Introduction to the "Korean War" section of
Lee Harvey Oswald's Cold War, Vol. One
The Korean War. The "forgotten" war. If war is ugly, this was Quasimodo without the redemptive heart.
The "conflict," as it is sometimes euphemistically called, likely helped test and refine germ warfare, and may have been started just for that purpose. It provided the raison d'etre for expanded programs and funding in the search for radiological weapons and enhanced interrogation and "mind control" techniques. Further, it provided the impetus for more research and development within the field of military hardware and munitions, and kept the money rolling in for military contractors.
It should also be regarded as the starting point to our understanding of the Oswald "legend." This legend began to be built when Oswald became a teenager and took to skipping school in New York City.
The Chinese had developed a profile for potential defectors from the West and used this profile to target individual POWs for recruitment.
The indicators being looked for were soldiers who had unstable childhoods, were raised in female dominated house-holds, had high IQs but low prospects, or had physical differences, an aversion to authority, a thirst for knowledge, or had been involved in activity that may result in some type of State sanction.
By the time Oswald left for the USSR, he not only had the profile in New York court and school records, but also in his military records. And as if that wasn't enough, he wore it ostentatiously. For our purposes however, we are not just looking at the Korean War from the micro as one mirror into Oswald (which it is) – we are also looking at the macro – how the war was used as a testing ground for biological warfare; how it was used to justify all manner of covert activity and experimentation, how it ramped up the profits of the war industry, saw the emergence of the US as Sheriff on the world stage and paved the way for the emergence of the Neoconservative movement.
Without the Korean War, Oswald would have remained obscure, Kennedy may have lived to see a second term and the march toward Fascism would not be quite so bold.
The Korean War Intelligence "Failure"
The undeclared war began on June 25, 1950 when the North Korean Army crossed the 38th Parallel that divided the Soviet backed north from the US backed south.
The official story has barely wavered. The aggressors were the North Koreans and the CIA had failed to foresee imminent danger. This obstinately obtuse view is encompassed best in a story broadcast by National Public Radio (NPR) to mark the 60th anniversary of the conflict. In fact, it takes a leaf out of the Warren Commission's ode to vitiation (officially known as The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy) by citing the very CIA documents to support its case that could and should have been used to destroy it.
One clear example of this come from a CIA memo dated January 13, 1950 which states inter alia:
Troop build-up. The continuing southward movement of the expanding Korean People's Army toward the thirty-eighth parallel probably constitutes a defensive measure to offset the growing strength of the offensively minded South Korean Army. The influx of Chinese Communist trained troops... [is] further bolstered by the assignment of tanks and heavy field guns ... [yet] despite [these increases] in North Korean military strength, the possibility of an invasion of South Korea is unlikely unless the North Korean forces can develop a clear cut superiority over the increasingly efficient South Korean Army.
The CIA is then excused for this (supposed) completely dumbfounding and appallingly bad misreading of both North Korean intent and South Korean military superiority because it was "just three years old and lacked resources." This excuse completely ignores the fact that the CIA had been granted greater autonomy (and probably resources) after its "failure" in Bogota. It also ignores the fact that despite being a mere three years old, the CIA was heavy with former OSS and SIS agents with many years of experience in the field. The fact is, there was no misreading. This was an accurate assessment.
Not all scholars have held with the official line. According to Oliver Lee, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, the South Korean government provoked the north into a counter-attack in order to draw in the US and thus ensure the survival of the unpopular regime. Lee further pointed out there were no credible witnesses to North Koreans being the aggressors because, conveniently, UN observers had left the thirty-eighth parallel two days before the outbreak, and all but one of the five hundred US advisors had gone to Seoul for the weekend!
Professor Lee listed the following circumstantial evidence in support of his thesis:
Syngman Rhee's government in Seoul was extremely unpopular and insecure, able to rule only by imposing upon South Korea "a cloud of terror that is probably unparalleled in the world," according to a New York Times reporter on March 6, 1950. Despite the terror, Rhee's party was dealt a disastrous defeat in the parliamentary election held four weeks before the war broke out. Rhee thus had a plausible motivation to start the war so as to create a totally new ball game.
