destroying whatever chance there was for peace. It was the weapon of the war lovers -- the missile of the industrial complex.

Ike learned what other world leaders have learned: it is easier to wage war than to make peace. In war the enemy is visible, and he is usually on the other side.

For years the U-2 and everything about its clandestine operations for the CIA had been cloaked in a mantle of such secrecy that very few people knew anything about the plane or its missions. When the U-2 was lost over the USSR and then claimed by Khrushchev to have been shot down, few people knew what was true and what was not. The whole world was caught off guard. It was not difficult to believe the contrived NASA-CIA cover story that a plane had been lost while on an upper-atmosphere research flight. However, that cover story was a lie -- twice over!

During the past few years, information about this very special flight has begun to trickle down from various sources, and the muddy waters are becoming clearer. Some of the facts surrounding the U-2 incident, coincidental or otherwise, are shocking.

On September 24, 1959 secret aircraft came to a belly landing on a tiny Japanese glider field near Atsugi.[1] That airplane was a CIA, civilian-piloted U-2 spy plane. On May 1, 1960 that same U-2, serial number 360, having been rebuilt at the famous "skunk works" at Lockheed, flew over the USSR and landed at Sverdlovsk, changing the course of history.

Recently, the top secret transcripts of the May 1960 hearings held before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. Senate became available. These transcripts had been obscured by an ambiguous title: Hearings Regarding Summit Conference of May 1960. Neither the title nor the index page give any clues to the casual researcher that the transcripts might have anything to do with the U-2 incident.

These hearings took place right after the U-2 went down, before Francis Gary Powers, the pilot of that plane, went on trial in Moscow. In other words, they took place before we had learned the Soviet side of the story and before Powers came back from prison. Few people even knew about these super-secret hearings.

Those in attendance were, in addition to the full Committee and their staff: Allen W. Dulles, then the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) and his Deputy, General S. Warner, and Ed Enck, all from the CIA and the U-2 program. Interestingly, the ostensible director of the U-2 program, Richard Bissell, was not there. Representing the Secretary of State was William B. Macomber; representing the Secretary of Defense was a Navy man, Captain L. Patrick Gray, the man whom Richard Nixon appointed to head the FBI, and later of Watergate fame. Although there were a large number of Air Force officers operating the U-2 program, not a single Air Force man was there.

A few months after the release of the transcripts in 1975, an obscure but authoritative journal, Military Affairs, published for the American Military Institute by the history department at Kansas State University, appeared with the paper, A Fragile Detente: The U-2 Incident Re-examined, by James A. Nathan, a member of the history department at the University of Delaware. This scholarly treatise might have gone unnoticed, except for the fact that the editor of Military Affairs received an angry letter from Francis Gary Powers dated February 6, 1976. In it Powers stated: "Normally I do not comment on articles written about the U-2 incident," but the usually taciturn Powers wrote a rambling, fourteen-page letter. Perhaps someone wrote it for him. That letter is remarkable; the Nathan article is remarkable; the Senate Foreign Relations Committee document, all 195 pages, is astounding; and the whole U-2 affair is unmatched in recent history. It is one of those keystone events that shaped the course of our lives for years afterward.

Contrary to all reports, that U-2 was not on a spy mission. It was not even flown by a spy. Powers' identification papers -- and he was loaded with them -- proved to his captors that he was a pilot working for the U.S. Air Force. He carried no CIA documents. With his Air Force ID and his uniform, military-type pressure suit, there was no evidence to indicate he was a spy. He looked like any other Air Force pilot. Why then was he promptly labeled a spy? What was Powers doing over the heart of the Soviet Union on May Day, and just before the most important summit conference of all?

In 1960 the directive NSC 10/2, published by the National Security Council (NSC) required that any clandestine operation must be operated so that if it failed or was compromised in any way, this country would be able to plausibly deny the existence of the operation. In CIA jargon, the plane and the pilot had to be "sterilized." The CIA and the Department of Defense (DOD) had spent millions of dollars sterilizing aircraft and equipment used in clandestine operations, so that anyone who might uncover an operation would be unable, under reasonable circumstances, to trace it positively to its true origin. Why then did Powers carry ID, and why did this U-2 carry so many identifying marks and decals?

I was the properly designated military officer in the Pentagon for a period of nine years -- including 1960 -- responsible for exactly this function of supporting the clandestine activities for the CIA. Under my direction many aircraft, many items of equipment, and many personnel were properly sterilized and "sheep-dipped" prior to use in secret missions. The U-2's were no exception. As a matter of fact, the entire U-2 program was supposed to have been made sterile from production on up. I must say I knew the CIA to be meticulous about deniability. On regular clandestine overflights to China Tibet, Indonesia, Burma, and other places, they did their best to conform with and obey the NSC directive. The identifying evidence included in Powers' flight violated the NSC mandate. If this was a spy mission, the violation was clearly planned to wreck the upcoming summit conference.

