Navy Friend, Colleague of Admiral Says Senator McCain's Father Would Be Rolling Over In The Grave
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 03:49:59 PM EST
George E. Lowe has served in the US Navy, in a presidential administration and done award winning writing on the theory of nuclear deterrence. According to Lowe, in the early 1960's he was in a secret naval intelligence group under Senator John McCain's father, Admiral John "Godamn!" McCain (known for his cursing) working against would-be Christian and secular 'fascists' in US government and especially in the military. Lowe has strong praise for the late Admiral and also told me, in an interview on Sunday, that Senator John McCain's father "would be turning over in his grave" at his son's association with the American Christian right and elements in US government who want to fight preemptive and preventative nuclear war. [ see inside for several minute audio excerpt from interview].
Here is George E. Lowe's biography, from Lowe's 2-volume 2000 book series "It Can Happen Here: A Fascist Christian America" :

GEORGE E. LOWE was born in Scranton, PA (1928) and educated in the public schools of New York/New Jersey/PA. He graduated from Grove City College (BA-1950) and U. of Chicago (MA-1953) and taught at all levels of American education (1950-93). Served over 30 years in the Federal Government (1953-88), including US Naval Air Intelligence Officer ( Japan, Hawaii & the Pentagon), Foreign Service Officer (African Affairs & Paris Embassy), and Civil Servant (OE/ED). Author of The Age of Deterrence, Little, Brown (1964), It Can Happen Here: A Fascist Christian America, Xlibris, (2000), two Vols. And many articles on military policy, nuclear weapons, education, and the environment. Speechwriter in Navy Dept. (1961,65)/Department of Education (1981-88). Married in 1954, with two daughters and three Jack Russell Terriers. Hobbies are cooking/baking, book collecting, traveling, and bird watching. Splits the year in Stuart, Florida and Port Medway, Nova Scotia.

Mr. Lowe has graciously given me permission to reprint extended excerpts from his series, and the following text is from from George E. Lowe's "It Can Happen Here", Volume 1, page 74-79 :

With the encouragement of Dr. Walter Johnson and Dr. Robert
W Osgood I went to Washington, D. c., just after Christmas
1959, armed with a letter of introduction to the Navy's History
Office (Admiral Eller) from my oId boss at COMFAIR JAPAN,
Admiral Fitzhugh Lee, USN. I was determined to research and
write my doctoral dissertation on "The Changing Views of the US
Navy on Limited War." It wasn't long before I discovered that the
Navy's Office of History under the kind Admiral Eller was living
back somewhere in the 19th Century Age of Sail before jet aircraft,
nuclear subs, or the A-and H-bombs. Still I continued my re-
search at the Navy library in Main Navy and at the Army library
in the Pentagon.

However, through my research on limited war I was gradually
introduced to a cross section of selected Navy commanders, captains
and admirals, mostly on Admiral Burke's personal staff, who
presented me with a very unique inside view of the Pentagon. I was
astonished that they discussed the real political-military topics of the
day with me that I had read previously only in newspapers and textbooks
for the University of Chicago's history or political science classes:

0 limited versus total war

0 nuclear deterrence and deterrents

0 conventional versus atomic warfare

0 the Joint Chiefs of Staff versus a single Chief of Staff

0 the current four military services versus a single service

0 heavy bombers versus CVAs

0 Polaris versus Minuteman

0 solid propellants versus liquid-fueled ICBMs

0 balanced forces versus counterforce

0 the powers of the Secretary of Defense versus the JCS

0 the relationship of the JCS to the Commander-in-Chief

0 the 1947 creation of the Defense Department, the CIA, and

0 the military versus the peaceful uses of space

0 the proper role of airpower: close air support or strategic bombing

0 guerrilla and unconventional warfare

0 defense socialism

0 preventive and pre-emptive war and national policy

0 bomber and missile gaps: real or hoaxes?

0 "the revolt of the admirals" in 1949

0 the role of Congress versus the President in defense policy, (war
and war-making, authorization and appropriations for weapons)

0 the U-2 and spy satellites

0 the role of the media and specific weapons systems

0 the peaceful uses of Antarctica

0 the true nature of the Communist threat: aggressive war or
national bankruptcy ?