Rhee had several times announced his ambition to "regain" North Korea, boasting in January 1950, for example, that "in the new year we shall strive as one man to regain the lost territory."
Rhee received encouragement from certain US high officials, such as John Foster Dulles, who said in Seoul six days before the war broke out, "You are not alone. You will never be alone so long as you continue to play worthily your part in the great design of human freedom."
There had been a long pattern of South Korean incursion into North Korea. The official US Army history of the American Military Advisory Group in Korea, referring to the more than 400 engagements that had taken place along the 38th parallel in the second half of 1949, reports that "some of the bloodiest engagements were caused by South Korean units securing and preparing defensive positions that were either astride or north of the 38th parallel. This provoked violent actions by North Korean forces."
South Korean troops were reported by the Seoul government as having captured Haeju, one mile north of the parallel, on June 26. While we can accept this as an acknowledgement of their troop incursion into the north of the 38th parallel, such acceptance does not require us to believe their report as to the timing. They may well have made the capture one day earlier, touching off the counterattack.
The two captured North Korean documents which allegedly prove that the North had started the war exist only in English, supposedly translated from the Korean original. Ostensibly titled "Reconnaissance Order No. 1" and "Operation Order No. 1," the originals were never made public, nor have they subsequently ever been found.
Rhee made a self-incriminating statement when he said to US News & World Report in August 1954, "We started this fight in the first place in the hope that the Communists would be destroyed." Although the context of this statement was not explicitly military, certain American leaders knew enough about Rhee to understand what he meant, and indeed to be worried about his possible provocation of yet another Korean War.
Meanwhile the Pentagon budget, which had not exceeded $60 billion between the years of 1947 and 1950, needed a crisis to get Congress to dig deeper into the treasury coffers. Undersecretary of State, Dean Acheson, who was among the first to nominate North Korea as the aggressors, put it succinctly when he said "Korea saved us." The "us" cited by Acheson clearly didn't include John or Joan Q. Citizen.
After 1952, the Pentagon budget would never drop below $143 billion.
The Korean "Conflict" was, in reality, a limited war that spun nearly unlimited gold for the War Machine, shifted goal posts at the UN and saw the US emerge as the world's sheriff.
It would also be the catalyst for Lee Harvey Oswald's eventual involvement in covert interplay between the two Superpowers.
Peace Talks and the Geneva Convention Failures
Talk of a peace settlement began in July, 1951 and took two long years to reach an agreement - one sticking point being the disposition of what was nothing other than a tract of wasteland. For that, more casualties accrued than in the previous two years combined.
Though a lack of trust and good faith no doubt, also played a major role in dragging the war out , the other major sticking point was an issue that was far more complex on political, moral, legal and propagandistic grounds. Some prisoners on both sides simply did not want to be repatriated. At the end of hostilities the problem was that Article 118 of the Geneva Convention did not allow a choice. Repatriation had been a thorny issue from the beginning with sick and wounded prisoners - who were covered by Articles 109 through 115 of the Convention - eligible to be treated in a neutral country or returned to their country of origin.
Legitimately owning the "moral high ground" was a dystopian nightmare to the architects of this war. Owning it by means of psychological warfare was another matter entirely. There was, admittedly, not much new within that situation. What was new was one of the psy-op ploys used: accusations of brainwashing from the Americans against accusations of using germ-warfare from the opposite camp. Propaganda is best defined as ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause. There is still debate as to whether either of these allegations had any basis in fact.
Operation Little Switch
The death of Stalin on March 5, 1953, seems to have been the catalyst for a change in policy by the North Koreans and China . On March 28, the respective Communist leaders not only agreed to an exchange of sick and wounded prisoners; but suggested that such an exchange may provide a platform for a resolution of all POW and cease-fire issues.