It was normal DOD-CIA practice that pilots engaged in clandestine operations don pressure suits which contained no identification of any kind prior to takeoff. In the process, the pilot was required to strip, and all identity and personal items were removed by the officials in charge of that flight.

Not only was this standard procedure a matter of great care, but in important cases, two or three aircraft and two or three pilots would be readied for each flight. The pilots would not know which plane they might fly, and no pilot would know his mission until the final briefing.

Powers' U-2 had been flown from Turkey to Peshawar, Pakistan on April 30, 1960 just a few hours before Powers took off for the USSR. He had been flown to Pakistan by transport and given only two and a half hours' warning before the flight. He has written: "I did not see the plane at close range."

For some unaccountable reason Powers took off on this, the longest USSR overflight ever planned, and in the seat pack of his parachute was every identification imaginable. If Powers was supposed to play the role of a spy, then in accordance with the script that has historically been passed down, he would be nameless, faceless, a man without a country. He was none of those things. Why not? And who saw to it that he was none of these things?

Powers had in his kit one of the old World War II silk "escape-and-evasion" flags. On the margin of this flag was written, among other things, "I am an American. I need food, shelter. I will not harm you. You will be rewarded." Does a spy carry such identity? And how about the cover story that he was a military pilot who unaccountably got lost and flew over the Soviet border? If he hadn't intended to fly over a "hostile" country in peacetime, then why the escape-and-evasion kit? None of the official stories made the slightest bit of sense.

Yet, as soon as the news of Powers' discovery in the USSR became known, he was declared by both the Soviets and the Americans to be a spy. He was tried as a spy.

What was even more incriminating was the fact that Powers had his DOD identification card listing him as a member of the Air Force. He had forty-eight gold coins, four expensive watches, seven gold rings, and a pocketful of paper currency of many nations, including the USA and USSR. Powers had nineteen other forms of identity, including his Social Security card, 230-30-0321, a Lodge card, his USAF medical card, a driver's license, and two copies of his instrument cards, earned by all Air Force pilots for weather-flying qualifications.

During the Senate hearings, Allen Dulles said: "He [Powers] was given the various items of equipment which the Soviets have publicized and which are normally a standard procedure and selected on the basis of wide experience gained in World War II and in Korea." What experience was Dulles talking about? Military? CIA? Certainly Dulles knew that true spies are nameless.

On top of this, Dulles told the Senators: "He [Powers] would acknowledge that he was working for the CIA. This was to make it clear that he was not working for any branch of the armed services and that his mission was solely an intelligence mission." At another point in the hearings, Senator Fulbright said to Dulles: "You made a point of being very careful to have these planes disassociated from the military force. I mean you saw that the pilot was." [author's emphasis]

Dulles replied: "That is correct. We made every effort to disassociate this so that any incident that might occur would not rub off on the Defense establishment or the Air Force."

That is an out and out lie! A case can be made that Allen Dulles, like President Eisenhower, did not know that the U-2 flight had gone out. This ordeal with the Senate Committee may have been thrust upon him by those who had the power to send out the U-2 flight without the knowledge of the proper authorities. As an indication of Mr. Dulles' confusion before the Committee, when Fulbright asked him another question, Dulles replied: "Yes, which lie . . .," then quickly corrected his goof by saying: "Which page . . . ?" He knew he had been telling lies all day long.

Allen Dulles didn't know the facts. It is true that uniformed military personnel on military missions are given identity and an escape-and-evasion kit. Military personnel are always in uniform, and there are Geneva Convention agreements which govern their care. Powers was in a USAF military-type flying suit. His ID said he was an Air Force pilot.

In sworn testimony Allen Dulles contradicted himself and lied frequently to Senators Fulbright, Green, Mansfield, Gore, Wiley, Carlson, and Lausche. Dulles could not have it both ways. A spy is a spy, or he is not a spy.

As the hearings progressed it became even clearer that Dulles was uninformed about this critical U-2 operation. Considering his position as Director of the CIA, this ignorance is astounding. That he should lie, however, is not astounding. In 1964, Dulles told the Warren Commission that he would expect J. Edgar Hoover to lie about Lee Harvey Oswald's possible connection to the FBI and that he, himself, would lie to anyone about the CIA, its operations, and its agents. When pressed, he conceded that he "might tell the truth to the President."

Dulles knew what he was talking about; he was lying like mad to these Senators in May 1960. He had to!

How did Dulles expect "to make it clear [to the Soviets] that Powers was not working for any branch of the armed services" if he knew Powers had all the ID with him? It seems that Allen Dulles might well have been set up for these lies. He didn't know Powers had gone with that ID, and it may well be that Dulles did not even know about the flight until it was done.