0 the utility of arms control and disarmament policies

I soon discovered and was positively amazed that lying behind
all these contemporary political-military issues was the conviction,
by this cross section of high ranking Navy and well placed active
duty naval officers, that there existed in the enemy camp some-
where in the Pentagon-a real cabal. This cabal consisted of neo-
Fascist US Air Force officers, RAND Corporation intellectuals,
weapon-dependent corporations, media supporters and columnists
and their political allies in both major parties.

There was in fact, we believed, a Fascist conspiracy already in
motion to radically change American defense policy, service roles
and missions, and deterrent weapons systems so that the very struc-
ture of our democratic-republican system of government and free
society would have to change as well. (See Seven Days in May, Kneble
& Bailey,I962 and Balance of Power, James w. Huston,1998, for
left and right political perspectives on the threat to our demo-
cratic-republic.) Recall that President Kennedy, in the spring of
1962, read Seven Days in May, a novel about a military coup against
an American President that high ranking military officers (not
Navy-Marine) regarded as weak and pacifistic. A friend of JFK
asked him if he believed it could happen here and Kennedy re-
plied that he "thought it could." (May and Zeiikow, The Kennedy
Tapes, p.ll).

These Navy admirals and captains were so convinced that I
was as true a believer in this Pentagon Air Force fascist cabal and
conspiracy as they were that they moved me to the Naval Station
in Anacostia. There I would be protected from prying and spying
Air Force officers. The admirals also gave me a desk in CHINFO
and some DOD bus tickets to help defray my research expenses as
I tried to understand the complicated Pentagon internal struggle
over the use of nuclear weapons in foreign and defense policy. Forty
years later I'm still trying.

In early September 1997 the Russian General and Presiden-
tial Candidate Alexandr Lebed claimed and shocked the world by
stating that one hundred suitcase-sized one kiloton atom bombs,
developed by the Soviet KGB in the 1970s, were missing from the
Russian nuclear stockpile. The Americans and Russian governments
promptly denied the story, but doubts remained. Then in early
October 1997 the new Spielberg movie studio released "The Peace-
keepers" in which George Clooney and Nicole Kidman save New
York (and America) from a renegade Balkan terrorist's Russian back-
pack atomic bomb. And the issue of nuclear terrorism is now cen-
ter stage as a key threat to American security interests. (President
Clinton told the May 2000 graduates at the United States Coast
Guard Academy that "the revoluton in commonplace items like
telephones will eventually also mean that biological, chemical and
even nuclear weapons will be able to be put in packages small
enough to transport easily.") (New York Times May 18, 2000)
Two years later, October 12, 1999, in the midst of a Republi-
can attempt to embarrass President Clinton over Senate ratifica-
tion of the stalled Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the verification of "small"
atomic weapons tests emerged as a political issue in Campaign AD
2000. A CIA report on the difficulty of distinguishing betWeen
very small nuclear blasts of tactical atomic weapons and natural
events was seized upon by George W. Bush's defense adviser Rich-
ard Perle as a reason not to ratifY the nuclear test-ban treaty. Thus
"rogue states" (Iran, Iraq, and North Korea) - "nuclear" missiles,
SDI-National Ballistic Missile Defense, deterrence and deterrents,
and "defenseless-naked American civilians" have become key po-
litical issues in the election of AD 2000 as were the bogus "missile
gap" in 1960 and Goldwater's nuclear extremism in 1964.

During Easter vacation 1960 I went back to Chicago by train,
liberated our 1948 green Dodge from Chicago's winter icepack,
and played with our many Siamese cats. I also reported my strange
Navy-Pentagon experiences to Dr. Johnson who was very excited
over my discoveries. We discussed broadening my dissertation topic
to include these many new defense issues with which I was now
involved. Dr. Johnson's advice: Keep good notes, prepare an aide
memoir, write it up, and get it published.