Operation Little Switch took place between April 20 and May 3. It was not until May 25 that the residual disagreements were resolved through the creation of a UN sponsored Neutral Nations Repatriations Commission (NNRC). The Commission would be tasked with maintaining responsibility for non-repatriates over 60 days. The fate of those men would be determined during the course of the next few months by means of peer pressure or via a political conference that was allowed for under Agenda Item 4 of the July 27 Armistice Agreement.
During Operation Little Switch, the Communists released 471 South Koreans, 149 Americans, 32 Britons, 15 Turks, 6 Colombians, 5 Australians, 2 Canadians, and one prisoner each from The Philippines, South Africa, Greece and The Netherlands. On the other side, the United Nations Command (UNC) returned 5,194 North Koreans. 1,030 Chinese, and 446 civilians. These were the men most in need of medical treatment. The figures corresponded to about a fifth of the total prisoners held by either side. Although accusations arose that the Communists only released those who were most likely to provide a positive portrayal of their captors, those released later in Operation Big Switch were certainly in overall better physical condition.
Operation Big Switch
Operation Big Switch was the operation which would see the remaining POWs sent home (save those who had not accepted repatriation). It began at 8:56 on the cool, dull morning of August 5, 1953 when Russian built trucks rattled and clunked to a halt in front of the triple arched gates at Panmunjom. The trucks were ferrying the first batch of UN POWs to leave the peninsula since Little Switch.
It took until September 6 for the operation to be completed.
The final disposition of this second group was that the North Koreans and Chinese handed over 12,773 to the UNC and another 359 to Indian Custodial Forces. Of the latter, 9 were returned to the UNC, 347 were returned to the Communists, 1 escaped and 2 were shipped to the NNRC based in India.
The UNC meanwhile returned 75,773 POWs to the Communists and 22,604 to the Indian Custodial Forces. Of the latter, 629 were returned to the Communists, 21,820 were returned to the UNC, 13 escaped (or were otherwise missing), 38 died while in Indian custody, 18 remained in Indian custody and 86 were shipped off the NNRC .
The unofficial war was now unofficially over. New CIA Director Allen Dulles called the armistice "one of the greatest psychological victories so far achieved by the free world against Communism."
Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army - officially titled the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army – was based in Harbin. Harbin was a city in what is now Northeast China, but was at that time the Japanese puppet state popularly known as Manchuria.
The history of Unit 731 actually traces back to the poor performance of the medical system during the 1894 war with China. To remedy that, army doctors were shuttled off to Europe for intense training.
By the commencement of the Russo-Japanese War, military medicine in Japan had reached a new pinnacle in performance, especially in dealing with the types of disease outbreaks common in war-time. Having reached that benchmark, Japan turned its thoughts to weaponizing chemicals and biological materials. This program, headed by bacteriologist and physician Shiro Ishii, accelerated after Japan withdrew from the League of Nations in 1933 while deep in dispute over its invasion of Manchuria. The invasion had been predicated on a false flag operation, and marked the beginning of the end for the toothless League.
By the time of World War II, the unit was well versed in the art of black medical experimentation. The unit's activities included infecting men, women and children with various diseases and then performing vivisections upon them; performing amputations on live victims to study the effects of blood loss; and removing parts of organs such as brain, liver and lungs from other living subjects.
Japan's entry into the war opened up opportunities for Unit 731 to exploit even more diverse groups while offering unbridled rein to the sickening imagination of Ishii and his team. Such were the atrocities and tortures that thousands of victims no doubt welcomed death when it was finally granted.
Among the many selected to take part in this perverse lottery were 1500 American, British and Australian POWs who were shipped to Manchuria and infected with everything from bubonic plague to typhoid. In one 5 day period alone, 186 deaths occurred. The nature of the deaths however, was suppressed by the Allies.
The main aim of the exercise was to ascertain which strains of which diseases were the most virulent for use in war.
In August, 1945, the staff of Unit 731 fled Manchuria to escape the invading Russian Army. The Japanese homeland however provided only a temporary haven, with formal surrender a looming and forlorn certainty. The surrender finally arrived on September 2nd.