It is not hard to prove that Powers was neither a spy nor a lost military pilot. Now, was the U-2 on a spy mission?

At 5:36 A.M. Moscow time, on May first, the unnumbered U-2 penetrated the border of the Soviet Union at a point fifteen miles southeast of the remote town of Kirovabad in the Tajik Republic and proceeded into Soviet territory. It continued for 1,343 miles to the vicinity of Sverdlovsk. There it landed shortly after nine o'clock in the morning. The questions remain: Why did it come down? Was it shot down?

Khrushchev reported that the U-2 had penetrated Soviet territory at an altitude of 20,000 meters (65,000 feet) and that the plane was "brought down by a rocket . . . when it was at an altitude of 20,000 meters." During his trial in Moscow in August 1960, Powers steadfastly maintained that he had been flying at 68,000 feet. In his February 1976 letter Powers still held to 68,000 feet as the altitude at which he said he was shot down. It is important to note that on May 31, 1960, Aviation Week, the authoritative aviation source, reported that the U-2 could fly above 100,000 feet. Despite Dulles' denials, Aviation Week was correct. That very special engine could push the U-2 above 100,000 feet. The latest model, the U-2R, is being flown even now. It is much larger, has about the same configuration, and does a superb job of peacetime clandestine reconnaissance.

During his testimony Dulles told about U-2 operations: "They [the Soviets] have gone through four years of frustrations in having the knowledge that since 1956 they could be overflown with impunity, that their vaunted fighters were useless against such flights, and that their ground-to-air capability was inadequate." Dulles sounded as if he, too, could not believe one had gone down. "It was only after he [Khrushchev] boasted, and we believed falsely, that he had been able to bring down the U-2 on May first by a ground-to-air missile, while the plane was flying at altitude, that he has allowed his people to have even an inkling of the capability which we have possessed."

Here Dulles denies Khrushchev's claim to have brought the U-2 down with a missile. Later during the same testimony, Dulles was even more explicit: "The question of course arises as to what actually happened to cause this aircraft to come down deep in the heart of Russia." Dulles went on: "Our best judgment is that it did not happen as claimed by the Soviets; that is, we believe that it was not shot down at its operating altitude of around 70,000 feet [recall he had earlier said 80,000] by the Russians. We believe that it was initially forced down to a much lower altitude by some as yet undetermined mechanical malfunction."

The Senators were concerned about this part of Dulles' story. Senator Aiken of Vermont asked: "Your best theory is that something forced him down to an altitude where he came within range of either the Soviet fighters or guns on the ground?"

Dulles replied: "That is our best theory. . . . It is obvious to us that the plane was not hit. If the plane had been hit by a ground-to-air missile, in our belief, it would have disintegrated." If that plane had been hit at 68,000 or 80,000 feet, it is highly unlikely that Powers would have come out alive. If he had been blasted out of that plane without life-support gear, or with that gear damaged, he could not have survived the fall. Powers contradicts Dulles' story by saying he rode the plane down for a long time and then bailed out. Dulles, however, was categorical; the plane was not hit.

Yet in 1976, sixteen years after this incident, Powers still claimed: "I have from the first stated that I was shot down, even to the Russians. I will only say that I was flying above 68,000 feet, the 68,000 feet being the altitude I told the Russians was the maximum for the U-2." [Note how he is backing off of that 68,000-foot story.]

Carter And The Secret Team

The U-2 testimony provides a record of how a Committee of the Senate listened to a lot of lies and never did anything about them. This is what President Carter faces. The secret team is there. It will be up to Carter to show who is boss. According to a highly placed source, his first test with the secret team is at hand.
        President Carter has recently obtained the long-hidden CIA files on the Kennedy assassination at the cost of firing the Deputy Director and the top-echelon, clandestine services staff of the CIA. What they contain is so earth-shaking that it will not only totally reverse the old Warren Commission fable of the single assassin, but will threaten Carter's own administration and perhaps his life.
        A top-level, high-powered cabal planned and paid for the liquidation of John Kennedy and has retained much of that power. It has engineered the massive coverup of that murder which persists to this day. That power center can strike again, today and any time.
        Carter's biggest problem today is what to do about this explosive information, how to break it to the world, and how to help Admiral Stansfield Turner in the CIA. Turner's finger is in the dike, but he is all alone. An able man, he has shaken up the agency and has fired many of the old clan; but that leaves a vacuum from which he can learn little. Turner has no one who really knows how the Agency works and where all of its most clandestine operatives are. The old clan won't tell.
        The generation-long cellularization in the Agency has produced an octopus which no one can tame. The loss of Ted Sorensen and the apparent inability to get former Deputy Director Lyman Kirkpatrick on board has done irreparable damage to the Carter team. Carter must get that experience. His team, especially Brown, Vance, Schlesinger, and Califano all have had a lot to do with the Agency, but none of them, including its former Director Schlesinger, really know it. Carter must find a way to get Kirkpatrick on board, or someone his equal, if such a person exists. If you are going into the catacombs, you had better go with an experienced mole.
        Meanwhile, watch for an explosion in the JFK murder story and for its tremendous impact on the Carter Presidency. The greatest danger will come if Carter cannot get this story out to the public. If he is forced to bottle it up, as the CIA has been doing, it will consume him.