Dr. Johnson was convinced that I had stumbled onto some
very important if somewhat bizarre activities in the Pentagon, which
I should learn more about and hopefully include them in my ex-
panded and modified dissertation. What really amazed Dr. Johnson
and myself was that there could be in the spring of 1960 so many
Navy admirals worried about a military coup, pre-emptive war,
and a Fascist takeover of America led by General LeMay's SAC, the
US Air Force, RAND, and their industrial, political, and media allies.
I returned to Washington after Easter, continued living at the
Navy BOQ, and expanded my research as Dr. Johnson had
suggested. Soon after I was approached by a newly-minted Admiral,
R. E. M. Ward, Deputy to Rear Admiral John "God damn," "Jr."
McCain, Director of the very important OLA (Office of Legislative
Assistance), the liaison with all congressional committees for naval
authorizations and appropriations. I wrote speeches for Navy-
friendly senators and congressmen-Republican and Democratic
alike-as requested by Admirals McCain and Ward.

One spring day Admiral Ward asked me if I would like to go
back on active duty and serve as the unofficial "historian" for a new
office, OP-05D, being established by the CNO (Chief of Naval
Operations), Admiral Burke. Recalling Dr. Johnson's advice, I said,
"I'd love to." and I was back in the Navy again. Admiral Ward
then listed some of the topics on which this new office, OP-05D,
would be researching. Some of the proposed Navy policies and
position papers were:

0 How to prevent a single military service and a Praetorian Guard?

0 How to derail a German-Prussian-like General Staff?

0 How can we create an alternative Grand Strategy for America
that would head off or prevent: thermonuclear World War III,
Fortress America, a Garrison State, national bankruptcy, an
unlimited arms race, and American Fascism?

0 How can we devise a second-strike deterrent strategy for the
Polaris ballistic submarines and sell it to the American

That evening I called my wife in Riverdale, Illinois, told her to
pack up the cats as we were moving to Washington, and I was
going back into the Navy on active duty. She was delighted to
leave the prairie and the terrible Chicago weather. Once her grade
school was out in June, we'd drive our Dodge and cats back east to
a new adventure. I was pleased as punch with Admiral Ward's
offer. My lifelong anti-Fascist crusade could now begin in earnest
in the most unlikely spot of all-the very heart of the Pentagon.
Dr. Johnson, still enthusiastic but more puzzled than ever,
encouraged me to keep researching my dissertation with its new
emphasis, "Deterrence and Deterrents in the Navy."

What I hadn't understood completely at the time, because
partisan politics were never mentioned by the professional naval
officers I was dealing with, was that Admiral Burke and his advisers
were watching closely the 1960 presidential campaign unfold. They
were preparing intellectually and shoring up their arguments in
case Senator Jack Kennedy defeated Vice-President Richard Nixon
in November 1960. They feared that Kennedy would appoint the
Navy's bete noire or, rather bete bleu, the anti-Navy and very US Air
Force-biased, Senator Stu Symington (the first Secretary of the
newly independent US Air Force), as the new Democratic Secretary
of Defense. In addition, there was Senator Lyndon Johnson who
was an advocate of an expanded bomber and missile strategic force.
LBJ was also known as a sharp critic of Ike's restrained bomber
missile response to the Russian Sputnik of O~tober 4, 1957.

And then there was himself, JFK, a young, ambitious politi-
cian, a true World War II naval hero of PT-IO9 fame. But his
defense views on topics of prime importance to the future of the
Navy and America (which many naval officers found difficult to
separate) were largely unknown. There was also Senator Henry
"Skip" Jackson who was a personal friend of Kennedy. Jackson was
smart and very knowledgeable about defense matters. He was a
liberal Democrat and called by the Navy the "Senator from
Boeing." Jackson was thus not believed to be a true believer in, or
supporter of, the Boeing-Air Force's competing strategic weapons
system, The Polaris, about to be tested off the coast of Florida.
Lockheed built the Polaris missile that would directly compete for
Pentagon strategic dollars with Boeing's bombers and missiles.

In retrospect I now realize the Navy had a great deal to worry
about if the Democrats won in 1960, and it made institutional
sense for the Navy to prepare for this worst case scenario and con-
tingency. Three powerful Democratic senators-Symington,
Johnson, and Jackson-were thought to be pro-Air Force and anti-
Navy, and anyone of them was a potential Secretary of Defense. In
addition, the Democrats' presidential candidate, Senator Kennedy,
was an unknown quantity on most important defense issues. . .

For more, here is an excellent June 10, 2005 Buzzflash interview with George E. Lowe

A-and H-bombs. Still I continued my re- search at the Navy library in Main Navy and at the Army library in the Pentagon.topes de estacionamiento

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