The International Military Tribunal for the Far East held its war trials in Tokyo, commencing April 29, 1946. High on the agenda was the prosecution of Ishhi and others responsible for the atrocities of Unit 731, but the Tribunal was blindsided by General McArthur and his Chief of Intelligence, Charles Willoughby. McArthur and Willoughby's idea of interrogating Ishhi involved convivial dinner parties at the home of the germ warfare specialist. As soon as it became apparent that Ishii would not be prosecuted (due in no small measure to the withholding of evidence gathered by MacArthur's men), MacArthur conspired to have him and others granted blanket immunity in return for their full cooperation. The boys from Fort Detrick Biological Warfare Laboratories quickly moved in. It was by now 1948 and the US was not only desperate to have the data for itself, it was equally desperate to keep it out of other hands; allies and new Cold War enemies alike.
The Tribunal was not the end of court action. The Soviet Union commenced War Crimes Trials in 1949, and the trials must have given MacArthur and Willoughby ulcers when a court sitting in Siberia took testimony to the effect that Unit 731 had tried out lethal germs against American POWs. The POW experimentation had been undertaken "to ascertain the degree of vulnerability of the American army to different combat infections." In any event, MacArthur wasted no time in issuing a denial, letting the press know that "there are no known cases in which Japanese used American prisoners in germ warfare experiments." It was a lie of significant proportions, but one that was necessary in MacArthur's eyes given the deal that had been struck with Ishhi, and the need to conceal anything that could lead to uncomfortable questions being asked.
The Japanese germ warfare materials collected by Unit 731 now complimented what Fort Detrick had produced.
The US was about to become akin to an urban teenage street gang (straight out of a Hollywood short, circa 1950) with a newly acquired baseball bat and glove. Someone just needed to find a rival gang and get the game started.
Six months later, the Korean War began.
In the meantime, the US press was doing what it does best; preparing the citizenry to accept what was coming. This work started just prior to the Tokyo War Crime Trials.
March 12, 1949. UP reports Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal as stating that the US "leads the world in germ warfare research;" that germ weapons are "definitely not the fantastic killers they have been labelled," but could be "a cheap and most important means of warfare." Major General Alden H Wyatt, head of the Army Chemical Corp reiterates that "potentially" the spreading of disease germs "is a most important means of warfare." It is stressed that the US program is aimed "primarily" at defense and that the US is quite prepared to strike back with biological weapons if other nations should attack with them.
May 27, 1949. UP reports an assertion by the former chief of the air-borne infection project at the US biological warfare headquarters at Camp Detrick, Dr. Theordor Rosebery. Dr. Rosebery states that the practicality of germ warfare cannot be proven unless it is used in war. He also warns that "defense against BW (biological weapons) as a whole is pitiably weak, so weak that none of us, civilian or military, can find much comfort in its prospect."
July 21, 1949. AP reports that the army has asked Congress for an extra 3.3 million to improve both the "defensive and offensive aspects of war with biological weapons."
September 10, 1949. AP reports Director General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Brock Chisolm as declaring that biological weapons would make "large armies, navies and air forces" obsolete along with the atomic bomb. Dr. Chisolm also claims that scientists have found "one substance so deadly that seven ounces, properly distributed, could kill the people of the world within six hours." He does not name the substance.
June 25, 1950. The undeclared war in Korea begins.
July 26, 1950. UP reports that "defensive measures against germ warfare are being drawn up." The scientist being quoted is familiar with the program and adds "that they include no new rays or other 'magic' means of coping with germs. Instead, the measures would consist of "training health officers in known medical and public health practices - but on an emergency basis."
November 3, 1950. AP reports that the armed forces are looking ahead to wars fought with radiological poison weapons, germ warfare, guided missiles and special devices to make maps of enemy terrain under cover of night or clouds.
December 28, 1950. UP reports that the Federal Government is urging "civil defense workersto prepare for nerve gas and germ warfare attacks upon American Cities." The story adds that a manual issued by the Health Resources division states that automatic detection devices are essential for adequate protection" but ominously concludes such devices are not available at a price which would make their purchase and use for civil defense practical."