In another vital part of the testimony, Dulles reports: "We have photographed various [Soviet] fighter planes vainly attempting to intercept the U-2." Thus by Dulles' own sworn statement, the best Soviet fighters with their airborne rockets could not bring the U-2 down when at altitude.

In the Military Affairs article, J.A. Nathan discusses the possibility of a flame-out; yet in the Powers letter, Powers ignores the idea of a flame-out and denies he ran out of fuel. If fighters and missiles couldn't reach him, if he didn't flame-out or run out of fuel, then why did Powers come down?

The question of flight altitude is very important. The U-2 was designed, developed, and purchased because it could fly higher than any Soviet aircraft and could fly above the combat ceiling for Soviet missiles. Dulles said the plane could fly at "fifteen miles," about 80,000 feet altitude. Actually, it could fly above 100,000 feet. Therefore, if the plane was at 80,000 feet or higher, it could not be hit. Dulles told the Senate Committee that the plane was not hit; Eisenhower says Powers radioed a flame-out; the Soviets say they shot it down; and Powers repeats the same thing in court and in his 1976 letter. Dulles knew; the U.S. Air Force -- General Kenneth Bergquist and his National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) staff knew; Lockheed knew; and the whole U-2 program operational staff knew. The U-2 could not be shot down at 80,000 feet and higher. Only three weeks earlier, on April 9, 1960, a U-2 had flown on a similar operational flight over Russia. It flew high and was not hit.

Thus, the first indisputable fact is that the plane was not shot down at 80,000 feet. But our second fact is that it did come down and did not disintegrate, as Dulles said it would have done if hit. Let's look at Eisenhower's flame-out idea in Waging Peace:

When the U-2 was being designed it was known that it would have a very special engine with titanium buckets, i.e., compressor blades. That big J-75 was a very special engine. It ran well, at high altitude, with military specification MIL-F-25524A fuel, and it carried the plane on many a successful mission. But the U-2 had been plagued with flame-outs (like a blow-torch popping out) and at that extreme altitude there is no way in the world a pilot could restart the engine. There is so little oxygen up there that it simply will not support combustion. So when the engine goes out the pilot must let the big "glider" float down and hope that no one will notice him while he gets low enough, into more dense air with more oxygen, to rekindle the engine. Coming down to lower altitude made the U-2 vulnerable to fighter aircraft and to rockets and sometimes the engine would not restart anyway, and the pilot would have to bail out or make the best landing he could. This is what Powers may have had to do. He says he bailed out, but many pilots I know who are familiar with that harrowing experience, made critical by the thin air at high altitude, have questions about his account of how he managed to do it. The chances are that after his flame-out he may have ridden that plane to the ground where he was then captured after a typical U-2 belly landing.
        Witnesses who were in Sverdlovsk that day have reported, for whatever it is worth, that Soviet MIG's were flying around like bees around honey. They would have been scrambled to make sure the U-2 landed and did not relight and climb back to the safety of high altitude.

Powers disputes the Eisenhower note about his flame-out broadcast while over the central USSR. In his 1976 letter he says: "It would have been impossible to make an engine flame-out transmission, as all U-2's at that time were equipped with only standard Air Force UHF sets. They were far from capable of transmitting the necessary 1,200 nautical miles."

This is the kind of goof that makes me believe the letter from Powers was a bureaucratic attempt at coverup by continuing the lies of 1960. The U-2 had a very good U.S. Air Force ARC-34 radio with twenty pre-set channels. And it had the radio-frequency information card. (Powers' letter plays games with geography. Sverdlovsk is 1,200 miles from Pakistan, but it is no more than 700 miles from CIA and National Security Agency (NSA) ground listening posts in Turkey and Iran. Powerful devices are there to listen to the daily air traffic of Soviet planes. Also, the huge U-2 support program was equipped with high-altitude EC-121 aircraft. These aircraft kept in constant touch with the U-2 during its flight. It is impossible to believe that a signal transmitted by Powers could not be picked up by ground or air listening posts. The CIA, the U.S. Air Force, NASA, NSA, NRO, and Lockheed, to name a few, have available the most advanced technicians. Through my own long- standing work with the CIA, I know of electronic techniques that could have informed the CIA not only of a U-2 flame-out, but also if Powers' heartbeat had flipped.)

