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( PDF )

Understanding Special Operations
And Their Impact on The Vietnam War Era

1989 Interview with L. Fletcher Prouty
Colonel USAF (Retired)

May 5-8, 1989

by David T. Ratcliffe


Audio cassette recordings of the interviews published in the book, Understanding Special Operations are available. There are 8 tapes in all (contents of each listed below) with the cost being $15 per tape (includes shipping, handling). Any combination of Tapes 1 through 8 are available. Maine residents please add 5% sales tax.

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  1. Colonel L. Fletcher Prouty's Military Experiences 1941-1963
    tape numbers 1-3
    Part I, 1941-1945:
    • Entering the Army, the Air Corps, and Air Transport Command
    • Transport and VIP Pilot in North Africa, the Middle East, Eurasia, and the West Pacific
    Part II, 1945-1961:
    • On Okinawa: The Surrender of Japan, & 500,000 manpack Re-Routed to Korea and Indochina
    • 1946-1948: Inaugurating the Air Force's ROTC Program at Yale
    • 1949-1950: Writing the First USAF ROTC text book on Aeronautics
      and a Major Portion of Rockets and Guided Missiles
    • 1950-1951: A New Air Defense Command
    • 1952-1954: Managing Tokyo International Airport And Heavy-Transport Flying
    • 1955: Attending the Armed Forces Staff College
    • 1955: Assignment to New Position of "Focal Point" Officer for Air Force Support of
      U.S. Government Clandestine Operations
    • Coordination of the CIA: How Covert Operations Are Run
    • The Suez Crisis of 1956
    • The CIA in Europe
    • Nuclear Warfare: the CIA becomes a Fourth Force
    • Cuba, 1959-1960: From Over-The-Beach Work to Invasion
    Part III, 1961-1963:
    • Experiences of and Perspectives on the Bay of Pigs
    • A Result of CIA Covert Military Commanders in Vietnam:
      The League of Families for the Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia
    • JFK Prepares To Get Out Of Vietnam:
      The Taylor/McNamara Trip Report of October 1963 and NSAM 263
    • The Murders of President Diem and Kennedy
    • Explanation of the Office of Special Operations--
      Military Services Providing Support to Government Clandestine Activities
    • The Economy Act of 1932: Handling The Money To Run Covert Operations
    • Clarifying the Role of the National Security Agency (NSA)
    • Abolishing the OSO and Moving Special Operations Into the JCS

  2. Understanding The Secret Team in the Post-World War II Era
    tape numbers 4-6
    Part I:
    • In The Context of Its Time: The National Security Act of 1947
    • The Creation of the National Security Council
    • The Dulles-Jackson-Correa Report
    • Opening the Door to CIA Clandestine Operations:
      Shifting NSC Oversight from Directing to Approving Plans
    • The Function of the Director of Central Intelligence:
      Coordinating Intelligence of the Government Intelligence Community
    • Clandestine Operations: Out of Control
      If Not Directed by the National Security Council
    • Four Categories of Military Personnel Employed by CIA
    • Final Chapter in the History of War Making: Going From Offense to Defense
    • The Threat of Nuclear Weapons: Making War Planning Obsolete
    • Creating a Manichaean Devil to Justify Spending $6 Trillion for a Cold War
    • Secret Team Foundations:
      Creation of the CIA Focal Point System Throughout The Government
    Part II:
    • The Power of Indirection--
      Military Units Financed and Controlled by the CIA
    • Secret Team Growth: Focal Point Personnel Assuming Broader Roles
    • Obtaining Everything Money Can Buy:
      The CIA Act of 1949 and Secretary of Defense Johnson's paper on Covert Operations
    • Employing the System of Reimbursement To Fund Unaccountable Activities
    • Post WWII War Plans--CIA Begins Amassing
      Its Own Stockpile of Military Equipment
    • From the Chairman of the JCS On Down:
      "where the CIA was concerned there were a lot of things no one seemed to know"
    • The Importance of the CIA's
      Deputy Director of Support (DD/S) Side of the Agency by the Time of the Bay Of Pigs
    • Congressional Non-Oversight of Agency Funding
      and Executive Branch Responsibility for CIA
    • The Significance of the Sense of Infallibility Leaders of the Agency Felt Imbued With
    • The ST Running A Government Of Reaction:
      All Secret Intelligence, And Brief The President On It Every Day
    Part III:
    • Allen Dulles: Forging a Government of Reaction
    • Dispersion of the OSO, Creation of the Office of SACSA
    • DOD Adoption of a Counterinsurgency Role in the late Eisenhower Years
    • NSAM 55--JFK's Attempt to Get CIA out of Clandestine Operations
    • Chairman of the JCS: Exit Lyman Lemnitzer, Enter Maxwell Taylor
    • Bay of Pigs Post-Mortem and the Dynamics of Personality:
      Allen Dulles, Maxwell Taylor, and Bobby Kennedy
    • Bay of Pigs Report: Taylor's Letter to the President and the Origin of NSAM Nos. 55-57
    • Understanding the Military Assistance Program (MAP)
    • The Little Red Book's Influence on General Stilwell and Lansdale
    • MAP as a Sensor to React To
    • MAP's Ultimate Manifestation: Iran
    • The Secret Team: Far Beyond the Capability of the CIA
    • An Impossible Contradiction: Covert Operations Must Be Deniable

  3. A Very Special Operation: The Assassination of President Kennedy
    tape numbers 7-8
    Part I:
    • What Would Entail Conducting A Proper Murder Investigation?
    • In Context: August-November 1963
    • Cancelling Secret Service, Military, and Police Units
      in Dallas and Inserting False Actors in Their Place
    • The Volume and Significance of the Photographic Evidence
    • The Christchurch Star's Impact Upon the Facts of the Assassination
    Part II:
    • The Existence of a High Cabal or Power Elite
    • Magellan's Circumnavigation of the Globe:
      The Philosophy That Derived From Knowing the World Was Finite
    • The Development of the East India Companies and "Proprietary" Colonies
    • Inventorying Earth: Haileybury College and the Roles of Malthus and Darwin
    • Two Books: The End of Economic Man and The Road To Teheran
    • The Changing Nature of Warfare: From a Military to an Economic Basis
    • Human History and the Composition of the High Cabal
    • Building a Bridge: Trusting Ourselves to Know How to Work and Live Together

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