There is a clear design in these stories. It goes like this: the US has the most advanced germ warfare program in the world. It wants to use this program in a defensive manner only, but is carefully leaving the door ajar for a first strike option. We also learn that the program needs to be evaluated under combat conditions. Next, we are treated to the prospect that the US will probably soon suffer a germ warfare attack - followed by the awful truth that civil defense is inadequately trained and equipped to cope with such an attack if it ever occurs. Once these seeds have been planted, the reader is left to conclude for themselves that a pre-emptive strike is the only viable option.
But first things first. A limited land war was needed to test Fort Detrick's arsenal.
Allegations from the Communists that the UNC was using biological weapons against North Korea began in March 1951 and grew into a crescendo of specific charges by February the following year. The charges indicated that US forces had been "systematically scattering large quantities of bacteria-carrying insects by aircraft in order to disseminate infectious diseases over our front line positions and rear. Bacteriological tests show that these insects scattered by the aggressors on the positions of our troops and in our rear are infected with plague, cholera and the germs of other infectious diseases."
In response, General Ridgway stood before Congress and emphatically denied the allegations. Elsewhere, the counterclaim was being made that North Korea and China were engaging in propaganda, and that they could even be using the accusations as an excuse to launch their own bioweapons offensive.
The Red Cross offered to investigate, if both sides agreed.
Both sides duly agreed.
The Red Cross put together a Blue Ribbon Panel.
The Red Cross Blue Ribbon Panel duly found no substance to the allegations.
The Reds duly accused the Red Cross of having a pro-West bias.
And so it goes.
The specific allegations expanded into claims of attacks on animals and crops, and by September, the Reds had commissioned their own investigation through the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) - a body organized by participants at the Nuremburg Trials. The IADL was later accused of being a Communist Front.
The IADL issued two reports during March and April, 1952. Both reports read like indictments, with the second report concluding, "We consider that the facts reported above constitute an act of aggression committed by the United States, an act of genocide, and a particularly odious crime against humanity. It indeed hangs over the whole world as an extremely grave menace, the limits and consequences of which cannot be foreseen."
If the Red Cross had a pro-West bias, the bias charge could equally be levelled against the IADL – not to mention all other organizations that had been commissioned by either side. It was a courtroom drama on a grand scale replete with dueling experts.
Time thankfully has the grace to allow some detachment - enough to permit a determination based on good faith rather than partisanship, and any conclusion about these events must now take into account the very strong circumstantial case against the US. The case includes the planning of covert actions for conducting biological warfare. It includes the actual production of disease-laden insects, and the subsequent discovery of such insects in the war zone. It includes the preparation of disease-laden feathers and the discovery of such feathers around exploded bombs in the war zone. It also includes the manufacture of specific weapons and delivery systems and the discovery of same in the war zone. Finally, it includes America's secreting away of Japan's biological warfare secrets.
The discovery of all this physical evidence underlines the means. The motive, as already explored, can be found in the alleged need for the US to test such weapons in combat conditions. The opportunity came via the manufacturing of a pretext for war and the railroading of the United Nations.
The Great Un(brain)washed
On December 26, 1948, Cardinal József Mindszenty of Hungary was arrested and charged with treason and conspiracy. The specifics included theft of the Crown Jewels, and plotting the eradication of Communism through aiding America to start World War III. The payoff for the Cardinal would be political power in his homeland should America prevail.
A few days prior to being arrested, the Cardinal wrote a very prescient letter to his Bishops advising that if he should resign or confess, and even if his signature was appended to any such declarations, they should know that it was the result of "human frailty" and he declared it "null and void in advance."
A few days after the arrest, but still weeks out from the trial and acting on instructions, one of his clergy issued a document stating that the Cardinal feared that the Communists would use the drug Actedron on him. Actedron, the document claimed, had been used in previous trials to break morale and extract bogus confessions.
The release of this document caused a world-wide furore.
The broth was starting to bubble.
Actedron is an amphetamine and used historically as an appetite suppressant. More recently, it has been prescribed to sufferers of ADHD.
The Security Research Section of the CIA was internally admitting that though they saw the drug as having some potential in interrogations, the drug alone could not produce the results being credited to it in relation to what would later become known later as "mind control."