The flame-out is simply a logical explanation for Powers' descent from his invulnerable 80,000-foot perch. And, it is consistent with Eisenhower's and Dulles' statements.

When work with the special modification of the J-75 engine for the U-2 began, it was realized that the U-2 would be operating in a hostile environment. At very high altitude the engine can't breathe, and it needs help. It must have some air-mass intake to support combustion. During experiments, it was discovered that a trace of hydrogen introduced into the fuel-air mixture would support combustion and would virtually assure reliable operation of the burner at very high altitudes. Only those very close to the operation knew that the U-2 engine needed and had this hydrogen capability. Thus, the U.S. Air Force had an elaborate, ultra- secret program, directed from the aeronautical center at Dayton, Ohio, which provided cryogenic (super-cold) liquified hydrogen to the U-2 program all around the world, just before each planned mission.

U2's on Display in Peking

A rare photograph of four badly damaged U-2's on display in Peking (photo obtained from Francis Gary Powers). In his letter of February 6, 1976 Powers wrote: "I am enclosing a photograph which shows the wreckage of four U-2's on display in Peking, China. All of them were shot down by SA-2 missiles. All of them are damaged to the same or lesser extent than my plane was damaged."
        This is an amazing statement for what it says, and for what it omits. What about the four pilots? Were they American? Were they Chinese? Or, is Powers trying to have us believe these planes were shot down when in reality they were drones with no pilots?
        We know that if they had been flying at U-2 altitude and with all systems "go," they would not have been shot down by SA-2's. Powers did not include any additional information, but left the door to other mysteries wide open.

Now we begin to find the Achilles heel of the entire U-2 program, and perhaps the single link that gave someone the power to ensure the success or failure of any go-for-broke U-2 mission. Here was a way to demolish the Eisenhower-Khrushchev peace talks.

Consider the scenario. A tiny group of top-level technicians with access to this hydrogen lifeline is charged with the responsibility of getting it to the Powers U-2. However, someone has arranged for less than a full cannister to be installed in the U-2 just before takeoff. The preflight check shows "Hydrogen-OK" because the preflight inspection only shows that the cannister is there, not how much hydrogen is in it. The pilot has no way of knowing that there is not sufficient hydrogen in the cannister for 3,900 miles because there is no gauge on his instrument panel. So, the 24,000-pound aircraft takes off, accelerates to 114 knots, and begins the long climb to altitude. Everything appears to be perfectly normal. The engine runs fine. All equipment functions. Then, at precisely the predetermined time, the hydrogen runs out. The plane is as high as it can fly because it must make the longest flight it has ever made. At that great height, the pilot hears a slight rumble, typical of a flame-out, and his engine goes dead. One way or another, he lands.

Persuaded none too gently by the Soviets that the rumble was in reality a near-miss rocket strike, he goes along with the story. Why shouldn't he? It's plausible. He says he was shot down. Allen Dulles, who knows better, says he was not hit. And there is the case. Someone preplanned for that U-2 to come down by arranging to starve it of hydrogen. That is when Powers radioed, or the telemeter radioed, a flame-out.

There were certain upper-echelon officials in research and development who knew about the U-2's special characteristics and could easily have arranged for the flame-out to occur.

When it was discovered that the U-2 had not completed the trip but had gone down, a group at NASA began the unpleasant task of getting out the canned cover story to account for that flight. On May 5, 1960 high-level experts working within the framework of an approved scenario issued a story which had the U-2 taking off from Turkey and crossing the Soviet border inadvertently. But then they said other things that were very strange. They stated that the U-2 was a "plane chartered from Lockheed by NASA" and that it was being flown at the time by "a Lockheed employee." Furthermore, they said the plane was "marked with `NASA' and the black and gold NASA seal," and that the pilot "had reported having oxygen difficulties." These were all official U.S. Government statements. They were flashed all over the world, even though other men in the Government knew they were lies.

To those familiar with the intricacies of preparing cover stories or canned lies, the above may not seem crucial. But here were top-echelon officials putting out an important public release affecting national policy matters, and they caught themselves in a trap. Telling Khrushchev that the plane left from Turkey when Khrushchev had the plane, the pilot, the navigation maps, and the camera with all its film was just plain stupid. But the trouble was not stupidity. That NASA cover-story team did not know what some others hidden away in the Government did know -- that the plane had left from Pakistan, that it did not have "NASA" and the gold seal painted on it, and that the Lockheed employee had Air Force identification and orders from Dulles (according to Dulles) to declare that he worked for the CIA. It became obvious that President Eisenhower did not know those things either. It was not in his interest to have approved the release of such lies.