News of US pilots confessing to dropping deadly germs behind enemy lines broke in early May, 1952 when it was reported that 1st Lt. Kenneth L. Enoch and 1st Lt. John Quinn had made certain admissions which had been taped and broadcast over Radio Peiping (the previous name for Beijing). Among the details supplied by Enoch, whose B-26 had been shot down on January 13, was that the undetonated bombs he had dropped would be called "duds." His confession is now kept in the grandiloquently titled "Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum" in Pyongyang.
That story was followed by one which told of five British businessmen who had been to a trade conference in Moscow before moving on to Peiping to discuss trade expansion with China. The five reported that they had been played the taped confessions of four American POWs and believed that the confessions warranted being taken seriously.
The immediate response to the charges was typified by Dean Acheson who dismissed the confessions as having been "dictated by Red propagandists," without stating outright that they were fake.
Experience tells us that cover stories come in phases as need may, from time to time, dictate. That was phase one. Phase two was claiming that collaborators had been brainwashed. Phase three was blaming the upbringing and lack of discipline of the soldiers and also in not having any unified and ingrained American doctrine on liberty to help withstand Communist indoctrination.
The term "brainwashing" was coined in September 1950 by Edward Hunter, a CIA operative with non-official cover as a journalist. Hunter used the term to describe how China was forcing its citizens into joining the Communist Party, and claimed that the use of drugs and hypnotism were paramount to success.
This was a distortion of the historical truth , but with Cardinal Mindszenty's confessions still fresh in the public mind, alongside the claimed use of drugs, it stuck, as it was no doubt meant to.
The POW Homecoming
Each returned prisoner was interviewed during the course of the trip home about their symptoms and experiences. Chief among the POW's symptoms were a lack of spontaneity, flat affect, apathy, retardation and depression. Incongruously, many also exhibited signs of tenseness, restlessness and suspicion of their surroundings.
Other systems in combination could have been associated with chronic physical and mental disease, or vitamin deficiency.
Once on home soil they became subjected to several studies (including at least one lasting a number of years). Some of the studies were aimed ostensibly at searching for answers as to what exactly happened in Korea and the short and long term effects thereof. Others were aimed at profiling those who collaborated as a means of having the ability to weed out potential turncoats at the time of enlistment, and putting in place such public policies that might produce a better, more resilient fighting force. Public reaction meanwhile, was being manipulated in whatever direction the winds (along with sundry windbags) were blowing. History is not driven by individuals acting alone, or by conspiracy or coincidence, but a combination of those as end products (or sometimes mere by-products) of philosophies, agendas, policies and contingencies which colloquially and collectively, these may all come under the heading of "mind-sets," The repatriated prisoners were thus put through three phases of thematic nuance as various philosophies, agendas, policies and contingencies were deployed in the fight for control over the POW "reality." First came the "atrocities" theme, following by the "brainwashing" theme, and ending at the more tenaciously entrenched theme of blaming the victims for lacking discipline, moral compasses and patriotism.
Each theme was responded to as if true.
The fear that these men had been victims of atrocities led to hero homecomings. The fear of brainwashing led to trainees at Stead AFB, Nevada being forced to spend hours in a dark hole up to their shoulders in water, fed only raw spaghetti and uncooked spinach, given electric shocks and being verbally abused - all to make them capable of withstanding such treatment, if captured. The Navy conducted similar training at Camp Mackall in North Carolina. Additionally, it offered up excuses to expand "mind control" programs at home (yes indeed, there was purportedly a "mind control" gap). Finally, the fear that American men were soft led to the Military Code of Conduct which had to be signed by all personnel. Various other programs involving forms of indoctrination in "Americanism" also soon appeared.
In short, symptoms which should have been associated with chronic physical and mental illness and vitamin deficiencies, were instead being attributed to brainwashing or moral decay (if not complete moral turpitude) on the home-front.