Knowing that it might have to use the NASA cover story someday, the CIA worked with that agency to provide a cover story. Sometimes U-2's did fly for NASA. The CIA had even placed a high official (who used to be in the CIA's ultra-secret air division) in NASA at a high-level job to have him there for just such an eventuality. But no one had told him the facts of the operation; or if they had, he did not tell his NASA associates. Yet he worked in NASA's public affairs department. The May fifth cover story was so unbelievable that Khrushchev burst forth a day later with his own story about having the pilot and the plane, and he demolished the official lies of the U.S. Government.

Then came the challenge to Eisenhower. Did the President, who had worked so hard and so long to prepare for the ultimate summit conference and for his Crusade for Peace, direct that U-2 to overfly the USSR on May Day -- the day of its most important celebration? The idea was absurd, and Khrushchev knew it. Later Khrushchev gave Eisenhower every opportunity to admit that others in the U.S. Government had sent out that flight to sabotage the conference, stating that such an admission would salvage the meeting.

At this point, chances for world peace hung tenuously between the two men who liked and understood each other. Khrushchev said: "These missions are sent to prevent peace." He was ready to accept Eisenhower's innocence.

Khrushchev played the whole event with great patience. When he first announced the downing of the plane, he gave out very little information, waiting to see what our side would say. Then he displayed pictures of a heap of metal which he claimed to be the U-2, but was obviously some other junk. He kept drawing us out.

This was the period when some of the Government's media lackeys groped for ways to cover up the episode. In a strange editorial in its May 7, 1960 edition, The New York Times said that the U-2 flight was an "accidental violation," as several other border crossings may have been. They challenged Khrushchev's statement that the plane had no identification. The Times quoted NASA's report saying the plane had "NASA" and the NASA black and gold seal on it. Both NASA and the Times were wrong. The Times was repeating NASA's lies. Next the Times said: "Khrushchev said American militarists sent the plane, whereas it was just a NASA flight." The Times must have known better by May seventh.

After everyone had been thoroughly taken in by Khrushchev's traps and the U.S. Government's lies, the big news broke on May eighth. The Times, caught flat-footed, came out with a big headline: "Russians Hold Downed Pilot as Spy." Who determined that a man carrying a number of U.S. military identifications was a spy?

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, Senator Capehart asked Dulles: "Why did you have to admit that we were spying?" This is the point. Who was covering what? Was the CIA providing a cover story, "the Powers spy gambit," to hide the real purpose of this flight?

The stark Times headline almost made it look as if it was the Soviets' fault. Then they quoted Khrushchev saying: "I deliberately did not say that the pilot was alive and well," and with amazement, Khrushchev added: "How many silly things they have said." He picked up one point which had been in the cover stories. NASA had intimated that most likely Powers' oxygen supply had failed and that he had flown out over USSR territory unconscious on automatic pilot. Khrushchev quickly replied: "The oxygen did not fail." Then he pointed out that if the oxygen had failed, Powers could not have performed as skillfully as he had. He had performed perfectly until his engine failed, and the developed film from Powers' cameras proved it. Miles of clear photos were in Khrushchev's possession.

Here is one of the most unusual facets of this operation, a key point which it has been possible to piece together from recently discovered evidence. How could Khrushchev know Powers had performed his mission skillfully as far as Sverdlovsk? Khrushchev knew because he had the U-2's camera, the film, and the pictures. These pictures clearly showed rows and rows of Soviet aircraft on a military airfield and industrial installations. Khrushchev declared that he had been able to accurately determine the actual altitude of the U-2 from the results of that photography -- 65,600 feet. This immediately raises the basic question of why Powers wasn't at his maximum and safest altitude, above 80,000 feet (a point brought out by Allen Dulles' testimony.)

The camera the Russians recovered from Powers' U-2 was a military-type, 73B, serial number 732400. With wide-angle capability, it took pictures of a 125-mile-wide strip. The film was twenty-four centimeters wide and two thousand meters long, capable of shooting four thousand paired aerial pictures.

That camera was not the one routinely used by the CIA spy U-2's. This U-2 had been doctored in Japan by someone who was willing to give away the plane but unwilling to reveal the technology of the newer U-2 camera. This was skillful deception from the inside.

Dr. Ray S. Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA, wrote in his book, Secrets, Spies and Scholars, "The invention of the U-2 high-flying aircraft and the camera capable of taking pictures from 80,000 feet, pictures that would permit analysts to recognize objects on the ground with dimensions as small as 12 inches . . . this technical miracle revolutionized intelligence collection."[2]

The pictures Khrushchev showed to the public and to newsmen gave away the ruse. The industrial installations and the rows of aircraft exhibited were tiny dots on regular film, and even with the best enlargement, they would never have met Dr. Cline's criterion of twelve inches from 30,000 feet.