Militant Liberty & the Code of Conduct
To those who blamed the POW situation on the "softness" of American soldiers, the response was to seek a strengthening through a deeper understanding of American values. Militant Liberty was the 1954 brainchild of John C Broger, President of the Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) and consultant to the Joint Subsidiary Activities Division in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. What the proposal boiled down to was the use of Chinese indoctrination methods through rigid programs of re-education and proselytization. The whole shebang was being sponsored by Abraham Vereide and his secretive organization known as "The Fellowship."
The program imploded barely a year into its mission amid criticism that it breached the line between military and civilian life through politicization of the troops. Despite this, it did manage to insinuate itself into Hollywood scripts for movies like John Ford's Wings of Eagles starring the All-American epitome of Rugged Individualism, John Wayne, and Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments which according to author Professor Alan Nadel, attempted to equate "God's perspective with American global interests." In short, it was produced with the aim of gaining acceptance for the doctrine of Manifest Destiny through the use of cinema magic and psychology. Put another way, it was yet more of what author Jeff Sharlet termed Vereide's "bastardized Calvinism" at work.
Nor did it hurt Broger's career . In 1956 he was made Deputy Director of the Directorate for Armed Forces Information and Education within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) before taking over as Director and holding that position until 1984.
Broger's stint as the Pentagon communications Czar was not without controversy. In 1977, Jack Anderson reported that Broger had once used his position to arrange a two-day seminar in "Christian Counseling," had military techs record the entire event, then packaged the tapes and sold them commercially through the National Association of Evangelicals at $34.95 a set. Meanwhile, internal complaints of mismanagement, malfeasance, corruption and conflicts of interest abounded until finally, the Defense Department's general counsel and Air Force Special Investigators were called in. Their findings were forwarded to the Justice Department which found no evidence of criminal culpability. According to Anderson however, the reason no evidence was found was that the most damaging facts were omitted from the submitted report. This document should be tagged "Exhibit A" and presented to anyone holding to the fantasy that official reports are sacrosanct.
Anderson also gave some insights into Broger's background and mindset. His world was black and white - populated only by "good guys" and "bad guys." The "good guys" were "conservatives, anti-Communists and Christian fundamentalists who believe in the God-given American right to make a buck." The "bad guys" were, unsurprisingly, "liberals, hippies and Communists." Anderson also described Broger's old broadcasts with the FEBC as "right-wing anti-Communist propaganda to alien lands in the guise of Evangelical Christianity."
Meanwhile, as the debate over Militant Liberty was being waged, the Defense Advisory Committee on Prisoners of War was tasked with drafting a code which would outline US POW obligations while augmenting the Geneva Convention on their treatment. It also investigated the extent of treasonable conduct which had occurred and found that it had been exaggerated. This should have negated the need for such a code, but the POW "scandal" was going to be spun into programs addressing the nation's ideological needs, come hell or high water.
The Code was signed into law through Executive Order 10631 on August 17, 1955. Evangelicals determined to refashion the American gestalt by promotion of a civil-military-religious Menage a trois were definitely on a roll.
One of those most responsible for bringing in the code was Dr. Winfred Overholser. Overholser had testified at the inquiry on behalf of Colonel Frank Schwable, another POW who had confessed to the use of biological weapons. The doctor recommended to the inquiry that the military do more to "condition our people to resist communist brainwashing."
After facing possible execution for cowardice, Schwable was instead awarded the Legion of Merit and given a desk job at the Pentagon.
Dr. Overholser will re-enter our narrative soon.
Fred Korth & the Korean War
Korth was brought to Washington in March 1951 by Secretary of the Army, Frank Pace. The two were old acquaintances, having served together in Air Transport Command during WWII. Pace offered, and Korth accepted, the position of Deputy Counsel for the Army. This did not last long. In yet another response to the Korean POW situation, the position of Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) had been created, and on Pace's recommendation, Korth was appointed by Truman in May, 1952.
The following year, with a newly inaugurated Republican president, Pace and Korth were back doing business in the Lone Star State. Pace had been appointed CEO at General Dynamics Corp and Korth returned to law, while also taking the role of vice president of Continental National Bank in Fort Worth. It is important to note however, that his services were retained as a consultant by the new Secretary of the Army, and this consultancy continued up until 1960.