This is a crucial point. The U-2 incident was a clever and sinister deception. Its perpetrators intended for the Russians to find the U-2 and to think Powers was doing a spy's work. Yet, these perpetrators were far enough up in Government circles to know that it was the technology of the camera which must not be given away.

Eventually, President Eisenhower took the blame for the whole thing, and his dream of a summit conference, trip to Moscow, and an around-the-world Crusade for Peace was shattered. Certainly he had the U-2 double-cross in mind when he delivered his famous "military-industrial complex" speech at the end of his term of office.

Nixon played a significant role in all of this. All clandestine activities must be directed by the National Security Council. The law requires that the NSC direct the CIA. To perform these most sensitive activities quietly, the NSC established a small and very powerful group for this purpose. That special group, 5412/2 as it was known then (later the 303 committee and the 40 group), was chaired by the Vice President. Its key members were the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, or their designated representatives. In the spring of 1960, that group consisted of Nixon, Christian Herter, and Thomas Gates. Since these were very busy men, they generally appointed a key official to represent them at meetings.

Here we get to the most important point of the entire U-2 fiasco. Who authorized it? Who sent it out?

Late in the Senate hearings, Senator Gore got right to the point.

Gore:   You [Dulles] have told this Committee that you received this approval [for the Powers flight] or authority after April ninth. [There had been a previous successful U-2 flight over the USSR on April 9, 1960.]

Dulles:   That is my recollection.

Gore:   . . . from whom did you receive this authorization, who were the parties, and was the President one of them?

Dulles:   Well, we had a group.

Gore:   Who?

Dulles:   Well, I don't know that I should go into names, but there was someone in the Department of State, DOD, and someone at the White House to keep general track of the operations, and it was through that little group that we received, after a flight was made, we were given a general clearance to make another flight. [Dulles calls that crucial NSC clearance which is required by law, a "general clearance." Furthermore, Dulles does not mention the Vice President, who had to be there.]

Gore:   Well, if this hearing is to serve any useful purpose, and I sure hope it will, it seems to me that it can only come through learning of whatever error that was committed, if committed, in order to avoid it in the future, and to improve such techniques.
        You told us you received your authorization from a group and you have three agencies, the White House -- I don't like to refer to the White House -- I would say the President, the Office of the President, and the DOD, and one from the Department of State. Is that your chain of command?

Dulles:   My line of command, yes sir, so far as the policy of flying or not flying was concerned.

Gore:   Who designates these people from these three agencies?

Dulles:   Well, there was no formalized delegation. This grew up as the best method of handling this, and I just can't answer that. I assume that they were properly authorized. They always seemed to act with full authority. And I don't know whether any formal designation was ever made or not. [This is untrue, and in light of Watergate, it is a fantastic statement. Who in hell is running things? Dulles assumes they were authorized.]

Gore:   Your authorization, your authority on this particular flight stemmed from this group?

Dulles:   That is correct.

Gore:   You do not know, then, whether the man representing the Office of the President was personally designated by the President?

Dulles:   I assume he was agreeable to the President.

Gore:   I would, too, but do you of your personal knowledge, do you know whether or not this man was personally selected by the President, or by one of his assistants?

Dulles:   I assume that he was, but have never questioned that.

Gore:   Do you know whether he personally reported to the President?

Dulles:   I assume that he did, but I never questioned him on that . . .

Gore:   I would assume so too.

Here is the most astonishing piece of evidence about the misuse of Presidential authority to come to light, including the Nixon tapes. The powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee was asking the Director of Central Intelligence where he got his authority for this infamous flight, and all Allen Dulles could reply was, "Well, we had a group." Then, when Senator Gore asked if Dulles knew whether the men in that group hat the proper authority to issue such orders, all that the Director of the CIA could say was, "I assume that he did." There is the whole crux of the U-2 flight, the breakup of the summit conference, the chance for peace.

Because actual authorization could be bypassed by the assumption of authorization, and this has become standard procedure, illegal acts like the U-2 incident can be committed by those whose motives are to undermine the power and the process of the elected Government.

Then, to sum up and to underscore this terrible fact, Senator Gore repeated: "I was only asking you if you knew that he had reported directly to the President with respect to the approval of this particular program."

And Dulles replied: "No, I don't know that." What Dulles was really saying was that he really didn't know who had sent out that plane. It is fairly common practice to give some of these approvals by telephone. But how did he know who was on the phone?

To verify this procedure I can tell you that I have been called at night by a person who said he was the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, General Thomas D. White. I was told by that voice to go to Allen Dulles' home and follow the Director's orders. I went there and was told that he had immediate need of an airplane for an emergency in Tokyo. Upon receiving this order I had a plane turned around in flight over the Pacific and returned to Tokyo, where it was used for the clandestine mission. The mission was successful, and I received a written commendation from the CIA.

The point is that we did this by telephone. I ordered the action across the Pacific by telephone, and, as it happened, that deft move prevented a coup d'etat in a distant country. Of course, I knew General White's voice. But the fact remains that a clandestine operation run as Dulles and Gore described it is evidence of a very feeble method.

In this ominous byplay, we see the shadow of hands behind the scenes. If Eisenhower did not order the flight, who did? If Dulles didn't know whether the men whom he said authorized the flight had that authority, who knew? If someone had the inside knowledge to get away with launching an unauthorized flight, who was it? And if those people knew that the cameras must be protected, who were they? By the time you answer those questions, even by the time you ask them, you can draw the strings tightly around that very small group who actually did operate the U-2's in 1960. There were only three or four men able to do those things, and their names are in the Pentagon telephone book of 1960. I will not name names as it is not my intention to jeopardize these men's lives.

Later in the hearings the Senators wanted to find out if any orders had gone out suspending overflights because of the summit conference schedule. Dulles waffled that question, so they asked about prior events and learned that flights had been cancelled when Khrushchev met with Eisenhower at Camp David.

Later on Gore said: "One of the big questions before the country in millions of peoples' minds is why this flight was undertaken so near the summit."

In reply to another question Dulles said: "I think the question could be raised, if it was done without the President's knowledge, as to who was directing the ship of state." [author's emphasis]

Now, there it is! This was a most crucial line. Allen Dulles was beginning to have some grave doubts himself about the series of events. His answer supports the notion that he too did not know what really had taken place. Following is a first-hand experience that will prove to even the greatest skeptic that the Director of the CIA does not always know of clandestine activities undertaken by his own organization.

I was with Dulles and Bissell the evening they found out that a plane was missing over the Soviet Union. They knew nothing about it, and they had told the Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, and the President that not a single U.S. aircraft -- military, Government, or commercial -- was missing, as the Soviets claimed. Dulles called me to his house to meet with him and Bissell to see if I could locate a missing plane. I went to the Pentagon Command Center where I was later able to discover and confirm that a plane carrying nine U.S. Air Force men on a CIA mission was shot down over the USSR. It turned out to be Allen Dulles' own CIA VIP airplane! He did not know about that, just as he did not know about the Powers U-2.

During the first six months of 1960, I was the focal-point officer assigned by the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force to provide special Air Force support to certain clandestine CIA overflight operations. In April 1960, a member of the Chief's Pentagon office staff was in Thailand overseeing a major series of long-range overflights into Tibet and far northwestern China. Later that spring, orders came down to stop those overflights. The given reason was that the President wanted nothing to interfere with the success of his forthcoming Paris summit conference. Orders were sent from my office to ground the overflights.

These same orders applied to the U-2 program. We all took our orders from the same authorities. The U-2's were supposed to have been grounded along with the Tibetan overflights. So, when Allen Dulles himself wonders who was directing the ship of state, it becomes apparent that he did not know who was running the country!

The U-2 is nearly forgotten today, and there will perhaps never be any further investigation of this crucial event. Eisenhower and Khrushchev, both old warriors, might have pulled off a real peace agreement. We shall never know. But we do know some things. Many of the top-echelon men who were in the Pentagon during those fateful days of spring 1960 are back there now in the Carter Administration. Others are in top positions throughout Washington. It may be that they know how easy it was to pull the rug out from under Eisenhower, and they know how they could do the same thing again today.


  1. At the foot of the northern slopes of Mt Fujiyama, near Tokyo, there is an airfield called Atsugi. During the fire-bomb and A-bomb days of World War II's finale over Japan, American bombers were ordered to stay away from Atsugi. When the war ended, Atsugi was the sole landing ground available for the transport planes that carried occupation forces into and American POW's out of Japan. On the first day of occupation, American pilots discovered that Atsugi was actually a vast underground headquarters. A few years later during the MacArthur dynasty, Atsugi became United States CIA headquarters in the Far East.

  2. This camera was developed by a group working under Arthur Lundahl, consisting of geniuses from American industry. Cline went on to say, these miracles "were made possible by parallel development of camera, lenses, and special films for high-altitude photography." The Lundahl system employed eight reflectors and exposed eight films through a single lens at the same time.

                                                                                                            daveus rattus

                                                                                          yer friendly neighborhood ratman


ko.yan.nis.qatsi (from the Hopi Language)   n.   1. crazy life.   2. life
in turmoil.   3. life out of balance.   4. life disintegrating.
5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.

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