The Korean War, June 1950 - July 1953 Introductory Overview, Naval History & Heritage @ history.navy.mil
CIA Files Show US Blindsided By Korean War, by Tom Gjelten, NPR broadcast transcript
South Korea Likely Provoked War with North by Oliver Lee, Star-Bulletin, June 24, 1994
US Military Spending In The Cold War Era: Opportunity Costs, Foreign Crises, and Domestic Constraints, by Robert Higgs, Professor of Political Economy, Lafayette College
CenturyChina.com, Korean War FAQ
"Long Delay on Peace: Korea talks 'might take four weeks,'" AAP report, The Courier-Mail, July 10, 1951, p4 "The United States has not ruled out the possibility that the talks may fail altogether. In the meantime United Nations' forces will continue to press their field operations against the enemy. There is much uneasiness that should the talks fail, the Communists would have brought time to mount a smashing counter-offensive."
ABC-CLIO History and Headlines: The Korean War 60th Anniversary: Remembering a "Forgotten" Conflict - Operations Big Switch/ Little Switch by Clayton D. Laurie
Time Magazine, August 17, 1953 article, "Korea: Big Switch"
A Substitute for Victory: Politics of Peacemaking at the Korean Armistice Talks (Cornell Studies in Security Affairs) by Rosemary Foot, p191
Military Medicine: From Ancient Times to the 21st Century, by Jack E McCallum, p337
The Pariah Files: 25 Dark Secrets You're Not Supposed to Know by Philip Rife, p 134
The Scramble for Asia: US Military Power in the Aftermath of the Pacific War, by Marc Gallicchio, p 157
Russians Press Germ War Trial, UP wire story, Dec 27, 1949
Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Encyclopedia of Worldwide Policy, Technology and History, Volume 1, edited by Eric A. Croddy, James J. Wirtz , p 175
The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets from the Early Cold War and Korea, by Stephen Lyon Endicott and Edward Lagerman, p195
"The Adelaide Advertiser," Catholic Church News, p9, February 12, 1949 and derived from the breaking article in The Tablet published on January 1.
"China Reds Broadcast Germ Warfare 'Confessions,'" UP report appearing in the Oxnard Press-Courier, May 5, 1952, p1
Acheson Attacks Red Germ Warfare Charge, AP report appearing in The News & Courier, May 8, 1952, p1
AP Report, Claims Airmen were Tortured to "Confess," Oct 23, 1952. The story claims information was gathered in Indo-China, Hong Kong, India and elsewhere that the airmen had been "brainwashed" in the same way as Mindszenty and others using a combination of prolonged questioning, sleep deprivation, threats to friends and relatives, drugs and perhaps hypnosis.
When the Army Debunks the Army: a legend of the Korean War by William Peters (Encounter Magazine, July 1960)
AP Report, "Yanks Brainwashed in Survival Training," Spokane Daily Chronicle, p55, September 8, 1955
Military Medicine, vol. 167, November, 2002, Psychiatry in the Korean War, p902
The Family: Power, Politics and Fundamentalism's Shadow Elite, by Jeff Sharlett, pp201-202
The US Government, Citizen Groups and the Cold War: The State-Private Network, edited by Helen Laville, Hugh Wilford,
The Nevada Daily Mail, "Communication Czar Uses Pentagon Post," by Jack Anderson with Joe Spear, p18, Jan 12, 1977
International Society for Military Ethics article, University of Notre Dame. Article, "Evangelicals in the Military and the Code of Conduct," by Lori L. Bogle
The Pentagon's Battle for the American Mind: The Early Cold War, by Lori L. Bogle, p131.
American Torture: from the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond, by Michael Otterman, p35
Act of Retribution: The Military-Industrial-Intelligence Establishment and the Conspiracy to Assassinate President John F Kennedy, by J. P. Phillips, p343
Texas Bar Journal, 1962, vol. 25, p201
Current Biography Yearbook, 1963, by Charles Moritz, p244